The Life and Death of Amy Pond
has been on playlist Möbius repeat, because it still breaks my heart and dazzles me with equal measure.
Sometime last night it occurred to me why I've been so disappointed lately with Supernatural's episodes and it's because of the recent trend of utilizing cases as device rather than serving them deconstruction or origin stories.
"Maybe. Evolution is about mutation, right? So, maybe this thing was born human but was different. Hideous and hated. Until he learned to become someone else." —Shifter!Dean, 1x06 "Skin"
Cases without context unfortunately fail to really engage my attention, because I'm in it for the metaphor narrated via CGI. Or even less than that, I'm not picky. Because Supernatural has always tried to flavor its monsters differently, tried to do new things with the metaphor to connect it with human experiences — through tragedy and trauma primarily. But after building an interiority like: the monster within, pedophiles, domestic abuse, years-dead secrets, being a POW, and so forth, well, just defeating the monster becomes not enough anymore.
Fringe's "monsters" trend towards "people who do insane things that cause unintended havoc for specific reasons," while Supernatural's has been more about how the monsters are connected to specific aspects of ourselves, magnified or distorted. I want to see how it, as a monster embodied, relates to other things in the mundane world — how it mirrors it, or subverts it, or how it feeds into the larger narrative, or how it changes the characters we are lensing through. Barring that, I want the monsters to have stories of their own — which is exactly why Gabriel worked so well for me.*
If you can recontextualize human problems into an internalized fantastic, then I will easily forgive a budget that doesn't deliver as dazzling a spectacle as I was hoping for — but in the absence of both, well. Character-wise as well, I've been feeling more off-balance and disconnected than I ever have, and it's been oddly disquieting not having that touchstone.
This has been a bit of a downer post. I still love the characters and spend a disproportionate time thinking about this show and all its little odds and ends, and even if I haven't been connecting to it the way I've used to I'll continue to watch with optimism for when I do again. I'm looking forward to this week's with a lot of glee, despite the miles of words above, so. :)* Granted, sometimes the metaphor can go off the obnoxious deep end and/or is the Buffy episode "Beer Bad."