Category Archives: characterization

castiel: our greatest american hero*

So you know how Cas sang to that baby in 9.06 and it was charmingly terrible? Well (and maybe this is super common knowledge and that’s why I haven’t seen much of anything about it but) the song he sang is actually the theme from a charmingly not-totally-terrible TV show called The Greatest American Hero. The show aired about thirty years ago (1981–83), and its theme was so popular that an extended version of the song, under the title “Believe It or Not,” made it to #2 in the Top 40 in 1981.

Twitter informs me Rob Thompson originally had other plans for the scene:


And, sure, “Highway to Hell” would’ve been funny, and there of course would’ve been the connection to Dean we could’ve all snickered about, but I like this choice better. A lot better. So here’s a lot of reasons why.

Obviously there are spoilers for SPN 9.6 “Heaven Can’t Wait” under the cut.  Continue reading


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Filed under characterization, on the tv

dean winchester: the decider

I don’t know if you’ve noticed Dean’s alter ego as The Decider, but it’s something I think about a lot, and have been thinking about for years. Because more important than killing monsters or thwarting the apocalyptic plans, or falling accidentally, obliviously in love with angels, Dean decides. And his decisions control both the narrative and the show’s truths. Decider!Dean’s control of the show’s story arcs is a thing that’s made me repeatedly, and increasingly, angry in the past few seasons, but there are hints in early season 9, particularly 9.02 “Devil May Care,” that the show just might finally be challenging Decider!Dean to dramatic effect.

What follows is an analysis of Dean’s role as decider throughout the show, the effects of his position (good and bad), and speculation on how I hope his character is being challenged. Please note that for as much as Dean’s actions have a tendency to enrage me, I super love and appreciate Dean in lots of other ways not under examination here, and that critical analysis ≠ Dean hate. Cool. Thanks.

all the Dean meta

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in defense of darkness


I spent most of the day yesterday reading fan and critical reactions to Into Darkness and some of the negative ones sent me into a little bit of a funk. There have been some very pointed critiques of the movie, and I felt the need to shore myself up in the face of them. So this is me hammering out my headcanon by contrasting what reviewers saw with what I saw, or how I’m choosing to interpret/justify/connect the events without blinding ignoring any potentially problematic aspects. I should probably be waiting to do this until after I’ve see the movie a second time, but I’m impatient. Maybe there will be more meta posts like this in the future after I do get another viewing under my belt and find more bloggers and columnists to argue with.

This is just all my own blather, guys. I’m not trying to convince anyone of anything, just setting it straight in my head. And I’m only picking on public reviews here, not private fan reactions.

The post got gigantic, so I’ve broken it down by subject: Starfleet and philosophy, then and now; Kirk, Spock, and their antagonist; McCoy and Kirk/McCoy. Feel free to just scroll through to your relevant header. And there are, of course, gobs of spoilers after the jump. Continue reading

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supernatural potpourri

Here, have some scattered thoughts on, idk, stuff.

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Filed under characterization, on the tv, theme

representation and the real girl

The thing SPN has consistently sucked at for the last three seasons is pacing. Whole episodes draaaaag, and then a bunch of exciting shit happens in one ep! And then zomg huge emotional episode! Followed next week by . . . fluffy filler? It just boggles me how they can’t seem to develop, sustain, and release dramatic tension in any kind of capable way. So, bearing all that in mind, I was well prepared to hate this week’s “LARP and the Real Girl,” having come off the amazing emotional roller coaster of last week’s episode. (Yes, I liked “Torn and Frayed.” Some day I might still tell you why.) But, here’s the thing—I didn’t.

I mean, I’m also not experiencing paroxysms of best. episode. ever., but as fluffy filler MOTW episodes go, it was pretty cute. I enjoyed all the pop- and nerd-culture references and I appreciate that the boys let go and got to have a little fun. But at some point as I watched I started to have a lot of Charlie-related feels of the feminist kind. She’s a tricky character for SPN, and the more I thought about her, and the more I scrolled through Tumblr, the more my brain kept spitballing. So, here. Have 1400 words of feminist-critique Charlie meta I wrote at work instead of doing my job today.

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Filed under characterization, feminism, representation