The Vampire Diaries (Thursday nights, 8pm, CW)
By Carla Lee
* Kevin Williamson and Julie Plec talk about why Caroline is now a vampire and some of the themes of this season, as well as talk about Elena and Damon, and why Mason isn’t telling Tyler anything.
— I’m not sure I buy Mason’s reasoning. Sure, he doesn’t want Tyler to go through this, but he is and you have to deal with that, Mason. Keeping him in the dark isn’t helping!
— We’d also better get some werewolves who love being werewolves to balance this whole “it’s a curse” thing.
— Source: http://www.nypost.com/p/blogs/popwrap/vampire_diaries_creators_spill_on_suDSgl0FnvTHPuI5WXNmVO.
* Season two, episode four spoilers.
— Katherine reveals some interesting things about the past to Stefan. I’m thrilled to see more Katherine!
— Damon tries to resolve his issues with Mason. Bite him, Mason!
— Tyler pushes Mason to tell him the truth about the Lockwoods. DAMN IT. Why will no one tell the poor boy what he is?
— Source: http://ontheflix.com/2010/09/17/cw-released-new-vampire-diaries-season-2episode-4-spoilers/.
* Season two, episode five spoilers.
— Tyler learns more about the family curse. Well, at least he’s learning, and maybe he’ll actually know what he is and is just learning more. That I will be fine with; it’s just this keeping him totally in the dark I find frustrating.
— Elena continues to try to keep Jeremy out of the Lockwood mystery. Because keeping secrets from Jeremy worked out so well last season.
— Mason gives Sheriff Forbes some horrible news. Does he tell her about Caroline? Has Caroline been able to keep it from her mother for that long? I’m surprised.
— Source: http://ontheflix.com/2010/09/19/cw-revealed-new-vampire-diaries-season-2-episode-5-spoilers/.
Supernatural (Friday nights, 9pm, CW)
By Paula R. Stiles
Supernatural is back this week – Friday, September 24 at 9pm. And yup, we’re still devoting our Fridays in September to it, including an interview with Jennifer Aspen and one coming up for Cindy Sampson. And TNT, bless its heart, has extended its marathon on the 24th to 20 episodes, starting at midnight on the 23rd.
This week, we’ve got two new promos (one fairly long and very noirish one from the CW and another, Dexterish one from Canadian channel Space, this time with actual new footage). Also, a new blurb for 6.03 and some photos for 6.02 are out. And Misha Collins and Sera Gamble both gave new interviews, while Jared Padalecki and Jensen Ackles gave a joint, non-spoilery interview about their work dubbing the Supernatural anime series. Finally, TV Guide had a spoilery blurb about Supernatural in its section on returning shows.
Edit: in late-breaking news, the CW has released a new clip from 6.01 (“Exile on Main Street”), wherein Dean gets his butt kicked by YED (yes, you heard me right). Note the interesting change in “message” of Dean’s external/internal demons from being worth nothing to his family to “daring” to have tried to escape into a new life where he has family that loves him and cherishes him. Maybe the writers weren’t kidding about that role-reversal so much, after all.
So, speculation: the above doesn’t sound like much (two paragraphs’ worth), but oh, does it contain so much. For example, we finally get footage of Grandpa Campbell talking to Dean and Castiel going out the window. Let’s talk about the promos. As with the previous spoilers, they are Deancentric. I’ve heard some say this is because the first episode of the season is Deancentric and it will flip over to Sam at some point. This may be, but the spoilers aren’t showing that, at least not yet. What they do show is a huge focus on Dean and direct connection of Dean to the themes of the upcoming season via genre and character comparisons.
First, there’s the aforementioned Dexter comparison, which I was discussing with someone the other day. I didn’t find this much of a surprise. I’ve mentioned the similiarities between Dean and Dexter before and the tagline – “Partner. Father. You can’t escape your past” – seems like a clear riff on the ads for the upcoming season of Dexter (“Guilt can be a killer”), right down to Dean being shown as a family man right before the promo shows him terminating humanlike monsters (specifically the vampire at the sawmill in “Bloodlust”) with extreme prejudice.
Second, the new CW promo evokes the old-style noir of doomed ex-cons and private dicks, as in Out of the Past or The Strange Love of Martha Ivers, more than the writers’ evocation of the dirty cops of neo-noir like LA Confidential. Nothing against the latter, which was both a great book and a great film – as opposed to The Black Dahlia, which was only a great book – but this is a lot more like the older stuff. Jensen Ackles seems to be channeling Robert Mitchum’s heavy-lidded, killer stare while Jared Padalecki seems to be essaying Cagney’s famous sneer and stance. In fact, the bit where Dean is sneaking through the hanging sheets with gun drawn reminds me for some reason of an obscure little Mitchum gem called Thunder Road (1958).
There are also strong nods to westerns ranging from Shane to Angel and the Badman to High Plains Drifter to Unforgiven, as well as some riffs on Irish gangster flicks like The Roaring Twenties or White Heat or The Departed.
Dean’s demeanor is very interesting – blank, going through the motions, drinking “socially” and also alone (as he pulls up a floor rug in front of a door to reveal a devil’s trap – normality/respectability above, the occult darkness below. Very Lynchian). The guy looks as if he wishes he could take the Colt and blow his brains out, and yet, the flashes of him with Lisa and Ben show genuine affection (love the brief bit where he’s feeding Ben eggs for breakfast). It’s only a matter of time before this man is hip-deep in blood and brains all over again.
We get a whole lot less of everyone else, even Sam. I was annoyed by the bit where he’s doing pull-ups half-nekkid, as it was such obvious and gratuitous fanservice intended to handwave the lack of his presence in the plot, except as a vaguely menacing figure who isn’t what he used to be or seems. Yeah, well, there’s always gotta be a personification character (usually the femme fatale) of the protag’s dark past in a noir, I guess. And that figure is often sexualized (not always just for being female, either – look at the chemistry between Johnny and Balin in Gilda). Still, though there isn’t a lot of individual presence of others, we do get to see Lisa, Ben, Bobby, Samuel Campbell, and (a welcome surprise) Rufus, who shows up on Bobby’s doorstep, needing “help burying a body.” Ah, Rufus, I did miss thee. Almost nothing of Castiel (Collins is about to become a daddy), though he does show up in the blurb for 6.03 and Collins’ interview mentions that Castiel will be more of “a soldier, less of a friend” this season. So, I guess that makes Castiel the upright cop character in this little noir.
I am frankly worried that the writers aren’t going to ring in this new genre change very well. On the other hand, I’m pretty sure we’d never have gotten Moses’ staff in 6.03 under the old management, which just sounds awesomely cheesy. I’m also looking forward to the mix of babies and shapeshifters and lioness-Dean that 6.02 promises, and somewhere in there will be djinn (apparently, a female djinn, too) and Dean hallucinations. The female cousin, from her brief appearances, fairly screams, “Kick-Ass Babe” and the show never seems to do those well unless they’re a bit older. On the other hand, the female monsters look really interesting and maybe Cousin Campbell will turn out better on longer acquaintance. And there’s always still Lisa (Yes, I still like her).
More spoilers next week and don’t forget to tune into Vampire Thursdays and Supernatural Fridays on Innsmouth Free Press all September.