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:-\ SPN 
18th-Nov-2007 09:42 pm
I think the misogyny and racism have finally managed to make me turn away from the show.

Or maybe I'm just not well. But right now the show's on, and I'm feeling physically ill.

- spoilers for Fresh Blood in the comments
18th-Nov-2007 10:12 pm (UTC)
If you mean Fresh Blood, I watched it yesterday and... maybe I'm less sensitive to these things, because I often don't see them where other people do, but it wasn't misogyny and racism that made me cringe.

It was Sam's actions in the last-but-one scene.
18th-Nov-2007 10:16 pm (UTC)
Sam's actions where he (grey text)
garrotted the black man

Or something else in specific?
18th-Nov-2007 10:17 pm (UTC)
No, that. But I wasn't reading it as a race issue, just as a deeply unpleasant death scene, all the more so because it's Sam.
18th-Nov-2007 10:24 pm (UTC)
No, I couldn't keep my mind off the fact that Sam is white in skin and in "intention", and Walker was black in skin and intention even before turning; in this scene, he had been made grotesquely inhuman through exaggerated prognathism, and that the white man was, killing the black man through strangulation.

Mmmmmm lynching.
(Deleted comment)
18th-Nov-2007 10:30 pm (UTC)
And I had already been turned off by Gordon's turning. Specifically the comparison of shackled helpless blonde women being forced to ingest something orally, compared to the arm-on-arm interracial blood swap, which for some ingrained subconscious reason had me thinking of AIDS
18th-Nov-2007 10:43 pm (UTC)
Oh, thank Christ. Someone else who has big fucking problems with Supernatural on this front.

The first season, I didn't pick up this ugly undertone, but that could be because I sat down and watched all the episodes back-to-back on DVD and might not have had time to process.

When I started watching in "real-time" during mid-S2, I'd end each ep with "Kwel!" and then I'd process and go, "Waitaminute. I have to be over thinking this."

Then I threw up my hands after the first ep of S3 and said, in essence, that I was sick of it. Subtext had now become text and I didn't like it.

My big mistake was saying it publicly. Do you want to know how defensive people get when you say that their show maybe has some bothersome sexism and racism subtext?

On second thought, maybe you really don't want to know.

All I can tell you is that it seems to me that in Supernatural's world: 1) The black guy always gets it; 2) Ethnic characters are stereotyped and then killed; 3) Women are usually victims or evil (your choice).

I could stand it if it was a handful of episodes. But it seems to me that it's waaaaaay more than a handful of episodes at this point.

But, Jesus, they didn't go there, did they? I mean, tell me they didn't actually go there, because that's all kinds of special if they did.

Gah! Sorry for splooging all over your LJ, but I'm just so relieved that someone else is seeing the same thing I am. It makes me feel a whole lot less crazy.
18th-Nov-2007 10:55 pm (UTC)

Seriously, I liked S1 because I thought the tropes were done in a 'hey, let's mock the misogyny of the horror genre' way. The show was fun, and unabashedly horrific (heheh) and was liek watching a different crap horror a week.

And I likes me some crap horror. In the same vein that I go insane when 'crazy bitch' plays at the club, I like a bit of camp sexism in my entertainment.

But then SPN got darker and deeper, and kept the same race and sex issues. Maybe emphasised them. Yes, its concept is women in refrigerators, but now we're having blood-as-rohipnol, and lynching overtones and it's just not fun anymore. The show is taking itself seriously, and the joke's no longer a joke.
18th-Nov-2007 11:02 pm (UTC)
The show is taking itself seriously, and the joke's no longer a joke.

Yes, thank you. I adored S1, watched every episode except for one, and that one I skipped on purpose (bugs. ugh). But just through season two, and now in season 3, it's just...

It's taking itself too seriously. It's piling on the angst, which I hate, and they always rescue women, and pretty, white ones at that, and just...

Not fun anymore.

Edited at 2007-11-18 23:07 (UTC)
18th-Nov-2007 11:13 pm (UTC)
Bugs was a terrible episode anyway. You didn't miss much.
18th-Nov-2007 11:13 pm (UTC)
Awwww, it's okay. Most people who commented on that post either agreed or treated me with a little bemusement because they couldn't see it (the online equivalent of, "Yeah, whatever").

A couple of them, though, went completely off the deep end defending the show. One of them even accused me of being racist, which, hunh? I know I'm not the most sensitive person on the planet with racism, but, really...

As for S1...You know? You're probably right. That's probably why I had no problems with S1. It was pure camp, like Buffy S1. The horror genre has tropes. The show shamelessly mugged them and it was all fun and games with the pretty. :-)

Plus, S1 for any show is kind of a shakeout cruise. The problems that crop up there tend to get fixed in later seasons. So even if the whole girls-in-refrigerators trope was there in S1, there's a reasonable expectation that it wouldn't necessarily be true as the show found its feet and more hunters got introduced. (I honestly didn't pick up on any weird race issues in S1...not saying they weren't there, just that I didn't).

Except, now the show is in S3, and going by what other people are saying about the show (I've stopped watching completely), that whole problem with women and race hasn't changed at all. Lay that against the angsty storyline they set up for this season in the last ep of S2...yeah. It's definitely going to look like the problem's worse even if they don't change a blessed thing.

As for whether the production/writing team will even get a chance to fix it, it's kind of up for debate. With the writer's strike, even if the writers were inclined to go back and re-write problematic scripts, they really can't.

Any scripts Supernatural has on tap have to be shot as is. If the strike goes on long enough, they'll just run out scripts to shoot and production will go dark. It's already happened on several shows (including Battlestar Galactica which was shooting the 13th and last-written script up in Canada), so I can't imagine that Supernatural is that far ahead of any of the other hour-long dramas.

So, unless they started fixing these problems before the strike started, I'd expect more of the same out of any Supernatural episodes shown in the immediate future.
18th-Nov-2007 11:39 pm (UTC)
And there was me actually about to find out when its on and make an effort to watch an episode or two. I shan't bother.
19th-Nov-2007 01:47 am (UTC)
And this is me not arguing against the serious problematic nature of that, in any way, shape, form or fashion. Other things as well.

(See also 3.01; see also "Women's Work.")

I think that two things are happening here, and I think Kripke et al. need to do some serious rethinking on their approach. I think that on some things they are deliberately choosing images that will make people go "AUGH" at a gut-level reaction of "this is WRONG, this is BAD," because it's part of the downward spiral that they're trying to illustrate.

Unfortunately, it's not working the way they intend, because the larger and more comprehensive context remains extant. *sigh*

I have continued hope, because Kripke has acknowledged that there are issues. And is in touch enough/wants to be in touch enough to listen if/when it's brought to his attention. So.
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