Supernatural Chat: SPN Proves it Isn’t Afraid of Taking Chances

Supernatural Season 8 Episode 4 Bitten

Hey there, Supernatural fans! How are y’all doing this fine Halloween eve? Is everyone going to stay in tomorrow night and watch the episode like good little fans or be naughty like me and watch it the next morning so you can go out and do some Halloween partying?

Well, either way I’m sure that every single one of you have an opinion about last week’s episode. If you read my review of “Bitten” then you know that I didn’t enjoy it very much. But though I may not have liked the results, seeing all of the varying reactions the episode had on people, it made me realize that I did appreciate the fact that the show was willing to take a risk.

Supernatural has taken many risks in my opinion over the past seven-plus seasons. Not all of them went over well, but I think everyone can agree that all of them have proven that the writers and creators behind our show aren’t afraid to push the envelope. I’m sure that TPTB must have known that some of these risks would not be well- received by fans, and yet they still did it. You have to admire that kind of moxy and as such I thought I’d talk about some of the ways I feel this show has risked it all.

The Found-Footage Episode

Let’s start with the most recent example of risk-taking known as last week’s found-footage episode, “Bitten.” Like I said in my review, I was bored by this episode because I never could get into the storyline or the new characters. Part of that may be due to the fact that this was one of those rare episodes for me where I was not overly spoiled before it began. I went in having no idea that we weren’t going to see a lot of Sam and Dean. Perhaps if I had, I would have liked it better.

However, just because I didn’t enjoy the episode, that doesn’t mean I can’t appreciate it for what it was. The writers, cast and crew shot something that was completely different for them and I doubt that it was easy. They also had to rely on three brand new (to the show anyway) actors to pull off the whole story.

The Hand-Held Camera Episode

Season 3’s “Ghostfacers” was another one of those episodes that seemed to have a polarizing effect on fans. From what I saw when it aired, people either loved it or hated it, much like last week’s episode.

I’d be curious to know if those who hated “Ghostfacers” also hated “Bitten” because personally I loved Ghostfacers. I found it hilarious and I loved seeing Sam and Dean in that sort of reality TV way. I liked that it allowed them to get around the censors for once, cursing and flipping off the camera and basically behaving in a way that we know these guys really do. It’s also one of the scariest episodes of the series for me, the hand-held cameras making the scenes downstairs in the “party room” truly terrifying for me.

The Wincest References

Okay so I should say right off the bat that I personally am not into Wincest. Sure, I make jokes about it and giggle at the references, but when it comes right down to it I can never read that type of fanfiction. I just can’t get past the fact that they are brothers and though I kind of get why others are into it; I can only wrap my head around it if I believe in my heart that those who are into it, aren’t really into that incestuous aspect either.

But no matter what you think of Wincest, you have to applaud a show that’s not afraid to take on a subject like that and not only acknowledge its existence, but put it into the show. Incest isn’t exactly a topic most TV shows refer to and though it’s all done very tongue-and-cheek, I still admire the people behind Supernatural for not being afraid to take it on. I know that they do it to make those of us who like it (or at least kind of get it) laugh, but there’s always a chance that something like that could lose them viewers, and yet they’re not afraid to do it.

The Meta Episodes

I’ve truly never seen a TV series do meta episodes quite like Supernatural does. I love the fact that our show isn’t afraid to poke fun of itself and knock down that third wall. So far, I’ve enjoyed every trip that Supernatural has taken into the world of meta, none of which more than season 6’s “The French Mistake.” Any show that features a show within a show based on itself is one show that’s not afraid to take chances.

But again, as much as I’ve enjoyed these episodes, they could still be considered taking a risk. Knocking down the third wall to acknowledge your own existence as a TV show is not something that’s done every day and there’s a reason for that. Not everyone appreciates the humor and TPTB had no idea the first time whether fans were going to like it or not.

The Angels and God Storyline

Talk about taking chances. When Supernatural introduced not only the idea of angels, but of God himself into their mythology, I was truly shocked. Not because of the storyline really, but because they were willing to go in that direction. They were taking on a subject that is one of those things you’re told all of your life not to discuss at the dinner table for good reason. People don’t like it when you mess with their religions and here they were pulling mythology straight out of the Bible itself.

Once again for me, this was a risk that paid off. I felt like they made the characters and their own mythology different enough that those who were believers couldn’t take offense by it. But then again, I’m just one person and who knows how the rest of the fandom felt when it happened? It ended up becoming a huge part of Supernatural’s overall mythology, and even brought us a beloved character in the form of Castiel, but there’s no doubt that involving angels and God in this show was a big risk.

So what about you guys? Do you feel like my examples above represent risks that Supernatural has taken over the years? Do you have any examples of your own that prove the show has taken risks with its stories, characters, etc? Sounds off in the comments below, I love hearing from you guys!

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”Supernatural Chat” is published every Tuesday. If you’re curious what this column is all about, check out our introductory post on it and more articles here.