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Quick Reaction: 9x20 Bloodlines

Okay! So, I'm not as think as you drunk I am...

This was definitely ANOTHER SHOW. It was another show's episode with Sam and Dean as guest stars. So , this quick reaction is going to be slightly different from my regular Supernatural quick reactions. There are a couple of things that you have to pay attention to before you read or comment and I will BOLD THEM so that you pay attention to them, okay? Okay.

1. I am drunker than usual. I apparently didn't have very much to eat today and also arrived at my friend's place already thirsty... and even though I tried to chug a glass of water first, I think I ended up chugging my wine too.

2. I am not going to do a synopsis like I usually try to do. Partially due to point #1, but also partially due to the fact that with all the new characters introduced, I can't remember names very well so... yeah...

3. Listen, I know there's going to be a lot of hate about this episode, because people want the spin-off to actually be connected to Sam and Dean's world or whathaveyou or other reasons. BUT, this doesn't change the fact that I REALLY don't like negativity. So. COMMENTING RULE: For every negative thing you say, you have to also say something nice. Try it! It's a fun game to play in all aspects of your life.

Okay, let's actually discuss the episode....

So, first off, I'm a little disappointed that they had to start the new series off by fridging yet another woman. Was that really necessary? Could the cop not be just as involved in what was happening because he was a COP and you know, it INVOLVES HIS CITY?!! Did they really have to give him the avenging dead fiance storyline?!

That being said, I'm really happy that our audience surrogate in this show is a black dude. Guys, I make no secret about it: I am tired of white people in my television shows. I have a really hard time telling them apart...

Case and point, that werewolf dude - Julian? LOOKS SO MUCH LIKE TOM CRUISE THAT IT WAS FREAKY! Like, seriously, he is a taller/broader younger (currently) version of Tom Cruise! So freaky... and the cop dude, the guy that David-the-Shifter pretended to be for a bit? He looks a lot like someone too, but I couldn't figure out who.

So, to sum up, we have:
Negative: Fridged fiance.
Postive: Black dude lead.
WTF: Tom Cruise look alike.

See, that's how comments should be done! That's a nice example. That's the kind of stuff that I want to see.

Now, let's talk about some other stuff...

The underground monster bar was cool. It was SORT of unbelievable that one human with silver claws could take out that many monsters though... but, then, maybe he timed it so that only the monsters susceptible to silver would be in the bar... or, he had the element of surprise or something.who knows.

Also, what was the lizard woman behind the bar?! I don't think we've had lizard people on SPN before! I want to know what she was!

It was also cool to see Sam and Dean from an Outsider POV.... where they just breeze in and out and don't give straight answers. Oh, they'll listen to you tell you about monsters like they believe you, but then they'll tell you that monsters aren't real and to go home. Anyway, it was cool. I also really like how Sam kept trying to warn Ennis not to get involved at all, because once he did, he'd never get out. I also liked how Sam was all like "I feel your pain, dude, my girlfriend was also fridged." Then my friend said, "Actually, anything I stick my cock into gets fridged." And then we got into a discussion about how if we had to choose a way to go, that'd totally be mine...

Lore changes:
Another thing that I have a SLIGHT problem with is the new Shifter lore. I REALLY liked the fact that SPN Shifters had to shed their skin to shift - I liked the fact that they were gross and disgusting, because I felt that it added a level of realism to it somehow... because all life, really, is gross and disgusting on a certain level. Anyway... the thing is, I KNOW how to explain away the change, which is the only reason I'm not completely pissed off.

Because, much like they did with werewolves (except Garth), you can explain it away by the difference between bitten and born. So, in SPN, born werewolves can better control the shift, and if they're within the lineage of the alpha (without being too diluted) they don't even have to eat human hearts. So, fine.

But wait, Hells, Shifter's aren't bitten! No, they aren't. Shifters are born when a shifter pretends to be a womans husband and impregnants her. So, the shifters we've seen that shed their skin are actually mixed-race shifter/humans. So, what would happen if the alpha male shifter and an alpha female shifter got together?! MAYBE they'd have a baby that didn't need to shed its skin....and hence, I'm assuming, why "bloodlines" are so important to these families.

So, yeah, I'll forgive them their change to the lore if that's the case... if that's NOT the case, then I don't forgive them.

Okay... other things...

While we were watching, I criticized the writing because they pulled the car over in order to get out of it and have a conversation only to get back into the car and drive off. Why did they have to get out of the car then? That was dumb. Then I realized that they couldn't film the conversation in the car like it would have made sense to, because they were using a fan's Impala for this shoot, and in order to film in the car they have to take the roof off... also their whole poorman's process set-up is in Vancouver, not in Chicago. So, FINE, still, I think they might have figured out a less obvious way to weave that conversation into the narrative - for instance, how did they even know where to go? Did we see that scene? Maybe they could have stopped somewhere to get some intel or something and THEN had that conversation about why they weren't shooting David-the-shifter on the spot.

Speaking of David, I DID like him - though you'd think that being a shifter, he'd be able to get those eyebrows under control. Also, what's with his sister getting all dressed up just to stand around her own house?

I'm not a huge fan of Romeo and Juliet storylines.... but, I DO like werewolves and I DO like Shifters, so the idea of offspring werewolf-shifters is cool to me.  But, on the topic of finding a different way to suck Ennis into the world, maybe HE could have fallen for a monster instead? Maybe it could have been that HE was dating Violet and then she could come to him explaining about the monsters and how her brother was being accused and it was going to start a war and could he help?! And they could still have the back story of Violet and David, but in my version Violet would have MOVED ON after being forced to leave David, and that'd make things even more interesting.

That being said, I like the way the show immediately set up the potential slash ship of David and Ennis, with the whole "we've both lost people" blah blah blah... and Dean saying that they needed to "kiss and make up later"... so, there's that. If they went with my scenario, then it'd be one of those slash ships where they start out hating each other because of being rivals for Violet's love and whatnot. So, who knows. I guess I'd just be replacing the fridging trope with the love triangle trope... but at least love triangles can be solved through threesomes.

Did I have a point?

Anyway, i don't know why the hell Violet didn't just tell David that it was his brother who made her not meet him at the train station. I mean, really... what did she have to lose at that point?

Also, I'm not sure why they had to through in whole dead-dad calling at the end... but, I guess they felt they needed another hook. I thought it was enough that he had evidence that his father knew what was what in the city and that might be intriguing enough. Now I'm wondering if his dad got turned at one point and didn't die at all.

IN CONCLUSION: It's obvious that the CW wanted a CW show, not a WB show, which is what SPN still is. Seriously, think about it, SPN is unlike ANY OTHER SHOW on the CW. It's got 30+ year-old protagonists (now at least), it's NOT an ensemble show, it's NOT a romance (and we're not including the epic love story of Sam and Dean or whatever the hardcore destiel shippers think they are watching), and, although it has monsters, it's about HUMANS. EVERY OTHER SHOW on the CW is an ensemble romance show about 20-somethings, who are usually non-human.

So, YES, is would have been cool to get a show about some character we know already - Krissy and those kids, Sheriff Mills, other hunters... Adam and his Golem... some Men of Letters themed show set in the 1930s or something... but none of those would be CW shows.

Also, it makes sense from a writing standpoint to have a show that is COMPLETELY divorced from Sam and Dean... because if SPN is going to continue past S9 or even S10, then you don't want to have to be worrying about getting the canons in sync with one another. The writers don't have to concern themselves with what's happening on the other show, because they're only using the same lore and from now on the Winchesters just can't ever take another job in Chicago and we're good!

Bloodlines is a LORE spin-off, not a character spin-off.

So, what did I end up with?

Negatives:
1. Fridged fiance.
2. Slightly unbelievable-ability bad-guy
3. Slight change to shifter lore that sort of annoys me unless they play it VERY VERY carefully.
4. Slightly awkward writing in places (also awkward directing in places - I didn't catch who directed this one, but the fight scenes kinda sucked.)
5. Not a fan of Romeo and Juliet stories (I mean, I don't even like Romeo and Juliet, I think it's a pretty crappy-ass play with only a couple of good lines. There. I said it.)
6. Why didn't Violet just tell David what Sal said, what's the big deal?
7. Did we really need the undead-dad calling cliffy?

Positives:
1. Black dude lead! yay!
2. They DID keep the SPN lesson that humans can be just as, or more, monstrous than monsters. So that was cool.
3. Cool underground monster bar scene with lizard woman! New monsters?! I WANT TO KNOW WHAT LIZARD-WOMAN WAS!!
4. David WAS a likable slightly amoral but still more-moral-than-most character. He was easy to sympathize with, despite the fact that he cheats on tests. (Also, what kind of professor leaves the spring final in a folder marked "spring file" on the DESKTOP.. I mean, at least put that sucker in a subfolder in your documents or something.)
5. There are female characters that are sticking around - Violet and Margo are both set up to have major rolls.
6. Potential slash ship with Ennis and David.
7. That Djinn dude was really cool!! I liked how they went old-school with him, making him look more like the Djinn from S2, rather than the ones we saw in S6. I also like the idea of the Djinn being one of the families - meaning that there's the potential for more awesome Djinn stuff. If you think about it, this episode really only dealt with the Shifters and the Werewolves... there's still the Vampires, Ghouls, and Djinn families to explore. So there's a LOT of potential there for more.

All in all, an interesting premise for a new CW show. Personally, I'm not a huge fan of "political" shows - which is what these "mob family" shows are really about. Also, I really hate Vampires. I was happy that this episode didn't ask us to sympathize with any, because I am vampire-racist and cannot sympathize with them at all, but, should the show continue, I'm sure it'd only be a matter of time... at which point I'd start having trouble watching. (For instance, my love for werewovles cannot override my hatred for vampires when it comes to Being Human... and I even like Sam Witwer as a person too. THAT is how much I hate vampires.)

So, it was fun for me to watch this pilot episode just to see what they are trying to do, but the show actually isn't really my cup of tea. Still, I hope for the sake of the actors and crew involved, that the show at least gets one season to see if it can find a good footing.

Okay, so REMEMBER THE COMMENTING RULE: For every negative thing, you have to say something good! If you can't think of anything good, then you are not allowed to say the negative thing!

Also, does anyone know what the hell is going on with the airing times next week?! Apparently the Chicago station isn't airing it until 12:30am?!?! And we tried to look up what time it aired on the Canadian station, but apparently it's not airing until WEDNESDAY in Canada?!?! Guys, I don't think I can stay off the internet that long... so what I'm wondering is if it's airing ANYWHERE in the states at the proper time, because maybe that will mean that I can still get a download of it somewhere - or find a livestream or something?! Any help would be appreciated, especially as it looks like we're finally getting back to some major plot!!

Okay, I think that's it for me... I hope no one is super disappointed by my lack of synopsis this week. Or hey, maybe some of you preferred it? I never know if sometimes I do too much synopsis and too little commentary, so maybe this week is a little experiment in trying something different, where I just do comments and no synopsis at all. Let me know what you think about that too, I guess?

Comments

( 48 comments — Leave a comment )
raloria
Apr. 30th, 2014 07:59 am (UTC)
Um, okay here goes...

Positive: The Impala looked really shiny and pretty and it was so cool that they used a fan's car.
Negative: I couldn't keep track of what each character was (ok, is she a werewolf or a shapeshifter?) or who knew who. It was all very confusing and I wasn't interested in any of them...except maybe David - he was kinda cool.

Yeah, that's all I've got. You were far kinder in your review than I'm going to be, I'm afraid. :(

As far as I know SPN will still air next Tues here on the Seattle area stations. And you can always get livestreaming links through my positively_spn comm at around 5:30 p.m. on Tuesdays. ;)
hells_half_acre
Apr. 30th, 2014 08:06 am (UTC)
Good job! I agree with both points! ;)

Yay for SPN airing SOMEWHERE at the correct time. That gives me half a chance to watch it before Wednesday. Livestreaming doesn't usually work for me, but thanks for letting me know about your comm so that I can always try just in case THIS time I get lucky. :)
risenshine22
Apr. 30th, 2014 08:38 am (UTC)
+/- mixed feelings about this - there is a lot of potential but I already started the Christmas list with characters I would love to see on the new show -
+ and yes, that guy totally looked like Tom Cruise.
+ I liked that the protagonist was black (I'd love Michael Ealy more but it's a start)
- I don't like when the Supernatural shout-out is too obvious (fiancee killed, dead dad calling), why not let dead Mommy call and kill of Ennis' male lover? I guess I'm way too bold for the CW ;)
+ two main female characters who can kick ass ftw!!

So if this gets picked up I will watch and wait for them to introduce some mature female character being introduced (like Maldonado in Almost Human or Sheriff Mills or Ellen Harvelle) or at least some Felicity Smoak.
liliaeth
Apr. 30th, 2014 11:00 am (UTC)
Honestly, killing Ennis male partner woudl have been just as bad, because gay characters get killed off too often as well. Seeing as how Ennis is a cop, why not kill his partner to start him looking into things. To most cops their partner is like family.
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kuhekabir
Apr. 30th, 2014 10:33 am (UTC)
I really, really want to say something positive...err...it definitely fits the cw way...

I am not going to go into the negatives because, as you can probably guess, it would end up being a rant.

I am taking the advise from you to treat this as a totally different show and leave it as not connected to SPN at all. Otherwise I would probably implode. LOL.

Love the way you did the review / impression though. Very well done! Kudos! :)
hells_half_acre
Apr. 30th, 2014 03:05 pm (UTC)
I'm glad you like the way I did my review! Haha, I think that counts as a positive.

I think you and I discussed this so much last week, that I can probably guess every word of your implosion rant - and I'd probably agree with all of it.

But yeah, it's easier just to pretend SPN wasn't on this weekend and instead the CW launched yet another one of it's ensemble melodramas - that happened to have a couple of cameos by Sam and Dean. ;)
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liliaeth
Apr. 30th, 2014 10:58 am (UTC)
As for the fridging, I honestly think they would have been better off if the one fridged had been Ennis white male partner. They could have been called on the case, first to arrive and have said partner get killed. Ennis would have been just as affected and it would have avoided the trope.

I liked David, that bit was positive (even if I do hope the actor gets better in the role)
hells_half_acre
Apr. 30th, 2014 03:03 pm (UTC)
Very good alternative suggestion for the fridging!
quickreaver
Apr. 30th, 2014 12:28 pm (UTC)
+ Lead character with diversity
- Because I'm 12, every time I saw/heard his name, I'd think "penis"
+ The guy that played David could act
- And I'd bet he could do a kick-ass job of pretending to SHED HIS DAMNED SKIN LIKE SHIFTERS ARE SUPPOSED TO (but then again, I get why, due to budget and squeamish-viewer constraints, they changed it)
+ Premise had promise
- They dropped the ball on execution; there were far more creative, elegant ways to depict a crime family scenario.
+/- Chicago could've been a great setting if they'd made some attempt at capturing the vibe of the city, esp. in a 'Mafia' sort of way, with small Italian restaurants and deep-dish pizza and, I dunno, put some thought into making the show LOOK different, like early season SPN.

Take-away? Just another ensemble CW show utilizing the paranormal and uninteresting, glossy characters. My favorite (new) character of the night was the djinn. My favorite aspect: outsider POV of the Winchesters. Why didn't TPTB think to make this the further adventures of Jody and Alex? THAT could've been awwwwwesome!
hells_half_acre
Apr. 30th, 2014 03:01 pm (UTC)
I completely agree with all points - well, except that the fact that I didn't keep thinking of the word "penis", but then, they didn't say his name THAT often. ;)

And I very much agree that there was absolutely no effort to make the show look any different from any of the other CW ensemble shows that utilize the paranormal, and that it's really interchangeable (IMO) with any of their other ensemble paranormal shows... which is unfortunate.

tipsy_kitty
Apr. 30th, 2014 01:47 pm (UTC)
Maybe the lizard lady was a vetala? I think their tongues did weird things but I don't totally remember.
hells_half_acre
Apr. 30th, 2014 02:55 pm (UTC)
Ooo, maybe?! It might explain why she was working at a bar owned by a vampire - because I think the vetala were "vampire cousins" or something like that, they were in the same family (in the scientific sense), anyway.
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kaybee751
Apr. 30th, 2014 03:39 pm (UTC)
Positive: they named the shifter family after Tim Omundson's character on Psych (Lassiter)

Negative: Ennis' kill: "I only see one monster here." Me: "Hey, now there's two." I get the revenge angle, but telling the kids it's OK to kill a known killer without, you know, calling in the cops, having a trial, sending him to jail? Especially since the perp was human. If he'd been killed in a fight, fine; but shooting him because you could and you were angry seems very wrong. Especially in the pilot - I mean, where's the character to go from here?

Positive: Ennis: "If they go to all out war, do you know how many people will die?" Hells: "Ten." :D
kaybee751
Apr. 30th, 2014 03:48 pm (UTC)
Haha, one of the AV Club's commenters (one of my fave SPN commenters) has this as a positive: "Jared and Jensen got a few days off."
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katsheswims
Apr. 30th, 2014 03:48 pm (UTC)
Wow, we had a very similar viewing experience. I had almost all of the same thoughts and problems as you. I did notice that the brother looked sort of like Tom Cruise in the club! And the cop did look a bit familiar too (I think a bit like Finstock from Teen Wolf and a bit like Malia's father--who was also some guy on Grimm).

The shapeshifter thing really bothered me. I too can make up a plausible way it could work concerning bloodlines but they haven't stated it. And I don't think Sam or Dean saw any change so they couldn't remark that it was strange so that makes it better--though they did see that guy change when the MoL collector captured Dean, but they had other things on their mind and I'm sure they could have thought it was just that guy's magic (and it may have been).

They also seemed to be reusing some SPN plotlines re: fridging and also a search for a lying/secretive dad...

You're right in that this is just a different show, and I don't think it's one for me. I think they should have just had this episode air much earlier in the season, we've only got a few left before the season is over and this is crunch time--don't want to waste it on things that aren't important to the plot or Sam and Dean.

And some good things since that mostly wasn't...I liked how Sam and Dean were introduced in the episode. Just barging in and taking over at the police station and getting what they wanted. Also I found shapeshifter!David slightly sympathetic and the lead guy too (and also good that they're having a lead be black).
hells_half_acre
Apr. 30th, 2014 03:58 pm (UTC)
Malia's father was also the Dracula-Shifter in Monster Movie! But I think he was reminding me more of one of those actors from some mob-movie. I don't know...

But yeah, sounds like you and I had extremely similar reactions - I'm not surprised, we usually do.

I too, was happy that Sam and Dean didn't see the Shifter change, because if they had they really SHOULD have commented on it. It's one thing I'm actually critical of in Jeremy Carver' run as showrunner - the fact that he seems to play really lose with the mythlogy and not have a problem changing it. In my opinion, in order to make a fictional fantasy-universe work, you have to set really hard and fast rules. Rules make universes believable and "real" feeling. If everything changes to conveniently match your storyline, not only is it a sign of really lazy writing, but it also undermines the credibility of the reality and that translates to other aspects of the plot as well.

Anyway, I'm breakng my own positive/negative rule here!

I definitely agree that I loved seeing Sam and Dean just pop in and get their way and not have time for anyone's shit - it was cool to see them from the point of view of someone who would have been a supporting character had this been an episode of Supernatural.
thestarkat
Apr. 30th, 2014 04:02 pm (UTC)
I thought it was okay. I wasn't expecting a Supernatural episode, so I wasn't disappointed that I didn't get one. I'm pretty sure Bob Singer directed it, but I missed who wrote it. Dean's "I could explain but I'm not going to" was pure perfect Dean and I wanted to smooch him for it.

I liked Ennis and David and thought that both actors were charming and appropriately witty. Calling Dean Buffy was pretty awesome, and the maitre d dissing Ennis for the champagne/ring trope was nice.

I've gotten so used to shows being filmed here that other cities look weird. That train isn't the skytrain. That house isn't a craftsman. Those trees don't look right.

I'm not sure if I'd bother watching it if it gets picked up, but I'd probably give it a few episodes, depending how many other shows are on that I like.
hells_half_acre
Apr. 30th, 2014 04:06 pm (UTC)
I also liked Dean ordering Sam to "give him the talk" :)

I missed the line where they called Dean Buffy! Awww...

I've gotten so used to shows being filmed here that other cities look weird. That train isn't the skytrain. That house isn't a craftsman. Those trees don't look right.

Totally agree! It was really tripping me out.

I'm not sure if I'd bother watching it if it gets picked up, but I'd probably give it a few episodes, depending how many other shows are on that I like.

I don't even watch shows that I'm super interested in... so, this will be a miss for me.

Andrew Dabb wrote it. And yeah, it'd make sense that Singer would direct it... I just didn't like how he did the fight scenes. I like my fighting to be badass, not all... arty. :P
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thursdaysisters
Apr. 30th, 2014 04:10 pm (UTC)
I liked Ennis, you want to hug him, but of all the monsters on network TV I'm reeeeeeally gonna miss demons. SO HARD.
hells_half_acre
Apr. 30th, 2014 04:11 pm (UTC)
True true. Also, I guess no angels fell in Chicago. ;)
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borgmama1of5
Apr. 30th, 2014 05:44 pm (UTC)
Positive: your review is spot-on awesome
Negative: everthing else...

Okay, I'll try a little harder...

Positive: I got to see some of the actual filming--I saw the filming of the flashback at the end.
Most prominent negative: How Ennis killed the human at the end and we didn't even get a reaction shot from the boys! How am I supposed to feel about Ennis after that cold-blooded demonstration? (I loved another commentor's suggestion that Dean should have done the kill as another example of the Mark of Cain's infuence. THAT would have been chilling!)

Bonus Positive: How you came up with a totally plausible explanation for the difference in shifter mannerisms! That's why your analyses are so brilliant to read! (And you came up with that while inebriated? Even more impressive!)

Also, I read that the 5 monster families will be: shifters, werewolves, djinn, ghouls, and a family of female sirens. Vampires are not going to be prominent because they are 'lower class' monsters.
hells_half_acre
Apr. 30th, 2014 06:52 pm (UTC)
(I loved another commentor's suggestion that Dean should have done the kill as another example of the Mark of Cain's infuence. THAT would have been chilling!)

Haha, that was me! Thanks!

Bonus Positive: How you came up with a totally plausible explanation for the difference in shifter mannerisms! That's why your analyses are so brilliant to read! (And you came up with that while inebriated? Even more impressive!)

I'm brilliant when I'm inebriated! I just have a bit of trouble with being articulate about it. :P (That is to say, thank you!)

Also, I read that the 5 monster families will be: shifters, werewolves, djinn, ghouls, and a family of female sirens. Vampires are not going to be prominent because they are 'lower class' monsters.

Well, that's another huge positive in my book for the show! Man, I hate vampires.

Really cool that you got to see some of the filming. :) I'm so spoiler-phobic that I passed filming signs the other day that could have very well been SPN, and my thought was "Oh cool, they'd be filming the finale - I should stay away from this area of town so that I don't accidentally see spoilers!"

I may be a weird fan. Though, if it had been earlier in the season, or for sure the spin off... and if I hadn't been on my way to an appointment, then I probably would have gone to at least see if it was indeed SPN. (I don't actually know what their code was this year.)

pushistyj_koshk
Apr. 30th, 2014 08:48 pm (UTC)
Oh, I don't even... But hey - the Winchesters make everything better!
hells_half_acre
Apr. 30th, 2014 08:55 pm (UTC)
That they do! ;)
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sandymg
May. 1st, 2014 12:19 am (UTC)
I'll play ...

Positive: Every minute the boys were on my screen
Negative: Um ... every minute they weren't?

Okay, too harsh ... trying again. (Hey, others double dipped!)

Positive: I liked the guy who played Ennis. And the girlfriend who lasted five minutes played a bitchy cheerleader on Glee. So that was fun. The guy who played David was on The Vampire Diaries (he played one of the Originals pre spinoff) but was killed off.
I'm not sure why these are positives per set, but they amused me.

Negatives: Human killing at the end. Over-the-top 80s-nighttime soap-style women. Too much exposition (but that's all pilots)

I dunno. Can't see watching. But I watch all the dumb CW shows. I just don't care about them.

It's no Teen Wolf. ;)

Edited at 2014-05-01 12:20 am (UTC)
hells_half_acre
May. 1st, 2014 12:33 am (UTC)
A valiant attempt, I suppose!

I think those are positives, because you got to have that feeling of "hey! It's that guy/girl!" which is always a fun feeling.
shadowsong26
May. 1st, 2014 02:42 am (UTC)
This episode was...I think underwhelming is the word I want.

Unlike you, I like the 'Godfather with fangs' plot concept, but I'm not sure it was well-executed, exactly. Other than Margo, none of the Family heads we saw really interested me, and she seems to be an antagonist figure. (Which I'm okay with, I like her as an antagonist!)

So, so far, interesting concept(+), poor execution(-), interesting antagonist figure who is badass lady (++/-)

And, on the subject of Margo--she is, I believe, the first/only female-default shapeshifter we've seen? Which might tie into why she dresses up when she's not leaving the house. Especially for shifters, appearance is power and dressing up as a wealthy, glamorous HBIC when she doesn't have anywhere to go, especially as a woman taking charge in a probably male-dominated family...I get it, I think. There's a lot of gender-stuff that shapeshifters can be used to explore, but I doubt this show would be smart enough to do that, heh.

I also felt that some of the scripting was weak, and the acting as well. But I did like David and Ennis bantering with each other.

Also, I liked Dean's whole "I could give you details, but I--I'm not going to." Like, he has totally run out of fucks to give at this point, he just wants to get this stupid piddly little monster hunt over with and get back to Abaddon and Metatron and the important things and this episode got a lot funnier when I started imagining Dean's cranky 'no-time-for-this-crap' inner monologue through all his scenes lol.

I wasn't super-fond of Violet, but that may be because the Romeo and Juliet Romantic Plot Tumor set-up kind of turned me off of the show. (Tangent--I agree with you that Romeo and Juliet's plot is stupid, but I actually like a lot of the poetry in it <.< )

But despite all the good things I noticed (Margo, the concept appeals to me, the banter when it was on point, the imaginary inner monologue, etc), where I really lost interest was in that last-minute bit where Ennis got the phone call from his father. Between that and the fridged fiancee, it feels like they're trying to tie this into the original SPN but...in all the wrong ways? Like, they're pulling out some of the more interesting/common/memorable monsters, and then a couple of defining plot points from early seasons, and then throwing it all in a blender with a Mafia Politics story with hot young people. And it's just...I don't even know what to call it, but it didn't sit well with me.

Also, I'm kind of curious how connected these are going to be--I mean, I know that Bloodlines is supposed to be its own story completely unrelated to SPN, but given that the world seems to come to the brink of ending on a regularly scheduled basis...is Bloodlines going to reference that at all? (Side note--I think it would have been funny to get a scene of one of the Family heads being all 'great, war looming and we have a Hunter issue to deal with--whose turn is it this month? ...wait, those are the Winchesters. ...NOT IT.') Or reference previous developments, like when all their food was poisoned by the Leviathans...I'm probably hoping for too much for a show I'm not even all that interested in, heh.

So, overall my impressions were mixed-to-negative, with some interesting ideas but not fully living up to its potential. I might marathon it once it's available on DVD or Netflix, if only for Margo. And the banter. But IDK.

I think I'm pretty even on positive/negative here? I hope so, anyway :P
hells_half_acre
May. 1st, 2014 03:03 am (UTC)
Yeah, i think you got a fairly good mix of positive and negative there.

I don't have much to add, because I agree with all your points.

I guess, I'll just say that although I have absolutely no idea how connected the two shows are going to be, my guess is "not at all" - I'm not sure if that's cynicism or not, but that's just my gut-instinct answer.

Much like Carver's SPN, I don't think Leviathans are ever going to be mentioned again - a couple of people have brought up that storyline, but I really doubt it will EVER be mentioned again on either show. Again, just my gut-instinct.

I think you're right about Margo being the first default-female shifter. I guess that's another issue I have with the changes they made to shifter lore over the past few episodes... in that before, I didn't feel like shifters HAD a default and I really loved that concept - the idea that these creatures had absolutely no appearance-based identity which quite possibly included their gender-identity.

Anyway.... yeah, agreed on all points.
metallidean_grl
May. 2nd, 2014 05:59 am (UTC)
I didn't mind the episode. I wasn't expecting much going into this one, as we all knew that it was a spin-off and that it would be Dean and Sam light. So, no expectations dashed.

Yes, the one dude in the bar looked so much like Tom Cruise I really had to do a double take and look closely to make sure it wasn't him.

As to why Violet didn't tell David what his brother did - I think she didn't tell him because she didn't want to destroy David's image of his brother. David told Violet that Sal never did anything bad to him, and that after he left the family, Sal always had his back. So, her not telling David was Sal did was out of love. She didn't want to destroy David's image of his brother, since it is obvious that there is some hero worship there (ala Sam to Dean in the younger years). If she were to have told him it would have really broken him apart. By not telling him she is protecting him from a hurt, from a betrayal that David might not come back from. That's the way I look at that.

The monster families kept talking about a war brewing, but did they ever break down what the war between the families was all about? I'm a little confused with that one.

I didn't care too much for the actor that portrayed Ennis. He seemed a little young to me, and didn't seem to have the necessary gravitas for a role such as this. It is obvious that they were trying to paint David as a Sam clone, and Ennis as a Dean clone. While I could see David filling out the Sam clone rather well, I just don't see Ennis filling out the Dean close anytime soon. I think the actor tried to hard in the role to be badass and antagonist, much like Dean is sometimes. He seemed to "force" his acting. It seems others really liked him, but he just didn't gel with me very much. I would much rather had had someone in the role with more experience and a little bit older.

I was also flabbergasted with Ennis shooting the perp. If he is supposed to be a cop, where in the hell is his moral cop code. Ennis is already at the bottom of the dung heap for me with that move.

I loved David. I thought he was a strong, charismatic character, and I loved his devil-may-care attitude.

All in all it was an okay effort for TPTB. I just wish they would have approached this spin-off a little differently - more in the vein of what TVD did with The Originals. I really disliked the Originals in the premise of TVD, but in their own show, I really enjoy them. I have even come to like Niklaus now, which is saying something, given I loathed him while he was on TVD. It's too bad that the proposed spin-off wasn't born of characters we already know and love, instead of introducing a whole new set of characters. But, I guess, if they wanted to make this completely separate from Supernatural, I guess they probably did need to introduce a new group of characters. I just think it would have been better received had they introduced them more slowly over a couple episodes during the season instead of force-feeding them to us in one episode, and in an episode SO CLOSE to the finale.

Anywho. If the show gets picked up, I'll give it a try for a little while, but no promises to stay with it if they don't develop more dimensional characters quickly.
hells_half_acre
May. 2nd, 2014 06:12 am (UTC)
If she were to have told him it would have really broken him apart. By not telling him she is protecting him from a hurt, from a betrayal that David might not come back from. That's the way I look at that.

Good point. And I guess since she was already promised/engaged to some dude in New York, telling him that she didn't choose to leave him wouldn't really solve any of their problems anyway.

. It is obvious that they were trying to paint David as a Sam clone, and Ennis as a Dean clone.

I would say it's the other way around, with Ennis as Sam and David as Dean... though, obviously, Ennis doesn't have Sam's moral code. Which, as you say, is ridiculous considering he's a cop.

I guess it's hard to spread the spin-off over a couple of episodes, when you want to set your spin-off in one city with stationary characters, but the show you are spinning off FROM is a roadshow.

But hey, they did what they did. We'll see how it all shakes out in the end...
(no subject) - metallidean_grl - May. 2nd, 2014 02:36 pm (UTC) - Expand
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