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An Interview With Sera Gamble, Supernatural Producer and Writer, Part One

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A seven-week hiatus can be rather maddening. Given Supernatural’s explosive season four and the mind-boggling material that’s been presented for ten episodes, this long time to reflect has left me with more questions than answers. I’m sure I’m not alone.

Thankfully Sera Gamble, supervising producer and writer for Supernatural, an instrumental player in developing the show’s story lines, was generous enough to answer some questions about season four during the break as well as address a few of my other curiosities. She even opted to tackle a few fan questions I sent her way.

Below is part one of my two-part interview in which Sera gives her thoughts on the introduction of angels to the mythology, the introduction of Castiel, Dean’s faith issues, and Sam and Ruby's strange relationship. Heck, she even talks about the life-sized teddy bear.

This is where I must offer the standard spoiler warning, but I wouldn’t call them heavy spoilers, more like teasers. If you don’t even want hints though, stop right here.

First, congratulations on season four so far. It's been generating some big buzz and the increased ratings are proving that. How happy is everyone about that?

We're happy. Also surprised. Eric [Kripke] emailed us the day after the premiere and I marched into his office holding my bowl of Cheerios like, "You're lying. We did not pick up a million viewers." He just shrugged and said he was a shocked as I was.

You guys went there! Just when everyone had written off the idea of angels appearing, we get not only one but two badass angels in the most spectacular way. When it was pitched in the writers' room that angels would drive story line this season, was it obvious from the start that they would be wrathful, unfeeling, and flawed in their blind obedience, or did that evolve over several episodes?

Angels weren't pitched in the writers' room. Eric started talking to me about them just before hiatus. They'd sorta been in our hip pocket, but I don't think the show was ready for them before now. I've discovered, working on Supernatural, that a lot of good ideas don't work at all until the time is right. And then they just slot magically into place. This was like that.

Our notion of the angels has evolved a bit, yes. Less that they're different in their construction, more that we've become more thorough and creative in developing them as individuals and weaving them into the story. There's an episode coming up that opens in Castiel's point of view. That's a strong indication of how central the character has become this season. It was an organic evolution; we discovered that we were just unexpectedly inspired by these creatures. It was clear to us that when they were in the sandbox, cool stuff happened on the playground. And it's interesting to me, by the way, that you call the angels "unfeeling" and "wrathful," because I don't see them that way. Castiel wrestles hard with his obedience. Turns out it's really hard for angels to walk among humans and not get kinda… involved.

Castiel's character is a gem, and the casting is even more inspired. He's got quite the deep conflict going inside of him since he's gotten to know Dean and it's all told in the eyes. Is everyone there pinching themselves over having an asset like Misha Collins to work with? What direction do you anticipate Castiel taking, especially in his relationship with Dean?

I doubt anyone needs me to point out that Misha is doing a great job. He's very sharp. As for the direction Castiel's going, I don't want to give away too much. In his relationship with Dean… Castiel genuinely likes Dean. And that is going to create difficulties for him.

Where are the sources of inspiration for the story lines coming from? While I love how the show is carving its own mythology and keeping us guessing, my Google search on 'Rising of the Witnesses' came up empty, as did the 66 seals. Are the stories being created on actual legends, or are you having fun with us?

Rising of the Witnesses is our twist on some of the actual stuff in the Book of Revelation, about the dead rising from their graves. We twisted it up quite a bit; hence our assertion that the version you find in motel rooms is "just for tourists." Our regular monsters, you can straight-up Google. But our mythology tends to reflect a bit more mental ping-pong. We don't want to just retell the same old thing.

At this point, I couldn't begin to say where inspiration comes from. I can't watch a brownie commercial without trying to turn it into a pitch for an episode.

Dean and Sam's faith issues this season are particularly compelling. You wrote so well Dean's conflicted struggle over the fact that angels and God exist in "Are You There God? It's Me, Dean Winchester". That must have been an exciting direction to take, especially after you introduced his issues in "Faith" and "Houses of The Holy". How pleased are you with how Dean has slowly been embracing his faith and the way Jensen has been selling it?

I guess I must be deeply interested in this stuff, because I end up writing about it over and over. I like the turn Dean took this season, because it was so unexpected and because we laid so much groundwork in previous seasons. I feel like we earned Dean being rescued by an "angel of the lord" and then calling him a dick and continuing to doubt that there's a God. Needless to say, Jensen kills it. Very talented actor, that Jensen. You may have noticed.

Yeah, I think I’ve heard a few positive comments on that Jensen guy. On the other side, Sam's faith is now slowly eroding after meeting the angels and finding they aren't merciful plus they want to stop him from using his abilities for good. How much fun has it been to setup that parallel, both brothers changing directions on their beliefs?

It kinda writes itself, right?

It certainly does! Still, those words of Castiel’s ring in my head, “Stop him, or we will,” along with Sam’s heartbreak over the angels’ disapproval of his powers. Can we hope that someday Sam will find at least personal redemption for his actions?

What Sam is doing isn't cut and dried. Basically, the way I look at it is to put myself in Sam's shoes. He can't do anything about the fact that he was dosed with demon blood when he was six months old, and it changed him forever. He's trying to make lemonade out of some seriously fucked up lemons. Which is what a hero would try to do. At this point, Sam's a pragmatist. He knows he can't change what he is. He's all about the results of his actions. So, yes: saving people.

Speaking of parallels, first there are the demons, who get that way after forgetting their humanity, and the angels, who haven't walked among humans in 2,000 years and are pretty out of touch themselves. It seems the two sides aren't all that different and I'm assuming that plays a role in why Dean was chosen. How excited are you over the possibilities this sets up?

We'll be laying out the specific reasons Dean was chosen. Stay tuned.

I need to take a few sentences to gush over "I Know What You Did Last Summer." The script was gorgeous, as was Jared's performance of Sam at his absolute lowest point. You gave him some outstanding material to work with. Out of all your scripts, that so far is my favorite. Having said that, did the ridiculous fan debate about Sam being a rapist prompt you to give Ruby an empty shell to inhabit (great line, by the way, "Al Gore would be proud") or was that the plan all along?

We started work on the episode before any debate began that I know of, so none of it was a reaction. But we did know that Sam having sex with a demon would be provocative. Actually, I was very excited to work on the episode. People do a lot of otherwise unthinkable things when they're grieving. Who doesn't want to write the episode where a character they've worked on for 70 episodes does stuff he'd otherwise never do?

But anyway, the state of Ruby's body was the subject of much conversation, mostly because I couldn't shut up about it. I just couldn't get past the rape thing. I think I actually disappointed some people I work with, who thought I'd be tougher or darker or something. Or possibly just didn't care as much as I did one way or another. But I took a lot of writers' room time talking about it. And ultimately took the long way around so I could get her into a vaguely more morally acceptable body. I readily admit it's rather silly, and the mechanics are contrived — that's why I leaned into the joke so much.

Did you write Sam and Ruby's sex scene to be like Monster's Ball, or did that come from the direction? I loved it by the way and it so fit with how broken their characters are.

I referenced Monster's Ball right in the script. We were asking ourselves, "Where's the lowest place Sam can go in a state of despair?" That's why calling it a love scene strikes me as hilarious. It's kind of like self-mutilating and calling it getting dressed for the prom.

Speaking of Ruby, her character has caused quite a stir again this year. There's a vehement debate that she's carrying a hidden agenda, while others see her benevolence and truly developing feelings for Sam. She also seems to be winning Dean over. I gotta say, I love the ambiguity. How fun has it been to write for her character this season?

Ruby's fun this season because so much has changed between her and Sam. Actually, more has changed than we've gotten to so far — there's stuff coming up later in the season that's useful in further understanding their dynamic.

I see you got another promotion this year. Congratulations! Are there increased responsibilities with "supervising producer", or is it just an impressive title change? Does this mean more visits to the set, or do you coordinate from LA stuff like casting snakes and reptiles and pink-bowed Yorkies to have their fun with Jensen? Who was the genius that found that giant teddy bear costume?

These kinds of title bumps are built into contracts. There aren't specific responsibilities that go with the title, but it's true that I've picked up some new tasks this year. But the majority of my time is always spent working on the story side of things. I don't go up to the set; I work with the folks up there by phone and email.

We built the teddy bear. Many swatches of fur were FedExed to the office and scrutinized with great seriousness. You'd think we were redesigning the Batsuit or something.

I've enjoyed seeing some new writers work their way into the show this year. Have you had to take any of them under your wing? Are there any episodes other than your own that you've played a pivotal part in?

They're all under my wing. They're great. Since there's a constant rotation of several episodes happening at once, I'm almost always working with someone.

Coming up in Part 2, Sera gives her reaction to Jared Padalecki’s answer over whether he cringes at her scripts, talks highly about Eric Kripke, and graciously answers some fan questions.

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About Alice Jester

  • elle2

    Alice,

    Fantastic interview. I love Sera Gamble and her interviews and this was no exception. I had been one who posted comments on a fansite that the whole Ruby/Sam scene was straight out of Monster’s Ball in its setup and execution so it is satisfying to see that I ‘channelled’ Sera’s thoughts as well.

    As an aside, Monster’s Ball is a compelling, complex, at times deeply disturbing and very raw film but fascinating.

    I’m of the mind to see the Ruby character killed off this season because I find myself a bit tired of waiting for the ‘other shoe to drop’ what is her endgame? Sera’s answer is satisfying in that it tempts me enough to know that there is more coming…yeah! They may not kill off the character but further reveals and development absolutely work for me, so I’m pretty confident I’ll be very happy.

    As for the other tidbits they’ve got coming our way, I continue to be completely stoked for the rest of the season. There seems to be so much talent and passion for what they’re doing and I really appreciate their time and effort (as well as their willingness to put up with so much from the fans — here I’m purely referencing the negative things from the fans ’cause it irks me to know end and has caused me to leave all fandoms for the show ’cause there is just so much anger, hate and nastiness.)

    Alice, you’re a class act and I just added your site to my favs list for SPN and am starting to explore. Whee.

    Laurel

    PS, I’m so glad Sera got it right too, pet peeve of mine but so many call it the book of Revelations when it is only Revelation no plural. Thank you Sera for getting it right.

  • hermit

    >>>>>>Needless to say, Jensen kills it. Very talented actor, that Jensen. You may have noticed.<<<<<<

    Yes we have Sera, and I not only agree, but greatly enjoy watching such a talented actor bring so much to a show that I love very much. Thanks for the interveiw Alice and Sera.

  • Em

    Sera gave some wonderful answers. I agree with her about the angels, I don’t know why you are so negative towards them, Alice. :) They aren’t unfeeling and wrathful. Castiel has been a wonderful addition, I really want to see how his and Dean’s “relationship” progresses. He’d show some real compassion for him in 4.07 I thought. I even enjoy Uriel, not because he’s a nice guy, but because he is a bit of a dick, so I like how he and Dean insult each other but he almost seems to be gaining just a slight grudging respect for him – at least before they stole Anna’s bottle of grace from him. Hopefully he’ll get over it.

    I’m very glad they’ve added the angels. It feels like they’ve been inspired by them just like she said. Except for Anna, who is a character I wish I had never had to lay eyes on. Boo hoo, no chocolate cake and God didn’t call her often enough[eyerolls]. Might have been better if they hadn’t written her like a whiny teenager. I believed she was ever Castiel and Uriel’s superior about as much as I believe someone has a bridge in Brooklyn to sell me. LOL

    “Needless to say, Jensen kills it. Very talented actor, that Jensen. You may have noticed.”

    Why yes Sera, I do believe I have. :D He’s just a wonderful actor and no matter how annoyed the show gets me from time to I will forever be grateful to Kripke and the rest for introducing me to Jensen Ackles acting.

  • alie

    This was a great interview and I’m so excited for the show to come back!

    I love Sera’s answers about Sam, his powers, and why he’s using them. I like that she put so much thought into Ruby and the host body. That episode made me interested in Ruby again for the first time all season, and I hope the character continues to have something to do. When she shows up for 1 minute to just Yoda at Sam I’m bored. If she’s more integrated into the plot she could be a great character.

  • Alex

    Hello, Sera. Newsflash: Sam’s story isn’t writing itself. If that’s the track you’re taking, then no wonder he has practically no story at all. With the exception of a couple of scenes, we are past the halfway point this season with a mytharc full of nothing but Angels and Dean. Sam Winchester is a guest star. And please, dear God, don’t bring that dumb Anna back (her body exploded, for the love of God). And no long lost third Winchester brother. If that’s the best you guys can come up with, let this be the last season.

  • http://bt-kady.livejournal.com Kady

    Nice interview! I’m looking forward to part two. Any idea when that’s coming?

  • http://www.jesterz.net Alice Jester

    Kady – Part two will be out on Sunday or Monday.

    I must say, I’m tickled with the answers I got, especially about Sam and Ruby. Those two are so misunderstood, its great to get some clarification from the person that actually wrote their controversial sex scene.

    As for the angels, Castiel is not unfeeling or wrathful, although he knows he has to be at times. Job requirement. We saw that in both “Are You There God…” and “Heaven and Hell.” Uriel was the one I had in mind when I asked that, but the question didn’t come out very clear. My bad. Sera’s answer on that was great.

  • El

    Thanks Sera and Alice! Great interview – and really interesting info about the writer’s POV re Ruby and Sam, Angels and God, Dean’s new direction and Sam’s too, with his powers. I really really like the direction the show’s taking this season – so I’m concerned that the Powers That Be don’t over-react to some fans’ reaction to these. I don’t want this to be a show where characters or ideas or plots get “voted out”.

  • Tammy

    “If that’s the best you guys can come up with, let this be the last season.” If you feel that way, perhaps you should just stop watching. :D

  • Rachel

    Most of the questions are longer than the answers, why is that? I think it is something the interviewer must think about.

  • kk

    If calling it a love scene is so hilarious, why was Gen Cortese cast as a “love interest” instead of a demon? She even said it herself, that she thinks Ruby is in love with Sam.

    I’m disappointed to hear that she’ll be sticking around longer. She’s the one thing that makes me change the channel.

  • Kate

    /Most of the questions are longer than the answers, why is that? I think it is something the interviewer must think about./ Yes, darn her for explaining herself, and Sera giving short answers. All the interviewers fault of course.

  • Karen

    I guess I’m not getting my Christmas wish about not having much Ruby in the second half of the season. I’m glad Sera’s having fun writing for Ruby, it sure as hell isn’t any fun watching her.

  • amy

    Thank you so much for this interview. It was a pleasure to read. Sara Gamble is my fav SPN writer, can’t wait to read the second part.

  • vichi

    Hi Alice,
    Good to have you back:). What a wonderful interview! Thank you so much and a Happy New Year!
    As for Castiel: Yay! Glad to see him more in tha show..
    Ruby – better not to talk about her!
    Can’t wait for 15 january:)

  • tina

    No wonder I have detatched from this show. Sera , Eric, writers are you there hello? there is someone on your show whats his name? now dont tell me , he used to have a mytharc , tall guy , very pretty played by a stunning actor , the one wwho isnt Dean thank god, or a secondary angel.Begins with a S, how about you get your act in order and focus on him, and I will not be treated like a fool , Dean ,s should have a role in the mytharc not become it, I will not pretend 3yrs never happened to suit you.

  • Riverbella

    Really enjoyed this interview. Sera is always fun. The woman has chutzpah. I am loving this season, for many of the reasons you mentioned. I think I get what Sera meant about things happening at the right time. The show has become darker and the mythology more sophisticated over time, and, to my mind, the continuity is amazing and the revelations (no pun intended) do not come before their time. The changes in the characters are not random or thrown in for effect, but formed from a natural progression of experiences, mostly awful ones. But I’m a big fan of angst, so that suits me just fine. I do wish some of the fans would take the long view and focus on the evolution of the boys’ journey rather than jealously counting the screen time of x versus y. Both these actors are amazing and they both have had moments to shine, seperately and together. We are so lucky to have two such talented (and gorgeous) guys to watch, and two guys so hard-working and commited to their craft.

  • http://bardicvoice.livejournal.com Mary (Bardicvoice)

    Thank you for the interview, Alice! I’m really looking forward to part two … I always enjoy hearing from Sera.

    I am loving season four! Even this show’s occasional “Uh, say WHAT?!” moments are better than most of what else is on television.

  • Lauren

    Tina – you have to be kidding me! It seems to me that this interview is completely biased toward Sam and Jared, c’mon. Alice GUSHES over Jared’s performance in 4.9 – and it’s pretty obvious she was looking to excuse Sam’s hookup with Ruby. Thank goodness Sera brings up Jensen’s performance in one of her answers or I doubt that he would even be discussed here. And I’m sure part 2 will be all about Jared/Sam and the sex scenes. Whatever. I wonder if any of the “fan” questions will be about Jensen/Dean at all.

  • ButterflyGal

    Great interview, Alice! This has to be one of the most informative interviews with an SPN writer I’ve ever read. I loved reading Sera’s take on the Sam/Ruby sex issue, and her perspective on Castiel and his feelings toward Dean. Also great fun to hear about them building the teddy bear! Can’t wait to read the rest of the interview!

  • crystalrach

    Great interview!

    With regard to the 66 seals etc, I too researched for my website, yes they do twist things a LOT. My findings are here.

  • *bright73

    Thanks for the interview! Glad to hear there’s a Sam coming this season! I am a bit nervous about the ‘Sam’s storyline writes itself’. I hope that doesn’t mean there will be only guessing between the lines?

    I’d be so happy to see just how fucked up those lemons are!

    Thank you!

  • Shelby02

    Thanks for the interview, but oh how I wish you could ask some follow-up questions! I found Sera’s take on Sam/Ruby very interesting. I agreed with her that Sam sleeping with Ruby was Sam at his lowest point. If that was the message the writers were trying to send, than why did they play the scene were Dean reacts to what Sam shared for laughs? It totally lessened the impact of trying to paint Sam as desperate and his relationship with Ruby as self-destructive. I would love to know Sera’s thoughts on this!

  • Jenny

    Good God, I hope Sera Gamble doesn’t take the interviewer’s preference for that atrocity known as 4.09 and think that all fans loved the episode. Because most of us hated 4.09!

    Please NEVER write episodes like 4.09 and 4.10 again or I will have to bail on my favorite show!

  • Amanda (MysticKitty)

    Thanks for the interview, Alice!

    And a further thank you for your commendation of Jared’s amazing work on this show, as well. It disheartens me how often I’ll read material – articles, comments, etc. – in which Jensen is praised to the skies, but Jared, who is equally talented and wonderful, isn’t even mentioned. I honestly don’t understand it and wonder if these people are watching the same show that I am, the show with TWO incredible lead actors. Does Jensen deserve the praise? Of course he does. But Jared does too, and all-too often doesn’t get it. So, thank you again.

    I agree that this season is definitely explosive, and the new storylines are certainly interesting, yet at the same time, I’ve found myself disenchanted with it to a substantial degree. Dean’s being pulled out of hell and the angels and the whole Apocalypse mytharc are no doubt dynamic plotpoints, and they do intrigue me, BUT…I miss Sam, and I miss the brother-bond. I’ve noticed that several Sam fans, bi-bro fans, and even quite a few Dean fans feel this way as well, and contrary to popular catch-all belief, it doesn’t have a thing to with the “In the Beginning” episode (i.e. screentime), but everything to do with the fact that the only real storyline that Sam has this sesaon is Ruby/his demonic ties. Sam-storylines that had the potential for reaching more than one episode – for ex. the “Mystery Spot” aftermath, Steve Wandell aftermath, etc. – have been all but forgotten, his ‘months while Dean was hell flashback’ was confined to just half of an episode, having had to share space with the intro of inane Anna-Sue…heck, even John’s death was given more mention than Sam’s! What gives?

    There’s nothing wrong with Dean having been given a compelling post-hell mytharc and post-hell angst – how could either of those things not conceivably happen? – or with adding angels to the mix – we’ve seen Hell’s side, it only makes sense that we’d eventually get to see Heaven’s. But all this epicness and grandeur has all but sucked the brother-bond right out of the show and has been relegating Sam to the sidelines way too often, and there IS something wrong with that. I hope to goodness that Ruby doesn’t get killed off anytime soon, cuz jeez, without her, being that the brother-bond is largely on the rocks, Sam would be left with mere scraps! Bottom line, being that it’s all the way into S4, with only one more season (if that) left, I’d think both of the boys would have tons of storylines and involvement right now, not just one boy.

    Don’t really know what to make of Sera’s answers, the line about Sam’s story writing itself does worry me a bit, but I like that she mentioned the heroic quality of Sam using his powers for good…making lemonade out of some really messed up lemons, hee. I’m extremely nervous, but of course interested, to see where the rest of this season and this show goes next, and hopefully Sera and the other writers have a lot of great material in store for both of our boys. I’ve seen quite a few spoilers that worry me (and not in the good way) but I’ll keep that hope nonetheless. Looking forward to part two of the interview, and thanks again for this one! :-)

  • Mel(LoveJeter)

    Thanks for doing the interview Alice and thanks to Sera for taking the time to answer questions. Can’t wait for part 2.

  • Dair

    Thanks so much for the interview Alice! I’m looking forward to part two.

    I don’t believe for one second though that Sera was already thinking about Sam and Ruby having sex as being rape as she was writing the episode. If she had, I don’t see why she went ahead with it, and then having to have this whole lame explanation, instead of just leaving it out. Why NOT have Sam self-mutilate instead? It would have been more logical, easier, and more dramatic on film. She could even still have had Jared take his shirt off.

    Oh, I forgot, it’s not SEX! Must have the SEX, right Sera?

    They should have dropped Ruby and had another Demon come and help Sam. The Ruby of this season in NO way resembles the Ruby of season 3 (and I don’t mean physically). So why make her the same character?

    At any rate, I’m really tired of her and I hope they get rid of the character SOON! They don’t need her for the ‘save at the last minute’ plot device now that they have Castiel, and he is a much better character.

  • Akira14

    Thank you for this interview, Alice ;) ! I’d like to say to Amanda (MysticKitty) that though I don’t agree completely, I’m very happy to read someone complaining about Sam being on the sidelines without being offensive to Dean and his storyline… I really hope that the show is gonna regain its balance – even without the MOTW theme, because it’s impossible to go back to that formula if the show ends in a season and a half (5.22, I mean) – and that the fact that Sam storyline is “writing itself” doesn’t mean he will be the sidekick to Dean’s ;)

    Love what they’re doing with Castiel, so I’m pleased to read there will be more him *__*

    But please… Don’t make Ruby the redeemed good demon/Sam’s groupie çç ! It had been bad enough to see a potential good character (Anna) being ruined by being another angel (two weren’t enough) who slept with Dean so to play on the the fact that Sam fucked the good demon and Dean did it with the bad angel…

  • yumi

    I have trouble with the Ruby sex scene as well too. Not because Sam is having sex with a demon, but because the way Sera tried to work around it. Either you go full out and make it totally dark (the raping)(I think that actually would be even more effective than the necrophilia deal) or don’t do it at all. If you have to bend backward to make it morally acceptable,if the mechanics are contrived and silly, then why still do it? Because you need a provocative sex scene during sweep months??? There are other effective ways to show Sam’s state of mind. SPN fans are mature and intelligent viewers, who hold the show at higher standard than gratuious sex scences and scandalous love interests/hookups, no matter how hot Jared or Jensen looks naked.

    What does Sera mean by “it kinda writes itself, right?” Plots and story lines are not the show’s strength. The main attraction of the show is characterization of Sam and Dean, perhaps because back in season 1 there were no real emphasis on story lines – just the introduction of the main characters – two guys, being brothers, finding dad and hunting. And come season 4, where the show needs to go to the next step, it falls apart. I doubt that Kripke has a 5 yr plan (considering how he had said earlier that there would be no angels, no scoobydoo gang, no love interests, just two brothers). Look at the show now, Castiel, Uriel, Ruby,(who should have stayed gone in Season 3 finale), Anna and who knows how many other dopplegangers (more angels, long-lost bothers, love interests???)for the rest of the season. It is getting crowded. I think the apocalypse and introduction of Castiel were interesting concept, but it’s getting too epic and the writers can’t get out of it properly. I don’t want a repeat of Heroes season 3 muddled mess. The writers need to refocus and critically, objectively assess the storylines and the show’s writing and direction (incl. being lean and mean with unnecessary, trivial plotlines / characters and bad actors/actresses) because the story doesn’t write itself. Season 4 has been lots of miss for me. Even the characterization of Sam and Dean are off. And yes, I do take into account what Sam and Dean have been through.

    And I don’t think I want an episode with Castiel’s POV. Or Ruby or anyone else. I barely know what’s going on inside Sam’s head. I missed Sam, Dean and their interaction.

  • http://www.supportsupernatural.com Heather

    Thanks for this interview Alice. I love hearing from Sera!!!

    Heather

  • http://www.jesterz.net Alice Jester

    Ah, so many interesting comments! Thank you everyone for sharing such passionate opinions. There are many valid viewpoints and well thought out explanations. Allow me to give my two cents on some of the points I’ve read, because I have rather strong opinions myself!

    Okay, one thing that everyone needs to remember is that this is a 22 episode season. We haven’t even been through HALF of season four. There is still plenty to come, and DO NOT let spoiler speculation (which is never what it seems) and interview responses be the end all be all for the rest of the season. It’s all second guessing at this point, and I myself won’t judge until the finished product is aired.

    Sam’s storyline. As I’ve explained many times, he’s darker, and everything in his character growth is subtle and not very transparent. So far this season has been mytharc heavy, and yes, the focus has been toward Dean. It should, since the guy was in Hell and was pulled out by an angel. That’s major stuff. Now that Dean had time to absorb his trauma, there’s plenty more room for Sam and his growing struggle with his abilities. And yes, like it or not, his relationship with Ruby. She plays a key role in his issues, and has been since early last season.

    When Sera said “It writes itself”, she was referring to Sam’s faith issues, NOT Sam’s storyline. I thought she made that clear with the follow up question. Trust me, the writers and producers put careful consideration into what path the brothers take. Their actions more often than not go somewhere.

    As for the last two episodes, anyone who writes and pays attention to deep character study would see the greatness of “I Know What You Did Last Summer.” Some people were too distracted by Sam and Ruby and didn’t see why Sam would sink to those levels. I did a rather thorough explanation in my episode review of Sam’s spiral, so for anyone who didn’t see that I suggest reading it. I’ve read more positive comments and reviews for that episode than negative ones, so I have no idea who “most of us” are.

    “Heaven and Hell,” even I agree that one was shaky. I wouldn’t take too much stock as to what was presented in one episode though, and let’s see how they run with it. Quite frankly, some interesting possibilities were setup. No more grace in a bottle though please.

    As for the missing Sam and Dean brotherly moments, reconnecting has been rather harsh since they both were keeping terrible secrets from each other. Now that they’ve been caring and sharing over the last two episodes, let’s see what happens from there. The next four episodes are stand alone episodes, so with no mytharc there are many chances for some great stuff between them. You know, going back to basics.

    It’s become my mantra, and I might close every article with it now. Trust In Kripke! He hasn’t let us down before, so be patient. Long hiatuses drive everyone nuts.

  • http://kayssnpage.blogspot.com kay

    Great interview. Great questions, Alice. Am so excited for the 15th!

  • Ali

    Great interview, Alice! Loved hearing Sera’s thoughts on the angels, as that’s exactly the way I see them as well (and I was a bit put out by Anna’s insistence that they were all cold, unfeeling jerks, considering what I’d already seen of Castiel), and I totally agree with her on how wonderfully the faith questions are turning out. She’s right… Jensen is absolutely nailing Dean’s conflict about this stuff, and I think the writers are doing a fantastic job of it as well. The comment in The Great Pumpkin, about how it’s not that the angels aren’t righteous, the difficulty is that they ARE… that was brilliance. Loved it. Evil hath a pleasing shape, and good is often hard and unpleasant, and that’s why so many choose to do evil. Nothing but love for this season so far.

  • Deanna

    Alice, I appreciate where you’re coming from, but it’s hard to trust in Kripke at this point.

    “Sam’s storyline. As I’ve explained many times, he’s darker, and everything in his character growth is subtle and not very transparent.” What’s sad is, this has been true since the beginning.

    Dean has been given some fantastic moments, plot, whole episodes, a range off characters to intractb with from John to Bobby to Gordon to the women he’s been with. Obvious, transparent, talked about, explained, acted character development. Sam’s development is mostly supposition on the part of the watcher. And thus, a large and vocal faction of fandom has come to appreciate him so little that they really don’t care if he’s even part of the show or not. That should really be the red flag, shouldn’t it? Neither of the lead characters (when they’re both supposedly good guys) is supposed to be hated. They might go through morally ambiguous times, but are ultimately justified or at least explained. But Sam has been hated since as early as “Asylum,” “Skin,” “Bugs.” And the reason is that his actions/thoughts/motivations are seldom explained and even less seldom justified.

    Whole scenes go by where Sam literally HAS NO LINES (like the rescue scene in “Benders,” to go back to something as early as season 1, let alone eps from this season where he’s nto even onscreen). His issues with his father dying were swept under the carpet, there was no fallout from his own death or from BUABS or Mystery Spot, his four months alone while Dean was in hell were glossed over…the list goes on.

    Jensen is phenomenal in this role, and Dean is a phenomenal character. I don’t ever want him to be one whit less than half the show. But the other half NEEDS to be Jared/Sam. And I’m not talking minutes of airtime–it’s quality, not quantity.

    Jared’s got the chops: we’ve seen them. And if Kripke and Co. truly care about Sam’s character, they’ll start making things a little more obvious and transparent and SYMPATHETIC. When I start to see signs of that, I will trust Kripke again. But for now, I am balanced on the edge of Rabid Fan Since Day One Who May Stop Watching Forever. Which breaks my heart.

  • *bright73

    Thank you for the clarification.

    The thing is that I do not trust Kripke with Sam. He has admitted that he forgot to show how Sam grieved his father, and with what John did to Sam in those last eps of S1, which was just as unforgivable as what he did to Dean, Sam needed to grieve and not only in the background. John basically told Sam everything was his fault.

    Kripke also admitted to dropping all Sam story lines in favor of Dean’s in S3, which ended up in Dean getting the Mary storyline in S4. And I still don’t know if Sam knows or not that his mother sold him out. If he does and had no reaction to it, that’s another dropped storyline.
    The Boy King, or Anti-Christ storyline seems dropped, or reduced to the mere power of exorcising demons with his mind.

    Sam died and the question was – did he come back right? Another dropped storyline. This year we’re mostly seeig Dean’s reaction and his story lines. In S1 and 2, Dean had most of the standalones while Sam carried the mytharc. This year Sam has had two episodes where he was featured a little more. Metamorphosis and I Know What you Did Last Summer. But neither of those episodes was truly focused on Sam; there was also Anna and the angels with which Sam has very little to do. Even Lilith, what little we’ve seen of her, is now tied to Dean’s mytharc.

    Do I trust Kripke, no! And the fore mentioned are my reasons.

    Jared is doing a fabulous job with Sam, keeping him in character in the background, playing him subdued, but with tension simmering under the surface. Kudos to Jared for working with what little he gets. He’s fantastic. And I just know he will go far. If Peter O’Toole says he’s good, he is good!

    The thing is that I do read spoilers, I have to since S3 and I think I will stop watching after 4.15. It’s a pity since I used to love Supernatural and the brotherly bond. That bond is as gone as Sam is and angels to not interest me that much.

    Well, it was fun while it lasted and I thank you and Sera for the interview and the clarification. I want to thank Sera specially for looking out for Sam’s character, she seems to be the only writers that is interested in a more complex character.

  • Akira14

    Thanks for the clarification!

    I still trust Kripke, but I don’t take every word he says as gold anymore, especially after we’ve seen how crowded this season has become.
    And though Sam has never been a favourite of mine – I think I started to like him at 1.21 -I agree with the previous comments: Sam’s character development should be a little less subtle… Using Ruby as a mean to point it out it is unavoidable? Well, I’m okay with that but she doesn’t have to be in her fangirlish mode to be by his side?
    Though it might have more to do with the way Cortese portrays Ruby than with the writing itself… (maid!Ruby in 4.09 was awesome)

    And with the fact that I don’t understand why bad guys can’t be good just for their own gain, in a magnificent manipulative manner? In a way that it’s hard to detect, not in that “I’m smarter than you” attitude Bela had.
    I’d love to see that kind of a villain on SPN.

    So I keep hoping Ruby has a hidden agenda and turns out to be against the guys in the end.

    Despite this comment may sound as really complaining, I still love the show and aside from 4.10 I’m quite pleased with S4 (way more than with S3)

    PS: Neither do I know who ‘most of us’, are. I loved “I Know What You Did Last Summer”, even though I pretty much hated “Heaven & Hell”

  • Yumi

    With all the mistakes so far, especially in 4.9 and 4.10, instead of asking me to trust Kripke, he needs to re-earn it first.

  • http://www.SupportSupernatural.com LindsayW

    Alice, this is your best work yet! Congrats on landing such a huge interview.

    I can’t wait to read part two. She shed so much light on SN in part one!

  • Erin

    Wonderful interview, Alice, and it makes me feel VERY hopeful and excited about upcoming episodes! :-)

    Per the reader wondering about RUBY and Genivive being cast as a “love interest” … GUYS! Kripke pulling wool over eyes? It’s what he does, and he’s going to fake out his actors just as much as he fakes out us. ;-)

    Anyhow, lots of good stuff without being over spoilery. Thanks so much for sharing, my dear! I look forward to Part 2. :-)
    Cheers ~

    Erin

  • tina

    The problem is in season 2 Sam became a sl and not a character.
    Dean as never deserved the attention he as recieved at the cost of Sam.
    Eric Kripke never should of created a show about two brothers if after one season he decided to make it about the one.
    Dean deserves his sl,s but so did Sam and his treatment on this show since the second season as left a bad taste .

  • http://www.jesterz.net Alice Jester

    I guess it boils down to Sera’s comment, Sam takes it all in and tries to make the best of what he’s dealt with. He knows he can’t control what happens.

    Still, after all he’s been though, watching Jess die, his dad die, then he dies, then Dean dies (in both “Mystery Spot” and “No Rest For The Wicked”)and not seeing any lingering aftermath, one has to wonder how much this boy can take. After a while, I suppose it can be chalked up to lazy writing or blatant character neglect. Either that or Sam’s going to have one mother of a breakdown someday.

    I’m still going to give the benefit of the doubt to Kripke, for there are 12 episodes left in the season, and a fantastic chance of 22 more next season. It had been hinted in other interviews that we’d find out more about Sam during the time Dean was in Hell throughout the season, so we’ll see. Spoilers are rarely complete (I haven’t seen any full scripts posted), so I’m not buying into them completely.

    Thanks everyone for sharing your concerns! The points are excellent.

  • Tom

    Thanks for the interview. Good questions although the answers were depressing. Even Sara has no real plans for Sam; the second half of the season will apparently be as Samless as the first. I’ve watched every episode since the pilot, but I’m beginning to find Supernatural uncomfortable to watch since I have to see Padalecki play a supporting role to whatever story Dean and his friends are involved in each week. You would think the producers and writers would have some loyalty to the actor if not to the character Sam.

  • Suze

    Good interview, I’m looking forward to the next bit!
    So far I love season 4. The new characters thicken the brew nicely, especially Urial, who’s a proper bastard – Respect! I could do without more Anna though, and as for the whole third brother who-ha, I smell a wind-up.
    I got the impression from the interview that there was more Sam-based stuff coming, which is great. The Dean-o-centric stories have been terrific but we need filling in on the whole Ruby/Spawn of the Devil thing.
    As for Ruby being a love interest – people have sex for all sorts of reasons, they don’t have to be all hearts and flowers! Sam was breaking apart and Ruby’s got a hidden agenda a mile wide, so I don’t really see them picking out curtains at any point soon.
    Bring on part 2!

  • Rachel

    Why should I trust in Kripke? He hasn’t paid off a single storyline I was interested in since season 1. He hasn’t paid any attention to the character I love. He hasn’t addressed any of the fans of said character (no, you have to be a fan of Dean for the personalized messages and plot points). So what’s the point? I resent the fact that Sera thinks Sam’s story writes itself, and that she thinks it’s fine to be “subtle” and “not transparent” with him. Because he’s “darker” his story must be hidden? What a load of bull. A more complicated character needs MORE attention, not LESS, to figure out. Writing 101. Bottom line: he’s story is harder to write, so they don’t do it because that would take extra effort and talent and they don’t have any to spare.

  • Rachel

    Oh, and there’s really not any more Sam stuff coming (there REALLY isn’t if you take into account that episodes 16×17 are solely about Dean’s mytharc). I would they would stop saying that. They have been peddling this line since season 2, and it never pans out. We always wind up watching Dean cry on the hood of the Impala, and that’s it. What we know about Sam’s destiny today is what we knew way back in season 2. Which is basically nothing. Because he doesn’t have one because Kripke hasn’t bothered to come up with it. Again, not trusting the man. He hasn’t earned it.

  • Vera

    Yes, I figured the Sam-lessness out after ep 9. 10 was again all about Dean’s major trauma and so will 11, 12, and 15 are all Dean focused (yes, spoilers to tell who the story sis about). 13 and 14 are the only eps that will be looking at Sam this second part. But since they are back to back it will not be more than maybe 15 minutes per ep of Sam focus. And 14 will probably have Sam beating up Dean all over and sending him to the hospital. He’s always badly hurt or hospitalized, at least once every season. If not outright dead.
    Episode 15 hasn’t leaked so no characters are needed and that is probably because dean will have a rendevouz with Castiel and Uriel. No way there will be any Sam focus since he had his 15 minutes in 14.
    15 – Dean is in mortal peril again and bonding with a kid he identifies with. Seen it before?
    Episode 16 will be another 2.20, where Dean is in an AU situation, getting a pep-talk and angsting a bit over his life. Seen that before? Yeah, me too.
    The rest is painfully easy to figure out since we know all finales are about Dean, (ep 22) and since Sam has no mytharc this season, 21 will probably be about Kripke’s new toy, Castiel. He hasn’t angsted enough about leaving hell or not yet.

    Kripke himself will write and direct ep 20 and Kripke always writes solely for Dean. I don’t think he knows enough about Sam to even write him. Then the Ghostbuster clones will have one ep, so we are left with either 19 and 18 which will be a bi-brotherly ep with focus on Dean since we are nearing the finale.

    Rachel is absolutely right, there’s no Sam in this season and the writers are saying it loud and clear y ot having any spoilers because there are none! Why do they even bother trying to lie about there being a Sam storyline when there’s so evidently isn’t? It’s like mocking the audience and I don’t think that’s a smart move. Say it like it is, this is the Dean-show and has been for two and a half season already. I don’t get the lying about it at all.

    What I also don’t get is why they keep Padalecki signed if they have so little money? Kick him and hire the new toy instead! That’s economics 101, you don’t pay for things that you don’t need.

    Kripke has the honor of having joined my list of creators that come with a major warning for false marketing. The moment I see his name anywhere near a project, I am switching channels.

  • Amelie

    Alice, if it’s not too late, could you please ask Sera about the third brother spoiler? I think, almost to a person, there is not a single long-term fan who would want that (people new to this season wouldn’t know the difference, since the amazing Winchester bond has been missing since 4×01).

    The waters are so muddied with extra characters already and Kripke’s focus on giving all of them backstories (and for the record, I do not care about Castiel or Ruby or Anna’s emotional struggles. Let them play their roles and be done with it; even that is too much at times). Adding another Winchester with all the accompanying angst and backtory needed on all sides…I shudder to think how much more soap opera-y that will make a show that Kripke promised would never be “the O.C. with ghosts.” Agreed: it would be “General Hospital.”

    He loves to yank our chains, however annoying we might find it, but this is one rumor that, if untrue, should be dispelled. And if true…well, it won’t be cool, to put it mildly.

    Will the Winchesters ever just be brothers again?

  • Amanda (MysticKitty)

    Wow. This second post of mine would’ve probably been a lot bigger than it turned out to be, which is pretty dang big, LOL…were it not for so many other posters who have taken the words right out of my mouth concerning Sam – or more accurately, the lack of him. Very nicely and truthfully put!

    I will echo one of Deanna’s statements though – actually, I’ll echo the whole well-said post, agreed with everything! – where she mentioned that a large and vocal part of this fandom couldn’t care less what happens to Sam. That is the truth, and sometimes it even goes farther than that…certain factions of this fandom don’t just ‘not care’ about him, they actually hate him! True I don’t put much stock into the certain sites (which shall remain nameless on here) that these statements came from, but Kripke does, he said so himself when asked what the top sites he goes to for fan input are, so…this is a problem! What were the statments? Pages of agreement that Sam should be written/killed off the show and replaced with Castiel. Hopes that Sam will end up as a broken “empty shell of a man” for being such a horrible person and brother. Does this worry anyone else? IT SHOULD! Namely the writers of this show! It’s obviously not Jared’s fault that Sam is so widely and wildly disliked – he plays the character beautifully and masterfully, infusing him with heart, soul, passion, and a quiet intensity that shines through in any material he’s given to work with. So there’s your sign, writers…it’s not Jared, so it must be that said material! Or the lack thereof, especially nowadays. Makes sense, right?

    Deanna, Bright73, and Rachel among others have already sufficiently explained how much of Sam’s story material has either disintergrated before its time on the cutting room floor and/or has been completely glossed over, so I won’t repeat the many examples. But I will say that, in general, it’s a recurring theme. Kripke admits he did a disservice to Sam’s character by shrinking his vast array of daddy issues to about four two-second lines at the end of ELAC, especially when Sam had all that guilt and John had practically blamed him for the whole mess b/c Sam didn’t shoot him. But does Kripke try to remedy that? NO. He just says “Oops!”, shrugs, and moves on. Too little, too late, right Kripke? Then, we have the writers’ strike – no one’s at fault for that in itself, of course, but we have Kripke saying that they had to drop Sam’s storylines to focus entirely on Dean’s deal, and they would make up for the lack of equal Sam-focus in S4. Understandable? To a degree, since Dean’s deal was the biggest storyline at that time. But really, Kripke?! THIS is what you call ‘making up’ for it?!?! If anything, we’re getting LESS Sam than we got in S3 so far in S4! And as I can’t stress ENOUGH, it has nothing to do with screentime!

    I understand that S4 still has an entire half plus two left, but the sides/spoilers that I’ve read have been FAR from encouraging. And yes, I also understand that spoilers can be exaggerated or just plain wrong, but most of what I’ve read has been sides, which typically carry more weight than spoilers, so…yeah, not encouraged. As Vera said, eps 13 and 14 are the only ones that have shown some major promise for some Sam insight, but as Sam will likely be raked over the coals for what he says/does to Dean in ep 14, I kinda half dread that one! Ep 16, guess who’s back? None other than Anna-Sue, a character I for one hoped to never see again. I doubt she’ll be doing any connecting with Sam since she’s already done the deed with Dean, right? And the ep 17 sides I just don’t even wanna talk about. Let’s just say we’re heading for WIaWSNB redux…time for Dean to learn another lesson on how important he and what he does is to the world. Which, yeah, he IS important (we get it already), but just ONCE, can’t Sam have a bit of encouragement and reassurance as well instead of being harped at that he’s destined to be evil and such negative things?

    Alice, you said it perfectly yourself, and THANK YOU for that. How much more can Sam take, how much more can he be EXPECTED to take, without breaking?? I would absolutely LOVE to see Sam have the mother of all breakdowns as you mentioned, but honestly, my belief that KripCo even cares enough about Sam anymore to write such an astronomical/sympathetic scene for him – akin to the one they wrote for Dean when he confessed about his time in hell – is worn too thin. Sam has so little at this point when he should have a lot, and it worries me deeply that they’re possibly PURPOSELY doing it to make Sam UNsympathetic as possible, as flat and estranged from the audience and those around him as possible, b/c they plan for his ending to be anything but happy. It’s like they don’t WANT us to care about him. That scares me. Especially b/c I (and many others) am NOT doing what they may want…we DO care about him. DEEPLY. As Tina put it, we want Sam to start being treated as an important character, a MAIN character, in his own right, instead of being relegated to a storyline for Dean. Sam’s freakin’ DEATH was naught but a mere springboard into Dean’s deal, his trip to hell and back, and the introduction of Dean’s angels. If that hadn’t been such a powerful, heartwrenching scene for so many (myself definitely included) we’d be hard-pressed to remember that Sam ever died at all. And that’s a real shame, being that he’s, oh I dunno, ONE OF TWO MAIN CHARACTERS???

    This show started out with the tagline “Two brothers, one destiny”. TWO brothers, not just one. ONE destiny, not seperate ones. And I can only hope in the end, that it ultimately lives up to that tagline.

    Oh and BTW, Akira, glad you appreciated my first post, thanks. I may be frustrated and ready to rant, LOL, but I also, if anything, strive to be fair and inoffensive. :-)

  • tina

    Alice I have given Eric nd the writers the benefit of the doubt for 2 seasons, waiting for these people to do the right thing , they have a huge responsabilty to Sam and they have failed him on every level,never , ever have I seen a main character so poorly treated Eric and these writers should never be allowed to create or write a show again ever.
    Dean is a great character but Sam is their gem that they have abused for 2 and half seasons , no excuses none. I would love to talk to Eric and for him to explain these unforgiveable carry on to all the Sam fans that have supported his show.

  • Mia

    I too am chiming in as an unhappy Sam fan, first off can I just say thankyou for your article, it’s always nice to hear the writers asked sane questions.

    Second of all. Sam, Sam, Sam. I miss him, have for a long time now. He’s been pushed to the background far too much already this season. I guess it’s just upsetting that it makes you start to lose your love for a show you adored.

    Usually a season is split pretty evenly between the boys and this one, yeah not at all, there was even an episode where Sam was in it for less than a minute, and all the talking around it in the world as to why will never satisfy a fan of a show supposedly about two brothers, and for the record even as the ultimate Sam girl I’d feel the same if Dean was treated that way.

    Basically he’s been pretty pushed aside and non existant, i’m sure it’s not coincidental that my favourite episode of this season was Metamorphisis because we at least got SOME area of where Sam’s head was at.

    I’m tired of watching him swept under the rug to show how Dean reacts to everything. Sam’s girlfriend dies and we skip to the show pretty much a few weeks after that so we don’t see all that, I get that that was what had to happen but we missed out on a lot of heavy Sam emotion there. Then they lose their Dad, but oh no that’s mainly Dean’s issues there, never mind that Sam and Dad were in constant conflict and he wouldn’t even know how to deal with that, the aftermath and grief all fell to Dean and Sam supporting Dean as he spiralled because of the deal.

    Right ok fine, i didn’t like it but I dealt. Then however Sam dies, literally, physically dies and Dean’s feelings are dealt with and instead of any slight exploration whatsoever into Sam’s feelings on being ressurected we are once again treated to Dean’s feelings because now he’s made a deal.

    Season three should have been concentrating on Sam’s feelings of the impending loss of his brother, other than Mystery Spot it was practically all Dean’s self sacrifice season.

    Now Season Four and we are now seeing Dean exploring why he came back, so hang on, Dean dies and gets full massive character and plot exploration from it, Sam dies and it’s all about Dean’s plot and character exploration.

    I don’t know I’m feeling really hard done by being a Sam fan lately and it’s just unfair the absolute bias.

    Many of us love the brotherly connection but mainly watch the show for Sam, tell us WHY we should be tuning in writers because you’re barely giving us reason to of late.

    Even I Know What You Did Last Summer was tainted because of the awful Ruby/Sam scene. Jared’s acting was phenomenal but all people took away from it was Sam’s bad decision with a demon. Still an amazing episode but not nearly enough to keep Sam fans interested.

    Come on Sera, Kripke, Ben, anyone…you can do better than this.

  • Josie

    It was nice to see one of the writers actually talk a little about Sam, even almost call him a hero (in his own mind, anyway), but I would get so giddy if the writers seemed to have the same enthusiasm and focus on Sam as they did Dean (and to some extent Jared as they do Jensen, because I’ve noticed that BOTH boys are pretty talented but one only gets complimented for it nine times out of ten).

    I just miss the show I fell in love with, and while I respect that show’s change, the fundamental shift in this show has so skewed the original premise of two brothers and one destiny and the family business that I hardly recognize it. I miss seeing eps where the boys learned about each other and cared about what they learned. I miss not every ep having angels or demons and finishing with a close-up of Dean’s face (that’s NOT a slam against Dean, it’s just that it’s happened about every ep). I would be nice to hear Kripke get excited about Sam or say flat out that Sam IS a hero too or to just know that I’ll have reason to like my favorite show again.

    I just miss Sam so much. And fandom is such a sad and scary place for a Sam fan due to the nature of the show these days and how Sam is presented without any depth nine times out of ten. I’ve tried believing that Sam’s stuff is coming but I’ve been burned so many times before.

  • *bright73

    I want to add one last thing.

    The promos for 4.11 show that the episodes is again all about Dean’s issues in this standalone. Sam is again in the background and even very metaphorically sent off screen by Dean. Aren’t promos made to make you want to watch the episode?

    This:
    Promo for 4.11
    made me realize I don’t even wanna watch this. Simply because I can’t take much more of Sam having to mother Dean while he is all alone with his own issues. Or treated like he doesn’t have any? I already watched Sam nurse Dean through his grieving for John in S2!

    Another promise broken – the one that Sam’s arc would be dealt with during the episodes 8-15. I mistakenly thought Sam would be more prominent during these eps, at least on equal basis with Dean.

    I see I was mistaken, again. It will not happen again because I really am starting to feel there’s no hope for Supernatural to be the show about two brothers, the show I used to love.

    Kripke has let me down again.

  • Anna

    I think Sam’s gotten a ton of characterization, this season and in seasons past. I just don’t get the whole “I don’t know what’s going on in Sam’s head” thing… they tell us what’s going on in Sam’s head all the time.

  • kim

    Everyone before me has said it so well, but I can’t not stand by and show my support.

    I feel betrayed by Kripke for was he has done to the character of Sam. Asking me to trust Kripke in regard to Sam is kind of a joke. I mean no offense Alice because you are not the first person who has responded to Sam fans with this suggestion. Honestly why should we trust him? His actions have spoken pretty clearly this season.

    This season Dean is the star of the show. It has been gradually heading this way for the last two seasons, but I think this year the idea has been embraced fully. Most of the episodes have been about Dean, the promos are primarily Dean-centric, the only time Mr. Kripke has commented on the series all season has been about Dean. It seems Sam’s only purpose this season is to be straight man to Dean.

    I love both boys and by complaining about the lack of development for Sam I am in no way saying that I think Dean should be relegated to the background. But honestly, for those of us who feel a more emotionally connected to the character of Sam, it is really sad that we have seen him go through so much and not have any of it addressed.

    I would much rather get an episode of learning what is going on in Sam’s head than to see all the humorous episodes we have had this year. I read spoilers too, so although they are not complete scripts I basically have an idea of what’s coming. What’s coming is more Dean and very little Sam. Just more of Dean being told he is worthy and a hero. Has the show forgotten that Dean had a partner when saving all those people? I was even more disheartened to learn that we may get an episode which starts from Castiel’s point of view. How is that not a slap in the face to Sam fans who have been trying to wait patiently for there character to come back to the forefront this season?

    I think Deanna said it best when she commented on Mr. Kripke’s tendency to pander to the most vocal and extreme portion of the fandom. When you are listening to people who spew Sam hate day in and day out there is a problem. I honestly wouldn’t be shocked if eventually the show does become Dean and Castiel someday. That would make the four or five people who enjoy talking about how awful Sam is every day very happy.

    Unfortunately,I believe that Sam’s death in All Hell Breaks Loose part one was really the death of the character fans have come to know and love. That was the point when the show stopped caring about Sam and his feelings and started looking at the world through Dean’s eyes. It really saddens me to accept this fact because the show started out with so much promise. I love the brother dynamic and don’t enjoy having one without the other. It doesn’t matter how many funny lines Dean gets, or if they put him in tight red shorts, or they have him being courted by angels, I will never love the character the way I do when he is being Sam’s big brother.

    I really miss Sam. An if the above comments are any indication, I am not the only one. I hope that somehow you can forward these comments to Sera so perhaps she can share our concerns with Mr. Kripke. If the show is only going to continue through Dean’s eyes, I wish he would be honest and admit that instead of continuing to offer empty promises that never see the light of day!

  • Missy

    “Has the show forgotten that Dean had a partner when saving all those people?”

    Clearly not. Remember Metamorphosis, when Sam told Dean that he’d saved more people in the last few months than both of them had done in a year? Remember It’s the Great Pumpkin, when Dean told Castiel that the town was safe because of “my brother and me”?

    “I was even more disheartened to learn that we may get an episode which starts from Castiel’s point of view. How is that not a slap in the face to Sam fans”

    Um, because lots of episodes open from the point of view of characters that are not Winchesters? Because even random victims get episodes that open from their POV, sometimes?

    “Most of the episodes have been about Dean, the promos are primarily Dean-centric, the only time Mr. Kripke has commented on the series all season has been about Dean.”

    Sam fans can blame that last one on themselves. If they hadn’t been so distastefully gleeful about the show “canonically” saying that Sam was a good guy and Dean was a dick, I doubt Kripke would’ve said a thing.

    And if Dean is getting such awesome treatment this season, why hasn’t he been permitted to make the major kill or save in any case they’ve tackled? Why does he have to stand in the background while Sam fights the demons, or get beat up so that Sam can be allowed to shine? Why couldn’t the boys patch EACH OTHER up in the ninth episode, rather than Sam stitching himself together and then popping Dean’s shoulder in, too?Why can’t it be equal, as it’s always been?

    Simple. Because Kripke et al are trying their hardest to make Sam into this uber badass, so that Sam’s fans will be happy. But Sam’s fans are never happy, so they find something ELSE to complain about.

    It’s pretty unfortunate for Kripke et al, but I think it’s really better if they just stop trying to please everybody and tell the story they want to tell.

  • kim

    Sam fans can blame that last one on themselves. If they hadn’t been so distastefully gleeful about the show “canonically” saying that Sam was a good guy and Dean was a dick, I doubt Kripke would’ve said a thing.

    Can you provide the link for all this “distasteful glee”? I would love to see what prompted Kripke’s quick defense of Dean.

  • Tom

    Amanda great comments; I won’t add to them you said it so well–especially about the Sam-hating which goes on in a forum on Krepki’s reading list. I just think there are a lot of fans who seek to prove the degree of their devotion to Dean by the degree of their dislike of Sam. And. episodes featuring Sam are generally panned; those filled with Dean are praised. The writers, and especially Krepki, seem to be playing to that audience.
    I wish the writers and producers would admit that what happened to the series is: they came to believe that the Dean character is extremely well-liked and that the Sam character is disliked so they created a soap to CW’s liking around the Dean character. And, it turned out that a soap built around Dean, with Sam as his evil brother, has drawn a bigger crowd of CW’s typical audience than does the old On The Road/X-Files inspired series. Given that success, the Sam character is destined for a minor role.
    So I don’t think there is any real hope that we will see much of Sam in the future except as someone to give Dean another reason to cry on the hood of his car. In fact, Sera says we will get a episode from Castiel’s point of view. Since we had only one episode from Sam’s point of view this season(IKWYDLS), giving Castiel equal time with Sam would seem to make a clear statement about where the series is going.

  • Rachel

    Um, no, Sam fans didn’t care one way or another about the dick comment. That was Dean fans throwing a hissy fit over their beloved perfect Saint Dean being called a dick – such a fit, in fact, that Kripke felt the urge to issue a press release. Never once has he issued any statement assuring Sam fans about anything. And the things he does say about Sam never pan out.

    And Missy, if you want things to be TRULY equal, then the rest of the season’s episodes should end with close-ups of Sam’s expression, Sam should cry on the hood on the Impala at least twice, and Dean should be in only 40 seconds of an episode that features only Sam. That would be equal treatment. Furthermore, any episodes involving AU, family, innermost dreams, or “what if” realities should be about Sam, not Dean.

  • http://www.jesterz.net Alice Jester

    Amanda, Deanna, Rachel, Vera, Kim, Mia, Tom, bright73, and all others that chimed in support of Sam, I do thank you for the comments. I’m taking everything that’s discussed here and working on a new article, exploring the issues with Sam’s direction. This seems to be a topic in desperate need of further examination.

    I’ve followed and studied a variety of network TV shows long enough to know character development takes a long time, and 22 episode seasons are VERY long. Anything can happen. The Sopranos did such a great job with it because they only had 13 episodes! I’ve often seen one character get focus in the first part of the season, and another get theirs the second. There is still hope, it just may not be obvious right now. The complete layout of the rest of the season has not been made public. This NO WAY is my guarantee that Sam is getting the desired character development in the rest of season four, but there’s plenty more to see and I’m being patient.

    I’ve also followed spoilers and sides before for years and the finished product rarely reflects what those spoilers hinted. Especially when acting, directing, and special effects are put into it. For example, I read the lengthy sides for Long Distance Call, and the episode turned out nothing like those sides. After that, I stopped reading them. They are meant for casting calls. As for the third Winchester brother, that is a rumor sparked by Kristin Dos Santos. I can see where the sides could be misunderstood. Until a writer or Kripke says they’re going there, I’m not speculating. Heck, I’m not making any judgment until the episode has aired.

    Those working in the writers office (including Kripke) read forums, blogs like this (almost all of them), and any other sources of fan feedback. They even read fan letters. I’m very pleased to see Sam fans be so vocal here, because it’s one of the few places I’ve seen this. I too believe his character has been underexplored, but this is the first time I’ve seen outrage over it. That makes me rather happy, because my attempts to get discussions going about Sam previously have failed.

    Comments will be read. Whether anything is done about it, that’s a different story, but I have NEVER known another show where the fans’ voices are listened to. Take House for example, where their executive producer has publically said he doesn’t care what fans think. The Supernatural fandom has it good believe it or not, so as long as concerns are constructive and well thought out (which they have been here mostly), they will be considered. Sure, it might take until season five, so be patient. In the meantime, this show offers too many other good moments to throw that all away.

  • Amanda (MysticKitty)

    Rachel said it. I didn’t see a single comment where Sam fans took smug pleasure from Dean being called a “d*ck” in Yellow Fever. In fact, I saw lots of fans, myself included, who didn’t think a thing of the comment…most fans honestly thought that it was a throwaway line (much like when Dean calls Sam “freak”, which could be very hurtful to Sam with his powers and all, but the way it’s said lets you know it’s being played for a laugh instead of a derogatory statement) but then when the basic entire plot was revealed to be built around that ‘Dean is a d*ck’ statement, it was generally chalked up to poor writing. I saw no “distasteful glee” whatsoever, and one of the forums I hang out in has nothing BUT Sam fans in it! But hey, guess what, we all love Dean too.

    I saw the ‘apology/reassurance’ letter that Kripke sent out over the d*ck issue. And he sure didn’t mention Sam fans or any ‘distasteful glee’ in it – actually, he didn’t mention Sam fans at all – so that tells me loud and clear what fandom faction prompted the letter to be sent out. The usual extremist suspects. “Dean is a hero”, Kripke said. Be happy, cuz that’s more than Sam fans ever got. We got Kripke at a convention announcing “Dean is the REAL hero of this story…sorry Sam fans.” Nice, huh? Funny, I always thought BOTH boys were heroes in this story.

    Wanna talk distasteful? Then talk about how from Lazarus Rising on, from that scene with Ruby in Sam’s hotel room, Sam was labeled as a rapist. And boy did the sentiment run rampant. There was hardly even any consideration of other options, other explanations, nope…he was a rapist, simple as that. And since Jared made a joke in one pre-IKWYDLS interview that yes, he thought Sam and Ruby were together b/c “they have needs”, he was accused of making light of rape and even CONDONING it by a couple of so-called ‘fans’. Trust me, I was right there in the middle of that debacle, doing my best to defend Jared, but sadly, I was in the minority. It was unbelievable. And this crap is going on at the SAME TIME as the whining over Dean being called a d*ck, and THE LATTER is what gets Kripke’s attention/intervention?! Being labeled a d*ck over being labeled a rapist? A fictional character being called a name over a real person being accused of something horrible and obviously completely untrue?

    But that’s the way this fandom works, unfortunately. And now Sam has been labeled a necrophiliac instead, and as also untrue as that is, as much as us Sam fans don’t appreciate it, you don’t see us getting any apology/reassurance letters. That’s b/c the most aggressive, most vocal part of this fandom gets the service, and that’s certainly not the Sam fans, the bi-bro fans, or the many normal Dean fans. It’s the EXTREMIST Dean/Jensen fans, who, just as Tom (thanks for the compliment, BTW) said, strive to prove their devotion to Dean/Jensen by hating and condemning Sam as much as possible. Or, when it gets really bad, and I’ve sadly seen more than enough of this too…hating JARED as much as possible. As I said, I’m on a forum with nothing but Sam/Jared fans, but not a one of us have EVER wished for Dean to be written off the show, for Dean to end up as an “empty shell of a man”, insulted Jensen simply to make Jared look/sound better, or even wished for Dean to become a background character to Sam much the way Sam is a background character to Dean this season. And guess what? We never would. And for some ppl’s info, yes, the Sam fans were in fact happy once upon a time, loved this show head to toe. Back in S1, S2, even S3 to a certain degree, where both boys were in the foreground, the character-waters weren’t so crowded and muddy, the plot wasn’t so epic to the point of forgetting where the heart and soul of the show truly lies – within the brotherS and their unbreakable bond – and the future wasn’t looking so grim and unpromising, save for a couple of episodes.

    You wanna see ppl who are constantly unhappy and quite vitriolic in their expressions of it, then I can highly reccommend a site and a fandom faction for you, and it sure isn’t the Sam fans, despite the numerous things that we’ve had to be unhappy about this season. Abbreviation of the site starts with a “T”, ends with a “P”, has a compound word in the middle…take some guesses. Or consult number one on Kripke’s list of top fan-input sites. Go to the main Supernatural forum (i.e. episode reviews) or the spoiler section. Now THERE you’ll find some REAL whining and distaste.

  • Amanda (MysticKitty)

    Oh, you commented while I was typing, Alice, LOL. Which happens to me often cuz I make such long posts! ;-)

    Great comment, though, and thank YOU just as much, for allowing us disgruntled Sam fans to civilly speak our minds over here, and listening to and appreciating our words. We’ve been beaten into silence and submission for a long time on other boards/forums, by the previously mentioned “most vocal/agressive part of this fandom”, but things have definitely gone too far on the show right now and it’s high time that we spoke out, risk that we may be accused of ‘whining’ or no. And I’ve been so pleased to see so many other fans – whether Sam fans, bi-bro fans, or Dean fans – speaking out right along with me in support of Sam and disapproval of the way he has been handled, and just as pleased and appreciative that you’re giving us this chance, rather than shutting our arguments down or out like a lot of other sites have a tendency to do.

    This really heartens me, and increases my hope for the future of the character and this show overall, and though I know there’s no guarantee of it, I sincerely hope that Sera and the rest of Kripke’s gang – including the man himself – will take our frustrations and points into consideration and subsequently work to fix or improve things to a substantial degree. And I do understand that it could a long while for these changes for the better to be made, but the real important thing is that they’re made at some point…not when they’re made, but IF they’re made. So all that said, I will try my best to be as patient as possible, and keep the hope and faith that our concerns will be addressed and acted upon.

    Thanks so much again, Alice, and still looking forward to part two of your interview with, Sera! :-)

  • Deanna

    Thank you, Alice! It is great to know that these issues will finally be given their due. I can’t speak to your attempts to generate this type of conversation in the past, but I can speak for other sites I have been on, where any worries about Sam’s character are perceived as petty whining at best and Dean-bashing at worst. And there are more than just a few of us who have tried to raise the questions over the last couple of seasons.

    No true Sam fan wants his development at the expense of Dean’s–it’s not an either/or proposition. We love them both, neither to the exclusion of the other. It’s just that the driving force of the show seems to have drifted toward Sam being a prop or plot contrivance (or ignored completely) and that has many of us concerned and distressed. What makes Supernatural so great is the brother bond, which cannot be at its fullest if one of the two characters isn’t.

    But, in doing your research for this next article, it would be great if you addressed not only this season, which is not yet complete, but the earlier seasons also. Sam’s grief over Jess and his father, his mother, his own death, the way he had to make himself go on after the events of Mystery Spot, the emotional fallout from Dean’s death, his own views on his mother’s deal (if he even knows about it), which set things on this path for him in the first place. (Sometimes, when the Winchester family is taken as a whole, it seems like Sam is barely even on the fringe).

    Again, it’s not about Sam having equal minutes of airtime. It’s about being able to truly understand and sympathize with his character, appreciate what he’s going through, see his growth or see his spiral down the rabbit hole–and not just guessing or hoping or extrapolating or his issues being used as a plot device for Dean.

    I can’t thank you enough for your graciousness in allowing us to comment, your responses to our comments, and your commitment to not letting these issues just fall by the wayside but exploring them further. Supernatural fans truly are lucky, and that extends to the people who cover the show as well as those who are part of it.

  • Missy

    “but then when the basic entire plot was revealed to be built around that ‘Dean is a d*ck’ statement, it was generally chalked up to poor writing. I saw no “distasteful glee” whatsoever, and one of the forums I hang out in has nothing BUT Sam fans in it! But hey, guess what, we all love Dean too.”

    Ha! I think I know what forum you’re referring to, and here is a sampling of what they said after 4.06:

    “Well, it’s supposed to turn total macho jerks into screaming little scardies, like the people/things they were jerks to, and I’m not sure how much he *can* fight it. I think. It’s kinda Tricksterish. And it’s amusing me greatly. Though I’m probably giving Dean way too much credit.”

    “I’m calling it – Dean’s refusal to accept Sam for who/what he is will be the thing that drives Sam darkside. Instead of trying to help him cope, he’s going to make him feel so hopeless that Sam won’t see any option except to embrace what’s in him. Or to kill himself. Or do both at the same time.”

    “They seemed to go out of there way to connect Dean getting infected with Dean being a dick, which, earlier seasons that would be iffy, this year it’s on target. He has been a dick. Especially with Sam two weeks ago.”

    “But I did find it interesting that Dean was infected and not Sam, and that Dean was considered a dick – lol. Maybe it’s Dean that’s heading down the wrong road after all. Hmmm….”

    That’s just a small sample. Hope that jogs your memory… and if anyone believes you all love Dean after hearing you talk about him selling Sam out, driving Sam toward evil, being a dick, and hoping against hope that he’s the one that goes evil even though he’d have no built-in excuse like Sam does… well, if anyone believes that, I’ve got some lovely oceanfront property for sale in Kansas. ;)

  • Claire

    “This season Dean is the star of the show. It has been gradually heading this way for the last two seasons, but I think this year the idea has been embraced fully. Most of the episodes have been about Dean, the promos are primarily Dean-centric, the only time Mr. Kripke has commented on the series all season has been about Dean. It seems Sam’s only purpose this season is to be straight man to Dean.”

    Interesting that THIS season has received the most positive critical praise and is getting the highest ratings it’s EVER had on the CW. Obviously Kripke is doing something right. I’ve hooked a lot of people onto the show this season who had given up early on last season, and they all LOVE this season.

    “You wanna see ppl who are constantly unhappy and quite vitriolic in their expressions of it, then I can highly reccommend a site and a fandom faction for you, and it sure isn’t the Sam fans, despite the numerous things that we’ve had to be unhappy about this season. ”

    Oh my … are you KIDDING ME?? I have never seen a site that is so dedicated to *complaining* about Supernatural and criticizing Dean (and Jensen’s acting) than the (SAM fans) Limp-Sam forum!!! These Sam fans feel that Dean having a mytharc is unfair because Dean’s own storyline takes away from Sam in some way — basically Sam should be the center of the SPN universe while Dean’s primary job is to unwrap the rope from limp!Sam’s neck.

    And say what you want about TWoP, but I find that it contains the most intellectual discussion of the show on the net, fans of both brothers post there, and it’s heavily moderated. Honestly, I would have a lot more sympathy for the Sam fan’s POV if people from the Limp-Sam forums commenting here did not ALSO rip Dean apart for every little thing all of the time — the same exact thing they accuse Dean fans doing to Sam. Dean can’t do anything right in these Sam “fans” eyes. Apparently Dean’s *only* concern should be Sam, all of the time. Dean’s only worthy if he’s being Sam’s protective big-brother because poor Sam has been through so much and it’s Dean’s JOB to coddle and protect him — no matter that he’s spent 40 freaking years in HELL. Nope. Dean’s priority is Sam and Sam only, and that’s that.

    I am SO VERY grateful to Kripke for giving Dean something else to focus on besides Sam this season. And don’t get me wrong, I LOVE the brother’s relationship, but the first 3 seasons, with the mythology of the show ONLY involving Sam, was entirely unbalanced. Now this season, it is FINALLY balanced between both brothers.

    I love this season. I think Kripke was wise to focus on Dean’s storyline initially to establish the expanded mytharc. Sam had 3 seasons of a mytharc storyline all to himself, so I’m not seeing the issue. From what I can tell, the second half of the season seems like it will be focussed on both brothers as their storylines intersect. My only issue with fandom right now are these rabid Sam fans who feel that Sam should be the ONLY brother with a mytharc storyline and who cannot see that great characterization for Sam DOES exist, it just may not be the type of characterization (i.e. hitting rock bottom and sexing it up with Ruby) that they want.

  • Amelie

    Missy, just so you’re aware, the forum you speak of is a place where Sam-fans can go to complain, rant, hope, dream, speculate. We’re friends talking amongst friends, the same way you’d complain about your husband to your best girlfriend, then go home and love him with all your heart anyway. We say a lot of different things there, sometimes in reaction to what we read on other sites, sometimes knee-jerk frustration with an episode or plotline. And if you read all the threads, you would know that.

    And I can guarantee you it’s NOT read by anyone among Kripke and Co.

    We’re just a small, friendly group with a clear mission statement I’m assuming you’ve read, where people can say what’s on their minds without getting jumped on. Do we overreact at times? You betcha! But we keep it to ourselves, in our very small community, where everyone has an equal voice, unlike other places in fandom. So I hardly think this is the kind of example of widespread fandom glee you’re looking for.

  • Dana

    As a former Dean girl and currently a bi-bro girl leaning towards Sam, can I just say that I am so so happy I am not alone in being unsatisfied and a little disappointed when it comes to Sam’s storyline and character development. I don’t think I could put my concerns any more articulately than the awesome people who have posted before me.
    I miss Sam.
    I miss seeing the brotherly bond.
    I miss Dean being a big brother (and I do get that Dean has been through a LOT, but I wish he would just show a little concern toward Sam).
    I defiantly miss seeing Sam actually react to things emotionally and having those reactions and emotions being effectively presented and explained. The guy isn’t superman, their has to be something going on under the surface.
    I miss reading spoilers and having them be about Sam and Dean. Not Sam and Ruby, Dean and Castiel.
    I have hope that the things that I have been missing dearly can return, but every episode that goes by where that doesn’t happen, it gets harder and harder to maintain my optimism. I care about these characters, I love this show, and I just want to see both Sam and Dean get the focus and development that they deserve. I want equality. Thank you Alice for your responses and for being willing to address our concerns about Sam.
    It was like a breath of fresh air to see all these comments and to be able to share my opinion without having to worry about being bashed for it or be accused of whining without reason. Hopefully this will be a step in changing things for the better.

  • Lauren

    “It’s the EXTREMIST Dean/Jensen fans, who, just as Tom (thanks for the compliment, BTW) said, strive to prove their devotion to Dean/Jensen by hating and condemning Sam as much as possible. Or, when it gets really bad, and I’ve sadly seen more than enough of this too…hating JARED as much as possible. As I said, I’m on a forum with nothing but Sam/Jared fans, but not a one of us have EVER wished for Dean to be written off the show, for Dean to end up as an “empty shell of a man”, insulted Jensen simply to make Jared look/sound better”

    Um, I do believe that one of your fellow Sam fans, *bright73, is one of the most outspoken Jensen BASHERS in Supernatural fandom. And her criticism of Jensen/Dean is simply to make Jared/Sam look better. She has been dissing Jensen since his Dark Angel days and continues to do so now. So, MysticKitty, I do believe that your statement would be inaccurate, but of course, you already know this.

    I agree with Claire, anyone can post their opinion on twop, it’s intelligent discussion, and it’s a multi-fandom site, not only for Supernatural fans. Anyone can post in disagreement, so if the criticism is unwarranted, then people will post their own opinion — ALL opinions are welcome. But that’s not the case on your Sam ONLY fan forum, right? I mean, does anyone ever defend Dean/Jensen there when he’s criticized? Not that I’ve seen. And, oh yes, HE IS CRITICIZED AND DISSED on your SAM forum. You better believe it. I don’t believe there is an equivalent Dean-only forum out there, is there? Curious, that.

  • Claire

    “I miss Dean being a big brother (and I do get that Dean has been through a LOT, but I wish he would just show a little concern toward Sam). ”

    I’m not sure what show you’re watching Dana, but the show I’M watching, Dean has shown more than a little concern about his brother Sam. But of course, being the Sam-girl that you obviously are (the very fact that you feel the need to define yourself as one or the other in the very first sentence of your post proves that), you only see Dean’s worth in terms of how he relates to Sam. To you and the Sam-girls like you, Dean is SAM’S BIG-BROTHER, and that’s it. It’s really too bad you can’t see that Dean should be allowed to be his own person and as well, Sam should be allowed to be an adult in his own right. Both brothers have grown since the first season and they should be allowed some character growth in that respect.

    And if Dean wasn’t concerned about Sam, then he wouldn’t care whether or not he’s using his powers. If Dean wasn’t concerned about Sam, then he wouldn’t have made it a point in ITGPSW to reassure Sam that even though Castiel and Uriel didn’t seem like “angels”, Sam should still continue to have faith. And if you didn’t see the concern on Dean’s face (FOR SAM) when Sam exorcised Samhain, I REALLY don’t know what show you’re watching.

    Just because NOW Dean’s entire existence doesn’t revolve around Sam (as it ALWAYS has in the past), doesn’t mean that he isn’t concerned about Sam. Dean has been told by an angel of the Lord that his mission is to stop the Apocalypse to save humanity from Hell on Earth. Hello!! I think that might just be weighing heavily on Dean’s might right now. And Dean is dealing with the aftermath of the most traumatic experiences EVER, you might just want to cut him a little slack if he needs to concentrate his efforts on healing HIMSELF for a while.

  • Rachel

    What does it take to get through to extreme Dean fans? This is not about Dean joining the mytharc. Our dissatisfaction with the way Sam’s been handeled has nothing to do with Dean and the mytharc. It has to do with the way the characterization of Sam is handled, and the fact that so much less attention is paid to it! Kripke himself has gone on record TWICE saying he shoved Sam to the background – in season 2 over their father’s death, and he dropped ALL Sam storylines in season 3. Kripke himself said! And those are the things we are mad about. It is about never having Sam cry on the hood of the Impala over anything. It’s about John’s relationship being exlusively lock-stepped with Dean, even though he had TWO sons and the relationship with Sam was the strained one, not Dean. It’s stuff like that that pisses us off. What is so hard to understand about that?

    As for the limp Sam forum, that is a forum among friends, as someone else said. And TWoP is a professional forum Kripke lurks at – in which Dean fans have ranted SO much about how badly their poor Dean has been treated that the mod told them to shut up and started banning people. The two best have been the half a season of ranting how Sam is a rapist and a necrophiliac (which some obnoxious fan accused Jared of at the Chicago convention, and he was stunned), and the whining that went on over how Jensen’s name doesn’t come first in the credits and it should because he deserves top billing, and only him and they watch the show DESPITE Sam. And they hope Sam dies so the show can be about Castiel and Dean. So no whining about limp Sam if you’re not going to whine about TWoP, too. There’s no difference between the two, except Kripke reads TWoP.

    There are a handful of Dean fans at TWoP who scream and holler when Dean isn’t made perfect in every way, the perfect hero, Mr. Martyr, the best hunter. I mean, dear God, he was jokingly called a dick in an episode – stop the press!! Dean is too perfect for such an insult! But it’s fine to call Sam a rapist for a season.

    This unerring belief that Dean must be number one and the best and most important and no one else may say anything different is ridiculous. What’s worse is that it’s not really about Dean as a character, it’s about Jensen and some fans obsession with him. It happens on every freaking show he’s on (Dark Angel, anyone? Don’t you know, Michael Weatherly was eeeeevil and meaaaan to Jensen). And Kripke caters to it like a dog chasing a stick.

  • Rachel

    And Alice, thank you for your reply. I’m glad SOMEONE has something to say about Sam’s abandonment by the writers. If you look around, there IS a lot of dissatisfaction with Sam’s storyline (Ausiello and Kristin boards, buddyTV, limp Sam, Supernatural tv . . . there is a lot of discussion about this going on), and Kripke knows it or he wouldn’t have worked so hard to make the Ruby sex fit into the plot. He just doesn’t care.

    It’s really a losing battle. Sam fans might as well stop watching and give the show up to Dean fans. It’s a pointless battle because Kripke has lost interest in Sam, and if he doesn’t have interest in him, it doesn’t matter if we do as fans.

  • Missy

    “But we keep it to ourselves, in our very small community, where everyone has an equal voice, unlike other places in fandom.”

    Mm, sure you do. That’s why you all are here, spamming the comments.

    And anyway, that’s not the point, is it? The point is this statement:

    “I saw no “distasteful glee” whatsoever, and one of the forums I hang out in has nothing BUT Sam fans in it!”

    Which, if it is a reference to that site, is simply untrue. Or, perhaps, it’s the result of a selective memory. But the fact is that there WERE comments on that site of the sort that I mentioned, so I wanted to correct the record. If you don’t like that… sorry. But it’s important to be honest in situations like this.

  • Yumi

    Wow, lots of good comments. I hope I’m not too late. I want to collaborate more about my comments before the 2nd interview with Sera. The main point that I want to get across is that my concern about the writings and the direction of the show.

    Alice, I very much agree with your comments about Sam, that he’s darker, and it is not a surprise to see how low he sank. I interpreted the sex with Ruby is of self-loathing and self-destructiveness. However, there is a fine different between interpretation/inference than pure speculation/fanwank, where the former is made based on the facts, subtleties/nuances showed on screen, and the latter indicates bad, sloppy writing.

    Episode 4.9 was so bad because instead of showing how Sam has changed, the writers wasted screen time to whitewash Ruby! I would be ok if they have the sex, then a morning after scene to show Sam’s state of mind. I want to know what he thought. Did he freak out? Or was he so numb by grief and despair that he didn’t care at all? Or did he think it was ok and now Ruby is his new trusty BFF? There is no fall-out, no guilt, no angst, no self-destructive tendencies, no spiraling down a dark path afterward when we all know that sleeping with a demon is a very big deal. If the writers worry about adequate screen time, then cut out the entire sex scene or even have the sex scene with a live meat suit so as to not waste time over the contrived mechanics of “rape”.

    All I got out of 4.09 is Sam grieved for Dean for one or two days. Then Ruby showed up, who now is a morally-conscious demon with a heart of gold. And apparently all it took to replace Dean was sex and some gentle sweet talks. For the rest of the summer, Sam and BFF/lover Ruby, when not practicing on Sam’s mojos or hunting demons, spend their free time shopping (the Ipod – Lazarus Rising), listening to love songs (Lazarus), catching the latest summer movies (Indiana Jones – Monster Movies) and driving the Impala into the sunset. That doesn’t seem like dark and destructive to me. Where is the spiral? When Dean comes back, we got one hug, then Sam goes back casually putting on his clothes/shoes. Even in Dean’s presence, Sam still runs to Ruby like a good puppy boyfriend when she appears, because Ruby cannot wait 15 minutes for a pool game to finish. I’m not sure about Sam and Dean’s financial status, but $500 for me can cover for lots of gas and lodging.

    It troubled me greatly because I know that Sam is not like that and Dean is never replaceable. I can’t imagine the story like that but I can’t support my theory when there is absolutely nothing on screen to show what Sam is thinking. We can speculate all we want, but it is stronger with supporting facts/nuances shown on the screen. That is why I 100% agree with those who commented that Sam’s characterization/storylines have been sidelined. Dean is not the only Winchester with issues, but when it comes to Sam, no one bothers to address them – Sam is no longer a main character, but a mere plot device.

    Dean’s characterization is off as well. Dean’s season 1 & 2’s big brother-ness would give Castiel and Uriel his piece of mind for threatening and treating Sam so badly. He would rush to help Sam when he is struggling and bleeding from the exorcism of Samhain. He would help Sam to get up first and totally ignore Ruby in Episode 10 (instead of helping Ruby first). And most important, he would see how off Sam is in Season 4 and try to understand and help Sam with his issue. If the audience can see how off Sam is, why doesn’t Dean? This is Dean we’re talking about here. He called out when Sam was not himself in Season 3. I disagree if someone says that Dean might be too occupied with his own Hell issue and the apocalypse to notice about Sam’s state of mine because Dean places Sam above everything else, well at least the old Dean would. I’d say at least after Metamorphosis, Dean would have pay greater attention to Sam. So where is the big brother’s concern and protectiveness? May be Dean doesn’t see it because Sam is ok. Sam has no problems at all. And that, if true, supports my concern for how badly Sam’s characterization is written.

    Since we are on the subject of brotherly love, Sam’s feeling toward Dean is not quite right either. Case in point: Yellow Fever. Sam (and Bobby) seems detached and nonchalant. I wouldn’t want Sam to freak out and motherhen Dean, but I’d expect a sense of anxiety/urgency/concern from Sam at least in the last hour when Dean is about to die. Is it because Sam consciously detached himself from Dean so that if Dean does die, it won’t hurt as much??? Again, I can speculate all I want, but the show hasn’t given me any insight into Sam’s state of mind.

    I also have trouble believing Dean’s acceptance of Ruby. It seems very convenient that Dean (and Sam) forgets about how manipulative Ruby was in Season 3. I can reasonably believe that may be Sam can’t see that Season 4 Ruby’s manipulation because he is not in his right mind – grief, destructive dark path and all. But Dean is smart. He should see through all the façade (and he did in Season 3!). Nothing in Season 4 so far shows that Dean and Sam see through the manipulation and is using Ruby to their own advantage. Instead, all I see is Sam and Dean being good buddies to Saint Ruby.

    This leads to the problem with Ruby. Is she still evil? Or is she just putting on an act? Ok Sam and Dean can be dumb and don’t have to know, but at least give the audience subtle hints that she is still evil. But all I see of Ruby now is a pink puff of sunshine and rainbow, a demon with a heart of gold, who is apparently madly in love with Sam as seen through soft voice, gentle caress (eps. 9) and loving gaze (eps. 10).

    If Ruby is good, what’s with the complete personality make-over? I read somewhere that the writers credited Ruby’s change to what happened in hell when Lilith sent her into far far away land. So after hundreds and hundreds of year of torture in hell, season 3 Ruby comes out as snarky, manipulative and evil. But 1 or 2 days with Lilith would make Ruby softer, humbler and good??? Very stretching.

    Even if later, it turns out that Ruby has been stringing the boys along, instead of being a great twist, it will appear like (a) bad writing in the beginning and now the writers are trying to fix it as there has been no facts/hints or otherwise in Season 4 so far to show that Ruby is being evil or manipulative or (b) Kripke is dropping his Ruby’s pet project and giving into fans’ comments to kill off Ruby. That’s fine, but in the process, it hurts Sam and Dean’s, especially Sam’s, characterizations. It made them look dumb for falling into Ruby’s traps.

    I actually would admire Kripke more for having guts if he says “Screw the fans. This is my story and I’m writing it as I see fit”. But if that is the case, and the story sucks, then I get to say that it sucks.

    I want to make it very clear that my comments are solely on the show’s writings/final products. I’m not as articulate as the other commenters, so if it comes off as personal attacks, I apologize because it is not personal attacks. I’m sure that Kripke and Co are nice and competent writers. But even geniuses make mistake. I just want to point out that there are lots of problems in Season 4. May be the writers will straighten this out in the second half of the season. But I’m worried that it might be too late, especially in regards to Sam’s storylines, considering current spoilers. And of course the writers can disagree with my opinion. But if they do agree, then there is time to fix the mess. Instead of more Castiel, Ruby, or Anna, let’s get back to the basics (Sam and Dean’s issues) so that the show is back on track. I’m hoping that Alice can address this concern in her 2nd interview with Sera. Thanks!

  • Janine

    “But it’s fine to call Sam a rapist for a season.”

    Not canonically, it’s not. In fact, they bent over backwards to make sure he was absolutely blameless. They weren’t as interested in making absolutely sure Dean looked blameless in Yellow Fever, or critics like Don at BuddyTV wouldn’t have been fooled into believing that Dean really DID get infected because he was just like a guy who dragged someone to death.

    “in which Dean fans have ranted SO much about how badly their poor Dean has been treated that the mod told them to shut up and started banning people”

    Barnes has banned several of you guys as well, for similar reasons. She’s not very tolerant of repetitiveness, which happens on both sides. And yet you people still call her an EDG… which appears to be your standard epithet for anybody who DOESN’T think Dean is a total dick who abuses poor little Sammy.

    “So no whining about limp Sam if you’re not going to whine about TWoP, too. There’s no difference between the two”

    One difference is that TWoP is open to everyone… its mission statement is not to promote Sam. But you’re right… you guys should absolutely not try to say you’re better than any other forum, as far as whining and vitriol go. In fact, you’re quite a bit worse, because you people exist in an echo chamber… you talk back and forth with people who think exactly the same way you do, and then you sit there, stunned, and say, “Wow, how can the ratings be so high? Maybe we’re really the minority after all!”

    “What’s worse is that it’s not really about Dean as a character, it’s about Jensen and some fans obsession with him.”

    Actually, no. I know it makes you feel better to think so, but a ton of Dean fans, myself included, fell in love with the character first, never having known Jensen from anywhere else. In fact, I didn’t even think Jensen was attractive for the first several episodes I saw him in… I just adored Dean, and soon came to realize that Jensen must be quite talented to make the character so transparent even in season one, before anything but the bare bones of the character had been set down. So now, I appreciate Jensen quite a bit, but Dean came first.

    Also, even if some Dean fans did come to him through Jensen, quite a few of you are Jared fans from Gilmore Girls, where you HATED the other guys on the show… I know this, because many Jared fans talk about it freely, and talk about how abused he is in this show, just like he was in GG. So… yeah. There are some fans like this on both sides. But you’re wrong to suggest that it’s a purely Dean fan thing.

    “I mean, dear God, he was jokingly called a dick in an episode – stop the press!!”

    Wrong again. The issue for many people was not that he was called a dick, but that he was lumped into the same category as a guy who dragged another man to death, and a guy who covered up the murder. A joking insult wouldn’t have even registered. A rationale for his sickness, and Sam’s lack of sickness, that involves comparing him to a murderer? That’s a problem. And you’d consider it a problem if a plot point revolved around the canonical assertion that Sam was akin to a murderer, I guaran-damn-tee it.

  • Missy

    “Dean’s characterization is off as well.”

    I’m just curious, Yumi… why do you attribute the difference in Sam to a lack of insight into his thought processes, but also attribute the difference in Dean to a lack of insight into Sam? Shouldn’t the conclusion be the same for both boys… and if Dean is equally as inexplicable as Sam this season, then he’s being equally neglected as a character?

    Personally, I get how both boys are behaving, and I think it’s pretty consistent with how they’ve been in the past, while showing the results of what they’ve been through over the last few years. But if you don’t, and you think Dean is just as badly characterized as Sam, then why do you think only Sam is being treated badly by the writers?

  • *bright73

    Dear Claire – interesting that Buddy.tv just elected Mystery Spot as the best episode of 2008 if this season is so stellar?

    The promoting of this season has finally been sufficient, but the season isn’t over yet. The drop from the first episode to the second is rather telling. And the fact that despite the promotion SPN is getting this year, it still hovers around 4 million. It lost heavily from the first episode and if the season was that stellar, it should be gaining, not losing viewers.

    TWOP moderates Sam fans heavily, I got booted out for “being too preachy” when I cited Milgram’s research in regards to obedience. You call that intellectual? Being banned because you point to research when you explain your view? I’ve heard others being banned because their posts were too short!

    Luckily TWOP is paying the price for it bias now and only has a coupe of posters posting the same things over and over.

    What you, Missy are missing, is that no-one here want Dean to have less. I want Sam to at least have a third of what Dean has and that his story lines are not constantly dropped. Simple as that. The brotherly bond is not functioning if one brother is in the background and isn’t allowed to react. Right now the brotherly bond seems very dysfunctional with the abusing big brother who emotionally manipulates (God doesn’t want you to) and physically abuses his brother that carries enormous guilt over his brother’s fate. The same brother that should know what Sam is going through, he went through the same with John and Sam was there for him.

    Sam nursed Dean through his grief over John, Dean hits Sam when he’s struggling with his grief, his destiny and demon blood. I do not want to see that Dean because it is not heroic IMHO. It pains me to see the character reduced to that.

    But yes, it probably is good soapy television. But it’s far from the cult-series I started watching.

    But soaps have their audiences too, even big ones, it just won’t have me.

    Lauren: Do I think Jensen’s acting is the second coming? No way! And I have the right to say so. I think he does the type of bad boy with a golden heart-character splendidly. But in no way is he a million times better than Padalecki. If bashing Jensen consist of pointing out the good work Jared does, then your are probably right. And thankfully the industry seems to agree with me since Jared was nominated fot the Scream Award alongside Johnny Depp.

    And yes, I found Dean’s/Hensen’s humor OTT in Yellow Fever, mostly due to the directing I gather. The beautiful thing with the net is that you are allowed to have different POVs and in no way do I attach you for having another view than mine. I just don’t agree with you. Simple as that.

    How I can bash Jensen when I barely talk about him is beyond me.

    And this is why I don’t discuss much in this fandom, you simply are not allowed to have your own opinions. I have been, and still am, in a couple of other fandoms but this one takes the cake.

    I have said that I saw the same behavior among the Jensen fans back in the DA days, and I feel bad for Jensen having the kind of fans that have to resort to personal bashing of the actors and the fans. I quickly left the DA fandom. I was rather shocked when I saw the same behavior in the Supernatural fandom. I thought it was a clique of fanatics but I had to rethink after seeing what went on in the SPN fandom. Now I just try my best to avoid the rabid fans.

    But I do think you just proved me right, because you just showed your true colors, dear Lauren. Have you ever tried posting on the forum you bash? Why not start a debate there too? Since you know how much I bash Jensen it would be nice to talk to you in situ where I actually do bash him according to you.

    Rest assured that I answer the bashers to their faces, with the same nick when I am allowed to. But you already know that since you seemingly follow me around, don’t you?

    I’m so sorry Alice for bringing this to your blog. But I think you have the answer to why discussing Sam in this fandomis a bit tricky.

    Thank you again and good night!

  • Lauren

    “Our dissatisfaction with the way Sam’s been handeled has nothing to do with Dean and the mytharc. It has to do with the way the characterization of Sam is handled, and the fact that so much less attention is paid to it! Kripke himself has gone on record TWICE saying he shoved Sam to the background – in season 2 over their father’s death, and he dropped ALL Sam storylines in season 3.”

    Kripke only spoke of Sam’s MYTHARC storyline needing to be adjusted in season 3 because of the strike. He NEVER said he shoved “Sam” himself to the background. And he did NOT drop all of Sam’s storylines in S3 (Ruby, Lilith, for example), nor did he say that he did.

    “As for the limp Sam forum, that is a forum among friends, as someone else said. ”

    Ah, so that makes it okay to BASH Dean and Jensen then … if it’s just between you Sam fans … no harm, no foul? Okay then. I guess it is much easier to criticize when there are no dissenting opinions among you and no one that will argue your points.

    “So no whining about limp Sam if you’re not going to whine about TWoP, too. There’s no difference between the two, except Kripke reads TWoP.”

    Yes, that was EXACTLY MY POINT. The rabid Sam fans are NO BETTER at limp Sam (as much as you think you are). The fans on that site are just as critical of Dean/Jensen there, even MORE so because there are no Dean or Jensen fans there to argue the other side. You can be ANY kind of fan at TWoP and post. There are plenty of Sam/Jared fans who post there. Who cares what Kripke reads … that’s not the point I’m trying to make. It’s the behavior and attitude of the fans that I’m talking about. And I guess if Alice wants to encourage that overly negative attitude perpetuated on your Sam forum, then that’s her choice. Personally, I think the rabid Sam fans are bringing down the ENTIRE fandom right now. Especially sad because Supernatural is experiencing is best season ever.

    “This unerring belief that Dean must be number one and the best and most important and no one else may say anything different is ridiculous. What’s worse is that it’s not really about Dean as a character, it’s about Jensen and some fans obsession with him. It happens on every freaking show he’s on (Dark Angel, anyone? Don’t you know, Michael Weatherly was eeeeevil and meaaaan to Jensen). And Kripke caters to it like a dog chasing a stick. ”

    Ah, there we go … I knew it wouldn’t be long before the criticism of Jensen’s fans reared it’s ugly head. Ugh. This is just so insulting. But I guess I’m not at all surprised … some fans just gotta diss Jensen and his fans in order to prop up Jared. It’s just sad and pathetic. Dean is now included in the mythology because he *deserves* to be. Kripke is NOT catering to certain fans. It makes sense for the show and it’s made the show better.

  • Missy

    “interesting that Buddy.tv just elected Mystery Spot as the best episode of 2008 if this season is so stellar?”

    Was that a poll, or was it a list compiled by the editors? Because Don of BuddyTV, as previously stated, is a major Sam fan. If TWoP elected an episode of this season as the best of ’08, would you take it as gospel?

    “TWOP moderates Sam fans heavily, I got booted out for “being too preachy” when I cited Milgram’s research in regards to obedience.”

    Tell that to Rachel, who thinks that the moderation of fans at TWoP indicates whether they’re too shrill or not. And you did PLENTY of things that you would’ve been banned for… I recall quite a bit of boards-on-boards in your post. If Barnes waited that long to ban you, she was being really, really generous. Probably because you’re a Sam fan.

    “And the fact that despite the promotion SPN is getting this year, it still hovers around 4 million.”

    Funny, those ratings are better than we’ve gotten in years. And believe me, if this was another Sam-centric season with Dean as dumbass sidekick, Sam fans would take these ratings and praise them to the skies, telling us how they proved that everyone was sick of Dean.

    “Right now the brotherly bond seems very dysfunctional with the abusing big brother who emotionally manipulates (God doesn’t want you to) and physically abuses his brother that carries enormous guilt over his brother’s fate.”

    :) Of course. And you guys just love Dean over there at the limpdick forum, don’t you? You don’t bash him at all, like those evil EDGs do to your Sam. Thanks for proving your comrades wrong, Bright! I know I can always count on you for that!

    “The beautiful thing with the net is that you are allowed to have different POVs and in no way do I attach you for having another view than mine. I just don’t agree with you.”

    “I thought it was a clique of fanatics but I had to rethink after seeing what went on in the SPN fandom. Now I just try my best to avoid the rabid fans.”

    Hee! And I can even count on you to prove your own statements wrong, within a single post! Brilliantly done.

  • Rachel

    I’m not dissing Jensen to prop up Jared. I have no problem with Jensen. But I figured since you were dissing the way Sam fans were acting, it was only fair to point out the other side. You are, after all, the one here who initially called out a single fan (bright) because you disagreed with her. I believe that’s a “personal attack.”

  • Rachel

    Missy, I’ve read TWoP for the spoiler post, but I’ve never posted over there. I haven’t had the pleasure of being banned, but I don’t think that mod discriminates in her banning. She just doesn’t seem to like whining.

  • Missy

    In that case, Rachel, what point were you trying to make? That TWoP is a fair place where fans of both brothers can post equally? If that’s what you meant, then I totally agree with you.

  • To Claire

    “Just because NOW Dean’s entire existence doesn’t revolve around Sam (as it ALWAYS has in the past), doesn’t mean that he isn’t concerned about Sam. Dean has been told by an angel of the Lord that his mission is to stop the Apocalypse to save humanity from Hell on Earth. Hello!! I think that might just be weighing heavily on Dean’s might right now. And Dean is dealing with the aftermath of the most traumatic experiences EVER, you might just want to cut him a little slack if he needs to concentrate his efforts on healing HIMSELF for a while.”

    If that what it is, do you think that Dean’s acting out-of character? Nothing is more important to Dean than Sam. He wouldn’t care if the world ends(i.e. AHBL 2). Also, Dean never put his well-being before Sam. If he knows that Sam has problem, he will suck up his own issue to focus on Sam.

    That’s who Dean is. He never wants on the spotlight. Being the BIG BROTHER to Sam. That is pretty much his life’s mission, though I must admit it is not necessary a healthy mission. But that is one big trait that make me love Dean so much.

  • Yumi

    Missy: I’m arguing that both Dean and Sam’s characterization/storylines have problems. Not just Sam (though there are more problem with Sam then Dean). I also not that there is problem with the Ruby’s story as well.

  • Claire

    “Dear Claire – interesting that Buddy.tv just elected Mystery Spot as the best episode of 2008 if this season is so stellar?”

    Dear *bright73 — that is ONE person’s opinion on ONE web site. I’m not sure what that has to do with anything other than personal preference. But no matter because I found MS to be a spectacular episode all around. I loved how it showed Dean as this ray of sunshine (Dean being his WONDERFUL self!) in Sam’s life and then the stark contrasting darkness and emptiness of Sam’s life without Dean. But again one guy rating his own preferences on one web site isn’t relevant to the surge in ratings and across the board critical praise that we’re getting this season.

    “The drop from the first episode to the second is rather telling. And the fact that despite the promotion SPN is getting this year, it still hovers around 4 million. It lost heavily from the first episode and if the season was that stellar, it should be gaining, not losing viewers. ”

    Uh, yes of course we lost viewers from 4.1 to 4.2, because 4.2 had competition of Grey’s Anatomy, one of the most popular programs on TV and it was the series premiere. 4.1 did NOT have this competition, so the drop was natural and to be expected (and it’s why looking at DVR numbers for our show is really important). And then we add in The Office/30 Rock and CSI premieres further in the season. I’m sure I don’t have to explain how the ratings system works or how our competition affects our ratings. The simple fact is that THIS season the ratings are up for our show and it’s even more significant because ratings are generally down across the board this season. Our significant gains this season have been sited in numerous media articles, even Buddy TV had an entire article our great ratings as well. So yay for our show!

    And I don’t know why you have to bring up comparisons between the actors here. None of the previous commenters were discussing Jared vs. Jensen’s acting. I just read over every comment and NO ONE here said that Jensen’s acting was better (a million times better?) than Jared’s. And NO ONE here said that praising Jared equals bashing Jensen. It seems to me that you have your own issues with Jensen and/or his fans. But you have the right to your opinion. I’ll leave it at that.

  • Anna

    “If that what it is, do you think that Dean’s acting out-of character?”

    Not to cut in, but… no. I don’t think it’s out of character at all. Dean stuck by his dad after the Stanford fight, rather than going to protect Sam at school, because he felt his dad needed him and he was devoted to saving people. He parted ways with Sam in Scarecrow in order to save a couple who would die if he left with Sam. He gave up a chance for Sam to be happy and safe in the wish world (as far as he knew, at the time) because he couldn’t let all the people they’d saved die.

    So… no. Dean will sacrifice himself to save Sam. He became apathetic when Sam died, in grief and guilt. But he has never been such a slave to Sam that he couldn’t see any other considerations, or choose to save innocents rather than follow Sam everywhere. And he has broken so hard before that he couldn’t shove down his own feelings for the sake of Sam’s… see Everybody Loves a Clown. Then think about Everybody Loves a Clown times 500, and that’s what you have in the aftermath of Hell.

    I think it’s a little ridiculous to think that Dean would be such a superman that he could always shove down any pain, no matter how enormous and extreme, to kiss away every booboo of Sammy’s. That’s not who he’s ever been. He’s able to shove down quite a lot, and has done many times, but he has his limits just like anyone else.

    He’s worrying about Sam a lot this season. But I think he realizes that what Sam does is ultimately up to Sam. Dean can’t control Sam’s very MIND, or his choices… he can only tell him how he feels about it and love him as best he can. I think that’s a really good thing… acknowledging that Sam is an adult, and can make his own decisions. Sam fans already call the guy controlling and abusive… can you imagine how bad it would be if he DIDN’T acknowledge that Sam can make his own decisions?

  • Josie

    I find it odd that people expect gushing about Dean on a site primarily dedicated to Sam. Some posters there are more critical of Jensen, but they don’t bash him. Same goes with Dean–they are more prone to bashing the writers. In fact, I would say that is a frequent event, for better or worse.

    None of this is relevant to the heart of the argument here. We can get lost in which faction is crazier or who is a bigger hypocrite or whether TWOP is the best thing since sliced bread or if limp Sam is the worst thing to ever happen. The point is much more simple and it’s been sort of obscured by this pettiness.

    Point: A good portion of fandom misses Sam and sees a disparity in the writing and in the focus of the writers as seen on screen, in interview and in spoilers. Freak out about Sam sites all you want, but it doesn’t negate the validity or growing popularity of the viewpoint.

    So I’m actually gleeful about Alice’s response here–it feels good to be taken seriously.

  • valerie

    Sam has been treated as a chopped liver this season, please go back to the roots of the show, both characters are important to the story. Besides, i am saturated of dean´s overexposure (“dean super hero of the world”, “dean chosen by god”, “dean loved by angels”, “dean the stronger”, “dean the funnier”, bla, bla, bla”).

  • Rachelly

    It is so wonderful to have a chance to talk with you, Alice, about our thoughts and feelings about SN this year, and the interview you conducted. I loved your questions and thought they represented a wide variety of questions that many if not most fans would be interested in having answered.

    One thing I’d love for someone to ask Kripke and Co is where the brotherly relationship went…is going? I miss the brotherly bond…Sam and Dean, two brothers fighting evil on the same side. The brothers seem so disconnected relationship wise this year and even last. It hurts me to see Kripke writing Dean as he is…punching Sam when he’s angry with him, condemning his little brother as not even knowing right from wrong, saying he’d want to hunt him if he didn’t know him.(all such hurtful stuff) This isn’t the Dean I fell in love with. I get that Dean’s been through hell, literally, but I really thought that his bond with Sammy could weather the test of anything. Instead Dean punches him, questions his integrity, threatens to leave him, no longer trusts him… That just seems so out of character for Dean and it is changing the brother relationship. Sammy is lying fearing that Dean will not receive the truth, maybe even ashamed of what he’s done and in the end, their relationship is crumbling and it is killing me!

    Maybe Dean still feels as dedicated to Sam as he always has been and the epicness of the story line is drowning it out, but if so, please don’t let it, Mr. Kripke! Keep Dean awesome, have an epic story line, and strengthen the brotherly bond!

    I not only feel incredibly sad for Sam and Dean’s relationship this year, but also feel incredibly frustrated that I have no sense of Sam this season. Many storylines that caught my interest have been abandoned. I feel like I know nothing more of Sam this year than I did a few years back. Yep, he still has powers. Yep, something about demons wanting to follow him or kill him. Oh, we did learn that angels want him to stop his powers….hmmmm and his mom sold him out unintentionally. But we’re still stuck at “will he go evil” which I guess is to be determined and “did he come back wrong” which I think got lost somewhere. And I don’t really feel connected to him sympathetically or any other way because his character isn’t really developing. Any insight offered into his character is so subtle, it is impossible to interpret leaving the viewer to speculate.

    One of the earlier posters mentioned that they felt Sam’s character truly died at the end of season 2 and I felt exactly the same way. Can’t this show be about both brothers( Sam and Dean) and the awesome brotherly relationship they have? It is so rare to have such amazing chemistry between two actors off screen, why not capitalize on that chemistry on screen, tightening their bond as brothers to stand united against evil? I thought that was the original premise anyway.

    At this point, the show is getting painful for me to watch. I tune in hoping for a drop of the “willing to die for each other” relationship/unconditional love relationship/hurt-comfort relationship (anything to show me the depth of the brother’s bond) but sadly I come up empty handed each time often lost in the epic story line that seems to have over taken the brothers’.

    I’d love for Kripke and Co. to be made aware that we miss the “brotherly” relationship. Sure, drama is good, to stir up relationships even entertaining …but for the purpose of deepening them, not flatlining them. I don’t see the brothers growing closer and it makes me really sad.

    I wish we could ask Kripke for a hint as to where the brother relationship is going. It is the only reason I hooked up with the show and without it…I’m losing interest. I don’t know if it is going to get worse and honestly don’t feel like I can take any worse.

  • Missy

    “I find it odd that people expect gushing about Dean on a site primarily dedicated to Sam.”

    I don’t expect it. Which is why I find the lies about “Oh, we love Dean there, we never bash him like you bash Sam!” to be not only irritating, but unnecessary. If these fans would just cop to their bias, and drop the self-righteous BS about how they’re so much better than the fans they call “EDGs” or “rabid” or “fanatics”, then I wouldn’t say a thing about them. But it’s part of the schtick, for that group, to delude themselves into believing that the things they say are just the truth, whereas everyone else is crazy and vicious.

  • http://www.jesterz.net Alice Jester

    This all reminds me of my favorite Rodney Dangerfield joke. “I went to the fights and a hockey game broke out.” :)

    I honestly don’t mind that everyone dukes it out here. Go for it. Fighting about TWOP and other forums seems a little strange for supporting a neglect of Sam’s character, but hey, sometimes its better to get things out. It makes us all feel better in the end.

    As to whoever though thinks that ratings are declining because of poor writing, I’ll have to step in on that one. Ratings are way up, like 23% up. I’ve reported on it, so has every other entertainment writer. Only 30 Rock, How I Met Your Mother, and Gossip Girl have had a bigger increase. EVERYTHING else is down, and no, I’m not counting Football. The premiere in every returning show usually gets big ratings when a cliffhanger is involved, and the show has held up incredibly well when the competition has seen its ratings decline. With DVR ratings factored, the show averages about 3.8 million per episode. That does not count online viewing, iTunes, or episodes viewed on DVRs after 7 days. Last year it was 3.2 million.

    Also, and this info ONLY comes from me reading interviews and Jensen’s statements at the Chicago con, they went into season four believing this would be the last. There was a plan mapped out due to the early renewal, and this was supposed to be the season where Sam’s story was to be told. Guess what? The premiere got 1 million viewers more than expected. 90210 didn’t live up to expectations, and because Smackdown went, Thursday night is now The CW’s biggest night. The only shows drawing buzz for The CW right now are Gossip Girl and Supernatural.

    It became evident early on that season five was happening. Of course the network won’t confirm this (it’s too early), but considering they’re close to signing Tom Welling and bringing back a ninth season of Smallville, I would say when that’s announced its official for Supernatural as well.

    Because of that, the story lines all got pulled back. Just like with the writer’s strike, so far, it seems that Sam’s storyline has suffered. I’m still holding out hope though.

  • Missy

    “Because of that, the story lines all got pulled back. Just like with the writer’s strike, so far, it seems that Sam’s storyline has suffered.”

    I agree with your analysis of why everything’s slowed down. I would add, though, that it’s not just Sam whose storyline has slowed. Dean’s has as well. I’m sure if this was the last season, we would’ve gotten SOME indication by now of what exactly he’s being expected to do, why he was chosen to do it, etc. Thus far, all we know is that Cas pulled him out of Hell and that Lillith is trying to free Lucifer. Similarly, Sam’s storyline has moved forward in that he can now consciously and voluntarily use his powers, and he can use them for something he never could before- exorcising demons. We know that he slept with Ruby, who is now his best friend and confidante, and that he has the potential to become more powerful even than Castiel, an angel (Ruby said he could exorcise Alastair easily if he practiced, whereas Cas was taken out by Alastair). We know that there is a major downside to using the powers that we have not yet seen, as indicated by the angels’ wariness, and that Sam is using them in an attempt to take control over his life. We have now learned that he was chosen because Mary was his mother, and that he is not meant to simply be a general over demons.

    Just because Sam’s storyline has slowed down with the addition of a fifth season, that hardly means he’s being abused. Dean’s storyline has slowed as well, and because it started much later, we know much less about it right now than we do about Sam’s. Additionally, Sam is being shown to be the more badass hunter this season, while Dean is often left in the background, largely because of Sam’s powers.

    The thing is, I could easily complain about how slow Dean’s story is. I don’t, because I realize that we have one season of story to fit into two seasons now. But for the first time in the run of the show, both characters have meaty and substantial storylines, and the plot equality is so very delightful to me, after so many years of waiting for it, that I can’t bring myself to complain too much about how slowly it’s being revealed.

  • Noni

    In these 10 first eps of ssn 4, I just feel that these two brothers have been growing apart too much. For instance, Sam did not show much worried when Dean was facing death threat in Yellow Fever. And Dean was acting more angry to Sam (than worried), when he found Sam using his “dark side ability”. What happened? Where is the “brotherly-bond” which defined this show in the previous seasons?

    Yes, Dean had been going through hell literally. And Sam had been going through world without his brother at the same period. So, was this 4 months without each other resulted in the detachment? Will this continue through out the season? Then it will be kinda sad. I mean, I have seen this kind of distance in “What is and what never should be”, and I don’t like it.

    For me, the most awesome aspect of SPN is the strong bond the brothers used to have and what they were willing to do for each other. So, when this is not there, the show just felt like it is loosing its subtance.

  • To Anna

    “I think it’s a little ridiculous to think that Dean would be such a superman that he could always shove down any pain, no matter how enormous and extreme, to kiss away every booboo of Sammy’s. That’s not who he’s ever been. He’s able to shove down quite a lot, and has done many times, but he has his limits just like anyone else.”

    Yes I agree. Dean is only human. He has his limits. Dean’s self-esteem and his relationship with Sam are not healthy. But my point was not about what should happen (I agree that Dean should think more about himself), but more of what would happen based on what we know about Dean so far.

    And what would happen is that Sam is above everything else. No one puts Dean at superman standard, but himself. He expected that of himself, when it comes to Sam. When a brother dies, normal people would grieve and move on, but Dean refused to accept it. He sold his soul.

    In the beginning of Season 3, he was acting recklessly to mask his fear about the deal and hell, but when Sam called for his support in Fresh Blood, he stopped and became Sam’s brother again. In the christmas episode, Dean wishes to celebrate christmas, but dropped the subject when Sam revealed that he could not celebrate christmas when Dean only had a few months left.

    Season 2 is unique because not only Dean had to deal with John’s death, he has to deal with the big secret, Sam’s detiny and that one day he might have to kill Sam. If the problem is between Sam and the world (the apocalypse), or between Sam and himself (Hell issues), Dean most certainly chooses Sam. But when Sam is the problem, he has trouble dealing (initially)(looks how explosive the confrontation in Metamorphosis was).

    Unless Sam does something super crazy, and i mean really really crazy, or Sam pushes Dean away, Dean will never walk away from Sam. Yeah, it’s unhealthy, but that’s Dean and his love for Sam.

  • Jan

    Alice: Back to the point – thank you for your interview with Sera. To me, she is one of the best writers out there. I look forward to part 2. I thoroughly enjoy your blog!

  • Amanda (MysticKitty)

    It took me ten minutes to even calm down enough to start posting this, and I am gonna TRY to be civil as possible AS I WAS IN MY ABOVE POSTS, and I really hate to get personal, but, here goes…

    Yes, Claire, I am a member of the LimpSam forum. I joined up about a month ago, to vent my frustrations with the show, in consideration for the ppl I blogged with over at the community blogs on TVG.com (which are now kaput, BTW, so don’t bother going and looking for them) b/c most of my friends there were liking this season overall, and I didn’t wanna bring them down with any complaints…especially since I hardly EVER complained in regards to the show over there. They didn’t call me Miss Happiness and Enthusiasm for nothing…I used to think the show could do no wrong! But that unforunately changed. At the LimpSam forum, I found ppl over there who shared the same frustrations I had, but BEFORE joining, I looked around, and MADE SURE that I wasn’t joining the Sam-fan-equivalent of TWoP. The two main things I looked for were that:

    a) there was no Jensen-bashing there, b/c I think the whole concept of actor-bashing, namely b/c it involves two real, wonderful people in Jared and Jensen, is INCREDIBLY stupid and distasteful to me.

    Well, FYI, I DID NOT see any Jensen-bashing. You may be surprised to learn that there are forums for JENSEN as well as Jared over there, one for his TV talk show appearances, one for the upcoming MBV:3D, one for past movies, etc. And GUESS WHAT? Those threads are NOT for bashing him, they’re for talking about him, talking about his movies/TV appearances IN THE SAME WAY WE WOULD ANY OF JARED’S. Being that it’s the Sam-board, we don’t have to have threads dedicated to Jensen at all, now, do we??? But we do, cuz hey, novel concept…we’re fans of Jensen’s as well! I honestly don’t see how you could be a real fan of this show and love one but hate the other, and I don’t care to hang around ppl like that on EITHER side.

    b) there was no Dean-HATE/BASHING there. Yes, there’s criticism of Dean there, but there’s ALSO criticism of Sam, b/c we KNOW he’s not perfect any more so than Dean is.

    Thing is, THERE IS A BIG DIFFERENCE b/t criticism and outright HATE. We’re not over there hoping that Dean dies and/or gets written off the show, we’re not wishing for Dean to end up as an “empty shell of a man” come show’s end, we’re not making posts that are nothing but a litany of negative things about Dean without acknowledging the positive traits of his character as well, or at least pointing out traits we loved in him and MISS seeing on the show. And no, contrary to your belief, they DON’T all have to do with Sam. WE DO LOVE BOTH BOYS OVER THERE, thank you very much, I would not BE in a place that DIDN’T love both boys. Dean alone doesn’t make this show for me, Sam alone doesn’t make this show for me, THE BROTHERS make this show for me. And while Sam may be the brother closest to our hearts over at the Sam-boards, I haven’t seen A SINGLE PERSON there who doesn’t share that attitude of the brothers, BOTH OF THEM, being what makes the show.

    And Lauren, yes, I do know Bright, have talked to her often since I joined the LimpSam board…but NO, I DO NOT know her as a Dean-hater and CERTAINLY not a Jensen-basher. So, in your words, NO, I DON’T “know that, right?” And I definitely do not appreciate being told what I know and don’t know by someone who doesn’t even KNOW ME.

    I’m big enough to admit that I should’ve specified better when referring to TWoP. The entire site/Supernatural board is certainly not as I described and I didn’t mean to imply that and apologize for doing so. There are many perfectly nice, considerate, and balanced posters over there…and before any of you can point your crooked little fingers, NO, I’m not just talking about the Sam/Jared fans. But there are a definite group of vitriolic Sam-haters over there – I don’t think any other faction of the fandom would want Sam replaced with Castiel or to see him written/killed off the show, or for Sam to end up as an “empty shell of a man”, do you? – and they are a dominant force on the main Supernatural threads. THOSE are the TWoP ppl I was referring to. And for the record, if any Sam fans are out spewing hate and nastiness wishing death and devastation on Dean akin to what SOME extremist Dean-fans are doing over on TWoP, I don’t support them anymore than those Dean-fans.

    You accuse us of being such a horrible forum to ‘exist in an echo chamber’…did you ever stop to wonder WHY we do?! We do b/c whenever we dare to speak out in what are supposed to be balanced forums, all-too often anything that is pro-Sam is AUTOMATICALLY PERCEIVED AND TWISTED to be somehow ANTI-Dean, just like it’s been here by a select few, when we are NOT ANTI-Dean to any degree. We’re SICK AND TIRED of being beaten into submission with cruel words, and while I’m well aware that TWoP exists for all fan-types, thanks to the vitriolic ones there, the advertisement doesn’t fit the reality in certain areas of the site. I’ve went over there, I’ve looked at the main Supernatural blogs, and as a fan who loves Sam, I sure didn’t feel welcome over there. Heck, as a person who much prefers to engage in CIVIL/friendly conversation rather than ripping others apart, I DEFINITELY didn’t feel welcome over there, at least not in those particular areas. Besides the LimpSam board, I am also a member of the TVG.com community blogs, as I said, have been since 2007…though we’ve now relocated since TPTB got rid of the blogs for year-end renovation. And guess what board has the reputation over there, among far more entirely bi-bro fans and DEAN-fans (who love Sam too) than Sam-fans, for being a nasty place to be? TWoP. Not LimpSam. In fact, LimpSam was RECCOMMENDED by a couple of entirely bi-bro fans as being a good site…to quote, “one that’s especially great for Sam/Jared fans but that DOES NOT bash Dean/Jensen either”.

    And what makes me laugh and shake my head most of all, you say that the LimpSam board is a place with no Dean/Jensen fans, that they’re not welcome there. When the reality, if you’d just LOOK AROUND THE BOARDS is, that the people on the LimpSam boards ARE Dean/Jensen fans THEMSELVES! You can believe that we’re not all you want, but at the end of the day, WE KNOW where we stand on Dean/Jensen – which is that we love and appreciate him too but our hearts overall belong to Sam/Jared – and YOU DON’T. The comments you cited can easily be – and likely were – taken out of context, and in no way representational of the posters’ feelings about Dean as a whole. But comments that Sam should be killed or written off the show/replaced with Castiel/should end up an empty shell of a man? Well, I think those speak loud and crystal clear.

    Again, I apologize for inferring that ALL TWoPers are of that extremist mind and understand and acknowledge that they definitely aren’t. And though I know I didn’t say this, I also want to make it ***CRYSTAL CLEAR*** that I DO NOT see ALL Dean/Jensen fans in this negative, extremist light either, most of them are perfectly friendly and great…I’ve got as many Dean/Jensen-fan blogging buddies as I do Sam/Jared fan buddies, trust me! BUT NEITHER IS the LimpSam board the horrible, nasty place full of Dean/Jensen-hate that you select posters have made it out to be – i.e. the Sam-fan equivalent of the TWoP extremist sects – FAR, FAR FROM IT. I am on the board, so DON’T EVEN TELL ME I DON’T KNOW THIS, that I’m whitewashing things/being selective, or that I’m an outright liar. And since you inferred that the entire LimpSam forum and everyone on it is so overwhelmingly bad in the same way I mistakenly-in-general referred to TWoP, you’d all do well to apologize too. I’ve said all I can say, and tried to keep it as civil as possible, so take or leave it, I’m not wasting the energy on anybody who still doesn’t listen after this point.

    One last, important thing, though…speaking of not listening – and to repeat, don’t enjoy getting personal in the least, but once again…Claire, Missy, and Lauren? You seem to have COMPLETELY IGNORED this statement from Deanna:

    “No true Sam fan wants his development at the expense of Dean’s–it’s not an either/or proposition. We love them both, neither to the exclusion of the other.”

    Most of us have been STRESSING and STRESSING this in our posts up and down, left and right, and STILL, we’re accused of it, of being upset over what Dean has, that he’s had some storylines added to his character? I don’t think so! You’d all ALSO do well to actually go back and read our arguments again. WE DON’T WANT LESS STORYLINE FOR DEAN. WE DON’T RESENT THAT DEAN NOW HAS MORE STORYLINE/A PART IN THE MYTHARC. What we ARE resenting is that Sam’s storyline/characterization is languishing and substantially less important right now than Dean’s. We NEVER, NEVER said that we want it to be MORE important than Dean’s – and would NOT be gleeful and boasty and take pleasure if it was…I for one, am ALL for character-importance equality! – but simply AS important as Dean’s. Or at least somewhere close to it. Right now, it’s not even close! THAT’S what we’re having issues with…I don’t know how many times/different ways I can stress this! But one last try:

    ***IT’S NOT ABOUT WHAT DEAN HAS, IT IS ABOUT WHAT SAM DOES NOT HAVE!!! Which is not MORE than Dean, but simply AS MUCH as Dean!***

    Now I’ve REALLY said all I can say; I’m exhausted, and really need to cool the temperature of my blood! And get a better grip. Myself and several other Sam-fans have already gotten their points across and acknowledged by Alice, and at the end of the day this is her blog and she’s the one who has the contact with Sera. And again I thank you sincerely for that, Alice, and bow out b/c this fact that YOU heard us and gave us creedence is all that really matters.

  • kim

    Thank you for your prompt responses Alice and your promise to try and forward the comments to Sera.

    I personally hate that thoughtful discussion in this fandom always seems to eventually dissolve into fighting. I know it sounds corny, but I wish we could all just get along. It normal for us each to have our favorites and on a show were there are only two main characters we should all feel fulfilled with our favorite’s development. Why is that so difficult? I really want both “factions” to be happy, not just one. This should not be an unrealistic goal.

    I may end up regretting it, but I must comment on the forum controversy. When the creator and writers of a show mention the name of the forum they frequent for fan reaction and that forum is predominately very anti-Sam (I don’t know how anyone who reads the spoiler, episode, or brotherly bonds threads could honestly disagree with this statement), Sam fans would be foolish not to be concerned. The forum may be considered public, but when it is allowed to monopolized by 4 or 5 posters who are admittedly very well spoken and unrelentless in promoting their singular beliefs, it becomes biased. Believe me, I have tried to initiate polite discussion about Sam and I am either totally ignored or quickly shut down by several posters. If you like Sam, it is not really a community you in which you feel welcomed. I am personally disappointed because this forum is one of the first I turned when Supernatural started and I miss the respectful and positive discussion that used to occur there.

    I certainly am not questioning the posters right to their opinions or Kripke’s right to visit the site, but I am defending the right of Sam fans to be alarmed about the fact. I would guess that if Kripke or Sera announced tomorrow that they were going to start using Limp-Sam as their source for fan reaction, some people would have a problem with that as well.

    I would also like to reiterate before finishing my final post on this issue, that I love the character of Dean. Yes, I complain about him sometimes, but I would never wish anything bad to happen to him or say that I want to be replaced with another character, or for his storyline to be placed on the back burner. Dean and Sam and their realtionship are the core of the show. They are both human and flawed and make mistakes and yet they are heroes. They are the reason most of us love Supernatural.

  • Anna

    “Season 2 is unique because not only Dean had to deal with John’s death, he has to deal with the big secret, Sam’s detiny and that one day he might have to kill Sam.”

    How is he not dealing with those same issues now, though? Just because Sam has decided that the powers are totally harmless, that doesn’t mean that Dean’s gonna forget the year or so of Sam’s insistence that Dean should kill him if he were to become corrupted by the demon blood, or the people who he saw corrupted by the demon blood. That’s still a very present and dominating issue between them, whether Sam still thinks it should be or not. After all… if he’s becoming corrupted by the blood and powers, he’s not gonna remain objective enough about it to tell Dean. And his Hell experience IS important, and it DOES need to be addressed, because it dealt a major blow to his ability to lead and make decisions… it made him believe he’s not fit to do so, because of what he became. It’s not wallowing in self-pity, it’s a full-scale attempt to climb back up to a place where he can take responsibility for others, like he’s always done.

    “If the problem is between Sam and the world (the apocalypse)… Dean most certainly chooses Sam.”

    How do you explain his decision in What Is and What Should Never Be, then? Or Scarecrow? Or pre-Pilot, when he stayed with John? Or Jus in Bello, when he reamed Sam out for suggesting they kill Nancy? Or Time Is On My Side, when he left Sam to face the doctor alone because he had to go after Bela and the Colt? Dean loves Sam immensely, there’s no question about it. But he’s chosen things above Sam’s feelings many times in the past. This doesn’t mean that if he had to kill Sam to save the world, he would do it… I have no idea what he’d do in that situation. But it does mean that Sam’s feelings are not always his top concern when people’s lives are at stake. Dean can and does prioritize.

  • cameron

    Jesus effin Christ. To think I came here to read an interview with Sera, and comment on it, only to see a TWoP vs. other boards, Dean vs. Sam all out war.

    On to my point. As a 50-something year old woman who loves watching Supernatural with my grandchildren I appreciate the interview, Alice. I happen to love the SHOW and ALL the characters (well, Ruby hasn’t exactly grown on me) and do not see the need to divide the fandom into Sam/Dean forums. But maybe I’m just an old toot.

    Thanks again Alice.

  • Missy

    “or for Sam to end up as an “empty shell of a man”, do you?”

    Heh! I think you completely ignored the next part of her post, when she said that she hoped they didn’t go there. And you also completely ignored that this post came from a pretty hardcore Sam fan. This IS the post you’re referring to, isn’t it?

    ‘They could have him be responsible for the apocalypse, and then go all super-charged crazy trying to put the genie back in the bottle. Leaving him a completely obsessed and broken man. So the powers don’t make him go evil, but by using them, he destroys himself. It’s pretty bleak and I hope they don’t go there, but at least it would differentiate his consequences from those of other characters on the show.’

    “one that’s especially great for Sam/Jared fans but that DOES NOT bash Dean/Jensen either.”

    Then please to be addressing the Dean-bashing quotes from your site above. I’d love to know how you consider those NOT Dean-bashing. Oh, “taken out of context”? Well, since you mistook one of your own Sam fans on TWoP for an “EDG” because you took her “empty shell” comment out of context, I suppose you would know about that.

    “Most of us have been STRESSING and STRESSING this in our posts up and down, left and right, and STILL, we’re accused of it, of being upset over what Dean has, that he’s had some storylines added to his character?”

    What you say when you think no one’s listening is far, far more indicative of your mindset than any lipservice you pay here to wanting equality. You know what has been said… I could go back and list some more examples for you, but from your reaction to the “yay, Dean is a dick, hahaha!” posts, I’m sure you’d try to tell me that those are taken out of context, too.

    “Believe me, I have tried to initiate polite discussion about Sam and I am either totally ignored or quickly shut down by several posters.”

    How do they shut you down? I’m curious, because I’ve never seen this happen. I’ve seen agreement and disagreement with statements that people make, but the forum is moderated such that a conversation like the one we’re having here would never, ever be permitted.

    As for being ignored, I’m sure that does happen on occasion. But there are a good amount of Sam fans on the forum, so if your post didn’t garner responses, it’s not because there are no Sam fans there… it may just be that what you said wasn’t something that sparked discussion that day.

  • Amanda (MysticKitty)

    “I find it odd that people expect gushing about Dean on a site primarily dedicated to Sam. Some posters there are more critical of Jensen, but they don’t bash him. Same goes with Dean–they are more prone to bashing the writers. In fact, I would say that is a frequent event, for better or worse.

    None of this is relevant to the heart of the argument here. We can get lost in which faction is crazier or who is a bigger hypocrite or whether TWOP is the best thing since sliced bread or if limp Sam is the worst thing to ever happen. The point is much more simple and it’s been sort of obscured by this pettiness.

    Point: A good portion of fandom misses Sam and sees a disparity in the writing and in the focus of the writers as seen on screen, in interview and in spoilers. Freak out about Sam sites all you want, but it doesn’t negate the validity or growing popularity of the viewpoint.

    So I’m actually gleeful about Alice’s response here–it feels good to be taken seriously.”

    Thanks for this statement, Josie. That’s why I’m done with it, I realize NOW how futile and pointless it is…like you said, the main point – the only point that really matters – has been made.

    And P.S., yeah, we do get critical of the writers over there (possibly overly so) since they’re the ones calling the shots at the end of the day. Better or worse, pointless or not, sometimes – like Alice said – it just feels better to get it out! LOL. But thank you for clarifying that while SOME – not all – posters there can be critical of Dean, and to a MUCH lesser degree, Jensen, nobody at the Sam-forum BASHES either or HATES either. And with that, officially DONE!

    Carry on, those who feel the need! I’ve said my pieces, the main point has been made and credited, time to move on!

  • Muse

    “Dean is only human. He has his limits. Dean’s self-esteem and his relationship with Sam are not healthy. But my point was not about what should happen (I agree that Dean should think more about himself), but more of what would happen based on what we know about Dean so far.”

    I think what we are seeing this season is that Dean is finally moving past the self-esteem issues that dictated that he put Sam above everything including his own self-interest.

    His character is developing because of his experiences. When he sold his soul for Sam and then willingly went to Hell to continue protecting him, Dean gave everything he could. There is nothing more he could have done. So when he came back and found Sam was still putting himself at risk, I think Dean finally realized that he can only take so much responsibility for Sam and his choices and that ultimately it is up to Sam to make those decisions for himself.

    I think Dean is realizing that he cannot save Sam from himself. That’s not to say that he still doesn’t love Sam completely and unconditionally and won’t do everything in his power to save him from external threats, but he cannot keep Sam from going down the slippery slope if Sam is bound and determined to rush head-first downhill.

    I also think that Dean, realizing in season 3 that John put unfair expectations on him and then this season being saved from Hell by the angels, is helping him get over the notion that only Sam’s life is important.

    I, for one, am thrilled that the writers are finally letting Dean’s character develop beyond his self-esteem issues. He is a good person and deserves to be allowed to be more than just an extension of Sam and to see himself as having more worth than just being The Big Brother.

    Regarding Sam’s characterization, I think it is there but many of his fans just do not like the direction it is going. They seem to resent the role reversal from earlier seasons where Dean was the dark, damaged one and Sam was the smart, sensitive, good brother. However, I find this darker more driven Sam, fascinating. His character is also changing and developing due to his experiences. I would find him much less interesting if he were the same slightly naive college student he was in season 1.

    I can’t wait to see where the arcs are going for both brothers.

  • Xiang

    To Anna: Yes, Dean’s chosen things above Sam’s feelings many times in the past. But in all examples that you’ve given, What is and what should be/Scarecrow/Pre-pilot/Time is on My Side/Jus in Bello – Sam was not in any trouble or immediate danger. Further, in Jus in Bello, Dean saw other options for the fight. The argument is that if push comes to shove and Dean is forced to choose a side (either/or situation), it is Sam that he’ll most likely to choose. Of course that still means that Dean will try to look for other alternative solutions first. It is not in Dean’s character to abandon in the middle of the apocalypse war. But the moment Uriel takes action against Sam, I can imagine Dean will go “screw the apocalpse”. No matter how much Dean has changed, I still believe what he said to Sam in Season 2, “when dad says that I have to kill you, that is the last thing that I would do. And saving you is the last thing that I’ll do” (or something like that – my quote is not perfect), still holds true.

    I think you misunderstood my post. I never said Dean’s experience in Hell or his role in the apocalypse is not important. The original point, apologized if not clear, is that when all else equal, Sam is priority. So hell experience and the apocalypse wouldn’t necessary justify Dean’s lack of concern for Sam (if there is) because that would be out-of-character. In addition, Dean wasn’t consciously aware of his experience in hell until perhaps the Wishful Thinking eps (I’m not about this time line because I haven’t since any indications or PTSD before Wishful Thinking to show that Dean remembers Hell – I’m thinking may be Yellow Fever triggers it???) and he still doesn’t fully know his role in the apocalypse. But Dean knows very well the potential danger and consequences in Sam using his power since Metamorphosis. Anyway, I do see bits and bits from both Dean and Sam showing concern for each other. But the missing interaction/closeness is evident. And the epicness of everything doesn’t help either.

    To Muse: I like your interpretation. But I haven’t seen Dean move past his self-esteem issue. For example in Are you there God, he still doesn’t see how special he is. And from the spoiler, looks like there will be future episode to discuss once again Dean’s self-esteem/self-worth issue. But there are more to Dean’s inclination to put Sam over his own interest than his self-esteem or daddy issues as I doubt that Dean cares for Sam out of obligation instead of love. Dean can regain self-esteem and see through John’s fault (I think even way back in Dead Man’s Blood Dean’s already started to question John’s order), and that still would not change the way he sees Sam. You can’t easily change a lifelong habit/love. Does Dean recgonize that Sam is an adult/an equal partner? Yes. But Sam will still always be his baby brother. Just like my mom, who has no self-esteem or any other psychological problems, and is still babying me, and I’m in my mid-twenties. It’s frustrating, yes. But that’s realistic.

    “His character is developing because of his experiences. When he sold his soul for Sam and then willingly went to Hell to continue protecting him, Dean gave everything he could. There is nothing more he could have done. So when he came back and found Sam was still putting himself at risk, I think Dean finally realized that he can only take so much responsibility for Sam and his choices and that ultimately it is up to Sam to make those decisions for himself.

    I think Dean is realizing that he cannot save Sam from himself. That’s not to say that he still doesn’t love Sam completely and unconditionally and won’t do everything in his power to save him from external threats, but he cannot keep Sam from going down the slippery slope if Sam is bound and determined to rush head-first downhill.”

    I also see glimpse of this as early as in Time is on My Side, where Dean left to go see Bella. At that time, Dean has already realized that Sam is his own man and he cannot make decisions for Sam and, thus by extension be responsible for Sam’s actions.

    Just like you say realizing Sam is his own man and not taking responsibility for Sam’s action is not the same as not loving Sam or showing concern or trying to stop Sam from going down a dark path. There are external threats to Sam (Uriel’s threat, Ruby’s manipulation). But I guess it is not imminent enough for Dean to take action right now. When it is, like I say before, Dean chooses Sam. See my Season 2 “saving” quote above.

  • Amanda (MysticKitty)

    Well, sigh, b/c I was once again personally addressed, gotta add to.

    I suppose I did misunderstand the “empty shell” comment, my bad on that. **I guess if you go into a site expecting to see something nasty, that’s what you’ll see. Even when it’s not.**

    But I hardly think I misunderstood those who have hope that Sam gets replaced with Castiel, or gets written off the show somehow.

    As for the comments from the LimpSam forum, if I failed to really read that particular post at TWoP for what it was, mayhaps you’re failing to really read a lot of the members of the LimpSam site for who they are and how they REALLY feel about Dean?! What I put in asterisks above…maybe that applies to you too? Just consider that, before you put all us LimpSam members down collectively.

    Yes, taking things out of context does happen, as I evidenced with that particular TWoP post. So why is it that my assertion that you were possibly making that very mistake concerning the Sam-board comments you cited scoffed at? I again stress that I’m a member of that board and therefore actually TALK to these people, and knowing what I know and having seen what I’ve seen of the character and conduct of the members of the LimpSam forum – and yes, I’m talking in regards to how they feel/talk about Dean overall, since that’s what you’re addressing – I’m pretty darn sure that when it comes to that mistake, I definitely don’t have the market cornered. I again say that if Dean-bashing was the norm or even CLOSE to the norm at the Sam-forum, if they hated Dean and wanted him off the show like a select few out there hate Sam so much as to want him off the show…I WOULD NOT BE THERE. I don’t rule out character criticism. But I DO NOT do character-bashing or hate when it comes the brothers or any other important characters – didn’t even take part in the big RuBela riot back in S3…back then I still trusted Kripke unconditionally! – and ESPECIALLY not actor-bashing or hate. NOT. AT. ALL. And seriously don’t enjoy hanging around those who DO engage frequently in that type of thing, either, especially when it comes to the brothers and Jared and Jensen.

    And saying that my want for brother-equality on both sides is nothing but lipservice? Is belittling and highly unappreciated. First of all, the posts where Sam fans have stated multiple times that we do NOT want Dean’s storylines to be lessened for the gain of Sam’s, but merely for Sam to get a little more attention ALONG with Dean, that I was referring to with that “stressing and stressing” comment WERE NOT posts at the LimpSam forum…I was talking about the posts HERE, on THIS blog. Being that you went on to slam LimpSam some more in response to my “stressing and stressing” comment instead of mentioning one thing about the posts here, it’s pretty obvious you thought I was talking about posts at LimpSam. And guess what that means? That’s right! You turned right around and took one of my statements OUT OF CONTEXT after you laughed at me for doing the SAME THING! So hey, looks like YOU would know about that too, huh? Seems nobody’s perfect or infallible when it comes to that mistake. “Heh!” right back at’cha!

    And FYI, I have seen that wish for simple equality expressed SEVERAL times at the LimpSam forum, I’ve expressed it myself, I’ve engaged in multiple conversations about it! So even if I WAS talking about LimpSam in my “stressing and stressing” comment, you STILL don’t have all the facts.

    But to speak for myself alone, cuz apparently that’s necessary too, I don’t know how many times I have to say that the BROTHERS and their BOND is what makes this show for me, not Dean only, not Sam only. You could’t even HAVE a show without one or the other! But nearly just as important as both brothers being there, is a BALANCE, and right now, it is extremely UNBALANCED. Not just a little, EXTREMELY. The brother-bond has been all-but eclipsed by all the epicness and secondary characters, both boys’ characterizations are off even with all they’ve been through, and Sam’s storyline is struggling…you can argue against that all you want, but like Josie said, the validity and growing popularity of the viewpoint isn’t negated! Must be something more to it, then, I’d say, than just pure and petty whining!

    I DO want equality, plain and simple, and don’t DARE tell me that deep down I don’t, that it’s all empty words or some kind of charade. I know what I’ve expressed on the LimpSam boards, on the former TVG.com boards, ANYWHERE AND EVERYWHERE I’ve been…and that is a sincere want for things to be balanced again, for the brothers to act more like brothers again than strangers, on Dean’s part, on Sam’s part, on BOTH their parts, and to be written as such – lest we forget Dean and Sam are fictional and can’t do the acting without the writing, hee. What more can I say? It seems you don’t believe me, and you certainly don’t give an ounce of credit to ANYONE on the LimpSam forum, so I could always get some of my entirely bi-bro/Dean-girl blogging buddies from former TVG.com over here to vouch for my honest want for aforementioned equality, and that I don’t just care about/love only Sam, but Dean AS WELL – and believe me, they’d come right over – but I like to show more maturity than that of a five year-old, and I’m too sick of your catch-all slams/attacks against ppl I consider friends that I wouldn’t dare bring them into this.

    And I’ve wasted time again. I could argue with people like you ALL NIGHT on these same things and you still wouldn’t budge an inch, and though I’ll AT LEAST make apologies/concede to indisputable facts when necessary, neither will I budge overall…so forget it. I need to go to bed, got somewhere to be in the morning and more important people to see. Cuz really, who are you when it comes to this article? You’re not Kripke, you’re not Sera Gamble, you’re not Alice Jester, and we’ve gotten our points across loud and clear to her, so…why waste all this time and energy arguing with someone who in the end is just another fan stuck on their own perspectives, however much skewed, who’s only gonna find something in your posts to tear down and tell you you’re wrong about, no matter what you say and how honestly you say it. It’s more often than not futile, and pointless, and only creates more bad feelings and hostility, so I for one am seriously done doing it. That’s the way I ultimately feel, and you may feel the same way, or may not…fine by me either way. Best thing to do in cases like this is just agree to disagree.

    And that’s what I do from here on out, when it comes to your type and your, IMO, skewed perspectives. Stringently so. And you can rip apart sections of my post (again) or why not the entire thing, or heck, you can up the ante and personally slam me, call me a nasty name/horrible person, a liar, an idiot, a waste of space, a nutjob, whatever you want…cuz though I don’t think you would and HOPE you wouldn’t take it that far, I don’t freakin’ care if you do. Cuz when it’s all said and done, I know where I stand and that I’m telling it like it is, those who actually know me – unlike you – do as well, and my comments were heard and appreciated by the only person on this blog who actually has access to Sera…so really, what more needs to be known/said than that?

    Goodnight ladies and gents, it’s been a trip!

  • Amanda (MysticKitty)

    One last thing…Xiang?

    GREAT, GREAT post. Totally agreed on all points! :-)

    NOW, goodnight!

  • Erika

    “I, for one, am thrilled that the writers are finally letting Dean’s character develop beyond his self-esteem issues. He is a good person and deserves to be allowed to be more than just an extension of Sam and to see himself as having more worth than just being The Big Brother.”

    And why on earth doesn’t Sam have self-esteem issues, too? He doesn’t have any worth now outside of being Dean’s brother. Sam has basically become Dean’s Dean, yet unlike Dean, he gets no notice or credit for this. Sam has crushed his insides down for the past 3 seasons in order to help Dean with his various issues, some of which Sam shares, yet Sam is not allowed the kinds of scenes/dialogue/episodes/Very Special Episodes About What a Hero He Is that Dean gets.

    The problems with Sam’s character come directly from poor writing, poor attention, and poor plotting. Sam fans have been upset about Sam’s characterisation since season 2 and yet the only changes the show makes are to give even more to Dean at Sam’s expense. And at this point, it is very clearly happening in ways that hurt Sam and keep viewers from knowing him.

    Kripke lets an entire 16 episodes go by and couldn’t fit any of Sam’s story into that, yet even now, he finds time for the lame and unfunny Ghostfacers, and numerous other comedy episodes, which are always my least favorite episodes of the show. If Kripke cared, he would put Sam first, ahead of lame high-concept crap, and deal with his storyline directly for once. If it’s related to Sam, it is background material. If it’s related to Dean, it is foreground material. I hate this so much!

    Dean gets plenty of plot, always has. Sam, not so much. Even with the mytharc in season 2, that turned out to be a supporting plot point in the Epic Story of Dean the Hero. Sam’s only purpose that season was to die so Dean could make his epic self-sacrifice for him and take up the rest of the series with it. Dean has had a huge amount of plotting in his name, mytharc or no mytharc. Sam is treated like garbage on this show, he simply is. And seeing that does make me like Dean less. I’m Deaned out, frankly, and am bored with it all. Now, if Sam had similar episodes, I’d take it all in stride, but he doesn’t. Sam is window dressing now, and I find it beyond unbearable. I’m not alone, either. New fans may have come into the show, but I wouldn’t be surprised if some older ones start bleeding out.

    Who, What, Why, Where, When. Should be easy to get, right? Writing 101. Apparently Sam doesn’t get this courtesy from the Supernatural writing team, at least not in ways that actually show up ON SCREEN for the viewer to see and feel. I still watch Supernatural, and likely will continue watching the show, but I was never really satisfied with Sam’s treatment and at this point, know I never will be. If this is a show about TWO brothers, then I’d rate Kripke and Co. at 50% failure and if Sam was really supposed to be Luke Skywalker, I’d rate their failure level at 75%. And I think I’m being kind in my assessment.

    And thanks for the article, I actually do like Sera Gamble. At least she knows who Jared is!

  • cassi

    AWESOME ARTICLE ALICE!!!
    I just love it how good and interesting your interviews are and as soon as I saw the thing about Castiel on the first page I was thrilled because this has been the first Castiel spoiler since Misha mentioned that there will be more episodes with Castiel in the second half of the season. So thanks for providing happiness for a lot of Castiel fans! love ya!!!

    I’m looking forward to the second part of your interview because compared with others your questions are always the best and most interesting!

    I love season 4 and of course, I have a with issues (Ruby, Sam’s pove etc.) but so far season 4 just rocks and I’m enjoying the episodes!
    Can’t wait for Thursday!!!

    PS: I just wish somebody else would say something about the Kristin eonline (brother) spoiler so that we would know if it’s true or not! So far everyone just quotes her and that’s not really reliable! :(

  • Edith

    Wow. First of all, I’m not touching the Sam Fans vs. Dean Fans stuff or the board vs. board stuff. Yikes. Also…don’t care.

    Secondly, thank you to Alice for the interview and especially to Sera Gamble, for taking a hard line on the issue of rape. I wish they would have found a different way to show Sam at rock bottom, but since they decided to have the Sam/Ruby sex, thank goodness it was made clear that Ruby was the only one in that body. It might have been a bit labored to show the audience that, but if they hadn’t done that, the character Sam would have been ruined for me forever.

    Oh, and thank you Sera for calling Sam a hero. That was nice to read.

    Regarding characterization, I’ve been watching since the pilot. I love both brothers. I do have to agree that Sam has been shortchanged somewhat as regards to telling the audience what’s in his head. For the longest time I thought it was because we were supposed to wonder about Sam. Who or what is he? But it’s gone on too long and now it’s to the point where I really want to understand him. We’ve never been inside his head like we have Dean’s. When Dean died twice (In My Time of Dying and No Rest for the Wicked) we as viewers followed his spirit and know what happened to him. We still have no idea about where Sam went when he died and probably will never know. Demons and angels are constantly psychoanalyzing Dean, Sam not so much. Ruby did a little and that’s about it. Dean shares his personal history and feelings with guest characters all the time (Gordon, Jo, Henricksen, Rufus, Castiel, etc., etc., etc.), Sam tends to keep quiet. Oh he does share sometimes, but not very often, especially these last few years. Dean seems to break down once or twice a season and have long soliloquies on the hood of the Impala or over John’s grave or Sam’s body, and Sam? Not so much. He did a little in Houses of the Holy and Fresh Blood (THANK YOU Sera!) but other than that I can’t think of any.

    I don’t mean to say that we shouldn’t have had those episodes where we saw Dean’s dreams and nightmares, or he had those long soliloquies, or he shared his thoughts and feelings, I think they were wonderful. It’s just that I think it’s high time to see more of them for Sam so I can understand him better. That’s all. I realize Sam is different than Dean and won’t share in the same way, but could he share in a Sam-like way? And by the way, the idea that he’s about “sharing and caring” is ridiculous. He’s like a book with the pages glued shut. Dean had to hit him to get him to talk this year.

    Finally, I really wish that the show would acknowledge that John and Mary are Sam’s parents. Ever since the beginning of Season Two it’s like Sam is the lost Winchester child. I find it difficult to believe that Sam’s lifelong issues with John dried up after the beginning of Season Two. Heck, Sam even seems cool with the idea that John was prepared to kill him. As far as Mary goes, I as a viewer have more of a connection to her than her younger son does. On a show like Supernatural there has to be ways for Sam to get to really meet and interact with his mother. They’ve done it for Dean twice now. I’m sure In The Beginning was a wonderful episode, but I could hardly stand to watch it. Sam is Mary’s son too. Yet Dean was the only one who was able to go back in time and see his parents again and meet his grandparents. Dean is the only one who saw the whole saga unfold. Does Sam even know his mother unwittingly traded him away to save his father? Was the reaction off-screen? As someone who has waited since the episode Home to see Sam find out why Mary apologized to her younger son I’m bitterly disappointed to find out that this might be the only payoff to that I’ll ever get. I know Dean has issues with his parents but I would think Sam does too. Although I’d never know it watching the show. It’s like the Winchester family has shrunk to John, Mary, and Dean with Sam on the outside. They don’t even let the poor guy look in. That breaks my heart.

    I love Dean too and I think it’s great that he has a big role in the mytharc. I’m excited to see what it is. But now that Dean is central in the mytharc, could we get have deep characterization episodes for Sam that Dean used to get when Sam was central? I guess I figure it doesn’t hurt to ask. Someone said above that we’ve gotten characterization for Sam but we don’t like what we’ve gotten, but I’d have to disagree. When I truly understand where Sam is coming from, his thoughts, feelings, and motivation and don’t have to guess, then I’ll agree. I might not like what I find out, but I’d like to know. When we get an episode like What is and What Should Never Be for Sam, or Dream a Little Dream, or any ENTIRE episode that really delves into his issues or who he is or what he belies, then I’ll agree. Mystery Spot is as close as we have come to that, and that showed us a facet of Sam–scary obsessiveness and determination, but there’s more to him than that. Much more.

    Thanks to all the writers for the work they do. It can’t be easy to please the fans, as witnessed by the responses. I am one who is disappointed by what we’ve gotten for Sam, but hey, not my show, not my character, and if the writers prefer to focus on Dean’s psyche instead of Sam, their choice. That’s the way it goes.

  • Charli

    Thankyou Alice. Thankyou, thankyou, thankyou. Even if the writers never hear how upset and sad lots of us Sam fans are with how these seasons have gone then at the very least i thank you for listening to us.

    I am another upset Sam fan.

    Any fan can see how clearly focussed on Dean this season and last has been, my friend who’s the ultimate Dean girl watched all the episodes back to back with me the other day and at the end she turned to me and was like ‘wow this season is REALLY Dean centric isn’t it?’

    Those fans who can watch the show not expecting their character to get every single bit of screentime can clearly see how unfair this season has been to Sam.

    I miss him so much. I miss the character I still adore more than any other and he has been criminally underused this season. It’s just been a travesty.

    I can only imagine the uproar if Dean was treated to this, his fans try to pull the whole S1 was Sam centric and you know what I’ll let them have the fact that Sam was given a STORYLINE in season one, but Dean was always ALWAYS prevalent from the get go, hell episode three was pretty much a Dean episode from the get go so there you go, straight away he was never sidelined as they liked to assume.

    Sam’s been horribly sidelined lately and I viciously despise that. It’s really making me hate the show and I fail to see how the writers are not noticing that. And the things is I really don’t know how they rectify this, because even if they thought yeah we’ll make the first 12 episodes about Dean and the last part about Sam I fail to see how that will impress anybody. The hideous Dean girl extremists with their ‘i hope sam is replaced…’ mentality that none of us Sam girls have about Dean will harp on forever about how sidelined DEAN has then become. I fail to see why with only two main characters they couldn’t focus equally on both boys.

    It’s depressing as hell and I thank you for listening to us. Because many, many, many fans I know are terribly unhappy with all this. Believe me those people are not alone.

  • MarGWan

    I’m a Dean girl through and through and that being said I couldn’t agree more with Sam fans.

    He’s been non existant this season and I’m angry on his and his fans behalf and on this Dean fans behalf, I’m not stupid enough not to see that Dean’s been having all the story this season.

    And as a Dean fan, I’m not loving it if I’m honest.

  • Josie

    I’ve seen a couple of comments stating that Kripke said he put Sam’s stories aside during season three. I haven’t seen that statement before, so I would like some clarification from those who did.

    Did Kripke say this before or AFTER the writer’s strike? Because if this was after…well, I can’t blame him. They had to finish the season, and they had three episodes to do it (I’m fairly certain that the “Ghostfacers” script was at least half-written before the strike began). Everything that wasn’t completely essential to the main plot point–will Dean go to Hell or not–had to go.

    I understand why some fans may feel Sam has been neglected this season, but season 3 probably shouldn’t be cited as an example of character neglect. The writer’s strike threw a wrench into everything.

    It’s just something to consider.

  • Erika

    I wanted to add that I know fans of the show who like Sam and are all but dropping it now, or are close to replacing it with Terminator, a show that is more about family than Supernatural could ever be. I guess I’m just disappointed that my big hook for the show, the brother’s relationship, was the biggest lie of the show. I feel ripped off, frankly. I’ve gotten the DVDs for season 2 and 3 of the show, and I still haven’t bothered watching either one all the way through. I just don’t have the heart. And this season is the worst of all, just a massive massive disappointment.

    And Kripke wants to add a third brother, when he can’t even write for two? I feel sick, absolutely sick.

    I’ve watched shows through my disappointment before, so it’s not a matter of me simply dropping it and moving on. I just feel sad that I’m obsessed enough with what I’ve gotten of Sam Winchester that I can’t leave the show even if he’s only there for 40 seconds.

    I knew Sam was going to get burned at ComicCon, when Kripke totally ignored Sam and Jared to promote Dean in Lazerus Rising. And the two names Kripke never even says in public, let alone praises? Sam and Jared. It’s like they don’t exist to him anymore. And if they do, it’s awfully hard to tell. That’s not how you promote a show about two brothers, two main characters, two leads. But maybe he doesn’t think of the show as a two man show anymore. I don’t care what his excuse is for this behavior, I just know that it hurts me to the core.

    What also hurts? Sam is my biggest emotional pull into the show, the one I truly relate to, and when Kripke sidelines Sam, he is sidelining me. I can’t relate to Dean all that well, and all the great acting, script time, and Very Special Episodes About How Hard and Heroic it is to be Dean have not changed that one whit. It is actually making me pull away from Dean emotionally, because I can’t buy it anymore. So now, I feel shut off from both Sam and Dean, both brothers, and that was my main source of joy on the show. What am I getting this season? Zero Joy.

    The things the writers could give to Sam are so simple and obvious, and that is what really hurts. They aren’t remotely trying, and if they are trying, they certainly aren’t succeeding. All Sam needs are scenes, actual dialogue, interactions with guest stars, and interactions with characters who are supposedly all about him who actually interact with him. So far, all the bad guys after Sam, only talk to Dean and ignore Sam. All the season finales are about Dean, to the exclusion of Sam, because Sam is only good enough to plaster on a wall and be left to dangle. They won’t let Sam take action on anything related to himself, let alone anyone else. Heroes DO, Heroes take action, Heroes get the chance to be heroic. So far, all I’ve seen is a show where only Dean is treated like a someone who matters, like he’s a hero, like he’s a Chosen One. Sam has never, ever, had the red carpet rolled out for him like Dean has this season. I mean, how many more episodes are we going to get with Dean mueling and puking about how hard and sad it is for HIM to be a hero? How many other characters will only talk to Dean, and exclude Sam from their dealings? It is hugely, hugely frustrating to watch, because I’m a genre whore, I watch shows about heroes all the time, and the way Sam has been treated on this show is shameful.

    My biggest worry is that Supernatural will become emotionally hollow. The stop-the-apocolypse plot is pretty much a routine plot, and unless it truly involves BOTH Sam and Dean, I’m not gonna care how it ends.

    And in regards to Sam, the difficulty is that his story is treated like background information and not like it truly matters in the day to day. This has been my biggest problem watching the show, the biggest frustration. Dean gets a new plot each season, each building on the season before it. But Sam? Sam? He’ll get one line, one line about his story, and it is left at that for one to two seasons, with no pay off! It’s unbelievably bad writing to me, just horrible! And some fans will complain about Sam even getting that one line about himself! That’s the kind of fandom this is! Sam gets four episodes a season, while Dean gets all the rest, and somehow this is considered even-handed and equal? On what planet? It’s utterly ridiculous!

    Kripke and the other writers need to do their jobs and monitor how Sam and Dean’s arcs pan out, and they simply aren’t doing this. I consider this bad show running, plain and simple. And if Sam needs something fixed, for heaven’s sake, fix it, don’t leave it like Kripke left Sam’s daddy issues. Remember those? Sam had more issues than Dean did in season 1, yet they magically disappeared as soon as John died, and Sam wasn’t even given a grief arc. I guess this is the moment the show stopped being about family and about brothers.

  • Lulu

    “I’m very pleased to see Sam fans be so vocal here, because it’s one of the few places I’ve seen this. I too believe his character has been underexplored, but this is the first time I’ve seen outrage over it. That makes me rather happy, because my attempts to get discussions going about Sam previously have failed.”

    I’m honestly baffled by this comment Alice because I have seen these exact same posts by the same few Sam fans all over the internet. I’ve seen them at TWoP, SN.TV, TVGuide Online, E!Online, Ausiello’s blog at EW, and at pretty much any blog that discusses the show including the CW Source, BuddyTV, SFUniverse, TVAddict and a whole host of other lesser known sites.

    Honestly it’s gotten to the point where this is the only discussion I see about the show anymore so if Kripke & Co. read any sites, then they are well aware of the “concerns” of these fans. And regardless of the claims of this small cadre of Sam fans, they have not been quietly suffering, they have been bitching and complaining about something or other since Devil’s Trap.

    Of course the Deanfans have also been complaining (and that annoys me too sometimes,) but I’m just pointing out this notion that Sam fans are somehow invisible or have just been politely suffering in silence, is complete and utter crap and part of their little propaganda campaign.

    That campaign, btw, started early in season 1 when they first tried to demonize Jensen Ackles in a variety of ways, in an attempt to boost the popularity of Sam and Jared. When that didn’t work, they moved on to the Jensen/Dean fans. The truth is that both sides have their “extremist fans” and everyone knows who they are.

    The Sam vs. Dean stuff is unfortunately an entrenched part of this fandom and both have their agenda to promote their guy, apparently at the expense of the other, judging by the comments I’ve seen. I believe and hope that Krikpe and his staff take all this stuff with huge bag-fulls of road salt and continue to tell the story they want to tell the way they want to tell it.

  • The real MarGWan

    The person above using the name MarGwan is clearly a Sam fan trying to impersonate my screenname. The REAL MarGwan completely disagrees with what she wrote.

    [‘Real’ MarGWan, I don’t see how you can say this since there were no comments previously posted under that name, either from your IP address or that of the person you accuse. However, I do notice that both of you are using multiple screen names, which is frowned upon at Blogcritics. Please desist, or you will both be banned.

    Thank you,
    Dr Dreadful
    Assistant Comments Editor]

    Sam has been treated just fine by the writers. Maybe the real problem is that it’s not acted memorably. Rather like Ruby has had twice as much screen time, this season alone, than Castiel yet Castiel is the one who has had the biggest effect. If Castiel seems like he’s been around more, it’s because his actor has made a bigger impression.

    Just because you don’t LIKE what they’ve shown you about Sam does not mean he has not been been given plenty of character development. Not to mention he got 3 seasons where the mytharc was completely his alone.

    I’ve loved Dean’s inclusion, it’s given the whole storyline a much needed kick in the pants. The enhanced critical acclaim and ratings show this. I don’t feel Sam has been cheated at all. There were 3 comedy episodes during Dean’s supposed “focus” episodes. Sam’s been allowed to save the day numerous times.

    The writers have done everything they can to soft pedal any critical areas with regards to Sam. He has a sex with a demon but she’s practically FDA certified.

    They didn’t put a single argument in Dean’s mouth in Metamorphosis that couldn’t be easily knocked down like the straw men they were by Sam’s wonderfully logical and humanitarian viewpoint, plus they had him punch him, twice. They couldn’t have done more to make Sam sympathetic and superior to Dean. They keep calling Dean a racist for not being more accepting of demonically influenced powers and “good” demons, even ones like Ruby who were perfectly happy to have him die last season.

    Sam’s been mollycoddled and built up to a ridiculous degree but the Samfans still aren’t happy.

  • Aithne414

    “I’m a Dean girl through and through and that being said I couldn’t agree more with Sam fans.

    He’s been non existant this season and I’m angry on his and his fans behalf and on this Dean fans behalf, I’m not stupid enough not to see that Dean’s been having all the story this season.

    And as a Dean fan, I’m not loving it if I’m honest.”

    Why, hello there, Charly! Pleasure to see you here… but why on Earth are you pretending to be Mar-g-wan? I talk to her on a regular basis, and she doesn’t feel this way at ALL.

    Maybe you should just post under your own name, darlin. Your writing style is distinctive enough that you’re easily recognized as yourself… and this kind of tactic is not only stupid and obvious, but it’s kind of embarrassing to any Supernatural fan with a shred of integrity.

  • Anna

    “The argument is that if push comes to shove and Dean is forced to choose a side (either/or situation), it is Sam that he’ll most likely to choose. Of course that still means that Dean will try to look for other alternative solutions first. It is not in Dean’s character to abandon in the middle of the apocalypse war. But the moment Uriel takes action against Sam, I can imagine Dean will go “screw the apocalpse”.”

    Ah, I did misunderstand the argument. I thought that you meant it was out of character for Dean not to shove everything he’s going through aside in order to coddle Sam and protect his feelings. I do agree that Dean would fight Uriel if he tried to kill Sam.

    “But I haven’t seen Dean move past his self-esteem issue. For example in Are you there God, he still doesn’t see how special he is.”

    I simply cannot imagine that a person with normal, healthy self-esteem would react any differently. I mean… someone’s pulled out of Hell by God, in order to perform some task. NO ONE would buy that immediately, or think they deserved it, unless they were extremely arrogant.

    I don’t think that was an issue of self-esteem at all. And as for “deserving” to be saved, Dean tortured people in Hell. Of course he wouldn’t think he deserved saving. But again, that’s not about his old self-esteem issues… that’s about someone performing horrific actions and not being able to immediately accept forgiveness. Again, that’s quite normal.

  • The Real MarGwan

    [‘Real’ MarGWan, I don’t see how you can say this since there were no comments previously posted under that name, either from your IP address or that of the person you accuse. However, I do notice that both of you are using multiple screen names, which is frowned upon at Blogcritics. Please desist, or you will both be banned.

    Thank you,
    Dr Dreadful
    Assistant Comments Editor]

    I didn’t say I had used it here before(although I do believe I have, but it was along time ago), but it is well-known in certain areas as a Dean fan name and I know that is why the person using it did that, that people would say “Hey if even she, Dean fanatic that she is thinks that”. It’s highly unlikely someone else would come up with the exact same screen name indepedently when it’s based on something specifically personal to me.

    And how many usernames are all these other people using? I know I only posted once previously in this particular thread, but obviously I have posted in others. Because I can assure, by writing style alone, that many posts are made by people using different screen names.

    Which was exactly the point of my post, Alice says she’s going to pass on what she’s heard but how much of what she’s passing on is by the same people using different usernames?

    Are you going to tell THEM to cease and desist? Are you going to ban them? I hope so. Or maybe you should make the comments only by people who have signed up rather than everyone.

  • Rachel

    Okay, now we’re fighting about screen names? That’s too much for even me!

  • http://www.jesterz.net Alice Jester

    Thank you Dr. Dreadful for keeping on top of things! I must say, this is not typical behavior for this fandom. I’m pretty shocked by all this.

    Part 2 is on hold until tomorrow or Tuesday so everyone’s tempers can come down a little. I guarantee part 2 will be much milder and more generic, and hopefully a real treat for the fans of the show. It will not fuel the Sam screentime controversy or the Sam vs. Dean debate.

    Also, I have started a meta analysis on Sam’s character development for the entire series (I already did one for Season Three) and will publish it on an undetermined day after “Family Remains” airs on Thursday. The main focus now is the return of the show. Keep in mind the analysis will be fair minded and will try to address many of the valid concerns posted here. No comments in support of Sam will come at expense of Dean and vice versa.

  • tash

    Its completely awesome to see so many Sam fans speaking up about their disappointment in Sam’s characterisation over the last few seasons. Its particularly bad this season but has been an ongoing problem. I would like to think that the writing for Sam this season has been a deliberate strategy from the writers but even if it has its still hurting Sam and it has gone on to long. We know the writers can get into Sam’s head when they want to. I don’t believe the lack of Sam characterisation is because Sam is to introverted, that is just a handy excuse. There are ways around that. I have got to the point where I believe its because Kripke just doesn’t care about Sam (or sam fans) anymore.

    We have had a big increase in viewers this season. With the way Sam has been written do you think these new people know he is supposed to be one of the lead heros on this show? Do they sympathise with Sam? Do they think the show is about Dean with Jared being supporting actor to Jensen? I wonder if it puzzles them that Jared has top billing when it seems apparant that Jensen is the star of the show? Can they have any real understanding as to the depth of Dean’s love for Sam based on how Dean is being written now? Or Sam’s desparate love for Dean based on how unconcerned he was in Yellow Fever. The brotherly bond has all but disappeard and Sam with it.

    This show use to give me a great deal of pleasure but this season, despite my love for it still the pleasure is gone. Episode after episode I am so disappointed that once again Dean is at the forefront and Sam relegated to sidekick. I enjoy Dean but I miss Sam and I really miss SamnDean. Its hurting the show for me and while I don’t think I am at the point of walking away I can now see that point in the future and I never ever before though it would come to this.

    Spoilers show that the trend is set to continue. I know sides don’t always pan out like you expect but it a sad fact for Sam fans that these days low expectations are always met but not ever exceeded.

    I can’t fathom anyone believing that the show this season so far has not been almost exclusively Dean centric. And forget about screentime i am talking of story focus. Dean is the chosen one, he is the one of interest too both sides now, Sam has Ruby and nothing else. With every other reaccuring character attatched mostly to Dean’s story how can the rest of the season play out as anything other than Dean centric? There is a rift opening up between Sam fans and Kripke, he is trying our patience way beyond what is reasonable and he needs to remember that Sam has fans also. I have almost totally lost faith in the man and I don’t trust him at all to do right by Sam now. I want him to prove me wrong.

    Finally just a quick comment about TWOP – yes it is heavily moderated but not in terms of what is said about a character, you can basically say any sly nasty thing you want as long as it doesn’t go boards on boards. The Sam hate there is epic on some of the threads. Sure these posters write well, they are very adept at getting their Sam hate across without breaking the rules. And while there may be Sam fans there they are pretty quiet and stick to the threads that are not populated by the fans that hate Sam.

  • tash

    Alice after all that rambling I forgot to say thank you for the great interview with Sera. And for giving people a place to discuss this. I really look forward to reading your article on Sam. Thanks again!

  • tash

    “”Hey if even she, Dean fanatic that she is thinks that”.”

    I think you will find that there are plenty of Dean fans that do feel that Sam has been neglected. Ones that don’t also dislike Sam of course. I have read comments on forums and LJ’s from many Dean fans missing Sam and lamenting his lack of charactersiation this season. If you want to see some just go to Kroki-Refurs episode two Review of Doom and you will see what I mean. And that was back at episode two. The situation has only gotten worse and lots of Dean fans still feel this way.

  • Missy

    “I wonder if it puzzles them that Jared has top billing when it seems apparant that Jensen is the star of the show?”

    Hm. I’m not puzzled by that, simply because I always assumed that the “top billing” thing was just a matter of Jared’s management being more aggressive. I always thought of the brothers as co-leads. Do you feel that Dean isn’t supposed to be a co-lead?

    “And while there may be Sam fans there they are pretty quiet and stick to the threads that are not populated by the fans that hate Sam.”

    Which threads would those be? Sam fans post in the episode threads, the spoilers thread, the brotherly bonds thread, the regular media thread, the online media thread, the ratings thread… which threads do Sam fans not post in, aside from the Dean and Jensen threads?

    “The hideous Dean girl extremists”

    How very charming.

    “First of all, the posts where Sam fans have stated multiple times that we do NOT want Dean’s storylines to be lessened for the gain of Sam’s, but merely for Sam to get a little more attention ALONG with Dean, that I was referring to with that “stressing and stressing” comment WERE NOT posts at the LimpSam forum…I was talking about the posts HERE, on THIS blog. Being that you went on to slam LimpSam some more in response to my “stressing and stressing” comment instead of mentioning one thing about the posts here, it’s pretty obvious you thought I was talking about posts at LimpSam.”

    Incorrect. Read more carefully. I knew that you were talking about the posts here, which is why I said this:

    “What you say when you think no one’s listening is far, far more indicative of your mindset than any lipservice you pay here to wanting equality.”

    That means that although I know you all have paid lipservice to the idea of equality HERE, because you know people are reading your posts, I glean more about your true feelings from reading the posts that you DON’T think anyone is reading… ie, the posts at your Sam board.

  • tash

    Missy my comment about Jared having top billing does not mean that I don’t think of Jensen as a colead, of course the guys are supposed to be coleads, just that new viewers would not know that based on what we have this season. And whatever the reason Jared does have top billing though it would be much more accurate nowadays for Jensen to do so. Its certainly not like they are being treated as co leads now.

    Why assume its lipservice when Sam fans say they want equality? Because you are maybe projecting? I would be thrilled with equality.

  • Missy

    As I’ve said, tash, it’s lipservice because I’ve read what some of these guys post at their own board, where they don’t have to kiss up to Alice (in the hopes that she’ll send their comments in to Sera) or for fans who aren’t necessarily hardcore Sam fans.

    “Missy my comment about Jared having top billing does not mean that I don’t think of Jensen as a colead, of course the guys are supposed to be coleads, just that new viewers would not know that based on what we have this season.”

    But if the guys are coleads, Jared will never be treated as the sole top billed star… he’ll always be treated as equal to Jensen. I’m personally just fine with that, because I think the characters should be equally important.

    I guess I’m just saying that if you expect Jared to be treated like the sole top-billed star, and Jensen to be treated like the second-billed, I think it’s a surefire recipe for disappointment. I think most people involved in the show don’t really look at it that way.

  • tash

    “I guess I’m just saying that if you expect Jared to be treated like the sole top-billed star, and Jensen to be treated like the second-billed, I think it’s a surefire recipe for disappointment. I think most people involved in the show don’t really look at it that way. ”

    Clearly I am not expressing myself very well. I do agree that Jared and Jensen should be treated as co leads, they are not. Jensen seems to be the star of the show, Jared seems in a supporting position. Co leads is what they are and how they should be treated. No argument at all from me about that. Its just not what is happening.

  • Mel(LoveJeter)

    Thanks for doing this interview Alice and thanks to Sera for taking the time out to answer the questions. I can’t wait to read part 2. IMO the first half of the season didn’t disappoint and I can’t wait til the second half and all that it may have in store!!!

  • susana

    “….I would be thrilled with equality….”

    me too!!! i don´t understand why equal treatment bothers some people…

    “….When we get an episode like What is and What Should Never Be for Sam, or Dream a Little Dream, or any ENTIRE episode that really delves into his issues or who he is or what he belies, then I’ll agree. Mystery Spot is as close as we have come to that, and that showed us a facet of Sam–scary obsessiveness and determination, but there’s more to him than that. Much more….”

    i agree!!! i want that kind of episodes for sam!!!

  • Erika

    “I must say, this is not typical behavior for this fandom. I’m pretty shocked by all this.”

    Sadly, this is entirely too typical of this fandom! Sam fans have also been more outspoken this season, to be sure. Some people don’t like that at all.

    I look forward to your analysis of Sam’s character. Sam has actually had a lot of growth and change as a character, which is good. But the frustration has been one of depth of presentation. The show gives this depth to Dean, with all kinds of special this, that, and those to show him off every season. Meanwhile, Sam is forced to emerge from the shadows, while the spotlight is always on Dean. It is for this reason that I find Jared Padalecki one of the best actors on television; he has to build Sam on screen without much writer focus, dialogue, or bonafide scenes. Look at what he did in Jus in Belo, where he barely had any dialogue at all. He’s silent, but he doesn’t disappear. Or how wonderfully responsive he is in A Very Supernatural Christmas. I love Jared’s acting, and I think it deserves more public support. I would love it, too, if the writers GAVE him better and bigger material to work with.

    What a lot of Sam fans are asking for is for Sam to have the added depth, detail, and attention the show has no problem giving to Dean. You could do this with five and ten minute scenes. Hell, three minute scenes if that’s all you’ve got. The question that’s been killing us is why Sam can’t have five minutes here and there to let viewers inside his character. Why is he cut out of special episodes so often? Why is he cut out of family episodes, family moments? Sam has been turned into an orphan by this show, and now it feels like he’s dying of neglect. Yeah, we’ll be getting more Sam and his arc this season, but it all feels like it’s been built on one lost opportunity after another. And that’s sad.

  • Freyja

    Alice- I want to thank you for a great interview, and I have faith and trust in Eric and the show. It hasn’t let me down before. ;) Then again I don’t watch just for one brother.

    *shakes head* so sad to see this has turned into Dean vs Sam again. Then again I am not surprised it’s been a regular theme throughout the entire season. So damn tired of a great interview being ruined in the comments with fandom wank.

    Deal with your wank on your on boards, don’t spill it out onto a blog or article. Makes the entire fandom look childish and immature.

    If you don’t want to watch anymore then stop watching.. It’s just that simple.

    Again Alice thanks for the interview, I am looking forward to the second part.

  • Jamie

    Thanks for the interview Alice. I’ve really come to enjoy your entries. :)

    Shame about the childish behavior trashing your comment section, but I guess some people are just fail when it comes to that “life” thing.

  • Jemma

    Alice thanks for this interview it was one of the most interesting and revealing I’ve seen so far!!! Being an old fan of the show who’s become quite a huge fan of the angels-vs-demons mytharc (and of course, Castiel, damn he’s gorgeous!) I was really happy with some of these answers.

    Sorry about all the ridiculous complaints cluttering up your comments, I just wanted you to know that a lot of Fandom was really excited about this interview, and you and Sera certainly hit a lot of things the fans wanted to know, so thank you very much for this!

  • Lulu

    “Sadly, this is entirely too typical of this fandom! Sam fans have also been more outspoken this season, to be sure. Some people don’t like that at all.”

    No. Some people dislike the inherent hypocrisy of the same Samfans who have been telling Dean fans to shut up and call them all kinds of vicious names for whining while they screech their own complaints every chance they get. They also view disagreement as oppression and seem to think they are entitled to let their opinions stand unchallenged.

  • http:/ Suze

    Enough! Take it outside and pull each others hair in the carpark. You’re making us all look stupid.
    Never argue with drunks or religious fanatics … You could add Supernatural zelots to that list too.
    If Sara does get a look at this lot she’ll just kill herself laughing.

  • hermit

    “Look at what he did in Jus in Belo, where he barely had any dialogue at all. He’s silent, but he doesn’t disappear.”

    Funny that you should say that. When that episode came out, the Sam fans cried foul because Sam was practically invisible.

    The writers aren’t giving Jensen anything special. Sam had the mytharc, the powers, and everyone’s attention for the past three years. It’s been all about Sam since the series began. If Jared couldn’t make Sam more prominent, it’s not Jensen’s fault, nor the writers. I’m a bit tired of the Sam fans accusing the writers of not giving Sam anything, when Sam has had everything.

    This season, there is finally a balance. Yes, now both brothers are important, it’s not just all about Sam. So the Sam fans go on a warpath because God forbid Dean should be just as important as Sam and the Dean has more reason to live than being all about Sam.

    That, to me , is what riles the Samfans up. Because Dean is not all about Sam now, that Castiel is not about Sam, that the story has gone beyond Sam into something that is bigger than both leads and while both are just as important, equally, they are still soldiers in a bigger war, as it should be. The apocalypse shouldn’t involve just one human being

    But that is what the Sam fans wanted. Sam to be the Christ, the Anti-Christ and the superhero all rolled into one. For Sam to have the action, the emotional and the center arc. In other words, what fans like Bright, and other Sam fans want is the All Sam Show, with only Jared Padalecki starring in his all one man show.

    “What a lot of Sam fans are asking for is for Sam to have the added depth, detail, and attention the show has no problem giving to Dean.”

    The show didn’t give that to Dean, Jensen did.

  • Missy

    “The show didn’t give that to Dean, Jensen did.”

    Someone once said that an actor’s job is not just to take what they’re given and play it straight, but to suggest to the writers how to write for that character… to humanize and give the character depth in the performance, which thereby inspires the writers to run with that fleshed-out characterization. Ie, the very best characters are created by a symbiotic relationship between talented writers and a talented actor.

    I think this is what’s happened with Dean. The written script had one Dean, Jensen got a hold of the character and developed him further with the performance, the writers got a hold of that Dean and developed him further with their own creative input, etc. Occasionally this causes problems, in that he gave subtle indications that things were not totally as they appeared in the family (when Sam said that John considered Dean to be perfect, Jensen gave a little look of skepticism/surprise, for example) and the writing takes it too far (Dream a Little Dream, anyone?). And sometimes it’s done just perfectly (All Hell II, for example, or Dead Man’s Blood.) But for the most part, the small unscripted moments, or the way that he chose to play certain scenes, have translated into the audience and the writers understanding Dean on a deep, almost instinctive level, and therefore his character becomes easy and fun to write for. And therefore the writing in more Dean-focused episodes is better, because there’s that symbiosis feeding both of the creative forces behind the character.

    For Sam, we’ve gotten a LOT of characterization, and much of it has been positive growth in terms of Sam getting better at his job, becoming devoted to the hunt because of guilt over his father and then out of a need to stack his karma and save himself, dealing with a potential monster inside of him and what that means for the rest of his life and his agency, etc. I don’t think it feels as instinctive as it does with Dean, however, because I think it developed more from a linear, thought-out storyline than organically from the performance. Sam’s always had a very defined character arc, and the evolution of his character happens the way it does because that’s where the story is. Also, Jared plays things very straight… I don’t think it’s as give-and-take as the writerly relationship with Jensen’s performances. They tell him to do something, he does it competently, and then they tell him to do something else. With Jensen, I believe it’s more that they tell him to do something, he does it competently, but also in a creative way that inspires more thought on the part of the writer for future directions. It’s a more “living” process, and therefore Dean is more vibrant, somehow. He’s a combination of the creativity of both parties, actor and writer, rather than a creation of the writer who is competently conveyed by an actor.

    I don’t know if all of that makes any sense, but just from interviews and my gut feeling about their relative places in the plot from the very beginning, I suspect that’s what the difference is. And for what it’s worth, I don’t think either method is better, I think it’s just the difference in styles between an actor sticking to the writer’s vision 100%, and an actor inhabiting a role so completely that what’s written takes on dimensions it may not have had in the script. Todd Farmer, the writer for MBV, talked a bit about Jensen’s acting in the movie, and there’s quite a bit in his stories about this kind of creativity in Jensen as well… it’s a much more engaged and collaborative way of approaching the work.

  • *bright73

    I think we have living proof of Jared’s creativity in BUaBS, picking up Meg’s mannerism and channeling them, and if you read the script for the sex-scene in Heart and compare what Jared added, there’s even more proof of Jared’s creativity in adding even more complexity to the sexually withdrawn Sam-character.

    Sam is just as vibrant but he is not all over the place like Jensen’s character is. I was hoping that aspect of the character was the writers’ decision and not the actor’s. I’m thinking of how Dean is supposed to handle fear in Fresh Blood and then in Yellow Fever. I always thought it was the writers’/director’s doing Dean a major discredit with the sudden OTT behavior, but I stand corrected.

    I was coming here to check if Part 2 was out but frankly, I think that all this passive- aggressiveness against Sam, Jared and Sam-fans has had me change my mind. I see myself nominated like one thing or another by people I have no idea who they even are.

    It’s all this thinking and telling others what they do, think and feel that occurs here that has me bow out, once again. I am failing Jared and Sam, I know. I should stand up for him but if the writers and even the creator aren’t, who am I to do so?

    I only wish Jared gets out of this asap. I’ll be the first to give and standing ovation if Sam is killed off, never to re-appear on the show again.

  • Missy

    “I always thought it was the writers’/director’s doing Dean a major discredit with the sudden OTT behavior, but I stand corrected.”

    Hee. Brand-new writers like the guys writing YF probably take a while to adjust to the show, and as I said above, there are occasional missteps. But you know that, Bright. ;) And I think anybody who can read understands the difference between what I posted and your passive-aggressive mischaracterization of it. :)

  • kk

    Hi, Alice.

    I’m trying to post a few links for you with more discussion about Sam’s characterization so you can see that it’s not just a couple of boards duking this subject out, it’s more widespread. But your spam filter is pinging it as spam and won’t let me post. Is there another way to send these links to you?

  • Kay

    “Sam is just as vibrant but he is not all over the place like Jensen’s character is. I was hoping that aspect of the character was the writers’ decision and not the actor’s. I’m thinking of how Dean is supposed to handle fear in Fresh Blood and then in Yellow Fever. I always thought it was the writers’/director’s doing Dean a major discredit with the sudden OTT behavior, but I stand corrected.”

    I don’t think you can compare the way in which Dean’s fears were displayed in Fresh Blood vs. Yellow Fever. In Fresh Blood, Dean was at the point where he was in denial and he was acting out in a reckless manner. Sam recognized Dean’s behavior (as being something that Sam has seen in him before when Dean is afraid) and called him on it. Jensen’s performance was wonderful in the episode (as was Jared’s) and he was spot-on with Dean’s characterization.

    But in Yellow Fever, Dean’s display of fear was a symptom of a DISEASE (ghost sickness). This disease manifest itself in the form of extreme paranoia in it’s victims. There was nothing “OTT” about Dean’s normal display of fear here, because Dean wasn’t supposed to be “himself.” The sickness affected his ability to cope with stress and then adding in the extreme paranoia symptoms plus a lot of alcohol, and you have a really messed up Dean. Not that I loved the way the episode was written in general, but it was supposed to show Dean reacting and acting in an *extreme* manner and Jensen played it perfectly.

    It seems to me that the writers know that one of Jensen’s strengths in his range (he’s great at both comedy and drama, and everything in between), so maybe that’s why they tend to write script plots that allow for Dean to be the more dynamic character — knowing Jensen has such a keen grasp of his character that he can handle a wide range of emotions as the script mandates, and all the while always keeping in character. I know that for me, Dean is a very vibrant and fascinating character and I think Jensen does an outstanding job in his portrayal. I believe Sera has commented before about Jensen’s keen ability to make a vanilla line “work.” Oh and also her most recent comments here, “Needless to say, Jensen kills it. Very talented actor, that Jensen. You may have noticed.” Yes Sera, I certainly did!

    “I was coming here to check if Part 2 was out but frankly, I think that all this passive- aggressiveness against Sam, Jared and Sam-fans has had me change my mind.”

    But isn’t that exactly what you’re doing in your passive-agressive comments about Jensen? And I’d like to add that I don’t understand how some Sam fans feel justified to criticize Dean/Jensen fans by throwing out insults, like this “EDG” label. I realize that there are quite a few *Jared-only* fans that tend to comment on (spam!) these blogs since they usually include comments like *bright73: “I only wish Jared gets out of this asap. I’ll be the first to give and standing ovation if Sam is killed off, never to re-appear on the show again.” But why, Alice, you would even think about paying these type of fans any kind of lipservice is BEYOND me because it seems to be that many comments here come from a very biased place where the *primary* concern is how they view Jared — not Sam, and not the show.

    And to be perfectly honest, I think certain fans got so used to Sam being THE main character in the mythology of the show that it’s thrown them for a loop that Kripke has given Dean his own storyline in the show’s mythology, because Sam does get his share of characterization. And I further think that the popularity of the angel storyline has added to their frustration, since NOW there is a supernatural being who thinks DEAN is special (yay, Castiel!), when for 3 years, all we ever heard from the demons was how special Sam the Demon King/Anti-Christ is.

    As for the brothers — I am hopeful that the emotional separation between them (as painful as it is now) will be explored and dealt with, and that it will mean characterization for both. But for now, I’m really enjoying the build-up to a confrontation (I’m guessing) and then both boys can deal with their feelings and their issues out in the open.

    So, as a fan of the SHOW (not just *one* actor in the show), I am so very thankful to Kripke & Co. for this season. I think they’ve made a great move by expanding the mythology, adding the angels, and giving Dean his own mytharc (like Sam has ALWAYS had). I’m so glad the ratings are so great that the CW noticed and is going to give us another season!

  • Kate

    //Thank you Dr. Dreadful for keeping on top of things! I must say, this is not typical behavior for this fandom. I’m pretty shocked by all this.//

    Oh Alice, you obviously don’t hang around the parts of fandom I do. This has been happening ever since last season when Dean got a little more in the story. It’s out of control, and I’ve even seen Sam fans hope for his death because if “They are going to treat Jared this unfairly, Sam might as well die.” Mature people, real mature.

    Thanks for the interview anyway. Wish people would shut up and take this to a message board.

  • Marthe

    Alice. If you’re waiting for tempers to cool before posting part 2 of the interview, looks like it’s going to be a while. These kids just won’t behave. ;-)

    Thanks for the interview Alice! I do look forward to part 2, whenever i is published. Love your blogs!

  • Sandy

    Thanks Alice for the great interview. Im looking forward to watching Supernatural when it returns in the US.(Season 2 is FINALLY going to show from next Friday here in NZ…pffft took them long enough).. Some of the comments are funny on here, some quite shocking. These SPN fans are really passionate thats for sure. I’ve no complaints of course. Apart from having to wait for a LONG time before S4 is on dvd so I can watch it properly! :)

  • Rachel

    Missy, Bright, could you two give it a rest so the rest of us could get the second half of the interview? Bright, you’re obviously a Sam fan from Limp Sam, Missy, you’re obviously a Jensen fan from TWoP. You two obviously have seen each other on another board and have a personnel reparte going on. You’re both way over the top.

  • Missy

    Oh, Rachel. I suppose it’s not way over the top to whine about your own show complaints while labeling others’ complaints “hissy fits”.

    You should probably leave the peacemaking to someone who hasn’t participated in the mud-slinging… it’ll have more credibility that way.

  • Lana

    “Alice. If you’re waiting for tempers to cool before posting part 2 of the interview, looks like it’s going to be a while. These kids just won’t behave. ;-)”

    Well all these kids are from limp!Sam, which is basically TWoP, but for Sam!Fans, so don’t expect them to cool down much. Me, being a huge Sam and Jared fangirl, can’t stand limp!Sam. It seems to consist of hating Dean, Bobby, Castiel, and just about any other character that isn’t all about Sam.

  • Lana

    “And I don’t think I want an episode with Castiel’s POV.”

    OPENING. O.P.E.N.I.N.G. You do know this happens every. single. episode. Right?

  • Kate

    // Pages of agreement that Sam should be written/killed off the show and replaced with Castiel. //

    Please show me these. I’ve seen ones of Sam fan who hate Dean hate Bobby for loving Dean more, hate Castiel for not being about Sam, hate Uriel for being mean to Sam, then love Ruby because she loves Sam.

    Stupid people come from bothsides, don’t act like they don’t

  • KK

    “all these kids are from limp!Sam”

    Uh, no, not all of us who are unhappy with Sam’s treatment and lack of characterization are from limp Sam. I had never even heard of that forum till I came here.

  • Missy

    “OPENING. O.P.E.N.I.N.G. You do know this happens every. single. episode. Right?”

    Hee! And, well said, Lana. There’ve been a lot of episodes that haven’t opened from the POV of either Winchester boy. I don’t know why Sam fans are making such a huge deal out of this, except that they just hate that a supernatural being actually has a smidgen of interest in Dean, and they’re trying to find something, ANYTHING, to bash him for.

  • Sandy

    Wow some of you are acting like kids. Imagine what Jensen and Jared would think if they read this stuff! Embarrasing to say the least…

  • breezy

    oh wow.

    first of all i thought the interview was very informative and interesting, alice.

    second: why is everyone geeking out? all yall who are hating on the writers/characters/actors/whoever need to chill. don’t watch the show if it makes you this miserable and upset. seriously, don’t hate. it is a SERIOUS waste of energy.

  • Karmyn

    Hi Alice, thanks so much for posting this brilliant interview! I look forward to Part 2 of Sera’s interview, to your analysis of Sam later in the week and most of all – the new episode.

    I’m proud to be a Supernatural fan. While I’m shaking my head and scrolling very quickly through many of the previous comments, I’m also reminding myself about the gems amongst our fandom. We have many passionate, fascinating, intelligent and dedicated fans as well as excellent reviewers like yourself, Bardicvoice, Refur and many others. I want to see thought-provoking, articulate, reasonable and coherent analyses – you never fail to deliver. Thanks again and I look forward to your next post.

  • kiscinca

    Thanks for the article Alice and looking forward to part two. I am a Sam fan too and agree with those expressing their concerns.

  • http://www.jesterz.net Alice Jester

    For anyone who wishes to send me links or private messages, I added a “contact us” section on my personal website. The link can be found on my profile or click on the url next to my name at the top of this message.

    Part 2 is coming very soon. Just trying to work out some last minute editing kinks!

  • Erika

    Sam fans have been upset with this show since John died – that’s the beginning of season 2. Everything has revolved around Dean since then. And Sam’s mytharc hasn’t done him any good at all on this show. Dean is a Fonzie character, Fonzies write themselves and take over their shows, happens all the time. I just don’t relate to Saint Fonzie like many do, and prefer Sam, who I feel is more human. That’s just my emotional approach to the show.

    Everytime the writers hand something big and difficult to Jared, he nails it and then some. His acting is wonderful and nuanced, and he is every bit an equal to Jensen.

    Also, even if Jared were completely horrible, I would expect the writers to do their job and put in scenes that support Sam’s characterisation and plot. They have failed at his time and time again.

    It’s not that I’ve stopped obsessing over the show, just that I’m sad about how it continues to disappoint in an area of very basic writing.

  • ana teresa

    bueno, a mi me gustan los dos chicos, pero de verdad que esta temporada, el pobre sammy casi no aparece en la serie, y eso es muy triste. Los dos hermanos deberian tener la misma cantidad de minutos al aire.

  • ana teresa

    bueno, a mi me gustan los dos chicos, pero de verdad que esta temporada, el pobre sammy casi no aparece en la serie, y eso es muy triste. Los dos hermanos deberian tener la misma cantidad de minutos al aire.

  • Lana

    “Everything has revolved around Dean since then.”

    Really, so the YED in that season revolved around Dean. Sam’s “I will go bad Dean, and you will have to kill me.” All revolved around Dean. The special kids revolved around Dean. The YED’s plan also revolved around Dean. Ruby and Lilith also revolve around Dean?

    That’s Dean taking over the show? Dang, that’s the worse take over I’ve ever seen.

  • Missy

    Oh, Erika. :) You just don’t get it, do you? The boys are co-leads. There are TWO protagonists in this show. No matter how much you want it to revolve solely around Sam, no matter how much you hope Jensen is just gonna stop being talented and Dean is gonna stop being interesting, it’s never gonna happen. There are two leads, and you’d be better off getting used to the idea.

  • Josie

    Yes, there are two leads. The complaint of Sam fans is that really stopped happening this season when Dean took over the majority of the show. It’s been a progression of losing Sam as a lead character that some fans started seeing in S2. We don’t want the Sam show. We want the brothers back, which includes giving Sam something of substance to do.

  • Sara Isabella

    you Dean/girls what is wrong with all you?. Kripke is messing the show because of you, at this point for you he could kill Sam and do the show with Dean and Castiel and everything would be a nice and cute fanfic. Teh show is about the both of them but Dean’s season four is too much. Jensen is funny, cute, and kinda hot but sadly is not enough.
    And I don’t think is stupid to talk in here, we have a rigth to express our mind, we can’t let happen what happened with Smallville.

  • Dawn

    Hello, I just found this and I must say that we shouldn’t attack eachother. We are free to say our opinions and it doesn’t matter if we are rigth or wrong because Kripke will do what he please and we don’t care much at leats that we are Dean fangirl.
    About Limp!Sam, I think there are so fans that are rigth, but Dean needs his own space too but for a Sam!Girl SPN became all a Dean Show.
    YED, Ruby, Lillith, John, Bobby…they may be connected to Sam but is ALWAYS affecting Dean more than Sam.
    Is Dean who has been in a coma, in hell, sold his soul, was kidnapped, lost his mother, miss his father, is mistreated, attacked by any evil thing, wanted by God, saved from hell, suffering from PTSD, who cries every episode, who is the center of attention. Dean even had ALL a episode about himself.
    I think we need more Sam. And not, I’m not a Sammy!Girl and not I’m not idiot or blind or jelous.

    Oh and about Sam dying, it seems like that could happen because a lot of fangirls are acting like the poor guy shoul have never lived. and for other Sam is good while Dean is the center of attention.

  • Yanes

    I’m almost sure all you are the same Fangirl. Just one person.

  • snwicked

    Hey Alice
    Nice interview! Always great to read Sara’s thoughts about the show! I love her writing!

    Where is Part 2 of this interview?

    Thanks again for a great interview!