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02 December 2015 @ 04:27 pm
So, Season 11 of SPN... (almost certainly spoilers!)  
Hey, gang! I know I haven't been posting much lately; got a little distracted by modding events, other social platforms (I'm sorry, truly! I can't help it!) and a spot of surgery, but now that LJ has pulled its head out of its ass, I have something to explore.

I've been noticing this for a while, and turns out, I'm not the only one. I've heard this sentiment bouncing around other places too.

Does anyone else think the show has improved markedly in S11? I mean, does it feel more like Kripke era episodes? "Better" characterizations, dialog, continuity, scariness? And if so...WHY?

I'll spill my totally amateur theory: Bob Singer has backed away. Hell, even the episode this season that his wife and her writing partner penned wasn't as notoriously debatable as their work usually is. Across the board, the episodes have felt more gritty and American gothic than anything Carver has given us in Seasons 8, 9 and 10. There's even a consistency to the season so far that is so, SO nice! (IMHO, of course.)

So, what say y'all? Am I tripping balls, thinking wishfully, or just plain senile?

DISCUS! (And as per usual, please be respectful. I will turn off anonymous posting or friends-lock this if I have to, but I really don't want to.)
 
 
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Who'da thought, baby? We're civilians.dugindeep on December 2nd, 2015 09:37 pm (UTC)
I've felt that it's been way more enjoyable lately, but I had chalked it up to my extremely low expectations after surviving the last few seasons and avoiding conversations about the show on LJ or Twiter so I could just maintain my own feelings on the episode. Whatever it really is, I hope they keep it up!
The indefatigable Mrs. Griffinquickreaver on December 2nd, 2015 09:50 pm (UTC)
Oh, yeah, I've definitely abridged my expectations too. And I've gotten better at maintaining my own feelings about episodes ... unless maybe it's to skew my opinion upwards. If someone can convince me to like an episode more? I'll let 'em!
(no subject) - dugindeep on December 2nd, 2015 10:08 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - quickreaver on December 2nd, 2015 10:13 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Hell's Half Acrehells_half_acre on December 2nd, 2015 09:44 pm (UTC)
I think this is a question that we should explore further into the season, or maybe not until the season is over.

That being said, if the ONLY change with Singer stepping away is that his wife gets a little less free-reign on her episodes, I'm happy.

And whether it's a difference of Singer stepping away or just Carver learning from his mistakes, I do think that this season (so far) is an improvement over the previous one(s).
The indefatigable Mrs. Griffinquickreaver on December 2nd, 2015 09:53 pm (UTC)
Yeah, it's a little early to be hoping something has changed--and I may have doomed us to disappointment now--but there's just something happening that feels like a real shift to me. *crosses every crossable appendage!*
(no subject) - hells_half_acre on December 2nd, 2015 11:00 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Silviasillie82 on December 2nd, 2015 10:09 pm (UTC)
For me, no, because it has always been good. Every season is different, and I enjoy some more then others, but I don't think the later seasons are 'bad' compared to the Kripke years. Just different. Which isn't strange seeing how this show has been running for 10 years. But characterisation has always been good, the stories strong, so yeah. Obviously this is just my opinion, and I feel like I watch show very differently then a lot of other people do.

That being said, am I enjoying the hell out of season 11 and is it awesome? Hell yes.
The indefatigable Mrs. Griffinquickreaver on December 2nd, 2015 10:11 pm (UTC)
\0/!!
Killa: 3 winchesters old photokillabeez on December 2nd, 2015 10:24 pm (UTC)
I enjoyed the first half of S10, too, so I'm reluctant to raise my expectations. But for me, yes, so far S11 has been fairly enjoyable. A sense that I get is that maybe they've stopped pandering to the fans a bit, and found a clear direction? That latter part might also be down to creating an antagonist that's external to the main characters, and powerful enough that both the writers and the characters are sort of rallying together to fight it. These are just vague impressions I have (obviously).

It does seem as though Jared and Jensen are enjoying this season a lot, and that's infectious. And I agree with you that it's been scarier/creepier—that, I have no explanation for.

I do like the new writer, so far.
The indefatigable Mrs. Griffinquickreaver on December 2nd, 2015 10:50 pm (UTC)
I kinda wonder about the fan pandering. Fandering? ;) I think the "Baby" episode did a fair amount of gratuitous pandering, but I was kinda on-board for that. It was still a really neat episode. I knew what Robbie Thompson was doing and just sorta shrugged off those few instances of fandering and looked more longingly at the fresh glimpses into the guys' characters (and the uber-cool camerawork).

I do think you're spot on, in hoping they've got a clear direction now. I almost feel like someone's keeping better watch on the nuance of the show, on how the characters are being written and how they're coming across to the audience. Not that that can be entirely controlled, but it's working so much better for me, at any rate. There's been no obtuse dialog, deliberately constructed to cause contention. *knocks so much wood*

And for easily three seasons I've been caterwauling about not getting a peek into Sam's POV and this year? SO MUCH OF IT. It was hilarious; when the camera actually followed Sam out of the room at the end of 11.6, my Twitter feed was like "OMG THE CAMERA ACTUALLY FOLLOWED SAM." Heh. I almost feel like someone was listening when parts of fandom were like "What do we know of Sam?" Just feels to me like they're working to sculpt Sam's character better than they have since Carver took the reins. *still knocking wood*

Nancy Won, the new writer, seems to understand the show. She's done her homework. I like her lots, too. MORE PLEASE. :D
(no subject) - amberdreams on December 5th, 2015 10:36 pm (UTC) (Expand)
septembers_codaseptembers_coda on December 2nd, 2015 10:42 pm (UTC)
YES and absolutely yes! (BTW, glad to see you, BB! RL is crazy right now so I don't have time to say much, but wanted to chime in. And surgery?? Will you fill us in? Hope you're good!) <3

I think this season is far better, so far, than S10, which was better than 9, which was better than 8. So I LIKE THE TREND. And I'm relieved, because I didn't like 11.01 at all and was afraid it was going to go the other way... but so far, out of 7 eps watched, probably 4 are the best thing IMO that SPN is done in seasons, and one or two eps of their strongest work ever. BIG PROPS. I hadn't thought of it being a part of Singer stepping back, but I have felt, when I've seen him interviewed, that he was kind of just over SPN in general, so that would make sense. Carver himself has been good in interviews lately and seems MORE engaged.

There are more actual surprises, better development of minor characters, better continuity in our known characters, and a better blending of MoW/stand-alones with the mytharc-- and the latter is something I NEVER thought I would like, but it becomes more intriguing every week!

Glad you started this discussion, BB, and I'm really with you!!! <3
crowroad3: pic#124252374crowroad3 on December 2nd, 2015 11:04 pm (UTC)
"Gritty and American Gothic": This is the thing I most long for from SPN, maybe the thing (o the road poetry) on which my love for it rests (I mean, besides all the other things on which my love for it rests, but you know what I mean.) And I think, image-and-word-wise--there's some evidence that those back-to-the-beginning, brothers-against-the-world/weird claims are more than lip service. I don't have author-creator theories so much as text-driven ones--as in maybe there is a stronger sense of intimacy in the mythos
again ("Baby": "I dream of Dad all the time"; one in the front seat, one in the back, two boys who've broken the world and saved it recalling, before sleep, what it was like when they had parent(s),maybe the days when they you know, hunted wendigos, when they didn't know there was a road through heaven.)

I can't say whether it's writing quality as in craft or writing quality as in kind, but maybe I'm inclined to the latter. (OK, both!) Watching the early eps (esp. say S1-3) after seeing the later ones...always kind of a jolt, the beauty in those roads and roadhouses, the tonal darkness, the landscape-driven beauty and creepiness, the way the stories seemed molded around, crafted from, those qualities. We haven't gone back there, but there's a ghost of those days in the words and images, in the way the narratives move? Something like that. (And we have the Darkness hanging over it all to remind us of origins....!)

Edited at 2015-12-03 05:03 am (UTC)
cassiopeia7: Sam&Dean: Then and Nowcassiopeia7 on December 2nd, 2015 11:08 pm (UTC)
SHE LIVES!
S11 is HELLA better than the three seasons that went before. Maybe Carver finally noticed what a mess he'd been making? Maybe he was actually telling the truth about the "reset," the promised return to early-SPN?

I think you have a point about Singer, too. There were mistakes and messes during S6-7 that can be laid right at his feet.

Now, if only they'd bring back early-season writers like Raelle Tucker and Sera Gamble. (Impossible, I know, but a girl can hope!)

other social platforms

Yeah, we KNOW, ya traitor. ;)
JJ1564jj1564 on December 3rd, 2015 12:17 am (UTC)
Re: SHE LIVES!
Raelle Tucker and Sera Gamble were amazing writers, I so agree with you! And I loved Ben Edlund's episodes too.
JJ1564jj1564 on December 3rd, 2015 12:26 am (UTC)
"Does anyone else think the show has improved markedly in S11? I mean, does it feel more like Kripke era episodes? "Better" characterizations, dialog, continuity, scariness? And if so...WHY?"

I've loved the show from the start and even some of the dodgy episodes (apart from have some redeeming features. But I do agree that S11 so far is the best probably since S5 - it's great to have Sam and Dean working more closely together again, the MOTW episodes have been great, "Baby" was amazing and I love Jody and Donna, I hope we'll see more of them.

I think a huge part for me has been the cinematography - the reflections in Baby's bodywork. the way scenes are lit up and the angles of the shots have been so good. It has always been good on SPN but I've noticed it much more this season. And the scariness - Plush had some very scary moments! *clown - shudders*

Finally continuity - I like that things from their past are coming into focus again and there's a feeling of a real history and timeline with Sam and Dean.

Finally #2 - both Jensen and Jared are looking super-gorgeous!
jessm78: Jared Padalecki: kissing on 11x03 setjessm78 on December 3rd, 2015 12:58 am (UTC)
Hey! It's great to hear from you again!! *hugs* Hope the surgery went well and that you're recovering.

Oh wow, honestly I feel the same way about S11. I am enjoying it quite a bit more than last season, even more than S9 (and probably S8 too... for some reason I still kinda like S8 but I think only in terms of eye candy, aka Sam's hair, lol ;)). It does seem to have more of an "old school" (aka Kripke era) feel to it. 11x04 and 11x05 especially had some nice broments in them, something that I think was missing from the previous two seasons (maybe not totally missing, but not as many as I would have liked to see).

That's an interesting theory. I have heard people saying that Singer was responsible for a lot of the Castiel/angels stuff. I'm wondering if the not-so-heavy focus on that could be due to his backing away.

I think another factor could be that there is a new writer (more than 1? I know there's at least one... Nancy Won I think her name is) and she seems to "get" what the show is about. I think she wrote 11x05 and I quite liked that one.

And finally, I'm really digging the eye candy this season. Of course. ;)

Edited at 2015-12-03 12:59 am (UTC)
Icarus was a test pilot: Sam and Deangalwithglasses on December 3rd, 2015 01:49 am (UTC)
I felt pretty banged up after the last couple of seasons but I have to say I am really liking what they've been doing this season. I think I'm not letting it suck me in as much and not thinking it over too much and that seems to be working. 11.01 felt bumpy but after seeing 11.02, everything has tied together really well. I like so much having the boys trying to work together to solve things. The writing has been better and the cinematography has been beautiful. They've shot from angles and with lighting that makes things seem revitalized a bit. Sam's hair is sooooo much better. For the first time in a long while, I like the mytharc. It feels thought out and cohesive. The Darkness is interesting and the new Death has some real potential. I like that Crowley is vulnerable and Cas's characterization is mostly working for me. I want to know about Sam's visions and Dean being enthralled in a scary way with the Darkness is also intriguing. The demon and angel work gripe session was great too. One of the best things about this season though has been that the monster of the week has been scary in a suspense way, not in a gore way. The frigging creepy rabbit and clown...argh! And a couple of episodes back, a scary trip down basement steps waiting for something to jump out. I hope they can keep it up.
coma: schomaisky on December 3rd, 2015 01:58 am (UTC)
I do like the recent episodes way more than s10. I don't know if it's because I watched them all at once instead of one episode a week. I'm glad that we get some Sam's POV, and I'm grateful that they designed a cool visual for the Cage. I feel like Deans softer this season, and i can see that he listens to Sam and care about him.
So yeah. The writing definitely improved, don't know why, but it's a good thing!
I've missed you <333333
fireheart13: Jared - sdcc2015fireheart13 on December 3rd, 2015 03:08 am (UTC)
I don't know if it;s less Singer, but I sure do love this season so far! (Didn;t get to watch the new ep tonight yet)

Yay for seeing you!!
My Huntermeus_venator on December 3rd, 2015 03:24 am (UTC)
I was going to watch SPN until they closed the doors but my expectations the last three years Carver has been in charge have made me seriously lower my standards. The inconsistencies, the retcon to Canon (characters and monster lore) just sickened and irritated the heck out of me. I have had a hard time (when I was well) even writing SPN because of it. I took refuge in RPS because Carver had ruined it for me.

I'm not sure what is going on but other than Carvers two introductory shows the whole season has been several notches above normal. And tonight was like a 90% Kripke episode if not higher. Definite improvement. Maybe Kripke is ghost writing for them. There has definitely been a sea change. Sam has a character again, the boys are working together. The Monster of the week with one overarching theme works for me. I am cautiously optimistic.
milly_galmilly_gal on December 3rd, 2015 08:36 am (UTC)
I for one really *really* enjoyed season 10, even the eps that a lot of people had some issues with, and I'm finding my love for season 11 winding up to epic proportions. It feels to me as if the whole show has finally realised that they *are* a good commodity and so they can play and be confident in their stories. They reached their 200th and I think that marked a shift in the worry they *still* carried for a long time even after the seasons were a sure thing for renewal :)

Basically I am loving it :)

P.S *ATTACKHUGS*

Edited at 2015-12-03 08:44 am (UTC)
The indefatigable Mrs. Griffinquickreaver on December 4th, 2015 05:30 pm (UTC)
Snoochie booches, baby!
(no subject) - milly_gal on December 5th, 2015 12:18 pm (UTC) (Expand)
madebyme_xmadebyme_x on December 3rd, 2015 10:47 am (UTC)
It's lovely to have you back, and I hope all is well after your surgery ♥

Without wanting to jinx anything, I've been super pleased with season 11 so far. I'm enjoying the myth arc and how they've been giving us twists and surprises, taking unexpected routes and adding mystery and intrigue, posing so many questions but not necessarily answering all of them. Perhaps there was a little fandering (love it!) in Baby, but I can't even make myself care, I just loved it, all of it. I like to think that writers and show runners listen to our concerns, and to some extent take them on board when they can.

As a spoilerphobe, I don't watch a lot of interviews until after the fact, and I don't like the experience of worrying about upcoming episode due to an 'unpopular' writer, so I try not to focus on that, purely for my own enjoyment and experience of Show, so I'm not sure that I can focus in on the whys. But something 'feels' different, whether it's a reset or not, it's working so far for me, so long may it continue.

In the UK, they're been airing season 10 on Wednesday evenings, and weirdly enough it's running parallel to season 11 (10.08 Hibbing 911 aired last night), and it's been fascinating watching them side by side. It seems that there is a rough pattern; a string of myth arcs to start, a few stand alone, a fan favourite (fanfiction and Baby), and a humour episode etc. Largely I really enjoyed season 10 (it wasn't perfect, but I enjoyed it far more than season 8 and 9 as a whole entity), so maybe we're on a upward spiral!!!

Love your thinky thoughts ,and don't stray too far into other platforms, we missed you so much!!! ♥

The indefatigable Mrs. Griffinquickreaver on December 4th, 2015 05:29 pm (UTC)
The seasons DO follow a sort-of pattern, for sure. I think it's more about the way the themes and stories are executed this season, just feels more like the earlier seasons than the later. And I am SO down with that! :D