Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Wayward Sisters: I am the Fire

Supernatural is back with its midseason premiere, that is really a back-door pilot to the new Wayward Sisters spin-off.

Currently, the episode is one of the highest rated episodes of Supernatural in a long time and getting nearly universal critical praise.  This bodes quite well for the series.  Especially a series that will likely inherit the extremely loyal fan base that Supernatural has.

So here are my five wishes for the series.

1. Focus on the Family aspect.  The characters have all been survivors of various monster attacks and have all stood up in their own ways to those attacks.  Each one though lost something in those attacks.  Jodie, Clare, and Alex all lost their entire families. Donna lost her innocence and naïveté. Patience lost a very promising future.  So each one now looks to this group to help replace what they lost.  In Supernatural Sam and Dean have each other, but that is really it.  Everyone they have known over the years has died.  Well. More or less. This group can be stronger because they all have each other.

2. Don't Forget the differences.  Jodie and Donna are both Sheriffs. Clare and Alex both lost their families.   It might be what they all have in common that brought them here, it will be their differences that keep the show going.  We have seen Jodie be silly and funny. We have seen Donna be serious. So they can play against their "type".  Patience as the newest character has the most room for growth.

3. Give us Something New.  This show cannot be a distaff Supernatural. It needs its own identity and it's own voice.  Jodie isn't going to pack everyone up in her SUV and drive across country.  The stories have to be local and therefore more immediate and even intimate.   Also.  In the course of 13 years, the Winchesters have fought every type of monster there is. Every mythological beast, every horror movie standard, every urban legend.   Wayward Sisters needs to give us new things.  Sure I 100% expect to see ghosts, vampires, werewolves still AND I would miss them if they weren't there.  But this is a chance (and there is even an in-universe justification) to give us more.

4. Don't Forget the Music. One of the things that was a huge feature of Supernatural was it's "soundtrack".  Classic rock dominated the earliest days of the show.  This ran sort of counter to other shows on the WB and then CW at the time which featured new music.  Now the show has backed off of the music (disappointment), but that is the result of the producers knowing who their fans really are vs. who they thought they were.  Also, and let's be honest, it is cheaper.
One of the things about the WB then was that shows featured all sorts of new music.  Wayward Sisters needs to get back to that.  The CW is dominated now by Superhero shows and those don't often lend themselves to new music (Black Lightning I hope will be an exception).  Wayward Sisters can do this.  The mid-season trailer/opening (above) is like a music video for the Halestorm song "I am the Fire".  Embracing newer artists like Halestorm, and hopefully, more female artists will be a key factor in giving this show it's own identity and place in the CW lineup.

5. Remember What Made Supernatural Good.  Supernatural today is not the same show it was 12 seasons ago or even 6 seasons ago.  Somethings worked. Somethings didn't.  But there are reasons it is still on the air.  Wayward Sisters needs to tap into that as much as they can. Well minus the Sam and Dean part, which is a huge draw.  The female audience (who make up a lot of Supernatural's fan base) admittedly like the show for the eye candy (read some of the fan postings on boards sometimes).  Eye candy, while that can work here, is not going to have the staying power.  So instead the producers need to be conscious of something this time that they only did on accident with Supernatural; attract and keep that female audience.  They are going to have to tap into what made Wonder Woman such a success. Strong female characters who are not victims (anymore) and can do the job they need to do.   Or to quote the Halestorm song I am the Fire, "I am the one I've been waiting for."

Hopefully we will she this picked up (I am sure it will be) and hope it is good.

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