You know, Iâ€™ve always taken a â€œweâ€™ll survive thisâ€ mentality when it comes to long hiatuses for Supernatural. We as fans dig in and take the long break to analyze in exhaustive detail the episodes, where the mythology is going, and over-speculate whatâ€™s going to happen to our poor boys. I mean after all, havenâ€™t they been through enough?
Supernatural comes back tonight with eight new episodes in a row, taking us all the way to the season finale. While the idea of greatly anticipating the next eight Thursdays is appealing, these are the heaviest episodes of the season and possibly the series since they wrap up the five year mytharc that has made this series exceptional. Taking in the first ten episodes of a season in a row is different since they are balanced between standalones/comedy episodes and mytharc episodes. Now weâ€™re getting eight mytharc heavy episodes in a row? Thatâ€™s a lot harder to digest in one sitting.
This six week break in between February and late March has been too much. It isnâ€™t natural. Summer breaks are givens. Weâ€™re used to the sixteen to eighteen week layoff and have plenty to keep us occupied with vacations, summer fun, etc. Ditto with the break during the holidays. Thereâ€™s a bit of agony after the New Year waiting those two or three weeks for the show to come back, but fans band together and get through it.
This year, Supernatural was off for nine very long weeks over the holidays as opposed to the regular six to eight, then it came back for four episodes and has now disappeared for another six. This is just wrong. I understand the two week break over the Olympics, for thatâ€™s a grand â€œmust seeâ€ event that only happens every four years, but since the flames went out of the cauldrons in Vancouver my wait for this show has been senseless. Talk about a momentum killer!
I get it. There are 52 weeks in a year and only 22 episodes of Supernatural. This is also The CW, where the scheduling options are light. However, this is a very heavy show. In terms of what weâ€™re given each week, thereâ€™s so much to analyze, so much to consider. This â€œdisappear for two months at a timeâ€ schedule might work for a light show like Gossip Girl, but for a deeply layered mytharc based program, itâ€™s questionable. Considering repeats of Supernatural do very well for The CW and they use those repeats to plug their gaping holes, itâ€™s not like thereâ€™s a special show that comes on for six weeks in place of Supernatural.
Watching these shows live was meant to be a different viewing experience than watching on DVDs. We take in these episodes one at a time, analyze and discuss, then weâ€™re ready for the next one. When the show is shown in big blocks like this with long breaks in between, how much different is that than waiting for the DVD set to come out? At least with DVDs there are no commercials. I wonder how many fans figure why bother with this CW show when thereâ€™s other shows in that crowded timeslot with an even schedule? How many just decide that a DVD viewing experience would be similar and choose to wait?
While the idea of bunching episodes together and taking long breaks in between for a serial show might look good to a network executive on paper, I donâ€™t think it works for a fan. Okay, it at least doesnâ€™t work for me. I like what was done in seasons past where other than the Christmas break the interruptions between episodes were only two or three weeks. Small breaks actually give fans to catch their breaths but doesnâ€™t kill their enthusiasm.
As a Lost fan though, where every episode is a myth episode, the experiment of the show coming back in January and running in total succession works for me. However, I gave up on overanalyzing Lost long ago. It makes my brain bleed. Also, their past three seasons have only been 16 episodes, which makes it far more digestible. However, there are times where I often find myself taking a week or two break and then catching up later on the DVR. It gets too heavy sometimes.
In the last six weeks, thereâ€™s been hardly any buzz about Supernatural, something that hasnâ€™t happened in seasons past when the season began to wind down. Except for season three. Remember when the show disappeared for eight weeks between February and April because of the writerâ€™s strike? Remember how abysmal the ratings were once it did come back? Remember when fans said they didnâ€™t watch because they didnâ€™t know the show was back? When a show disappears for too long, when momentum is interrupted, people forget. It takes a while for buzz to get going again.
No matter how weary I am over these breaks and how sick I am of diversions, Iâ€™m still thrilled Supernatural is coming back tonight. I just want my show. Sure, as a blogger, the idea of now cramming a huge chunk of the season into eight weeks of intense work is scaring the crap out of me, but at least Iâ€™ll have something new to write about again. Sure, Iâ€™m bound to miss something in the translation, but thatâ€™s what Summer Hellatus is for; a chance to re-analyze and discuss in great detail.
So, whatâ€™s your opinion? Do you like the way season five has been scheduled (ten episodes, 9 week break, 4 episodes, six week break, 8 episodes, summer break) or do you prefer the years past when there were small breaks in between?