Saturday, May 03, 2014

Supernatural: Bloodlines - What were they thinking?

This week's episode of Supernatural, "Bloodlines," is a backdoor pilot for a potential spin-off series on the CW. The story focuses on five rival monster families vying for control of Chicago, and a vengeful young man who's a Hunter in the making. Although this takes place in the Supernatural universe, the story feels so out of step that it's more like Monsters, 90210 or Twilight: The Embraced. Clearly, this is aimed at a much younger (and narrower) audience than the parent show--so one has to wonder, what were they thinking?

Lucien Laviscount as Ennis Roth
The life of the central Hunter character, Ennis Roth (Lucien Laviscount), takes a turn for the worse after he and his betrothed end up in the wrong place at the wrong time. The attack hints of the supernatural, so naturally the Winchester brothers show up to investigate, masquerading as FBI. As they uncover more details about the nefarious goings-on in the shadows of Chicago, they're surprised to learn that it's being run by five monster families--including Werewolves, Shapeshifters, and the Djinn.

Young monsters in love
That's just one of the major problem with this story. Sam and Dean have faced horrors everywhere in the United States, and have met numerous Hunters along the way. So why haven't they ever heard of these monster clans ruling Chicago? This is completely implausible, based on the established Supernatural universe. Secondly, the new cast is so young and beautiful--the CW is clearly marketing this to teenage girls--that when the Winchesters show up, it's like they're unwanted chaperones at a high school dance. Then there's the overall story arc involving the warring families; it's far too reminiscent of Kindred: The Embraced (substituting vampire clans with monster families). And the central supernatural (and forbidden) love story, between a Werewolf and a Shapeshifter, hints of West Side Story.

The Winchester's overall story arc--which many believe ran out of steam back around season five--will conclude next year in season ten. After that long of a presence on television, it makes sense that the CW would want to continue the story in some shape or form. But Supernatural: Bloodlines, in its current state, feels like a trendy cash-grab, and is a huge disappointment for fans who have been there since day one.

I can't see any adult fan of Supernatural having a speck of interest in the spin-off. There were so many other options available; my vote would have been for a period piece involving the Men of Letters (featuring Henry Winchester and Josie Sands), set in the 1950s. Instead, we've been given this tepid, flaccid story that capitalizes on the current trend of romantic, beautiful monsters--and is Supernatural in name only. (Much of the dialogue is trite and atrocious; this episode should be shown to screenwriting students, so they can see a prime example of clichéd writing.)

Seeing as this pilot has been met with considerable disdain, I imagine producers are already back at the drawing board. They've got one more season of Supernatural to get the spin-off right.

1 comment:

  1. Thankfully, the CW has decided to pass on BLOODLINES as a series. But they'll likely make another spin-off attempt in season 10.