One of the most controversial decisions made by the producers of the CW’s Supernatural was to add two new female characters in season three. Bela (Lauren Cohan) and Ruby (Katie Cassidy) were brought in to stir up trouble for Sam (Jared Padalecki) and Dean (Jensen Ackles), but all they did was cause massive debates amongst Supernatural fans. We’ve had months to get used to their presence and to see if they add anything valuable to the show, so I think it’s now safe to say what we’ve all been thinking: get rid of them, and do it quickly.
There are many reasons that I got sucked into Supernatural back in season one. The great music, the fun twists on urban legends, and the continuing mythology of the series all helped turn me into an addict. However, nothing kept me coming back week after week more than the strong brotherly bond between Sam and Dean. They had one of the most complicated and realistic sibling relationships that I had ever seen on television, and watching their arguments, their struggles, and their undeniable support of one another was a treat every week. These guys certainly didn’t need hot women around to make them interesting.
Believe me, I’m certainly not against hot women, especially not those that can convincingly kick butt. Buffy Summers and Sydney Bristow were good friends of mine, and I’ll happily sit and watch the first Charlie’s Angels film without shame. The problem is that it’s very hard to craft a convincing, relatable kick butt woman, and I think many writers take that challenge for granted. Write or cast the character incorrectly and you end up with something unwatchable, like Bionic Woman or Dark Angel. You end up with characters that seem solely, cynically designed to appeal to teen boys and sell issues of Maxim magazine.
I thought that Supernatural was above such a cheap ploy, but creator Eric Kripke proved me wrong when he introduced Bela and Ruby. I would have loved for these characters to come in and add something valuable to the Supernatural universe, but I just don’t feel they have. Bela’s sexy cat burglar act, coupled with her flirtation with one of our heroes, is cliched and has been seen a thousand times before. She’s Catwoman meets the equally annoying Electro-Gwen from Angel. I have a feeling she’ll face some sort of redemption in upcoming episodes, but I doubt it’ll make me care about her more than I already do.
As for Ruby, I find her character more intriguing, but it seems obvious that poor Katie Cassidy was cast more for her looks than her acting prowess. As I said before, cast a character like this incorrectly and she becomes nothing more than an irritating distraction from the things we really want to be watching.
So what is it I want to be watching? Sam and Dean. Another problem with Bela and Ruby is that they distract from the brotherly bond that made the show so special in the first place. I’m not saying that Sam needs to mope over his dead girlfriend forever, or that Dean can’t eventually find love. I just feel that the brothers are more interesting when they’re demon hunting loners with only each other to rely on. Relationships, flirtations, and a random thief returning over and over again only distract from the on-the-road adventure of the show.
I’m never one to judge new characters before they have a chance to prove themselves to the audience. Bela and Ruby have had their chance, and they’ve failed. Let’s get back to the complex, biting sibling rivalry that made Supernatural one of the most addictive shows on television.
– Don Williams, BuddyTV Staff Columnist
(Image courtesy of the CW)