When I become heavily invested in a television show, I rarely seek out the opinions of other fans online. If I’m truly enjoying a series I’d rather not hop on message boards and read the rants of other people. Despite my best efforts, sometimes I can’t avoid it when a story line or character causes a giant tidal wave of Internet fan backlash. Some changes to a show are so controversial that it’s impossible to drown out the cries of angry viewers.
One show that’s had its fair share of heavily debated changes over the years is Supernatural. Fans are deeply passionate about the series, and often opposed to any plot twist that takes time away from the brotherly bond between the Winchesters. However, there’s one thing in the world of Supernatural that creates more fan outrage than any plot twist ever could: the addition of potential love interests.
The Winchesters have run into their fair share of sexy ladies during the show’s first few seasons, but there are three characters in particular that have caused massive fan backlash: Jo, Ruby and Bela. While each of these women had the potential to become a love interest for one of the brothers, the writers decided to listen to the angry fans and avoid controversy. Was this ultimately the best thing for the show, or did the writers deny us interesting story lines just to quell the outrage?
I have to admit, I actually liked all three of the characters mentioned above. Jo was a feisty and fun wannabe demon hunter, and I enjoyed watching the brothers attempt to tutor her in the ways of the world. Bela (Lauren Cohan) was a great comic foil, and Ruby (Katie Cassidy) remains one of the more interesting and ambiguous evildoers on the series. While I don’t mind that these characters never became love interests, I wouldn’t have protested in the streets if a few romantic sparks had occurred.
Supernatural scribe Cathryn Humphries recently talked to Morgan’s Maniacs about the difficulty of introducing female characters to the show. “As for the fan backlash to our women characters – look, I totally get it,” she said. “Fans take this show, and these characters, very seriously. We often say that Supernatural is, at heart, a love story between Sam and Dean. It’s true, to a certain extent, and fans know that and love that. They don’t want to see anyone come between these boys… especially someone who feels contrived, like they are built just to be a love interest. We try really hard not to ever do that. But anytime you introduce a new character, especially a woman, people are gonna see the potential for that character to evolve into a love interest. And that potential is there. I mean, Sam and Dean DO love each other… but they are also young, hot men who like the ladies.”
As a fan of the show and the brotherly love, I agree with Humphries that tossing in a contrived love interest would be extremely annoying. I don’t want to see a character who serves no purpose other than to be a romantic partner. However, I can’t help but feel that many Supernatural fans would protest any love interest for the Winchesters, no matter how organically she was integrated into the plot. I think there are a lot of Supernatural fans out there who want Sam and Dean to be forever single. This may allow for more Winchester bonding time, but is it really realistic when you’re dealing with actors as attractive as Jensen Ackles and Jared Padalecki?
I think the writers should give it a shot and attempt to pair either Sam or Dean with a woman. It’d have to be done naturally of course, but I think it’d be interesting to watch the brothers deal with a new relationship. For example, if Sam had a girlfriend it would not only change the way he looks at his job, but it’d bring about a ton of compelling drama with Dean. Keeping the boys single forever may please the fans, but it’s also preventing us from seeing a side of the Winchesters that could make for new, exciting story lines.
– Don Williams, BuddyTV Staff Writer
Source: Morgan’s Maniacs
(Image courtesy of the CW)