I’m moving in a different direction this week. This may be seen as a rant. In a way I suppose everything is a rant. But I hope that rather than see it that way, we can look at how life, art, and entertainment mix and how sometimes they don’t mix.
It’s common knowledge that I am Christian. In fact, if I’m known for anything, I’d hope to be know in that light first.
I’m not sure if I’ve mentioned this in this blog before or not, but I do indeed love Supernatural. But there were some caveats to that. Years back, I finished Season 5 of that show and thought it was a fantastic ending to a beautifully done plot line that has many themes.
So let’s start there. I’m not sure what year it was for me. It may have been when the episode aired. The point is, I watched it and loved it. I thought the series was among the better shows I’ve seen. But something strange happened. It didn’t end.
Far be it from me to deny actors and producers and others affiliated with a show to stop earning a living, but I had known that the original creators had walked away saying the story they intended to tell was over.
Being a fan of the show, I watched.
Season 6 was a big bomb for me. It felt lost. It seemed random. I didn’t like the direction they took the characters. So I stepped away.
The thing with me though is I’m stubborn. Even if I’m reading a terrible book (I’ve read many), I feel compelled to finish it. It’s a failure of mine. So some time a few years back (though less than when I’d turned away from the show), I sat down determined to see what happened.
Honestly, I wasn’t impressed. First off, when the villain you face is literally the devil, where do you go from there? Some of the later seasons weren’t that bad. In fact, the ark with The Darkness at least felt like it was moving in a direction that reminded me of the first five seasons.
So I sort of plodded along just seeing where the story would go, and indeed I saw a few things that I like. I was actually interested in Jack as a character. I like redemption stories. I like stories where the one who is supposed to be the bad guy genuinely wants to be good.
So here’s where my faith comes in. It’s my personal opinion (and you’re welcome to disagree; this just happens to be my blog) that any Christian should at least be very discerning and careful when they choose where to go for entertainment.
Does this mean Christians shouldn’t be watching science fiction, paranormal, supernatural or even horror shows? I hope not; I write that stuff.
I have precedent. C.S. Lewis is a renown Christian who wrote fantasy. Who was it who shared the gospel with him that ultimately turned him to Christianity? None other than J.R.R. Tolkien. Both write with either allegorical or at least relatable material, but I don’t feel it’s inherently sinful to enjoy these genres. Again, I understand if some disagree.
The point I’m coming to though is that every person should have a line they do not cross. I experienced something similar with Walking Dead. They just went one step too far, so I stopped watching, but that’s a tangent.
While a few episode or story arcs in later seasons of Supernatural pricked my conscience (and I’ll confess I probably should have listened), I kept going. It was sort of like being in a relationship (not a marriage) after the magic had gone, but you didn’t want to end it.
Then I saw the final episode of the penultimate season (or so I think).
For me, the line too far was an episode that showed they were actually going to make their character of god (and that does create several potential areas of discussion in itself) the villain.
Here we go back to the first five seasons. Indeed everyone thought god (the character) was “gone.” But, as shown, he hadn’t gone. Sure, there were several things that one might debate about that aspect alone, but I had some sort of leg to stand on (even IF I wasn’t supposed to).
But I saw those final minutes and honestly felt my heart break. Here’s a show I once loved with characters I didn’t want to let go of even if I hadn’t honestly enjoyed a season in forever. Then the show takes this sort of direction?
I couldn’t do it.
I can’t help but feel if I try to explain this more, I’ll only fire up those who still love the show and were perfectly happy with that arc and many others. I have no intention of starting a huge argument.
I say again; you have a right to your own opinion.
While I am indeed pointing to this one moment in this one show, my ultimate point (again) is that everyone needs to decide where they draw their line. For some it’s nudity. For others it’s blood. Some people don’t watch anything rated higher than PG. Heck, I’ve seen some who even lose their cool over PG.
If I’m going to ask people to respect my right to my opinion, I must, therefore, respect their right to theirs.
But each of us as viewers has to decide, “Hey, that’s just too far.”
Well, I supposed there are those who have no line whatsoever, but even that is a choice about where their line is.
Maybe the story goes in a different direction. Perhaps there was more to it. Again, that episode really rubbed me the wrong way.
This isn’t me telling YOU not to watch it. I have absolutely no authority over you, nor do I have any right to tell you what to do.
I still love those first five seasons. I think it’s beautiful storytelling and a fantastic arc. I still market Bob Drifter as “Dead Like Me Meets Supernatural.” That’s the regard I have for that story. I’m also not going to pretend I don’t like it. Maybe as I grow and change, my opinion will change, but this is where I am today.
I referenced Walking Dead. That show and one other, Family Guy, all went a step too far for me for different reasons, and I found myself conflicted until I realized something that led to this blog.
It’s ok to have enough. You don’t have to push through that book you bought just because you bought it. You don’t have to stay in that movie you’re not enjoying.
I’m still pretty stubborn. I don’t see myself stopping just because I’m not enjoying something. I’ll probably write a blog about that later on. However, the actual message this is leading to is actually, “If you stop liking something, it’s ok to stop watching, reading, or listening to it.” Sure, others may disagree, but that’s ok, too.
People can discuss what they think without anger or malice. They can find common ground and agree to disagree. That’s actually a big learning moment for me. I’ve often felt like I have to justify when I stop watching something (or whatever). That’s just not the case.
Oddly, here I am explaining why I stopped watching something, but not to defend the stopping. Instead, I hope this encourages you.
Even if it’s this blog, you don’t have to read it.
I hope this doesn’t end up in thousands of super fans seeking my head on a platter. It could happen. People are passionate. Instead I hope this is like a group of friends at a restaurant, and one guy goes, “Wow, this meal’s turned out to be too spicy for me to handle.” That was the intent.
Thanks for reading,