While fans of Supernatural are appropriately looking forward to the upcoming adventures of the Winchester brothers in season 8, that doesn’t mean there isn’t time to reflect on the past. Fortunately, this reflection goes beyond fanatical squabbles when it’s Supernatural consulting producer Ben Edlund doing the talking.
Speaking with Edlund at Comic-Con 2012, the famed Tick creator – who could also be described as the enthusiastic heart of Supernatural - took time to explain to us the complications that series face as they reach a certain age.
Touching upon some of the problems that Supernatural faced in season 7, Edlund paints a clear picture about the challenges that producers of long-running series must deal with, and how to overcome it:
I think that shows that go this long – and we’re also struggling with it, too – that’s a lot of water under the bridge. Very few 10-year, or 9-year, or 8-year shows keep themselves from suffering from… They get dementia.
It would be like an older relation who starts to get demented by season 8 or 9, like, “I forget, are you my husband or my nephew?” And you’re, like, “Look, you were a different show before!”
We’re all struggling with that.
Admittedly, Supernatural has, on all accounts, an overall exceptional track record when compared to other series. Even so, it’s always wonderful to hear producers publicly acknowledge that these challenges do exists, that they are aware of them, and that they have given it the appropriate consideration when making future plans for the series.
What plans does Supernatural have for a spectacular season 8 revival? It’s best to let Ben Edlund speak for himself:
We’ve got a mythological underpinning that we can actually [use]… And a point about what the plight of the boys is. They are representative of a certain interpretation of the plight of humanity, and that has a certain kind of legs. As long as we open dimensions of that in the right way, we can get, I think, more meaningful time out of the story.
This season, we’re really looking at a closer point of view of human relationships again. Because they’ve gone through such operatic, massive sweeps of character and events, it’s, like, trying to get them really close to people a little bit, so that they can now remember what they’re trying to save, in a sense.
So that’s part of it… That’s just general strategies.
For fans of Supernatural, Ben Edlund’s love for dinosaurs is common knowledge. Always trying to find a way (and budget) to include them in the series, we’ll have to wait until this fall to see if he has finally succeeded. Taking a look at his completely honest, incredibly succinct strategies for Supernatural’s future, it’s clear why (and how) the series’ track record has remained so flawless – and why we should be excited about season 8!
When a series reaches a certain age, there’s no doubt that missteps will occur. Even the often-touted “best television series ever” moniker includes a few lesser moments in legacy, though often these are overlooked or forgotten. That being said, there are many higher-rated, higher-budgeted series that have not been able to succeed as long as Supernatural has.
Perhaps it’s from a lack of this type of thinking, acknowledgement and planning?
Supernatural season 8 premieres Wednesday, October 3 @9pm on CW
Follow Anthony on Twitter @anthonyocasio