TV

Summer for 'Supernatural': News, Rumors, and Speculation

Currently on summer “hellatus”, the CW show leaves fans wanting more.

Before Supernatural ended its fifth season a couple of weeks ago, most of its viewers knew that the series had been renewed for another season. The internet buzzed about writer Sera Gamble’s admission that the apocalypse plot would be resolved in the season finale, which was rumored to include the death of a beloved character. Some of its more media savvy fans knew that stars Jensen Ackles (Dean) and Jared Padalecki (Sam) had signed six-year contracts, so rumors spun that either Misha Collins (Castiel) or Jim Beaver (Bobby) would be leaving the show.

On the season finale, Sam allowed himself to be possessed by Satan so he could lead him into a trap that would render him powerless. During the struggle, his half-brother Adam (Jake Abel), who was possessed by the angel Michael, fell into the same trap and they all vanished. Castiel went back to Heaven, and the prophet Chuck stated that Dean gave up the hunting way of life and wouldn’t see Bobby for a long time afterward. As we seen Dean sit down to dinner with his ex-girlfriend and her son, Sam (or something that looked just like him) was standing outside of their home. Then Chuck mysteriously vaporized away.

This left some fans speculating that Chuck was God all along, and the vanishing served as a metaphor for series creator Eric Kripke leaving his show-runner status to writer Sera Gamble. While this hasn’t been ruled out, it has been reported that Kripke will stay involved in the series as a “hands-on executive producer”. Meanwhile, a cryptic Twitter post from actor Jim Beaver left fans thinking that he would be leaving the show. However, it was announced that both he and Misha Collins will stay on as series regulars, with no mention of whether or not Jake Abel will return.

When asked for details on season six, Gamble said that it would focus on the brother’s relationship and feature “lots of meat-and-potatoes close-ended episodes and a season long story arc to weave in.” The biggest spoiler came from the CW themselves, though. The network stated in a press release that Sam escaped from Hell and will convince Dean to start hunting again, but added, “Nothing is what it seems”.

My personal guesses for what’s up ahead involve the Anti-Christ, who was last seen staring at a poster of Australia, wishing he were somewhere else. Plus, what became of Crowley and is Zechariah really dead?

If you’re wondering why Supernatural’s reruns are currently airing on Friday nights, it has to do with this fall. The network has moved the show to Friday in order to pair it up with the final season of Smallville. Taking the show’s previous spot is new series Nikita, a remake of La Femme Nikita. If Nikita gets canceled however, then it’s likely that it will return to its old time slot, after The Vampire Diaries. This worries some fans, who note that Supernatural is one of the networks most successful shows. For the 2009-2010 season, it had the same average amount of viewers aged 18 to 49 as the heavily hyped Gossip Girl.

It still isn’t known when those new episodes will air, but in the meantime, fans can look forward to a new novel in the Supernatural book series. “Supernatural: The War Of The Sons” will hit bookstores on August 20.

Cover down, pray through: Bob Dylan's underrated, misunderstood "gospel years" are meticulously examined in this welcome new installment of his Bootleg series.

"How long can I listen to the lies of prejudice?
How long can I stay drunk on fear out in the wilderness?"
-- Bob Dylan, "When He Returns," 1979

Bob Dylan's career has been full of unpredictable left turns that have left fans confused, enthralled, enraged – sometimes all at once. At the 1965 Newport Folk Festival – accompanied by a pickup band featuring Mike Bloomfield and Al Kooper – he performed his first electric set, upsetting his folk base. His 1970 album Self Portrait is full of jazzy crooning and head-scratching covers. In 1978, his self-directed, four-hour film Renaldo and Clara was released, combining concert footage with surreal, often tedious dramatic scenes. Dylan seemed to thrive on testing the patience of his fans.

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TV

Inane Political Discourse, or, Alan Partridge's Parody Politics

Publicity photo of Steve Coogan courtesy of Sky Consumer Comms

That the political class now finds itself relegated to accidental Alan Partridge territory along the with rest of the twits and twats that comprise English popular culture is meaningful, to say the least.

"I evolve, I don't…revolve."
-- Alan Partridge

Alan Partridge began as a gleeful media parody in the early '90s but thanks to Brexit he has evolved into a political one. In print and online, the hopelessly awkward radio DJ from Norwich, England, is used as an emblem for incompetent leadership and code word for inane political discourse.

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The show is called Crazy Ex-Girlfriend largely because it spends time dismantling the structure that finds it easier to write women off as "crazy" than to offer them help or understanding.

In the latest episode of Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, the CW networks' highly acclaimed musical drama, the shows protagonist, Rebecca Bunch (Rachel Bloom), is at an all time low. Within the course of five episodes she has been left at the altar, cruelly lashed out at her friends, abandoned a promising new relationship, walked out of her job, had her murky mental health history exposed, slept with her ex boyfriend's ill father, and been forced to retreat to her notoriously prickly mother's (Tovah Feldshuh) uncaring guardianship. It's to the show's credit that none of this feels remotely ridiculous or emotionally manipulative.

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To be a migrant worker in America is to relearn the basic skills of living. Imagine doing that in your 60s and 70s, when you thought you'd be retired.


Nomadland: Surviving America in the Twenty-First Century

Publisher: W. W. Norton
Author: Jessica Bruder
Publication date: 2017-09
Amazon

There's been much hand-wringing over the state of the American economy in recent years. After the 2008 financial crisis upended middle-class families, we now live with regular media reports of recovery and growth -- as well as rising inequality and decreased social mobility. We ponder what kind of future we're creating for our children, while generally failing to consider who has already fallen between the gaps.

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Gallagher's work often suffers unfairly beside famous husband's Raymond Carver. The Man from Kinvara should permanently remedy this.

Many years ago—it had to be 1989—my sister and I attended a poetry reading given by Tess Gallagher at California State University, Northridge's Little Playhouse. We were students, new to California and poetry. My sister had a paperback copy of Raymond Carver's Cathedral, which we'd both read with youthful admiration. We knew vaguely that he'd died, but didn't really understand the full force of his fame or talent until we unwittingly went to see his widow read.

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