Let’s Talk About the Supernatural Musical Episode

[Note: I will be talking about the season 9 finale, so if you’re not caught up, consider this your official SPOILER ALERT] I love Supernatural, I really do. It’s easily one of my favorite shows, and it can often seamlessly swing from burn-your-eyes-out-tragic…

dean feels

…to completely bizarre and goofy. They also aren’t above making fun of themselves, and they are great meta story lines.

Honestly, it shouldn’t work for there to be a Supernatural graphic novel series on Supernatural, but it does. It shouldn’t work for Sam and Dean to attend a Supernatural convention, and join in on a ghost hunt put on by the con that ends up being a real ghost hunt, but it does. It really shouldn’t work for Sam and Dean to crash into an alternate world where they are actually Jared Padalecki and Jensen Ackles shooting an episode of the television show Supernatural, but it definitely does.

Episodes of Supernatural can be crazy, heart breaking, or as Jensen Ackles called it, an “eye-opener”…

[groan]

…but they are almost always great. I tend to trust the writers when Supernatural does something risky. Sure, there are always gonna be hits and misses (Dog Dean Afternoon, anyone?), but the good far outweighs the bad for me. Still, when I heard that season 10 will feature the first-ever Supernatural musical episode, I got a bit concerned. We know that Jensen can sing…

..and the boys are masterful dancers. Still, musical episodes are never mediocre; they are either amazing, or they completely suck. Jeremy Carver has said that the episode will be very meta, and a sort of “love letter” to the fans, so it sounds like they aren’t going to try to make their musical episode too serious. More importantly, it looks like we won’t have something like the Grey’s Anatomy musical where serious, sad, feels-inducing stuff is happening while the cast awkwardly sings a cover of “How to Save a Life”.
It also appears that there will be a mixture of covers and some original songs, which should be interesting. The Scrubs musical episode also had original songs, and I personally loved the episode. They were able to bring in songs that not only “fit” the situations (like the mental gymnastics someone had to do in deciding to have a group of surgeons sing “How to Save a Life” while literally saving someone’s life during a surgery–I’m sorry, I really didn’t like the Grey’s musical episode), but also songs that were 100% show-specific, like the song “For the Last Time, I’m Dominican”:
Scrubs is also another example of a show that can be goofy one minute, and very serious the next (even more so in the earlier seasons of the show). So I’m hopeful that the Supernatural musical episode can be great like the Scrubs musical episode was. If nothing else, Scrubs also featured very strong male friendships (some might even call it a profound bond).

Still, a musical episode, for me, feels really gimmicky–and this is coming from a chick who loves musicals. Supernatural is beginning its tenth season, and the last thing I want is for this show to devolve into cheap tricks and random rating-grabbers. There’s already been enough squabbling from areas of the fandom discussing how everything sucked from season 6 forward (I would disagree, if you were curious), so I don’t want the show to travel down a road that changes the show into something we don’t even recognize anymore. That’s not to say I don’t think the Supernatural writers will be incapable of making the musical episode another one of the awesomely hilarious meta-sodes–if anyone can, the goofballs behind, “If there’s a key, there must also be a lock”, can do it for sure. However, it would be so incredibly easy for things to run off the rails. Part of what makes the weird Supernatural episodes so fun is that they are able to balance the episode’s shtick or craziness… …with actual heart and story line. It can be easy for a show to lose any sort of a story while trying to justify a musical interlude. For instance, the That 70’s Show musical, while one of my favorites, really didn’t have much of a story lacing each song together. Case in point:


Since That 70’s Show was a fun, easy-going enough show, it could kind of get away with a mostly plot-less episode with fun, 70’s musical routines peppered in. However, I don’t think Supernatural is the kind of show that could also get away with that, and I wouldn’t want them to try.

The other component is, we don’t know how many songs will be featured in the episode, though we know there will be at least more than one. So the episode might not be as music-heavy as the That 70’s Show, Grey’s Anatomy, or the Scrubs musical episodes. To be fair, Carver even called it a “musical-ish” episode. So while I am a bit nervous that one of my favorite shows will fall prey to the ever-appealing show gimmick that is the musical episode, I figure if the writers have been able to pull off amazing episodes like The French Mistake, Changing Channels, or The Real Ghostbusters, they should be able to handle a musical episode. I am hoping that this will be one of the hilarious, “How is this even a show?” type of episodes that we in the fandom love, and that this will not be signaling something awful like the writers running out of compelling ideas. Besides, we have some BIG things that need sorting in season 10. Need I remind you? So, honestly, this season looks like it might be pretty brutal, and after what was basically an entire season of Sam and Dean fighting, we might need the levity that a musical episode could bring. What do you think? Are you excited about a Supernatural musical episode, or do you think it will be lame? Tell me in the comments!

Also, I’ve been pretty hard on the Grey’s Anatomy musical, so here’s a song from the musical that actually was pretty great (mainly because it was sung by the amazing Sara Ramirez):

Also, a side note on season 10: To celebrate the tenth season of Supernatural, The CW will be airing a Supernatural retrospective on Monday, October 6 at 9/8c. The retrospective will look back at the past nine seasons of the show, and it will have commentary from the cast and the crew. Exciting!

UPDATE: The musical episode is slated to be the show’s 200th episode, and I’ve heard rumors that it will be called “Fan Fiction”. The title makes me think we might get to see our favorite Supernatural fangirl again!!!

11 thoughts on “Let’s Talk About the Supernatural Musical Episode

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