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Lousy Smarch Weather! (a little SPN love)
the arch of the eyebrows gives it away
innie_darling
Hi, everybody!

I've been rewatching the first season of our beloved show and right now I'm about a third of the way through. Some points that have arisen from this viewing (and from other sources too):

(1) Good God, the exposition scenes are painful. Either I've become inured or they've gotten much better at this; I think it's the latter. Absolute nadir: poor Sam having to explain, "Rock salt being a spirit deterrent," to Dean, who is handing him homemade rock salt shells. Yeah, Sam, I think he gets it.

(2) I haven't seen any egregious, X-Files-type instances of recycling actors. I've only seen one so far - the first guy to be possessed in "Phantom Traveler" (the "nervous flyer") is one of the cops holding Dean back when he goes all Buster Bluth and says, "Hey brother!" in "Hook Man" (see my default icon). Nicely played, show.

(3) The boys' commentary on "Phantom Traveler," meanwhile, is bizarrely boring. Though I did appreciate the Rolex crack and the love they gave to the crew.

(4) In "Wendigo," when the boys are interrogating the only known survivor of an earlier attack, Dean (or rather, Jensen, because there is simply no way this is in the script) wipes his nose on his hand and then looks at it. That will never not be funny to me.

(5) What is the name for that group of guys who all swim in really cold water during the winter? Polar Bear Club? Something like that? Does that exist in several places or just one? (It's for an upcoming fic.)

(6) Rewatching these eps, I keep recognizing moments from the gag reel (and various icons I've seen). We really do have the most hilarious, beautiful boys.

(7) The first ep I ever saw was "Faith," but let's pretend for a moment that I'd started with the pilot, as Kripke intended. The pilot is an amazing episode. It gets quite a lot done, in terms of plot advancement and viewer investment, but I think its greatest strength is that it makes me believe completely that these two boys are brothers. And there's a moment that I've loved ever since I saw the ep, that made me realize that Jensen Ackles owned the character Dean. He and Sam are questioning the dead guy's girlfriend, trying to figure out what's going on in Jericho. He's clearly thrilled to have his baby brother at his side. At the same time, he's out of his mind with worry for his dad. Plus he's realizing that he and Sam on their own really do work very well together. Anyway. He and Sam are questioning Amy and her friend and Sam says something (I think about her pentagram necklace) and smiles and Dean glances over, all "how are you getting these results?" and when he sees that Sam's smiling, he smiles too. It's nowhere near as innocent a smile as Sam's, because he doesn't HAVE that innocence that Sam so craves, and he knows that his own social skills are dubious at best, but he sees that Sam's approach works and he rolls with it. It's a tiny moment, but it worked so well for me. So. I'm curious. What are some of your moments of being blown away by the acting?

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My DVDs arrived last week so I've been rewatching the first season as well, and seriously, I'm so sure I'm forgetting lots and lots of tiny moments I haven't yet gotten to or are just slipping my mind or whatever. But one little thing that struck me while reviewing is in "Faith", right in the first scene, when Sam comes running back down the stairs and finds Dean unconscious. He turns and sees him, the camera cuts to Dean, and then back to Sam, and he's still standing rooted to the spot. And then he quickly shifts his hand on the banister, like his knees are about to buckle, before yelling "Dean!" and running over to his side. That moment of silence, like he's stunned into muteness and has to take a few seconds to get his mouth to work again and the grip for the banister like he's about to keel over. I love that, ♥

Ooooh, that *is* a good one! Along the same blink-and-you'll-miss-it lines, I love that moment in "Salvation" where John says, "I want Dean to have a home" and Dean darts the quickest glance over at Sam, as if to say that Sam is his home.

Will look for that when I get to "Faith" - whoo!

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Lots of cities have Polar Bear clubs. Lots of nutty people seem to enjoy throwing themselves into freezing water. Is that really what they're called? I don't understand the appeal, myself. But then I'm always cold.

Since your first episode was Faith, I think the acting in the hospital scene is great. Dean is trying to be casual about dying & Sam is destroyed. It was the first time that I got that Sam actually gave a damn about Dean. Sam just looks so WRECKED that Dean is dying; it made me believe he loved his brother. Also, a great little moment in that scene: Dean actually *flips the channel past one where a woman is taking her shirt off*. Very uncharacteristic, so you know he's dying!

I rewatched Dead Man's Blood last weekend. When you get to that episode explain to me why Sam puts a belt on when they are getting weapons out of the trunk. That made me laugh. When you chase vampires, it isn't ok for your pants to fall off but any other time I guess it is ok? I must be missing some significance there. :D HAHAHAHAAHAH! I loathe that ep, but you've given me something to look forward to! Perhaps all that tucking a gun back there earlier in the season has stretched Sam's waistband and he just can't deal any longer? Bwee! Too funny!

Absolute nadir: poor Sam having to explain, "Rock salt being a spirit deterrent," to Dean, who is handing him homemade rock salt shells.

While that's definitely a howler, I still don't think anything will ever beat the "Dean, we were raised like warriors" scene in the pilot. All time exposition classic, that one.

As for great acting moments, there's this bit in DMB, when Sam and Dean are driving in the car, and Sam is growling about what an asshole John is being, and Dean mutters "Oh god, it's starting again, isn't it?" The way JA delivered that, with all the quiet dread and weary resignation and exact knowledge of what's coming, just blows me away. Years of Winchester family dynamics all packed into one line. It gets kind of overshadowed by that dramatic later scene when Sam and John are actually at each other's throats and Dean steps in to separate them, which is great too, of course, but it's that one quick line earlier that gets me.

While that's definitely a howler, I still don't think anything will ever beat the "Dean, we were raised like warriors" scene in the pilot. All time exposition classic, that one. Oh, I feel you on that one. I was actually going to include that line in this post, but then I realized that I forgive a lot of clunky exposition in pilots. Later episodes? Not so much.

As for great acting moments, there's this bit in DMB, when Sam and Dean are driving in the car, and Sam is growling about what an asshole John is being, and Dean mutters "Oh god, it's starting again, isn't it?" The way JA delivered that, with all the quiet dread and weary resignation and exact knowledge of what's coming, just blows me away. Years of Winchester family dynamics all packed into one line. It gets kind of overshadowed by that dramatic later scene when Sam and John are actually at each other's throats and Dean steps in to separate them, which is great too, of course, but it's that one quick line earlier that gets me. That's the only thing that saved DMB for me, was the confirmation that Dean really is stuck between these two implacable forces, that all three of them expect him to be the middle ground.

That kind of moment, though, is EXACTLY why I watch this show. I am not a horror buff; I am a great big wuss. The fact that the family dynamics are pitch-perfect is what appeals to me, and a lot of it is coming from the acting and not the writing.

Ugh! Lj ate my long-ass comment.

Anyway, I was saying, the commentary on Phantom Traveler was entertaining in parts, but all in all, it was quite boring, I agree. I loved the part when Jared was gonna launch into a full speech into how glad he was that he has Jensen as a co-star but then Jensen started snoring, halting him. Jensen is shy people! :) At least, that's how I take it.

Jensen Ackles owned the character Dean.
FUCKING WORD.

What are some of your moments of being blown away by the acting?
When Dean begged John not to let the demon kill him in Devil's Trap. During this scene, my heart went all clenchy and painful. I could just feel Dean's desperation, you know? It was mind-blowingly believable. Jensen's voice, his tone, facial expression, just whoa.

Also, the scene when Dean says "sometimes I feel like I'm barely holding it together" in Salvation. Again, his voice, tone and facial expression but the especially the voice!

This is random, but when Dean confesses that he has a fear of flying in Phantom Traveler. I don't know if it was entirely detailed in the script what he would do in the scene, but the whole facial expression and hand gesture was totally believable and totally Dean.

Jensen is really great in emoting his feelings and he doesn't look fake doing it. He doesn't go over the top, and he just nails it you know? :)

I really wish I could say the same about Jared and I really don't want this to turn into a hate-post but I gotta say, Jared's acting was simply horrible in the first few episodes especially during the emotional scenes. To me, at least.
However, he got better the following eps and definitely by leaps and bounds in s2.

Anyway, I've lots more scenes in my mind when the acting blew me away, but I don't wanna spam your lj, so I'll end my babbles here. :)

I wasn't crazy about "Salvation" (felt too much like filler), but the Sam and Dean scene at the end is simply astonishing. And "Devil's Trap" was so exquisitely painful, with all three of them thinking about family and love and loyalty. Gahhhh.

This is random, but when Dean confesses that he has a fear of flying in Phantom Traveler. I don't know if it was entirely detailed in the script what he would do in the scene, but the whole facial expression and hand gesture was totally believable and totally Dean. Hee! That scene always gets me rolling! He's so unwilling to let Sam go without him, but he can't help his fear. I personally also love the moment in "PT" where he goes to talk to Amanda and makes this "shit, this is embarrassing" face just before he mumbles "Christo" at her. SO ADORABLE.

I agree that Jared is rapidly becoming a much better actor. But I'm glad he's the one playing Sam, because from the very beginning, I bought that he and Jensen were brothers. That chemistry is undeniable.

I wasn't crazy about "Salvation" (felt too much like filler)
Oh, totally totally agreed.

the moment in "PT" where he goes to talk to Amanda and makes this "shit, this is embarrassing" face just before he mumbles "Christo" at her.
Yes! I totally remember that, now that you've mentioned it. :)

Also, Jensen and Jared's chemistry is simply out of this world. It's like...wait, nothing equals the chemistry that they have. Yes.
*is crazy*

Hrmmmm....maybe not great acting or...maybe the *best* acting, since it seems so easy? Several little moments. Sam stomping on Dean's foot in the pilot when he's being snotty to the cops and then Dean whapping him in the back of the head a minute later as they're all growling at each other about behaving. It's *brotherly* and perfect and easy, not fake or forced. And Sam whapping Dean in 'Asylum', just sorta smacking his shoulder and this little grin and that's *totally* a brother moment, just...

Perfect.

Yis, lame exposition here and there in season one and omg the green/blue screen 'scenery' outside the car was bad that first season.

But it's all so much better now, yes.

I must rewatch, as well.
:)

Yes! All of these little touches really make the relationship sing. Like the "that's not fear; that is precaution" conversation in which Sam is trying to give Dean shit. Little does he know that he's about to come face-to-face with one of Dean's biggest fears - flying.

I love the care that's been put into making the fraternal relationship so layered. Brings a lovely texture to the show.

Yes, exactly!
And i *do*, as another commentor said, love the little physical 'stuff' that JA did to show his reluctance and discomfort with the whole flying thing.

*la*
*is happy*

In Finland (and I imagine the other Nordic countries), there's plenty of winter bathing, but I don't think they call their clubs anything like Polar Bears or whatever. And they're almost always middle-aged women. (The guys are more interesting in rolling in snow after a sauna.)

Eeee! Soon-to-be-a-daddy Liev! Hi!

Also, hi, you!

I think I didn't explain it properly. I'm talking about people who dare themselves to go into the ocean (or whatever) during the winter. It's a big manly men kind of thing.

Well, the winterbathing I refer to is when you hack a hole in the ice and jump in and have a bit of a swim. Like so. It's not a dare, or a manly men kind of thing, it's mostly older people who do it for their health or cause it feels good. (Although you're free to make it a manly men thing--there's a World Cup in winterbathing, for example.)

I just noticed I missed some posts of yours! Doh to me! This one caught my eye.

The boys are dull on Phantom T commentary. There is no other word for it. Why? Perhaps they didn't really want to do it. But really, we want teasing and funny stories. The Smallville commentaries I always find entertaining (partly because Michael Rosenbaum is a SCREAM) but also because the whole crew don't seem to take themselves seriously.

The exposition...sigh. They do do it a lot better now. An example is - Dean saying 'so tell me about this XX', I think Nightshifter is the ep. Before, that would have been a clunky 'so what is a XX Sam?' when we know Dean knows. Now, they write it (and the boys play it a lot more, even when the lines don't always indicate it), like Dean just needs to run over it - like they are thinking out loud and working it out.

Some little moments I love are - Dean stopping Sam from getting run over as they cross the road in Nightmare (I love that); series 2 but - Nightshifter, Dean SHOWS Sam the no he got from the girl as soon as he gets to Sam, and er that's it for now. Am braindead. Interesting!

I really like the notion of thinking out loud as a way to gloss over the exposition.

There are so many little moments. There's one from "Roadkill" (have you seen it yet? this won't spoil you if you haven't) where Dean hears a noise behind him and turns his head to see if he can spot anything and without looking lays his hand confidently on his shotgun. He knows exactly where it is, knows that he has the right weapon at hand. Those kind of little things convince me that he was raised to do this job, you know?

I haven't seen Roadkill yet but I will look out for that moment. And absolutely - those moments that show that they know what they are doing and that they have done this so often it is second nature to them. As anything is when you are well practiced at it.

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