Tuesday, 2 March 2010

Supernatural and the Baywatch Effect

(Note on spoilers- teeny spoilers if you've never seen any Supernatural. Also, if you have seen all of it, please bear in mind that I haven't, so no spoilers for me please. No spoilers for Baywatch, unless you are unaware of the boobie content ;p)

My lovely boyfriend kindly bought me series 1 of Supernatural on dvd for my birthday. It’s a series I’ve been keen to catch up with, having been tantalized by all manner of bizarre confessions on Fandom Secrets and the tiny bits of it I’d managed to see on ITV 2 or 3 or whatever it was (never on at a reasonable or regular time, it seemed). We’re currently slap bang in the middle of the first series, where the intrigue and clues over the main story arc are coming thick and fast.
I am enjoying it very much. As Marty has said, it’s a bit of a Monster of the Week show, but that was when I enjoyed the X-Files the most, and Supernatural certainly owes a lot to Mulder and Scully (aside from the references to the show, of course- Cigerette Smoking Man was in the last episode!). Most episodes follow a pattern; something nasty happens somewhere, Sam and Dean find some tenuous reason to investigate, Dean tells an outrageous lie (that normally backfires) in order to win over the authorities/hot blond woman who is inexplicably involved, the brothers do a bit soul searching, nasty thing is defeated, hot blond woman inexplicably fails to get off with either brother, brothers do a bit more rueful bonding. Nothing wrong with any of that, quite frankly.
I like Dean the best, closely followed by the car, closely followed by the dad, and then Sam sneaks in there somewhere with his Kevin Bacon nose. I like the references to geeky things, and the hints at a dark being manipulating the events from afar, and the likeable and chemistry laden bromance at the heart of it all (sadly, I don’t believe they’re sleeping with each other, despite all the support at Fandom Secrets). One thing I did notice is that Supernatural appears, so far, to be subject to the Baywatch Effect.
The vast majority of women in the Supernatural universe are leggy and blond, with long flowing tresses. They are all kind of interchangeable, but that’s almost fair enough; the show already has two very pretty male leads, so they have to balance things out with some eye candy for the boys, no doubt. This is so prevalent though, that as soon as a woman with short hair turns up, you know instantly that they will either be dead in the next ten minutes, or reveal themselves to be evil.
I call this the Baywatch Effect, because Baywatch sort of had the same deal. I was watching Baywatch one afternoon (you’re totally allowed to watch it ironically, especially if you’re a girl) and I noted the female character with short hair and a flat chest. I joked at the time that she was clearly going to cop it before the end of the episode- how could she survive amongst the mountainous boobies and cascading golden hair that the camera was much more interested in filming? To my own slight surprise, she did indeed die in the following thirty minutes, and big bossomed ladies mourned her loss (at least she wasn’t evil).
The last episode of Supernatural featured two young women with short hair. The first, who had a dark bob rather like my own, died horribly in the first ten minutes, and the second, who had a blond pixie cut, was evil- I called both of them, thanks to the Baywatch Effect.
This isn’t a criticism of the show at all, and I’ve certainly not seen enough of it to say whether the Baywatch Effect will last throughout its entire run. I live in hope that a lady with short, funky hair and possibly even piercings of some kind will reveal herself to be super capable of running away from the monsters, or even better, kicking them in the face and running away. We shall see.


  1. This is not really a spoiler, but something to look forward to...in a later season, there is a redhead (and Dean finds out once you go red you never go back, ha ha) who is not evil. I will not say for sure, though, if she dies. You'll just have to wait and see.

    You're going to have so much fun with this show! :)

  2. Clearly, red-heads rule. ;o)