Tuesday, March 1st, 2011

radiumgirl: (oh fudge)
I started writing an essay called "Cold Turkey With Sam and Dean Winchester." It started out as a study of Dean's drinking problem and was initially called "Dean Winchester, Cold Turkey, and Me" because it definitely touches on my own issues too, but the more I thought about it, I came to the conclusion that Sam and Dean both have some substance abuse problems that can be studied, in particular, the way those problems are presented by the writers...and why are they presented in the manner that they are.

So. Demon blood versus alcohol.

I always tend to read the demon blood storyline as a parallel to say, cocaine. Sam gets a rush, he feels invincible, he's hyper-aware. We see an intervention, a detox, and a relapse. We see see the problem evolve from something that Sam recognizes as a less-than-brilliant idea that he totally has under control (yeah right) to a very real dependency, to something that is wholly out of his control. In particular, we see everyone around Sam condemning his addiction.

We don't see that in Dean's alcohol dependency. I'm kind've hoping that we build up to that eventually. I thought that "The French Mistake" had two very telling moments for those of us who obsess over Dean's alcohol consumption: his lamentation of the empty whiskey bottle at the beginning of the episode and his glee over the fully stocked bar in TV-land. Honestly, I cringed in both instances because I've had multiple experiences in mirroring those two moments myself and they never end well. I especially found the sadness over the empty bottle of particular interest because it felt like a deliberate attempt to highlight Dean's problem. My inner-storyteller was almost gleeful because why would the writers draw attention to something if we won't be coming back to it later?

Unless they were attempting to glorify it, which I truly hope was not the case, or else I will be severely disappointed.

So, this is all very rough at the moment (and I'm sleepy), but I wanted to get an idea of the direction this is going and gauge yinz opinions and see how far off the reservation I'm wandering.

Certainly, the intense scrutiny of Sam's demon blood addiction and the attention it was given in the story can be chalked up to the fact that it was, itself, a part of the story. It was a plot device. It served a purpose directly related to our mythology and maybe if Sam was rolling blunts in the backseat of the Impala instead of drinking blood and taking names, it would have been overlooked in the same sense that Dean's drinking is.

But if the writers are going to continually imply that Dean has dependency issues, those issues cannot be overlooked just because booze doesn't enable one to kill demons with their brain.

I plan to rewatch The French Mistake (eventually) to gauge Sam's reaction to Dean's two "alcoholic" moments, but I did think that his expression after the "violence and alcoholism" quote in "Mannequin 3" appeared to be one of worry and disappointment. Based on my single viewing of "French Mistake" thus far, I'm under the impression that the response was similar, and I'm crossing my fingers for at least a roadside chat at some point, if not a full-blown intervention, which I doubt because Bobby is a fucking enabler in my mind after "Like a Virgin" and, well, Show just isn't that kind of show.

But a girl can hope.

The initial title, "Dean Winchester, Cold Turkey, and Me" was intended to encompass some meta in regards to my evolution from a predominant Sam sympathizer to a Dean sympathizer based on my insane identification with Dean the Booze Hound. We both make cracks about being alcoholics that are only half in jest. We're both friends with a merry band of enablers. Dean has had some lines lately that just make my jaw drop because I've said and done frighteningly similar things.

I've changed the focus a little, and therefore the title, to include Sam because I think it's important to look at how both addictions are treated (or not treated).

I'm also worried that I may have bitten off more than I can chew here. I've made a Winchester Vices Viewing List in an attempt to garner clearer thoughts on the matter, however, I've never really written a meta essay on anything outside of a presentation about Batman's evolution as a reflection of the 20th century a looong time ago, and I'm a little bit worried that any and all arguments I raise will be dismissed as "Look, it's just a TV SHOW."


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