Writer Andrew Dabb says that the good thing about the action genre is that you can address social issues in a way that doesn’t feel too preachy. Supernatural has exactly done that
How do you want the viewers to feel about the final season of Supernatural?
When you’ve got a 15-year show and people have watched it from the very beginning to the end, you want them to feel like it was worth their time. If they think for 327 hours (for 327 episodes), it is a big-time investment. Even if you watch the show 24 hours a day, it would take a week and a half more to see every episode. So you don’t want to leave people feeling hollow and cynical. You don’t want them to think that we don’t take their time and effort seriously. That doesn’t mean the ending has to be necessarily happy, but it definitely has to be worth it. It has to come to a place where everyone feels like it was worth taking that trip.
How much will the final season look back at the past?
The final season of a show has a lot of history. And you don’t want to shy away from that. However, you don’t even want to make it all about history. Every episode should not give several instances from the past. For example, remember this person from season two? But you certainly want to acknowledge the history and be reverential towards it.
How are you preparing to write the finale episode of the show?
I’m going to wing it. It’s not that I am going to sit down for a couple of days before the filming starts and write whatever comes to me. Since we knew that this was the last season, we’ve predicted the last moment. It’s just that the path of getting there has changed. To be honest, I’m sure that my planning will change till the last season, but even then I want to plan for it because it’s something I want to badly work towards.
Do you hope to surprise the fans with the ending or it’s something that they will anticipate?
I don’t know about the surprise factor, but the way we are crafting the ending will make sense, as it is an emotional ending to the journey of the characters. The ending probably won’t make everybody happy, because that’s impossible. But I certainly hope that people will understand why it ended that way and not wish the show to end differently.
Will all loose ends be tied up by the end of the season?
With a show that’s been going on for 15 years, I can’t claim that we are going to tie up every loose thread. I think that would be very tough to do, but we’re certainly not going to be afraid to go back and talk about some of our nostalgia. We will also go back to explain some things or find ways to explain them which may seem a little odd in the moment but will end up making a little more sense.
How do you cope with the pressure of the final season and the expectations of the fans?
I think you just have to realise that you cannot make everybody happy. You have to do what makes sense; not just to yourself, but to other people on the sets too. For example, fellow executive producer, Bob Singer, the actors and everybody who have worked on the show for so many years. We all have very strong opinions about the way it’s going to go, but we have decided to tick the boxes for all those people at the ending point. So, at some point it’s important for you to put your trust in those people.
How does it feel to say goodbye to the show?
It’s interesting for us, because we’re still working on it. We had somebody come to our office a while ago to say, “So, we need to plan the wrap party. We will do a lot of things. Whenever you guys are ready to leave your offices, just let us know.” I said that I’ve been in this office for 12 years. So I don’t feel like leaving. But, I don’t think they understand that. I live there even now. I’m going to be like the Phantom of the Opera. Even after the new people move in next year, I’ll still be there.
Supernatural has been trailblazing in many ways, including its efforts to shine a light on the emotional side of masculinity. How does it feel to be a part of something that’s so groundbreaking for the genre?
The nice thing about the genre is that you can address certain social issues in a way that doesn’t feel too preachy and Supernatural has done that. It’s interesting to look at Sam and Dean in this light. Though they are tough men who drive a cool car and shoot cool guns but they are probably two of the most emotional male characters on TV. That is one of the most subversive things about this show. Even though we are not going out of our way to talk about prominent social issues a lot of the time, the fact that these characters exist in the way they are shines a light on masculinity that isn’t often seen on television, certainly not in this genre of television or on a prime-time television show.
Will other directors from the past return to the show in its final season?
Yes, they will. In the last season, we also have a lot of directors who were standby go-to directors in early seasons, and have gone to do different things. A lot of them are coming back to take one more bite of the apple. It’s going to be a lot of fun.
(Supernatural, Season 15, airs from October 20 at 9 pm on AXN.)
Saturday, 12 October 2019 | Pioneer
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