Angels, demons and whatever comes next: the storyworld dynamics of Supenatural

Florent Favard

Abstract


This paper explores the narrative dynamics of the fantasy television series Supernatural (2005-) in order to better understand how this particular program has become a backbone of The CW network. Combining formal and contextual narratologies, it blends a close-reading of the series with an analysis of its writing, production and reception contexts, and divides the long-running series into four eras, each defined by a specific showrunner. It starts by exploring the context of the series’ creation, before cataloguing the shifting dynamics of the storyworld during the four eras: the ‘stealth teleological’ approach of series creator Eric Kripke; the complex reconfigurations of the Sera Gamble era; the ‘mythology reboot’ of the Jeremy Carver era; and the ever-increasing stakes and expansionist dynamics of the Andrew Dabb era. The aim of this paper is to show how ‘periodising’ a long-running series by using close-reading and studying the dynamics of a storyworld can expand and complete analysis focused on audiences and the genesis of the text..

Keywords


storyworld; narratology; writing; ethos; showrunner

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References


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DOI: 10.6092/issn.2421-454X/8164

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