Wednesday, November 10, 2010

How About that Jared?

Last year, I did a post about the actors on the show, and that as far as Jared had come over the seasons, Jensen was just a better actor, and that was why he was getting all the solo shows and, with "The End," actually doubling his role.

So when are we going to get the Sam-only episode?

Setting aside all the issues we have with Soulless!Sam, let's look at Jared's performance for itself. He's spent 5 seasons honing his character. He knew all of Sam's nuances, his bitchface, his eyeroll, his puppy-dog eyes and intense determination. His best performances over the years were arguably when he was someone else (my vote goes, of course, to "Born Under a Bad Sign," when he channeled Meg), but by season 5, he'd gone far beyond the nostril-flare school of acting.

And now he's been asked to change everything, except not. He's supposed to still be Sam, but without the hallmarks that make him that character. No more puppy-dog eyes, no more bitchface, at least not the way he's always done them, as natural responses to his brother or any other character. Now, Sam has to think about how he would react to something, and fake it.

I like to think of acting as happening in one of two ways: putting in on, and projecting from within. I always said Jensen projects from within. He becomes the character on the inside, so he fully embodies Dean. Jared has usually been of the other type, as if he'd put on a Sam Suit and walked around inside the character. I think this season, he's made the switch to projection.

Jared has become a new Sam, and is living him from within. His character has become so much more complex, and I think Jared hasn't just stepped up his game, but leaped a few levels. Right from the start, we knew there was something wrong. And yet, he kept us guessing. He made us hate him (or at least dislike him), even some of those of us who loved him without reservation.

So do I miss Sammy-of-the-puppy-eyes-and-exasperation? Hell, yeah, and I really don't want him to go soulless for more than another episode or two. But I applaud Jared for his amazing performance, and I'm grateful to the writers for giving us the chance to see it, even if I don't want it anymore. :)

What do you think?