A real name: Preserved Smith
Photographs by Julia Margaret Cameron
One of the recent exercises from Writing Excuses was to take a reverse engineered outline of someone else's story and move a side plot to the main plot. I instantly thought of Supernatural, and how easy it would be to replace “demons think Sammy is special” with “the cops think the boys are psycho killers” as the main on-going plot. At a couple points the story starts to veer in that direction, but then the demons kind of put the kibosh on it. And when it looked like that thread might get resurrected in season 7, it wound up just being a mess and then disappearing again by the time season 8 started. Not that I'm saying that's what I wish they'd done, but it would have taken only a nudge or two, and would have had the effect on the brothers of emphasizing how they’re both on the outskirts of normal society, rather than draw differences between them via Sam’s “destiny” and Dean’s mundanity.
Of course, I don't know how much staying power that style of story engine would have had--probably would have wound up much more just another procedural, and less the crazy "what's it going to look like this week?" mashup that it's turned out to be.