Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Rural Gas Stations, Convenience Store Food, and Crappy Motel Rooms

ETA: This is just too funny, I had to add it. Tanya posted Monday about the Trickster, and now guess what? Last night Richard Speight Jr. announced on his Facebook (if that doesn't take you right to the update, find his page, then click "updates" on the left side) that the Trickster will be back! I, for one, am very excited!

Now, on to our regularly scheduled post:


I've been rewatching the early seasons again, and three things strike me every time I do this:

1. They never get gas at a commercial gas station--it's always back roads and rusty pumps.

2. I get queasy when they buy or eat convenience store food.

3. I have never in my life seen such motel/hotel rooms.

The latter has become a hallmark of the show, with even behind-the-scenes vids done on the topic.

I'd considered cataloging many of the rooms and listing favorites, with commentary, but a) I'm not that funny, and b) I'm too lazy. I figured someone else had done so, and guess what! :)

Suzanne at SciFi Chicks did one in June, and just yesterday I found Alice Jester at Winchester Family Business did this just last week. Honest, I claimed this topic weeks ago! I stumbled across her posts last night while reading her excellent Comic-Con reports. You should check those out, too.

It's funny how similar their lists are! They break down the details of the rooms, and are much more knowledgeable and observant than I am. You can find Alice's posts here, here, and here.


Now, I always stay in chain hotels, and they all look pretty much the same. Ugly polyester comforters, bland art on bland walls, blocky laminate furniture. When I go to conferences, I get to stay in nicer hotels that still look exactly the same, just with nicer bedclothes and better carpeting. So I figure I just haven't had the right experience to be able to buy in to the imaginations of the set crew.

In the Supernatural world, we have two main kinds of overnight facilities:

The motels (outside access to the rooms) are almost always themed (hunting cabin, disco, beer homage) and always have those weird room dividers with starbursts or fish or silhouettes of women like on truck mudflaps--or beer bottles.

The hotels (inside access) are generally efficiency style, huge rooms that are almost like studio apartments, in old buildings with high ceilings and kitchenettes.

There is an occasional "typical" room that feels a little more on the generic side, but usually we have psychedelic wallpaper at the very least.


The Usual Suspects

Obviously, the set builders and dressers have a blast creating these rooms, finding props for them, etc. But in the context of the show, how do Sam and Dean find such places? Do you think they look for the cheapest location near the hunt and it always winds up like this?

When the boys aren't staying in a hotel they paid for, they stay in one they snuck into:

Fresh Blood

Or they squat in an abandoned house. This didn't happen much until the season 3 premiere, "The Magnificent Seven," when they hooked up with Isaac and Tamara. I'm not sure Isaac and Tamara were squatting, because they had that house pretty well stocked with supplies, but in "Red Sky at Morning" Sam and Dean holed up in an abandoned house. Sam did, too, at least once in his flashbacks in season 4. (The finale of season 2, "All Hell Breaks Loose Part II," takes place in an old house, but I assume that's in the abandoned town, so it doesn't really count.)

So, what's your favorite Supernatural motel?

Thanks to oxoniensis for the screencaps.