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One Thing The Boys' Eric Kripke Learned On Supernatural That Drives Him 'Nuts' About Other Streaming Series

Soldier Boy in The Boys.
(Image credit: Amazon Prime)

Amazon Prime’s popular superhero series The Boys has gone where few shows have been, at least when it comes to certain highly raunchy and exceedingly violent storylines. While working on the star-studded series seems like a blast for showrunner and creator Eric Kripke, the Supernatural creator has some gripes with other TV series central to the streaming era, based on some important instincts he learned from heading up a broadcast network show for years. 

Eric Kripke created the long-running CW drama and served as showrunner for the first five seasons. With The Boys having just completed its third season, with Season 4 on the way, Kripke spoke to Vulture about the suped-up satire and his Supernatural roots. Even though he loves streaming platforms in general, Kripke did bring up a particularly undesirable trait that has plagued binge-ready series for years, and how his own past has helped The Boys avoid similar pratfalls. In his words:

The downside of streaming is that a lot of filmmakers who work in streaming didn’t necessarily come out of that network grind. They’re more comfortable with the idea that they could give you 10 hours where nothing happens until the eighth hour. That drives me fucking nuts, personally.

It makes sense that Eric Kripke would feel that way, since he was certainly part of the network grind for not only Supernatural, but also other shows he created like Tarzan, Revolution, and Timeless. Which usually requires filming episodes mere weeks ahead of airing, as opposed to the extended production schedules that streaming series usually get. Not to mention network shows usually have far larger episode counts than their streaming counterparts. And usually with smaller episodic budgets and even more hoops to jump through. As such, the pressure is constantly on network TV creatives to keep people tuning in on a weekly basis, which isn't as much of a driving issue for streaming projects.

Kripke went on from there to further solidify his point, pointing out other differences  between network and streaming, and specifically called out people who refer to crafting seasons as "movies" when that's not the case. 

As a network guy who had to get you people interested for 22 fucking hours a year, I didn’t get the benefit of, ‘Oh, just hang in there and don’t worry. The critics will tell you that by Episode 8, shit really hits the fan.’ Or anyone who says, ‘Well, what I’m really making is a 10-hour movie.’ Fuck you! No, you’re not! Make a TV show. You’re in the entertainment business.

Some streaming shows perhaps count as exceptions, like recent episodes of Stranger Things literally being longer than the average feature themselves. Still Eric Kripke does have a pretty good point. 

Working on both network and streaming television, Kripke obviously has the knowledge and experience that not everyone else has.  seems to have more knowledge than those who only worked on one as opposed to the other. So he understands pacing on both macro and micro levels, and why forward momentum is so important, no matter how many episodes are involved. 

Even with The Boys, Eric Kripke is still clinging to his Supernatural past in a good way. He reunited with Jensen Ackles, who memorably portrayed Soldier Boy on the third season of the superhero show. He praised Ackles' atypical semi-villainous turn, though Kripke couldn’t help but to bring up the actor's former on-screen brother Jared Padalecki as well.

With a fourth season confirmed for The Boys, and the college-centered spin-off Gen V  finally confirming its title, Kripke will be sticking around Amazon's streaming world for quite some time. Maybe there will be some more subtle Supernatural Easter eggs to look forward to when the show returns in 2023.

All three seasons of The Boys are streaming on Amazon Prime with a subscription!

Megan Behnke
Megan Behnke

Passionate writer. Obsessed with anything and everything entertainment, specifically movies and television. Can get easily attached to fictional characters.