Supernatural has successfully poked fun at itself in the past, and now they take on their television competition. Dean and Sam find themselves trapped in a sitcom, a medical drama, and a forensic cop show, to name a few of the scenarios. For anyone with a good working knowledge of what is currently on TV, this episode is a treat.
Investigating a suspicious bear attack, where a witness claims it was not actually a bear, but the Incredible Hulk who did the attacking (the Lou Ferrigno version, naturally), Dean and Sam correctly suspect that the Trickster may be behind it all. Played by Richard Speight Jr., the Trickster with his vicious sense of humor was last seen in season three's "Mystery Spot." Written by Jeremy Carver, that episode was wickedly funny as Sam's nightmare version of Groundhog Day was played out by watching Dean die over and over. In that episode the humor turned profoundly serious, and the same happens with "Changing Channels", also written by Carver.
The Trickster's strategy of trapping the boys in a series of television shows is where the episode becomes something special. Each different style of show that is parodied is done nearly to perfection, beginning with the brightly lit sitcom set complete with a studio audience laughing uproariously at everything Dean and Sam say, prompting Dean to ask why any of this is funny to them. The jewel in this section is the credit sequence that replaces the usual Supernatural title card. It is a hoot, with a cheesy song and the brothers riding a tandem bike in the park, something I didn't know was really high on the list of things I never expected to see.
If I had to choose a favorite section, it might be when Dean and Sam walk the halls of a medical drama, similar to Supernatural's timeslot competition Grey's Anatomy. Here the double meanings in the dialog are at their best, especially the reference to Jeffrey Dean Morgan's role on that program. Revealing himself to be a fan of the show, Dean is adorably shy when Dr. Sexy himself makes an appearance. Again, it is the nuances that make these scenes so funny: the music, the overly serious dialog, the use of "Seriously?"
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