There is a show on the CW called Supernatural, and I’m here to tell you, this show is awesome. The show stars Jared Padalecki and Jensen Ackles as brothers Sam and Dean Winchester. They were raised as “hunters” by their dad, and basically go around disposing of supernatural baddies.
I wanted to write this post a long time ago, so that people would start watching this show and it wouldn’t get canceled, but I guess people were watching it anyway because it never got canceled, and I think it is in the final season.
This show gets better and better the more I watch it, and I highly recommend it. Obviously, two guys who fight supernatural creatures is sort of up my alley to begin with, but believe you me, there are PLENTY of shows with that premise that are wretched. The acting is good, and I could genuinely believe the two of them are brothers. Supernatural is creepy, funny, and (perhaps hardest of all) doesn’t come across as cheesy. Maybe this is because they don’t take themselves completely seriously. All of that is hard enough, but there are two other traps the show has avoided falling into, which are most impressive.
First off, the show manages to maintain the balance of throw away episodes and story arc. When the show began, there wasn’t much connection between episodes. The Winchester boys would show up, kick some supernatural henie, and ride off into the sunset. These kind of shows are great escapes because you don’t need to engage your brain. However, after a time, shows like this get a “what’s the point” kind of feel, and the writers usually transition to a more over-arching storyline to tie the season together. Sometimes when this happens, a show loses it. Some shows really are cut out to be single episode, stand alone shows. For example, I personally feel that Buffy worked better this way; in the last season, every episode was working towards the finale and it was awful. Supernatural somehow manages to have an overall storyline, with plenty of individual, stand-alone episodes and yet the stand-alone episodes frequently tie-in in some way, without seeming awkward.
The other trap the show manages to avoid is “villain escalation”. Often in books or T.V. shows (or even movie franchises), the heroes have to defeat certain bad guys in order to prevail. If the book or show is successful and a sequel is needed, the writers feel the need to out-do their previous effort. This usually results in a new, even MORE POWERFUL bad guy showing up. This happens time and time again, until the heroes are so powerful that the original bad guy wouldn’t have lasted a second against them. This is sort of the natural progression of things, and I’m not saying it doesn’t happen in Supernatural, but to at least some degree, anything from the first season is still trouble. For example, although they know how to deal with ghosts, an episode that has them fighting a ghost is still a good episode; you never feel like they should easily be able to defeat it.
I have only two quibbles with the show, one small and one large. The small one is that this show followed directly on the heals of Gilmore Girls, also on the CW. On that show, Jared Padalecki played a character named Dean. Then he comes over to this show and immediately becomes the brother Sam, NOT the brother named Dean. I understand he’s just an actor playing a role, but did Supernatural just HAVE to use the name Dean for one of its characters? This was very confusing for at least 2 seasons.
The bigger (biggest) problem with the show is that it is not available online! (legally) This is particularly a problem since it is on Thursday nights, up against Grey’s Anatomy and The Office. I think the show is popular, I don’t know the numbers, but there’s no way people are tuning in to it over Grey’s and The Office. Those people (like myself) are forced to try to catch reruns when they can, missing many episodes. What reason could their possibly be to stack your network’s best show against such heavy hitters, and then not make it available online. It’s like you don’t want me to watch it.
Well this season my friends, we’re putting our money where our mouths are (and by mouth, I mean this blog post). Sara has moved Supernatural to the top of our TiVo queue, over Grey’s and The Office. That’s right, you heard me. But the fact is, those shows are available online. Maybe this was the CW’s ploy, but I can’t imagine it’s working.
Okay, so final word on the subject. This was an outake from one of the episodes. The shot in the episode ended right before the “rising up”, but Jensen Ackles decided to take it to the next level. You can hear the camera guys laughing, but they let the camera roll:
EDIT: Okay, boo, they disabled embedding on that one, but it’s the best copy. So just click the “watch on youtube” link in the middle of the screen.
You can also check out some good clips (mostly) from season 2.