“Supernatural” Season Premieres
This past Friday saw the return of one of the best sci-fi/horror/geek shows since Buffy went off the air. As we begin what will probably be the last season of the show, I decided to break down what is so awesome about Supernatural.
A brief background: two brothers (Sam and Dean) grew up “hunting” with their father (John) after their mother (Mary) was killed by a mysterious, yellow-eyed demon when Sam was only 6 months old. When we are introduced to the Winchester brothers 22 years later when Sam is getting ready to begin law school; Dean returns from a recent hunting trip to discover that dear old dad has gone missing on one of his own excursions. Long story short, Sam wants a normal life, Dean prefers the more adventurous, demon-hunting aspect of it all. After a little rough and tumble and the death of Sam’s girlfriend (I TOTALLY just spoiled the series premiere for anyone who hasn’t seen it yet), the brothers decide to track down their dad and get answers to some burning questions. Season 1 follows the brothers’ search for their father, as well as the “what the hell is up with Sam” storyline. It doesn’t take long before Sam develops some rather disturbing abilities along the way (visions, telepathy, etc.). As the story unfolds along the highways and off-beaten paths of America, we learn to fall in love with the Winchesters’ quirky relationship and demon-hunting ways – also, they’re hot.
Without completely ruining the series for any newbies, the next six seasons detail rituals used to track, hunt, kill, and exorcise demons, monsters, witches, and other freakshows of all shapes and sizes. An added bonus is developed in later seasons where we see the arrival of angels on earth and how much they are in need of an attitude adjustment of their own.
So now we have come to Season 7. I’ve mentioned in previous posts that I’ve had mixed feelings about the show since series creator Eric Kripke abandoned ship at the end of Season 5; those concerns still remain with the commencement of the new season, but it occurs to me that I’ve never really explored what makes this show so entertaining – besides the fact that they’re hot.
To start off, it’s hard for any series to beat its first season. It’s usually the most standout of any subsequent season for a number of reasons: the most interesting storylines, character development, getting to know how the show itself operates, etc. This difference with this show is that it goes beyond just being awesome in its inaugural season, but I’m getting ahead of myself. What made the first season so appealing was that each episode explored American urban myths and flushed them out to create real-life horror stories that not only strike fear in the hearts of prepubescent tweens around the campfire, but also literally strike you dead if you’re not careful. For instance, some highlighted monster of Season 1 include a woman in white, Bloody Mary, the creature from the black lagoon, Hook-man, Grim Reapers, ghosts on Route 66, Scarecrows, and so on. All the stories we heard as kids are now staring you in the face with a chainsaw or other mystical mojo until the Winchesters come along with their dad’s handy-dandy, demon-info laden journal. It’s an oddly comforting sense of scary familiarity almost all generations can relate to.
That’s just the FIRST season and we haven’t even touched on Sam’s developing psychic prowess! But even without that, the show is endlessly entertaining. The dynamic between Sam and Dean is perfection achieved. If it weren’t for the demon-hunting aspect, you would see these two hanging out at every frat party and biker bar pulling scams and picking up chicks. There’s nothing outrageous about them beyond what they do for a living. Throw in Dean’s penchant for “mullet rock,” classic cars, and double-bacon cheeseburgers and you have half the male population in my own family. There’s no disconnect between the audience and these characters, so it just makes the viewing that much more believable. That’s hard to do in a show about monsters that eat your face off. Another great thing about Sam and Dean? They’re hot.
The other superb thing about this one are the other numerous characters we get as the seasons go on. Not only are the good characters endearing and hilarious, but I’ve often found myself rooting for the bad guys to win a fight here and there. Three of the more notable evil characters are demon/Hell King Crowley, blondey-witch Ruby, and the most badass persona of all – the one, the only DEATH. Even Lucifer can’t touch Death on this series. He’s the only being outside of the devil to walk into hell as he pleases and do/take what he wants. I always do an inner backflip when I see Death’s name roll across the credits because you know you’re in for one hell of an episode (no pun intended…sort of). It’s so easy to get caught up in how great these characters are that you don’t know who you want to come out on top and have screaming fits when/if one of them bites the dust. So far, only Death has been impervious to death and he’s so cocky and arrogant about the whole thing that he should get all the Emmy’s forEVER!
Then we have the humor. Again, cut out all the supernatural stuff, and you have a comedy fit for NBC primetime. Of note should be Castiel, an angel quaffed in the likeness of comic-book legend John Constantine (Hellblazer), who for all his epic and endless wisdom is utterly stupid in the ways of earthly behavior. Give Castiel a cell phone, and it’s like watching a toddler play with his diaper. Referencing an 80’s movie or quoting lines from Back to the Future is as enjoyable as Castiel’s typical retort, which is simply “I don’t understand that reference,” and continue on to the next scene. On paper, you’d shake your head, but on the screen, the hilarity never ends.
I could literally write another 12 pages easily on how utterly phenomenal Supernatural is, but the truth is that you just need to see it for yourself. I have literally convinced countless people to give it a chance, and each one has become a diehard fan. The material speaks for itself once you watch it. So go do so now please. Get the DVDs and enjoy it from the beginning, then tune in Friday nights at 9 on the CW for the new episodes; if you’re not a total loser, then set up your DVR to those specifications because I said so – and they’re hot.