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Jane After Dark: I Believe in the Power of 'Supernatural'

by Jane Boursaw, posted Feb 13th 2010 10:00AM
Supernatural - Jane After Dark
'Supernatural' is one of those shows I've been hearing about since it first premiered in 2005. I was never a fan of shows with demons and ghosts and the like until I finally watched 'Buffy the Vampire Slayer.' Now I'm sort of hooked on them.

I'm not gonna lie, though. I'm just a few episodes into 'Supernatural,' and so far, it's terrifying. It could be a good long while before I'm able to swim in a lake ('Dead in the Water'), go camping ('Wendigo'), fly on a plane ('Phantom Traveler'), or look in a mirror ('Bloody Mary'). And I'm convinced that my husband is probably a shape-shifter ('Skin').

'Hookman' is like one of those stories your older siblings tell you to scare the crap out of you (I'm the youngest of four kids). A few more episodes, and I won't be able to function at all. I'll be curled up in a fetal position under the covers. Every episode is like a self-contained horror movie.

But they aren't really self-contained. They're all tied together by the pilot episode -- also terrifying -- which was a great setup for the series. You know right away it's going to be good, because Jeffrey Dean Morgan plays the dad. I'm thinking he's really dead, because he always plays dead guys. Then again, he's listed as being in ten episodes of 'Supernatural' on his IMDB page, so he's either in flashbacks or he actually shows up for real.

Let's talk about the unfortunate and grisly demise of Dean and Sam's mom. Holy crap, what a way to kick things off. Put the mom on the ceiling, dripping blood on the baby, and then have her burst into flames. Nice. And then the same thing happens to Sam's girlfriend, Jessica -- only 22 years later. Hmmm ... it doesn't seem likely that this happens to all the women in these guys' lives, since both Dean and Sam must have had other girlfriends. I guess I'll find that out as I go along (if I can brace myself and keep watching, that is).

Just as Buffy and the Scooby Gang balanced out the scariness of 'Buffy,' on 'Supernatural' we've got the totally opposite brothers acting like goofy, real-life brothers (and Jensen Ackles and Jared Padalecki are not hard to look at). Though they've led very different lives up to this point, you can tell that serious, grieving Sam and fly-by-the-seat-of-his-pants Dean really care for each other. Not to mention the fact that they're tooling around on a 'Route 66' road trip like Tod Stiles and Buz Murdock, only hunting real demons instead of 1960s demons.

Oh, crap. The next episode is called 'Bugs.' Now I won't be able to go outside all summer. Swell, the construction guy has fallen into a hole filled with creepy-crawly bugs. I'm already averting my eyes.On second thought, I'm totally not watching this episode. Nope, can't do it. You can't make me.

Next week, if I make it that far, we'll talk about the groovy music, Dean's cool muscle car, their brotherly bromance (too weird?), and all the great lines (I've actually burst out laughing a few times).

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Lynne777

Watched SPN from beginning, now rewatching on TNT. Some of the episodes have the greatest one-liners ever. Season 2, The Trickster, when he says the dead professor "got more ass than a toilet seat" had me rolling on the ground!

March 08 2010 at 1:32 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Jake

Supernatural is definitely a must-see show. Serious drama, only very occasionally hokey or shockly (and even then, it is usually intended), and damned funny (I love the interaction between Dean and Castiel). Easily my current favorite, and has been since BSG went off the air.

But if the scary from Season 1 was too much for you, Jane, then I must steer you away from the latest episode (Season 5's "My Bloody Valentine"). The opening scene was one of the most disturbing things I've ever seen on television. I had to look away -- and even then, the sound effects were more than enough to trigger my gag reflex.

February 18 2010 at 1:14 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Katie M.

Thank you for writing about this show! I got into it back in the first season when my friend would tape Gilmore Girls for me (I didn't get WB then, but thankfully, I get CW now) and one time he just let the tape run and it recorded Supernatural. I was curious, so I watched it and loved it. I got my mom(in no way a horror fan) into the show too and we caught up on episodes we missed in the first and second seasons on DVD.

Supernatural is one of the best, most consistently entertaining shows on television, but it doesn't get the attention of other, often lesser shows, in terms of writing, directing and talent of the actors involved. I love that the show has its own voice and vision-- it rarely if ever misses the mark and it always pleasantly surprises. The characters are well-drawn and usually more complicated than they originally appear. Similarly, the stories in each episode are often inspired by ones we've heard before, but there's always a distinct "Supernatural" signature on them.

The chemistry between the actors who play Dean and Sam Winchester, Jensen Ackles and Jared Padalecki, is brilliant and the way the brothers' relationship has evolved over the seasons has been one of the most rewarding aspects of the show to consistent viewers. The combination of genres the show uses (horror, mystery, paranormal, comedy, family drama, sibling rivalry, road trip, a little romance and a tinge of the western) works so well-- just looking at all the genres utilized would make you think that the show is unfocused or chaotic, but it isn't-- creator Eric Kripke along with the other writers, directors and producers seem to make it all fit and make sense. The show also has a quintessential coolness to it embodied especially in the music and in the third main character in the show: a black '67 Impala. I honestly don't know who I lust after more: Dean, Sam or the car!

I'd just like to add that the reason the show first caught my attention was that it reminded me a lot of X-Files and Buffy/Angel, and not just for the demon/monster story lines, but the writing and atmosphere of the show as well. A few episodes in I noticed that some former producers/writers/directors of X-Files and Angel help(ed) write, direct and produce Supernatural:
*Ben Edlund-- Producer and writer. Writes a lot of the funnier episodes including one of my favorites, "Bad Day at Black Rock." He wrote for Firefly and the final season of Angel (including the episode "Smile Time").
*David Nutter-- Directed the pilot and "Wendigo." Prolific TV director. Directed several X-Files episodes including "Ice", "Beyond the Sea", "Little Green Men" and "Clyde Bruckman's Final Repose." He has also directed and executive produced pilot episodes for several shows including , "Dark Angel" (director only), "Roswell", "Smallville", "Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles", and "The Mentalist."
*John Shiban-- Has produced and written several episodes including "Hookman", "The Benders", and "Folsom Prison Blues." He was a staff writer and story editor on X-Files and co-wrote episodes such as "Elegy", "Leonard Betts", "Memento Mori", and "S.R. 819."
*Kim Manners-- A wonderful director who died early last year of lung cancer at only 58. He directed many episodes of Supernatural (in my opinion, some of the very best) including "Dead in the Water", "Scarecrow", "Devil's Trap", "In My Time of Dying", "Children Shouldn't Play With Dead Things", "No Exit", "Houses of the Holy", "Heart"(one of my all-time favorite episodes), "The Magnificent Seven", "Mystery Spot", and "Lazarus Rising." He also directed "Bugs", so I suggest you watch the whole episode if only to appreciate Manners' superb directing. He also directed some of my favorite X-Files episodes including "Die Hand Die Verletzt", "Humbug", "War of the Coprophages", "Quagmire", "Leonard Betts", and "Folie a Deux."

February 17 2010 at 5:53 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Bec

I LOVE this show, it's auto-set to record on my dvr, but I usually wind up watching them when they air anyway.

It's rare to have horror and humor blended so seamlessly together in ANY medium. If something isn't funny, you don't laugh, if it's not scary, no fear. Both require being done right if they are to work at all. Of those I've seen that work, the only to come close to this show was Shaun of the Dead.

I personally enjoy all the recurring characters; Cass (so hot, in a scruffy world-weary way), Chuck, Bobby (idjit!), and even Bella was Hella cool.
I also wish we'd see more of that awesome Irish warlock, now HE was cool, in a "Gambit from the x-men comics (not the movie)" way. I wish the Trickster hadn't been an angel too!
I also wish there were books of the series and beyond! (go Chuck!)

My favorite episode is The Real Ghostbusters. That episode perfectly captures the whole idea of the series while poking fun at it at the same time.

Bec

February 16 2010 at 6:12 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Bec's comment
Jake

SPOILER ALERT -- DON'T READ BELOW IF YOU HAVEN'T WATCHED SEASON 5!!!!!!

I don't think the Trickster, Loki, has always been an angel -- just the "Trickster" that appeared in the episode this season. Remember that they figured out that there was something "un-trickster-y" about him? He only assumed the identity so that he could meddle with the boys.

February 18 2010 at 1:19 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
chris

Yah, the boys are actually covered on this site. About frecking time.

The best show on the CW and must see TV.

I love the small things about the show. The fake FBI o agent names are always people in bands. The car , the music, the demons, the angels, the funny episodes.

This show is so kick ass and I have been watching since day frecking 1.

ROCK AND ROLL AINT NOISE POLLUTION WINCHESTER BROTHERS.

February 14 2010 at 10:43 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Amanda Rae

I just started this season thinking it was a new show. Even though I was clueless for an episode or two I am hooked. I would LOVE to play catch up though. I will have to research how to get ahold of 1-4. I'm sure season 5 will make even more sense when I do.

February 14 2010 at 9:31 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Jane Boursaw

Dana - I stumbled across those $15.95 'Supernatural' seasons at Wal-Mart, too!

A publicist sent me S4 a while back, but I'd been waiting and looking to find the first three seasons on sale somewhere, and just happened to see those at Wal-Mart a few weeks ago, and grabbed up the last ones.

So if anyone is looking, maybe check and see if they're still offering that deal.

February 14 2010 at 1:57 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Xina

Ok, something must be wrong with me...I LOVE this show, have since the pilot, never miss an episode, adore the 'boys', their car...course it's daddy that really does it for me. (ANd yes, JDM is in more than a few episodes, and is great as their father)but scary? Really? Sure some of the show is intense, but scary...come on...

February 14 2010 at 11:18 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Laura

I just discovered Supernatural a few months back and am now on season 4 and I'm completely hooked! I love both the stand alone episodes and the myth-arc too. I love the chemistry between Sam and Dean, the humor, the classic rock, and of course the car!! I'm a little sad that I can't watch the current season 5 episodes as they air (as I don't want to know spoilers) so I'm crossing my fingers that there will be a season 6 so I can experience all the new episodes with other fans.

February 14 2010 at 11:11 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Teresa

(I love this show so much I had to come make more comments).

Supernatural was created/written with 5 seasons in mind so this may very well be its last. The creator says that he has another story arc in mind but I am wondering if it would remain as good or if it would eventually jump the shark. I am torn on my feelings about that because I love the writing, I love the acting and the overall feel of the show but I fear it becoming a caricature of itself. We'll see!

A few of my favorite things about the show:

Dean's lines. He has some of the best lines on TV, period.

The motel rooms that the guys stay in. If you haven't been paying attention, do so! More often than not, they are just hilariously tacky.

The dynamic between Dean and Sam is just awesome. If this is the last season of the show, I really hope Jensen Ackles and Jared Padalecki find more work fast. They're both quite talented.

The Metallicar! And the music! I was in high school during the 80s "hair rock" phase and I grew up in the 70s when classic rock was just rock and still love them both. I also love the music that accompanies some of the "before" and "now" montages that start a lot of the episodes during seasons 1 through 3. Any time I hear "Carry on My Wayward Son", by Kansas I can't help but think of "Supernatural."

The storylines are just great. I can't believe the trust a lot of people have for these two strangers who come along claiming to be a long lost pal of the dead guy or their other assorted identities. (And yes, pay attention to their aliases. If you are a hard rock fan you'll "get" a lot of the references). Then again, there are times I'm yelling at the people on the screen, "Don't you watch TV? Demons are real, listen to Sam and Dean, they know what they are talking about! Get out of that possessed house", or whatever, hehe. It's a fun, layered show. It's so much more than a show about two demon-hunting brothers, especially seasons 2 and beyond.

And you're welcome for the previous comment. :D

February 14 2010 at 10:03 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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