More Grown-Up Fantasy TV! This time I’m putting the CW’s Supernatural under the microscope. Fair warning: I haven’t watched this show the way I’ve watched my other shows. As much as I’d love to, I simply don’t have time to settle in and watch all eight seasons in a row. However, I catch it on TV quite a lot, and I’ve kept up with the plot enough to know what’s going on. I feel like I know enough to do a proper review, but forgive me if there seem to be holes here and there.
Like the last TV show I reviewed, Grimm, Supernatural is much more family-friendly than most of my other Grown-Up Fantasy shows. However, it’s pretty dark, creepy, and violent, so it’s still not for every age. Supernatural is an undeniably fun show, but it’s also one of those shows that begins one way and ends up becoming something entirely different. Though in some ways that’s a good thing, it kind of makes you long for the simpler episodes of the first few seasons. But is that enough to ruin it? No way.
Synopsis: “Two brothers follow their father’s footsteps as ‘hunters,’ fighting evil supernatural beings of many kinds including monsters, demons, and gods that roam the earth.” –Borrowed from my favorite movie site, IMDb.
The Good: The brothers. Dean (Jensen Ackles) and Sam (Jared Padalecki) would literally go (and, in fact, have gone) to hell and back for one another. They are so wonderfully, ridiculously dedicated to each other that you can’t help admiring their relationship. And though there are plenty of dramatic moments between them, they are also just so funny. They deal with ghosts, demons, angels, and all manner of craziness, but at the end of the day they’re just a couple of dudes in a weird, weird world. Dean, the flirtatious, devil-may-care older brother, has an undeniable sense of humor, while serious, often grumpy Sam is the butt of his brother’s jokes. They are a magical team. Really, all of the characters are pretty great. With his frequent exclamations of “ya idjit” and his generally surly demeanor, father-figure Bobby (Jim Beaver) is a great mentor for the brothers. He doesn’t exactly wear his heart on his sleeve, but he clearly cares for the boys, and his cracks never fail to inspire laughs. Then there’s Castiel (Misha Collins)—an angel inhabiting a human body. Solemn, gravelly-voice Castiel is often a little too blunt due to the fact that he doesn’t quite grasp human behavior. He’s hilarious. These characters band together to fight nasty beasts and their wicked schemes, and it’s all pretty awesome. The scripts are solid, the story is intriguing, and the characters are very likeable. It’s no wonder that Supernatural has lasted so long. Favorite moment: In the sixth episode of season four, Dean falls prey to a sickness that induces fear and paranoia. Long story short, we get to hear him scream like a little girl. I die every time I see it. Watch it here.
The Bad: Though the characters are great, sometimes you wish you could punch them. Because some of them make the same stupid mistakes over and over again. As a viewer, it’s frustrating and slightly unbelievable for me to watch these characters’ lives go in a circle. It’s like this: 1) a character goes through awful, life-altering drama, 2) that characters swears off the mistakes he/she made to cause aforementioned drama, 3) a season or two later, that character is back to the EXACT SAME CRAP that got him/her in the bad situation before. Sam, notorious for making dumb choices, is especially bad about this. Also, Sam and Dean are so self-sacrificing when it comes to protecting each other that their behavior can get pretty predictable. Though it’s sweet to see that they care for each other so much, when it’s done a billion times, it gets a little old. Other than that my only major qualm is that the overarching plot gets a little…wonky. What begins as two brothers fighting monsters and searching for their dad becomes a bizarre, intense battle between heaven and hell with Sam and Dean caught in the middle. Oh yeah, and there’s this whole apocalypse thing for a while, too. Plus a little time travel now and again. Strange episodes like these make you long for a time when the brothers were simply on the road, looking for monsters to chase out of small towns. Those were the good ol’ days… Least favorite moment: Let’s forget the “moment” for now. I’m just gonna say Sam. I think all Supernatural fans can attest to having a love-hate relationship with him, but with his frequent terrible decisions and all of the crap he puts his brother through, he annoys me more often than not.
To Sum It Up: Supernatural has been a long-running cult favorite. The show has its flaws, but it’s highly entertaining, the characters are fantastic, and, frankly, it’s completely addictive. One day, you bet I’m going to settle in for those eight seasons. Can’t wait to see what the ninth season brings. P.S. Season nine of Supernatural premieres on the CW October 8th. You’re welcome 😉
My Grade: A-