Season 5 started last Thursday over on CW, although I have yet to start watching season 4 on DVD. As with my last 10 reasons post, which encouraged non-sci-fi geeks to give Battlestar a go, this post is aimed at those who naturally shy away from the Horror genre. So here goes…
- Jared Padalecki and Jensen Ackles. If you watch this show for no other reason, then watch it for this pairing. The ladies will find these two endearing, while the men can enjoy their shoot first ask questions later approach. As with the x-files, Supernatural relies solely on two cast members and I doubt if casting has ever been more successful than this. Sam and Dean (Jared and Jensen) are certainly more convincing as siblings than say, David and Wayne Palmer or Ross and Monica Gellar and their on screen relationship is an excellent source of tension and humour.
- Love, Bullets and Blacktops – As a product of the world famous Warner Brothers outfit, Supernatural looks awesome. The Chevrolet Impala they drive everywhere in is a thing of beauty, even for non-petrol headed geeks like me. The show is action packed, filled with sawn-off, salt flinging, shotguns, wooden stakes, silver knives and lots and lots of holy water. Demons, Ghost, even the occasional Zombie, all beautifully rendered with top-notch CGI and special FX.
- The Laughs – The beauty of Supernatural, like its predecessors Buffy, Angel, the X-Files, is that the writers and producers are not afraid to laugh at themselves. Season 2 in particular features episodes which take a comical view of the show and the nature of the genre. However, the reason that this show can do that is because of the integrity, ingenuity and intelligence that forms the backbone of the writing. And like Buffy and Angel and the X-Files, much of the humour is derived from the intimate partnership that Jared and Jenson form. Their brotherly companionship and camaraderie is top notch.
- The Screams – Running parallel to the laughs are the frightening horrors that Sam and Dean face in their daily fight against evil. Unlike the other shows I’ve mentioned so far however, Supernatural is a “no holds barred” show when its comes to frightening our pants right off. However unlike the Horror films we see at the pictures Supernatural focuses its attention on detail, stories and relationships, rather than on what might be considered “scary” or worse “cool”.
- The Plot – Without giving too much away Supernatural is a show about two brothers who go in search of the Demon that killed their mom, fighting spirits and saving as many lives as they can along the way. Within that, each season has a self contained plotline that forms a part of the greater mythology of the show and unlike, for example, the X-files, there are not “Mythology” episodes and “Monster of the Week” episodes, but instead the mythology is interwoven into every episode. This overarching plotline is truly epic and because the show features only two main cast, it always directly affects them.
- Monsters of the Week – Because Supernatural doesn’t lump all its Mythology into one episode its reasonably easy to dip into and out of if you just fancy a little bit of light-hearted Horror. All the episodes conclude the story they start within 45 minutes, so as a casual watch Supernatural is excellent, although I highly recommend watching it all!
- The Creative Team – Ok so I’ve mentioned the X-files quite a bit so far and here’s why. Kim Manners and John Shiban, sound familiar? They were both producers on the X-files, with Manners directing 52 episodes (more than any other series director) while Shiban wrote 24 of the 201 episodes. To me Supernatural feels like the show the X-files should have been. Add to this Ben Edlund, writer and producer on Angel, Firefly and the under-appreciated Point Pleasant. Ben wrote the episode Trash for Firefly, which ranks amongst my top three episodes, as well as Smile Time for Angel, which was my favourite episode of all time. Throw in the creative genius of Eric Kripke, series creator and writer on 83 episodes and you have a recipe for success, sprinkle with David Nutter and Sera Gamble and serve with a big budget!
- The Squigglies – The writing on Supernatural is brilliant. The shows ability to mix humour and horror, whilst delivering a depth of human character is just spell-binding. The central theme for the show is often revenge, after all that is what sets Sam and Dean on their quest. Unfortunately vengeance is one of the most alienating of character motivations. However the writers on Supernatural always manage to walk the fine line that keeps the spirit of the show true to the original vision, without alienating the audience. The writers take us on an emotional journey filled with joy and sadness, love and loss, fear and anger, companionship and betrayal. They are not afraid to push the boundaries and think outside the box, putting Sam and Dean in situations where they must choose the lesser of two evils.
- The Supporting Cast – As good as Jared and Jenson are (and they really are) they would be nothing without the supporting cast. Geoffrey Dean Morgan (Watchmen) plays their absentee father, hell bent on destroying the demon that killed his wife. While the demon is brought to life by Fred Lehne (The Marshal from Lost). The undeniably beautiful Alona Tal (Cane) features as the amateur hunter Jo, while Jim Beaver (Harper's Island) plays supernatural’s answer to Giles in the role of the all-knowing Bobby Singer. Joining them is a whole host of guest stars; Amy Acker (Angel), Julie Benz (Dexter), Tricia Helfer (BSG) and so many more.
- Yes, reason 10, well, I know there was one, but you know, it seems to have slipped my mind… ;)
Well, that is My Two Cents, remember that Supernatural Season 5 is now airing on Thursdays on the CW.