Better than one would ever expect...

I have to say it: I never thought I'd be the type of person to watch Supernatural. For those of you that share that sentiment, let me say: You MUST watch Supernatural.

It came on right after Smallville - a bad omen in my opinion - so I didn't expect much of it. It looked like the type of show that relied on an audience of teenage girls ogling the two lead actors and teenage boys ogling the car driven by the two lead actors to keep it afloat. That, or a bad Buffy/X-Files hybrid rip-off. A sort of "watch the hot guys blow up monsters without breaking a sweat!" saga. Gag me.

Imagine my surprise, then, when my cousin forces me to watch one random episode - I believe it was "Skin" - and I find myself buying the first two seasons and watching them obsessively. I laughed. I wept. I got frightened.

For those of you discouraged by the potential for cheesiness or bad-acting in this show, don't be. Padalecki and Ackles, who hoist the show up nearly entirely on their own, are fascinating to watch and are so good at their parts that it's easy to think they're really brothers. All the supporting actors/actresses hold their own as well.

And as for cheesiness - yes, there are monsters. There are witches and vampires and a wendigo and serial killers come back from the grave. And yes, there are evil clowns. But none of this feels like cliche so much as it does a tribute to rural Americana and the myths that have sprung up in our young country. This theme is supported by classic rock that, whatever your musical preference, suits this show, settings and the Chevy Impala perfectly. These ghost-stories we already know allow Supernatural to teem with action, suspense, and genuine fear-inducing sequences but still maintain alternative overlapping storylines. Every episode would make a decent horror-film by anyone's standards...but almost every episode is better than that because of one more attribute.

Despite the ingenious simplicity and thrills of the plot-lines, the show would be nothing without the main story that drives it: that of a dysfunctional family, and of two brothers who are only really understood by one another trying to remain themselves through various plights as they road-trip across the country. Sam and Dean Winchester epitomize universal feelings about family and loss, death and grief, but also joy and strength that comes from such struggles. Dean's character is that of the older brother looking out for his messed up, possibly-demonic but genuinely good little brother. Sam's character is that of the younger brother looking up to his older brother and still fighting to maintain his own identity. The relationship between the two is complex and satisfying, and often very evokative or humorous ("Bitch." "Jerk.") When things get bad for one of the boys, the opposite one is always willing to sacrifice everything to spare his brother any suffering. This selfless caring for one another is ultimately the Winchesters' greatest strength and weakness.


For all these reasons, and for countless more, Supernatural should be watched by anyone who likes...well,by everyone.


And yes, the Winchesters do break sweat.

Comments

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RachelLEditor
Sep 1, 2008 3:08PM EDT

Great review, thomtinuviel! I completely agree with everything you have written.I know that some people at least are already watching Supernatural, since it has survived 3 seasons (airing first on the WB and now the CW), but I still think it doesn't get enough credit for how good of a show it actually is.

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Sep 2, 2008 9:55PM EDT

It certainly doesn't get its due credit. But critics base their reviews of television shows primarily on pilot episodes - or at least, they did with Supernatural - so the reviews were incomplete. The joy of this show is watching the characters grow and support one another through every plight.Some people ARE watching supernatural...at least two of us.Ha ha ha...

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Sep 15, 2008 1:37PM EDT

love the review thom. there's no downside to this series. suoernatural rocks!

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Sep 15, 2008 5:00PM EDT

Indeed, it does rocketh.
: )
One Downside : It has to end eventually.
NOOOOO!!!!

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