February 6, 2010

new to me: supernatural

Lately, I've been really into discovering older shows that are new to me. On my schedule recently has been the cult-classic Firefly and Gossip Girl, which (gasp) I had never seen before, via Netflix. I'll write about them soon. Thanks to syndication on TNT, a little show called Supernatural just came into my life as well. At the beginning of January, TNT started airing Supernatural weekdays at 10:00am ET from the beginning. I've been DVRing and catching up when I have time. I just finished season one. I'm in love.

Supernatural is one of those shows that I always knew I should be watching. I like the actors from their previous projects, great endorsements from my favorite bloggers and writers, a CW show with science-fiction/mythical tendencies. They basically had me at hello. But it took me a while to get on the train because I always wanted to start from the beginning, but never seemed to get it to the top of the Netflix queue. So, thanks TNT for airing the repeats in order.

Right now, the show is in its fifth season on CW, and going strong from what I hear. Although I did read a rumor that Eric Kripke (show runner) intended for the show to run for five seasons. Not sure where that stands.

After the first season, I'm hooked. For those who haven't seen it, the basic premise is two brothers who hunt supernatural bad guys. As young boys, they lost their mother to a nasty demon and spent the rest of their childhood following their dad's quest to hunt and kill all demons, vampires, evil spirits, reapers, and the like. At first, I was afraid hunting supernatural monsters wouldn't be my cup of tea. I suffer from a combination of the inability to suspend my disbelief for television and complete 'fraidy cat syndrome.

But I got over that pretty quickly thanks to the great writing. Their ability to bring humor to each weekly hunt while also drawing in mythical stories and legends from various cultures throughout history, almost has me believing.

Here are a few of my favorite things:

Sam Winchester. The younger brother played by Jared Padalecki, who the enlightened among you will recognize as Dean from Gilmore Girls. I was worried that I would have a hard time seeing Jared in a different role, but this is exactly what he needed as an actor. He's been able to do brilliant things with this role that we never got to see on GG. Sam is considered the "rebellious" child, abandoning the life of hunting in favor of going to college and living a normal life. But after the mysterious death of his girlfriend at the hands of a demon and disappearance of his father, Sam is convinced by his brother to rejoin the hunt. Often, he acts more from a place of personal revenge, then fighting evil, which has him butting heads with his brother and father.

Dean Winchester.
It's official, I have a new television crush, and his name is Dean Winchester. Jensen Ackles' brooding good looks could have lead this character into melodramatic cheese territory, but instead, he's pretty hilarious and fun to watch. As the older brother, Dean is loyal to his father and protective of his brother - sometimes to a fault. Although he's older, Dean is definitely the more vulnerable of the two brothers - hidden behind a tough persona and what often seems like a stronger instinct for hunting (Sam relies more on books and evidence). He is motivated by the mission to destroy evil - programmed into him by his dad.

Dad Winchester. Having only seen the first season, which has an unfortunate ending for John Winchester, I'm not sure how big of a role the boys' dad plays in the rest of the series. As usual, Jeffrey Dean Morgan was a great cast for this role. Dad Winchester provides the inspiration and direction for most the Winchester hunts, as the boys carry on their father's tradition. Episodes with all three of them are great examples of how well-written the men are in this show. The father-son moments are realistic (to the extent you can say that when the characters are chasing demons) without going over-the-top. His clashes with Sam are some of the best scenes in season one.

Music. It's obvious Erik Kripke puts a lot of thought into the soundtrack of this show and possibly projects his love of good rock onto Dean? And the Impala doesn't hurt.

A few things that bug me... the weekly damsel in distress. Whether she's the victim, the victim's sister, or just a townie, there is almost without fail a hottie involved with each case for Dean and/or Sam to charm. If not for the funny writing, this would get old quickly. Also, where is their luggage? They always seem to have different clothes, but the trunk if full of monster weapons and nothing appears to be in the back seat. Also, so many significant facial lacerations and no scars? Haha...these are all silly things, but they plague me.

Bottom line: glad I finally got around to watching this show and looking forward to catching up. Any closet Supernatural fans reading the blog? If so, post your thoughts in comments. I'm sure I haven't done the show much justice having only watched the first season.


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