What’s On TV: Supernatural

Articles | Nov 23rd, 2006

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I remember reading Bryan’s “What’s On TV” article awhile back and since he was right about being a lazy sod, we never saw another TV article so I decided to write one myself. Now I don’t watch much on TV. In fact, the only show that I have watched in years on a weekly basis is a show that unexpectedly got me hooked last year. That show is Supernatural.

Last year there was a flood of paranormal/supernatural-type shows out there. Threshold, Night Stalker and Invasion were gone as quickly as they came. I was actually interested in Night Stalker and after watching the first few episodes, I was extremely disappointed. Night Stalker was supposed to be the next X-Files and I sort of hoped to catch a series like that early on much like I did with the X-Files. But alas, Night Stalker was cancelled after the first handful of episodes and I was left with nothing to watch on TV. One night by chance I was flipping through the channel guide and happened to catch the show description for Supernatural. All that I needed to see was that there was going to be a wendigo in that episode. Being the big comic geek that I am, I was very familiar with both the comic book version and the Native American folklore version. I had never seen anything with a wendigo in it…ever. I decided to watch the show. I was immediately hooked. That was the second episode and I have been watching religiously ever since.

What really makes the show unique is the mix of old school horror with mythology and folklore. The two main characters, Sam and Dean Winchester grew up with a father who was a monster hunter. He would travel around the globe with a book that he updated with information on various creatures and the many ways to kill them. His sons learned the trade from him over the years. Throughout the first season, most of the episodes were much like one-hour horror movies. Supernatural touched upon various boogeymen ranging from American urban legends such as Hookman and Bloody Mary to swarms of killer insects, a murderous scarecrow or a soul-stealing reaper. But they encounter the evilest of them all…demons. One particular demon is responsible for the death of their mother, Sam’s girlfriend and a slew of family friends. The hunt for this demon becomes and ongoing story for Sam and Dean who are outgunned and way out of their league. Their father has been missing for months and it basically comes down to them trying to stand up against a powerful demon from the darkest depths of hell. It leads up to some really good action and drama as well as a very satisfying season one ending/season two beginning.

It seems like the popular consensus opinion on Supernatural is that it has to be crappy because it’s on CW, which is a channel that combined UPN with the WB. We all know that both of those stations were well known for churning out one crap show after another for years. That would probably be the reason that the two stations had to merge together in the first place. Supernatural is really no comparison to anything that I have ever seen on either of those channels. Even the WB’s flagship show Smallville, which is nothing more than Dawson’s Creek with superpowers, can’t really compare. Only The X-Files merits a good comparison to Supernatural and it’s not really an accurate one. The idea is similar…two people, one more of a believer than the other, encounter strange and unexplainable creatures and occurrences and try to solve the mysteries around them. Where the X-Files involved a government-backed department, in Supernatural it’s just two brothers and a book from their father against things that we can only imagine in our minds…only they are real for them.

As I mentioned before, the one thing that kept drawing me back was folklore and myth stories. Being a big fan of weird myths and legends as well as horror lover, there was plenty of variety for me to salivate over. One episode was certainly a Texas Chainsaw Massacre redux and another was similar to I Know What You Did Last Summer, but when they started throwing in stuff like a wendigo, a life reaper under control a priest’s wife and the whole demon storyline, well that’s where Supernatural really set itself apart from the rest of the crowd. You also have to give a nod to the classic rock demon-hunting soundtrack. Just about every episode contains a well-placed snippet from some kick ass songs. A little Black Sabbath here, some Soundgarden there, a touch of Blue Oyster Cult on the side and sprinkle in some Rush and AC/DC while you’re at it. It’s the best television soundtrack ever. EVER!

With the first half of season two over and after watching previews of the second half, I find myself with a feeling that I haven’t had in a very long time…total fandom excitement. I seriously cannot wait for the next new episode and story arc to begin. With that said, the main reason for this article is my love and devotion to underrated and overlooked show. I feel that I have to get the word out on a show that most people may think isn’t worth it just because of the name of a TV station. Even MTV had some good shows at one time. For someone who doesn’t have much to do on a Thursday night and you’re looking for something out of the ordinary on the boob toob…give Supernatural a try. Right now would be a good time to check it out since they will be re-running the season two episodes.

You can check out Supernatural on CW Thursdays at 9PM.