TV Series Review: SUPERNATURAL – Season 1 (2005)
What if all the urban legends, creatures of myth, folk lore, horror stories, wives’ tales and religious superstitions, were not exaggerations or imaginary cultural stories…but existed in reality. That is the basis for the awesome and innovative TV series SUPERNATURAL.
One would think that a show on a teeny bopper channel like The CW would contain elements of teenage angst and emo-ness that makes one cringe, however, SUPERNATURAL not only is devoid of that kind of melodrama… but even mocks it at some points. A basic procedural show about two brothers, Dean and Sam Winchester, in search of their missing father has great moments of comradery between the lead characters. The mismatch of attitudes and personalities of the two brothers—as they set out not only try to find their father, but also answers that reveal their mothers murderer—leads to great light hearted situational comedy, in a genre that sees them hunting and killing demons, monsters and basically evil things. Following their father into a life of ‘hunting’ Sam and Dean have had a very abnormal and unconventional childhood that is until Sam, the more sensitive and self reflecting Winchester, decides to lead a normal life by going to College. Sam’s pleasant-ville life is cut short by the death of his girlfriend in the same manner as his mother, suspectedly, by the same demon.
This gives Sam a purpose to leave behind his chosen life, to go back into the traumatizing life of hunting creatures, and even more so traumatizing is that it’s with his brother. The relationship between the two brothers grows through the season from bickering housewives to partners in crime who act in sync. The entire show rests on the shoulders of the main leads and their dynamic through out the show. The show follows a basic premise of each episode being a standalone, monster of the week feature… with some minor tidbits about their father that connects the story through the whole season.
The humor and lighthearted nature of SUPERNATURAL is most likely what sets it apart from other creature features that have come and gone. The contrast between the two characters keeps things fresh and moving. The 1st season of SUPERNATURAL paces itself quite well, no slow talky episodes… basically revolving around finding their father and the demon that killed their mother. It’s always all action, mystery and suspense; quite often you can see it coming, given it’s a monster-ish show, however it’s still a scream and very enjoyable to experience. The way the lore and myth are used in the show, is really unique and the narrative used can very easily resonate with the layman audience.
Over all, Jensen Ackles and Jared Padalecki are great to watch. Neither is SAG worthy talent; however they perform their respective roles rather well. Dean is the typical male chauvinist, whose personality is reminiscent of an era long gone, while Sam is the more contemporary brother who feels, and understands and listens and questions… often at the disapproval of his older brother.
SUPERNATURAL Season 1 is by no means mind blowing or an edge of your seat thriller from the get go. It does take a while to grow on you; however once it does… the desire to continue watching these two brothers try to deal with each other and the supernatural elements out for their lives…is irresistible. Especially after the Season 1 cliffhanger!