Supernatural was broadcasted for the first time on the 13 of September 2005 by CW. In France, It was two years later (slow, did you say slow?). So I am a regular of this show for the last 7 years (Don’t get me any younger), and as I said about a certain British series, adaptation of the adventures of a famous detective, Supernatural is a show which has never betrayed me (For the Sup. fans, I think my remark is priceless… sweet betrayal…)
It wasn’t a crush, it wasn’t love at first sight, but the building of relationship … Why do I use love vocabulary ? Because the first criticism I always heard concerning my interest in Supernatural was : « You watch this show because of the pretty boys! » … So, I will be clear on that. I won’t tell you Jensen Ackles and Jared Padalecki are not charming, you would call me a hypocrite. Yes, like their set buddy, Misha Collins (in the cast from season 4), said concerning the confirmation of season 10 : « the underwear models are back » … I will answer something sensitive : it’s not their fault! and mine neither! Unfortunately, actors’ plastic isn’t a guarantee of quality for a Tv show (or a movie, a theatre play or a radio broadcast… well, for the radio…😉 ).
I have witnesses ; Supernatural has a male audience too… And I will tell you why : the quality of the show !
So, as I said, it wasn’t love at first sight with the first episode, but the rising of a certain interest… This horror show had potential. It starts with Sam Winchester (Jared Padalecki), a Stanford student with a busty girlfriend and good marks. Sam doesn’t want to go to a Halloween party, not his cup of tea, but finally say yes. What he has in mind is an interview the next week with a prestigious law firm which could certainly seal his destiny… When you see the lovely couple Sam and Jessica are, you tell yourself, « Well, the ideal victims of a basic monster movie ». All the more when, back home, you notice something creeping in there apartment while they are asleep… except… Sam kicked the ass of the something in the dark, which revealed to be a someone, his brother Dean (Jensen Ackles) who must have never learn about doorbell… The fight between the brother must raise a red light; the law student is not what is seemed to be, as his bad boy of a brother. Sam has previously broken all ties with his family, but Dean came to announce him their dad has disappeared « on a hunting trip »…
I could tell you about the rest of the episode, but I don’t want to spoil the pleasure of those who will discover Supernatural (Obviously, thanks to this article). So, I will continue with what everybody knows, that Sam and Dean are hunters, monsters hunters, like their dad, because their mother has been killed by a demon while Sam was 6 months-old and Dean 4 years-old. Nothing new under the sun ? Of course there is!… First, Supernatural recreated its monsters. For example, vampires aren’t afraid of garlic, crucifixes (they are not shiny either) and their set of teeth has nothing to do with Count Dracula’s… The ghosts are most like the good old fashioned ones, but they could have their originalities too. Eric Kripke, creator and show-runner until season 6 (if I am not mistaken), as his writers peck in the mythologies of the world. So the boys will meet Asian demon in this good all America and even meet with some pagan God not particularly benevolent.
Then, there is two qualities which make the show. First, the relationship between the brother. Of course, it’s life and death matter, even if they are not the talkative type – One day, I will count how many time a problem between them ends by a punch – but they have depth, contradictions. Sam is finally not « Joe College » as his brother called him, and Dean is far from simply being a bad boy who makes fun of the police and obey his dad like a good little soldier… They sometimes act against sense; they have these qualities I love in a character (especially a certain gentleman-burglar called Arsène Lupin😉 ), they are humans. They make numerous mistakes, they are not always fair with each other… But everything without Pathos ! As I said, no risk to finish on the shrink’s sofa (except when the hospital is haunted), but a good fight to release the tension, and back to hunting. All the same, Dean’s sense of humour (often dark, often uses in desperated, deadly situations) is a way to release the tension.
Precisely, the second quality of the show is mixing the genres. During 9 seasons (soon 10…), the creative team offered us all registers from comedy to drama. Some episodes are like antic tragedy (the hero facing his fate, which he can’t beat; but fight it anyway like a devil … maybe not the perfect word, but you know what I mean!), and others are pure comedy (The French Mistake, where the brothers are sent in an
alternative reality where they are two actors, Jensen Ackles and Jared Padalecki, playing two characters called Sam and Dean Winchester whose life is only fiction… You could tell Dean didn’t like make-up at all ! Such a plot it’s quite daring, and it’s one of the best comical episodes in the show).
I will add that the performance is perfect, and, I am about to praise Jensen Ackles. In Dean part, the comical moments are often his (even if the rest of the cast just go to their heart content : « I lost my shoe » ; those who have watched Baraka (3.3) will understand, for the others, here – spoiler free). So, watching Dean Winchester (a character who could make Rambo looks like a pussy), screaming like a girl and running from a Yorshire, because he is under a malediction, it’s priceless (Yellow fever 4.7). On the other hand, in the most dramatic moments of the show (Winchesters’ life is far from quiet and peaceful), he could make you cry a river (No, I won’t confess I cried watching the final episodes of season 2, don’t insist!), and you just believe it. As I say at the beginning, even re-creating itself, the show never betrays it spirit. Despite their contradictions, Sam and Dean remain the same, and evolve, as the plots evolves itself.
Another positive point: After nearly 9 years of good service, Sam and Dean are not anymore hunting the demon who has killed their mum… It would have been quite long, wouldn’t it ? Their quest has changed : the crisis, the trials they face get
settled eventually (Careful, it’s rarely fairy tales style, they get of these ordeals a little more damage, a little more combative too). Some shows drag on at leisure concerning their initial problem (because « some people » doesn’t want successful show to stop) and it becomes unrealistic (yes, monsters are not realistic too… or are they ?) and, let’s face it, boring. Supernatural deals with this, because, once the original monster iced (as Dean could say), another took his place. So the show keeps a continuity (still linked to the boys life and past). I won’t say more about it – Spoilers, sweeties ! ;)
Supernatural is much more than Dean’s favourite sentence (no, not « son of a bitch »… honestly!) : Saving people, hunting things, the family business. Supernatural, it’s a whole universe perfectly mastered by the writers… an a musical universe too… Oh, yes, I have to talk about that later…
to be continued