Tuesday, February 26, 2013


(Minor spoilers follow)

I watched a few episodes of Supernatural in the past, and always enjoyed it.  The most basic premise is that two brothers travel around the country fighting unnatural bad things.  On that level, it's an enjoyable show, if you tolerate some grimness.  I discovered the show was on Netflix a few months ago, and started from the beginning, and that gives a completely different perspective.

Dean (Jensen Ackles) and Sam (Jared Padelecki) have grown up in this lifestyle due to a tragedy in their childhood.  They travel in their black 1967 Chevrolet Impala to mysterious occurrences around the country, usually masquerading as federal law enforcement to find more about the situation.  There are additional plot arcs, but each episode can be enjoyed as its own separate story.

This is by nature a dark and brooding epic, but it's much different than the Twilight "please drink my blood!' romantic nonsense.  Sam and Dean have favored weapons (a SxS 12 gauge and 1911 for Dean, a sawed-off pump and Taurus 92 for Sam), as well as an additional arsenal against the forces of evil.  While not likely to bother adults, I would never let any 10-year-olds watch this show, and probably want watchers to be 14 or older.  This is both because of gore and disturbing ideas and images- again, if you're a reasonably sane adult, you may very well enjoy it, but this isn't a kids' show.

The characters in this show are frequently in desperate circumstances, and often feel they are trapped in a hopeless existence, but this bleakness is offset by frequent lighter-toned episodes that relieve the tension, and that are usually very funny.  The writers freely invent fanciful "facts" (Samuel Colt was a demon hunter who built a revolver that could kill almost anything evil, for instance), but sometimes also write in real history, such as the "Murder HotelHerman Webster Mudgett used to kill at least 27 people in the 1890s.

It's rare for television programs to hold my attention for long, and the ones that I do like quite a bit (Lie to Me, Dead Like Me) have a habit of being cancelled early.  It's nice to find an fun and engrossing television serial with entire seasons to enjoy.

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