Monday, January 5, 2009

Paranormal TV: Supernatural

Today begins my year-long series of paranormal reviews. At least once a month, I'll talk about a paranormal/sci fi TV series or movie. Also each month, I'll do at least one paranormal book review. First up is my favorite TV show, Supernatural. It's actually kind of ironic that this is my favorite show since I'm a total chicken in real life. I hate things that go bump (or creak or whatever) in the night. And yet, that's exactly what the Winchester brothers, Dean and Sam, deal with each week. They are hunters of things that most people think are myth and legend and horror stories -- vampires, werewolves, women in white, witches, demons, you name it.

Like many good programs, Supernatural is split into two parts -- monster-of-the-week episodes and ones that feed into the overall mythology that connects Sam to demons (even though he's a good guy) and Dean to angels (even though he's the bad boy, though one of the good guys). We're not quite sure where this is going, and it keeps viewers on the edge of seats. The stakes get bigger with each season. I mean, seriously, Dean went to hell at the end of last season, and he's been dealing with the ramifications of that this season after being pulled out by an angel (of the warrior type) named Castiel, who I think has been a very interesting character addition.

So what makes a chicken like me love this show?

1. The brothers' relationship. It's loving, it's combative, it's strained, it's teasing, it's all the things a real brotherly relationship is like but with the added pressure of trying to save the world from demons and such. These two guys are constantly on the road fighting evil. They can't have real jobs, homes, or romantic relationships. All they have is each other. Oh, and...

2. Bobby. He's a crusty older hunter who was friends with the boys' dad, John. He's a flannel-wearing, ballcap-wearing, bearded guy who has a junkyard, a house full of hunter/paranormal resources, and lots of "don't be stupid" wisdom. I just love Bobby. If they ever kill him off, I'll just cry.

3. The big story arc. I want to know what's going to happen in this war between demons and angels, what's going to happen to my boy Sam (yes, I'm a Sammy girl in a world where most people are Dean girls), and whether the boys ever banish enough evil to have a normal life.

4. Quotes. OMG, this show is full of fantastic quotes, typically between Dean and Sam. While I love Sam, Dean is hysterical and has the best quotes. A sampling:

"I'm not going to die in a hospital where the nurses aren't even hot."

"It's like we got a contract on us. You think it's 'cause we're so awesome. I think it's 'cause we're so awesome."

Dean Winchester: [Sam points to a word carved into a telephone pole] Croatoan? Sam Winchester: Yeah. [Dean stares blankly.] Sam Winchester: Roanoke... lost colony... ring a bell? Dean, did you pay any attention in history class? Dean Winchester: Yeah. Shot heard 'round the world, how bills become laws... Sam Winchester: That's not school; that's schoolhouse rock!

These are really funny when you know the characters, but I'm hoping they translate as funny to those who have not seen the show. Gasp!

5. The boys are hot. So shoot me -- both Dean and Sam are not hard to look at.

So, any Supernatural fans out there? What are your favorite parts of the show? Which brother do you prefer?


Savanna Kougar said...

Great blog, Trish. I have more an understanding about how and why the show works...
Truthfully, I couldn't get into it. I think because the guys are so young...but that's just me. Whereas I could get into the youth-focused Roswell series.

Anonymous said...

I've seen it a couple of times and I agree with you on just about everything. Sadly, this sounds like one of those terrific shows that I'd probably watch and enjoy but don't. It might be time to rectify that. Not too many characters on other demon/vampire/werewolf shows quote the movie Animal House. Fortunately, the library has at least one season available for takeout.


jo robertson said...

Superific post, Trish. Supernatural is one of my absolute favorite shows and you captured both the flavor of the show and the characters well.

I also like how Dean and Sammy battle daily demons, understanding the whole world is heading toward Armageddon and the final conflict between good and evil.

I usually LOL at the boys' antics and their lines and facial expressions are priceless. I tell you, this is not just a show for teens by any means!

I'm also curious about Joss Whedon's upcoming show DOLLHOUSE with Buffy alum Eliza Dushku. Be sure to review that for us when it comes out in February. I'm not so hot on Dushku, but I adore Whedon.

Christie Kelley said...

Now Trish, didn't you just know this would pull me out of the writing cave? LOL

I lurve Dean. Sam's okay but Dean is all mine. One of my secondary characters is based on Dean and I can't wait to write his book. But first I have to get this one done.

And this season has been the best so far.

Trish Milburn said...

Savanna, I'm a fan of Roswell too and will be doing a post on it at some point. I watched this truly dreadful movie on Sci Fi called Dragon Wars just because Jason Behr from Roswell was in it. OMG, did it suck.

Pat, you should totally catch up via DVD. Totally fun show.

Trish Milburn said...

And, btw, one of my favorite Dean quotes doesn't make any sense unless you watch the show and know his affinity for pie, but for those of you who are fans...

"Dude, where's the pie?" :)

Trish Milburn said...

Jo, I can't tell you how much I'm eagerly awaiting Dollhouse. I just hope, hope, hope that FOX doesn't f*&^ this one up for Whedon like they did Firefly. Grrr. I actually like Eliza Dushku, and I got to meet Tahmoh Penikett at DragonCon after he did a program on Dollhouse. Got my picture taken with him. Very nice guy.

Trish Milburn said...

Christie, did I know you were a SPN fan? I see you one of the legions of Dean girls. That's okay. More Sammy for me. :) I will say Jensen Ackles (Dean) has done some fabulous acting on that show in the past couple of years. Wow, some heavy, emotional stuff and then some really hysterical stuff. He's got a lot of range.

MaryF said...

The quotes are my, well, my second favorite part :) I've always been a Dean girl....until this season. Now I'm leaning toward Sammy.

Sam's getting some good lines lately, too. "Dude, you're confusing reality and porn again."

Evonne Wareham said...

I love the series, but have to wait until it swims the Atlantic to catch up. (Much like my copy of Romantic Times, which arrives just about when the next is due out.) Looks like there is good stuff to come.

Trish Milburn said...

Mary, Sam is getting some good lines. He's always had some, but Dean just always seemed to have more. Love the Sammy line you shared. :)

Evonne, if it makes you feel any better, I have to wait until the BBC stuff swims the Atlantic in the other direction since I don't get BBC America on my cable lineup.

jo robertson said...

I've loved Sammy since his days on Gilmore Girls, but Dean's the one who's got my heart. I'm with Christie on this one. He has such a smart-ass attitude and bad-boy gruff exterior. It's been great to watch his maturation over the seasons.

It looked like Dollhouse was going to have the same probs as Firefly until Whedon did some rewriting. I think he's just so brilliant that he gets too complicated for us "normal" folks and Fox has to bring him back to the middle of the road. His shows are always about the metamorphosis of the individual so I'm eager to see how Dushku evolves in Dollhouse.

Savanna Kougar said...

I wish they would let Whedon's brilliance stand. Some of us appreciate the complexity. I loved Firefly the way it was.
In fact, I don't watch many TV shows for this very reason. Boredom is a bad thing.

Natalie J. Damschroder said...

Mary, me, too. It's been happening all season, but when I saw the clip of an upcoming show and Sam's in a janitor uniform...I flipped teams. :)

Evonne, you've got some GREAT stuff to look forward to!

I agree with Savanna. I came late to the Whedon altar. Fox made them drop the totally awesome, fully engrossing pilot of Firefly and instead forced him to do The Train Job, which made me shrug and not be eager to watch more of the show because I didn't know anyone, who they were, who I was supposed to care about. And my favorite episodes of all of his shows are the most complex ones (though often those are not ones he wrote--Tim Minear and Bed Edlund rock!).

Anyway, I have my fingers crossed for Dollhouse, too!

Norah Wilson said...

Trish, great blog! Sorry I'm late to the party.

"Dude, where's the pie?" BWA-HA-HA!

And hey, what's all this team flipping??? I think Sammy is very nice to look at, but I'm a Dean girl to the end. :-)

During this hiatus, I've actually been watching the series from the beginning (can't say enough about, and loving it all over again.

A favorite quote from Dean from "In My Time of Dying". He's in spirit form and no one can see him except the reaper who is after him. His dad and Sam are arguing and he's trying to make them stop, but they can't here him. He manages to hit a glass of water and send it crashing. Dean: "Dude! I full-on Swazied that mother!"

Trish Milburn said...

LOL, Natalie. And yay, Go Team Sammy!

Norah, I love that quote too! There are so many wonderful ones, and as a common user of the word "dude" myself, I love that it's one of the boys' favorites as well.

Jessa Slade said...

I have trouble getting into TV series because I can't schedule the time. However, I will always make time for Josh Whedon. And in the interest of research, I did download a few pix of Dean ;)

Looking forward to more of your reviews on paranormal themes in other media.

Lexie O'Neill said...

You may never see this! But I did want to support you, even though I can't seem to find the opportunity to watch anything that doesn't show on Disney...maybe someday:)
It sounds great--you say the first season is on DVD?