Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Supernatural Season 1

I rarely watch TV shows. It’s not a snobbery or a stuck up thing, it’s just that like everyone else I have limited time and as a TV show represents potentially hundreds of hours of investment I had better be damn sure I’m going to like it, before investing that sort of mental real estate. But I was somewhat curious about Supernatural, the long running horror/cute but non threatening lead delivery system, series system that has been running for the past several years.

Turns out it wasn’t bad. True the show rarely delivers any actual scares and at times seems far more concerned with showcasing the abs of its leads than any of the ghosts or demons they’re happening to fight. But it’s a light well made series, that manages to be a fair amount of fun. It’s like watching two not unlikable guys fight their way through a forty five minute Roger Corman film every week.

The show follows two monster killing brothers who are on the trail of their missing father (Badass in retrospect Jeffery Dean Morgan). Along the way they stop in various small towns across the US and battle a varied assortment of ghosts, demons, pagan gods and other supernatural beings and get in the occasional bits of surprisingly chaste romance (One of the interesting subtle ways in which the show is female centric is just how seldom these one episode romances get beyond a peck on the cheek. The days when Tom Selleck or James Garner could leave behind a trail of illegitimate children in their wake are long gone.) Though the show does spend an awful lot of time on a subplot involving the younger sibling’s resentment at being pulled back into the world of monster hunting after an extended hiatus, it’s just the kind of thing that is more noticeable with episodes watched back to back rather then spaced out over the course of a television season.

As said the show is usually too art directed to be scary. But it is at least creative. Switching between old standards (Indian Burial Ground) and original monsters. The effects themselves are pretty decent (We’ve come a long way since the days of Buffy’s first season) and manage a couple of creepy moments.

It doesn’t break any new ground in the genre. But it’s obviously made by people with a real affection for the horror genre, if not understanding of it. Really the show is for the most part content to just be a fun run through monster of the week. The perfect thing to watch over some Chinese left overs coming home beat from work. 


Rob said...

I'm no expert (I've probably seen about 15 episodes scattered throughout its run) but it feels like it was better in earlier seasons. Like Buffy and X-Files, the episodes that are "stand alone" are the ones that work best (I have no idea what season it was, but there was one episode set in an abandoned mental asylum that scared the FUCK out of me!).
When later on they explored the whole demonology/hell/fate of the one brother thing, it seemed a lot less compelling (the same way Tru Calling was most interesting before all the personal backstory started overshadowing every storyline).
Hmm...maybe these are all attempts to flesh out series and make them more real--it's too bad it doesn't always work so well (all that Mulder's abducted sister stuff is a perfect example).
Sorry for such a lengthy comment--Now I'm thinking about the remake of My Bloody Valentine--maybe I should watch it again...

A hero never dies said...

I avoided the show for a long time, but once I started it I found it pretty enjoyable. I agree with Rob, the first three seasons probably have the better episodes as from the 4th onwards the mythology and overall season arcs take over to the detriment of the fun although it certainly does still have it's moments. The Christmas episode of season 3 (I think!) is probably one of the finest holiday episodes of anything I've ever seen.

Bryce Wilson said...

Rob you're always welcome to give lengthy comment.

As for your and HND comments I have to say it's funny because everyone else I've talked to have said that Supernatural is one of the few shows that improves when it's mythology kicks in.

Either way I'm looking forward to digging into the next couple of seasons.

I still miss Reaper tho : (

liquid said...

The later seasons move to the tired demons vs. asshole angels territory that you've seen a million times before, and the writers keep feeling the need to go for a bigger, more impressive threat (which becomes a bit ridiculous once the leads have defeated Satan and averted armageddon). The early seasons' plotlines spend less time intruding into the individual episodes and have a much more personal focus (the brothers' race to stop season three's foregone conclusion being the best, I think). They never really sell the shift from demons being the biggest threat out there to the show's Putty Patrollers, either. There's also a nice travelogue feel that gets lost after the second season, and a focus on Americana (Bloody Mary, Wendigos, that dumb racist truck) that gets dropped for monsters in general after the first season.

Plus, in the later seasons they attempt to make the heroes more morally ambiguous, but just sort of end up at everyone is bitches.

Anonymous said...

Great series. And you've quite a collection here. I am a great fan of the series myself and have a link that contains the first season torrent link with all the episodes compressed. Here it goes.