Before we begin, I would like to make sure one thing is clear: I am a huge fan of the TV show Supernatural. One lazy afternoon, while I was browsing Netflix, this show popped up on my "You Might Also Enjoy..." list and I thought, "What the hell? I don't have anything to do, why not give it a try? Plus, those guys are pretty cute." What I didn't know at that point was that I would then spend about three weeks binge watching the seven seasons (each of which contained about 20 episodes). I honestly still have no idea how this show wormed its way into my life as quickly as it did, but anyway, here's the skinny on Supernatural...
- Supernatural is a fantasy television show, currently airing on the CW network (what used to be the WB), that started September 13, 2005
- So far, there are 9 seasons and they have been picked up for a 10th
- There are only really two main cast members, Jared Padalecki and Jensen Ackles, but three other actors can seen as main cast as well: Jim Beaver, Misha Collins and Mark Sheppard.
The basic premise of Supernatural can be summed up by one of the show's catchphrases: "Saving people, hunting things, the family business." Sam and Dean are brothers who, after their mother is killed by a demon when they are young, are raised by their father to hunt monsters. The first few seasons mainly focus on urban legends, such as Hookman, Bloody Mary and other ghost stories and urban legends, all while the boys try to hunt down the demon that killed their mother. After season one, the story becomes more layered. I'm not going to go into too much detail about here, because I wouldn't want to spoil anything for anyone on the off chance I've piqued their interest enough for them to give the show a try. (I am going to try really hard to give as much basic information as I can without spoiling anything).
Sam Winchester (Jared Padalecki): While studying pre-law at Stanford University, Sam gets drawn back into monster hunting (or as they refer to it in the show, just plain "hunting") by his older brother Dean. He doesn't really enjoy the hunter lifestyle and would prefer to leave that portion of his life behind. When it comes to hunting, Sam is typically the one who does the research on what creature or entity the boys are dealing with, but he is more than capable of handling himself in the actual hunting.
Dean Winchester (Jensen Ackles): Dean has been hunting his entire life, first alongside his father, John, and then later with his brother, Sam. He has a very strong connection to the job and he doesn't feel the yearning for a normal life like his brother does. He is more of a "shoot first, ask questions" later type of person, but he is also extremely dedicated to his family, especially his brother, as he had a large part in raising him.
Bobby Singer (Jim Beaver): A fellow hunter and a friend of the family, Bobby is definitely a father figure for the Winchester boys, and as a lot of people in the fandom believe, a better father to them than the boys' real father John. Bobby is a very gruff and cantankerous individual but he obviously cares for Sam and Dean. He runs something like a hunter's operations center, providing research and verification of hunters' various fake IDs.
Castiel (Misha Collins): I'm including Castiel in this list of main characters, even though his first appearance wasn't until season four, because he has become a big part of the show. Unfortunately, if I list even the most basic information about him here, I'll be giving a way a HUGE spoiler, so I'm going to put a basic character summary over in the episode list for season four I'm going to put up.
Crowley (Mark Sheppard): Crowley is an upper level demon who, like Castiel, I consider to be a main character, even though he doesn't first appear until season five. As you can probably tell from his demonic status, Crowley isn't exactly a friend of the Winchester boys and suffice it to say, they have a complicated relationship.
The Impala: As any fan of Supernatural will tell you, the black 1967 Chevrolet Impala that is Sam and Dean's form of transportation is absolutely a main character. The Impala is Dean's prized possession (for obvious reasons of course, I mean it's a badass car). It's also, oddly enough, one of the only constants in the boys' life.
I have attempted several times to summarize all the seasons of Supernatural but each time I've deleted each attempt in frustration. There is quite frankly too many seasons and too many opportunities for spoilers for a flat out summary of each season so, after a suggestion from mad girl's love song, I've settled on using an episode guide. Each season's episode guide will have the name of the episode, the episode number and a short...teaser I guess would be a word for it, for each episode (kind of like those descriptions on a TV guide). This way you get an idea what the episode is about and I don't feel guilty for spoiling anything with too much information. I will caution you that if somehow I've piqued your interest and you want to start watching, I would advise against peeking at the episode guides from season 4 on. There's a major storyline addition in the first episode of season 4 that kind of changes everything in the Supernatural universe and if you already know about it, the well written build up to the reveal would seem pointless and that would be a shame.
Alright, one of the other things that I feel needs to be mentioned when discussing Supernatural is the fandom. The fandom of Supernatural, while very small when compared to other shows, is one of the most interesting that I have ever seen. These fans are extremely dedicated and enthusiastic. (Please note: I'm not really including myself in the fandom per se, not because I would be ashamed to be included, but because I don't engage in even a quarter of the shenanigans that these people get up to, and I mean that with the deepest respect. I don't feel I've earned my place in the main fandom). The actors on the show who attend the fan-organized conventions have said that they did not expect the fans to be so enthusiastic and they actually enjoy going to the events and meeting everyone.
I will admit I've watched some panels from Supernatural conventions where the actors were asked questions by the audience and I genuinely believe they were having a good time with it. (Some of those panels get pretty wild, I laughed my ass off watching some the antics these actors get up to.) I've also noticed this fandom is very into charity. This may have a lot to do with actor Misha Collins promoting charitable organizations such as Random Acts, which the fans have embraced with gusto. Now I'm not saying that this fandom is better than any of the other TV show fandoms (I'm not trying to call out the Trekkies or the Whovians here) I'm just saying that I seem to enjoy this fandom because of its unique quirks.
As I stated at the beginning, I love this show. I love the premise, the storylines (well, most of them) and the quirks. One of the things that I think make this show enjoyable is that you can enjoy watching it but it's also fun to make fun of. Even though I'm a big fan, I will be the first one to point out the show's flaws and plot holes, and I'll admit that the show isn't great 100% of the time. I wasn't a fan of season 7. If you haven't seen the show and want to start, I'm going to warn you it's a bit hard to deal with Season 7, but you have to muscle through to season 8 and things get better. (To those who liked Season 7 and would like to give me a piece of their minds, feel free to message me and tell me how in the world that season made sense to you).
It's definitely a show that grows on you. In the back of my brain, I know that if I hadn't been drawn in by the interesting storylines and well written episodes in the first couple seasons, I wouldn't be watching it today because quite frankly there are quite a few more misses than hits in the later seasons. And yet, despite the show's flaws, I find myself waiting for each new episode every week, cursing the multiple hiatuses and counting the days until the new season premiere.