Supernatural – TV Worth Riding With

Supernatural

(Image Credit YouTube.com)

If you follow the television industry behind the scenes in addition to watching scenes you may have heard back in August the CEO of the FX Network, John Landgraf, stated he believes there are simply too many TV shows being made. Mind you his comments came during the Television Critics Association Summer Tour so they raised more than a few eyebrows (that were otherwise watching television no doubt). A month later he expanded on his opinion…

“I’m sensing a little bit of a malaise to tell you the truth. There’s this other notion that you reached something called the paradox of choice, which is you give people too many choices and it breathes discontent because ultimately it’s very hard to pay attention to all the choices. It becomes work to sort through every opportunity that you’re giving them. So you get this vague sense of malaise that even when you’re watching something great there could be something greater that you’re not watching.”

So the last thing you, dear TV devotee, likely needs is another person suggesting you should be watching a show. But what may surprise is I’m recommending a show already well-established in its eleventh season…”Supernatural.”

My wife and I were watching when this series debuted on the WB Network (extra credit for anyone who remembers the WB) back in 2005. After the first couple of episodes we were split on continued viewing and the verdict was to pass. Perhaps it was divine intervention (devotees won’t be surprised by that notion) but we reversed course not long after…and now we’ve probably seen each of the 225-plus episodes produced at minimum a half-dozen times each. It has been appointment television for us for a long time now. (New episodes air Wednesdays at 9 PM Eastern on the CW Network)

So now you’re thinking…how can I possibly take on a show that has not only logged so many miles but is still traveling new roads? (“The Road So Far” is a common theme fans live by…the series’ lead characters log a lot of miles)

Well…my timing of this post coincides with – as long as current scheduling is legit – the “rebooting” of syndicated reruns on the TNT Network. Tuesday, November 24th TNT is scheduled to air Episode 1 of Season 1 at 10 AM Eastern. If you have the opportunity during Turkey Week that’s one way to sample the series. TNT runs several hours of “Supernatural” daily and has helped build the show’s fan base significantly over the last handful of years it has done so.

DVD and Streaming options are also readily available. I should note in particular on the Season 10 DVD release there is a special feature, a mini-documentary if you will, of what extraordinary lengths fans of “Supernatural” go to in not only showing their devotion to the show but for each other. It is one of the better-produced “extras” you’ll find.

Unfortunately it is difficult to suggest you can just dive in anywhere. In a show with this many hours in the rear view mirror multiple, season-long arc back stories obviously exist. Our always-on-the-road heroes, brothers Sam and Dean Winchester, have been to Hell and back.

Multiple times, in fact.

Why should you invest time carving out more time for “Supernatural?”

For starters it’s about determining and honoring your destiny in life, the strength one can draw from within even the most dysfunctional of families, Angels and Demons, Heaven and Hell…and even what lies in between those two far-from-final destinations. It’s got a little bit of everything. It’s violent. It will make you smile. It will make you cry. There are bad guys you root for on occasion (for the greater good). There are good guys you root against on occasion (for their own good).

The bottom line is you have two brothers hitting the highway and following down their dad’s path fighting all things evil. And there are a LOT of evil things out there that need fighting, I assure you.

I am not delusional enough to think I can do adequate justice in this confined space to the stellar work of stars Jensen Ackles and Jared Padalecki (both of whom are also – I’m told – considered to be “easy on the eyes.”)…co-stars Misha Collins, Mark A. Sheppard and Jim Beaver…and the tremendous line-up of guest stars, directors, producers, designers, etc. that have all executed their craft over all these years to provide you any kind of “Best Of” list. I’ve already risked your ire proposing you undertake taking on this series in addition to the ones you are trying to keep up with. To torture already-rabid fans reading this post of “Supernatural” with a “Top Episode” ranking would also be blogging suicide…not that I couldn’t come back from Death (another common theme fans relish).

So…instead I’ll just concentrate on newcomers who want to sample the show before making a formal commitment. Take a peek at the following episodes I find among my favorites, presented in order of appearance and admittedly front-loaded from the early seasons under the assumption you don’t want to be trying to figure what the show is all about too far in. And another very important disclaimer for long-time fans…my taste here runs towards episodes mixing horror and humor more often and more so than our “mythology episodes.”

Season 1, Episode 1 – “Pilot” – Watch this episode first. Do it. It truly sets the stage for what will follow about as good as any pilot episode you’ll ever see and, if you indeed want to jump around, the baseline provided will come in very handy. It also features one of the more shocking scenes you’ll see in a television show’s initial episode.

Season 1, Episode 11 – “Scarecrow” – If you need an example of the “Monster Of The Week” strategy the series cut its teeth on you can likely do no better than watch this episode which deals with an investigation of disappearing couples within a small, truly creepy town in rural Indiana.

Season 2, Episode 18 – “Hollywood Babylon” – The Winchesters go undercover as production assistants on a haunted movie set. “Supernatural” likes to play behind the Fourth Wall of making television and movies…letting us all know this is all just make believe…right?  Right?

Season 3, Episode 11 – “Mystery Spot” – The show pays homage to the classic comedy “Groundhog Day.” How many days – and in how many ways – can one die? Turns out a lot…because of the “Trickster.” One of the best time-loop hours ever.

Season 3, Episode 13 – “Ghostfacers” – Our heroic brothers investigate a case Dad couldn’t crack years earlier and stumble into a wannabe ghost hunting reality show pilot the likes of which after sampling you’ll never, ever take a show on paranormal studies seriously again.

Season 4, Episode 5 – “Monster Movie” – An Oktoberfest effort with polka bands, big beer and bigger pretzels where Dracula, the Wolfman, the Mummy…and a pizza delivery guy…all wind up stealing the show as the cause of the mayhem within a Pennsylvania town’s celebration is far from black-and-white…but this episode is. A tribute to classic creature cinema.

Season 4, Episode 17 – “It’s A Terrible Life” – We don’t know how it happened but the Brothers Winchester have landed in an alternate reality where they don’t know each other…yet. Working at the same company they eventually wind up working a case of sorts…mysterious suicides are all happening under the same roof. And then an Angel appears…

Season 5, Episode 8 – “Changing Channels” – The “Trickster” once more enjoys playing tricks on Sam and Dean. Winking at its audience about the making of hit television shows “Supernatural” takes its shots at parodying series we all love whether we’re able to admit it or not. You’ll never take a drug commercial seriously again either (not that you did to begin with…).

Season 5, Episode 9 – “The Real Ghostbusters” – I have mentioned how fanatical fans of “Supernatural” are. This episode explains that better than anything. A hilarious send-up staged within the confines of a “Supernatural” fan convention it is also a “love letter” to the hard-core fan base this series enjoys.

If you have room…invite the Winchesters in from the road for a spell. They don’t stay in one place for very long…but they might stay in yours.

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About sportsattitudes

I'm Bruce. Born, raised and still outside the City of Brotherly Love. Managed (so far) to visit a dozen of our United States and Canada (twice). Addicted from birth to Television/Movies/Sports. Took three years of French and got credit for two of 'em.
This entry was posted in Entertainment, Life, Opinion, Review, Reviews, Supernatural, Television, TV and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

34 Responses to Supernatural – TV Worth Riding With

  1. Have never seen Supernatural, although, I have heard of it. Now, I’ve had my interest peeked.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Troy Sparks says:

    Excellent post, Bruce! I’m still a Supernatural newbie. Going into the show with 226 episodes (and counting) is daunting to me! I haven’t been into much as of late. I was a faithful viewer of Dexter (despite how awful the final season really was) and Breaking Bad. The two current shows I’ve kept up on have been Ray Donovan (which I need to catch up on season 3) and Better Call Saul. (Was watching weekly until my DVR decided to record reruns over new episodes!)

    Showed my girlfriend this post, she said it was a great one and that if she wasn’t already a massive fan that this post would’ve piqued her interest to start watching it. She said she’d add the episode, “Bad Day at Black Rock” for its humor.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Troy, thanks for the great comment and also for your girlfriend’s endorsement…and suggestion! Much appreciated. Please feel free to pass this post along because Sam and Dean need all the help they can get this season!

      Liked by 1 person

    • Troy, just watched “Bad Day At Black Rock” again and totally agree it could have easily been included in my above list – enjoyed it even more after all these viewings. A thought…perhaps you guys want to compile a favorites list of your own and I’ll put it on a future post? That being said, you and I should work on some kind of joint effort in the future for both our sites. Baseball off-season, NFL playoffs, etc. Think on it and let me know. Email me!

      Like

      • Troy Sparks says:

        Hey, Bruce! I told Dana about the list and she said she’ll comprise one when she gets a chance. I’ll finally power through the whole series one of these days! She’s in a semi-depression over the mid-season break!

        Liked by 1 person

    • Troy, at least the CW usually shows reruns until new shows return! TNT has four hours of reruns on from 9 AM-1 PM Monday-Friday. There are also prior episodes to be found “On Demand” depending on any cable system you might have. The TNT app (and the CW’s I assume of course) lets you play prior shows. Looking forward to Dana’s list…we have to help her get over the mid-season break blues!

      Like

  3. belinda o says:

    I’ve never watched the show, but I’m a fan of Jared Padelecki — he’s used his fame to bring awareness to the issue of depression/suicide “or anything you may be struggling with.” I respect him for that.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for mentioning that cause in your comment Belinda. He’s very active and open about his own issues and I’ve seen footage of him being able to use Comic-Con’s and Conventions alike to help spread the word and raise awareness of mental health challenges in this country.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Belinda, I have been trying to thank you in the comments section of your site for doing a blog post mentioning my site but my comment is not appearing on your blog. This is happening to me on a couple other sites as well…trying to leave them a comment and it not “taking.” If you get this would you please check your spam folder to see if they are in there and let me know one way or the other what you might have found? Thanks! Bruce B.

      Liked by 1 person

      • belinda o says:

        I’ve been running into this too — blogs where I’ve left numerous comments in the past are suddenly seeing my comments as “spam.” Yes, I had two comments in there from you. I approved one and since the other was pretty much the same as the first, I’m going to approve it and then delete it. I’m afraid if I straight-out delete it, Akismet will think I’m acknowledging it’s spam! Anyway, I’ll change the copy in my post as well to make note of your comment. Thank you!

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Oh darn!! Not another TV series. Like Paul said, my curiosity is piqued and I’m gonna have to catch this on the 24th. I just finished cramming all The Walking Dead series prior to the season 6 premier (this was major b/c I’m not a fan of zombies but here I was hooked on the storyline and characters). This is a very good review Bruce. Thx.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. cmblackwood says:

    That was a really awesome post, Bruce. It was a great introduction to a show that’s obviously very important to you. It’s always neat when something so popular has such positive underlying messages — which serve to give us hope while, at the same time, we’re having super-duper fun watching TV! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  6. myfanattic says:

    Hi there. Just saw a post of yours in Fangasm’s blog so I came take a look. Long -term Supernatural fan myself. Ever since S1 Shadow I dont miss an episode and the full DVD collection gets me through hellatuses without losing my mind 😀 I have my very own all-time favs list which include mostly the ones heavy on broments (that’s my thing). Anyhow, its always nice meeting SPN fans. I’ll be checking in.

    Liked by 1 person

    • First off your avatar is adorable and my wife and I loved it (I have a review of The Peanuts Movie on this site also…). We’re both huge SPN fans to the point we starting watching the night the pilot first aired, watch the reruns…heck, I even watch reruns on the TNT network daily. Would love to see your all-time fave list (broments included). Thanks much for stopping by and so very nice to meet you! 😀

      Like

  7. Lauren Quinn says:

    Well said! I’ve recently been preaching much of what you’ve written, but with less cred. I started watching on Netflix near the end of November and have almost caught up to the now (just watched “Baby” last night). Some weekends my 12 year old daughter and I squeezed six episodes into an otherwise busy day–thank goodness for Netflix so we could control when and how we watched. (Truth is, we’d boot my husband from bed and my daughter would “sleep over” with me so we could binge until 3am.) It’s an amazing experience, and one I’ve been trying to share, if only so I have some more people in my daily life who don’t roll their eyes when I connect something to the show!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Lauren! Thanks for stopping by and leaving a wonderful comment. You two are indeed almost caught up and it sounds like you drove faster than Dean drives the Impala to get there! My wife and I also try to find new fans for the show whenever possible. FYI I recently added a link on my Blogroll (found on this site) for a web site run by a couple of women who also published books on their obsession with the show as well as their observations and experiences within a very unique fan base. I hope to post something further on Supernatural in the very near future. Again, thanks for the visit and the comment!

      Like

  8. Pingback: At The Center Of It All – America Hugs It Out | sportsattitudes

  9. Couldn’t have written it better. I need to get the DVD’S! !😄
    “Easy on the eye’s…” 😂😅 yeah!
    But it is a very very great show.
    This was perfect description of the show.❤

    Liked by 1 person

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