I'm proud to share something from another guest columnist. This time it's elle, frequent commenter and huge supporter of this site.
Before I post elle's wonderful piece, "Why I love Supernatural," I wanted to announce that elle is also the winner of the Countdown Clock Graphic contest for July. If you notice the new graphic that's been gracing our countdown clock for the last couple of days, it comes from the awesome creative skills of elle. Thanks so much for the great graphic! BTW, elle submitted two graphics, so watch for her other one to be proudly displayed in a few weeks.
I had known about Supernatural since its first episode back in 2005 and even watched through Wendigo before my local broadcasters were pre-empting it for something else, or moving it to this time slot. Reunited again last summer, I caught up to Supernatural when I impulsively ordered season one and two and watched both in practically no time and I’ve never looked back.
Supernatural has a multitude of offerings that make it great and what follows is just some of the larger elements that make it such worth-while, quality programming.
First and foremost, Supernatural is a richly character driven show. For the most part, each character that has come and gone on the Supernatural set as added depth and furthered the dynamics of the storyline. Ultimately, the core characters are the focus; after all it is their journey we’re watching. The relationship between the brothers and the Family Winchester has always been the foundation for this saga. At first glance Sam is the “apple-pie” all-American boy with a lovely blonde on his arm and a promising career in his future while Dean is the womanizing, attitude-wearing bad boy. But they are so much more than that. Layer after layer, the Winchester brothers quickly become more than they seem. The profundity of the Winchester characters astounds me - they are human: very raw, often rash and driven by emotion, and most significantly flawed; but not in what is referred to as the Mary-Sue fashion. The beauty of the characters on this show is that they don’t always overcome every challenge; be it a physical foe or a psychological profile ingrained in their being; sometimes they make the wrong decision for the right reasons and sometimes they are just pure emotion. It is each of these elements that make the characters on Supernatural more than the two-dimensional figures of shows that have come and gone.
Need I say more?
Time after time I find myself sitting in a post-episode stupor, shell-shocked by the intensity and/or ingenuity of what has just played out on the screen. In a genre such as Supernatural, it would be easy to reach for the old standbys for plots, to have episodes be one-offs or have uncomplicated mini-arc’s within the season; Supernatural doesn’t fall into this trap. Writers like Sera Gamble, Ben Edlund, Eric Kripke and the rest of team construct a carefully thought-out, clever world: they establish the game board, the rules and then move the characters in unbelievable ways around and through the gameboard. The one thing that has always amped up my Supernatural enjoyment is the long-term continuity (for the most part). On other shows, often times past incidents aren’t referred to again or storylines are paid off is short clumps. On Supernatural, again, we have something different, we have layers. There are the immediately paid off and the long term (my favourite being the thread from season one’s Home which was shrewdly interwoven through to season four’s In The Beginning). The writing on Supernatural is above and beyond “but not just for the plots. Let’s face it- this is a show with a great deal of exposition necessary for the audience to follow along and it’s done well. Finally, let’s not forget the best part of the writing- the Winchesterisms: those classic one-liners or turn-of-phrases that are as beloved and enjoyed as the characters themselves.
Supernatural has exposed me to some great tunes I never would have listened to otherwise. About nine out of ten times, the song choices are apt, classic and quite excellent.
Monsters, demons and angels aside, Supernatural is a very relatable show because of the humanity in every aspect of the story and characters. When Dean died, I cried right along with Sam. When Sam begged Dean to just “be his brother” again, I felt his sorrow. When the brothers were reunited in Lazarus Rising and finally hugged, I felt joy and relief right along with them. Supernatural makes you care about Supernatural watching, you can’t help but become emotionally invested in the story, the characters and their relationships.
Excepting all extreme elements, the Supernatural fandom is an intelligent, enthusiastic, protective (if slightly over-analytical and obsessed) wonderful group and I love that I get to be a part of it. Most of the time, being part of the fandom is pure enjoyment and fun entertainment.
Oh, and one more thing: the eye candy; cause let’s face it, the core cast? Not too shabby.