Page 1 of 4
Ever since I started my Summer Hellatus project titled "Supernatural Rewatch From the Top," I've been thinking about doing some retro reviews. So I will start with the first episode that I ever saw---but not with my normal meta twist---instead, I'll try to remember those first impressions when I saw the show---tell you how the Adventures of Floppy Haired Boy and Pouty Lipped Boy captured my heart without any effort at all.
I woke up on the first day of my "staycation" and stumbled out into the living room. A show was on TV, and I settled in, half asleep to watch. It was Supernatural, and the episode was "Scarecrow" on TNT, but I didn't know that. I saw, through the sunshine glare on the television, two handsome men arguing. I wasn't paying that close attention, so I didn't catch their names as they fought, but I figured out quickly that they were partners of some sort. The one I sleepily dubbed Floppy Haired Boy stopped the car, got out, and walked off. I remember muttering, "Well, that partnership didn't last."
I then followed Pouty Lipped Boy's adventure into the small town, as he searched for a missing couple. I didn't know his name, but I certainly knew it couldn't be "John Bonham." Now that it was brighter and easier to see, I really liked what I saw. I'll admit it, my first reaction was shallow. Pouty Lipped Boy was damn hot, especially in the light of day with that leather jacket. And as he encountered Scotty, I sensed that he had an edge. It just seemed to come out of how he carried himself---right down to that bowlegged walk.
Before I could figure out more about Pouty Lipped Boy, we returned to Floppy Haired Boy as he encountered a small pixie blonde on the side of the road. I mused that perhaps he could have just found his love interest, as they had a witty banter about her not telling him where she was going. There was just something off, though, about how she said, "You could be some kind of freak. I mean, you are hitchhiking."
Her comment earned her a wide dimpled smile, and again I found my shallow streak. Floppy Haired Boy had dimples! Dimples that accentuated his beautiful smile perfectly, no less. Once the van pulled up and the driver only accepted her, I shook my head askance at a missed opportunity. Floppy Haired Boy had it right when he remarked, "You trust shady van guy and not me?" After that smile, I was willing to trust him on anything. I shook my head at the pixie blonde's decision making. It most certainly had to be her loss.
As we flipped to Pouty Lipped Boy, he continued to press the townsfolk on their knowledge about the missing couple. I couldn't figure out at this stage if he knew them or if he was conducting some form of investigation. I just knew Pouty Lipped Boy was persistent and the townsfolk were shadier than the van guy. When the young girl mentioned the tattoo, confirming Pouty Lipped Boy's query, and the man feigned remembering, I knew these people were no good. I suspected, by Pouty Lipped Boy's sour face, that he had reached the same conclusion.
Then, as my sleepy mind started to really awaken, Pouty Lipped Boy did something that really captured my attention. As he drove towards the orchard they pointed out, something went off in the backseat of his car and he pulled over. In the haze, I recalled seeing a similar situation in another show---one that had been a favorite at one time. This moment mirrored that moment almost identically. That moment had been the radio going on the fritz in none other than Fox Mulder's car. Somehow, I knew this show had to be something if it could subtly call out to the X-Files.
Pouty Lipped Boy truly won me over, however, when he went into that sinister looking orchard and walked up to the creepy looking scarecrow. His eyes assessed, and he said with all seriousness, "Dude, you fugly." I started to laugh, and as I sipped on coffee to wake myself up more, I became engrossed in the Adventures of Floppy Haired Boy and Pouty Lipped Boy.
Quote:That's the curse of being on the CW. This has always been its problem, not just that its on a network a lot of people ignore, but because it doesn't fit with the type of shows the network is known for. Of the 8 people I got into the show, 6 of them had never heard of either Supernatural or even the CW, whereas the other two knew of the CW and had never tried Supernatural precisely because it was on the CW, thinking it would be "just another teen soap."
It's always been obvious to me the show couldn't reach its potential audience on the CW. Had it been on Fox like the X-Files, I think it would've pulled in something closer to X-Files ratings. I mean, the X-Files proved that audience was out there; Supernatural just had a hard time tapping into it.
But it's nice at least that a lot of new fans are joining through TNT or Netflix. I keep running into new fans all over the place.
I have to agree with you. Most people hear CW and they think Gossip Girl (which isn't a terrible show, just day to Supernatural's night) or One Tree Hill or Top Model or 90210, so I can imagine they'd think our little show is much like those, full of hook ups and break ups and sex for no reason.
That's if they've heard of the network at all. Right now, it's my most watched network, but before I found this show I hadn't heard of it, either. But I think the good thing going for the show is they are available in syndication through TNT and that's going to grow the audience over time.
Who knows. Wednesdays might give it a huge boost over all.
My first one was "A Very Supernatural Christmas". Don't remember how I knew of it, but it seemed to be a Christmas show I would enjoy and not the sugary sweet stuff most Christmas episodes are made of. Loved the beginning with the EEEEVIL Santa who wrenched people up chimneys and traumatized the little kiddies. Then there were Floppy Hair and Pouty Lips in their nice suits pretending to be investigators with Floppy Hair finding a tooth in the chimney. I was already hooked, but when they got back into their working duds it was instant chemistry.
Love had bloomed between them and me and continues until this day and beyond no doubt.
Can't recall all the emotions I felt at the time, but was thoroughly hooked and NEEDED the dvds for seasons 1 & 2 immediately!!
I too was an X-File and Star Trek fan.
Wish I could write like you and make my first time as endearing and amusing, but I'm not a writer and it has been 4 years now since I first laid eyes on that show.
I wish we could get impressions of the first time for all the episodes. That would be awesome!
Thanks again for making my day!
I was really not awake that first go round, so I'm surprised I can remember so much about how I felt/reacted, but for some reason I do. I think it struck such a deep chord in me, and that's why I remember so vividly how I felt.
It's kinda funny how some of my impressions were totally wrong---especia lly the partnership comment.
Nice impressions on "A Very Supernatural Christmas." It's not like any other Christmas episode I've ever seen. I think what worked for me in it is the same things you cited. It didn't get all sappy or sugary, it didn't do the cliche take on the holiday, so it made it fresh.
As for a first impression on each ep, well I am hoping to do some other retro reviews during the summer as I continue to watch through the series again. I haven't decided which ep to tackle next, but hopefully I'll have one in mind soon.
Anyways, about a month after we met I mentioned that I was looking for a new show, having become tired of Bones and disgusted with House. He recommended Supernatural. I'd heard of it before, but my knowledge was (in hindsight) hilariously spotty. Here's what I knew, because it cracks me up now:
1. There were two brothers who went around the country fighting ghosts and scamming credit card companies.
2. They had a cool car, and they played a lot of classic rock music.
3. At some point, an angel named Castiel appeared on the show, and s/he was a very popular character.
4. There was a character named Dean Winchester, and he went to Hell. (I had no idea who exactly Dean was--one of the brothers, the father, a random friend, whatever.)
I watched the Pilot, because I HATE watching things out of order, and even from the first scene I could feel myself falling in love with this show. By the end of Woman in White, I was completely hooked. I'd never fallen for a show, not even Buffy, that fast.
I also hooked my younger brother and sister on Supernatural, and they loved it as much as I do. It's been a really special part of our lives, because the three of us are very close (we grew up moving all over the place...not quite as much as the Winchesters, but a lot) but now we're all in college and don't get to see each other very often. Supernatural has been a great way for the three of us to stay connected and share an experience.
Wow...sorry that ran so long. FarAwayEyes, I loved your hilarious description of your intro to Supernatural. Thanks for sharing!
I loved your story. I, too, hate watching things out of order. So, as soon as I saw the two episodes TNT had aired and I had the name of the show I immediately went back to the beginning and saw it in its proper order.
It's funny that you mention not knowing much and having some spotty information. I kept away from all fandom resources and information while I was watching so I wouldn't get spoiled as I made my journey through the show. I had heard about Castiel, just by clicking on something inadvertently, but didn't know much more than his name.
I think this show, as much as it is about family, helps to create family, and it's touching to hear how this show does that for you and for many fans. It's a shared experience, and it resonates with each of us in different ways, yet with a similar thread.
I'll be celebrating my discovery of this show in style this October, 2 years to the October I originally found it. I'm going to Chicago Con for that reason (and many others) and what is amazing about that is 2 years ago I would have never thought it would happen..
Don't worry about going on too long. I love hearing these stories from fellow fans!
I so desperately wanted a show to fill the hole left by the loss of Buffy and Angel. I read in my tvguide that there was a new show called 'Supernatural'. I decided to give it a try.
Randow thoughts during 'The Pilot':
WTF, Mom is killed before the first commercial.
Fast forward 22 years, the boys have grown up.
Cool car. The boys tackle a case.
That Dean guy looks familiar. WTF, it is that a@@hole 'Jason Teague' from Smallville. Damn, I wanted that a@@hole to die so bad and he did \o/.
That's it? What about more cases?
Damn, they killed the girlfriend too.
'We have work to do'. Wow, I want more.
Smallville was the only pre-SPN show I had seen with any of the cast in.
In addition, I was channel surfing a couple of weeks ago, and came across 'Ten inch Hero'. I was looking at some guy wih a mohawk and saying to myself 'he looks kind of familiar'. Then he started talking and then it was 'WTF is Dean doing with a mohawk, WTF is that crap on his face, and WTF is he wearing.' Needless to say, I went back to channel surfing.
SPN filled the hole and then some. I started going to online SPN sites, like tWFB, saltedandburned , and of course supernaturalwik i. I also started reading fanfic.
Supernatural helped me get a whole bunch of new friends.
I wish I had been astute enough to get involved with this show back in 2006. I was busy finishing my degree in Creative Writing at the time. So, I always love hearing from fans who've been watching from day one.
Love those first impressions. That pilot is quite crazy indeed. And it does exactly what it should, leaving us wanting more.
I never watched Smallville, so I don't really know much about Jensen's involvement on there. I hear the movie 10 Inch Hero is good, but I've never sat down to watch it. It's a total 180 from Dean.
I think SPN filled the hole for me from the hole the X-Files left years ago. And then some. As much as I loved that show, I don't think it comes nearly as close as my love for Supernatural.
And I love how I've met so many friends here and elsewhere in the fandom.
Thanks for the comment!
That's funny. I think it's an odd couple pairing, Supernatural with Gilmore Girls. (Forget that Jared was ON Gilmore Girls no less).
I love that he got into the show at the end, though. He should have listened to you right from the start, eh?
I started watching right from The Pilot. A friend in Canada had recommended that I watch out for a new show called Supernatural. We didn't have to wait too long for it over here in The U.K and one night in January 2006 I was sat infront of my telly all set to watch this new show my Canadian friend had been raving about for months. As soon as Sam poked his head around the doorway of his apartment at Stanford I sat up and started to pay very close attention. Then Dean turned up and the family angst piqued my interest even more. I got sucked in further and further over the course of the episode and when it was over I was completely and utterly smitten with the show. Never before in all my telly watching years have I ever been addicted to a show as much as I am to Supernatural. So addicted that years ago during S1 my youngest daughter, then 5 years old, told her teacher that her mam had a new boyfriend called Sam who went around killing ghosts. (I don't know who was more mortified by this, me or my husband. )
I'm so glad I decided to follow the advice of my Canadian friend, thanks to this show I've made so many friends around the world.
It's so neat to see so many who have been with the show since the very start. I feel bad that I hadn't found it earlier.
That's hilarious about your daughter's comment. Too funny. Kids will say the darndest things after all.
This show is funny that way, isn't it? If it grips onto you, boy, look out. I think that's what makes it magical. It not only sucks you into its universe utterly, it also connects you to so many others around the world. That's something very special.
I really like your nicknames - the Floppy Haired Boy & the Pouty Lipped Boy. So much has changed for the boys since that season one episode, and yet those monikers still describe them beautifully!
For me, it all started on a Friday night. It was my turn to stay home with the kids while my husband went to play hockey (we shared a spot on a co-ed team. He'd go one week. I'd go the next.) I was completely addicted to Battlestar Galactica, which was airing on the Canadian SPACE channel. That's the same channel which broadcasts SPN.
I had the girls all tucked in, did a few chores and then settled in to watch BSG. I was a little early turning on the TV and I caught a scene of these 2 Really Handsome Men talking to some homeowners. I thought it was a commercial, so I channel-surfed away. But I didn't want to miss BSG, so I came back to Space. The same 2 Really Handsome Men (henceforth RHM.. guess that hasn't changed over the years either... in fact, it's only become more true!) were now investigating what seemed to be a haunted house. The show seemed intriguing, especially now that I'd figured out it wasn't a commercial!!!
I started to get hooked when the RHMan named Dean, was lowering his body into a hole and muttered to himself "Nothing grab my leg. Please don't let something grab my leg." I loved that mix of humour and vulnerability ( RHM don't usually announce their fears) and the subtle send-up of every horror movie I'd seen, If you're lowering yourself into a hole, OF COURSE something is going to grab your leg!!! I was even more impressed when nothing grabbed his leg. It lulled me into a false sense of security, so that when the guy he was with was stabbed a few minutes later, I was completely shocked & startled.
What really sealed the deal for me was the end scene of that episode. The 2 RHM are standing under a bridge, and Dean confesses he enjoyed torturing souls when he was in Hell, because it made his own pain stop for awhile.
Hang on.. A show that sends a main character to Hell? A show that talks about souls? A show that is willing to have a main character admit such a sad human truth - sometimes we hurt others in a misguided attempt to salve our own pain? I want to watch this!!!
The episode was Family Remains, and I soon learned I was in the middle of Season 4 of Supernatural.
I was addicted, and like a junkie I kept feeding my habit. I tracked down info on the internet. I borrowed the DVD's from the library (my husband bought me Season 3 as a surprise present, because I'd quickly pulled him into my obsession too.) My one regret is that I didn't know how important it was to watch the shows in order. That's not the case with all TV programs, so I made a tactical error. Because I could only borrow the DVD's for a few days, and I got Season 2 before Season 1 , I had to hopscotch my way through them. It ruined the suspense a few times. In the summer I broke down and bought Season 1 & 2 and my hubby & I watched them in the correct order from the very beginning. Much, much more satisfying!
What's really neat is that the episode of Family Remains I saw was a repeat, at the end of a hiatus. The next new episode was Death Takes A Holiday. So, as a new viewer, I was immediately thrown into the juiciest part of Season 4. I lapped it up, and I haven't looked back since.
I must say, once I started counting the days to each new episode of SPN, my devotion to BSG started to wane. I didn't really like its final half-season, or series finale. Brilliant program in its 4-season entirety, but I did not like that ending. (I'm keeping the faith that I won't feel the same way when SPN inevitably ends.)
That's my first viewing, and my first impressions.
Yes, I do think Floppy Haired Boy has only gotten more floppy hair as the years have gone by and well, Pouty Lipped Boy can't do much about his pouty lips. It is what it is.
I can only imagine coming in on a season 4 episode. That had to be jarring, but if I had to pick one to get into the show with from that season, it might be that one or Monster Movie.
It's interesting to hear how fans get caught by this show and how much it means to them. That's a hard thing to do with a television program.
Hopefully the show will continue to capture new people the same way!
Official Companions, Magazines, etc. My son, in the meantime had stopped watching the show and didn't get back to it until Season 6 and now we both enjoy it very much. And I was finally able to make my first con at Burbank this last March-loved it.
I love how family gets us into this show and then we share it.
And the best thing about this show besides its own power to draw us in is that we can go to those conventions and enrich that experience all the further. I'm glad you had a great time!
I'm a definite latecomer to Supernatural even though the mind boggles about how that happened because it really does tick every box for everything I love in a TV show.
The first episode I ever saw was 'The Kids are Alright' when Season 3 was starting being shown late night in the UK. I remember recording it and saying to my husband it sounding like the kind of thing we watched and at the time we were looking to get into something new.
We watched it and enjoyed it, but it didn't really stick at that point (don't ask me why). We saw a couple more episodes from Season 3 then we either lost track of it or it got moved around on the channel it was on and that was it for a while (damn you, ITV!).
A few years later I'd stumbled across an excellent fanfiction author who wrote for a newly established fandom that I was in and writing for myself. She also wrote Supernatural fanfiction and one of her stories caught my eye so I read it.
I like to think that was like the final piece of the puzzle (or at least the necessary slap in the face that I'd needed as far as Supernatural was concerned!). After all, I'd seen a few episodes, I had a general idea about the fandom, had read through all the Wikipedia and TV Tropes pages on the show, was an angst and hurt/comfort junkie so I guess at that point it hit me that I was really missing something and WHY THE HELL WASN'T I WATCHING THIS SHOW???
I then downloaded 'In My Time of Dying' because I knew it was angsty AND Dean-centric (and I already had an inkling which way I was leaning ^_~) and the rest, as they say, is history.
On that episode alone I knew I had to see more and so I bought the Season 1-5 boxset and lost hours and hours to the Winchesters. Indeed, after having my first baby earlier that same year and the loss of free time that goes with it, I treasure the rare day I had to myself where I lay on the couch with my dogs and watched eight episodes back to back!
I was working my way through the boxset when Season 6 started showing in the UK so had that to watch once I'd got through with all the DVDs. I'm now right up to date, awaiting season 8 with eager anticipation and so ridiculously obsessed with these brothers that my husband just rolls his eyes and my little boy regularly says 'It's Dean, Mummy' when he sees the wallpaper on my laptop (he did used to say 'it's Daddy, which was highly amusing but sadly not true).
I'm often nostalgic for that moment a couple of years ago when it finally hit me that Supernatural was AMAZING and that I had five whole seasons to watch in one go. It was so exciting knowing I had all that great story-telling ahead of me but because it was so great, I just galloped through those earlier seasons.
Still, I love re-watching old episodes and hope there'll be at least a few more seasons to come.
This post is also a massive thank you to all of you that contribute to this amazing website that I've stalked daily since I stumbled across it. Thank you for helping me indulge my obsession -you're awesome!
I love the convoluted manner in which you found this show. I can imagine having it bounce around like that would make it hard to get caught up.
I also think that the fact that fanfic got you fully on board is a testament to how talented this fandom really can be.
I'm glad you decided to come out of lurking, too. Hopefully you'll continue to comment in the future on our little show that could!
But after seeing the pilot episode, I was intrigued enough to set the DVR to record the 2 daily showings and watch them each night and I was soon hooked. I eventually didn't have the patience to wait to see all of them, 2 each evening, missing some endings when the TV played up, and not having any to watch on weekends was even more difficult. So I finally orderd the 4 seasons out there and pre-ordered the 5th. Luckily my husband was understanding about my new 'obsession' and what it cost to buy them all at one time. The 6th season was just starting and I wouldn't watc at that time, but recorded all of them until I eventually caught up with the first 5 seasons.
I'm just so glad I turned on TNT that day, I was just looking for a new show to watch but got so much more than an hour's diversion. I get so much out of each episode, you could call it an 'obsession' but I identify so much with the characters and their search for understanding their place in the world.The brother's relationship story is so compelling and I love the way the show combines drama, adventure, and humor, escapism at it's best. My husband slowly got pulled into watching as he kept catching the episodes when I was re-watching for the 3rd time, and he really likes it, too, but it will never have the emotional pull to him that it does for me, but at least I no longer have to no longer justify watching a show on a network which ha occasionallys been called the 'teeny bopper' network when I first heard of it. I'm just sorry it's so pigeon holed by the idea of what network it's on when it's more quality programming than you can get on just aobut any network.
Anyway, I hope you keep up with the 'retro' reviews, it's fun to re-visit the earlier shows through someone else's take on it.
I am always amazed by how a network defines a show---even when that is inaccurate. Most I mention Supernatural to and they ask what network it's on either give me a blank stare and have no idea what the CW is or assess it as you did as a teenie bopper network. It's a shame that it gets that skewed view, but as the audience gets picked up through other methods (TNT, Netflix) that this changes.
I am also glad to see others managed to find this wonderful show the same way I did, through the syndication episodes on TNT. Until I had found it on TNT, I hadn't heard of the CW either---at least not since the big merger news.
I also had no patience on getting caught up and got my hands on the rest of the series as quickly as I could. Now that I am in the midst of my Rewatch Project, I also hope to do a few more retro reviews this summer before season 8 returns. It's fun to take a look at them and share those thoughts about them---even if we know what happens after them.
I just finished season 1 myself. Onto season 2!
I didn't get to "catch up" until TNT. that's when I got to go back and see them all. That's when an actor made me cry for the 1st time in my LIFE!!! I guess that is why All Hell Breaks Loose II will always be my fav epi. That scene where Dean talks to Sam's corpse,before making the "deal". I lost it. Of course, that wouldn't be the last time I cried watching Jensen Ackles as Dean. Or even in that epi! (Bobby,Dean junkyard scene).
I bought dvd's of everything Jensen has been in. Some I had seen (Dark Angel, & Smallville) some I hadn't. (never was a Dawson's Creek fan-his part in it was cute). Although they are all good, nothing compares to his portrayal of Dean. He was just made for this part. The chemistry between he & Jared is lighting in a bottle. Watching them is definitely electrifying
It's interesting how much of a mixture of fans from the beginning and late comers we really have here so far.
I agree that this show needs much more exposure than it gets, so that more fans can come to find it and share their stories of how they found it and how it's touched them.
I must admit, I always cry during AHBL I and II, too. It's so tragically sad and I attribute that to the acting as much as I do the writing. It's just powerful and moving.
I have to agree with you on Jared and Jensen's chemistry. The show got mighty lucky when they cast these two. I don't know if anyone had an inkling they'd be this good together on screen when they started.
My granddaughter, who was 5 at the time, was dropped off at my house while I happened to be rewatching an episode and walked up to the screen, put her finger on Dean/Jensens face and said "he's cute". I instantly ejected the DVD, NOT recommend viewing for a child. I did tell her that I agreed.
I came to SPN in the 2nd Season. I had channel surfed and landed on it a few time and dismissed it as a show with bickering brother. Reminded me of most reality shows, which I hate! But one evening I got caught up in an emotional episode, In My Time......I think , and was instantly hooked! The show was about SO much more than bickering brothers. I, as many others, went out and bought the 1st season and have been a devoted fan since.
Scarecrow is one of my favs and is one I go to for an old school fix of SN. It has all the elements of why I fell in love with this show. It continues to amaze me how powerful this show grips people and doesn't let go. It's almost supernatural.
That's funny that she saw the cute guy and you had to pull out the DVD. I agree, there's way too much violence for little kids in it.
It's amazing to me how just landing on this show, in the middle, from the beginning, towards the end of an episode can captivate viewers so easily. It's a testament to the show, I think.
I think that's why we are now going into an eighth season. It continues to do all of those things. I agree, it is almost supernatural itself.
Later when I had some time I sat down and started the first episode recorded. It was Mystery Spot. I had no idea what I was in for. I was so taken by the relationship and humor shown in the motel room as the boys got ready for breakfast. I was truly impressed by how well they pulled off their own version of Groundhog day. But most of all I was impressed by the love and faith these two brothers had in each other. Even when Dean told Sam he still thought he was crazy he was 100% about helping him through it. The things that really struck me were first: the look on Dean's face when Sam had the Trickster up against the wall and he was telling Sam he can never save Dean. Dean just had this sick but guilty look and I of course didn't understand it. Save Dean from What? That was all I could think about. Then when Sam was with the Trickster begging for him to go back to that Wednesday because "he's my brother". The love and the pain and the loneliness in those three words really hit me. Then when Sam got out of bed and went straight to Dean with that hug and Dean let him hug him. And of course as Sam left the motel room and turned off the light. When that ended I was feeling such incredible sadness. All I could think about was "Save Dean from what???" Hell? It can't be hell. I was hooked. I was watching Supernatural every day in my quest to find out what Dean needed to be saved from. When No Rest for the Wicked came along I was sure Dean would be saved so you can imagine my shock and dismay and sadness when he wasn't.
I have been completely and totally hooked on this show ever since I began with that first viewing of Mystery Spot. It has everything we love about this show. It has the humor, the relationship between the boys, a Monster of the Week (sort of) and more. I do not have a favorite season, I love them all including 6 and 7. Is every episode as awesome and compelling as Mystery Spot? Of course not, but I can overlook the less than stellar episodes. I love Supernatural as a whole.
I've been enjoying reading everyone's first Supernatural episode stories. Thanks for letting me ramble about mine. What if I hadn't stayed home from work that day? I shudder to think that I may never have discovered this show.
I, too, shudder to think if I hadn't taken that vacation. I work in retail. November and December are no gos for vacation, and with my position in my store January is off limits for me to take time off, too. So, I had to burn my vacation. I chose to burn it in that October and that's how I found this show. I wonder, sometimes, how fate works. I took a random two week period off, ended up randomly watching TNT, and somehow found this show right when I needed it. That's fate if you ask me.
I can only imagine finding this show with Mystery Spot. What a powerful episode to jump head first into the show. I knew, by the time I got to Mystery Spot, that they were trying to keep Dean out of Hell, but as I worked towards No Rest for the Wicked, much like you I didn't think they'd send him to Hell. I kept away from all spoilers, so I was totally shocked. I kept telling myself "They'll find a way to save him. They can't do that to him, can they?" It was a shocking end, and now when I watch it I ALWAYS stick in the start of season 4 right after and watch Lazarus Rising.
And I agree. While some eps aren't nearly as stellar as others, the whole of it is still very much worth my invested time and attention.
I am so pleased to see everyone's first encounter stories. Thanks again!
A great review, I really like your insta-reaction take on it. Pouty Lips and Floppy Haired indeed :)
And Scarecrow is such a great eppie to get all the excellence out of Show. And hooked pretty good. That eppie had a big X-files vibe to it. I remember that scene where the townsfolk met and talked about the good of the town underneath those umbrellas, that was a clear shoutout to X-files to me (if not counting the Cigarrette Smoking Man). And later realizing, it was directed by the late and muchly beloved X-files alumni Kim Manners, just made the shout outs that much sweeter.
My story of becoming a SPN fan I've told here many times, but somehow I never tire of telling it again :) It always fills me with this feeling of nostalgia and love and the obsessiveness that consumed me when I first got hooked. It was krazy with a K. I've always loved X-files and Buffy and Angel and thought I'd been a big fan of those but now I know the difference. I was obsessed with SPN for a quite a few years. Nowadays with kids in the picture and all, my fangirlness has lessened a little but I still have mad love for this show, especially the older seasons.
But here's my story nevertheless. I remember SPN getting promo'd here a lot in the early 2006ish if I remember it correctly. They had that god awful "Scary just got Sexy" -ad playing everywhere, which really turned me off. I vowed to myself never to watch pretty model boys hunting ghosts and saving scantily clad women. Me=idiot, I know :) So, the show got off my radar for several years. My hubby used to watch it sometimes and said that it was good, but we've had a different taste sometimes concerning movies and TV shows so I didn't really put much credit on his opinion... I know, me = a mega idiot AND a bad wifey :) and kept on ditching it when ever it was on.
Then came the early 2008 and repeats. I was just channel surfing and minding my own business when I hopped upon All Hell Breaks Loose Part 1. I remember Sam being in a haunted town with some other folk and I checked it out for a while. Unfortunately since I had no background info whatsoever, so I had no idea what the hell they were talking about half the time and I kept on channel hopping yet again. I flipped back there every once in a while but nothing really happened that I could get my grasp around.
Until... you guessed it (or not, heee), the last 5 minutes. That's when the eppie got interesting. I was on the edge of my seat watching that dream of YED with Sam and then Jake and Sam talking and then the fighting! I thought it was very realistic and cool fight scene. And then, oh god then. Sam heard Dean call out to him. The look of relief when Dean saw Sam. The look of relief when Sam saw Dean. OH THE LOVE (I'm right back there right now you know, living those same memories of love and excitement and horror, like it's happening all over again). AND THEN!!!
At first I was laughing to myself, surely they are not killing the one of the two leads on this show, that's ridiculous! And then THEY DID! I was so shocked. I was picking my jaw of the ground, trying to grasp what had just happened. The end said To be continued. And I had to wait for a very long week for the next one. I remember reliving those last minutes in my head that whole looooong week. It was torture. But I was so very hooked after that. I haven't missed an episode since. I instantly ordered the first two seasons which I watched practically back to back. Then I hopped online and watched season 3 during that summer of -08. Looked up that they were filming season 4 at that moment (and squeed my little head off at the news). And not soon after that, found Alices reviews and later on, this site. I've been a regular visitor ever since. And boy, what a ride it's been.
Thank you for this review. It was a great article and a wonderfull trip down the memory lane, both from your POV and mine :)
Scarecrow continues to pile up the X-Files refs. John Shiban wrote it, also a former X-File writer. And yes, the umbrella thing is such a blatant shout out to the X-Files, too.
It's funny that the promo "Scary just got Sexy" turned you off. I can only imagine thinking "pretty boys' hunting monsters as being silly. In those terms, I don't know that I'd watch, either. Sure, even in my review here i noticed that first, but boy did I move beyond it quickly. (Okay, they're still gorgeous men, but that's not a hindrance now is it?). To me, that implies they were trying to sell it to a different audience than the one they eventually got in many ways. Funny how that happens.
I can't imagine coming right in the tension fest that All Hell Breaks Loose. My goodness. I love how you were convinced that they wouldn't kill Sam. I remember when I first watched, walled off from everyone and everything as I got caught up that I though the exact same thing. I gasped in horror when Jake shoved that knife in Sam's back and then he tumbled into Dean's arms and died. I then started to ball at Dean's reaction. I do every time I see it now.
No wonder it got you right then.
Thanks for sharing your winding road way of getting into this wonderful show.
Was home one day and had nothing to do really so I turned on the tv and that was the only really interesting thing on at the time.
Like you, I had no idea what was going on but watched anyway even though I jumped with fear at that girls face looking out the glass window. I've rewatched all the shows a couple of times, I don't get scared any more.
Anyway, it was now I know Dean's reaction to now I know Sam's death that made me HAVE to watch the part II which was fortunately on right after. Learning that Dean was the big brother made me love the show even more.
Well, of course I bought the DVDs and waited anxiously for season 6 to start that September and the rest is history.
Thanks for you and the author of this article and everyone sharing their first time--awesome:)
I can't imagine coming in right on that ep and seeing Dean cradling a dying/dead Sam. What an emotional rush.
What's really weird is I seem to still jump at the same times (ie the semi /car crash in Devil's Trap) even though I'm ready and KNOW it's coming.
You're welcome, this was a fun article to write. I have also enjoyed all the first time seeing the show stories. It's been a blast.
I watched S1 over the next couple weeks and, to be honest, was on the fence about it. I didn't fall in love with the show right away but I was interested enough to see where they were going with it so I bought S2. By the time I was on the 3rd episode of S2 I had already purchased the remaining seasons on DVD (S3 - S5) and marathon viewed the seasons. I didn't finish watching S5 until 2 episodes into S6 so I bought those two episodes on iTunes and then have been watching it live each week ever since.
I have since rewatched S1 several times and don't know why I didn't fall in love right away but I am smitten now that is for sure!!
Wow. That TV Guide cover sure was powerful, huh? I have to admit I ran and got it as I had gotten into the show in time for it to come out.
Interesting that it took you a season or so to get fully hooked. I figure this show will find a way into your heart and won't let go, or it's just not for you. I have a friend like that. I just warn people that I introduce to it that if they're not careful it'll own their soul quickly. It might have taken you some time, but by the sounds of it you ended up like the rest of us here!
Thanks for sharing!
You have to watch it once it comes on german TV - it is your kind of show - it's mystery, horror and crime (until then I didn't know there was something like my kind of show)
It's about two brothers looking for their dad and while they do it they hunt ghosts and other supernatural stuff (First: I never was much on watching horror and second: what the hell does "other supernatural stuff" imply - Chucky? Definatly not my typ of thing)
It got your kind of music in it (at least here I was sure that they got that one right because they had to listen to classic rock since they were born)
When I asked my sons about the mom of the boys they told me she burnes on the ceiling during the opening scene. That solved everything. I told them that I am not going to watch that show. Not if moms get burned on a ceiling in order to kick off a show
A few month later my sons pulled me into the living and forced me to watch TV with them. Guess what came on. SUPERNATURAL - the pilot
Once I saw Sam I thought I know him. He is also in Girlmore Girls (which I only watched if I couldn't find anything else that would interest me) and then another surprise. Sam's brother Dean. Now this guy I already liked in Dark Angel and Smallville. And then came the moment that got me totally hooked. It's when Dean leaves dad's motel room and fingers around the collar of his leather jacket. That whole scene was screaming out too me: Star Wars - Han Solo. I always loved Han Solo. So to no surprise I fell for Dean right that moment.
Luckily enough our Germany TV showed the eps in order and surprise surprise the folling autum they started to show 2 eps a night and we were through with season 2 before christmas 2008. So during our x-mas brake 2008 one of my sons downloaded season 3 and we watched it on TV toghether in 3 days. We did it again during the x-mas brake in 2009 except that time it was season four. And then beginning 2011 I was laid of at work for a few weeks and didn't know what to do. At that time I only used the computer for work mainly word and excel and the occassional games at home. Sometimes I googled something if I needed an information. So with a lot of time at my hand while I was laid of I opened up google and entered - guess what - supernatural. And bam - there it was a whole new world. Thank you Supernatural and thank you Eric Kripke
I can't imagine telling my mom that I wanted to watch a show where they burn a mom on the ceiling as an incentive to get her to watch. As it is, my mom and I watched Scarecrow together that first time. Didn't want to watch crappy morning talk shows, so we put it on TNT and BAM. Hooked for life.
I can only imagine how difficult it is to catch on to this show overseas, and yet so many fans come from around the world. I think that's totally awesome.
And, again, what makes this show so endearing and enduring is that we share its themes with those important to us in our lives: family. It's all about family.
I had already been loyally following Jensen's career since July 1998...since his first month as Eric Brady on Days of Our Lives. This July would be fifteen years since I first saw him. Since he, which I like to call, my angel sent from above
during my most difficult times in life. From that moment on, I was immediately smitten. I had NEVER seen such breathtaking beauty in my entire life.
As I sat and watched eagerly the adventures of Sam and Dean, who quickly became my all-time favorite TV brothers, it wasn't until episode 2.20 "What Is And What Should Never Be" that really nailed it for me, that really cemented my love for the show.
The episode became the first to effect me personally. I sat and sobbed as I watched Dean become transformed to an alternate universe where he was now able to see and hear from his mother, who had been dead for years.
It also begged me to ask the 'What if?' question with my own mother who passed a month before seeing Jensen on Days.
Other than my own personal emotions connected to the show, I fell in love with the mythology, the comedy, the Winchester family relationships of the show. To me, Supernatural is LITERALLY the most captivating, unique show today.
I'm glad that this show and Jensen's career could come into your life when you needed it most. I think that those who end up becoming passionate fans have a similar story in many ways. It helps some get through grief, others to branch out beyond their comfort zones, and others to reach out to those they might not have in years.
It's interesting to me that it really took until What Is And What Should Never Be that really sealed things for you. I have to agree, the what ifs in that episode are very interesting. What really strikes me in that episode is how ideal Mary and that life they could have had was. Of course, we don't learn until later that she was the hunter, not John.
What I've found in many ways is this show will grip you, hang on tight, and won't let you go---but only if you let it do that.
Great review and I just love the nick-names you gave the boys before knowing their identityâ€¦stil l quite fitting to this day.
I had heard about a new show starting in the fall of 2005 about two brothers investigating Urban Legends.
I was a huge fan of Simon and Simon, with their strong brotherly relationship, the banter and chemistry and I was hoping that Supernatural would have the same dynamics. Unfortunately due to my work schedule (night shifts) and an unreliable VCR player (it liked to eat tapes) I missed quite a few episodes.
The first one I was finally able to watch was â€˜Nightmareâ€™ . I have to tell you it was quite the introduction.
I sat through the entire episode not only on the edge of my seat but with my jaw to the floor.
I immediately fell in love with the brothers, the acting, the writing, the music, everything.
I was in awe of the special affects, the suspense and how scary it was. I thought if this is just one episode, what have I been missing.
After that I tried to watch as many episodes that I could but it wasnâ€™t until the summer hiatus between season 2 and 3, that I was able to upgraded to a DVD player and purchased seasons 1 & 2 (it didnâ€™t come in VHS). My daughter and I went on this crazy Supernatural Marathon to try and watch both seasons before Season 3 started. However due to work and real life Season 3 was upon us in no time. Luckily our Cable company was providing these new cable boxes that enabled us to record shows without needing a VCRâ€¦.so we were able to record Season 3 and store it until we completed seeing Seasons 1 and 2. We were only a couple of week behind and caught up in no time. Since then we have not missed an episode.
It's what came to my tired mind. I admit, I should have probably paid closer attention to that first scene, but I didn't know any better, so hey, that's what they were.
Ah yes, I remember the days of VHS tapes and the hassles of using them. I also know they were phased out more or less for TV show box sets before Supernatural ever hit the air really. I hated the fact the way the digital cable boxes insisted that the TV not only be ON but on that channel to record what I wanted to watch. Oh really. Why not just watch it then?
I think it's interesting that you came in on Nightmare. What an intense episode to pick. I remember the first time I saw it, too, after I went back and watched things in order properly. I instantly felt for Sam in that episode--and of course cheered when he moved that cabinet out of his way to save Dean.
I'm very grateful that I have all of the DVDs and a DVR finally myself so I can rewatch during Hellatus without trouble.
This was about 1.5 years ago , and I definitely agree with you about the core of the show: Family. If that gets lost - for me the show will mean nothing. The show is about Sam and Dean to me, it was their relationship and struggles with Dad, and each other, that keep me invested.
I know when I got into this show it was really hard not to read anything posted. I had heard, while looking for the order of the show episodes, about Castiel, but not much. I had heard about Lucifer and Jared playing him at some point. That made me really nervous until I saw it. Now it's one of my fave scenes---simply for his acting in it alone.
I also didn't get that much sleep when I first got into the show. I was on vacation, but I was also going to a Writer's festival at my alma mater. The two coupled together got me back into writing itself. After the Festival was done and I had to go back to work I went back and got caught up. Lots of not sleeping cause I had to see JUST one more episode commenced.
I got caught up mid way in s6. My first live episode was Caged Heat.
And yes, this little show that could is so much about family. I think it's heavily ingrained into its fabric. What I love about that is they are more inclusive about family than simply blood relatives. I think it's bled so beautifully into the fandom as well. After all, we are the Supernatural Family.
Caged Heat? lol - that's an intense one to be your first "live" watch! I didn't have TV reception or cable when I finished the DVDs so I had to rely on iTunes to watch season 6. I was all caught up DVD-wise and started watching Season 6 episodes right around the last 3-4 episodes. So I think it was about a week after the finale that I finally finished season 6.
At any rate, I'm so happy to be a part of this fandom, 99% of it is AWESOME!
And yeah, it was a bit intense and exciting that first time watching the show live. It still kind of is, especially when it's a premiere or a finale.
I agree. I'm happy to be part of this fandom, too. It's brought lots of cool people into my life.
Being a fan of horror, I was interested but I think I really fell in love with the show when they reached the end of that scene. Meg was dying, and there was so much emotion there, that was it. They had me. It also didn't hurt that in my first encounter with Sam he was latinating. (oh how awesome his latin is-why can't they bring the Rituale back?)
And it only got better from there. I had no idea who the yellow-eyed demon was, but I loved how chilling he was. And the anguish on Sam's face as he contemplated killing his dad while injured Dean begged him not to...
I was watching with my sisters at the time and when we got to the famous final scene(hee), I think we were all shouting at the tv "NOOOOOOO! They can't die". And these were characters we'd met barely a half hour ago.
The second the screen went black, I dove for the tv guide to see if it was on again the next week, and it wasn't!
But, I was hooked so I started to track down the dvd's only to find the show was basically unknown here, so I ended up having to special order them from the US and UK.
I've been a die-hard fan ever since-and even converted a few people, too.
Man, what an intense episode to pick. Funny how it only took a half an hour for them to win you over.
Latinating. I love it. I really love when Sam exorcises with his words. It's like geek sexy. I agree. They should bring back his latinating.
Oh man, the car crash gets me every time. I just rewatched that episode on Friday myself. And when it hit, I was ready, and then it happened and I jumped anyways. Like holy cow.
Thanks for sharing!
This back and forth bickering went on for more than a month. Finally, the sound of his voice had become auditory hell, and I just gave up. I agreed to watch ONE episode, on the agreed upon condition that if it gave me nightmares, I was going to inflict bodily harm on him. What I wound up watching was two good looking guys trying to exorcise a demon from an airplane. The first thing I said when it was over was, â€œHuh. Are there any other episodes like that?â€ Ah, Phantom Traveler, loved it. Can't say I was immediately hooked, the black eyes did bother me, but I also knew I wanted more. My brother showed me a very small handful of some of the milder episodes, but that meant I was bouncing around three seasons, and had no idea what was really going on. By that point, my interest level had way overridden my fear, and I really had to see how this whole story started. Brother helpfully warned me that the Pilot would scare the crap outta me, but I curled up in a chair with a pillow to hide behind (the way real brave people do) determined to tough it out. And he was right; I was terrified...but I loved it! Which was a totally new experience for me. Enjoying being scared by a tv show. Never would have thunk it.
As I progressed through the seasons, I became absolutely obsessed. I needed my fix every day. Needed it as much as eating or sleeping. It helped me cope as well. I had lost someone very important to me, and the show was a God send at helping me through a very black period in my life. I shudder to think that if I had been more stubborn about not watching it, or if my brother had been less stubborn about getting me to watch, I probably never would have found the show.
I didn't know anything about the online fandom until Season 6. I somehow stumbled onto this site just through totally random browsing, and I'm so thankful I did. I can honestly say that this is my favorite site on the whole internet, and I'm completely grateful for all the time and effort that goes into it. Thank you so much to everyone.
I love that your brother got you into it, even if he had to do so with you kicking and screaming. More proof how much family plays in this show!
I usually don't watch so called horror not because it scares me, but usually because the majority of it is just cheesy or stupid. This show really goes beyond that for me. I'm glad you got over your fear and managed to get into the show!
I have to agree that the Pilot is very frightening and shocking. It's not over the top or silly in its horror, and that's why it's scary.
I also love how this show becomes much more than just a TV show. It really transcends that and changes people for the better. I am so glad that it could help you through a difficult time. I know it's helped me in a similar way, too.
I started watching it from the very first episode. Living in Montreal, I had to pay extra to my cable provider for the Fox Network (which was the channel showing it at the time). I had subscribed to it for the X-Files and then Buffy, so when I saw the advertisement for Supernatural, I knew I would be there in a heartbeat. I'm an avid reader/watcher of anything horror or supernatural related. And it had Dean (from Gilmore Girls) and that guy from Smallville that played Lana's boyfriend. As you can tell, I'm also a couch potato! Now I pay extra for the CW, but it's well worth it, not only for SPN, but also for The Vampire Diaries.
I love this show so much, every time a season ends, I start rewatching from the very beginning. So I'm up to season three now. I was so happy to see you recap what is one of my all time favourites. It's scary, it has part of the mytharc, it has one of the great villains still on the show, and last but not least, two of the best eye-candy on television, ahem!
Thanks for this, it made my day, and I really like your sobriquets for Sam & Dean. Although in my mind, Dean will always be the actor with the most beautiful perfect nose, and Sam is mister dimples!
I am always so pleased to see so many who have been with it since the start and so grateful that they fought to keep it on the air!
I wish I had seen an advertisement, but I was so busy with my Senior Portfolio in college that I just didn't have time for TV. Interesting that it ran on FOX up in your neck of the woods. That's fascinating to me.
I really enjoyed taking the time to recap this episode. It really was love at first sight. And yes, they are the best eye candy on TV. I attribute that more to the substance that's inside those pretty faces. They're not just there to look good, they ARE good.
Mister Dimples! I love it! If I had seen those first, rather than focusing on his hair, maybe I would have called him that, too!
The first episode I saw was "Skin" Shapeshifters, murders and two handsome guys- I was totally sold. It's been a love affair with the show since then. Scarecrow is one of my SPN favorites- I loved the line where Dean says "My brother could look at you with those puppy dog eyes and you'd totally fall for it" or something like that. We've come such a long way from there, and it's awesome that you've written a review for your first ever SPN experience. Made me think about mine. Smiles all around.
From what I understand, yes, that ad did play. I never saw it, though.
I'm glad you liked my take on my first encounter with SPN. It's been a fun ride. Skin's a good one to get into the show with, too. Lots of nitty gritty brother stuff going on there.
I had a friend who liked the show and i even bought her a Sam & Dean bookmark for Xmas one year. Anyhoo,hubby and i had just finished watching Tru Blood which i had liked and didn't scare me too much and i so this friend lent me her SPN S1 DVD to watch.We had it for over 6 months and didn't start watching it till October last year and we were both instantly hooked. I bought Seasons 1-6 straight away and we watched the lot. I had no idea a TV show could be this GOOD!
Without the brotherly connection and the amazing acting of Jared & Jensen there is no way i would ever watched a scary show like this..
Bring on Season 8.
How nice of that friend to lend to you that DVD set. Who's the bigger fan now? It's so neat how this show can be so good and do so much to change our lives through its story.
And yes, bring on Season 8.
I've been smitten since the pilot. I've always been a scifi & fantasy & adventure fan, & the show description sounded like a cross between 2 of my old favorites : The X-Files plus Simon & Simon. I'd seen Jared in Gilmore Girls & Jensen in Dark Angel & Smallville, so I knew I wanted to check out the show for the manly pretty too. Then I saw that gorgeous black Chevy. Oh, boy! That did it. I'm a '67 model too! The storyline & the acting kept me mesmerized, & I've been obsessed ever since. I've been to several conventions & am taking 2 friends (whom I converted into fans too) to their 1st ever con in Chicago this year. Can't wait!
Another from the pilot fan. That's so cool.
I really got excited by those X-Files references in that first episode and saw them come up again and again as I got into it, so that was cool.
And yes, that car is just to die for. I got an Impala before I got into the show, and he's my pride and joy. He's a 2001, so not nearly as classic, but he's emerald green. Gotta love Baby.
I am also taking a friend that I got into the show to her first convention in Chicago. We might run into to each other!
That would be great fun to meet up at the con! Making new friends & actually meeting online friends there is what makes the cons so much fun!
I look forward to seeing you and all those going to the Con!
It's fun to think back to those first magial days.
Nightshifter is a good one to come into the show with, too. I love how much crisis is in that episode, and yet it has a lot of humor. I can see why you would be hooked after that one.
I found the show with my mom, too. We still watch it together mostly, even though she watched Fringe with Dad during the season. They're now getting caught up on season 7. I think watching it with those we love just fits right in with the show's themes itself.
Like many, I'd never heard of the WB or the CW. So I owe a big "thank you" to TNT.