Eight years ago today, a certain show premiered on the dying WB network only to move to the combined CW network the following season. If you're on this blog, you can probably guess what show I'm referring to. (No, not "My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic")

I'll be honest, at the time I had NO expectations for the show. I joked at the time that they just decided to redo "The X-files" with two pretty boys this time.

When it first aired, I wasn't able to catch the premiere because I was in the hospital. I was, however, able to catch the next episode, "Wendigo." I was prepared to make a lot of jokes about the show. Being an old MST3k fan, I found bad TV to be just as entertaining as bad movies (I once wrote a lot of humor recaps for the Surface). So there I was, prepared to laugh and make a lot of jokes at the show's expense.

Only... it was good.

I mean, for years I would stay up late on Fridays & Saturdays watching long blocks of sci-fi/fantasy shows like "Star Trek," "Stargate SG-1," "GR's Earth: Final Conflict," "GR's Andromeda," "Mutant X", "The Invisible Man," "Hercules," "Xena," "The Outer Limits," etc etc. (actually not much "X-Files," however) SPN had obviously come from that long pedigree, but it was a slightly different flavor. I couldn't believe it, I liked this show! (that I love the woods and the episode timing probably helped a lot too) It was certainly one of the most manly yet family-oriented shows I'd seen in a long time. The brothers were entertaining and we got to see them use both their brains and brawn in fighting.

What I liked even more - especially compared to the very "wendigo-esque" episode of the "X-Files," Detour - was that the guys actually won! Was it a perfect victory? Nah, but in the end the boys did improve the world. It was much less... nihilistic than "The X-Files," which is why I kept watching.

However, my house didn't get a good signal from the WB so I missed most of the first season (ironically, I seemed to catch every good episode and miss every bad one, I didn't realize some of the dreck S1 had till I got the DVDs). When the channels combined into the CW, I could get that channel a lot better. So I was able to catch all of season 2 and I was hooked.

Couple of years later, a new job had me move to another city, and I was staying in temporary lodging. While the places are often great, they do have a knack for encouraging home-sickness. Thankfully, I had... SPN season 4 premiere to look forward to! To this day I can still remember watching it in that cramped little room and the emotional roller coaster it dragged me on.

Four years later, I'm still not sure if I accept anything from the post-Kripke years, but I'm can't stop watching anyway. Heck the RPG is still my most favorite RPG and I still introduce new fans to the series all the time. (I mean, how often do you get to watch Satan be shot in the face on Television?)

Why? Because, weird as it might sound, it was there for me in some rough times. Because it's a reminder to hold onto family and keep fighting the good fight.

But mostly... because it's awesome. Happy Birthday, "Supernatural."


Comments  

KELLY
# KELLY 2013-09-14 00:22
Nate, nice article. I did have the exact opposite impression when I started watching it though. That it was another X-Files inspired show but with no aliens and two brothers. But I thought as the season progressed they found their own style more and more and by season 2 I thought they were there.

Sidenote-Supern atural wiki has been posting random things about SPN in celebration. By far the most hilarious one is that the first Wincest fan fiction was posted less than 24 hours after the premiere. We are one weird pervy group.
CJ
# CJ 2013-09-14 01:22
Nice article Nate. I watched the pilot and thought it was good but I wasn't hooked... not yet. I missed a few episodes in the middle until I watched Faith. That was it. I fell hard. I think that was the day I fell in love with the show. I must have re-watched the episode a dozen times that year alone. Something clicked and I have never missed an episode ever since. I loved how the show at its core was about humanity, family and love amidst a backdrop of supernatural creatures & hunting. Dean and Sam have become a part of my life now. Sometimes its hard to realize they are not real :)
This is probably the only show which made me want to find out who the writer(s) of the episodes were, who directed it etc. I have lengthy discussion with my friends on the locations, props and lighting, camera angles, choice of colors... e'thing. Nothing on this show is trivial to me. No show has made me that involved (not even X-Files which I'm huge fan of btw). I agree with Nate that the show doesn't have the same feel as the Kripke days but I love it anyway. I love what Jensen and Jared bring to the show. I love the fact that it still is about the brothers. I love the humor, the angst, the triumphs, the brotherly banter, the mythology, I guess its easier to just say that I love all things Supernatural.
Thanks again Nate for this article. It reminded me of the first time I watched the show and fell in love with the Winchesters. I'm an SPN fan, always was and always will be.
mary9930
# mary9930 2013-09-14 07:59
Thanks Nate. Sometimes I'm jealous of those of you who have been following Supernatural from the 1st airing. But, there are advantages to inhaling 7 seasons at once. Namely, not waiting months to see how the family survived the car crash or see Dean get out of hell.
I agree that the family aspect is what truly makes it irresistible. Luckily My kids share my obsession to a lesser extent. As they say, the family that hunts together ... (best to leave that open ended)
leah unlogged
# leah unlogged 2013-09-14 14:08
Thanks Nate! I was a fairly early watcher, from from S2 episode 1. It almost didn't happen. When I landed on it a few times while channel surfing, the boys were always bickering and that didn't interest me in the least. Too much like reality TV! But I decided to sit through a whole episode one day when it caught my interest and it was In My Time of Dying. I was hooked. This brother trying so hard to get back to his family, his younger brother. The other brother trying so hard to get him back. The father making a deal to save his son! Such angst, such emotion. I went out and bought S1 straight away and have been in love since. I have to agree the Kripke years were my favorites. But taking a show beyond what was meant to be it's swan song, pun intended, was not an easy task. SG and JC have done pretty well under the circumstances. S7 was my my least favorite. Still in all a great series, so Happy Birthday Supernatural. Thrilled you are still with us!!
Yirabah
# Yirabah 2013-09-16 07:41
Thanks Nate for reminding us. Unbelievable that it was already 8 years ago.

I usually loose interest in TVshows after a few seasons because the shows just forget what they originally stood for. It usually ends up with bad writting too.

Not so with our little show that could. I am still watching and can't wait to see the new season. Like CJ said. It is the first show that makes you to want to know more of the behind the scenes. To look at a certain scene again and again because you discover something great, like the lightning, camera angle or what not.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY SUPERNATURAL
Fedelynn
# Fedelynn 2013-09-17 00:25
Dear Nate:
Thank you so much for the article. Thank you, too, to all those who commented and greeted Supernatural. It's nice to get to know other people's perspective on our Show.... I'm a late-bloomer SPN fan. Although it began in 2005, I watched it only in 2009: I was in love with "Prison Break" and Miller and didn't want to be unfaithful to them by getting hooked by SPN. So, in 2009, I was looking for a weekly fix, and decided to give SPN another chance. The rest is history.

Happy Birthday, SUPERNATURAL! Thank you for all your episodes--both good and not so good.
Michelle McKee
# Michelle McKee 2013-09-30 20:42
HAPPY BIRTHDAY SUPERNATURAL!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!