I want to talk about Supernatural though. Supernatural, as defined by my friend Bella Leone, is basically boy Buffy. Brothers hunt supernatural things. Snark and silliness interspersed with serious and tender moments ensue. There are monsters of the week and big bads. Not screwing around, they go with the biggest of big bads–demons, angels, even Lucifer. Stakes are high, like end of the world high. Each season outdoes the last until I can’t imagine how season six and seven go (I’m only halfway through season five right now).
I watched the first episode of Supernatural when it originally aired, years ago. I wasn’t impressed. It seemed derivative of Buffy without adding anything new. It was sort of hack and, if I’m honest, boring. I felt the same way about the show the second time I watched it. Now though, I had the perspective of about a million screaming fans to keep me watching past episode one. I’m glad I did. I think the show hits its stride somewhere halfway through the first season, and then just keeps on going until you can’t quit those Winchester boys.
The best part of the show isn’t the story lines although they’re good enough to keep you guessing (the last episode of season 4 totally blew my mind, for example). The best part is the brothers themselves, the actors that bring them alive and the amazing writing that gives them character. Dean and Sam are consistently written, believable and changing as the series progresses. We’re not talking one note characters who will make the same decisions each time. I hate that. Sam’s the smart one and Dean’s the bad boy so each time Sam is cautious and Dean is reckless, right? SO NOT TRUE. They are well developed, powerful and evolving characters with intricate relationships and personality quirks.
In short, they are characters I love to love. I’m a character-driven writer, and reader too. I like to see how people change, I like to get to know them and when bad things happen to them I want to feel as terrible as they do. I rarely project myself into a story because I want to see how the character in the story will do things. I know how I would do them! The writers of Supernatural focus as much on character as on story, even spending whole scenes on character building rather than plot advancement. I love this.
One other thing I absolutely love about this show. The men cry. This seems ridiculous to even have to talk about, but I do because in so much media things are stereotyped, even to this day (although it isn’t as bad. Someday I’m going to talk about Stargate’s antiquated feminist character.) We’ve seen advancements in the way women are portrayed, but I don’t think men have come as far. They’re still either super strong alphas or super laughable fat dudes in sitcoms. The Winchesters are neither. They are strong, both of them in different ways. They are also loving–they love each other and their family. When something bad happens, when they hurt, they cry. Like normal people. I’m talking the pain of broken hearts, of self-betrayal, of shame, of loss. They feel things as people should feel them. They also get angry and punch each other. They tease each other mercilessly. Their relationship is powerfully bonded and when it comes apart, it comes apart hard. The emotional depth of the show is very believable, and very real. This is NOT something you see in male leads, and it pleases me very much.
The heart of Supernatural beats strong, the humor and the sadness and the excitement and even the scare factor. I highly recommend a watch of the show, now available on Netflix instant streaming. Until you can get to it, here’s one of my favorite Dean moments to entice you (I’ve started asking myself What Would Dean Winchester Do?):
Now quit bothering me, I’m slaying demons with the Winchesters!