October 1, 2013

Why Supernatural is Still One of The Best Shows on TV

WARNING! Contains massive spoilers.

With everyone going on about Breaking Bad, The Walking Dead and Game of Thrones ad nauseum these days, it’s sometimes easy to forget that there are indeed other great shows on television too.

My personal favourite show is Supernatural; I’ll admit I was a late bloomer with this show and didn’t start watching it until my brother said I should give it a shot. I thought “nah, it’s a chicks show”; then I sat down and watched the first Season on DVD and I was hooked.

I was expecting the show to be a monster of the week show, which admittedly it is but the themes it explores and the human relationships are some of the biggest imaginable. Want proof? Head over to and catch Supernatural every week.

The two main protagonists Dean & Sam Winchester are brothers who have never really been close, until Sam’s girlfriend dies the same way the brother’s mother died many years before.

Sam is reluctant to join Dean and their father John (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) in the family business… hunting demons and monsters. When his girlfriend is taken by a yellow eyed demon, Sam and Dean join forces and their epic journey begins.

The first few seasons of the show are indeed monster of the week with the bigger story going on the background about what happened to Mommy Winchester. We get to know the brothers and see that the relationship with their father is strained at best; after all their lives aren’t exactly normal.

So one of the main themes going on is family and relationships; how these two brothers get along while living this bizarre life driving across country in their impala, hunting demons.

Throughout the show they lose pretty much everyone they love; their father, mother, friends and more. You totally root for the boys and they genuinely go to Hell and back… several times.

The battle between good and evil is constantly explored on the show and where Dean will sometimes just look at a demon and think they are pure evil, along comes Meg who will (sometimes) help the boys to achieve their goals.

Every character is well developed and is given back-story. When Bobby is introduced, the show finds not only more humour but he becomes the surrogate father of the boys and even stays with them as a ghost after he is killed.

For me, the show really came into its own when Castiel the Angel appeared. It gave the show a real depth and explored the idea of heaven and Hell. How angels can be corrupted by thinking like humans and aren’t without faults themselves. When Castiel introduces himself as an “Angel of the Lord” it was pretty amazing and I don’t think I’ve heard that said in a TV Show before.

He is my favourite character because he is the perfect example of another one of the big themes: Free Will. Castiel is always questioning God and wondering where he is. He is always disheveled and tired looking and not the luminous being you would expect.

He does have great power and occasionally uses it to help The Winchesters until one day when he gets too much power and essentially becomes God… kinda. In Season 7 Dean asks him what he’s going to do. Castiel responds “I don’t know, isn’t that amazing?”

He finally understands what free will is and seems finally more at peace with the world and more importantly God.

God never appears in the show so everyone is always questioning his existence just like we all do on a daily basis, but what I find interesting is despite the fact that the boys know heaven and Hell exist, they never pray. Dean does once but Sam has never done it… probably because he’s going to be possessed by the Devil later on.

Speak of the Devil… and he shall appear (to quote Bane); when Lucifer eventually shows up, he steals every scene he is in. Played to perfection by Mark Pellegrino (Lost) he is menacing one moment and then hilarious the next, especially in Season 7 when he plays games with Sam’s mind driving him practically insane.

However, for me the best villain of the entire show is actually Dick Roman; actor James Patrick Stuart plays him like Patrick Bateman as a smug yuppie but there’s something about him that whenever he smiles I just burst out laughing. That’s not to say he isn’t menacing as hell though. He manages to be creepy and funny at the same time: “Good talk!”

Supernatural is incredibly ballsy and some of the things that happen in the show will make you shout “Did they really just do THAT?”

In Season 7, another Angel wonders “What strange days these are” and where they just don’t understand what is going on with the world, God and the universe in general.

Let’s not forget that there is also plenty of action with heads being lopped off, left right and centre.

Season 4 is arguably the best as it gets very dark and violent. One episode has Dean torture a demon called Alistair and I think it’s the most disturbing episode yet. Dean descends to a level that makes him no better than the monsters he’s after and that’s why you keep watching. Nothing is black and white.

The only Season which I would consider the weakest is Season 6 as there just wasn’t that much of an interesting storyline. Season 7 is my second favourite though as that is when Dick Roman enters the story.

I think the writers behind the show find the whole concept of religion fascinating and explore it in great depth but I don’t think they are actually religious. It’s almost looked at from an agnostic perspective where they maybe believe in a God but just aren’t sure what to think, where as all it requires is a little faith. The show makes you question things more and challenges your beliefs, which is why it is so special.

It looks at faith and religion from various angles using Christian, Pagan and mythological symbols as the brothers battle greater foes and themes. The use of Holy Water and salt as weapons, demonic possession and more really made the show more popular with American audiences as these are more familiar to them.

A lot of people think that show should have ended by the end of Season 5 and it’s understandable why; the brothers prevented the apocalypse and saved the world… and yet their story wasn’t complete.

The world will always have evil in it and the good side will always need soldiers and who better than Dean & Sam?

When the show eventually does end I think an interesting way to do it would be for the two brothers to die, only to be resurrected as Angels who will go on fighting evil for all eternity. It’s what they were put on this Earth for and frankly nobody does it better.

As long as the writers keep challenging our beliefs and coming up with interesting stories and themes, I will continue watching it until the very end.

Speaking of Supernatural, if you live in Ontario Canada and will be in the Toronto area over the weekend of October 12 & 13, you should check out the Supernatural Convention where you can meet the entire cast. This includes Dean, Sam, Bobby, Castiel and many more. It will take place at at Westin Harbour Castle and you can check out full details at the link below. The Action Elite will also be in attendance. See you there!

Westin Harbour Castle
One Harbor Square
Toronto, ON Canada

About the Author

Eoin Friel
Eoin Friel
I grew up watching JCVD, Sly and Arnold destroy bad guys, blow things up and spew one-liners like it's a fashion statement. Action is everything I go to the movies for and the reason I came up with this site is to share my love for the genre with everyone.



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