Supernatural Season One: Ghostbusting—Rocker Style!

Supernatural (adj.)1: of or relating to an order of existence beyond the visible observable universe; esp. of or relating to God or a god, demigod, spirit, or devil; 2 a: departing from what is usual or normal especially so as to appear to transcend the laws of nature b: attributed to an invisible agent (as a ghost or spirit)

Merriam-Webster Online

Ah, Supernatural, one of the few TV series that I became attached to despite hesitating to watch at first (my “Me time” series marathons start at around midnight to begin with, this particular series isn’t the comedy or the drama type, and I sleep alone). But with my passion for the paranormal, the mystical, and those that both challenge and strengthen my faith, no wonder I became easily attached to this series, its first season being the primary culprit.

First, I give due respect to the creators and cast of the series, of course. Created by Eric Kripke, Supernatural is a horror-thriller-drama series from The CW Television Network. It stars Jared Padalecki (Friday the 13th, 2009 reboot) as Sam Winchester and Jensen Ackles (My Bloody Valentine 3D) as Dean Winchester, brothers who grew up hunting and fighting in the harsh environment of the supernatural.

For the first season, brothers Sam and Dean struggle in search for their missing father, John Winchester (Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Denny Duquette in Grey’s Anatomy) while hunting down paranormal creatures along the way, somewhat saving the day for a few fortunate people or even towns. Throughout the run of Supernatural’s first season, the Winchester brothers seem to discover more than they expected, as Sam started exhibiting the ability to foretell deaths hours before the actual ones take place. Also, somehow related to Sam’s freakish ability, the brothers slowly uncover the mystery behind the vile and baffling deaths of their mother and Sam’s girlfriend — dragged to the ceiling and burnt to ashes.

Common on most horror series, Supernatural employs the “Monster of the Week” formula, but in a not-so-typical way. Sometimes, the brothers fight ghosts and, well, monsters of varying lore, thus implementing the formula. Other times, they have to deal with humans who, knowingly or unknowingly, summoned some nasty creatures, something that spells the difference of this thriller series from the rest. Examples of this kind of twist to the “Monster of the Week” formula are in Episode 7: Hook Man, where a girl unknowingly summoned a hook man that kills people who defy her definition of morality; and in Episode 17: Hell House, where a website that drove people to believe in the existence of a haunted house actually realized that house through the people’s channeled energy.

On the “Monster of the Week” note, I actually like Supernatural’s individual plot development as each episode can respectably be a standalone horror movie. Although it has a dominant plot all throughout, Supernatural has a way of squeezing in their hour-long airtime the monster discovery, its history, its cause for being, its death, a parcel of the overall plot, and some Dean-and-Sam-funny-and-slash-or-arguing moments. And the good thing about it is that the quality of the show is never sacrificed as the storyline of each episode is kept clear and intact, that’s why I can say each of its episodes is already as good as a movie in itself.

I found myself amazed at how dense and founded the characters’ personalities are developed in the first season, somewhat inviting its audience to keep watch of how the brother’s personalities would agree with or clash against each other. One can definitely tell what’s good or bad in the Winchester brothers, as if they are just the typical next door neighbors (minus the paranormal hunting and killing, of course).

A younger brother to Dean (despite being taller), Sam Winchester is your typical, logical guy who asks questions first, and prefers planning than just barging in crime scenes unprepared. About to enter law school before Dean told him that their father was unusually missing, Sam is determined to leave the life of a hunter in exchange for a normal one, that is until his girlfriend died in that strange, bursting-into-flames fashion. Being the smart one of the two, he is almost always responsible with researching what they are up against, what might cause the attacks of the “Monster of the Week,” and what might kill it. Sam, or Sammy to Dean, is also known to be determined and firm, as seen when he decided to join his older brother in pursuit of the one who killed his mother and girlfriend, turning his back on a far more progressive life in law school. With such characteristics, Sam can be compared to a highly-intellectual yet considerate college buddy or classmate that everyone seems to have come across.

 

The practical half of the duo with numerous charges of identity theft and credit card fraud, Dean Winchester, contrary to his brother, is satisfied with his life as a hunter. He somehow seems like a happy-go-lucky type of man, but in the course of the first season (and the succeeding ones, as well), Dean is revealed to be the family man among the remaining Winchesters. His goal in life is summarized in what he tells Sam during the opening montage of every episode: “I think he (their father John) wants us to pick up where he left off. You know, saving people, hunting things. The family business.” And that’s how it often is for Dean, always following what his dad wants. Despite John Winchester’s absence almost throughout the first season save the season opener and ender episodes, it seems Dean acts on the orders of his father with blind faith, a fact often acknowledged by Sam. Dean also loves beer, sex, porn, and smart-mouthing, but it is implied in the series that all those are just defense mechanisms he naively put up to hide his greatest fear, losing his little Sammy, the only important person left with him. With such characteristics, Dean is comparable to a cool, somewhat unruly bastard who’s got your back when things go wrong.

The classic rock background music also became part of Supernatural canon, fitting the overall thriller-horror atmosphere the series gives off. I honestly just found myself downloading and listening to AC/DC, Metallica, and Lynyrd Skynyrd almost after season one (I only have the songs from Season 1, Episodes 1-10 and there was almost 40 of them already). And nothing says badass more than that music played on a black 1967 Chevrolet Impala (also known as the Metallicar), which somehow became a third character alongside Sam and Dean. Supernatural is a roadshow, and I think Metallicar is the best car to hit the Supernatural road with.

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