“Supernatural” somehow snuck onto Netflix Instant without my noticing, which is odd, considering I’ve been looking for it for a while and even watched a Presidents’ Day marathon of the sixth season, with commercials, when I could’ve been watching it on Netflix. Anyway, even though I didn’t notice its entrance, I am very glad to see it added to my instant queue. It’s definitely one to check out.
Jared Padalecki and Jensen Ackles play two sibling “hunters,” Sam and Dean (That’s right! Padalecki is Sam and Ackles is Dean, which is confusing for anyone who’s a “Gilmore Girls” fan.) who are aware of a supernatural world most people don’t see and have taken it upon themselves to bring down evil. They’re actually a family of demon hunters with an unfortunate childhood introduction to demons, and they spend the first season looking for their missing hunter father.
They also drive a classy 1967 Chevy Impala all over the country (even though the whole thing is shot in Canada) usually with “Carry On Wayward Son” in the background, and they really don’t make very sturdy relationships with people, with a few exceptions. They really are loners in the way that most people in television series pretend they are but really aren’t. They really don’t have a network of support (and when they do, they tend to lose it), and they really are in some horribly cheap hotel in a different city every other day. It kinda solves the whole “Murder She Wrote” problem, which leaves you thinking that Angela Lansbury is the real murder. Murder doesn’t come to them, they go to it.
Now sometimes their traveling isn’t completely convincing. Once they’re supposed to be in Dallas, Texas, (my hometown) and they’re all wearing heavy coats and going to record stores I’ve never seen or heard of (because they’re actually in Canada) and every hotel room they stay in is the same set dressed-up to look different, but I still like that in this show, these two brothers really are pretty much detached from everything, except each other, which leads to some interesting drama and a multitude of very short-lived love stories, often with a gruesome ending.
There’s also everything you’d expect to see in a supernatural show, from vampires to shape-shifters, but it’s always presented in a way that doesn’t pull any punches. Though it’s sometimes a comedy, the monsters in the show are serious, deadly and rarely comical, like you would sometimes see in “Buffy.” There’s also a higher level of violence and eerie in this show that I haven’t seen in any other currently aired on regular TV, that leaves me marathoning it with a girlfriend (which actually doesn’t stop me from getting scared during) and then checking my backseat as I drive home alone in the dark. But there’s certainly comedy as well. They tend to enjoy breaking their show’s usual mold and doing some really whacked-out episodes that other shows might not be able to pull off. For instance, in season 6, there’s an episode where they get thrown into another reality where “Supernatural” is just a television show and they’re really Jared Padalecki and Jensen Ackles and another one of the regulars on the show, the angel Castiel (Misha Collins), is addicted to Twitter. It’s very funny.
Another thing to celebrate is the fact that “Buffy” cast members tend to guest star on this show quite often. In fact, the list currently includes: Charisma Carpenter (Cordelia), James Marsters (Spike), Amber Benson (Tara), Julie Benz (Dara), Amy Acker (Fred from “Angel”), and Mercedes McNab (Harmony) to name a few. Mercedes actually plays a vampire once again but not in the usual fun way that you’d expect. (Actually, it’s pretty upsetting!) There is also an episode where Paris Hilton gets her head chopped off. Who doesn’t want to see that?
Though I will say in recent seasons they’ve gotten a little crazy-elaborate with their story lines (maybe because they’ve run out of ghosts and demons?), I think at least the first six seasons, which are all available on Netflix Instant, are worth a watch. The verdict is still out on season seven though, which is still unfolding.
Click here for a trailer.