Friday, September 7, 2012

Friday at the Movies: Supernatural

Unfortunately, there haven't been any movies I've been interested in seeing in theaters. I was half interested in Total Recall but haven't heard enough since opening to NOT wait for a Netflix release.

I actually don't know of any movies I'm interested in seeing on the horizon, which is unfortunate.

That being said, I'm going to do a few reviews on series I've seen in their entirety (though some are still being released, so that's not 100% accurate) and enjoyed.

For this week's rendition, we've got just one such show!

Supernatural features the talents of Jared Padalecki (Gilmore Girls' Dean) and Jensen Ackles (who was a model, I guess). Jared plays Sam, who starts out as a college student in a long term relationship, trying his best to move on and get away from the family business. Jensen plays Dean (yeah, that's not confusing for fans of Gilmore Girls...), who comes to drag Sam back into the the aforementioned family business.

Ok, from this point on, I'm going to try to avoid any spoilers, just a short, general review of the show and why you should watch it. In the future, maybe I'll do a season by season examination. For now, though, an intro to Supernatural:

Right, on to the good stuff! Dean has come to recruit Sam to help him find their father, John Winchester, who went missing on the job. John, along with Dean, are in the business of hunting and killing monsters and demons and other supernatural creatures in any shape, size, or form they come in. They put their lives on the line every time they do a job and live as nomads, living in hotels and motels while making their money through credit card scams (because hunting monsters everyone else thinks are make-believe doesn't pay well).

For some reason, Sam would rather go to Law School. Strange, I know, but that's a conflict that carries the season as the Winchester brothers team up to find their father, taking down Wendigos and Ghouls and other creatures as they do so.

That's just the tip of the iceberg, though, and I can't get into too much without adding a ton of spoilers, which I'd like to avoid for the most part.

The show is good for several reasons: the story is interesting, the individual episodes can range from hilarious to serious, from campy to impressive, and from meh to I MUST SEE MORE! It reminds me of Buffy the Vampire in that way. Actually, a lot of connections could be made between the two, I'm sure, but I'm not as familiar with the Vampire Slayer as I'd like to be.

Dean's Impala, basically part of the family.
Sam and Dean's relationship, while constantly changing and adapting as the show goes on, is always done very, very well. There are some moments in the later seasons where it begins to wear thin and I think some attention to detail is lost, but it does get back on track and continues to drive the show forward even more than the ever-expanding supernatural elements in the plot.

Sam is the book smart, reluctant Hunter who has many hidden strengths. Dean is the pretty boy, childish, natural hunter -- Dean can be down right merciless. Of course, even these things all change in interesting as the characters grow. The show is very fluid and you really don't know what's going to happen next.

Father and Sons
Beyond Sam and Dean, there is a steady cast that they run into that also add an element of freshness to the show. There isn't a single repeat character that shows up and makes me groan (well... maybe Ghost Facers, but even they have good episodes...), hoping this is the episode they die. In fact, just the opposite -- there have been some that met their maker that I wish hadn't, but even then it's done well.

Season 4 actually introduces one of my favorite characters, so, if you find yourself not loving the cast, try and give it until then! I don't know why'd you'd have a hard time enjoying the rest, but season 4 is a major turning point.

If you must have some cons, the show absolutely goes WAY out there as the seasons go on (there are currently 6 out on DVD with a 7th coming out later in the month). Also, some story elements run on excessively long and aren't always central to a given episode, potentially leaving you hanging while you wonder what's going to happen next.

There may be a few more flaws, but up until know I've been able to forgive all of them. If you're looking for a new TV show to get hooked on and enjoy humor, brotherly bonds, and tons of monsters and the hunting of them, you've come to the right place. If you're just looking for something different, I also suggest it -- you will fall in love with the characters.

The Wife: It's not ALL about the weird stuff.

I should point out that my wife doesn't much enjoy sci-fi or fantasy, yet we both love Supernatural.

So far, Fridays haven't had that many movies for me to take a look at. I may need to switch up the Friday post until more interesting movies are coming out -- I'd rather keep these posts for newer releases. More on this later, I suppose. For now, go watch Supernatural! It IS on Netflix!!

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