In September of 2005, both Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel had finished their runs while Smallville was about to kick off their fifth season. As for me, I had a very busy 5 year-old (hey kiddo; daddy loves you) and another on the way, and my wife and I were looking for a bigger house.
Needless to say, when I started seeing promos for Supernatural – The WB’s latest genre-infused drama – I decided to take a pass as time had become a precious commodity. Almost a decade later I set out to rectify that slight…
Basic premise of the show is simple: John Winchester (played by George Clooney-lite, Jeffrey Dean Morgan) witnesses his wife Mary (Samantha Smith) murdered by a demon. Years later, his sons Sam (Jared Padalecki) and Dean (Jensen Ackles) reunite to track down dear old dad and kill whatever goes bump in the night along the way.
This set up allows for the “freak of the week” template that Smallville had used for most of their seasons, and it works well within the realm of the spooky. Another aspect that clicked in that first season were the genuine scares, of which there are plenty of. The amount of times I jumped could almost be categorized as a work out.
Of course, being an inaugural season for a television series in 2005 had its own share of problems; but that’s to be expected. For instance, there are numerous filler episodes that do nothing to further the overall story (feel free to skip over “Bugs,” “Asylum,” “Faith” and “The Benders”) and at times Padalecki conjures up Sam’s whining a little too well. To combat that, there are some episodes that are absolutely stellar (“Home,” “Salvation” and even the “Pilot” come to mind) while Jensen’s portrayal of Dean is the true anchor of the show; he acts so matter-of-factly that you believe him when he talks about demonic possession, Wendigo and Bloody Mary.
But there is one thing that will get me to continue on in this series: the dialogue. Oh, that dialogue! For every fright I had I could count on at least a few guffaws thanks to the witty Winchester boys. 8 seasons are already in the can, and showrunner Jeremy Carver has stated that seasons nine and ten are essentially plotted. My thinking is they must be doing something right to have that many seasons; even with Sam’s whining. Regardless, I’m really looking forward to the second season; that cliffhanger came out of nowhere!