Sam and Dean Winchester have followed in their father’s footsteps, entering the family business to track down and dispose of all things supernatural. Throughout each of the seven series of Supernatural, we follow these swarthy, squabbling siblings as they crisscross America in their Chevrolet 66 Impala, a beautiful vintage motor that becomes something of a star in its own right. The boys investigate paranormal events, local legends and even full-scale celestial war. On the way, they see their dad die, sell their souls, go to hell and back (literally), kiss a lot of women, and do battle with demons, angels, vampires and ghosts, almost all with ghastly teeth. At one point, they go toe-to-toe with Lucifer himself.
It’s a superb mash-up of Buffy and The X-Files, stomach-churningly gory and all wrapped up in a road movie format with a rock soundtrack ranging from AC/DC to Kansas. In each episode, our dynamic duo motor into some new town to explore some paranormal shenanigans: yet the writers don’t just give us thrilling one-off adventures; they also build in some season-long story arcs – not least the one about that old problem, impending apocalypse.
In one very weird episode, Sam and Dean (Jared Padalecki and Jensen Ackles respectively) find themselves dealing with a giant suicidal teddy, the manic depressive victim of a small town’s malicious wishing well. The bear can’t endure the horrors of modern life, but finds you can’t blow your brains out when all you’re full of is stuffing. Elsewhere, the focus widens out somewhat – to the overarching battle between heaven and hell that threatens to consume all humankind.
Despite all the fantastical high-jinks, however, Supernatural is at heart a story about the bond between two brothers: ordinary boys who joke, weep, rescue each other, and incessantly bicker. Mystery Spot, a standout episode from season three that’s a skit on Groundhog Day, sees Sam, like Bill Murray in the movie, condemned to relive the same moments over and over, until he can work out how to break free. Only here, instead of getting to seduce Andie MacDowell, as Murray does, Sam has to watch as his brother Dean dies many times, repeatedly splattered in a perfect mix of horror and hilarity. It’s just one more pop culture reference in a show that’s crammed with them, playing off of everything from Back to the Future to Hammer Horror.
Supernatural, which has just been commissioned for an eighth series by America’s CW network, is lowbrow telly at its finest. Two brothers drifting across the States in a cool car, hunting monsters to a kick-ass soundtrack – what more could you want?
guardian.co.uk © Guardian News & Media Limited 2010
Seit 1996 bin ich freier Mitarbeiter der Salzgitter-Zeitung, als Experte für das Geschehen im hiesigen Kreisfußball. Daneben sind meine Kolumnen seit 2005 fester Bestandteil im Lokalteil der Salzgitter-Zeitung. Zusammen mit Frau und Tochter sowie zwei gefräßigen wie faulen Stubentigern versuche ich das zu meistern, was das Leben, das Universum und der ganze Rest an Absurditäten für uns bereithalten.