Wednesday, September 9, 2009

"Supernatural" Fills the "Buffy" Void

Wednesday, September 9, 2009
Digg this

Following the demise of my beloved Buffy the Vampire Slayer in 2003, I essentially gave up on network television. This was easy to do as I have no interest in cop, hospital or legal dramas. I like my shows quirky, dark and witty, with a dash of the occult.

Earlier this year, while conducting interviews for another story, one of my sources suggested I check out Supernatural. This recommendation stuck with me and this summer I finally got around to renting Seasons One through Four.

The series follows brothers Dean (Jensen Ackles) and Sam Winchester (Jared Padalecki) as they travel across the country in a bad-ass 1967 Chevy Impala listening to cock-rock and hunting evil.

They had me at Back in Black.

At first, it seemed too good to be true. This show had everything I love clever writing, ghosts, demons, psychics, witches, good vs. evil but throw in a soundtrack featuring Black Sabbath, Ratt and Soundgarden, and I am definitely in it for the long haul.

Of course, it doesn't hurt that the two leads are extensively easy on the eyes, but I digress.

I suspect the writers of Supernatural have taken a Joss Whedon Master's class. Like Buffy, each season thus far has followed a main story arc, with side-roads throughout. Another big plus is that, at times, it is downright scary.

In an interview featured on the Season One DVDs, creator Eric Kripke said that his intention was to make a mini-horror movie each week and this vision has been successful, although, in some episodes more than others.

The series began with the guys hunting creatures based on urban legends, such as Bloody Mary and the infamous Hook Man, but for Season Five the show has taken on an arc of biblical proportions. At the end of Season Four, Sam had inadvertently unleashed Lucifer, signaling the beginning of the Apocalypse, and Dean had been chosen by the angels to stop it all.

Kripke told TV Guide Magazine that viewers will indeed see an Apocalypse, complete with "four horsemen" and that they have definitely put a new spin on Lucifer (Mark Pellegrino).

"One of our goals is to depict Lucifer in a way that’s rarely seen on television," Kripke said. "We want Lucifer to be the most sympathetic character this season. He’s this wounded angel who feels very betrayed by God and his fellow angels."

Lucifer may be the Devil we don't know, but the Apocalypse sounds disturbingly familiar.

"Our version of the Apocalypse includes things like hurricanes unexpectedly slamming into the U.S. coasts, and swine flu, and North Korea suddenly arming up with nuclear weapons," Kripke said. "We’re really trying to create the idea that we always have, that this could be happening right outside your door and you don’t know it."

Characters from seasons past will also be returning, including angel Castiel (Misha Collins), demon Meg (Rachel Miner) and even Sam's dead fiance Jessica (Adrianne Palecki).

So far, we have angels, demons, the resurrected dead and Lucifer, so how about the Big Kahuna?

"God will be a character on Supernatural this season," Kripke confirmed. "He’s vanished from Heaven, which is why the Angels have taken over the joint, but we’re planning on God’s return, probably around the end of the season. This story thread has generated much hilarity in the Supernatural writer’s room. We ask ourselves questions like, 'Well, what’s God’s motivation in this scene?' And then we start laughing, cause, you know, Gossip Girl just ain’t having these problems.

At this point, my fellow Buffsters may be wondering if Supernatural is (dare I say it?) better than Buffy?

Not yet. In fact, only the dialogue has, occasionally, come anywhere close to Buffy standards, but that could all change this season. So instead of watching the same tired NBC Thursday night sitcoms this fall, give Supernatural a shot.

After all, what could be more exciting than the Apocalypse?

Supernatural Season Five kicks off on the CW Sept. 10 at 9 p.m. EST.


Emily Dawn said...

This show has been in my Netflix queue for awhile. I'm bumping it up after reading this. ;)

Amanda Mitchell said...

A wise decision, young Padawan.

Emily Dawn said...


Post a Comment

Persnickety Press. Design by Pocket