demons & possessions

[TV Review] Supernatural Season 1 (2005) ★★★★☆

Sam and Dean Winchester in the Impala Baby in Supernatural season 1

Supernatural takes you on a monstrous, ghostly and demonic road trip, delivering horror, drama and fun.


Supernatural is a supernatural, fantasy horror series about two brothers hunting monsters and saving people. This family business is all about hunting and fighting many different monsters, ghosts and demons while their road trip through America brings them closer to each other and family secrets, ultimately leading up to epic proportions. It’s a series with drama, horror, the supernatural, fantasy, humor and focuses on the relationship between Sam and Dean Winchester. 

This first season consists of 22 episodes with each a duration of 44 minutes. The series has a monster-of-the-week structure, while the big story arc about Sam and Dean continues and the big nemesis of the season must be fought. 


Plot

It all started in 1983 in Lawrence Kansas. Baby Sam lies in his crib, while a yellow-eyed demon visits him. Sam’s mother Mary caught him in the act, but was killed by the demon. This was the onset for John to hunt the yellow-eyed demon. He took his kids with him on the road and encountered many other monsters which had to be slayed. 

Now Dean still hunts with his father, while Sam went to college to start a new life. But when Dean comes knocking because John has disappeared, they go looking for him together, continuing the family business and they find out that their lives are a part of an epic destiny. 


Why you should watch it

For starters it’s a series that reels you in from the moment you start watching. The brothers are relatable, likable and their relationship is very complex. Though they love each other and love their father, their goals, principles and how they view their hunting existence differ greatly, causing tension and friction between them.

Despite these conflicts they go to hell and back for each other, and they put each other first, what is also their Achilles heel. It brings in realistic drama while searching for John, realizing that there might be more to just the hunting itself, and that there is a bigger plan behind it all.

While their relationship is fleshed-out along the way, they encounter a lot of monsters and demons. Every episode contains a different monster, or ghost, or demon, or a creature based on urban legends. While Sam and Dean form the foundation of the series, the monsters-of-the-week bring in the entertainment, the fantasy and the horror. 

While the yellow-eyed demon is the nemesis of this season, they have to fight a Wendigo, Bloody Mary, bugs, the hook man, a haunted painting, a killer car, reapers, vampires, shape-shifters and your average ghosts and demons. But it’s not only about hunting things, but also about saving people.

They don’t hunt for fun, but to protect innocent people. The stories of these people are connected to the bigger story arc of Sam and Dean and to a particular problem they struggle with at that time. And they don’t hunt only with guns as weapons, but also with an EVP and salt and symbols and markings, and by doing a lot of research too, finding out more about what they are up against. 

Every aspect and element of horror passes by and delivers a horror series pur sang. But importantly, in monsterland not everything is black and white. Monsters and ghosts aren’t necessarily pure evil and therefore must be killed, some are just a product of bad luck, being at the wrong place and time or looking for closure. 

Asides from all the personal drama and supernatural horrors in the world, this series is also very playful. The colorful motel rooms, all across America, the particular playful way in which Sam and Dean interact with each other, can be very comical.

And of course their aliases, the names of rockstars they use when they pose as FBI agents or Homeland Security, priests or as a security company, you name it, is a super fun gimmick. As are  Dean’s burgers and pies. As is the end talk in or near the Ford Impala, who is called Baby, which is a recurrent gimmick, in which they analyze what happened and discuss what to do next. 

But they don’t have to do everything all by themselves. They get help from Bobby Singer, a former hunter and a good friend of John and who acts like a surrogate father to Sam and Dean. Bobby is grounded, practical, grumpy, calls them idjits, but has a big heart. 


My favorite part

Although I like everything about this series, the well-crafted storylines of each episode that are intertwined with the bigger story arc and the personal lives of Sam and Dean is a great accomplishment. It all fits like a glove. It’s a well rounded series that connects every aspect of the storylines, story arc, characters and monsters leading it towards epic proportions while also connecting their past. 

The monsters bring in new storylines which also connect with Sam and Dean’s past and also plays a part in what’s happening now. The story arc progresses and evolves in a great way, with each episode a new development, pushing the story forwards. Like the visions of Dean, the Colt, John’s journal that gives them clues, the mysterious Meg and finally the sinister plan of the yellow-eyed demon that involves Sam and other kids like him. 

The way Sam and Dean interact with each other is a joy to watch, and Bobby increases it even more. 

Also the variation between the monster-of-the-week episodes are well-done. Sometimes very grave, sometimes really scary, playful or fun or dramatic. So it’s hard to choose which episodes I liked best. The final episodes of the season are a great finale, but I personally liked the episode with the nerdy Ed and Harry paranormal investigators, Ghost Facers too.

The episode when they split up, because of personal differences and Sam meets Meg and Dean a very scary scarecrow, is great as is the poltergeist episode that brings Sam and Dean back to Lawrence and to an old friend and they have an emotional encounter.


Ratings

Rating: ★★★★☆

Scare factor: ★★★☆☆

Gruesome factor: ★★★☆☆

Entertainment factor: ★★★★★


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Cast and crew

Supernatural is created by Erik Kripke. It stars Jared Padalecki (Sam), Jensen Ackles (Dean), Jeffrey Dean Morgan (John) and Jim Beaver (Bobby).

Music: Christopher Lennertz, Jay Gruska. Cinematograhy: Serge Ladouceur. Production company: Kripke Enterprises, Warner Bros. Television, Wonderland Sound and Vision, Supernatural Films. Original Network: The WB.