I review the very first episode of the popular horror/urban fantasy TV show, Supernatural.
“An awesome introduction that manages to be a tiny bit scarier than I thought it would be.”
Yeah. I’m not a big fan of horror when it comes to film, but oddly enough – I’ll read just about anything that Stephen King puts out, or any other horror book. But I’m just not a big fan of it on the screen. So I was a bit uncertain when it came to Supernatural, a TV series that I’d picked up the first boxset for two reasons – not only was it quite cheap on Amazon (series with less episodes cost slightly more than Supernatural Season 1), loads of people whose opinions I value highly have also been saying good things about this TV series, my fellow Founding Fields reviewer in particular – Lord of the Night.
And I found this episode to be awesome. It’s a strong opening adventure that not only sets the scene for future stories, but also has some great chemistry between the two lead actors, who both portray their roles of Sam (Jared Padalecki) and Dean Winchester (Jensen Ackles) really well and have great chemistry together. This is one the reasons that’s making me stick around to watch more of Supernatural, and the other reason because rather than being a straightforward monster-of-the-week TV series, Supernatural hints at an overarching plotline – both brothers are on a quest to find their father who went missing whilst hunting the demon responsible for the death of their mother. Whilst I can understand that not every episode will advance the plot, I’m hoping for something along the lines of Doctor Who or even the more recent Arrow, so the show can build to a great climax in the season finale.
The effects, whilst in some places, are showing their age, much likes the cassettes in Sam’s car which Dean points out in one of the more light-heartened moments of anotherwise dark and atmospheric show, do sometimes prevent this episode from being even scarier. Although there are several scenes in here that I did not see coming and I’ll do my best to watch future episodes when I can.
The plot is a fairly straightforward episode that takes time to introduce the characters as well as creating a compelling mystery. Sam is living a normal life, and is a few days before a big interview that will help improve his career prospects dramatically if he accepts. He’s got a girlfriend, he’s got friends – and he’s living a normal life whilst his Dad and Brother are off hunting supernatural creatures. Then Dean comes back in the middle of the night, informing Sam that their father’s gone missing whilst looking for the demon that killed their mother. Sam reluctantly agrees to help Dean, leaving his girlfriend behind but promising to make it back in time for the interview.
And I kept wondering throughout the whole episode whether he was going to make it back or not. That’s the level of tension created in the series Pilot, even if it’s somewhat lessened by the fact that we know Sam and Dean are still going to survive. I was watching on the edge of my seat as I was drawn into the show that whilst has a simple premise – stop the mystery Woman in White from killing people and find out what happened to their father. However, things aren’t as all clear cut – and allow for some damn good television.
If you haven’t jumped on board the Supernatural ride already then I highly suggest you do. the Pilot episode has an interesting enough plot to keep you hooked right the way through and whilst this review is a little on the short side, with the show being however many seasons long – I’m pretty much certain that most of you who have either watched this show already or are planning on watching it but have not got around to. Seriously, this is a very strong pilot episode, and if the show continues to be this strong, then I will look at rethinking my List of Top 5 favourite TV shows – which are: 1 – Firefly, 2 – The Walking Dead 3 – Game of Thrones, 4 – Doctor Who, 5 – Sherlock.
A great show, awesome chemistry between the lead actors, a show that manages to be scary and still has some amusing parts to it in places, but is starting to show its age when it comes to special effects.
SUPERNATURAL COMPLETE SERIES 1: Pilot, Wendigo, Dead in the Water, Phantom Traveller, Bloody Mary, Skin, Hook Man, Bugs, Home, Asylum, Scarecrow, Faith, Route 666, Nightmare, The Benders, Shadow, Hell House, Something Wicked, Provenance, Dead Man’s Blood, Salvation, Devil’s Trap.