SUPERNATURAL - THE COMPLETE FIRST...
Reviewed by: Andre Manseau
What's it about
Two brothers have grown apart over the years, until one day, their father goes missing and this brings them together. Oh yes, I forgot to mention. Their father is some sort of paranormal ghost hunter, and now the boys, reunited through a brotherly bond and past childhood horrors, go across the country in 22 one hour episodes, fighting off ghouls and ghosts of all shapes and sizes.
Is it good movie?
I did a little bit of research before diving in to this six disc, first season set. What I’d read was Supernatural is a scary, edgy, and original thriller that packs a punch with each episode, bringing good acting and exciting plots to the table.
What show were these people watching?
Now, don’t get me wrong. This show is not awful, and I’m not condemning it, by a long shot. However, it’s quite simply just an average show. The first episode is arguably the best one, as it introduces the characters and gives them a raison d’Ítre, and that part of the plot is pretty intriguing. One brother is more of a reserved, logical type, while the other one is brash, cocky and often ‘head-first’ when it comes to dealing with the situations at hand.
Here’s where the problems begin. The show is almost insulting to the viewer at times. It’s so formulaic, that by the third disc, it seems the entire cast and writing staff has simply run out of steam and they’re just tossing any idea they can out there to be filmed. I mean, as a viewer, of course you can be expected to suspend disbelief, and as a horror fan, I am too, and that’s fine. But there are so many ridiculous characters in this show, it’s frustrating. Every time they interrogate someone (to try to get information about what they’re dealing with, they often lie about their identity), when they first get to a new city, it makes me think of that TV show, Oblivious. You know, when the host is asking random people questions in SUCH a blatantly obvious way that the viewer is always thinking "how stupid are these people? Don't they find it odd this guy is asking these questions like that? How can they not know they're on the show?" These two brothers break so many laws trying to get down to the bottom of their monstrous cases, it’s incredible how inept the people who deal with them often are. At one point, the impersonate Homeland Security, and get by other federal agents!
And most of the episodes are so derivative of other horror flicks. We deal with evil scarecrows, demonic possessions, Bloody Mary, Urban Legends, I mean, come on! And as far as continuity goes, there are some plot hints about where their father is, but that would not keep me coming back to the show. Despite a different monster each episode, the show treads familiar plots each time, and both main actors, Jared Padalecki and Jensen Ackles are just ‘okay’, which doesn’t exactly anchor the show.
That being said, it’s not torture to watch each episode. The action can be tense, but it’s clear sometimes that the writers would simply leave you hanging over a commercial break simply to solve that previously impossible problem as soon as the show resumes. Really, almost everything about the show is just average, and the only thing that is engrossing are the effects which are quite good, and the monsters that the brothers deal with. I for one, could care less if they ever found their father. And please, ditch the lame ‘hard rock drive-away’ scenes at the end of every episode!
Video / Audio
Supernatural comes to us in anamorphic widescreen (1.85:1) and is enhanced for 16x9 televisions. Looks gorgeous, absolutely pristine.
Audio comes in the form of Dolby 5.1, and also sounds great.
We get commentaries by Eric Kripke, David Nutter, and Peter Johnson on the Pilot and Jared Padalecki and Jensen Ackles also contribute a commentary on Phantom Traveler.
Want some deleted scenes? We get a few for the Pilot, Wendigo, Phantom Traveler, Hook Man, Home, Scarecrow, Faith, and Nightmare. They don’t often add much, and seem to have been deleted for a reason.
How about an EPK? Supernatural: Tales from the Edge of Darkness fills that role, with interviews from the cast and crew, all talking about how great their show is and how much they love doing it.
There’s also a little featurette called a Day in the Life of Jared and Jensen, detailing life as the main characters of the show.
They also added a short Gag Reel and a still gallery, too. Not bad.
This show does have an appeal to it, but I certainly wouldn’t make it a part of my regular viewing each week, it wouldn’t sustain me through commercials, but then again, I hate TV. The set itself is gorgeous, and given a grand treatment, and features some decent supplemental material. Really though, each episode of Supernatural plays out like an episode of Goosebumps. It’s not big on scares, and is really just a short rip-off of a better horror movie. There are surely worse ways to waste your time, but unless you’re around 14 or 15 (in which case, you would probably think this show was awesome), you might want to watch a few episodes before you commit to purchasing the set.