Supernatural Season 1 – A Blu-Ray Review
Series Creator: Eric Kripke
Cast: Jared Padalecki, Jensen Ackles
Review by Brian M. Sammons
Supernatural is a television series I was destined not to like. Yeah, sorry about coming into this thing with preconceived ideas but its true, so let me count the ways I was sure to hate this show. First, it looked like an X-Files rip-off and I hate rip-offs. Come to think of it, I hated what the X-Files turned into after season six, but I digress. This show also looked like teeny-bopper horror, and I am so, so, sssssooooo sick of teeny-bopper horror. Then there’s the fact that it starred a couple of hunky guys, so there wasn’t even the lure of eye candy to draw me in like Buffy: The Vampire Slayer or Dollhouse or pretty much anything that Joss Whedon ever did. Oh, and then there’s the fact that I am a huge horrorhead, so I’ve seen the two stars before and I wasn’t too impressed. Jensen Ackles most recently was in the middle of the road My Bloody Valentine remake. Worst yet, there was the truly horrible, direct to DVD, satanic video game movie; Devour. Co-star Jared Padalecki is a bit more of a repeat offender with two so-so to down right horrible (depending upon who you ask) remakes with Friday The 13th and House Of Wax, and the very forgettable slasher/thriller, Cry Wolf. So yeah, with all that said, I had written off this TV show before ever laying eyes on it.
And then I watched this show, and amazingly, I liked it. I really liked it. Trust me, I’m more surprised than you are about that. Why did I like it? Well just as I counted the ways I thought I was going to not like this show, I guess I’ll count the ways it actually worked for me.
First, it is very well written. The basis of the series is two brothers, raised at a young age to be monster hunters by their Captain Ahab-ish dad. The two bors have to reunite after a few years of being apart and once again start stalking the night stalkers all over Americana while looking for their father who had abruptly vanished. That is the “nutshell” version of the series, but that doesn’t give full credit to the show. The over-arching mystery of what happened to daddy is engaging. The individual episodes usually spotlight a “monster of the week” that comes from real world folklore and urban legends, and as a UL/folklore junkie, I just loved that. The characters are well developed and seem believable instead of gung-ho monster masher cardboard cutouts they could have easily been written as. Most importantly, and surprisingly, Supernatural is hilarious. While the show is usually not really scary, it is almost always really funny. Now that may seem weird, liking a horror show that’s not scary, but since most TV shows that claim to be “horror” really aren’t all that scary either, I’m more than content with funny this show has to offer.
As for those two actors I was sort of making fun of for their bad movie choices? Well I thought that both of them had good chemistry together, portrayed their characters well enough that I actually wanted to keep learning more about them (something that only rarely happens for me with TV characters), and could deliver both the comedic lines and a good heaping of pathos when called to do so.
So I guess I am a fan now of this show. Lucky for me, Warner Brothers has just brought out the first season of Supernatural on Blu-ray for the first time. This well put together little bundle of BD goodness collects all 22 episodes, many extended or deleted scenes, a select few episodes with audio commentary, and two featurettes. Plus there are two features new to this Blu-ray edition and therefore not on the previous DVD release. One is an interactive map of the US with spots where the episodes take place highlighted. There is also a panel discussion from a festival featuring the cast and crew. Both were nice additions, but if you’re already a fan of this show then you’ve probably got this on DVD, so should you buy it again for the BD upgrade? Well the two extra features are nice, but not nice enough to justify getting this set all over again. The video up conversion from DVD to BD is noticeable, so it does look better; however the soundtrack remains the same. So if two new features and a slightly better picture are worth it to you to double dip for the first season of this very enjoyable show, then by all means go for it. But if you have yet to get into Supernatural then this is a great place to start.