Supernatural: Season 6
Created by: Eric Kripke
Cast: Jared Padalecki, Jensen Ackles, Jim Beaver, Misha Collins
Review by Brian M. Sammons
I like this show, so there, I said it. I know, it’s silly, but that’s what I like most about it; it’s funny. It is also well acted and the stories are well written … well in regards to that last one, at least until this season. Yeah, I must admit that Season 6 is easily the weakest of the Supernatural lot. Now that’s par for the course for television, so I’m not going to give this show too much grief for it. It’s hard to have a long running TV show where all the episodes are winners, I mean the last season of Dexter was pretty lackluster and The X-Files gets all but unwatchable after Season 6. Oh man, just typing that I hope there’s not some sort of weird symmetry between that show all about exploring the unknown and this one, which just finished its 6th Season. Quickly, on with the review!
To be sure, Season 6 of this show staring the hunky Winchester brothers hunting monsters wasn’t horrible, it just wasn’t great. I think the problem was that it had to pick up where Season 5 left off, and that season ended with the brothers stopping the honest to goodness apocalypse. I mean, wow, that’s a hard act to follow. So the overarching plot of Season 6 is the continuing war in heaven; meaning hot angel on angel action, with demons thrown in for good measure, and the occasional standalone episode. But honestly, I’m sick of the whole angel thing, I’d like the show to go back to its original mandate of having two guys travel across America, investigating monsters and myths, as opposed to angels, God, biblical prophesies and all that. That was fine for one season, here it starts stretching pretty thin, and sadly Season 6 ends with a cliff hanger that makes it look like Season 7 is only going to continue that trend. Oh yay.
Ok, now that I’m pretty sure that I pissed off the “Jared and Jensen are so dreamy” fangirls, let me try to appease them by saying that by and large, this season of Supernatural was still pretty darn good, funny, enjoyable, and yes, sometimes creepy. Without spoiling any of the overall plot for Season 6, here are some of my favorite episodes. “Weekend at Bobby’s,” besides being directed by Jensen Ackles, it puts longtime adoptive father figure, Bobby, in the forefront and gives the Winchester brothers a break. It’s always nice when long running shows do something different, and this episode does that. “You Can’t Handle the Truth” takes a simple premise of a curse where people can only tell the truth and takes it to horrifying extremes. “Clap Your Hands if You Believe” is all about fairies on a quest to kidnap first-born sons. Ideas like that are the reason I keep watching this show. “Mannequin 3: The Reckoning,” despite having one of the best titles ever, is about killer mannequins. That’s. Just. Cool. But not as cool as “The French Mistake” where Sam and Dean get whisked into an alternate reality where their life is a TV show and they must replace the actors who play them on the TV show. Weird, I know, but pretty awesome too. And with “Frontierland” you get time travel and cowboys, two of my favorite things. There were other episodes that were pretty good too, but these should show a tread that my favorite shows in Season 6 were either the standalone episodes or the overtly funny ones, so keep that in mind when reading this review. If you are a fan of all the angelic angles in the last two seasons then my complaints will not be your complaints. That said, there was one episode of Season 6 that I thought all but dropped the ball completely, and that’s the one about H.P. Lovecraft.
Now I am a Lovecraft fanboy, I freely admit that, but my problems with the episode, “Let it Bleed,” had nothing to do with all the cheap shots it took at my fellow Lovecraft fanboys. No, my problem was that HPL was all but wasted in the episode, and he could have just as easily been any other odd and weird writer. All the cosmic horrors he created, and the incredibly long and dark shadow he has cast over horror fiction, both in print and on celluloid, is all but ignored. HPL was just namedropped into this episode as the most blatant form of pandering fan service. It was as if after Cthulhu appeared on South Park, and even Scooby Doo had an episode about a “H.P. Hatecraft” and his unpronounceable monsters, the writers of this show said, “hey, people seem to like this Lovecraft guy, let’s do something with him and maybe we’ll get some buzz on the internet.” What’s next, are they going to bump into the woman who wrote the Twilight books, because you know, they seem to be popular too. Bah, getting all worked up about it again, so let’s move on quickly before I start frothing at the mouth again.
Unlike some TV shows that come out on barebones discs, the Blu-rays of the Supernatural show always have a few goodies for the fans, including some exclusives for the HD crowd. There are two examples of that this time, both of which I thought were pretty neat. First there is a trivia track for the episode, “The French Mistake,” that was neat, but noting amazing. However the BD exclusive “Hunter’s Guide to Season Six” was very cool and is an example of why I like the Blu-ray format so much, other than just its amazing picture. This “guide” is a neat interactive toy to play with that has a bunch of short featurettes, interviews, stills from the set, oh and Easter Eggs, I love finding Easter Eggs. In addition to that, there are the “regular” special features, and by that I’m pretty sure they are also on the DVD edition of Season 6, such as a featurette on star Jensen Ackles taking his first turn at directing an episode, a couple of bonus episodes from the new Supernatural: The Anime Series, a producers commentary on two episodes, alternate takes, outtakes, a gag reel, and more. This Blu-ray set is a treasure trove of goodies for Supernatural fans and all TV shows should take lessons from it on how to include cool extras with your show, even if it’s six years old.
Wrap up time: Supernatural is a good show, Season 6 of it was still an ok season, and these Blu-rays are just awesome. Add that all together and you get something that you should have in your home library if you’re a fan of the off-kilter, horror-tinged-humor that makes this show so good. I may have been a little hard on this season, but that’s only because I like the show as a whole and I wasn’t thrilled with the overall direction it was taking. There’s still enough good in Season 6 to recommend it, and there’s always hope that in Season 7 they start steering the ship in the proper direction again. Hey, clap your hands if you believe…