Supernatural is gonna draw the obvious X Files comparisons so we might as well get them out of the way now. Its stars are an intrepid duo who travel across America encountering all manner of paranormal phenomena and mythological creatures. It has a lot of ex-files staff too which is apparent if you have watch both shows pretty closely.
Supernatural isn’t as smart as The X Files , nor is it as cleverly written. The X Files was ahead of the time in many ways and is still unique in others, in that it was a mature drama which took its subject matter very seriously. It managed to blend sci fi and the paranormal skillfully so that you almost didn’t notice the seams. Supernatural in a way is like The X Files – lite. It knows what it is and I think is a more focused show then its predecessor. From the get go it lays it out to you that it is situated in a world where ghosts, demons and witches really do exist. Once that is established its on with the show and there is no looking back whereas the X Files constantly had the viewer questioning and thinking about what he was seeing and hearing. Where The X Files was the thinking mans science paper, Supernatural is a camp fire ghost story.
Which is more then fine by me. As a lover of ghost stories myself Supernatural makes for fantastic viewing. Its strongest points are its atmosphere and visual imagery. The storyline surrounding the brothers relationship to their father and to each other is in its fledgling stages and will no doubt become stronger over time. Already though it is fun to watch the interplay between Dean and Sam. being the older brother in a family of two myself I find myself sympathising with Dean. Not just because of that but also because I find his personality something I can relate to. His is very Mulder-like in his often whimsical approach to situations. The other brother Sam I find downright annoying at times with the overplayed teen angst.
As for the story lines themselves this is Supernaturals weakest point. So far in the first series Supernatural has a basic structure which rarely changes – brothers drive into town, weird things (usually deaths) happen, brothers use fake ID’s to find out about the demon / witch / ghost just in time to save the Hot Chick of the Week(tm) wash, rinse, repeat. If it continues Supernatural is in danger of burning out real fast. However in latter episodes there looks to be some sort of mythology developing which should hopefully complicate things. The fathers connection to their mothers death, Sams visions, the Meg demon etc.
Having just criticised the story lines I have to admit I love their themes. Each week focuses on a different legend such as the woman in white, bloody mary, vampires etc. Each handled very well and with a surprising amount of knowledge. You can tell that ghost story telling is a real labour of love for the creators. It also introduces a lot of lesser known legends such as the wendigo, shrika etc. Someone is doing their homework and I cant wait to see what creatures appear in later episodes. The references to other supernatural shows such as the x files and ghostbusters is an added treat for fans of the genre. As is the classic rock soundtrack. My god someone has taste. Its like they reached into my mind and put down all my favourite past times on celluloid. Well the ones that can be viewed by under 18’s anyway. I wouldn’t say Supernatural has “made scary sexy”. I would say its made scary cool again. If only I could be cool again too. Maybe I would be if I had a Chevy Impala too.