I’ve been binge-watching “Supernatural” for a project. I used to watch it live, years ago, but sort of fell off of the “Supernatural” train. It’s been lovely to rediscover what I’d missed out on. Though I’m not able to get to this weekend’s “Supernatural” convention, at the very least I wanted to write about the show that lately has made my evenings a blast.
I know I’ve talked before about the joy of binge-watching old shows you used to love. Having “Friends” on in the background is soothing. I know the lines. I’ve heard all the jokes, and yet I still laugh — the familiarity is relaxing in a world that is kind of a mess. With “Supernatural” though, I’ve got a ton of seasons I haven’t seen and a world I can completely immerse myself in.
If you haven’t watched it yet (and considering the vast amount of fans out there, I bet you have), it’s the story of brothers Sam and Dean Winchester (Jared Padalecki and Jensen Ackles), whose mother was killed by a demon when they were little. The kids were trained by their father to hunt and destroy demons, ghosts and other supernatural creatures. (It’s gotten a lot more complicated over the years, but that’s the basic idea.)
I wrote last week about how the 22-episode model doesn’t really work anymore, and though there are definitely filler episodes, this show has a depth to its mythology that few others have. Some seasons were procedurals. Some have a much deeper through-line. The relationships have had time to build up over the years, and after 11 seasons, it feels like you’ve known these guys forever.
There is something about a show with a vast mythology that gets people hooked. It’s not a normal procedural. In “Supernatural,” we’re talking about urban legends, ghost stories, angels and other things with sometimes thousands of years of history. Some of them are stories you might have heard from grandparents. Some of the ghosts and ghouls are new, but either way it’s a show full of fun facts that stick in your head. You can take a deep dive into these things and spend half the night on Wikipedia. Yeah, I’m the sort of person who loves that stuff, but I’m clearly not the only one.
It’s been fun taking a break from the world, peeling back the fictional layers of reality and getting to know characters that have been crafted over 11 seasons. So, who wants to marathon it with me?