Reviews Comments: Not really worth the effort

Not really worth the effort
As a lover of Urban Fantasy, I had to check out Supernatural. My conclusions were...well..

On the good side: I love how the series tries to re-adapt concepts to a more modern day setting, with things like the whole "carnal vessel" thing for both angels and demons, the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse driving cars instead of Horses, or the Urban Legend creatures adapting to modern day technology. It's all very creative and interesting, and by far the best thing the show has: The creative mythos.

It features a skilled cast, which helps to carry the seemingly ridiculous things that happen. Also features a great soundtrack and score.

On the bad side, I'd say it's one of the most dramatically repetitive shows I've ever seen. Every single season features Sam and Dean finding some seriously asinine reason to be mad with each other in the most ridiculous situations. Sometimes (in the earlier seasons) it could be interesting, but it was very hit-or-miss, and sometimes it'd just come off as shoehorned drama for drama's sake.

Another criticism I take with this show is how it seems to have a passion for Anti-Climax. Not one single climax of any of the seasons was satisfactory, the show keeps building angels and demons as these massively powerful entities, but it's one of the most egregious cases of Informed Ability in the history of fiction. Ex: Lucifer and Gabriel are supposedly the top dogs of Angellic hierarchy, and their battle is a Single-Stroke Battle that lasts five seconds. Three of which are dialogue and stares.

They don't have the budget to display massive power clashes, but surely they can do better. Angels fight each other with knives, make good knife fights instead of ridiculous anti-climatic stabbing.

The show's Anyone Can Die vibe also works against itself. Most of the interesting characters (Gabriel, Uriel, Raphael, Michael, Alistair and the Yellow-Eyed Demon to mention a few) are killed randomly (and literally not one of them gets a proper conclusion), wasting their potential, which is aggravated by Sam and Dean's shoehorned melodrama.

It also has a bad track record with them. Most of the villains are flat and generic (I am looking at you Lilith).

In conclusion: It's a show with great potential conceptually-wise, wasted to all Hell by terrible writing.

Comments

Yeah, that all sounds about right. Supernatural is one of those shows where they have a lot of good ideas, but often execute them poorly. The entries for the show on the Seasonal Rot page are really long, because there's just that much to explain about the show's problems. I imagine setting a record for the number of Post Script Seasons doesn't help.
comment #23797 Austin 12th Apr 14
In the general sense, I think Informed Ability is all they CAN do; to show off their power legitly even the smallest of ways could ransack the budget. Ridding a town of an infestation involves nuking a town; the Lucifer-vs-Micheal battle would have destroyed half the earth; hell, their presence (even in human vessels) should cause such budget-destroying effects like cracking cement, destroying electrical outlets of any kind, and other such things.

Obviously, they can't really show such things on a regular basis imo - and also because the two leads are only human. If things worked as they should, they would have been dead awhile ago, badassery notwithstanding

But as far as Anti-Climax and Anyone Can Die working against itself, that's a matter of opinion. It's mine that repetitiveness/flatness/genericness doesn't bring things down, but that's all
comment #25404 omegafire17 28th Jul 14
I addressed that in the review: "They don't have the budget to display massive power clashes, but surely they can do better. Angels fight each other with knives, make good knife fights instead of ridiculous anti-climatic stabbing."

See Person of Interest. Lots of epic knife fights that make you be on the edge of your seat. Make that, since they can't show massive battles.

comment #25593 Gaon 7th Aug 14
So true. I mean, some of those villIains were so interesting! Even I could've come up with several low-budget ideas for wrangling their storylines so that they were defeated in the way they deserved, not in the "oh, we've come up with a new idea so you guys can just go die now" way.

Also, the way the brothers' love interests are treated is absolutely horrible. They're taken up and then ditched within a single season, and while you can argue that this is to illustrate the cruelty and unhappiness of the hunters' way of life, since the guys pretty much forget about them and move onto the next girl within an episode or two, that effect isn't acheived at all, and they simply come across as players for whom I can drum up no sympathy at all.

And as someone who got into this show because of Sam and Dean's brotherly bond (I thought it'd be really nice for once to see people who don't abandon their family for the sake of their lovers), I'm actually seriously sick of their relationship now. But I guess that's what happens to something that's used repeatedly to excuse stupid, thoughtless, irresponsible and downright sadistic actions on the part of the protagonists. And so many opportunities for good plots were ruined because Sam and Dean aren't allowed to actually be apart for more than an episode or two. Ugh.

Still, you really hit on the show's greatest strength when you mentioned the worldbuilding and the different kinds of supernatural beings and creatures portrayed...even thought most of them apparently just exist to be killed off as quickly as possible, more's the pity.
comment #26710 BlacKat 23rd Oct 14
Myself, I do get turned off by the back-biting of the Winchesters... I think the bros will always be raising hell over insignificant issues because that's the formula. Such is the way of soaps. Which is fine in moderation, but Dean's unwillingness to listen to Sam (and Sam's habitual breakdowns) are played up as "arcs" year in and year out.

Actually, this is worth a laugh: when the show first started (back when it was less snarky and even more morose), Sam was not a character. He was a bundle of hipster traits stolen from every TV protagonist in the Aughts. Maths nerd! Child prodigy! Abusive parents! Mysterious ailments! Unfeeling logician! So I tend to be impatient with Sam, because he never pulls his weight and expects a lot of validation, and I think that after 10+ years of being in the hunter business, you would have slightly thicker skin.
comment #27555 johnnyfog 25th Dec 14

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