Supernatural used to be one of my favourite television shows but nowadays my feelings for it are either controversial or close to apathy, it depends on the latest aired episode. Since it means a lot to me I was thinking I could write about what could lead to such a brilliant series becoming so dull and irritating.
First of all, Supernatural is a genre show. It is about two brothers searching for their missing father while killing evil supernatural creatures. I admit, this does sound like something a child could think up but the little details are what make it interesting. The whole atmosphere, the road-movie feeling, the brothers’ relationship and character development, the witty dialogue and of course the classic rock used as background music all add up to something that can be a worthy opponent to any award-winning television show on a popularity poll. There is just the right amount of drama, suspense and humour in it. But as I mentioned it is a genre show and it is very rare for these shows to become famous – if they do not happen to have pretty vampires in it… Still, it had a decent number of following and the fans were known to be the most loyal and devoted of all the fandoms. However, lately they are all about complaining about the storylines, the writers, the characters, everything. One might argue that there will always be people who are not satisfied with how a certain show progresses but we are way past the few occasional sour fans.
So what could have caused the discontentment that lead to a huge drop in the viewer count after the fifth season? Before I go into deeper details I would like to share my opinion about what makes a long-running television show outstanding: the supporting characters. You cannot have Bones and Booth without the science team; you would not be interested in Buffy’s struggle if it were not for her friends, and so on. Side characters bring colour to an otherwise monotone storyline. This is where Supernatural went wrong. The show has always been famous for killing each of its characters – especially the female ones but that is another essay – except for the brothers, Sam and Dean, but there were a few characters that were extremely popular among fans thus were sure to stay, like Bobby, a sort of step-father to the boys, and Castiel, an angel who rebelled against Heaven and was the first true friend to the protagonists and according to many, one of the most interesting characters on today’s television. The show managed to kill both of them in the seventh season, and even though they brought Castiel back eventually, he is only a mere plot device instead of an actual character now.
The fact that the show was planned for five seasons does not help either. The original creator, Eric Kripke, left the staff after that and it was difficult to follow up the storyline for the remaining writers. The season five finale could have been the perfect ending to the series actually, since it had a conclusion and the necessary emotional impact, but there is American television for you: the show must go on until there is money in it.
As a conclusion if I had to recommend Supernatural to anyone I most certainly would but I would ask the person to watch it until the end of season five and not even glance at the following seasons. It is a really good show and in my opinion everybody can find something interesting in it.
By: Lili Szendrei