Thursday, July 14, 2011
Cute Boys+Banter+Good Genre Writing= A Perfect Summer TV Cocktail
Ahh summer time. A time to lounge around a glistening pool, soaking up rays, swimming laps, drinking margaritas. Oh wait, no. I’m a pale-skinned nerd whose entire epidermis turns lobster red the moment I step outside. Summer is a time where I find myself drawn to the DVD player way more than I am to the great outdoors. It’s a time to dive back into series I’ve forgotten about or discover brand new offerings.
This summer’s winner of the “new series starring hot guys that will allow me to while away the 100+ degree days” is Supernatural.
Read on after the jump
Now, as aforementioned, I basically started watching it because Sam and Dean are hot, and if I can’t sit poolside, I need something ogle. I watched the first few episodes when it was first on, and I found it a perfectly enjoyable, if ultimately disposable, procedural fantasy drama. And, maybe because I was too confused by Dean from Gilmore Girls suddenly being named Sam, I quickly forgot it when I started classes during my freshman year of college. But my new summer roommate owned all the seasons, and as I said, “cute boys”! So I popped in the DVDs.
Now, about one week later, I’ve just finished the first season and I’m happy to report that Supernatural is much more than Jared Padalecki and Jensen Ackles’ good looks. As the series has progressed, the plots have developed into a surprisingly cohesive and inviting mythology. Although not quite reaching the metaphorical heights of a Buffy or a Game of Thrones, the stories of good and evil that have populated seasons 1 and 2 are well thought out and well developed.
On top of that, the characters of Sam and Dean are some of the best written and consistent I’ve ever seen. Sam’s teetering on the precipice of darkness contrasted with his noble puppy dog eyes is a surprising mixture. And Dean’s steadfast skankyness (like a demon-hunting Malcolm Reynolds) is the heart and soul of the show. The cast, by necessity, has to be mostly just these two guys (with a splattering of guest stars and recurring characters) and in the wrong hands it could get dull. But Ackles and Padalecki have such fantastic, engaging chemistry that it’s enough to keep a gal glued to her set.
Now, obviously I’ve only finished seasons 1 and 2, and maybe I’ll eat my words after watching through Season 5, but another thing that I love about this show, is how much actions matter. Each episode may seem like a standalone procedure episode (a werewolf love interest here, a bank robbing shape shifter there), but the story line has consequences that ranged throughout the season and ultimately lead our characters to often tragic ends. When Dean gives up his soul for Sam at the end of Season Two, I believe that this action is not just a get out of jail free card for the mortally wounded Sam, but a legitimate choice made by Dean that will have repercussions. Magic and demonology is not just a deus ex machine fueling along the stories; it’s intricately wound strand of this universe, almost like a character unto itself.So far the series has only increased in complexity and breadth, and with at least seven more scorching weeks ahead of me, I’m looking forward to delving in deeper.