It takes a lot to produce a truly compelling horror show on network TV, but somehow the folks behind CW’s Supernatural have managed to pull it off for five seasons now.
The show centers on two brothers, Sam (Jared Padalecki) and Dean (Jensen Ackles) Winchester, who hunt down demons and stopping to chase down other supernatural figures as well (ghosts, witches, the occasional rogue tooth fairy, etc.).
The show started a bit slow the first couple of years, when the series creator and writers struggled for the right amount of suspense, horror, soap opera and even a little bit of comedy, but by this, the fifth season, they are running on all cylinders.
Like The X Files before it, the show stalls a bit when it gets too caught up in the on-going, larger narrative (in this case, the brothers’ efforts to try and stop the Apocalypse by killing the Devil,) but is far more enjoyable when it offers up self-contained episodes of the pair simply uncovering weird occurrences. And yes, the dialogue is a bit stilted, but the stories and effects more than make up for it.
The fifth season marks the final chapter of the series with creator Eric Kripke. It will be interesting to see if the show remains as compelling without him.
Supernatural: The Complete Fifth Season/Warner Home Video/6 DVDs/924 Mins./www.supernaturaldvd.com