4 Reasons We Love/Hate Supernatural

Supernatural is a show about two brothers who hunt monsters and it is now in its 9th season.  It is a show with a lot of fans and many of them have developed a bit of a love/hate relationship with the show.  Today we will be looking at 4 reasons we love Supernatural and 4 reasons we also kind of hate it.

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1 Love: Sam and Dean’s journey

The show follows a monster of the week formula but has an overarching plot about the journey of the Winchester brothers.  During season 1 and 2 they are hunting the demon that killed their loved ones and trying to stop its evil plan.  Season 3 brought us a race against time to save Dean from hell.  Season 4 finds Sam and Dean trying to prevent the rise of Lucifer and ultimately failing.  In season 5 all of the previous story lines come together as Sam and Dean discover they are the destined vessels of Michael and Lucifer in the final battle of the Apocalypse and their struggle to escape that fate.  Supernatural was originally meant to last for only five seasons with Sam sacrificing himself to save the world and Dean left alone to finally start trying to live his life.

1 Hate: Sam and Dean’s journey (after season 5)

Supernatural was too popular for the producers to let it end so they continued the story beyond season 5 and the mileage has varied on the results.  Season 6 jumped around from different objectives, first it was about how Sam came back from Hell, then where is Sam’s soul, then they were fighting the mother of monsters, then Castiel was inexplicably evil.  Seasons seven and eight both had their own story lines and goals to reach so they had a better working narrative but that doesn’t change the fact that Sam and Dean continue to act less heroically and more selfish and entitled as the series goes on.  Before Sam and Dean were at the center of a great battle between Heaven and Hell and we could sympathize because it was against their will.  These days it is a lot harder to get behind their underdog status because they are dealing more with the consequences of their own choices than someone elses manipulations.

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2 Love: it’s about family

The core theme of Supernatural from the beginning was family.  That is a great theme to have.  No matter how many times Sam and Dean would piss each other off they were still brothers.  The idea that you stick by the people you love and who love you back no matter what is a beautiful one that any of us can get behind.

2 Hate: family is not unhealthy emotional co-dependency

Another problem with the story after season five is that the themes of family have been lost or at least misrepresented.  Sam and Dean no longer stick with each other out of love.  Now Sam keeps coming back out of guilt and Dean stays because he is afraid of being alone.  These were always aspects of their character but now they have become magnified in extremely unhealthy ways, the worst being that Sam and Dean have developed a habit of making excuses for each other instead of dealing with their mistakes.

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 3 Love: it has built a mythology

Every long running show especially a fantasy series needs a mythology.  The core mythology of Supernatural is built on some interesting interpretations of Christian lore.  They have established rules for fighting ghosts, demons, and other creatures and have managed to stick with them, most of the time.

3 Hate: that mythology is inconsistent

There are some aspects of the Supernatural mythology that still remain ill defined.  One of the worst is how the show deals with psychic powers.  At first psychic powers are okay.  But then the show needed them to be evil, so suddenly having psychic powers was evil, and then later they went back to being perfectly acceptable.  It has been explained that the monsters of the world are all descend from the creature Eve but never fully explained exactly what Eve was.  It has been implied that Eve was a Leviathan but not why she had this unique ability to turn humans into monsters.  Then there are is the fact that the show also features various gods and fairy folk but has never explained where they fit into God’s creation of the universe and humanity.

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 4 Love: the common man fighting against evil

Part of the appeal of Sam and Dean early on was that they were just two ordinary guys who happened to have their lives torn apart by the forces of evil and chose to take a stand.  They were never great paragons of virtue.  They fought evil and did what was right because someone had to.  They stood up to the forces of Heaven and Hell because no one else would.

4 Hate: the growing hypocrisy of that fight

As the show has gone on Sam and Dean have become more than just common men.  They are now major players in the continuing battle for the fate of the world.  Furthermore the show has begun to question its unspoken standard that anything not human is evil.  Sam and Dean have continued to kill non human creatures even ones trying not to do evil or even ones that have not yet done anything wrong.  The show has presented these dilemmas yet refuses to acknowledge that the Winchesters may be turning into worse monsters than anything they have ever hunted.

Well that is it for now.  If anyone has anything else to say on the subject then you are welcome to bring it up in the comments.

4 responses to “4 Reasons We Love/Hate Supernatural

  1. What Supernatural as a show did do influence so many things is amazing, thinking about how the Winchesters are the most extraordinary brothers, with all the fights and lies, it never clings to them. They ALWAYS find a way to forgive one another. We keep making fun of how they keep dying. The way it all started was Dean trading his life for Sam’s. One couldn’t do without the other. Sam lasted a good, six-ish months before Dean came knocking on his door. Sam was overjoyed and there is no doubt in my mind that he didn’t think of him every single day that Dean was in Hell. They have chemistry like no other, even off the show, Jensen, Jared and Misha are GREAT buddies, they love each other. There is no Sam without Dean, There is no Dean without Sam, There is no Supernatural without Misha and J2. The problems they face throughout the show are some that no one could imagine having to face, tragedies, decisions (not always the right ones, granted), but we can’t pretend we’re better than them. They have faced tough lives and aren’t even recognized for saving most of the people they come across. I believe that’s why they are adored by so many. They show us courage, loyalty, and family, with a dash of humour. I think we really do aspire to resemble them in any way possible.

  2. Thank you for writing this. I fervently agree for both side of love and hate. Even though I really love the show and really really love Dean and Sam, I’m honestly on the Team “Supernatural should’ve ended with Season Five.”

    Season one through five was a one whole beautiful arc, despite a few flaws you correctly mentioned on this post. But after Season Six, those flaws got significantly intensified, and the show started showing less “love” point and more “hate” point. It breaks my heart to watch my beloved show being slowly deteriorated. Now I came to think in my head that Supernatural truly ended with Season Five, and the later seasons are just kinda “what-if” future story.

  3. The Winchesters are selfish and the way the treat Castiel is down right deplorable he’s not a damn sword you use at your disposal he’s a living being that they have constantly sacrificed to save each other I don’t get their animosity toward supernatural creatures who don’t harm anyone shouldn’t they be more focused on the ones that do? They’re like two Elena gilberts who can do no wrong and take no credibility for it instead they blame it on their “friend’ like they even know what that word means. Castiel needs a friend someone who doesn’t use him like a weapon and throw him out when he’s not useful or it’s inconvenient for them!

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