next time your pastor tells you that horror movies are godless
entertainment, don't sigh and roll your eyes. He's actually right.
fictional universes represented in most horror movies are indeed God-less:
they may be haunted by demons and devils, but there are seldom (if ever)
any angels in them. This was particularly true of the television series
Supernatural, in which two unlikely
brothers (Jared Padalecki and Jensen Ackles) travel from one small
American town to the next in their souped-up late-?Sixties muscle car,
battling ghosts and demons along the way like an outlaw Mulder and Scully.
(Like the best X-Files
episodes, the series is actually filmed in Canada.)
Supernatural was populated by a host of demons
that actually possessed humans, bought their souls, sent them to hell,
etc. Hell was very real, but God and His angels were largely AWOL. It was
like the Tom Waits song that went that the Devil created the world while
God was sleeping . . .
Season Four of this series however rectifies this rather
one-sided state of affairs by bringing God and His angels into the mix. In
fact it is an angel that rescues Dean (Ackles) from hell ? to which he has
been condemned at the end of the previous season ? itself.
However in true
Hellblazer-style these angels ain't no cuddly Michael Landon types.
These angels are terrifying creatures and to make things more muddled,
"God works in mysterious ways" - at times it seems that Heaven might be
actually run by The Sopranos. Also interesting is that God is not
all-powerful and needs the help of the heroes in the upcoming battle
between Heaven and Hell. (If He was all-powerful of course there wouldn't
be much of a story, so don't take any of the show's assertions as
It seems that some demons are one-by-one destroying the
mystical seals that would free Lucifer himself from the confines of Hell,
unleashing the Apocalypse in the process . . .
One can write quite a few essays on the metaphysics on
movies and shows such as Supernatural, but that would be missing
the point: Supernatural is a fun horror TV show which doesn't take
itself too serious. In fact the best episodes from this particular season
are the "funny" ones: an episode that homages old Universal horror flicks
such as Dracula and Bride of Frankenstein; another episode in which a
cursed wishing well grants the wishes of some small town residents; an
episode in which one of the heroes catches ?ghost flu? and becomes afraid
of small dogs; and so on.
DISCS: The more we use the new Blu-Ray menu system that comes standard
with all Blu-Ray discs, the more we hate it. We also can't get used to
episodes that simply start playing when you insert the disc. It is slowly
becoming our pet gripe to be honest.
Plus why Warner would put an
advertisement for Blu-Ray at the beginning of the disc is also a mystery.
After all, you've already converted to the new format haven't you? Why
should you still be bombarded with more advertising for the new format?
(Maybe they simply want to remind you of the high-def resolution and stuff
so that you don't bitch too much about the fidgety menus, who knows?)
Anyway, all 22 episodes from this season are spread over
four discs. You get a spattering of special features such as a few
featurettes, the occasional commentary and some deleted scenes as well as
a gag reel.
WORTH IT? One could argue that Supernatural
became more than simply ?monster of the week? when it more explicitly
embraced its own mythology arc. The truth is however that this show slowly
became one of our favorite TV shows thanks to some fresh writing and its
likeable, charismatic leads.
Supernatural is an
underappreciated show that simply got better with time. Horror (and even
some non-horror) fans would want to check it out while existing fans won't
think twice before buying it. Say what you like, but Supernatural has over
time become one of our favorite genre shows edging out competitors such
as Smallville and
StarGate Atlantis along
the way . . .
The best news we had in ages was that Supernatural
has indeed been renewed for a fifth season! Hallelujah!