If you, like me, find yourself up to date and hooked-in by the show Supernatural (despite some really disappointing episodes and seasons) then you’ll probably relate to much of what I write below.
My first time watching an episode of Supernatural was completely unintentional. My roommate at the time (still a good friend of mine) was having mutual friends over to watch the finale of Season 4, “Lucifer Rising.” At the time I was pursuing my MA in English – which involved a great deal of reading and writing papers and limited TV watching. The time I had to spend with friends was pretty much non-existent. So, when I heard my roommate was having our good mutual friends over to watch the show, I decided to work on an assignment while sitting in the living room with them. I figured that since I didn’t really care about the show, I could easily block it out and concentrate.
Well, I was wrong.
I remember sitting with my laptop on my knees, searching for documents to use to support a paper I was working on at the time. My original plan was that I would also work on the paper itself. And I sort of did.
I didn’t know who Sam, Dean, or Castiel were; I didn’t know who Ruby, Zachariah or Lilith were or what was going on in the show. But from the moment Kansas’s “Carry on My Wayward Son” played during the opening of the episode, I kept sneaking glimpses at the screen until I finally gave up on grad school work and just watched.
Want to guess what I did after the episode’s end? I somehow found time to binge watch seasons 1-3 over the next 6 months. I was drawn in by the family relationship of the Winchesters, their loyalty, their flaws, their humor. The monster of the week stories gave me a better understanding of the type of life the boys were raised in and how they lived. Plus learning about the lore of various monsters and demons was just cool to learn about – there was more than one time that I looked up information on a monster or lore from the show (What’s a “Wendigo”? What’s the truth behind the Scandinavian pagan god in the “Scarecrows” episode?) For this then-English grad student and now Librarian, it also didn’t hurt that the show often featured Sam and Dean (well mostly Sam) doing research and using multiple sources (Looking up information on online, interviewing experts, referring to notes written by their father)!
Then when the demon and angel / Lucifer and Sam storylines really took off, that was it for me – if I wasn’t hooked already (which I was!), I was then. By the time season 5 started I was completely caught up.
Supernatural quickly became a show my friend and I would watch together every week. At first we would watch it when it aired. Eventually, when the show moved to a night that I have to work late, we switched to watching it on-demand. Eight years later, the show is still on and my friend and I still watch it together. We even stuck it through seasons 6 and 7.
Sure, there are predictable plot lines; while watching it we can pretty much say the dialogue before Sam or Dean. Predictability comes, though, because of both how long the show has been on and how thoroughly fans understand the characters’ personalities. Since the show has gone on for so much time after its original story arc – I, like probably all fans, feel invested and concerned about whether or not the show’s writers and producers will, or can, give the show an ending that won’t disappoint or be predictable. How can they at this point? However, regardless of how long the show runs for (which I don’t think can be much longer) I know I’ll still keep curiously watching the road ahead and re-watching the one they’ve left behind.