Welcome one and all to The impossible Quest, back up and running at last (albeit a week later than advertised because wouldn't you know it, as soon as I committed to a start date real life got VERY complicated for a little while). That's by the by though and we're here now, so without further ado, let's kick proceedings off with a look at everyone's favourite show about wisecracking dudes in a cool car fighting monsters.
It's an odd one, Supernatural. I watched S1, way back in the dim and murky past, when it first aired in the UK and I remember it being a really dull, repetitive, stuck in a rut throwback. I wasn't kind to it, in my comments at the time, but luckily this was before my all-conquering assault on the internet (Klout score of 43, baby - no, I don't know what that actually means either), so my hasty criticisms were not recorded for posterity. Fast forward a few years and I decide that the time has come to bite the bullet; The Quest will not be denied and besides, this show has been going for yonks now and everyone seems to love it; it must have something going for it, right?
I realised quite quickly, when I slapped in the first DVD, that other than some pretty iconic imagery; the flaming title card, the Mother on the ceiling, the Impala cresting a rise in a road, and of course the Winchesters themselves, I had very little memory of anything from that first batch of episodes. I had watched them, but their events had slipped from my memory like so much pus from an infected wound. As, it seems, had my ambivalence. You see, it soon became apparent that yes, it does have something going for it; an awful lot, in fact. I look back at the 'me' of all those years ago and I'm thinking 'what the Hell are you on, mate'? (For the record, I wasn't 'on' anything. Just say no, kids.)
Is it flawless? Of course it isn't; it's formulaic in the extremis and is severely hampered by having such a small cast, but those are problems that are mitigated by the chemistry between that cast (and it is small, with only two regulars and occasional visits from their Dad, with his visits being, by necessity, brief and infrequent, since his absence is a core aspect of the shows premise). Big name guest stars, or at least big names in genre circles, help a little more, (I'm particularly fond of the Amy Acker appearance, but then; Amy Acker!) and of course a bit of gratuitous blood and gore never goes amiss. All in all though, I seriously doubt that the show would have enjoyed the longevity that it has, were things to have carried on in the same vein indefinitely.
Things improve immeasurably with the introduction of Sebastian 'I'm in everything but hardly anyone knows my name' Spence and Nicki 'I got my kit off in a rubbish show about soldiers' Aycox, as a pair of recurring villains, along with an almighty mcguffin in the shape of a Demon killing gun. These factors, combined with the return of Jeffrey Dean Morgan as John Winchester, mean that the show closes out it's first season on a reasonable high.
It's with Season 2 though, that the show really begins to show signs of what it's capable of. Old family friend Bobby (the only one of the Brothers oft mentioned but never seen support network not to be killed off at the end of S1) becomes a recurring presence, new allies are introduced in the (shapely) form of a kick-ass bar owning Mother/Daughter combo (and their geeky Tin Dog), and the boys are newly re-energised in their mission to take out the Big Bad, thanks to some additions to the mythology that widens up the scope of the show nicely. And while all this is happening, the human authorities are starting to notice the trail of unexplained deaths left in their wake; that'll be back to bite 'em.
As a serial whore, I make no apologies for enjoying S2 far more than I did S1 (and I enjoyed S1 just fine). The additional cast members and increased reliance on the over arching plot was always going to appeal to me more than the almost anthology nature of the previous year.
Serial structure vs episodic? Check. Recurring support cast instead of relying on the leads alone? Check. Deep and ever expanding mythology? Check. Hot chicks and violence? Check (Come on, I'm not gonna deny that's a motivating factor). The show had arrived. This was the year that I really felt like a fan for the first time.
The improvements continue into S3, with a new enemy being introduced as well as some intriguing new characters (one of whom would be given short shrift by the writing strike mandated curtailed season, with her storyline ending without the necessary build-up; a missed opportunity).
Of course, as all true Supernatural fans will tell you (or at least, all the Supernatural fans I've dared talk to, given my spoilerphobe leanings) the show really kicks into high gear with the dawn of S4. Why? Because it's here that we see the introduction of a certain Angel, going by the name of Castiel (as played by Misha Collins). He's the canine danglies, by all accounts, and I'm very looking forward to seeing what he brings to the table. As it stands right now though, I can't really venture an opinion because I've only actually seen his first couple of episodes.
You see, as much as I might have wanted to immerse myself in S4 immediately after the slightly rushed but still very very good cliffhanger ending to the 3rd year, I couldn't. Why? Well, I'll tell you why. Not a single shop in my near vicinity could see their way clear to selling me a copy. 3 different branches of HMV in 3 different cities and numerous smaller retailers all failed me. They all had S1-3, and 5-6 as well, but for some unfathomable reason that no-one could explain to me, not a one of them had 4. I was distraught. (One of them actually tried to convince me to buy S5 without seeing 4 first. I considered getting the guy sacked, I'll be honest with you.)
All is well with the world now though, because whatever caused the drought has been fixed and my last little excursion netted me a copy. So it'll not be long now until I;m singing Cas' praises with the rest of you. Or, you know, slagging him off; I'm a contrary bastard you know. Until then, in a blatant and cynical atempt to drag in views, have a picture of him. You're welcome.
WHEN I was blasting through the first 3 seasons of this show, and ruminating on what I'd write on this here blog about it, I asked a couple of questions on my beloved twitter. I figured, the show has a lot of very dedicated fans online, I may as well attempt to tap into that and cater the blog visuals accordingly; every view counts, right? The first question I asked was which of the two Winchester Brothers was considered hottest by the ladies (or gay men, I don't discriminate). The answer surprised me in it's vehemence, because I didn't get a single reply favouring Sam (Jared Padalecki). Bit of an ego blow for him, I'd think, if he ever, you know, gave a shit about a tiny little 5 minute poll on a twitter account with no folowers. Dean (Jensen Ackles) on the other hand; he'd get trampled in the rush. In the end I featured both of them anyway; it seemed wrong not to.
The 2nd question was whether people would rather see a picture of the iconic Impala, or a picture of Jeffrey Dean Morgan? If it's possible, the response was even more emphatic. And so, as a parting treat, to say thank you for reading this waffle, I give thee: