Supernatural will end as the long success story of The CW

Photo: Jack Rowand / The CW, Graphics: Karl Gustafson

On the home video version for the 14th season of Supernatural, there is almost no indication that it was the penultimate year of the long horror-fantasy series. C & # 39; is the usual assembly of fun special features: deleted scenes, a couple of commentary tracks, a look at the mythology of the focus of the show on the family, the Supernatural Comic-Con panel of 2018, the necessary gag reel and a look behind the scenes of the 300th emblematic episode, which saw the return of Jeffrey Dean Morgan for the first time since the second season.

It's still. C & # 39; a distinct atmosphere of inevitable task that runs through the bonus materials. The Comic-Con panel, which took place before the start of the season, is free from any closing suggestions, but the other discussions behind the scenes resonate with the tone of the people who feel that the end is near. The narrative ending the season is a clearer choice that can be made for a final outbreak: after 14 years of fighting against monsters, demons and an ever-evolving collection of Big Bads that have threatened the whole world, Sam and Dean Winchester are in front of the final nemesis: God. "Where are you going from here?" He asks someone during a negative moment to shoot the 300th episode, and the lack of an answer is his own answer. History is coming to an end.

Supernatural, in his own strange and unexpected way, was the show by The CW. It has never been the series of water coolers, generating heat for the network as shown by the zeitgeist penetrating shows Gossip Girl, the Vampire Diaries, or Riverdale. And it has never been a rating juggernaut, breaking down record numbers as its superhero programming has done in recent years. But what he did is immediately. As the channel has undergone numerous renovations of its image, chasing various demos and genre trends while maintaining its general focus on the young adult market, Supernatural hanging there, year after year, cultivating a faithfully loyal fan base and – surprisingly – clinging to it, in a way that few series have. Also Buffy The Vampire Slayer, whose fandom is nothing if not noteworthy for its ardor, had thrown a considerable number of spectators in its last season, while the Nielsen declines suffered by Supernatural in the last two seasons they have more or less reflected the general pattern of the decline of the traditional television audience in general. Whether to attract new viewers or to stay loyal to the old, Sam and Dean continue to find an audience.

For proof of this, look no further than the official Supernatural conferences. The number of shows that can generate their cons is really small, and usually limited to such cultural giants The dead man walking. But for over a decade, there have been between half a dozen and over 20 (!) Supernatural conferences throughout the world, attracting the devout followers of this story of two brothers fighting evil. And they are passionate: in his autobiography, the actor Curtis Armstrong – who spent four seasons playing Metatron, the scribe of God and the antagonist of the Winchester brothers – tells the experience of these events:

I have been to many conventions of all sorts throughout the country and also in other countries, and there is simply nothing comparable to this. Books have been written about this fandom … A component on Supernatural the conventions they have in common with others is that of pure joy, and it is difficult to find oneself in the middle of it without feeling. But almost as important, the sexual element is inevitable as the show presents in its four-star men who are incredibly, devastating and attractive to fans who fill their ballrooms … At the end of a photo session with hundreds of women palpitate, these men return to their dressing rooms to strip off shirts literally drenched in the sweat of believers. It is an itinerant salvation show that plays for hundreds of thousands of fans in hotels around the world.

Clearly, the show did something right and the casting is probably 90% of it. Jensen Ackles and Jared Padalecki have a chemistry that has worked since the first episode, and has grown over the years in the kind of intuition of the sixth sense that animated the best casts. With only two regular customers in the series (at least until Misha Collins, playing the Castiel angel, he began to become the third reliable column of the foundation after a number of seasons, and Mark Sheppard's demon Crowley the fourth for a po) it would always live or die for the strength of the two Winchester brothers. Observing them together is a case study on how the right combination can give life to sometimes disappointing material.

Furthermore, it cannot be avoided: young women lead the popularity of the show and Ackles and Padalecki have avid support for reasons that may or may not have to do with their beautiful appearance and traditional masculinity in the hand. Ackles, in particular, is an offensive for a single man; anyone who has ever clicked on Tumblr could be forgiven for thinking that every page was required by law to have at least one gif of the actor on it. His undeniable sexual charm and magnetic charisma have made his reaction shots a seemingly bottomless pit of Internet memes. The sexual nature of the fandom of the series – evident through a rapid search for the "fic on supernatural" – has become so widespread online that the show itself recognized it with the discovery goal of Sam and Dean of Winchester's incestuous love stories . (Yes, it is known as "Wincest", unfortunately.)

What has really kept the life of the series from a narrative perspective, however, is the fundamental solidity of its premise and structure. Taking a page from its horror-TV progenitor The X-Files, Supernatural followed a robust playbook of the case's mysteries of the week interspersed with mythical episodes involving a wider arc of season or seasons. It is a reliable model for an easy-to-follow storytelling that takes place with watch-making precision, an intelligent mix of comfort-food TV and thrills based on the horror (with a strong dose of bitter humor) that continues to offer stories of quality one year after the other. Obviously, every show that runs so long has ups and downs in terms of value; but after an average shaky creative period, the show has found new life by returning to its foundations and leaning on the serialized nature of its universe, and will be released after a series of strong seasons like any since Ackles and Padalecki agreed to return after the initial story of five seasons planned by creator Eric Kripke ended in 2010.

At this point, Supernatural is the horror-fantasy genre equivalent of the well-known "The Simpsons I have already done it "refrain made popular by South Park. Are everyday monsters and ghosts a given but deep Egyptian spirit? Have a look. An episode where Dean continues to die with the absurdity similar to Looney Tunes? Have a look. A musical episode on a Supernaturalwith a musical theme? Have a look. Hell, the brothers even met Scooby-Doo for an animated trip last year. The show has apparently spilled every rock under which the potential for "there are monsters" exists and comes out with a legacy and a breadth that is really impressive: When Supernatural exorcises its final demon, it will do so as one of the most enduring primetime shows in history. It is no small feat for two brothers who just wanted to keep the family business alive by driving out some monsters.

. (tagsToTranslate) For our consideration (t) Supernatural (t) Jensen Ackles (t) Jared Padalecki (t) The CW (t) TV Club

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