Watch this show, dammit!

Today I was going to write about how I’m trying to break my addiction to computer games. The post was going to be titled something like “Breaking the habit, Day #1.” However, before I could even think about it, I’d recovered the executable file from the recycle bin, loaded it and gone thru’ a couple of levels. I guess I’ll have to start my countdown some other time.

In the meantime, I’m going to break with my habit of writing about Supernatural only at LiveJournal. I just read that the ratings for last week’s episode were at a season low. The show has had a horribly tough battle this year, since it’s up against Grey’s Anatomy, CSI and NBC’s comedies. What’s worse, Direct TV doesn’t carry the CW, so I can’t even get some people who would likely enjoy the show to watch.

I started watching the show towards the end of last season. I’d seen it advertised when I was still watching Charmed, but had no desire to watch a series featuring a couple of “male models.” The actors were so darned pretty, I figured the show was aimed towards teen-age girls and their run-amok hormones. (Plus, I am not a fan of the horror genre, altho I did enjoy Charmed before its final years.)

I don’t even know why I tuned into it one evening. It might be because my friend Teresa had mentioned that Smallville was one of her guilty pleasures. And since Teresa is only a year younger than me, and not a frivolous person at all, I thought I’d check it out. Perhaps I was just too lazy to change the channel. Whatever the reason, I’m glad I tuned in.

Yes, the episode was suspenseful, and even a little scarey. But what really surprised me was the depth of the underlying story, the relationship of the brothers, and how well it was portrayed. The episode was titled “Something Wicked.” You could tell that Dean Winchester (the older brother) had a lot of layers, and was hiding some enormous pain. And we got a bit of back-story that showed the enormous pressure this boy had been under. The performance of Jensen Ackles (whom I’d never heard of before) was superb.

Are you watching Supernatural?Since that episode, I’ve never seen Ackles (the guy on the right in the picture) falter. The guy has delivered on nearly everything they’ve thrown at him. (Ok, the “Phantom Traveler” afraid-to-fly bit might have been a little overdone, but I’ll forgive because it made the episode that much more fun to watch. And his one love scene was a little too graphic for my taste.) Week after week, the guy knocks it out of the park. He’s made Dean Winchester one of the most interesting, multi-dimensional characters on television. He easily outshines any Emmy-nominated actor. (Well, except maybe for Kiefer Sutherland’s Jack Bauer, but I think Jensen would give him a run for his money.) And yet he recieves little recognition for his talent.

Back to last week’s low ratings: It’s a damn shame, because last week’s episode was fabulous, one of its best ever. Normally Sam, the younger Winchester, is an empathetic, more cerebral counterpart to his rakish bother. But Sam is fighting a dark destiny and last week we got a glimpse of just how menacing this sweet-faced hero could be. Normally an intellegent, endearing young man with a pleasant temperament, Sam’s dark side emerged to wreak havoc across the northern midwest states. And Jared Padalecki’s (the taller guy on the left) performance was down-right Emmy-worthy. All of a sudden, his amicable 6’4″ frame became ominous, his voice became frightening; and his “near rape” scene was perhaps the creepiest, most disturbing scene of the series.

But will any of this be recognized? Probably not, because magazines like TV Guide prefer to cater to the more popular, more mainstream shows (even tho’ they don’t need the publicity). And even the CW doesn’t seem to care. They keep the show on Thursday night, when a move to another night might give the show a wider audience and a better chance. In the meantime, I’ll keep hoping for a miracle.

* Photo/flyer by cloex-brosluvr

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