So, it’s been almost exactly a year since I last watched an episode of Supernatural. I gave the show six episodes in the summer of 2011, and it failed to impress me. But since many of this site’s visitors love the show, and I’ve caught several cool moments (and unfortunately far too many spoilers) while doing research for polls, I decided to give it another shot. Especially since it’s now on Netflix.
Sadly, “Hook Man” was a rather terrible episode to try and get me into the show. Basic premise: an angry spirit with a hook for a hand goes around killing people, and Dean and Sam have to risk their lives to stop him (yes, quite similar to other episodes). Far too much of the episode was taken up with “scary atmosphere,” there was only one major twist I could see coming a mile away, and please tell me getting picked up/questioned by law enforcement doesn’t become an every-other-episode part of this show. I didn’t recognize any of the guest stars, though apparently the minister (Dan Butler) is from Frasier.
Dean and Sam were a little less awkward together in the episode, but still have a long way to go. With Supernatural hinging so greatly on their relationship (as the show’s one constant), it has to sizzle. A few of the later clips I’ve seen indicate that it eventually does (one of the reasons why I tried another episode), but I don’t know how much I’m willing to watch to get to better episodes.
It probably doesn’t help that I’ve seen so many other speculative shows that early episodes of Supernatural pale in comparison. Buffy, Angel, and Grimm all started with a similar “baddie of the week” setup, yet their main characters are far more engaging, there are more plot twists, and fun dialogue makes you laugh.
I did like how this episode showed Sam (yes, I still want to call him Dean – thanks, Gilmore Girls!) connecting with someone and showing how Jess’s death is still affecting him. But it’s still painted too broadly – this show could use more nuance. I wonder if that’s why it’s so popular internationally – less subtlety prevents things from getting lost in translation.
Another part I enjoyed was Dean and Sam falling on each other after climbing in a window, as well as Dean’s remarks about Sam’s college life (and his choice of caffeinated beverage).
But I still don’t get why thousands of teen girls and young women are so into these guys. Give me Spike, Monroe, or Wesley any day (or Giles, Xander, Oz, Angel, Nick, Captain Renard, Doyle . . . yeah, the Winchester boys would be pretty far down on the list – and that’s only looking at 3 other shows at the moment).