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So You Don't Want To Watch All Seven (Plus?) Seasons of Supernatural

2.26.2012




I was never interested in Supernatural until I joined tumblr. It was EVERYWHERE. All the people who loved Doctor Who and Firefly and Buffy the Vampire Slayer seemed to also love Supernatural. I didn't understand. It seemed so trite and mediocre from all the promos I'd seen. I had been disappointed by so many CW shows (*cough*Smallville*cough*). But it kept showing up on my tumblr dash, and the cast seemed hilarious, and certain gifs or screen caps were so intriguing, I had to see what all the fuss was about. And now I'm a total fan. Why? Here are my top 5 reasons why I love Supernatural:

1) The Cast
Their tweets, their jokes at conventions, the number of conventions they actually go to, their clear love for one another, their obvious dedication to the show and its fans.


2) The Guest Stars
There are slews of Whedon alums, usually playing vampires or witches. The show cycles through a ton of one-episode characters, but because of that you get some very fun, talented people.

3) The Music
Don't get me started on the amazing classic/soft rock utilized in this show. It pleases me to no end. Not since Freaks and Geeks have I felt so at home in a soundtrack. Bobby Singer's favorite singer is Joni Mitchell. Enough said.

4) The References/Episode Titles
Actors referring to their former roles (in character of course), and the endless references to any number of things is shown best perhaps in the episode titles, a trend that didn't really kick off until season 4. A few choice examples (some of which show up on my favorite episodes list):

"Are You There, God? It's Me, Dean Winchester"
"Criss Angel is a Douchebag"
"Jump the Shark" (particularly amazing because in this episode Sam and Dean learn...they have a brother they didn't know about!)
"I Believe the Children Are Our Future"
"Dead Men Don't Wear Plaid"
"Live Free or TwiHard"
"Mannequin 3: The Reckoning"
"The French Mistake"
"Season 7, Time For A Wedding!"
"The Girl with the Dungeons and Dragons Tattoo"

5) The Fans
As I said earlier, thanks to tumblr I've seen how loyal and creative the fanbase is. And that is part of loving a show--you see how fiercely other people love it and it drives your love to be stronger too. (Unless you hate a show in which case you condemn everyone who loves it.) But honestly, I'm shocked
Supernatural made it past 3 seasons. The fact that it did and was able to get to the really funny, off-kilter episodes is such a treat.

Plus, the fans makes stuff like this:



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Truth: there are a lot of just-OK episodes. Probably about 60%, in my opinion.


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And with generally 22 episodes a season, that's a lot to sludge through. Maybe you like the characters well enough, but the plots get old quickly. Or you don't feel like there's enough quality character development. I get it! So why is their such a rabid, dedicated fan base for such a perhaps-more-often-than-not-mediocre show? Because every now and then there is an episode so fantastic, you can't help but love the show, no matter how hit-and-miss.

Personally, I wouldn't argue that you need to see every single episode of Supernatural in order to appreciate the truly wonderful ones. It was important for me to watch every single one because I'm anal like that, but you don't have to be. And maybe seeing the truly awesome episodes will give you the strength you need to get through the just-ok ones! Or not. In the end, it will still be a matter of taste.

Anyway. Here are Maryann's Top 25 Supernatural Episodes (and if that is STILL too many, look for my
Supernatural Holy Trinity, which are outlined in the list below. If you can't handle 3 episodes, you don't deserve Television), and with the show now streaming on Netflix, it should be easy to watch them. I would recommend you at least watch the entire first season before you watch any of the episodes listed here--that will help them be funnier/more amazing. Another idea would be to watch the episodes that introduce important characters like Castiel, Balthazar, Bobby Singer, Crowley, etc. or season opener episodes in order to get those all too helpful flashback plot-filler-inners (also that means you get to hear Kansas's "Carry On My Wayward Son" again and again, and that never gets old. Seriously, I'm not being sarcastic. That song is the shit and in many ways, the heart of the show). Again, just a suggestion.

Yes, I re-watched all these episodes to make sure they were worthy of the list.

Season 2, Epsiode 12: "Nightshifter"

Is my love for this episode entirely encapsulated in the last scene (a scene that's been done before, but to SUCH GREAT MUSIC)? No. But it makes up about 80%. The 20% left is due to the opening re-cap interruption and Ronald "Ron" Reznick.

Season 2, Episode 15: "Tall Tales"

The boys are stuck on a case and call Bobby to visit so they can share the details with him and get a fresh perspective on what they might be missing. The fun of the episode lies in the fact that the brothers are totally annoyed with each other at the moment, so they're individual 're-tellings' of the case are biased against each other with comedic brilliance. Jared Padalecki's (Sam) impression of Dean's impression of Sam in genius. Plus, the greatest alien abduction story ever.

Season 2, Episode 18: "Hollywood Babylon"

The tram tour, the McG references, Canada jokes, the Three Men and A Baby myth, and PA Dean.

Season 3, Episode 3: "Bad Day at Black Rock"

The brothers learn that one of their dad's storage units has been broken into, and a cursed rabbit's foot was stolen. They recover it and learn that it's possessor has perfect good luck, but when they lose it, the luck turns bad, then fatal. Unlucky Sam is the cutest of all the Sams. Also there's a character named Grossman, and for some reason I really enjoy that.

Season 3, Episode 11: "Mystery Spot" (Holy Trinity Part 1)

This is the first actually perfect episode of Supernatural. It hit a new level here. Just watch it!

Season 3, Episode 13: "Ghostfacers"

The Andrew Wells episode of Supernatural. "Stay in the kitchen when the kitchen gets hot!" If the Supernatural Trinity was actually a Quadinity then this would be in it. So many funny moments, so many quotable lines.

Season 4, Episode 6: "Yellow Fever"

Dean catches a ghost sickness that causes anxiety/fear to the point of heart failure. The episode is very funny and entertaining in and of itself, but be sure to watch to the credits. My only beef with this episode is that it has scenes of a man (well, a ghost) being dragged from a car by his neck, so...yeah. FYI.

Season 4, Episode 17: "It's A Terrible Life"

Fun AU episode. Amazing intro with the Kinks. Jack Plotnick! And Ghostfacers!

Season 4, Episode 18: "The Monster at the End of This Book"

The lead-in episode for "The Real Ghostbusters" episode. SO AMAZING. Clearly made for the fans. Just watch it. If the Holy Trinity were a Quinity, this would be in it.

Season 5, Episode 1: "Sympathy for the Devil"

"The Road So Far" segments are one of my favorite things the show does. The only other show with such a good re-cap segment is BSG. Beyond that, though, is the amazingness of fangirl Becky Rosen. An otherwise just-OK episode is made wonderful every time she appears on screen. Which is not often enough.

Season 5, Episode 8: "Changing Channels"

TV tropes abound, both old and current. Supernatural spoofs sit-coms, Japanese game shows, Knight Rider, procedural cop dramas, pharmaceutical commercials, and Grey's Anatomy for the delight of all. Almost made the Trinity.

Season 5, Episode 9: "The Real Ghostbusters" (Holy Trinity Part 2)

Perfection in TV episode form. The show makes fun of itself and its fans. Amazing.

Season 5, Episode 11: "Sam, Interrupted"

Sam and Dean admit themselves into a mental institution to help an old friend hunt a monster that's been killing patients. The plot has twists I didn't see coming, the boys 'play crazy', and just a solid episode all around.

Season 5, Episode 12: "Swap Meat"

Really, just the opening scene is worth a place on this list. Pure awesome. Also, Bob Seger. The monster case, on the other hand, is freaking disturbing. So be warned.

Season 5, Episode 16: "Dark Side of the Moon"
Interesting, well-executed plot and touching memorable moments. I can't tell you anything about it. Just watch it. The scene after the title is my favorite (the song is PERFECT) but there are many great ones that follow it.

Season 6, Episode 2: "Two and a Half Men"

Don't let the title throw you--this episode has not been tainted by Jon Cryer or Charlie Sheen. Or Ashton Kutcher for that matter. It's exactly what it sounds like though: the guys and a baby. Wonderful. Except for the opening sequence. That shit is terrifying.

Season 6, Episode 5: "Live Free or TwiHard"

Exactly what you think it is. Making fun of Twilight and people who love it, Supernatural-style. It's also a pivotal episode for the season.

Season 6, Episode 9: "Clap Your Hands if You Believe"

Supernatural does The X-Files! And an amazing line about Oberon, King of the Fairies.

Season 6, Episode 15: "The French Mistake" (Holy Trinity Part 3)

One AU episode to rule them all. The title is a perfect, PERFECT Blazing Saddles reference. The 'acting' scene is one of my favorite things in the world.

Season 6, Episode 18: "Frontierland"

Western time-travel! Let the references commence!

Season 7, Episode 3: "The Girl Next Door"

Jewel Staite! A Doctor Who reference! Childhood flashbacks! The Long-Suffering relationship between Dean and pie!

Season 7, Episode 5: "Shut Up, Dr. Phil"

James Marsters! Charisma Carpenter! But really, the greatness can be summed up in this scene that was deleted from the episode:



Season 7, Episode 6: "Slash Fiction"

First of all, the TITLE. Second of all, a specific car scene. Third, COLONEL TIGH!

Season 7, Episode 8: "Season 7, Time For a Wedding!"

If the title isn't tempting enough, add one of the very best recurring characters (who we don't see often enough), and two, count them TWO great new characters, a song by The Association, and it's just very, very funny.

Season 7, Episode 12: "Time After Time"

Time travel! Again! But with a surprisingly well-written script, actually tender moments, fun one-liners, a Veronica Mars alum playing his usual butt of a character (that's right, IT'S LOGAN), and naturally, a load of time travel pop culture references. Plus, guess who's a hunter!


If nothing else, there's always the legendary bloopers. You know, gag reels. Outtakes. They probably keep the show's fanbase happier than the actual show does.

Season 1
Season 2
Season 3
Season 4
Season 5
Season 6

Carry on, my wayward sons. And daughters.

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