On Supernatural


Not Just a Pretty Face (or Two)
By Keith R. A. DeCandido, Ed Greenwood

Hello, my name is Keith, and I’m a heterosexual male who’s also a Supernatural fan.

I realize that this may make me seem bizarre to some. If one wanders the Internet and peers at the audiences for Supernatural conventions, one observes a sea of female faces. Certainly most of the women I know who watch the show do so in part because they find Jensen Ackles and/or Jared Padalecki to be very easy on the eyes.

Only in part, though, and that’s a critical aspect of Supernatural’s appeal: it’s much, much better than it needs to be.

As a show on the CW, Supernatural could probably still be a successful fifth-network series if it just had two pretty men driving in a cool car, cracking wise and shooting demons in the head. And Supernatural does have all those things in abundance.

But it’s got more besides. For starters, the show has a wonderful sense of family. And I don’t mean so-called “family values,” that rather nebulous attempt to revert to the nonexistent nuclear family exemplified by Leave It to Beaver, but rather the importance family has to a person. Family doesn’t necessarily mean blood relatives-look at the characters of Bobby and Ellen, for example-but the show has excelled at showing those connections and what they mean. There aren’t very many fictional siblings on television who cover all the aspects of that relationship the way Sam and Dean do: not just the love and affection and dedication, but also the near-telepathic bond, the arguing, the  …

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