In the US: Thursdays, 9/8c, The CW
In the general wash of teenage oestrogen that is The CW, only Supernatural dares to up the testosterone levels with its mix of road movie, hard rock soundtrack, martial arts, grizzly murders, scantily clad hot women and casual misogyny. A tale of two brothers raised by their father to kill demons, werewolves and anything else that goes bump in the night, it's survived three seasons so far and seems only to be getting stronger.
Last season ended with Dean, the less sensitive brother, finally put out of his earthly misery and cast into even more misery in Hell, assumed (by everyone except the audience) never to return. But now he's back and the questions are how, why and what's going to happen next?
And surprisingly for a show that's often dwelt on gore as a substitute for genuine horror, the answers are actually pretty scary and cerebral.
Essentially, the horror of the first episode is quite subtle, mostly coming through a combination of direction - with ever so brief flashbacks to the horrors of Hell - and the question of who or what saved Dean. When the answer comes after a series of clues that are deeply disturbing in their own ways, it's one of the scariest moment's of the show's history and goes straight to the core of its mythology.
Married with that particular strand is the thorny question of what happened to Sam after Dean's death and how he survived the events of last season's finale. No answers yet, but they're almost as intriguing and seem to suggest a battle of the brothers might be forthcoming this season. In particular, keep your eye on the hot girl.
If you've never seen it before, for once, you can tune in and watch without too much of a problem: Supernatural is surprisingly newbie-friendly, and with its continual seasonly reboot, you're never having to wade through too much backstory beyond the traditional "The Road So Far Now" introduction at the start of the episode.
If you have seen Supernatural before, be braced - it's a doozie this time round.
Here's a promo and a couple of clips from YouTube. And assuming they don't take them down by the time you read this, you can watch the first episode in 10 minute chunks, too, using the video at the bottom. The promo's slightly spoilerific though.
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- September 14, 2009: Review: Supernatural 5x1
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