Monday, May 4, 2009

How to Hook Someone on Supernatural

I don’t claim to be an expert on converting people to Supernatural. I gave my brother the first season when he broke his back, but I don’t think he’s watched it. I loaned my first season DVDs to my parents and baby brother but while they watched it, they don’t watch the new episodes. I think I MAY have hooked Michelle Rowen because I posted pictures of pretty boys on my blog. I do know she now has a cat named Sammy. Whether I can take credit…..

The recent Entertainment Weekly episode listed some episodes for people new to the show to watch. This made me think…what episodes would I suggest to someone just getting started in the show? (It gets harder as the season progresses because of the mythology, but here are my picks.)

1) The pilot. In my opinion, it’s one of the all-time best pilots, with a balance of backstory (though Kripke laments the awkward dialogue between the brothers relaying the information), humor, urban legend and scariness. Hey, I watched the pilot and bought the first season. We’re introduced to John’s journal and Dean’s love for the Impala.

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2) Bloody Mary. Creeeeeepy, great interaction between the brothers

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3) Hook Man. Creeeeeeeeeepy, one of my favorites. I love the urban legend, the girl, the brothers. This interaction:
Dean: I told him you were a dumbass pledge and that we were hazing you.
Sam: What about the shotgun?
Dean: I said that you were hunting ghosts and spirits were repelled by rock salt. You know, typical Hell Week prank.
Sam: And he believed you?
Dean: Well you look like a dumbass pledge.

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4) Scarecrow. One of my very favorite episodes. It’s on my iPod and I watch it all the time. It’s scary and has terrific conflict between the brothers, but is a self-contained episode.
5) Faith. Oh, man. Great episode. Emotional, scary, also with some great lines to diffuse the tension.
Dean: That fabric softener teddy bear. Oooh! I'm gonna hunt that little bitch down.

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6) Hellhouse. The pranks, the Ghostfacers, the scary tulpa. Another one on my iPod.
Dean: Man I hate rats.
Sam: Would you rather it was a ghost?
Dean: Yes.

Harry: What are you guys doing here?
Dean: What the hell are you doing here?
Ed: Uh, we belong here, we're professionals.
Dean: Professional what?

Dean: What's the matter, Sammy? You afraid you gonna get a little Nair in your shampoo again, huh?
Sam: All right. Just remember you started it.
Dean: Oh, bring it on, baldy.

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7) Children Shouldn’t Play With Dead Things. Zombies! Woot! Also, Dean cries.

Dean: Neil, it's your grief counselors. We've come to hug.

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8) Bad Day at Black Rock. Funny, with enough history to clue in a new watcher.

Sam: I lost my shoe.

Dean: I’m Batman!

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9) Bloodlust. We have the return of the Metallicar and badass Dean, who starts to doubt his job after all these years.
Sam: (talking to Dean) Give you a couple of severed heads and a pile of dead cows and you're Mr. Sunshine.

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10) A Very Supernatural Christmas. Funny, different, a bit gross, but poignant
Dean: You fudge'n touch me again, I'll fudge'n kill you!
11) Ghostfacers—funny, creepy, shows the work the brothers do, and that they can’t save everyone.
Dean: Hey, Ed, listen to me. There's some salt in my duffel. Make a circle and get inside.
Ed: Inside your duffel bag?
Dean: In the salt, you idiot!

Considered and rejected:

1) Monster Movie—too light overall
2) Croatoan—one of my FAVORITES but too much mythology to start. Also, the boys don’t solve the problem.

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3) Yellow Fever—too violent at the end, though this is the Denim Shirt show. Guh.

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4) The Monster at the End of This Book—another favorite, but too heavy on mythology

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5) Hunted. Too much about the psychic powers for a new watcher, but terrific tension

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6) The Benders. Can you tell I loved Season 1? But since these aren’t supernatural beings, not a good starter episode.
7) Jus in Bello. LOVED this episode, but you’d have to know about Henrickson and all the Lilith/Ruby stuff.
8) Nightshifter. Another terrific episode, but you’d need more history to watch, I think.

What episodes would you recommend to a new viewer? Can you think of other ways to hook someone on Supernatural?

6 comments:

Trish Milburn (Tricia Mills) said...

Well, I hooked Tanya by taking her to my house when her flight home was delayed. :)

Wow, I don't know which ones to pick because I'm such a linear TV show watcher. I hate to watch things out of order. I think I'd just give them the first season DVDs and tell them they had to watch at least six episodes before deciding whether or not they liked it.

Tanya Michaels said...

This is an interesting exercise MJ because, like Trish, I'm very linear--I like to watch epidoes in order and I even shuddered at the school book fair today when my son opened to the middle of the book, read a page and then read the ending! You and I obviously have some very different faves, but I'm totally with you on the pilot, Bloody Mary and Bad Day at Black Rock (which gives us not only a great look at Sam but features important secondary characters like Bobby, Bela and Gordon). And while Monster at the End of the Book is pretty heavy on the mythology, it also recaps a lot of that mythology for the viewer.

If it weren't for the goriness (of which you know I am not a fan) Skin does a great job of highlighting the relationship and conflict between brothers. And what was the one with the Striga? Freaky epidsode with the "witch" who comes through the window? Lots of poignant flashback stuff to clue in even new viewers, but also some funny moments like when they thought the old woman was their culprit. Oh, and I'm a big fan of The Kids Are Alright.

Tanya Michaels said...

>>> hooked Tanya by taking her to my house when her flight home was delayed

Yes, and we watched them IN ORDER. For me, that part is pivotal to the viewing experience. Which means I'm probably missing some darn good shows because I hate to jump in midstream--luckily, on demand and DVDs are helping make up for that.

phouse1964 said...

I too like to watch things in order but I will admit this one time to watching Nightshifter one Thursday night over the summer a couple of years ago and then the next week they showed Heart and well, I went out and bought S1 and watched it in 10 days or less I think. I finished the weekend before S2 came out on DVD. And promptly sent S1 to my BFF in Oklahoma.

I have been watching all my DVD's at night in my bed every since. I tried to watch The Tudors but I failed. I can't do it. My bedroom TV is for the boys.

Heather said...

Your list of eps is almost exactly what I would pick to hook someone -- especially Scarecrow. Although I've watched Supernatural since the pilot, it was that episode that made the show officially win me over.

Natalie J. Damschroder said...

That's funny, Phouse, I was going to say I'd use Nightshifter because it had JUST enough hints of the past to intrigue someone and make them want to start at the beginning, plus all the brotherly stuff and the laser eyes and "We're not working for the Mandroid!" and OH, the cinematography that shines such gorgeousness on the boys...

*ahem*

My MO is like Trish's, though--hand over the DVDs and make them watch. My local SPN gang has hooked a couple of people that way, and we're about to hook a new one!

Oh, wait. No, last year's May recruit we forced to watch the finale with us, THEN gave her the DVDs. :)