Editorial | Six Reasons Supernatural is a Terrible TV Show [updated]

A few months ago, I wrote an editorial post that listed several reasons that Supernatural is a terrible TV show.  While my assessments of the faults of the show were correct, they were not complete.  Since that post still seems to get viewed daily (which we mentioned in Episode 5 of Random Thought Generator), I am updating my list.  So here is the new and improved set of reasons that Supernatural is a terrible TV show (and why I will continue to watch it).

Le Geeky Soap Opera

Le Geeky Soap Opera

1.)  Every adversary that Sam and Dean Winchester face is supposedly bigger and badder than the last adversary, but actually seems easier to kill.  This whole show started with John Winchester’s lifelong search for Azriel, the yellow-eyed demon who killed his wife.  John has been praised over and over (even posthumously) as being one of the best hunters who ever lived, and yet it took him a lifetime to find this demon and kill it.  These days, his sons discover big baddies and polish them off in the course of twenty episodes or so with relatively little effort.

Once Azriel was done away with, the boys turned their attentions to Lilith, the baddest demon EVER!  Sam did some dumb stuff like drinking demon blood, but in the end, Lilith got hers just like Azriel had.  Then Lucifer and Michael arrived on the scene.  An Archangel and a former Archangel would seem to be the scariest bad guys in town, but the Winchesters manage to hide from them for a ridiculous number of episodes until finally the angel/demon pair are banished to an extra special cage in hell—managing to SPLAT goofy angel sidekick Castiel and take Sam into hell with them (more on that shortly).

One would think that there was no way to top a PAIR OF ARCHANGELS as difficult adversaries, but the show producers were undaunted.  Somehow, the replacement bad guys—vampire daddies and shape-shifting dudes called Leviathan—were evil-er and more difficult to kill than the princes of heaven and hell.

Honestly, this just gets old.  There is no way that “purgatory” is a nastier place than hell—after all, traditionally it is a holding cell for people who aren’t bad enough for hell but not good enough for heaven.  I’m sure purgatory isn’t a pleasant place, but Dean (who has been to heaven AND hell AND purgatory) wants us to believe that it is the nastiest place in existence.

Reason #1 that I will keep vegging out with Supernatural: season one Sam & Dean are swoon worthy.

Reason #1 that I will keep vegging out with Supernatural: season one Sam & Dean are swoon worthy.

2.)  My second argument for the poor quality of this ever-present, fantasy soap opera, is the one dimensional, stagnant characters.  There is no depth to Dean or Sam.  Each brother spends a lot of time (a ridiculous amount of time, actually) pouring his heart out to supporting cast members regarding his place in the world and his feelings about his brother, but there is no evidence in their actions to back this up.  There is no progress in their relationship either.  We hear the same old argument every season.  Summed up, this is how it goes:

  • Step One:  “I’m tired of fighting.  This is a stupid lifestyle.  I want out.”  [This usually comes from Sam, but occasionally Dean is the one that starts out this way—just to change things up.]
  • Step Two:  “We are brothers!  Nothing can come between us (even though I/you just wanted out and away from the life we have).”
  • Step Three:  “I hate you for (most recent thing you did) and I feel completely betrayed, even though the thing you did wasn’t that bad, and I am looking for a reason to cry on camera.  I’m leaving.”  [Again, usually Sam, but sometimes Dean.]
  • Step Four: [See Step Two]
  • Step Five:  “This fight is way too hard.  The Big Baddie is too big and bad.  It is too hard.  I give up.  Let’s have a beer.”
  • Step Six: “Screw what I just said, we will just go ahead and do what we can do!  We fight till we die.  Bros for lyfe!!!!!11!!!!!1!”

Reason #2 If you tell anyone that Supernatural made me love this song, I will VEHEMENTLY deny it.

3.)  There are no actual consequences for the Winchester’s actions.  Whether they are committing credit card fraud (and considering how careful credit card companies have become, I doubt the boys could survive on fake credit cards unless the entire show was about Sam and Dean filling out applications) or committing to spending eternity in hell to save mankind, no main character except John Winchester has ever had to actually live with the penalty of his choices.  Here’s a great infographic (only through season seven) of Sam and Dean’s death count.  Keep in mind that this only counts times that they’ve actually died, and does not include near-death-experiences, such as Dean’s heart attack at the hands of the card shark monster in season five, or other “coming back” events, such as Death’s re-souling Sam in season six.  

Of course, Sam and Dean aren’t the only characters on the show that have cheated death—Bobby nearly died after a run in with the same card shark that nearly killed Dean, and he’s been back from hell himself.  Castiel has been splattered at least twice, and just keeps popping back up (albeit in various degrees of mental health).  In fact, the characters on this show have come back from the dead so often that they have actually occasionally discussed how abnormal this is.  However, it’s really hard to believe that someday they will have to pay the piper, given their track record.

Reason #3 He’s hot AND he’s reading… I’ll be in my bunk.

4.)  Nothing mundane ever happens in the Winchester’s life.  This is actually a phenomenon that is getting worse as the show ages.  The most ordinary thing that the brothers ever do is lean against the Impala, drink a beer, and talk about their feelings.  This was referenced in an episode called “The French Mistake,” which brings me to reason #5.

Reason #4 This may be a dumb scene, but they sure look hot playing it.

Reason #4 This may be a dumb scene, but they sure look hot playing it.

5.)  Supernatural is so old that the creators occasionally get bored and make stupid, annoying meta episodes .  The first one that I noticed was “The Monster at the End of this Book,” in which the brothers realize that their entire life is being written down by a guy named Chuck before it happens.  Even more annoying is perpetually appearing, super-fan Becky, who is obsessed with Sam Winchester and inserts herself into the brother’s lives several times—even tricking Sam into marrying her at one point.  These episodes are cringe worthy enough that I have had to get up and leave the room until the majority of the awkwardness had passed.

Reason #5, dorky moments like this are dumb, but make me melt. (Hush, I’m still a girl, after all.)

6.) There are so many random inconsistencies and continuity errors in the show.  The most glaring of these in my opinion is the way that Dean’s attitude toward pop culture has changed.  For the first three or four seasons, Sam or another side character would occasionally reference a song, movie, or other modern cultural icon, and Dean would not understand.  Once Castiel joined the show, however, there was a new foil for pop culture references, and suddenly Dean did a 180, and began making references to The Mentalist, the Huffington Post, and Breaking Bad.  Not only was this completely out of character for him, but I cannot figure out how he has the time to not only know what these things are, but to have intimate knowledge of backgrounds and plotlines.  Isn’t he running all over the Midwest fighting bigger, badder things that go bump?

Reason #6 No words actually necessary

Reason #6 No words actually necessary

There are obvious reasons that Supernatural is just bad TV.  It’s overly emotional, it makes very little sense, and the storylines are over-the-top and completely unbelievable.  However, the show does one thing very well—since the audience does not need to think while watching, they can focus on the extremely hot main characters doing manly and attractive things, such as saving humanity on a regular basis.  While it is certainly not something that I brag about, I enjoy a good Supernatural binge after finals or some other stressful event.  (And like most fangirls, I’m not happy unless I’m complaining about the things I enjoy!)

Got a show that you love to hate?  Got more complaints about this show?  Holler at me in the comments!

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15 Comments

Filed under Editorial, Television, Tracy Gronewold

15 responses to “Editorial | Six Reasons Supernatural is a Terrible TV Show [updated]

  1. Pingback: Editorial | 5 Reasons Supernatural is a Terrible TV Show | Therefore I Geek

  2. larobinson

    I really liked your editorial. I enjoyed your opinions very much. I LOVE this show, to be honest mostly for the HOT factor, but also b/c they are able to mix adventure and humor which makes it fun. I do get frustrated sometimes with some of the inconsistencies and lack of follow up on some of the stories. For example; in season 2 episode 3 “Bloodlust” there is a vampire named Eli who shows up again in Season 8 as Benny (same actor, totally different character)- ok, you couldn’t get someone else to play the role or somehow make him the same character and write that into the story? Also, Season 5 there is an episode with a kid named Jesse Turner who is half human/half demon and all powerful who disappears at the end of the episode and so far has never been heard from again – that, for me, is just hanging in the air and needs to be readdressed at some point! These are just two examples of frustrating things in this show for me, but again, I will keep watching until the end b/c I just can’t keep my eyes off those boys, especially Dean! and I don’t care why he cries, it gets me every time! 🙂

    • Haha I completely agree! I noticed the Eli/Benny thing too. I never thought of making him the same character, but they absolutely should have done that! They have definitely done crazier things with their characters. 🙂 (Also, Dean is my favorite too!)

  3. RIDA

    Urm, the yellow-eyed demon’s name is Azazel and not Azriel. You’d think someone who would spend such a lot of time penning down negative crap about a show that takes place in a parallel universe would actually bother to get their facts right.
    Also, saying that a show is ‘annoying’ because it has annoying characters (Becky) is equivalent to saying that FRIENDS is lame because it has an annoying character; Janice. And who said meta episodes are not cool? ‘Breaking the fourth wall’ was what they did with the series of books by Carver Edlund, which was pretty darn cool according to most of the folk around who watched it and not massively awkward, In a world where everything from goblins to fairies exist, you have trouble believing that a vial of love potion exists?
    Dean had always had a taste in modern pop culture. Just, Sam like some stuff Dean wasn’t particularly a big fan/aware of. And, if the problem lies in him being aware of things like Breaking Bad and other modern series, what do you think they do when they aren’t chasing ‘baddies’ around or when they don’t have to save the world from an impending apocalypse?
    It is a 43 minutes episode, hon, they won’t possibly be able to show every trivial bit that happens in the lives of the Winchesters, now would they? Also, the reason why nothing particularly ‘mundane’ is seen to be happening.
    Then, again, I am aware that everyone is entitled to their own personal opinions. To each their own. I don’t wage a battle here but just pointed out a few obviously misjudged concepts.

  4. You need to really know what you are talking about. To note just one error in your rant, Michael and Lucifer are BOTH angels. So there was no angel/demon conflict at all. In fact, they too are brothers, duh. Also along that same line, they did not take Sam into the cage. He took them.
    So please, get your story straight before you shoot off your mouth.
    And our boys are much, much more than eye candy. So go get your jollies watching some other show.
    And FYI, I am not a crazy young fangirl. I am a 67 year old fangrandma who sees 2 beautiful brothers that love each other, just like any other close brothers. No matter what kind of sh*t is going on.
    Which is no different kind of sh*t that goes on on Grimm,

  5. I have one for you! I haven’t even attempted to count the number of times our boys walk into a building in the middle of the day, talk to someone for five minutes, then they’re back in the car and it’s dark out (or vice-versa.)

  6. red

    First of I just wanted to say I’m really only a fan or the first 6 seasons of the show. The first 5 are great but starts to go down in 6 and becomes unwatchable after that so I’m not the kind of fan that will blindly defend the show. I complain how bad and horrible bad those later seasons really are and I am aware of the few flaws it had before all of that but I think you letting your preconceived ideas about the show influence your opinion way too much. I get it, I had them too but when I actually watched the show it wasn’t anything like I thought it was but I can see that’s not the case for you. You seem to made up your mind what the show was like before you saw and let those thoughts influence your opinion way too much. You put two pictures of Sam and Dean shirtless like that what the show really about and that’s not true because first of all in the first 5 seasons of the show there’s only 1 time we see one of completely shirtless and showing them selfs off. And don’t see that again until season 6. The Girls on the show are sexualized and so much more than the boys it’s not even funny. One the first scenes we see on the show is a girl in a sexy nurse costume then we see a ghost girl getting sexualized a short time in the same episode. Almost every girl on the show wears low-cut tops, short skirts or very low cut jeans and the camera from time to time even focuses on their butt for no reason. They go to the strip clubs and hit on hot girls constantly and some just end up in the episode just for eye candy sometimes . So you acting like this show is sexualizing the men that’s simply not true and something you mind made up in your head long before you watched it, to justify putting the show down. I know in the later seasons the girls don’t get sexualize as but it wasn’t like that at in the early seasons. Sam and Dean just happen to be good looking guys on a show but they barely sexualize them at all in the earlier seasons. Also, the two pictures you put up are not even real. Those are photoshopped and they never took any pictures like that further proving my point here. Anyway, the later seasons of the show really do suck, though.

  7. First of I just wanted to say I’m really only a fan or the first 6 seasons of the show. The first 5 are great but starts to go down in 6 and becomes unwatchable after that so I’m not the kind of fan that will blindly defend the show. I complain how bad and horrible bad those later seasons really are and I am aware of the few flaws it had before all of that but I think you letting your preconceived ideas about the show influence your opinion way too much. I get it, I had them too but when I actually watched the show it wasn’t anything like I thought it was but I can see that’s not the case for you. You seem to made up your mind what the show was like before you saw and let those thoughts influence your opinion way too much. You put two pictures of Sam and Dean shirtless like that what the show really about and that’s not true because first of all in the first 5 seasons of the show there’s only 1 time we see one of completely shirtless and showing them selfs off. And don’t see that again until season 6. The Girls on the show are sexualized and so much more than the boys it’s not even funny. One the first scenes we see on the show is a girl in a sexy nurse costume then we see a ghost girl getting sexualized a short time in the same episode. Almost every girl on the show wears low-cut tops, short skirts or very low cut jeans and the camera from time to time even focuses on their butt for no reason. They go to the strip clubs and hit on hot girls constantly and some just end up in the episode just for eye candy sometimes . So you acting like this show is sexualizing the men that’s simply not true and something you mind made up in your head long before you watched it, to justify putting the show down. I know in the later seasons the girls don’t get sexualize as but it wasn’t like that at in the early seasons. Sam and Dean just happen to be good looking guys on a show but they barely sexualize them at all in the earlier seasons. Also, the two pictures you put up are not even real. Those are photoshopped and they never took any pictures like that further proving my point here. Anyway, the later seasons of the show really do suck, though.

  8. Haley Clark ( A HUGE supernatural lover)

    Supernatural is a wonderful show and no of this is true!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  9. No

    ahora mismo estoy viendo que no entendés nada,estas equivocada,es tu opinión y la respeto,pero estas equivocada sobre tus razones(translate this)

  10. Wow! I am so glad I found this! Honestly, I feel the same way but sometimes I come back to watch it because it’s kind of nice or rather de-stressing? to just sit back and watch the two brothers act goofy? What I’m trying to say is, I love Supernatural and like any other show it has its ups and downs.

    But seriously, thanks a lot. I now know that I’m not the only one who feels this way!

  11. Lua Ferreira

    Arrow until S1&2. I really hated because I knew Green Arrow from the comics and JL Unlimited cartoon and the Bruce-Wayne-Wannabe Oliver Queen, the amont of rich-and-futile charachters almost made me quick the TV(I Loved when criminal mom Moira Queen was killed) but I continues watching(and hating) until the series finally got better. Sorry if I wrote wrong, my english is improving 🙂

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