'Supernatural: Season One'

Despite the fact that it stars two actors whose past credits include "Gilmore Girls" and "Smallville," "Supernatural" does not look or feel like your average WB series.

That's by design, creator Eric Kripke reveals in the bonus features on the show's first-season DVD set. On a commentary track for the pilot episode, he notes that he wrote the blueprint for the show's soundtrack -- a roster of classic-rock tunes from the likes of AC/DC and Black Sabbath -- into the script with the line "You can take your anemic alternative pop and shove it up your ass."

It's a line that serves the show well, because while "Supernatural" has its share of emotional moments -- good ones, too -- the show is really about scaring the pants off of you, which it does surprisingly well. Using American folklore and urban legends as its source material, the show sends brothers Dean (Jensen Ackles, "Smallville") and Sam (Jared Padalecki, "Gilmore Girls") on the road across America, hunting all the things that go bump in the night.

It's more complicated than that, of course. The show does a good job of building its mythology (a demon killed their mom and Sam's girlfriend; their dad, played by Jeffrey Dean Morgan, is obsessed with hunting it down and sends his boys cryptic messages) without letting it overwhelm the episodic stories of Sam and Dean on the road.

In that way, "Supernatural" is reminiscent of the early years of "The X-Files," which mixed stand-alone episodes with ones that hinted at the larger forces out there. It also echoes that show in the great chemistry the two leads have; Ackles and Padalecki have an ease with each other that a lot of real-life siblings share.

The DVD set isn't exactly stuffed with extras, but what's there is pretty good. The two commentary tracks -- one by Kripke, producer Peter Johnson and pilot director David Nutter and one by the two leads -- offer more insight than the "so-and-so was great to work with" patter, and a featurette on the origins of the show delves deeper into Kripke's passion for urban myths and the challenges of creating a location- and effects-heavy show 22 times a year.

A DVD-ROM link on the final disc also contains an earlier version of the pilot script, which was vastly different than the one that made it to the screen. Kripke admits he wasn't thrilled with the first draft, and it's clear in comparing the two versions that his instinct was right.

STUDIO: Warner Home Video
RELEASE DATE: Sept. 5
RATING: NR
PRICE: $59.98
TIME: 15 hours, 36 minutes
DVD EXTRAS: Commentary on two episodes, deleted scenes, featurettes "Supernatural: Tales From the Edge of Darkness" and "Day in the Life of Jared and Jensen," gag reel, stills gallery, DVD-ROM links

Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times
Comments
Loading