A Supernatural Affair
The Supernatural TV series is full of monsters, mayhem, and incredibly attractive characters. What’s not to like? Many viewers become captured with the portrayal of religious and mythical creatures that Sam and Dean fight against every episode. The Winchesters fight the good fight while flawlessly keeping that signature sex appeal intact. Viewers are constantly being bombarded with blood, sweat, tears, and shirtless men as the forty minute episode airs each week—and they love it.
While the show title, Supernatural, doesn’t hide the fact that the subject matter goes against things of scientific fact and reason, the program is still thriving with ten successful seasons behind it. In this instance, why are we choosing to accept this world of scientific disbelief? The answer isn’t as simple as our connection with the Harry Potter universe—there is no cheerful magic (although magic does exist in this verse, it is anything but cheery) or winning against evil for the sake of good. The Supernatural universe is famous for its downcast underdog heroes who are perfectly willing to side with evil if it means getting their goals accomplished in a timely manner. Of course, this leads to all sorts of complications and soul contracts and turning into demons but they did it for the greater good…right?
We are given the scientific facts that, clearly, this world cannot exist. However, it’s easy to see some of the reasons why we accept this world so willingly. In contrast to universes like that of Harry Potter, this world is more realistic and fits into our view as things that could possibly (on some level or another) happen. With Harry Potter, the world is much more fantastical and obviously a portrayal of fictitious elements. While the Supernatural universe is still portraying fictional creatures and happenings, the show makes it more believable (more so than having a bunch of adolescent wizards dueling in their dark arts class).
Take, for example, the creatures that inhabit the show (and are pictured below). The Djinn is portrayed with the physical appearance of a human but has specific tattoos and markings that appear when he uses his powers. Changelings (one of the most terrifying things I have ever seen) only reveal their true form in either a reflection (as pictured) or when they are about to drain a human for food purposes. Wraiths also only show their true form in reflections and during times of creature-specific power usage (usually when feeding). Leviathans and vampires only appear in their true form during feeding. There are exceptions to this character plan, though. The windigo is constantly in creature form no matter his hunger status. With the majority of the creatures featured in the series, it is quite easy to picture how they could fit into our normal way of life.
One of the main elements in the unscientific cult following of this series is that the writers and producers of this show have made it so that this world feels like it parallels with our own. Viewers are able to see that Sam and Dean are just normal human beings who go about their lives dealing with the hand they’ve been dealt. The characters are portrayed in a way that allows the viewer to believe that they could actually exist. This trait is what draws in more fans. Despite blatantly knowing that there will never be a changeling that copies the form of your child and then proceeds to suck your life force out of you every night, fans are able to see where an instance like this could happen in a world like our own. Being able to compare and contrast this alternate reality is where a good chunk of viewer interest comes from. Viewers don’t need scientists telling them that ghosts and ghouls are not real danger because they realize this fact. However, if they should ever encounter one, I would more than likely bet they would know the steps necessary to put one to rest. It never hurts to have a little background knowledge—no matter how improbable the circumstance may be.