‘Supernatural’: 15 Years of Monsters, Classic Rock, and Heartache

For 15 years, “”Supernatural”” has been on the air. But now, “The Road So Far” is over.

‘Supernatural’: 15 Years of Monsters, Classic Rock, and Heartache

Madison Roberts, Staff Writer

In 2005, the first season of a show called Supernatural aired on the WB, the now defunct TV network. 15 years later, the CW aired the series finale on Nov. 19, 2020. Supernatural has cemented its place as the longest running sci-fi/fantasy series with 15 seasons and 327 episodes. That’s a pretty long “road so far,” to quote the way the show describes its past episodes. The series stars Jared Padalecki as Sam Winchester and Jensen Ackles as Dean Winchester, two brothers who travel the country hunting monsters and demons. Misha Collins joins the regular cast in season four as Castiel, an angel who sees the good in humanity. 

Supernatural was the show that could not be defeated. It survived the Writers Guild Strike of 2007, albeit ending with only 16 episodes in season three. The original plan was for the show to stop after its fifth season, but it still hung around. While the plots in later seasons become a bit more complex and somewhat contrived, at its heart, Supernatural has always stuck to its strong suit: connecting viewers to the lives of the Winchesters, Castiel, and other recurring characters. 

The series has generally had decent special effects, considering that it began in 2005, and they noticeably improved over the years. The stunts have been well-coordinated and engaging to watch; the actors do many of the stunts themselves. 

The real reason Supernatural was on the air so long is not the cinematography, the action sequences, or the various monsters they fight; it’s the emotional connection that the fans have to the characters and the story. Supernatural built a strong fan base from the beginning, and the writers play off that with episodes like season six, episode 15, “The French Mistake,” where the brothers get transported to the set of a show called Supernatural, where the Winchesters see the lives of Jared Padalecki and Jensen Ackles. In season 10, episode five, “Fan Fiction,” the brothers track a monster to a girls’ school, where they’re putting on a musical based on the fictitious Supernatural book series, written by a character named Chuck. 

Supernatural, despite its low budget, has always been able to produce fantastic sets and wardrobes (though 500 shades of plaid is counting as a complex wardrobe). The show has consistently shown the relationship between two brothers fighting to keep each other safe. Even though there have been some rocky plot lines (season 7), the show has still kept fighting with mythical monsters and, of course, the 1967 Impala. 

So, in order to fully capture what Supernatural is all about, here are the top five reasons why this series is one of the most iconic series of the last two decades.

  • Unique episodes

For a show that was on the air for 15 years, Supernatural had to come up with creative ways to keep viewers entertained, such as producing many episodes in alternative formats. For example, in season four, episode five, “Monster Movie” was shot in black-and-white, like an old horror movie, and featured iconic monsters. Or in, season 13, episode 16, “Scoobynatural,” where the Winchesters were sucked into the cartoon world of Mystery Incorporated. Supernatural has always been able to come up with new ideas for their “monster of the week”-style episodes. 

  • A Killer Soundtrack

Supernatural adds to its serious episodes with an awesome classic rock soundtrack with songs like “Wanted Dead or Alive” by Bon Jovi, “Bad Moon Rising” by Creedence Clearwater Revival, “Renegade” by Styx, and, of course, “Carry on Wayward Son” by Kansas, which is played in the season finale in all of the show’s seasons but the first. That song has come to mean a lot to fans of the show, which again demonstrates how much the fans are deeply connected to the series.

  • Humor

While Supernatural can be a serious show, they manage to have several humorous episodes. In season nine, episode five, “Dog Dean Afternoon,” Dean turns into a dog. The episode previously mentioned, “The French Mistake,” is full of funny lines making fun of the actors. Some fantastic one-liners from the show are:

  • The Fan Base

The “Supernatural” fanbase is one of the most dedicated. Appearing all over the internet, they’re primarily known for having a gif for every possible situation on tumblr, but the fans also unite over their love of the show and how it’s inspired them over the years.

  • Inspiration

Supernatural may be a serious and at times funny show, but it’s also been an inspiration to its fans. The show, behind all the mythology, is about two brothers who always fight for each other and the world. It’s a show about family, but not just those related by blood. Sam and Dean find their family in other hunters and angels and even demons, and they always overcome challenges—even death—to save the world. Outside of the show, Jared Padalecki has a campaign called “Always Keep Fighting,” which advocates for mental health support.

No question, Supernatural has cemented its place in television history as a fantastic show. Maybe it won’t always hold the title of longest-running sci-fi/fantasy series, but that doesn’t mean it will be forgotten by fans anytime soon. So, Supernatural family, keep calm and carry on, my wayward son.