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Fall TV: Best New Shows

October 19, 2005

Estranged brothers Sam (Gilmore Girls' Jared Padalecki) and Dean (Smallville's Jensen Ackles) are reunited when their ghostbusting father mysteriously disappears. … Read More

Skin Review

October 18, 2005

By John Keegan

Visit The Shrine of Entil'zha for an archive of John's TV Review archives!

In my comments on earlier episodes, I mentioned that Dean was becoming a far more compelling character than Sam. After this episode, I still feel that this is the case. What’s more, I think the writers are beginning to recognize it. This is ostensibly Sam’s episode, delving into his world and his emotions. Yet what I took away from it was a better sense of Dean’s issue with Sam and his previous life.

Sam was the one who escaped, and for that reason alone, Sam should have a lot of internal conflict with his current situation. He thought he had escaped his past, and it came back to bite him. Intersections with his old life are almost impossible, because he has to lie to them, and there’s an inevitable barrier of deception.

Jared plays the character as someone trying to contain his broiling emotions behind a flat affect, which can work if there’s sufficient acting ability. Think of Edward Olmos on “Battlestar: Galactica” and how clearly he can communicate with just a minimal shift of facial expression. Jared doesn’t have that, and so what is meant to seem like an extreme bit of conflict doesn’t necessarily shine through.

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Supernatural

October 18, 2005

Four weeks into the new season, the truth can be told: The year's most distinctive bump-in-the-dark new creepshow is — cue the organ music — Supernatural. … Read More

Bloody Mary Review

October 11, 2005

By John Keegan

Visit The Shrine of Entil'zha for an archive of John's TV Review archives!

Another week, another good episode. I recently caught up with my review schedule (between “Serenity”, work, and RL issues, it wasn’t easy), and as it happens, I reviewed the second episode of “Night Stalker” just before this, so it was fresh in my mind. There’s a reason I think this series is superior, and it has much to do with the style bright to the table. Both series have strong “X-Files” pedigrees, but where “Night Stalker” goes for the ultra-serious scares, “Supernatural” goes for the mixture of wit and cultural relevance.

One aspect I really liked about this episode was the strong connection between the urban legend and the development of a “real world” history. The brothers are chasing down legends in this underbelly of the “real world”, this unseen side of society, and so the overlap between the “real world” and their lives should be distinct. That’s where I thought the previous episode slipped a bit; this one came together a lot better.

I also liked the snippets of folklore that were connected to the legend, such as the idea that ghosts or spirits can be trapped within a mirror and bound to it.

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Supernatural Given Full Season Pick-Up

October 6, 2005

After four weeks of impressive ratings growth, The WB Network's SUPERNATURAL, from Warner Bros, Television has been given a full season, 22-episode order, it was announced today by David Janollari, the network's President, Entertainment. … Read More

Phantom Traveler Review

October 4, 2005

By John Keegan

Visit The Shrine of Entil'zha for an archive of John's TV Review archives!

After three strong episodes to start the series, this episode seems to slip a bit, at least from my point of view. I find that my enjoyment of the series is now firmly rooted in the exploration of Dean, especially since Sam is showing very little in terms of a distinct personality. It might actually be a flaw of the series that the writers will be correcting over time, but I’m not entirely sure that staging Sam as the “straight man” to Dean is the best move.
Dean (Jensen…see, I can remember his name!) is the more dynamic brother, and his scenes have been one of the highlights of the series. As I mentioned before, the elements that are supposed to be scary don’t really bother me, so I’m in it for the disturbing psychological places that these situations take the characters. In this case, it brings out Dean’s fear of flying. That was probably the best part of the episode, but in too many other cases, I didn’t feel like the story was all that interesting.
In general, I did think it was interesting that Dean and Sam were essentially forced to act like terrorists in order to save the passengers on the plane.
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