Supernatural is a horror show that airs on the CW, currently in its fifth season.
The show's creator is Eric Kripke, who wrote the screenplay for the 2005 movie Boogeyman. He was offered creative control of a TV show in exchange for a promise to never, ever write a movie again. For some reason, possibly involving blackmail, a sizeable number of producers and directors from the X Files then joined on to the show. A lot of X-Files acting alumni also pop up on screen, where the viewer can occasionally see them wandering around dazed, wondering what happened to their careers.
What Supernatural lacks in writing and budget, though, is almost made up for by the fact that unlike in the X Files, the audience doesn't have to worry about the creators getting bored and making the two leads fall in love and have a baby. Well, not unless they're really desperate for ratings.
Supernatural fans are made up of two different kinds of people:
a) Males who watch for the unusually high levels of gore and violence, and
b) Females who watch for the two unusually attractive male leads.
A scene from Episode Four, Cuisinart Death Battle.
A scene from Episode Five, The Evil Ghost That's Haunting the Male Model Photoshoot.
Their combined numbers are not very large, as only 200 people actually watch the show, and 160 of those are family members of the cast and crew who feel sorry for them.
The boys' search for their missing father was presented by the Supernatural advertising campaigns as the main plot of the show, a parallel, presumably, to Mulder's search for his sister in the X Files. It is a bit of a bummer, then, when he calls them by cell phone in Episode Nine and is like "Hey, kids, what's up." By Episode Sixteen, the three are working together. We don't think that happens in the other show.
Large parts of season one are simply unwatchable, to the extent that we suspect that they didn't bother to actually put all of the episodes on the DVD set, and that when selected, the menu screen simply says "You want to watch the episode about the racist truck? Really?"
After an awful-yet-badass car crash, John Winchester, the boys' father, tries to make a deal with the show's Big Bad, the Yellow Eyed Demon, offering him his soul if the demon will save his mortally wounded son's life. The demon makes him an even better offer, which is to give him an actual acting career if he leaves Supernatural. He accepts it.
Shattered, the boys wander desolate for a few episodes as they wonder what the fuck the plot will be for the next eight seasons. Luckily, Sam is showing signs of developing evil superpowers or something, which adds for some growing tension. Apparently the demon gave a bunch of kids said superpowers, and now Sam and Dean have to go around killing the ones that go bad and use their power to fight for the Sith. Sam angsts about this, despite the fact that his powers are pretty gay and he can't do anything with them.
Near the end of the season, the demon kidnaps all the special kids and arranges a fight to the death for no fucking reason. Sam, being a giant pussy, doesn't win and is killed off. In an oddly familiar sequence, Dean offers his soul for Sam's life back, and demonkind agrees to raise Sam and keep Dean alive for another year, after watching My Bloody Valentine 3D and determining that an acting career is forever out of his reach.
Dean and Zombie Sam then go to fight the Yellow Eyed Demon, using the ancient fighting technique of Hoping The Evil Dude Gets Really Bad At Fighting All Of A Sudden To Advance The Plot. Luckily, it works.
Despite this, season two is actually pretty damn awesome, mostly because of new writers such as Ben Edlund and Cathryn Humphris joining the cast.
The writers realize that they've killed off the one remaining driving force of the show and introduce another bad guy, Lillith, who is apparently really really evil although she has never been mentioned by any of the characters before. It also looks like Dean is going to hell in one year, and Zombie Sam rushes to find a way to save him. Unfortunately, his intricate, carefully-timed plan is cut short by the 2007 writer's strike, and Dean goes to hell.
On the plus side, we believe that this is one of the only times in television history that a show's lead character has been shown being graphically torn apart by invisible dogs. We kind of hope that the creators of Grey's Anatomy one day do something to remedy this fact.
It would have been pretty funny if the show got cancelled here, but unfortunately it didn't. In episode one, God realizes that the awkward, socially stunted male fans will be pissed off if the non-pussy brother gets killed off permanently, and sends an angel to pull Dean out of hell. This plays out a lot cooler than it sounds, and the season actually gets pretty good, until Eric Kripke stumbles in drunk and presents an episode in which demons and angels fist-fight, and Dean fucks one of them to twinkly music. We forget which.
The series only gradually recovers, with a developing subplot about Sam's increasing lust for demon blood. Getting enough of this blood a problem, not because of the lack of demons but because blood in the Supernatural universe is comprised of a thick, gelatinous dark substance that vaguely resembles pudding.
Supernatural-style slowly gushing arterial blood. This picture was taken 25 minutes after the stabbing occured.
Frustrated by all the pudding-blood, Sam goes crazy and takes it out on his tragically short brother, who seriously had enough crap to deal with without some tall guy trying to strangle him, come on.
Lucifer rises, demonstrating his awesome and immense power by the fact that his eyes are a totally different color than all those other demons. Meanwhile, the Supernatural writers continue their method of flipping open a copy of the Book of Revelation, closing their eyes and pointing at random to a verse, and then writing an episode about it. It's a race against time as the two boys rush to prevent the Apocalypse before the showmakers pool together enough money from their poker earnings to create a decent God vs Lucifer epic set battle. Who will prevail? Only time will tell.
The family car, a 67 Chevy Impala, is the coolest thing on the show by a factor of four million. It survives despite being possessed by a ghost, stolen several times, crashed twice, and also beaten up by Dean in a fit of rage, after which the car claimed that she'd just driven into a wall, and that Dean just gets angry sometimes.
Car! Game off!
The '67 Impala model was apparently chosen by a neighbor of Eric Kripke's, who rejected Kripke's original choice of a 65 Mustang in favor of 'a car that can fit a body in its trunk.' He then punched Kripke in the face and said "That's for one day writing an episode where angels and demons have a fistfight and Dean fucks one of them to twinkly music, asshole."
As a consequence of his mother making a deal with Azazel (she was young, and she needed the money!) Sam was infected with demon blood when only six months old. The main effect of this blood seems to have been to cause problems whenever he comes into contact with vaginas, since both his mother and almost every woman he has slept with have met brutal deaths. (One appeared to survive, but we assume that she died of food poisoning offscreen.)
It is the general consensus that Sam is gradually turning evil, which is probably a good thing, because back in Season One he was a bit of a whiny bitch.
Most of Dean's ongoing character development involves him dealing with and resolving issues about the fact that he is only five feet tall.
Dean (left) with his little brother.
Also, his father never loved him or something, and we get to hear him whine about that for four fucking years.
The boys' father, and the coolest character on the show by far, who of course appears for like three episodes before dying.
John Winchester (artist's impression)
Apparently mistreated one of his sons slightly, possibly because he was too short. Apart from that, we don't know what they're complaining about, because come on, how many people can claim that their dad once shot a vampire in the face?
Not much is known about John Winchester's early background, but it is rumored that his father is the great god Poseidon. He also fought in Nam, and could have won it if he really wanted to, but he left after a while because it just wasn't his thing. In season four, it is revealed that although John was in Hell for a hundred years, he came out of it just fine (unlike that loser Angel). It is also implied that he impregnated several female demons while he was down there.
The Yellow-Eyed Demon
Also known as Azazel, this is a high-ranking demon who likes to steal babies.
The Yellow-Eyed Demon, stealing a baby. "Put 'em up!" says the demon.
When they are grown up, Azazel sets these kids against each other in a death match for no fucking reason. In Season Four, an angel admits to Dean that even God and the angels have no idea what Azazel's end game is. We assume that by "God and the angels" he means Supernatural's story editors, who by this point are apparently suffering from Battlestar Galactica Syndrome.
Every female that needs rescuing in the Supernatural universe is extraordinarily hot.
"Man, I have to rescue Tricia Helfer. With the clingy how can I ever repay you blah blah blah. Street Fighter 4 isn't going to play itself, bitch."
At no point in the show does either Sam or Dean turn to the other and say 'Hey, have you noticed that all of the females we interact with are extraordinarily hot?' Thre are two explanations for this:
1) Like the rest of the shows on the CW, Supernatural takes place in a world where everyone is ridiculously good looking, unless something about the episode (of their lives!) specifically calls for them to be otherwise.
2) Sam and Dean are avoiding all the ugly people who need rescuing.
Sam and Dean's reaction to ugly people in danger.
The main angel on Supernatural is called Castiel. Castiel clearly has a thing for Dean, and all the other angels are mildly disgusted and make fun of him behind his back for it, but Castiel doesn't notice. And Dean is really confused about it, because he finds the whole thing slightly threatening to his masculinity, but on the other hand he's kind of flattered because hey, angel.
Anna is another angel who became human for some stupid fucking reason. She also has a thing for Dean, because apparently angels like short people. It's probably in the Bible. Anna is due to die shortly because she is on Supernatural and at one point possessed a vagina.
This demon is best known for avoiding two Supernatural certain death curses (being female and sleeping with Sam) for an entire two seasons. She achieved this via the ingenious method of wearing a large false beard and mustache to throw off the writers. (Whenever a writer stumbled in on her and Sam in bed, the two would pretend they were merely giving each other sports massages after playing a manly sport, like football.)
Unfortunately, during Sam's final battle with Lilith in season four, the heat from the demonic flames caused Ruby's mustache glue to melt, and it fell off. Dean, realizing the horrible error that could tear apart the very fabric of Supernatural space/time and cause the apocalypse, immediately stabbed her.
Unfortunately, he was too late to prevent the end of the world, as we found out in Season Five.