After seven seasons - with the season 8 premiere less than a month away - the cult series is still equal parts action movie, horror movie, buddy cop movie, comedy, and tragedy. The recently debuted trailer (above) for the season 8 premiere confirms that, yes, the show will continue to embrace all of those genre conventions and more. But can it find the old magic of the earlier seasons?
In the season 7 finale, Dean (Jensen Ackles) and Sam Winchester (Jared Padalecki) - with the help of Castiel (Misha Collins) - killed the Big Bad Leviathan, Dick Roman, which inadvertently banished both Dean and Castiel to Purgatory (from whence the Leviathan came). The season 8 trailer indicates that after being stuck there for a year, Dean has somehow managed to escape Purgatory, which recalls the season 4 premiere that depicted him escaping hell.
It also looks like Kevin Tran (Osric Chau) - the prophet who helped the brothers defeat Roman last season - is back with more information about "The Word of God." According to Kevin, there’s a way to "close the gates of hell" and expel all the demons from the face of the Earth. Will this be the main storyline for season 8? Maybe, maybe not, though Kevin makes it pretty clear that the Leviathan are still very much a threat.
While there were definitely bright spots throughout season 7 (Bobby’s death was particularly affecting), it’s probably not controversial to say that it was a bit of a mess overall. Sure, the season gave Dean and Sam a single objective to focus on in the form of fighting the Leviathan - an improvement, in that respect, over season 6, which was a bit all over the place in terms of what the brothers were fighting. But the Leviathan quickly became more annoying than interesting or scary, and they were often ignored in favor of lackluster monster-of-the-week episodes, for some reason.
Pound for pound, season 6 was probably more satisfying than season 7, but it’s fair to say that the show hasn’t been the same since creator Eric Kripke left at the end of season 5. Of course, it probably helped that Kripke’s final season was the culmination of five seasons’ worth of a single storyline, one that left few dangling threads.
Hopefully, Supernatural can find its stride and get back to being one of the more consistently entertaining shows on television. Our own Anthony Occasio talked to fan-favorite writer/producer Ben Edlund about season 7's struggles and what the show can do better in season 8, to which Edlund said:
"This season, we’re really looking at a closer point of view of human relationships again. Because they’ve gone through such operatic, massive sweeps of character and events, it’s, like, trying to get them really close to people a little bit, so that they can now remember what they’re trying to save, in a sense."
At the very least, the show will be able to rely on the talent and chemistry of its stars, Ackles and Padelecki, who just last month signed on to play Dean and Sam Winchester through season 10.
What say you, Screen Ranters? Will you be tuning in for season 8?
Supernatural season 8 premieres Wednesday, October 3rd @9pm on The CW.
Follow me on Twitter @benandrewmoore.
Source: Supernatural Facebook Page