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Supernatural

Channel Ten have launched a new tv psychic series called Supernatural, which is being hailed as the successor to The X Files. Instead of the FBI, this time the two investigators of all things paranormal are brothers Sam and Dean Winchester (Jared Padalecki and Jensen Ackles). In each episode, Sam and Dean travel to a new location where they suspect something dark and paranormal is happening. The shows creator; Mr. Kripke uses urban legends like the Hook Man (who rips open unsuspecting young couples) and Bloody Mary (who kills anyone stupid enough to say her name three times while looking in the mirror) to provide story fodder. He described these legends as "these gory little stories that are really fun to tell," and said they had interested him since childhood.

The story begins with showing their mother being mysteriously killed by what their father believed were supernatural forces. His quest to discover how and why she died had split the family apart, with Sam leaving home as soon as possible to start a more normal life. Now, with his father also missing in strange circumstances and Dean asking for his help, he's dragged back into the search for the truth in a world where nothing is quite what it seems.

The series is a horror show and have used this platform to compete with other tv psychic dramas, attracting more viewers to the popular psychic / supernatural genre. However there is also a lot of wry, self-aware humour that has made this show stand out. In one episode Vancouver of "Supernatural," the two lead characters, both good-looking men in their 20's, walk down the hallway of an abandoned, haunted insane asylum. "Hey, Sam," Dean says. "Who do you think is a hotter psychic, Patricia Arquette, Jennifer Love Hewitt or you?" The line was an acknowledgment of the large number of current shows (the hot psychics appear on "Medium" and "Ghost Whisperer,") that share the psychic / supernatural subject matter.

This is an extract from:
'Things That Go Bump in Prime Time', The New York Times, http://www.nytimes.com/2006/01/22/arts/television/22aurt.html
'Moving to the dark side', The Sydney Morning Herald, http://smh.com.au/news/tv--radio/moving-to-the-dark-side/2006/01/15/1137259938757.html

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