Friday, October 3, 2014

Angels, and Demons, and Ghosts! Oh my!

Supernatural focuses on Sam and Dean Winchester (played by Jared Padalecki and Jensen Ackles), two brothers who work through their familial struggles in order to save people and hunt things, namely ghosts, demons and other monsters that go bump in the night.  Though violent and very graphic in its later episodes, Supernatural also manages to tug at the heart strings.

With each season I watch, I become more impressed with the way religion is used in the show.  This show incorporates many different religions, ranging from Hinduism to ancient Pagan religions.  Episodes that utilize these religions are based on the folklore of these religions, so the audience is being exposed to many different religions they might not be aware of had they not watched the show.
    Though the majority of the series involves conflict in the Judeo-Christian religions, God is not actually present in the series.  God is mentioned in a few of the seasons, but He is always missing or absent.  No religion is portrayed as better or worse than any other.   Despite the show’s involvement with religion, writer, Eric Kripke, ensures that the show does not get preachy.  The audience is not being persuaded to convert to any religion.  Religion is simply being used as a tool to make the audience question their morals and the themes presented in the series.

One major theme presented in this film is whether one should act in order to save the greater good or to save a few of your loved ones.  With a fierce war happening in Heaven, Castiel (played by Misha Collins) is forced to choose between saving Sam and Dean or fighting for his cause to save the people of Earth.  Another interesting topic addressed in this series is the concept of fate vs. free will.  In Season 4, Zachariah, an angel on a serious power trip, attempts to make Sam and Dean follow the path that has been planned for them in order to stop the Apocalypse from coming.  Sam and Dean, however, fight against this plan in an attempt to follow their own path and save each other.  
Though the supernatural entities used in this show are unique to different cultures and religions, the themes portrayed in the show are universal.  Supernatural provokes questions of  what happens after we die and the importance of family, morality, and free will.

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