Two weeks of seventh heaven?

Back in 2005, I was made aware of a new television programme; Supernatural.  What’s it about?  I asked.  Oh, these two gorgeous blokes travel across America fighting things supernatural.
I didn’t even give it a chance.  Dean and Sam Winchester were too attractive and I assumed that this was the next generation’s Buffy.
It wasn’t until a few years ago that my husband’s malefriend lent me the boxset of season 1 and told me to watch it.  I watched it because I was shocked that he liked it and I was immediately hooked.
Supernatural was not another Buffy.  Supernatural was darker than Buffy, it was more grown up.  I watched the first episode with the lights off and had to pause it half way through to turn the lights back on (ghosts freak me out).
I wasn’t sure about Dean Winchester at first.  This charming, brave young hunter who found a different girl to bed every episode.  I found him arrogant and untrustworthy and then gradually we saw his loyalty to his family, his insecurities, his little wonky smile and I wanted nothing more than to have a drink with him, maybe even fight by his side.
Sam Winchester was a different story.  I liked him immediately, the kind, intelligent and loving brother who didn’t want anything to do with hunting.  Strangely I liked him less as time went on.  Dean just seems to have more depth.
I zoomed through seasons 1, 2 and 3, buying boxset after boxset – I gave our friend’s DVDs back to him and bought my own.  I caught up with season 4 on Living and met Castiel, the Columbo angel of Supernatural.
Seasons 1-5 were brilliant.  While season 5 was a little weaker than the others, it had Lucifer in it played beautifully by Mark Pellegrino (left).  I was also thrilled to see the lovely Mark Sheppard (Firefly, Leverage) with a reoccurring character, Crowley, the King of the Crossroad Demons.
Season 6 was a little disappointing.  Castiel’s character took a strange direction and Dean’s life was torn apart as his first attempt at a normal life with the family he so desperately desired was ripped away from him.  Sam crumbled as he was rescued from the pit without his soul but Death reappeared, which is always a pleasure.  Season 6 just didn’t strike a cord with me.  If I’m honest, Sam and Dean started to get on my nerves.
Season 7 has just started on Living.  I know a lot of people have probably already watched the whole thing but after season 6, I didn’t feel the desperate urge to watch season 7 as soon as possible.
After two episodes, Dean is still haunted and I miss the carefree, charmer of seasons 1-3.  Sam is still doing those little smiles, although I admit I am enjoying watching him lose his mind.  Whether this is down to me liking storylines which blur the edges between reality and madness or because Pellegrino’s Lucifer has reappeared, I can’t say.
One thing I have enjoyed immensely are the cliffhangers at the end of every episode.  Yes, Sam and Dean are starting to get on my nerves a bit.  They’ve developed and what other way could they go as they fight apocalypse after apocalypse, each foe becoming stronger than the next.  But I can’t help but miss the boys from season 1-3.  Thankfully, as mentioned, the secondary characters are strong enough to hold my attention and I now find myself drawn to the likes of Lucifer, Crowley and Castiel rather than Dean and Sam.
It’s difficult to keep characters fresh after so long, especially in this genre when it is inevitable for our heroes to face bigger troubles and fall deeper into the darkness.  Bearing this in mind, Supernatural has done surprisingly well.  It was supposed to finish after season 5, however, and sometimes I wonder how it would have been if we had never witnessed season 6, 7 or the upcoming 8.  At the same time, these are great stories with strong characters and naturally we want to see what happens to them.  But gone are the enticing Winchesters of season 1 and while they always promise those boys will return, I just don’t see how.
The cliffhangers keep me watching, but I’m also intrigued to know where else the Winchester boys can go from here.  Reading titbits about season 8 also keeps me watching – I’ve read some spoilers and I need to see how we get there.  I’m using this as a learning experience; where can you take your characters when they’ve hit rock bottom?
Are you a Supernaturalfan?  How are you feeling about season 7 and the Winchesters?
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