Oh brother, bring on more of the evil spirits
Supernatural 8.30pm, Ten
DEMI Moore has a lot to answer for. As Molly in the 1990 chick flick blockbuster Ghost, her enormous tear- filled eyes, her convincing emotionalism and her mostly dead husband, Sam ( Patrick Swayze), made the afterlife a doddle, a brisk walk in the park. That is, after you’ve settled your scores and bumped off your murderer. ‘‘ The love goes on,’’ Sam tells Molly as he disappears, finally, into a white light more blinding than the one Steven Spielberg used at the end of 1975’ s Close Encounters of the Third Kind.
Without Ghost and its puerile black- and- white morality ( the good go benevolently up to the light, but the bad are dragged kicking and screaming down through the ground by hellish black figures), we may not have had to endure Jennifer Love Hewitt in Ghost Whisperer , The Sixth Sense , and tonight’s especially spooky treat, Supernatural .
Yes, yes, I know. Ghosts go back farther than that. Two generations ago there were treats such as Noel Coward’s Blithe Spirit ( 1941), and we could look all the way back to Shakespeare, who loved a good spook ( as when Banquo appears to Macbeth) and wasn’t above the supernatural himself: ‘‘ Is this a dagger which I see before me?’’
Back in the 21st century, we are stuck with the ludicrous adventures of brothers Dean and Sam Winchester ( Jensen Ackles and Jared Padalecki), who travel across the US looking for their missing father, battling evil spirits along the way.
The Winchester boys’ problem is genetic, and mirrors Sam’s in Ghost. Ever since they were boys their dad was obsessed with finding the evil forces that murdered his wife. What chance did they have?
This unlikely premise has endured to a third season, due in no small measure to the charismatic performances of the boys. ( We love brother sagas. What other reason would there be for Prison Break to endure?)
And, as with Ghost, which had a larger- than- life character in the form of Whoopi Goldberg for comic relief, Supernatural is not without levity.
Sam: ‘‘ So, burning the body didn’t do anything?’’ Dean: ‘‘ Sure it did, now it’s pissed!’’
On it goes, through a landscape much like the one populated by people suffering from schizophrenia. The brothers see, hear and destroy things others aren’t even aware of. In tonight’s episode, they deal with vampires, wrestle demons, and confront spirits and ogres of every hue and creed.
Supernatural is essentially a road movie in which every day is a new town with a new set of spooks. And the boys are rescuers who frequently free people from eternal suffering. Saints, then, not supernatural sinners.
Sibling chivalry: Jensen Ackles, left, and Jared Padalecki