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Doux Top Twenty! Number 1: Supernatural

Supernatural is number one of the Doux Top Twenty. Undoubtedly because it’s a huge favorite here at Doux Reviews and it has a massive numerical advantage: fifteen seasons (2005-2020).

Everyone acknowledges that fifteen is ridiculous and the show ran too long, but the ratings improved every season as viewers discovered it in reruns and streaming, the two leads kept having a good time, and The CW simply had no reason to cancel it. And unlike Smallville, I never lost my love for Supernatural, and always enjoyed reviewing it. All of it.

The show started out as monster-of-the-week horror, but early on changed its focus to the Winchester brothers themselves (Jensen Ackles and Jared Padalecki, whom the fans call “J-Squared”). The writers pushed the envelope big time while carefully sticking to the show’s established mythology – demons, angels, vampires, ghosts, witches, reapers, Death, Lucifer, God... God’s sister...

The Winchester brothers traveled all over the United States in their 1967 Impala, but also went to Heaven, Hell, Purgatory and alternate universes, traveled through time, and were trapped inside television shows. There were flashbacks to Dean and Sam as children that they had to keep recasting because the child actors grew up and had to be replaced. (My “Kid Winchesters” piece about all of the kids who played Dean and Sam is the most popular article I’ve ever written.)

I particularly loved the meta episodes that began with Dean and Sam walking into a comics shop and discovering that they were the main characters in a series of bad cult novels called “Supernatural.” Later, there was “The French Mistake,” where Dean and Sam switched bodies with their actors, giving us Jensen and Jared playing Dean and Sam playing Jensen and Jared.

There was even a terrific episode told from the point of view of their car ("Baby") and an animated Scooby-Doo crossover. A Scooby-Doo crossover, people. How can you not love a show that does that?

(My past couple of paragraphs make it sound like Supernatural is a laugh fest, but the comic episodes were the exception. A lot of the show was outright tragic, and quite a few episodes genuinely frightened me. I felt I should emphasize that, in case you were thinking of trying the show. I don't want you to get the wrong impression.)

There were terrific guest stars and several were long-running, particularly Misha Collins, Jim Beaver, Mark Sheppard, Mark Pellegrino, and Rob Benedict. They had two sets of actors as Mom and Dad. They even had Lisa Berry playing a character named Billie. I once fantasized that the Supernatural writers were aware of my reviews and named her after me. (Although I don’t actually believe that.)

"Lebanon," season 14, Samantha Smith and Jeffrey Dean Morgan
as Mary and John Winchester

While I thought their series finale was emotionally strong, I really wish they hadn’t had to curtail it because of the pandemic. There are rumors that they might do another season. If so, I’ll be there. If only, hopefully, for a real party at the Roadhouse.

Thanks to everyone who read these Top Twenty posts. I had a lot of fun putting them together. Here's where I should add that there were four other shows that were very close to making the list: Alias, True Blood, The Walking Dead, and Star Trek: The Next Generation.

Billie Doux loves good television and spends way too much time writing about it.


  1. 'No one can guarantee the actions of another.'
    — Spock, 'The Day of the Dove', Star Trek

    1. I think that if I'd done any of the Star Treks sooner, they would have made the list.

    2. It's fine. Lots of good stuff on that list. A few shows I'll probably add to my own list now that I've seen the overviews!

      (Star Trek is still number one for me, though! :) )

  2. This was what I was expecting for #1 especially as we got closer and closer. I contributed to a Supernatural fan site and the fans were/are totally devoted and earn the fan part of fanatical. The show really did what few shows do, stay pretty strong for 15 years. I'm glad that this is number 1. Carry On My Wayward Supernatural!

  3. !!!!WOOOOO!!!! I thought NomadUK actually knew rather than guessed/hoped that it was one of the Star Treks, so what a welcome surprise. We did it wayward sisters!!!

  4. At the beginning, I guessed this would be number three or number four, but I understand why it is number one. I loved the early seasons of it, but never did get around to finishing it. Other than the finale which made me sob. I never hear Carry On that I don't think of this show.

    Congratulations, Billie. This was a fun countdown filled with surprises as well as some great memories. Thanks for doing it.

  5. I suppose this show gets a boost by having approximately 137 seasons so a lot more episodes to click on ;)

    I’ve never seen it, and I know it’s one that I would have loved at the time, but somehow I completely whiffed on this one.

  6. I hear all those who thought Buffy should be number 1. But it could only ever have been Supernatural. Comment/post calculations aside, Supernatural is THE show. Even when it made perceived mis steps, it didn't matter. I would say to other fans, wherever Supernatural goes... I'm going to follow it. Among so many wonderful episodes for various reasons, for me, Season 10's Fan Fiction is probably perfection. Everything about that episode encapsulates what makes this show great: its own self awareness, playing with that self awareness, its respect for the fans, its inclusion of the fans (it knew what it meant to fans and what fans meant to it)... the ability and decision to reach out and make us part of their canon... genius. And then... Chuck at the end? The icing on the cake. I had my own fantasy of how I would have liked Supernatural to end. Crowley would have been brought back somehow. He and Castiel would have been in the back seat of Baby... and the final shot would have been Sam and Dean checking the trunk, and then our point of view from inside Baby's trunk as the boys closed the trunk. Black screen. But as I said up top, however they decided to end it was up to them and fine by me.

  7. I watched Supernatural for way to big of a portion of my life. Yet, I don't even remotely regret it, as one of the shows I still consider fondly, and frequently think about returning to rewatch. Even doing just a first five dive feels like a lot, but I honestly miss the boys. I miss Cas and Bobby. That finale did make me sob, and it was mildly disappointing to not get to see everyone, but they were there, we were told they were there. That's all that really matters. I hope we get another season, but if we don't, we'll always have Baby.

  8. I somehow managed to forget that Billie had reviewed this show, and so I was completely mystified about what would take the number one spot. I'd also thought of the Star Treks!

    I didn't watch all of SPN, but I watched a lot of it, and I really do like so much of it. Your point about the funny episodes is spot-on, too. I'm glad they didn't do too many, because that would spoil the fun.

  9. This top 20 list has been a fun walk down memory lane! Carry on my Wayward sons.

  10. Two brothers traveling America, saving people, hunting things, often saving the world despite their apocalyptic family drama. It was basically two shows I already enjoyed (The X-Files and Buffy: The Vampire Slayer) rolled into one, along with two actors I'd grown to like from other shows (JP: Gilmore Girls, JA: Smallville). Supernatural was a show I got deeply invested in, but one I eventually had to walk away from.

    I do give them credit for (generally) maintaining the level of quality in terms of the writing/plotting. They always sold it well, but I just gradually lost interest after S5... which is to say I stuck with it for about five and a half more seasons before deciding to move on. You are right, though: while the scary/dramatic moments are often very well executed, it's the comedic elements that really endeared me to this show.


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