Is “Supernatural” the best underrated show on TV?

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By Tressa Eckermann, Senior Staff Writer

Rabid fans can turn any TV show, especially science fiction shows, into huge sensations.

Six years ago when the CW, still known as the WB, debuted “Supernatural,” it had all the making of that rabid-inducing fandom. Cool stories, great characters, amazing writing and a really cool car.

But, it never quite hit like it was supposed to and it’s never pulled in the big ratings.

“Supernatural” fans, though, are very dedicated and one could argue that we’ve kept it on the air more than once.

For the unaware, I’m going to attempt the impossible and condense six intense, densely-plotted stories into a simple summary.

“Supernatural” is the story of Dean Winchester (Jensen Ackles) and his younger brother Sam or Sammy (Jared Padlecki). They were born in Kansas, but after their mother, Mary, was murdered by a supernatural entity known as the Yellow-Eyed Demon, their father, John, turned cold and took the boys on the road.

They were raised as hunters who hunt down and kill all the things that go bump in the night. Along the way, Dean ends up in hell only to be pulled out by an angel named Castiel (Misha Collins) who has trouble understanding humans. Sam ends up addicted to demon blood, and the Winchesters start – and end – the apocalypse. They are often helped by their dedicated father figure, Bobby Singer (Jim Beaver.)

“Supernatural” just came back from a long and agonizing winter break and the boys are back to their old ways. Sam started out the new season by returning from his own trip to hell without a soul, and Dean is living with his girlfriend and her son. In the last episode before the show went on hiatus, Death did a favor for Dean and gave Sam his mangled soul back.

People who don’t watch “Supernatural” tend to think it’s just a silly show about monsters and two guys in a classic muscle car. It is, but there’s a lot more to it than that. Sure, there’s the classic music and the ’67 Impala, but on top of that, there is a sense of mystery, wicked humor and some really great thrills in every story. It’s family, though, that runs the deepest through the show’s story. Family is the most important thing to Sam and Dean, and they will give up everything for it.

The sixth season has been difficult for fans. Originally, the show was only supposed to run five seasons, but they decided to continue on without the show’s creator Eric Kripke. The season has been marked with emotional swings, from harrowing family drama to bizarre humor (including an episode dedicated to “The X-Files.”) But through all the devastating stories and tragedy throughout season six, there has been an underlying sense of humor and plots that challenge the viewer.

I’m not saying that season six is Supernatural’s best (that honor goes to season four, as fans can attest to) but there’s something really special about season six so far.

So why doesn’t it have more ratings? That’s a tough question to answer. Some people just can’t buy into the supernatural aspects of the show, others might be intimidated by the fact that over the course of six years “Supernatural” has grown a fan base that could rival shows like “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” or even “The X-Files.” Also, there is a mythology behind the stories it has created that could be daunting.

Ask any fan of “Supernatural” if you should watch the show, and you’ll get an enthusiastic ‘yes,’ followed by a stream of chatter about the show’s latest, greatest season.

And if you still have trouble after a couple of episodes? Remember the Impala gets cooler, Dean gets snarkier and the stories get more awesome. Let’s see if “Jersey Shore” is capable of that.

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