Supernatural

TV review by
Emily Ashby, Common Sense Media
Supernatural TV Poster Image
Terrifying guilty pleasure is iffy for sensitive teens.
Parents recommendPopular with kids

Parents say

age 13+
Based on 82 reviews

Kids say

age 13+
Based on 314 reviews

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.

Positive Messages

The series explores the strength of family bonds, as Dean and Sam’s loyalty is constantly tested by evil forces. In many cases, the heroes are forced to weigh the common good against their own devotion to each other. Demons and other evil characters have ulterior motives and use the brothers’ sense of humanity against them, forcing the guys to kill the people they’ve possessed, for instance. Throughout the show’s run, enemies have changed to include werewolves, witches, and even heaven’s angels.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Dean and Sam are hardly model heroes. They allow their loyalties to each other to put other people at risk, and both have been in league with the enemy at some point. They also lie, cheat, steal, and misrepresent themselves to gain access to people, places, and information they need to solve cases. That said, their overall intentions are good, and they’re willing to put themselves at risk to save innocent people.

Violence

Prevalent graphic violence includes fatalities by fire, gunshot, stabbing, beheading, explosions, and suicide. Some plotlines center on creatures of folklore that prey on children. Characters on both sides of the moral divide are tortured at length for information, and many are possessed by demons, infected by vampires, or killed simply because of their relationship with the Winchester brothers.

Sex

Dean especially often lusts after beautiful women, making suggestive comments about their sex appeal and how he’d like to sleep with them. In many cases, the content implies that he’s enjoyed a one-night stand with a woman, and some segments do show couples making out or rolling around in bed. Nudity is usually limited to shirtless guys or the naked backs of women.

Language

Common use of "damn," "bitch," "ass," and "hell."

Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Beer is a mainstay in the guys’ diet; when they’re not fighting monsters, they’re usually shown with a drink in hand. Characters drink wine at dinner or socially, but not to excess. 

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this thriller series is the epitome of a know-your-kid scenario. Its mature content ensures kids and tweens are out, and if your teens are sensitive to violence or the concept of the paranormal, then it’s not for them either. Excessive graphic violence is the main concern, with torture, beatings, gunfire, stabbings, beheadings, and the like portrayed as everyday occurrences for the characters. Likewise, the idea that unseen evil forces are constantly at play, threatening human existence itself, will cause some angst among all but the sturdiest viewers. Add to that the common use of strong language like "damn," "bitch," and "hell," the frequent drinking, and the characters’ (especially Dean’s) casual attitude toward sex and objectification of women, and it’s clear this one’s best for older viewers. That said, those who tune in will be treated to a well crafted series that’s as much about family bonds and raw human emotion as it is about the paranormal.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Parent of a 12 and 15 year old Written byAerynS December 31, 2011

Good for teens and a great disscusion starter

Supernatural is a show that can often be found on our TV at home. My 15 year old daughter loves this show and watches it when ever she can. My 12 year old also... Continue reading
Parent Written byRoseywater August 7, 2012

Adult Only

Do not let your children watch this! Promotes sex,violence, using and blatantly shows extremely graphic content. Women are merely objects.....need I say more?
Teen, 15 years old Written byDamon Lover July 1, 2011

rofl-iffy for 16-17?????

rofl! Iffy for 16-17??? OMD. sex-oh my gosh the ony sexual thing about this show is the words that come out of deans mouth. It implies that because of his... Continue reading
Teen, 17 years old Written byalexisemerald94 June 26, 2012

Supernatural changed my life

I've been watching this show since season two, which was airing when I was 11-12. Honestly, Supernatural changed me for the better. The mythology of the... Continue reading

What's the story?

X-Files-meets-Hardy Boys paranormal thriller SUPERNATURAL follows the lives of Sam (Jared Padalecki) and Dean Winchester (Jensen Ackles), whose extraordinary past set in motion a unique destiny that brings the guys face to face with evil in every imaginable form. When their mother died in a mysterious fire when the boys were young, their father dedicated his life to finding and destroying the demon responsible, eventually dragging his sons into the fray as well. Now they travel the country in their father’s car, hunting and killing every paranormal monster they can track, all the while searching for clues to their own unfolding destiny. As the years pass, they lose friends at the hands of countless enemies, whose faces change along with their motivations. Although they face unimaginable threats to their brotherly bond, Sam and Dean’s loyalty to each other is never tested for long, and their devotion to each other keeps them going in the face of such daunting challenges.

Is it any good?

Rooted in multicultural folklore and playing on raw human emotion, this drama is such a fan-beloved hit that its longevity has greatly exceeded creator Eric Kripke’s intended trio of seasons. Padalecki and Ackles are stellar in their roles as tortured souls Sam and Dean, each of whom wrestles with his own inner demons in addition to engaging real ones in battle. So many true-to-life issues surface in this series -- family responsibility vs. individual motivations, destiny vs. free will, the fine line between good and evil -- that astute viewers will see it’s much more than a pretty-boy drama (although the fact that the guys aren’t bad to look at is a bonus).

It’s too bad that such a smart show couldn’t be enjoyed by a general audience, but there’s just too much troubling content afoot to make this one acceptable for most teens. Violence is the main offender, since each story centers on the guys’ quest to kill some paranormal monster of sorts, and later seasons delve into the spiritual world with the introduction of some surprisingly vengeful angels. Although their intentions are always good, the guys’ lifestyle is questionable at best -- marked by credit-card fraud, heavy drinking, casual sex, and their own deals with the devil.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the series’ main theme of family loyalty. How far does Sam and Dean’s loyalty to each other go? Is this aspect of the story believable? How does their relationship compare to your own with your family?

  • Teens: Does this series stereotype any group of characters based on race or gender? How are the female characters portrayed in particular? How does this differ from females’ roles in classic horror films or shows?

  • What impression does this series give about death? How are characters’ deaths dealt with? Is this show’s violence more or less gratuitous than that in other shows or movies you’ve seen? Do you think modern allowances for violence in the media has desensitized viewers?

TV details

For kids who love sci-fi

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