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TV Wasteland: Supernatural Returns
The CW brings back an old staple.
By Rob Vaux
October 01, 2012
Supernatural returns this week – in the face of the Presidential debates to boot – and its loyal fan base has reason to be happy. The show runners have promised a new arc to take the series into a tenth season, and while the show has slipped in quality the past few years, there’s clearly enough gas left in the tank to take it a little further down the road.
The CW – and its predecessors, UPN and The WB – quietly built up that kind of staying power in its genre staples. We rarely think of the network as anything more than a repository for dippy teen dramas, but while a few casualties like The Secret Circle litter its history, so too do Smallville, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel and Charmed. Supernatural is clearly on its way to joining those ranks, and while I’m not a great fan, The Vampire Diaries looks to have serious staying power as well.
The benefit of all these shows – beyond their innate appeal – is their skewing to youthful audiences. Each of them initially aimed at tweens and tweens, who grew up with them thanks to their long-running status and presumably branched out into other genre movies and shows along the way. Buffy has always been well-regarded, but the other shows I listed don’t always get the respect they deserve. So thanks guys – all of you – for helping genre programming find a few more fans out there.
Supernatural premieres this Wednesday at 9:00 PM EST on the CW.
Revolution (NBC, 10:00 PM EST)
Aaron and Maggie keep searching for Grace, while Miles and Charlie get taken to the rebel camp.
Alphas (Syfy, 8:00 PM EST)
Parish killed Dani… now the team has to figure out what to do about it.
Warehouse 13 (Syfy, 9:00 PM EST)
Artie’s possessed by a spirit of evil and he may have killed one of the team members in the process as the show gets ready to go on midseason hiatus.
Night of the Living Dead (IFC, 8:00 PM EST)
The original, black-and-white, accept-no-substitutes George A. Romero classic hits IFC. Absolutely not to be missed.
Terminator 2: Judgment Day (AMC, 8:00 PM EST)
Shrinking wallflower James Cameron launched Arnold Schwarzenegger into the highest echelons of movie stardom with his terrific sequel to the equally brilliant original.
The Matrix Revolutions (Cinemax, 10:00 PM EST)
Because part threes are always the best entries in a trilogy! Oh, wait…
Star Wars: A New Hope (Spike, 8:00 PM EST)
Greedo shoots first here. Fairly warned thee be says I.
Face Off (Syfy, 9:00 PM EST)
The contestants take on monster make-up… but with a twist! Thanks for keeping us filled in on the details, Syfy.
Hot Set (Syfy, 10:00 PM EST)
The title is “Android Bordello,” so expect some smoking hot fembot action for this one.
Creepshow (IFC, 8:00 PM EST)
IFC’s sticking with Romero. Good call, especially with this wonderful homage to E.C. Comics.
Saw 2 (IFC, 10:30 PM EST)
I’d say pass on it, but it’s not like this franchise gets any better with age.
The Fifth Element (AMC, 8:00 PM EST)
After Looper, I’m willing to forgive Bruce Willis on this one.
The Running Man (Cinemax, 6:45 PM EST)
There’s a truly great dystopic science fiction movie here. Just not one that involves Arnold Schwarzenegger in any way.
Final Destination 5 (Cinemax, 8:30 PM EST)
I kind of liked it. So sue me.
Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian (FMC, 8:00 PM EST and 10:30 PM EST)
Amy Adams, what did we say? What did we do?
The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers and The Return of the King (Starz, 5:50 PM EST and 9:00 PM EST)
If you can get past the lack of an opening chapter, this makes for a pretty sweet evening.
Taken (FX, 8:00 PM EST)
The sequel’s going to blow dead monkeys, isn’t it?
Supernatural (The CW, 9:00 PM EST)
The CW slaps the face of the Presidential debates by premiering season eight of its long-standing horror series on the same night. See the top of the article for more.
Ghost Hunters (Syfy, 9:00 PM EST)
There’s not a lot to go on here, just the title: “Ghostly Refuge.”
Paranormal Witness (Syfy, 10:00 PM EST)
Ditto here, though they apparently investigate an alien abduction.
Batman Begins (FMC, 8:00 PM EST)
Mr. Nolan seems to have the right touch with this particular pop culture icon, doesn’t he?
The Mystery of the Wax Museum (TCM, 8:00 PM EST)
This 1933 classic about a mad museum owner who turns his victims into wax statues served as the basis for countless similar films that followed (including the brilliant Vincent Price shocker House of Wax).
Doctor X (TCM, 9:30 PM EST)
Fay Wray stars in this one, about a reporter investigating a series of murders.
Rise of the Planet of the Apes (HBO, 8:00 PM EST)
It’s not often one looks forward to a sequel, but the potential for this one is just through the roof.
Apollo 13 (AMC, 8:00 PM EST)
Even sliced up with commercials, Ron Howard’s story about the ill-fated Apollo 13 mission packs a punch.
My Babysitter’s a Vampire (Disney, 8:30 PM EST)
The Hitchhikers’ Guide to the Galaxy (IFC, 8:00 PM EST)
As adaptations of beloved books go, this one remains loyal and reasonably funny. We’ll chalk it up as a win and move on.
Teeth (IFC, 10:15 PM EST)
Just thank her for a lovely evening and let her out of the car. It’s better for everyone that way.
The Crazies (Spike, 7:00 PM EST)
Timothy Olyphant rescues this otherwise middling remake of the George A. Romero original, about a town infected with a form of contagious madness.
The Last House on the Left (Spike, 9:00 PM EST)
As remakes go, you could do worse… and it speaks to my worst fears about garbage disposals, so I won’t bad-mouth it.
The Big Bang Theory (CBS, 8:00 PM EST)
Jocks in space! The other astronauts keep giving Howard a hard time, while Sheldon learns something shocking about Penny and Leonard. I’m sure nothing will come from that.
Last Resort (ABC, 8:00 PM EST)
The island gets a not-so-friendly visit from the U.S. Navy… though I’m guessing those nukes make for one hell of an equalizer.
Elementary (CBS, 10:00 PM EST)
Okay, let me get this straight: CBS touts the notion of a new female Watson, hires the great Lucy Liu to play her, and while Holmes is investigating a murder, she meets an old boyfriend for dinner?! Somebody is in serious need of a beating.
Jumanji (ABC Family, 8:00 PM EST)
Joe Johnston scores a moderately successful adaptation of a classic children’s story about a supernatural board game.
An American Werewolf in Paris (Cinemax, 8:15 PM EST)
I’m not sure any sequel to An American Werewolf in London could make the grade. But to be this bad…
Resident Evil: Apocalypse (Cinemax, 10:00 PM EST)
This is the second one, which may actually be the weakest of the entire series.
Kung Fu Panda 2 (HBO, 8:00 PM EST)
Far be it from me to deny Gary Oldman a pay day, but could they have spent as much time on the script as they did on the cool steel death feathers of his character?
A Thousand Words (HBO, 9:30 PM EST)
Eddie Murphy may have finally sunk his career here, as a dad who will die if he speaks 1,000 more words.
Underworld: Awakening (Starz, 10:30 PM EST)
Geez, even Kate Beckinsale’s bored with this one.
Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country (Syfy, 6:30 PM EST)
Kirstie Alley was too expensive to come back as Saavik, which might have elevated this to the rank of Star Trek’s best. As it stands, it a decent enough farewell for the original cast; it simply lacks the punch that its political message dearly needed.
Star Trek: First Contact (Syfy, 9:00 PM EST)
This one, on the other hand, is an unquestioned high point of the Trek franchise, as the TNG crew takes on the villainous Borg.
Fringe (Fox, 9:00 PM EST)
The team continues their fight against the Observers by breaking in to Walter’s old lab at Harvard.
Grimm (NBC, 9:00 PM EST)
An old girlfriend of Monroe tries to convince him that working with Nick is hazardous to his health. Well duh!
Haven (Syfy, 10:00 PM EST)
An organ harvester sets up shop in Haven, prompting a Boston detective to pay the gang a visit.
Misery (BBC America, 9:00 PM EST)
Kathy Bates won an Oscar for her portrayal of the craziest stalker-fan ever in a terrific adaptation of the Stephen King novel.
The Last Legion (IFC, 8:00 PM EST)
It stinks to high heaven, and yet they insist on running it.
Enter the Dragon (Spike, 7:00 PM EST)
Bruce Lee is so awesome, we’ll forgive the fact that it’s on Spike.
Bedlam (BBC America, 9:00 PM EST)
The second season of the BBC’s supernatural TV show returns, as a woman who can speak with ghosts arrives in Bedlam Heights.
Close Encounters of the Third Kind (TCM, 8:00 PM EST)
Steven Spielberg made his first foray into science fiction with a modern classic that deserves to be seen as often as you can manage.
Cowboys and Aliens (HBO, 8:00 PM EST)
This one shouldn’t be seen at all, but at least Daniel Craig has three more Bond pictures to make up for it.
The Exorcist (IFC, 8:00 PM EST)
Time to give the devil his due…
The Descent (IFC, 10:45 PM EST)
Following The Exorcist is a tall order in the best of times , but Neil Marshall’s harrowing underground horror movie manages quite nicely.
Independence Day (MTV, 10:00 PM EST)
Do me a favor and keep the Executive Branch from climbing into a fighter plane next time.
Queen of the Damned (Syfy, 7:00 PM EST)
Not so good without Tom Cruise, is it?
Primal (Syfy, 9:00 PM EST)
Ever wondered why you don’t go skinny dipping in strange Australian ponds? Here’s your answer.
G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra (USA, 6:30 PM EST)
We will forgive Joseph Gordon-Levitt this one; I bet he totally geeked when he found out he was playing Cobra Commander.
Resident Evil: Afterlife (USA, 9:00 PM EST)
The fourth one has hit basic cable… and it’s not a bad couple of hours at that.
The Princess and the Frog (ABC Family, 7:00 PM EST and 9:00 PM EST)
Disney’s return to familiar territory was unjustly dismissed on its release. It holds up quite well, especially Keith David’s gleeful villain.
Once Upon a Time (ABC, 8:00 PM EST)
Regina sets her sights on regaining her magic, while David continues his search for Emma and Mary Margaret.
Dexter (Showtime, 9:00 PM EST)
Debra’s going to “fix” Dexter – good luck with that – while the police open an old case based on new evidence.
The Mummy (ABC Family, 7:00 PM EST and 9:30 PM EST)
I’m luxuriating in the old Boris Karloff version right now, but I’d be lying if I said this high-tech remake wasn’t a whole lot more fun.
A Knight’s Tale (BBC America, 7:00 PM EST)
Wherever Heath Ledger is, I imagine there’s a whole line of people waiting to pimp slap him for checking out so early.
Underworld (Cinemax, 8:00 PM EST)
No one can wear black vinyl like Kate Beckinsale… a fact for which this movie should be forever grateful.
Wrong Turn 4: Bloody Beginnings (Syfy, 9:00 PM EST)
Was the world really clamoring for a continuation of this less-than-immortal franchise? Syfy apparently thinks so.