TL;DR: Two brothers road-trip across the United States in search of their missing father, but get sidetracked by ghosts, monsters, and their own personal demons along the way.
The first season of a show is always a little rough. It’s still tottering around on shaky baby legs, trying to solidify and find direction. Supernatural is no different: the first season is, rather plainly, a very CW show: male-model-type leads, network-television-worthy special effects. The promo tagline was “Scary Just Got Sexy”. You gotta look past that.
Our main characters are Sam and Dean Winchester, two genetically blessed brothers who have a bit of a shady background: they are “hunters”, as the show refers to them, of all things – well, supernatural. Ghosts, demons, vampires, werewolves; the whole shebang. Our intrepid boys – and their missing father John, who is the catalyst here – travel around the Midwest United States, putting down things that go bump in the night and living a life of skeezy motels, bad diner food, and credit card fraud. Yeah, they’re full-on criminals, but they look so pretty.
We follow Sam and Dean across the interstates in what can arguably be called the third main character: their ‘67 Chevy Impala, a veritable boat of a car that carries a supernatural arsenal in the trunk. It’s a road-show anthology: a new town and a new monster every week. There’s friction between the boys, as well as between them and their father (who does get found) in classic teen-drama style, but it quickly goes beyond that, to become a show that focuses on family bonds and the struggles that family can create. By the time the season finale rolls around, you’re invested in the emotional tangles of the characters: a fact that is emphasized by the cliffhanger ending.