Supernatural, the TV show

My friend and I recently started watching Supernatural, a show that we had somehow never heard of even though it began in 2005!

It starts out being about two brothers who hunt ghosts and monsters and the writing is excellent. We found it to be immediately very compelling. As it has gone on, it’s morphed into a larger plot and currently (up to where we have so far watched) the Christian Apocalypse is going on.

The episode we saw this week (Episode 19 in season 5: Hammer of the Gods) it seems like they realized that the Christian Gods and Angels is not the only belief system on earth and started wondering what the other Gods were doing while this was going on.

I appreciate that sentiment.

I was willing to just watch the show with its Christian perspective and leave it at that, but at first I was excited that they were bringing up other Gods. Maybe they should have just left it.

Kali and Ganesha are present in this episode.

The premise is that the other Gods in the world are annoyed at the arrogance of the Christian side that they seem to think the world is their’s to destroy whenever they want. So they get together to plan the destruction of Lucifer. (And by get together I mean we have Hindu Gods, Norse Gods, and at least one Roman God).

So far so good. Two problems I have:

The Gods trap a bunch of humans in the hotel where they are meeting to snack on. Apparently all “pagan” Gods like to eat human flesh. I could maybe see Kali participating in such a thing, but Ganesha? Really? No way.

The bigger problem is that the show clearly favors Christianity and the way the episode plays out, it becomes clear that they believe the Christian God is stronger than the other Gods. Lucifer shows up and just straight up kills Ganesha without even having to break his stride. An angel who is stronger than a God? I don’t think so.

Nice try, Supernatural, but next time you want to try to show diversity, just don’t. You’re narrow-minded and I understand that about you, so just leave it be.

 

I’m not the only one who was upset by this: http://io9.com/5523266/a-rare-supernatural-episode-that-should-not-have-been-made

I want to know what the casting call for this looked like! “We’ve never had an Indian on our show, but we need a girl to play Kali. You interested?”

About Ambaa

Ambaa is an American woman of European ancestry who is also a practicing Hindu. She is fascinated with questions of philosophy, culture, and the meaning of life. Join her in the journey to explore how a non-Indian convert to Hinduism experiences her religion.

  • Zinia

    Well, first this is just a fantasy show. They don’t follow even all the christian myths correctly. But we don’t mind when Gabriel the archangel is portrayed as the villain in the movie ‘constantine’. Now in Supernatural canon, the god that have the bigger followers are said to have the greater power. Now obviously the christian God (as well as for muslims) have bigger power over kali and other norse and roman Gods. It’s just a theory, nothing else. And for their cannibalistic behavior, as they are pagan Gods they need human sacrifices.

    • Ambaa

      No, pagan Gods don’t necessarily need human sacrifices.

      But anyway, I’m just expressing some opinions. I find their take on Christian mythology extremely fascinating and I think they do a great job showing different ways of seeing angels and demons and their interplay.

      If you’re a Christian and that doesn’t bother you, great. If you’re a Christian and it does bother you even though you still love the show, that’s okay. You’re allowed to feel conflicted about it and you’re allowed to say so if you like. Just like I’m allowed to critique an episode that I think was done poorly in an overall excellent show.

      • Zinia

        Yes, not necessarily all pagan Gods are, but in Supernatural universe they do ( In episodes like Scarecrow, A very Supernatural Christmas or fallen idols). I’m a Muslim and in my opinion, they messed with the Trickster-Gabriel plot. I mean he’s fabulous but he’s quite blasphemous( which is okay as Loki). They wanted to give an ally and ultimately killed him [sigh].Maybe it’s valid in their eyes because they thought Gabriel is far more powerful and useful than Loki(my point). BTW I don’t mind the way they represent Raphael. And Supernatural is one of the top cult shows of all time. You always get a good response writing about it!

        • Ambaa

          :) I might have to insult them more often. Gets me pageviews! lol.

          I felt like for some of the previous “pagan God” plots it made sense, but to lump all Gods that aren’t the Biblical God into this one category just seemed very strange to me.

    • Pratheesh

      Zenia,I think as a follower of an organized religion,you lost the ability to see the world without prejudice and open mind.that’s why you are saying that pagan gods need human sacrifice.This kind of theories have been feeding to people like you since birth as prophecies from God.As a follower of Hinduism which is predominantly a vegetarian society and subject to constant evolution,I have never heard about practicing human sacrifice.could you please throw some light in this issue to get me enlightened.because i always prefer facts than mere statements.
      As a follower of islam,could you please explain the logic of killing non believers as mentioned in Quran.

  • Alison

    I am a massive Supernatural fan, but you’re right – whenever they stray from urban legends and Judeo-Christian mythology, it rarely goes well. I’ve pretty much just resigned myself to the fact that while the writers are awesome at compelling relationships, cosmology is just not their strong suit. I will say that there have been a few steps in the right direction in this current season, which I hope will continue

  • Sandesh

    hmmm… for quite a long time I had been missing on watching this series I had seen the previous seasons upto 3 if I remember correctly… thanks Ambaa I really want to watch it now especially the episode you just mentioned… I hope I do not need to watch the previous ones to get a hang of this one??

    as for what they did with the other gods hahaha I can only pity the crew whoever wrote it with his own imagination without even doing a research about other mythologies. Truly I would be hurt to see that episode but I really want to see how naive they have been about the whole thing or are they just pretending to be ehhh??

    I do not want to start a war of mythologies and religions but I expect they show some respect to the feelings of others. No one asks them to believe in what the hindus do or any others had the hindus tried it ever they wouldn’t be limited to the subcontinent hahahaha (although things like ISKCON are catching up and to be frank, me being a hindu I am myself not much comfortable with that, that’s my view though)

    anyways I will watch this one and maybe that would get them my hammer , they need not wait for the hammer of the gods :P

    • Ambaa

      It’s on Netflix so you can definitely find this episode.

  • Maya

    You really need to re-watched that episode, first of all of course they’re gonna favour the Christian apocalypse that’s the way it’s been set up, because in every show of the genre NO ONE actually did that, and because it’s about demons and angels have a lot of sense to address the Christian Apocalypse, second of all in the episode that I personally have watched a lot of times it’s been clarify that the rest of the gods have lost their powers because the people don’t worship them anymore, so they are not as powerful as they used to be and they can’t face Lucifer, and just so you know he is not just an angel, he was a archangel the most powerfull of all.

    • Ambaa

      People don’t worship Ganesha anymore? I think there’s millions of Ganesha worshipers in the world today.

  • http://currentlywriting.tumblr.com Sam

    You’ve really got it all wrong. Watch the series or don’t judge it at all. They have their own rules, if you don’t feel like watching from the beginning, don’t watch it at all.

    Lucifer is an Archangel. Angels and Archangels are much more powerful than Pagan gods, because God made it that way. In the series, the Pagan gods are actually angry that the angels “took the spotlight”.

    The show is actually quite liberal, too. The protagonists steal, lie, and sometimes even kill, to get the job (which is killing evil) done. They sleep with women they don’t know, they drink, and they change their names all for the job. Castiel (an angel) once took on the role of God (when he absorbed all the souls from Purgatory, “monster Heaven”), and said he was “indifferent” to sexual orientation.

    Dean Winchester (the protagonist) also jokes about porn constantly, and the show has had several homosexual kisses (which I’m sure you’d have a problem with, as this is a religious website).

    DO NOT JUDGE THE SHOW IF YOU HAVEN’T WATCHED IT. I swear, don’t go on Tumblr ranting about the show’s “badness” if you don’t know a damn thing about it, THE FANDOM WILL KILL YOU. THE WILL TAKE OUT A GUN AND SHOOT YOU FREAKING BRAINS OUT.

    • Ambaa

      Wow, dude. Chill.

      I’ve watched every episode up to this one. I’m very, very fond of the show. It’s well written, it’s good. I was offended by this episode alone. I will continue to watch it and enjoy it.

    • Jeramy

      Wow, so the episodes where they tangentially make fun of the super-fans of the show weren’t hyperbolic at all. You all really are crazy. Good to know …

      Also, as much playful joking as I do with Ambaa on here, she really is a dear friend to me, so please don’t threaten her.

      • Ambaa

        Thanks :)

    • Pratheesh

      “Lucifer is an Archangel. Angels and Archangels are much more powerful than Pagan gods, because God made it that way” I didn’t get what you said.angels are more powerful than pagan gods and God made it that way.so tell me who is the real God and who are all pagan Gods.a concrete explanation would be beneficial for me to understand the concept.

  • Ambaa

    I’m amazed to find that people are more up in arms and passionate about this post than my post on abortion! Incredible.

    Guys, please relax. I love the show. I will continue to watch and enjoy it. I was offended by this particular episode and I have every right to express disappointment.

  • Skittle

    I think it’s a mistake to assume that the show has a Christian perspective: it appropriates imagery and names from Christianity (especially Catholicism), but it plays fast and loose with them. God canonically is pretty absent, angels are generally nasty pieces of work, purgatory has randomly become the monster afterlife, Hell adjacent (I think the writers were really thinking of Limbo, but there we go), and so on. It would be as easy to be annoyed with the liberties the writers take with Christianity, as with their take on pagan gods.

    • Ambaa

      I’d be interested to see some posts about the ways religion and faith are played with in Supernatural. I should look, as I’m sure there’s many interesting essays on the subject.

  • Kelly

    Reading through some of the comments, I feel someone should have warned you to beware of the Supernatural fans wrath. HA! We tend to be one of the uh…let’s see…. nice way to say…. let’s go with- devoted fan bases out there. Like SUPER DEVOTED. While I agree that the show messes with the Judeo-Christian religion all the time and I’m not offended, I was a little offended by Hammer of the Gods (but I will admit most due to bad writing-Ha! Definitely should have gotten another pass.) This episode has been many list of the worst SPN episodes out of over 170. The other Gods were cliched over the top bad guys and I agree Kali, especially was too easily defeated. I think they realized they really needed to deal with the other Gods in a Apocalypse and tried to shove to much in one episode, so hardly any of it worked. They’ve had other Gods at times on the show and explained their weakened power by lack of followers, but that definitely didn’t work in this episode. S5 is one of my favorite seasons, but that is one of my least favorite episodes.

    • Ambaa

      I would consider myself a fan of the show, but I don’t know now! Maybe I wouldn’t fit in :(

      I guess what I meant by Christian basis wasn’t so much that the characters or plots are Christian, since they do really turn things on their heads, but just that it works within a Christian mythos and framework. And I’m fine with that! I go into watching it knowing that that is what I’m getting.

      • Kelly

        Ambaa, OH, I wasn’t trying to say you weren’t a fan. You can obviously be a fan and not be part of the “fandom” (my sister and her family love the show but have no desire to discuss, debate and nitpick episodes online). There are obviously all different types of SPN fans. I’ve had lovely debates about just about every topic(including the a lot of the points you brought up) and with tons of different types fans, without any rancor, you just have to pick the right site and maybe develop a very thick skin(did I mention passionate). Although I’ll admit casual watcher are two words rarely seen together when referring to SPN fans, most are quite wonderful, even the sometimes, uh, overly-enthusiastic ones. But there is a element that definitely steps over the lines at times. And unfortunately, a perfectly reasonable article like yours is tantamount to taking a bat to a wasp nest (even worse it was during a Hellatus!). You won’t get out without getting stung. If it makes you feel any better, you’re in good company. Pretty much every actor, writer and especially show runner has felt that same sting at some point. But I’m sorry your entry into the fandom was so jarring, it does reflect badly on the group as a whole. But that passion has been used for good many times over as well. It’s helped fund trips (with volunteers) to help rebuild Haiti and addition to several other charity causes. It is what kept the show on the air (it has been threatened with cancellation from s1 to 5) and gotten the show recognition, even though it is on the CW, which a lot of people have never heard of.

        I just hope it doesn’t lessen your enjoyment of the show. Because it has brought me hours of joy. But if you want to keep writing about the show I suggest Xanex or see if the other Supernatural reviewers have a support group :D On the upside it will typically get you lots of hits. So you know there’s that.

        • Ambaa

          Aw, thank you!

          I had no idea the show was threatened with cancellation. I was happy to discover it at a time when there were, what, like, seven seasons to watch?

          Very few of the episodes make me want to wax philosophical here, but that one just really jumped out at me. I think it’s great that they have also showcased the fans within the show. The plots with Chuck have been so much fun!

          • Kelly

            We’re almost at the end of the 8th. It’s been renewed for a ninth!!! And even a 10th looks very possible.YAY!! Which is practically unbelievable for this show. It has been the little show that could from the very beginning. Every year it seem very likely that this would be its last year. Several times the actors went into Hellatus without knowing if they would be coming back in the fall. But this year it was one of the first renewed.

            Maybe that sense of being constantly threatened has lead some of the fans to be a little (you know a lot) cray cray. I do want to stress the largest majority of the fans while very intense in their passion for the show, do not say horrible things to others supposedly out of love for the show or a character. But unfortunately the ones that do can be very vocal.

            But the majority are very nice, if sometimes a little weird(yes, Wincest fanfiction is real. Shudders) and so are the conventions (which I absolutely recommend you youtube when caught up with the show-they’re are freaking fabulous). And the showrunner’s and writer’s have talked about how the show’s unique relationship with its fans has enable to episode like The Monster at the End of the Book (in my top 5 episodes. So original!) and another one of my top 5 from S6 The French Mistake so there are good and bad side to having a passionate fandom.

            If they haven’t scared you off the “fandom” The Winchester Family Business is a great site. They have rules and moderators to keep people mostly in line but the posters are still very passionate. So buyer beware. But regardless happy viewing.

  • http://twitter.com/UnicornSaint Sylvia

    Awesome reply!

    Most of the comments are such christian-ethnocentric that make me sad.

    Even if I love supernatural I had to admit that there is a serious issue with racism and sexism in the series. :(

    (Ps: Ambaa, considering that you love indian culture, have you learnt sanskrit?)

    • Ambaa

      I studied Sanskrit a bit. My parents are real Sanskrit scholars. I went for learning Hindi instead!

      • http://twitter.com/UnicornSaint Sylvia

        Awesome ^-^

  • harshal

    Gods in Sanatana Dharma are not jealous like Yahweh. They are not insecure like Yahweh. They did not have their sons killed so humanity can benefit. Hanuman alone can knock Yahweh out of Yahweh’s throne. Yahweh = creation of guys tripping on LSD. Vedic Hindu Gods = primordial, ever existent. If Shiva opened his third eye, Yahweh would create another “son” to be sacrificed just to calm Shiva down. Capeesh?

    • Ambaa

      I believe that’s what I just said. Hindu Gods are more powerful than one freakin angel.


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