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Supernatural: The Complete Third Season

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2007-2008

A pair of investigators crosses the country looking into occurrences of the paranormal and unexplained. As one character says, " Sounds a little X-Files to me."

 "Supernatural" indeed is. It may not have existed without that influence, but it's enjoyable in its own right, and the best example of small-screen horror since "¦ well, since Mulder and Scully called its quits.

The show's third season "? collected on five discs "? finds brothers Sam (Jared Padalecki)  and Dean Winchester (Jensen Ackles) in a rather precarious spot, trying to save Dean from dying due to a deal made with the devil "? a situation that plays out over all 16 episodes, although many shows are stand-alones.

Standouts there include "Mystery Spot," where a small-town funhouse results in Sam reliving his sibling's death over and over, "Groundhog Day"-style, until he can find an out. "Bedtime Stories" has fun with Grimm's fairy tale characters, and "A Very Supernatural Christmas" provides holiday fear with the introduction of "Anti-Claus."

But the best is the self-reflexive "Ghostfacers!," which parodies all the cable reality series like "Paranormal State" and "Ghost Hunters" with an inept crew spending the night in a reputed haunted house. Humor turns to horror once Sam and Dean also show up.

Other episodes involve the seven deadly sins, a book club of witches, a ghost ship and assorted demons. Speaking of, Katie Cassidy ("Black Christmas") provides some girl power as a friendly demon who befriends the boys. Although quality can vary wildly, "Supernatural" is frightful fun.

"?Rod Lott

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