The Messengers: In the Shadow of Supernatural

By Daley Wilhelm

            Angels? The Apocalypse? A suave Satan? The CW? Sounds like Supernatural, right?

            Wrong. The CW, home to the angel-infested show Supernatural has another new show brimming with brimstone set to premiere on April 17th. The Messengers centers around the plight of five new angels of various walks of life, from a preacher to a scientist, who are meant to stop the devil himself in order to prevent the oncoming Rapture.

            While the premise would seem original on any other network, it isn’t for the CW. For the past few seasons Supernatural has been plodding along plot lines filled with angels attempting to bring order to Earth and Heaven. In Supernatural, angels possess willing people, vessels, in order to walk the earth. This is because the Winchester brothers, the main characters, accidentally fulfilled their destiny of setting off the apocalypse. Old Testament, Revelations-type doomsday. The angels weren’t fluffy-winged and benevolent either; they were warriors with little concern over spilling blood. However, more than once, certain angels struggled with the moral qualms of possessing a person and taking them away from their families. All of these things were hinted at in The Messengers sneak peek.

            Ever since, spoiler alert, the Winchesters averted the apocalypse, Supernatural hasn’t seemed to be able to fully grasp its own concept of people and angels working together, prone to going off on tangents throughout the last two seasons especially. This makes me think that The Messengers is trying to do what Supernatural wasn’t capable of: making a concise angel-oriented plot line without getting distracted by werewolves.

            From the trailer, it’s clear the new series will heavily use biblical references and some other factors Supernatural was rife with, one of which being “angel radio.” This cheeky term was given to the earsplitting screech heard sometimes by people and understood by angels. It gave mortals insight into what only the angelic could comprehend, this sometimes meaning the future.

            I wouldn’t go as far as to say that The Messengers will be a rip-off of Supernatural, but it could easily be thought of as a spin-off.

            The problem the new show faces, is the fact that it already shares a network with another show heavily involved with angel lore and that the past season of Supernatural was filled with the flapping of angels. Angel narratives are a little less flexible than vampire stories, which audiences are more forgiving of when it comes to suspicious similarities.

            After the advent of Twilight and vampire fiction, angels were the next not-quite-human beings to take center stage of mixed up romances and battles for the safety of the world. TV seems to be catching up with the trend in the literary world with shows like The Messengers taking the place of True Blood.

            The Messengers might be able to do angels right, but it has to first crawl out of the dark-winged shadow of Supernatural first.

Check out the first look at The Messengers here: