While Supernatural is over, the show’s legacy lives on with its ongoing prequel series The Winchesters which recently debuted on The CW. Dealing with the origins of John Winchester and Mary Campbell’s relationship (and the supernatural stints they’ve had since), The Winchesters is an interesting exercise in world-building when it comes to a horror prequel.
The show is sure to lead viewers down a rabbit hole of other such supernatural shows that balance otherworldly elements with human emotions, as well as more iconic and successful prequel series.
Lovecraft Country (2020)
Stream on HBO Max
Based on the novel of the same name by Matt Ruff, Lovecraft Country draws on the cosmic horror and quirky fiction of HP Lovecraft’s stories, as evidenced by the title. However, setting the premise in segregation-era America adds a more relevant and fresh twist to the Lovecraft pantheon, throwing in an investigative mystery angle to raise the stakes. Full of hidden details, Lovecraft Country is a fascinating – albeit short – watch for sci-fi fans.
Escape star Jonathan Majors plays the protagonist who, along with his friend and uncle, embarks on an interstate journey to find his missing father. As the mystery deepens, he must encounter both supernatural horrors and real life horrors like racist law enforcement officials. The protagonist’s quest to find his father (who disappeared under mysterious circumstances) would be relevant for viewers of The Winchesters, as the Supernatural spin-off also focuses heavily on the burden missing fathers leave on both leads.
The Originals (2013-2014)
Stream on Netflix
The first spin-off in the Vampire Diaries franchise, The Originals deals with the politics between vampires and werewolves in New Orleans, a city whose history has been rooted in the struggles of these forces for over a millennium.
Bringing back fan-favorite werewolf-vampire hybrid Klaus Mikaelson as the main man, The Originals manages to build on the melodramatic mythos of its source material while emphasizing both pre-existing and new characters. . When it comes to supernatural dramas on television, The Vampire Diaries has enthralled viewers as much as Supernatural. So, it’s pretty obvious that if audiences are currently addicted to the Supernatural prequel, they could very well switch to a Vampire Diaries spinoff as well.
Stream on VUDU
Constantine, Matt Ryan’s short-lived debut as DC Comics demon hunter John Constantine, was a new take on the character. With each episode focusing on a new paranormal case for Constantine to solve with his unorthodox means, the series also added weight to its past shortcomings.
After a failed exorcism in his youth, the alcoholic and traumatized occult detective continues to be haunted by loss while still motivated to solve his cases. This feeling of defeat as well as the motivation to continue despite all the obstacles is reminiscent of The Winchesters. As John Winchester returns defeated from the Vietnam War and investigates his father’s disappearance from his home, his responsibility to save humanity and the love he shares with the equally idealistic Mary keeps him going.
Stream on Prime Video
For centuries, hunters named Grimm have protected mankind from monsters known as Wesen. So when a homicide detective witnesses such monstrosities himself, he is convinced that he too is a Grimm.
Dubbing a police procedural and a supernatural adventure, Grimm is the perfect genre hodgepodge that fans of The Winchesters would appreciate. Adding a strong romantic angle to its plot, The Winchesters happen to charter the territories of fantasy drama alongside familiar horror fiction. With Grimm’s hero being a cop, the show also carries a gritty realism despite its fantasy elements, a balance that is also integral to the core of The Winchesters.
Stream on Hulu
First introduced in Buffy: The Vampire Slayer, the vampire Angel moves to Los Angeles in this iconic spin-off as he finds a new identity as a private detective helping the “soulless” find their souls.
While it was clear in its precursor that Angel and Buffy’s relationship isn’t stable, the 5-season spin-off doesn’t force any elements from the past and instead gives the vampire a fresh start. A supernatural classic that does justice to the derived formula, Angel is a must-have watch for fans of The Winchesters for its cult status alone.
Walker: Independence (2022-)
Stream on CW Seed
Set two centuries before the events of Walker, this recent prequel series focuses on a Boston woman’s efforts to avenge the murder of her husband and save Independence, her new town in Texas.
The heroine, Abby Walker, is said to have a descendant named Cordwell Walker, the leader of Walker’s Texas Ranger (which in itself is a reimagining of Walker, Texas Ranger). Since Supernatural ended, series lead Jared Padalecki’s biggest screen credit has been playing the title character Walker. So naturally, Supernatural fans are bound to be intrigued. But when it comes to niche viewers of The Winchesters looking for a more nuanced spin-off, then Walker: Independence would be an easy choice. Also, both shows are currently running, so they would make good companion watches.
Roswell, New Mexico (2019-2022)
Stream on Netflix
A remake of the sci-fi classic Roswell, CW’s Roswell, New Mexico finds a young woman returning to her titular hometown, rekindling her friendship with a former high school crush. However, when she discovers her alien origins, the duo must team up to prevent government plots and hateful policies against aliens.
With Jeanine Mason’s Liz Ortecho returning after more than a decade, a lot seems to have changed in town. But these very changes anchor his future adventures and add purpose to his life. While The Winchesters have their moments with characters burdened by their pasts, change also becomes a defining factor in their lives. As James Winchester himself returns from Vietnam and uncovers more mysteries back home, he realizes that a lot has changed, but there is no turning back.
Sharp Objects (2018)
Stream on HBO Max
A crime reporter struggling with her own inner demons returns to her hometown to investigate a case of missing girls. However, as she becomes more involved in the disappearances, her own troubled adolescence comes back to haunt her in this gripping psychological thriller based on Gillian Flynn’s novel.
Sharp Objects insists a lot on the notions of family, past, and on the alienation that some can feel in a small town. These are all things viewers of The Winchesters could connect with (albeit in different contexts). Moreover, the central case in Sharp Objects is also comparable to the multitude of cases that the protagonists of The Winchesters (and their successors in Supernatural) would go on to investigate.
The Haunting of Hill House (2018)
Stream on Netflix
Flipping through two timelines, The Haunting of Hill House shows how a family is forever changed after a traumatic stay in a haunted mansion, the aftermath of which can still be felt as children transition into adulthood.
Subverting familiar haunted house movie tropes, Mike Flanagan’s first Netflix miniseries (which launched his so-called “Flanaganverse” and remains the highest-rated offering to date) is a moving portrayal of human trauma and of its disastrous consequences. Instead of cheap scares, the real horror stems not only from the supernatural elements, but also from the past that grips its main characters. The Winchesters also delve deep into their characters’ pasts with John and Mary plagued by the disappearance of their fathers and the haunting secrets that lie within.
Better Call Saul (2015-2022)
Stream on Netflix
Prior to the events of Breaking Bad, Saul Goodman fought alone to become a lawyer who is unwittingly drawn into the underworld. While also humanizing his gory story, Saul eventually evolves from one of Breaking Bad’s best and funniest supporting characters to an everyday hero worthy of viewers’ empathy.
While not even remotely connected to the Winchesters in theme and story, Better Call Saul is a must-have for anyone who wants to learn more about the TV prequels. While The Winchesters takes a supporting character like John Winchester and breathes new life into his past by immersing himself in his romantic and beast-fighting pursuits, Saul Goodman’s legal and criminal adventures also elevate the character to an unexpected level. .