A Supernatural Love Letter

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[I wrote this a year ago, but it seems fitting to commemorate Supernatural’s 200th episode.]

Last weekend was a Vegascon weekend for Supernatural and their fans. I didn’t go, living on the other side of the country, but it was still been a pretty good week if you forget that new shows don’t begin again until March 20th. Just think back on this week of hilarious gifs (my opinion – Jensen dancing and Pie) and what not (Supernatural Shake).

Yesterday, I posted a picture of Jensen and Jared, not together, but they were both laughing and it just made me smile and as I sat to write the Meg meta that I’ve been promising myself, I thought about the funny looks I get on my Facebook and at home and maybe even here and realized that this obsession, but it’s not really an obsession, it’s something else that I have for Supernatural, something that I can’t quite name, and that might seem a bit odd outside of my head, and I decided it was time to write a love letter of sorts.

Dear Supernatural,

No, not really, but as Elizabeth Barrett Browning once wrote, ‘how do I love thee? Let me count the ways.’

It really is kind of funny. Everyone has their favorite character. That’s how fandom works. I’m not sure where I stand on that, though. I love Dean and Castiel. I love the relationship between Dean and Sam. I loved Balthazar and Gabriel. Crowley. Bobby. Death. There are not enough good things to say about Death.

And therein lays the bizarreness of Supernatural.

Angels and Lucifer, Hunters and Demons, the King of Hell and one of the Four Horsemen. And don’t forget his less pleasant brothers: War, Famine and Pestilence.

When you’re rooting for the good guys, but feeling sympathy for some of the bad guys, well, what can I say; it’s multi-dimensional. Multi-plane, too.

I was first introduced to Supernatural through Misha Collins (metaphorically speaking; I haven’t had the pleasure of any in person meetings) by my friend recruiting me for next year’s GISHWHES, which is Misha’s charity, Random Acts’ scavenger hunt. I said what I always say to him, ‘huh, yeah, okay, I guess so. What did I say yes to?’

I started watching (being sent) videos of  Misha’s antics – the tea party, the tree planting, cooking with West (his toddler son), some gag reels, the introductory clips of the Four Horsemen (yes, from the Apocalypse) and finally an entire episode: The French Mistake.

That was my final mistake if I had intended to escape the pull that I was already feelings for the actors, the characters, the car (yes! The car), and damn, Misha as Castiel makes an impressive entrance.

I think, however that it was Misha getting his throat slit, not Castiel mind you, but the actor playing himself, blood spurting, arms flailing, weeping, begging, and crying in that hideous sweater in that dirty alley. And the tweeting. By G-d, the tweeting!

I was still a little put off – I mean this show hits all of my buttons and I hesitated. It hits all of my passions also, but in this case, those passions are a little too close to the buttons that leave me curled up in the fetal position under my blankie. I would not readily admit to triggers other than water and death (small D), but this show has so many of my triggers, it’s as if the writers have infiltrated the dark recesses and corners of my mind for plotlines. Every show (especially the first two and a half seasons) would be a new shock of novel and horrifying ways to terrify me.

I still resisted, but in my own unique way.

My friend, finally fed up with my wishy-washy-I-want-to-but-I-don’t, wrote out a very specific trigger list for me, telling me which shows to skip and which shows to watch with caution and which ones I should plan on drinking with (Abandon All Hope and Death’s Door). It is one of the nicest things ever done for me.

I spent the next two weeks watching every waking hour. Constantly. I left the Netflix long enough to eat, although I think I actually lost weight and to use the bathroom. I only showered if I was leaving the house, and only left long enough most days to attend Mass and then come back to my waiting headphones.

My family was very tolerant.

Some days, though, it got really bad, like a bizarre drug trip. Every couple of hours (or every couple or three episodes), I’d get a phone call and we’d spend about half an hour discussing the ins and outs and what’s coming nexts. There’d be watching new episodes and then an analytical phone call to follow. I began to see Supernatural everywhere. I dreamed Supernatural. I saw demons in Target. Seriously, they gave me the heebie-jeebies; I finally had to walk out and take a couple of hours off from viewing. I couldn’t go back to Target for two days.

My son, instead of properly pouring the rock salt one icy morning poured it in a straight line across the door frame and not actually on the walkway. Instead of getting angry, I thanked him for keeping the ghosts out and posted a picture on my Tumblr.

I’ve loved many shows – Star Trek, Lost in Space, Remington Steele, Babylon 5, I’ve crushed on celebrities, I’ve written fan letters, I’ve gotten autographs, I’ve gone to sci-fi conventions, I’ve been weak-kneed, but Supernatural has brought something to me that I don’t recall ever having before and I have to admit: I love it. I really love it. All of it. The show, the fandom, the writing. I don’t even know where to begin.


The Characters

Trying to explain it now, it’s coming out in a jumble of fangirling nonsensical mush, but being a fan of many things, I’m pretty sure that in every show I’m attached to I could pick out one character as a favorite, one actor that I’d just love to meet, shake hands, hug, and with Supernatural, I don’t have that. If I try to name one character, I inevitably add three more. If I choose one actor, another one’s attributes come to mind and I change my mind.

I definitely identify with Dean – so many of the trials he’s gone through – the older brother, the responsibility, the stress, the taking on too much because he thinks he has to and so much more, so he might be my favorite in that regard, but I also identify with Ellen. And Bobby.

The only one who might have a shot at that elusive favorite title is Jared – he just makes me smile, always, but even then, Sam is not my favorite character although I value him as a good one even when he’s being bad, or lost. I loved his faith in Houses of the Holy. It was so much of what I was feeling in my own life with my own faith.

But somewhere along the line, I fell into this weird-to-explain-love-but-not-that-kind-of-love with Jared Padalecki. And not just him, but his wife and son too. He would scroll by on my Tumblr and I would smile. Not the kind of smile you reserve for a celebrity crush or a lustful ogling, but a genuine, why does he make me happy smile?

I still don’t know.

He just does. I can’t explain it, but it has literally relieved me of headaches, so I’m going to keep going with it and be thankful that he’s such a nice guy. (And Gen, too.)

So while Sam isn’t my favorite, Jared probably is for that simple reason. He and Gen make me smile.  They are my real life OTP!

Even saying that, though I feel pangs of guilt for the rest. (Especially Mark Shepherd who I adored from Doctor Who and Firefly.)

There truly is not one actor on this show that I don’t like. There is not one bad character. Oh, there are evil characters, but they are all so important to the plot and the story, with their own idiosyncrasies and mannerisms, each bringing their own, and so nuanced you can’t help but at the very least, respect them.

I hated Meg when she started! I really wanted her to get her comeuppance. But Rachel Miner’s portrayal is so good; I’ve changed my feelings for her. I want her to stay. Which means she might die on Wednesday, but don’t blame me. I’d like to see redemption for her (but not a romance with Castiel), although I don’t believe that she wants it, so we’ll never get that.

Crowley.

Words fail me. Snarky bastard. He’s just a beautiful snarky bastard.

Bobby is also a snarky bastard, but he has much more love in him than Crowley. The two of them together should have their own spin-off. Bobby is so good to those boys. His death was the hardest for me to take, and I cried for Rufus and Ellen and Jo, but Bobby really did me in.

I loved how Jo changed and matured as we got to see more of her. I was sad that we couldn’t see more of her. And Ash. Oh, poor Ash.

Gabriel.

Balthazar.

Every time I write something nice about someone, I think of someone else who I’m forgetting.


Episodes

I can’t even name a favorite show because it’s usurped by another one in the next breath. Yellow Fever. Mystery Spot. Changing Channels. Lazarus Rising. LINDA BLAIR AS A GUEST STAR!!! I love that sort of thing!

I was warned about season 1 and season 6 as not being as good as the rest. I still loved them. It may have been my soap opera-y, television background of watching anything that I still loved the stories that they told. The monsters scared the crap out of me.

In that time, it was fantastic to watch Sam and Dean grow so much as characters, and then watch them fall and fail, pick themselves up and watch them continue growing, and it not matter that it was the last chance for each other, it never was.

I love the idea of a home base and the Bat Cave is perfect for them.


Puns, Family and Acting

There are never too many puns for me. There are more puns in a single episode than an entire Weird Al album. I get the pop culture references, and I adore them. I did not mind the decapitation season or the dick jokes. In fact, my favorite line is Gabriel’s in Hammer of the Gods: “Lucifer, you’re my brother and I love you; but you are a great big bag of dicks.” That is one of the greatest summaries for Supernatural.

Wait, hear me out.

It’s about family and love and telling it like it is no matter how much it hurts. And it’s funny. Damn, it’s funny.

Everyone face-acts, but especially Jensen and Jared. Did you see Jensen up against the wall in Remember the Titans?

After watching several shows, I started watching convention footage that was sent to me, and seeing the cast interact in real life was just great. I’ve never seen anything like it. They are like a real family. And they look like they’re having so much fun.

I’ve been thinking most of this for a while. I watched Misha’s son cook, I looked up his wife’s doctoral dissertation (so happy it’s going to be a book), I smile every time I see Jared’s wedding pictures, and there’s this picture of Jensen and his wife that looks like a photo booth that tugs at my heartstrings.

But seeing the pictures and hearing the quotes and watching the videos (coming so soon after the Harlem Shake video), really seeing how relaxed Jensen was in Vegascon. I’ve never seen him this calm and happy and joking his way through the convention, and it’s a reminder of how much these guys are a real family and it makes me happy-happy to be involved in a show and a fandom like this.

I’m watching all the shows, I’m re-watching all the shows, I’m writing meta and fan fic, I’m toying with the idea of a convention and I’m already signed up (against my will, but not really) for GISHWHES in the fall. I’m also toying with the idea of doing crafty things, which is really not really me.

I’m excited. I haven’t been this excited about something in a long time. I’ve been creative. I’m infatuated and preoccupied. I’m writing again. I’m passionate about it.

And every time I see a Padalecki, I smile.

Fandom Photos

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These are not in any kind of order, but I will caption them so they can illustrate some of my fandom activity and this is just the tip of the fandom iceberg that so many of us participate in.

As you can see, these are some of the more elaborate activities that we’ve participated in over the last few years. Posting these have brought a smile to my face in that nostalgic way that reminds me of the fun, and is excited for the next adventure in fandom!

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This is my phone lock screen in honor of season 10.

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Our Doctor Who premiere dinner. Scottish food for the Scottish Doctor (and actor Peter Capaldi). Series 8, Fall, 2014

 

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My drawing symbolizing all of the Reboot Doctors (Nine, Ten, Eleven and Twelve)

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Fangirls Night Out at the local comic store

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GISHWHES participation, 2014. Item # 147

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My desktop wallpaper on my computer. Supernatural, season 9. Men of Letters Bat Cave

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Cake on fire

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Zombie Crawl, Denver, 2011 (or when fannish people get together). The baby is not ours. Mom wanted our picture.

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British (Welsh) tea “service” brought to me in bed

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Bison pie while watching Sweeney Todd

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Create a shrine to a CW actor. John Barrowman of Arrow. GISHWHES, 2013. Item # 73

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Sock Monkey. Synonymous with Misha Collins and GISHWHES

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Buying Jiffy Pop because the preview of the episode shows a character eating it.

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Owning (receiving as gifts) ridiculous amounts of stuff. This is a sonic screwdriver from Doctor Who. This belonged to Nine and Ten. I carry it everywhere. It’s a flashlight, and during blackouts we have this and our Green Lantern power battery to help out.

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Participating in an actor’s personal charity. This one does Random acts of kindness and promotes kindness and creativity.

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Supernatural, season 8 finale party. All-American food on a Devil’s Trap tablecloth with Classic Rock music of course!

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Traveling to Williamsburg, VA (twice) for the season 8 finale and the season 9 premiere parties of Supernatural.

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My costume for the LARP (live-action role play) prior to the season 9 premiere party of Supernatural.

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LARP – some of us in costume.

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After the LARP watching the premiere

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Formal dinner set up for the Men of Letters, 1958 – Supernatural LARP

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Party Favor for the LARP. Salt, angel feather, key to the MOL headquarters and leather engraved symbol in a diner salt shaker. Really perfect. My friend, J. made these. They were beautiful.

Quotation

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It’s because we have no other choice.

– Sam Winchester, Supernatural. Season 6, Episode 15: The French Mistake

 

I’ve chosen this quotation for three reasons. For fans of Supernatural, this is an amusing line from The French Mistake when Jared Padalecki was playing Sam Winchester who was playing Jared Padalecki. He was attempting to act, which Sam did very poorly, but it spoke volumes for Jared’s talent.

For those of you who have no idea what I’m referring to, that’s okay. The second reason I picked it because it succinctly states most of the fans in fandom. We’re in fandom because we have no other choice. Fandom has called to each of us individually and drew us into their world. However we interact in it and with it, it is a large part of our lives.

Tonight is the premiere of the 200th episode of Supernatural. It has been on television for ten seasons, premiering in 2005. This is a big deal for a TV show. Not many make this milestone. I am excited and pleased to be a part of this fandom and look forward to the rest of the season and series, however long it will be.

I started posting about fandom yesterday, but this week, I’m highlighting the appeal that fandom life has for many of us in it as well as the differences between the casual fan and the fandom fan.

I hope you enjoy it, and I look forward to your comments and insight into your own fannish lives and hobbies. All are welcome.