SUPERNATURAL or HOW A TV SHOW CAN SAVE LIVES

Don’t think I don’t see you out there, rolling your eyes at me. You think I’m exaggerating. You think I’m being overdramatic. And, well, I really can’t blame you for it. I myself, had I not seen it with my own eyes, would probably be sailing on this boat alongside all of you.

Life, as it often does, made sure to show me otherwise by turning to crap some years ago. This is not the subject of this post and you might already know this if you’ve read my stuff before, but I was “blessed” with Multiple Sclerosis.

What’s the correlation with television? Bare with me, it’s a good story, I promise. And why am I choosing to speak of this now? Because Season 14 of Supernatural starts TOMORROW, October 11, 2018. 14 seasons, for this type of show? It’s unheard of.

I should tell you, though, that if you’re not up to date with Season 13, there might be a whole lot of spoilers in this post. I did separate this post in sections, and the one called “ABOUT THE SHOW” should be easily avoidable. I know I HATE spoilers, so I can totally understand if you won’t want to read them.

Before you start, I have to tell you it’s going to be quite long. What can I say, I have a LOT to say about this thing. I mean… there’s a lot going on with that show, would you like it or not. Except I’m a nice person and I will help you read what you want without having to bother about the rest.

There are four distinct sections to this post. One is about ME, how the Supernatural TV Series relates to me. You could decide to read it, or not. Which is why, at the beginning of each section, you’ll have links to the other sections so you can jump forward without having to scroll.

See how I take care of you? No need to thank me, it’s my pleasure!

ABOUT ME

IF YOU WANT TO SKIP AHEAD, CLICK BELOW.
ABOUT THE FANDOM  •  ABOUT THE SHOW  •  CONCLUSION

Yup, that’s me… with Jensen Ackles and Misha Collins. Took that picture last spring at my first ever convention (of anything) in Montreal.

What you’re about to read is all about ME. And how I relate to the show Supernatural. Why? Because it’s MY blog, that’s why. And, well, aren’t you curious to know what drove me to be obsessed* with this show? Or where the title of the post came from?

* Only using this word because you’re thinking it anyway. 

First things first: How did I come to watch the show Supernatural? That’s an easy one, it was my brother who told me about it. What I don’t remember is if I went and watched it immediately of if I just said “yeah yeah” and forgot about it.

What I (kind of) know is how my first encounter with the Winchester Brothers didn’t go so well. Don’t know what episode it was, but I think it was in the earlier seasons. I did not fall in love right on the spot. What I don’t know is why, or when, I started watching the show for real.

It was probably around seasons three or four, and then I went back and watched from the start. I was kind of hooked, but never in the way I am now. You see, I used to watch a LOT of television. That, and movies, and I was insatiable, quite literally.

Shit hit the fan around season seven, maybe early eight. The fan of my personal life, that is. I became almost too tired to function, had some kind of burn out, stopped watching television altogether except for that one show. I guess it was the type of entertainment I needed at the time. You know, a bit like oatmeal, easy to swallow without having to chew much.

I was too tired to watch TV on a regular basis. Which should have been enough of a clue that I wasn’t doing all that well. The only show that I kept watching was Supernatural, and I really can’t explain why. Again… easy to watch… that’s until you get so emotionally invested that it causes you stress, but that’s beside the point.

During that 8th season, a whole lot happened to me. Two burnout type things, plus that super-duper diagnosis I told you about earlier: Multiple Sclerosis.

My second “burnout” happened after I got the news, so maybe it had nothing (or little) to do with work. Doesn’t matter, I felt just as crappy and fatigued as the first time it happened. And then, Season 8 ended. I had lost my buoy, the only thing that prevented me from going berserk. That’s how it felt at the time, anyway.

Again, I imagine you may be thinking I’m being overly dramatic and am, maybe, a tiny bit crazy. You know what? Maybe I am, but at least I’m still here. Because, well… although I’ve never truly believed I wanted to harm myself, I sort of wished at times that “something” would happen.

Something that, maybe, I wouldn’t get away from; a car accident, a violent tumble down the stairs, a lost bullet. (Okay, I live in a French Canadian suburb, so that last one’s not likely to happen. Except I did have a neighbor up until recently that owned guns and liked to use them, so it COULD have happened.)

I wasn’t in my right mind at that time. Still, I had the urge to not lose the little that made me happy. Which is how I was introduced to the concept of fandoms, and most specifically the SPN Family.

Yeah, it gave itself the moniker “family”, because that’s what the show is mostly about. One could argue it’s about monsters and all sorts of supernatural stuff, but family truly is at the core of its story. I mean, the brothers are dangerously co-dependent, it’s ridiculous. So, logically, the fandom became the SPN Family.

It’s also how I found out about fan fiction. I had become so attached to the story and characters that I plunged in that sea of new stories head first. For a whole summer, I spent most of my days reading (there were a lot of them even back then) in order to scratch that unrelenting itch I had.

And if I’m to tell you the truth, what I also craved were stories about two of the characters I thought should share a romantic arc. Many, from the very start, wished (or believed) the brothers would get together. Romantically, that is. And even though I’ve seen some movies where incest kind of “worked” in the story, I myself couldn’t get behind it in that very instance. Just be thankful I am deciding not to waste your time by explaining why that is.

No, my own “ship” (short for relationship) was and still is between one of the brothers, Dean Winchester (played by Jensen Ackles), and their angel pal, Castiel (portrayed by Misha Collins). That’s a sexless entity, in canon, inhabiting a male vessel. And before you go and say I’m just being “trendy” or something, I swear that if the vessel had been female and the exact same things would have happened between them, I would have shipped them just as hard. 

This being said, I doubt it’ll ever happen, for many reasons. Doesn’t matter that I’ve always found the idea beautiful and realistic. Again, I won’t go into my own psyche to explain why that is. Maybe someday, but not right now. All I know is that the lack of resolution on that part is the trigger that made me fall so deep into that universe.

Since then, this show became my favorite. Before that, the only television series that made be this excited had been Buffy the Vampire Slayer. So, clearly, I like shows with monsters and stuff. Not all of them, though. I mean, I eventually watched Teen Wolf, which wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be, but there’s no way I’m ever watching Vampire Diaries.

I mean, I have standards and romantic vampires are NOT my thing!

At all!

ABOUT THE FANDOM

IF YOU WANT TO SKIP AHEAD, CLICK BELOW.
ABOUT THE SHOW  •  CONCLUSION

Little artworks made by me to be signed by the cast at the convention.
At least, I didn’t steal that image anywhere now, did I?

Along with my adhering to the fandom, I gained more than a new hobby: I gained friends. I’m mostly talking about Internet-based friendships, but I’ve made “real friends” too. Friends that I’ve met out there, in the real world. Not to say they’re not all real friendships, but you know what I mean, right?

It’s not the first time the Internet grants me with great friends. It’s happened before, around 2003 when I joined a website dedicated to a French Canadian reality TV show, Star Académie, because I knew one of the participants. Came for the show, stayed for the people. Some of which are still my dearest friends to this day. So, I say fandoms can’t be all bad, can they?

I’m not talking about those particular friends here. Mostly because they couldn’t care less about Supernatural. They have no interest whatsoever, and yes, I’m okay with that. I don’t love them any less because of it! And, well, I’m pretty confident it’s the same for them.

Compared to other fandoms, I would believe that the one for Supernatural is on the smaller side, but what it lacks in numbers, it gains in passion. And, well, sometimes some fans can be a little too passionate for my taste.

Remember the title of this post? How a show can “save lives”? I don’t know what about this particular series causes this, but there seems to be an overwhelming amount of fans that once dealt (or are still dealing) with emotional and/or mental issues. I haven’t talked to everyone, of course, but I’ve read many accounts of people expressing exactly that.

I wish I could compare with other fandoms, but I can’t. Even that band I “worship”, I’m not really into any fandom-like situations. I love them, but I don’t feel the need to share with other fans about it all. All of this to say that maybe it’s a normal thing, people latching onto whatever they can in order to stay afloat.

Would it be normal or not, the cast have been responding to that in very personal ways over the years. Not only has Jared Padalecki (who plays Sam Winchester) shared about his own struggles, but him and other cast members launched diverse campaigns in collaboration with Stands to raise money for diverse causes. Often enough, it will be about mental health issues.

I guess it helps that Misha started his own charitable organization, Random Acts, years ago. Not saying he’s the sole reason behind it all, but he might be a good influence nonetheless. That, and the fans feeling the need to share about their own issues, which I believe contributed very much to him and Jensen collaborating in starting up the Crisis Support Network. Which went hand in hand with Jared’s own Always Keep Fighting campaign.

There would be a lot more to say about it all, but I’ll need to talk about the show at some point. All I wanted to point out was how, even though some aspects of fandom life can seem awkward at times for those who know nothing about it, that this one has also done some good stuff. I’m not blind, there are assholes in all walks of life, and fandoms are no different, but it’s not the core of it. Far from it.

Not only are most fans very responsive to any charitable events the cast members put out there, even Jared’s and Jensen’s wives, actresses Genevieve Padalecki (Ruby 2.0 on Supernatural) and Danneel Ackles (One Tree Hill and also Anael in S13 ofSuperntural) are Random Acts’ board members, while Rachel Miner (Meg Masters 2.0 on Supernatural) acts as executive director.

Most of its cast, the same cluster that shows up for most of the conventions, does the best it can to spread kindness and positivity. Something I do adhere to wholeheartedly. I only wish I could do more, would it be by giving time or money. Seeing how going to the store for groceries can make me too tired to function, I kind of lack in the energy department. So, for now, I participate in fundraisings when I can.

ABOUT THE SHOW

IF YOU WANT TO SKIP AHEAD, CLICK BELOW.
 CONCLUSION

Jared Padalecki, Misha Collins, Jensen Ackles.
Source

Let me try and be concise, something I clearly can’t ever do ( I mean, did you see how long this post is already? And the show has THIRTEEN SEASONS)

Ahem…

In short, the show follows two brothers, Sam and Dean Winchester (portrayed respectively by Jared Padalecki and Jensen Ackles) as they drive around hunting supernatural creatures. But why do they do this?

The setup is this: When they were kids, “something” killed their mother Mary (Samantha Smith), which prompts their father John (Jeffrey Dean Morgan – yes, yes, Negan from The Walking Dead) to roam the Earth to find what did it and exact his revenge.

We jump forward about twenty years later, when Dean visits his younger brother Sam in Stanford to tell him their dad was “hunting and hasn’t been home in a few days”. He convinces Sam to go look for him, all the while insisting that he has to be back a couple of days later for an important school interview.

After eliminating a supernatural threat and failing to find their father, the brothers go their separate ways again, but not for long. Sam has just gotten home that he finds his girlfriend pinned to the ceiling and about to catch on fire, the same way his mother was killed when he was just a baby.

Dean had known something was afoot and is right there when it happens, pulling his little brother out of the burning room. Like his father before him, Sam will vow to avenge his girlfriend and go back to hunting. For the whole first season, they hunt monsters as they look for their father. They eventually are reunited with him, but it sadly won’t last all that long.

Season 2 starts with a dying Dean, leaving John to sacrifice himself so his son will live by selling his soul to the very demon he’d been hunting, the one who took his wife from him. Now, many years later, I can assure you that self-sacrifice is a recurrent theme. As is dying. And being possessed. And… hum… dying! Which is kind of okay, seeing as most of them eventually come back.

Most of them… but not all. Except now, with the introduction of “alternate universes” and a way to jump from one to the other during Season 13, we were treated to some beloved characters coming back when we thought it would never happen. So that’s good!

If we lost a beloved character on the last episode of Season 12 (Crowley, the King of Hell we loved to hate, played by Mark Sheppard), we were introduced to a new one. By the end of the first episode of season 13, most of us had fallen in love with Jack (Alexander Calvert), Lucifer’s son, a nephilim born from a human mother (Courtney Ford). It doesn’t matter that he was just born, he went and made himself older in order to survive.

Anyway, all that dying and sacrificing, I’d say it’s all John Winchester’s fault. He was the first one to have the brilliant idea to sacrifice himself. Then Dean did the same, selling his own soul so Sam can be resuscitated at the end of Season 2. Season 3 will be spent trying to find a way to get Dean out of his demon deal, without success. And of course, while they do that, they hunt all sorts of monsters; vampires, werewolves, wendigos, ghosts, and whatever else is out there causing trouble.

If season 3 ends with Dean getting chewed up by hellhounds, season 4 starts with him crawling out of his grave. One could think that his brother made a deal to save him, but he didn’t. This is how angels are introduced to the show, and it’s one called Castiel (Misha Collins) that is to thank for “raising Dean from perdition”.

Contrary to popular belief, angels aren’t nice and benevolent beings. Not in this particular series anyway. They are soldiers of Heaven and, with God being nowhere to be found, they are in charge. And very adamant to the fact that the Apocalypse should happen via the Archangels Lucifer (portrayed by Mark Pellegrino most of the time) and Michael fighting to the death. Who cares if neither Earth nor humanity will survive such an epic battle? Not the angels, apparently.

In the course of Seasons 4 and 5, we learn that the Winchester brothers are essential to said-apocalypse, Sam being Lucifer’s perfect vessel while Dean is Michael’s. Why they can’t fight in their own true form instead of having to inhabit humans, I don’t know, but I guess it wouldn’t be as interesting if they did.

These revelations bring us back to the very beginning of the show, Sam and Dean’s purposes part of the reason their mother died all those years ago. Of course, the brothers will find a way to prevent the Earth from being annihilated, but in doing so, Sam is sent down to hell along with Lucifer and Michael (inhabiting their half-brother Adam (Jake Abel)) at the end of season 5. Sam is brought back an hour later, but Dean won’t know that for another year when Season 6 starts.

Many believe that the show should have ended with Season 5. Others, like me, embraced the following ones. After 13 years, most characters have died and come back at least once, Dean being the grand winner with over 100 deaths, thanks to Richard Speight Jr’s trickster Loki (who’s actually the Archangel Gabriel in disguise) putting them in a Groundhog Day-type loop. Seems there’s a lesson for Sam in witnessing his brother dying over and over without being able to stop it.

As if anyone ever learns anything on that show! I mean, they do, but they have no problem disregarding those lessons if need be.

That is another interesting thing about this particular TV Show. Having been around for so long means the team behind it (writers, directors, etc) get to experiment a whole lot. I don’t think I’m wrong when I say that every season has its “special” episode. And more often then not, it’s hilarious.

Because it’s not always about monsters and drama and angst. There are also lighter moments, like that one episode where the brothers are flung into “TV Land” by that same trickster, having to play their parts in order to survive the game. I mean, the underlying dark theme is still prevalent, yet we get to experiment it differently when it’s shown in a “sitcom” fashion, or as they find themselves contestants in a Japanese TV Show, or when they have to advertise genital herpes medication.

They also like to slam the fourth wall down, especially in that one episode where the brothers are sent to an alternate universe, landing on the set of Supernatural. Like our universe, but not really… more like a parody, if you will. And of course, they are mistaken for Jared Padalecki and Jensen Ackles who play the parts of Sam and Dean Winchester. It’s quite entertaining to see the actors play their characters who have to play the actors playing the characters… and doing so badly. Not as migraine-inducing as it sounds, I promise.

There’s no way I can go and write in detail about every season or every episode, I’ll still be here next year. What I can say is that, if not all episodes are great, I do believe there are enough good ones to make it worth it. I mean… just this last season, they did a crossover episode with Scooby-Doo called ScoobyNatural. Most of it animated, too. How is that not entertaining?

Great things, I say!

Speaking of last season, they went back to the origin story again (in some fashion) by having an alternate Archangel Michael (Christian Keyes) cross over from an apocalyptic universe. In order for him to defeat an all too powerful Lucifer, Dean suggests that Michael uses him, making him promise to leave once he’s done.

If you know anything about anything, you won’t be surprised to learn that’s not what happens. I mean, Lucifer gets defeated, but Michael decides he doesn’t want to give his powerful vessel back. And that’s how season 13 ends, with Michael walking around wearing Dean Winchester’s meat suit.

Last frame of the last episode… that’s Michael, the Archangel, wearing Dean Winchester. Can’t wait until tomorrow to see how that goes!!!
Source

I’ve seen some spoilers for season 14 already, pics from the first episode were released, but I won’t share those. Mostly because I feel I already know too much. It’s out there, I’m sure you wouldn’t have any trouble finding it if you want to.

CONCLUSION

I won’t lie, I’m not sure what my conclusion should be. It’s not like this particular post was some kind of exercise in understanding the phenomenon. It was mostly me sharing my thoughts and impressions.

To many, this post could be a little too reminiscent of that other post from a couple of weeks ago, about me being a fan of many things. Of course, I had mentioned the show then, but I hadn’t gone into the hows and the whys.

Because, as far as I’m concerned, my appreciation of this TV show is unique (compare to all that other stuff I like, I mean). As I pointed out earlier in this post, I may be an avid fan of Coheed And Cambria (dammit! could I NOT talk about them for one post???), I just buy their albums and listen to their music. I’ll talk about them to my brother, who also likes them.

I’ll mention them every chance I get on my blog! *rolls eyes*

But seriously, I do believe in the “healing power” of the show Supernatural. As I said, maybe the same thing happens in other fandoms, I just wouldn’t know about it. I just think that, maybe, our guys go a little bit further than others in getting involved with their fans and trying to help them. As much as they can anyway.

I can’t imagine how difficult it must be to be on the receiving end of so many people being in pain and sharing their stories with them. Has to be quite hard on them, which might explain their need to help. They certainly can’t take each and every one of their fan and comfort them and listen to them, they’d certainly go crazy.

I know I would (be crazier).

Whatever anyone thinks about the show itself, I would hope that I will have made you see another side of it. Or, at the very least, another side of what fandoms mean to some people. I know that some don’t even watch the show anymore, but they’re still active in the fandom, if only to interact with friends they made along the way.

That would be me, I’m sure… even though I know I’m not about to stop watching the show. I’m in for the long run. I would HATE myself if I learned I missed something great! 

How about you? Have you experienced fandom life? Are you a part of the Family? I’d love to hear from you, about your views and opinions on the matter.

Thanks for reading, and if you like what I do, don’t hesitate to subscribe or leave a comment! 

I’ll see you again next Wednesday! Take care of yourselves!

Thanks for sharing!

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