If anyone goes into fandoms, there is one fandom that always seems to pop up on the internet. It was also the fandom that first drew me into fandom studies. A fandom that has a gif for everything (no, really they do) and more ship pairings between the 4 central characters than even seems possible. Yes, of course, I’m writing about Supernatural.
The SPN fandom is too big for one column alone and so, here, I’ll be focusing more on an overview. Supernatural premiered on September 13th, 2005. It is now in its 11th season and, while some fans have defected due to what are reasonable complaints about the direction of the show, it retains an extremely vocal and large fan-base.
The essential premise is that two brothers (Sam and Dean Winchester) follow in their father’s footsteps: Hunting Things. Saving People. The Family Business. The things they hunt (and save people from) are demons and monsters straight out of folklore and mythology. One of the aspects that most drew me into the show was their use of these myths and stories: often staying true to the lore itself and to the feel of story-telling. The show, especially in its early seasons, felt like a filmic version of a collection of American folklore from women in white to passing chupacabra references.
The show relies on the chemistry between its lead actors and the now very lived in feel of their performances. Credit is due to Jensen Ackles and Jared Padalecki, who never seem to tire in their performances of these characters. In later seasons, the boys were joined by the stellar Misha Collins and Mark Sheppard (playing the angel Castiel and the King of Hell, respectively).
But, what makes the show such a draw for fandoms? One of the biggest aspects might be the involvement that the show, its actors and creators, have with their fans. Not only are they prevalent at conventions, but they maintain active social media presences where they engage their fans daily. They also incorporate the fandom itself into the shows canon (SPN may be the only show to ever pull off the notion of books being written about the main characters that spawn conventions, cosplay, and fan fiction within the universe of the show itself). In an episode from their last season, aptly titled “Fan Fiction”, there was an even musical based off of the books in the show that were written about the events of the show. I’m not even sure of the layers in that previous sentence and I’m the one that wrote it.
So, readers, who out there is an SPN fan? Are you sticking with the show? If so, what draws you to it? If you’ve left the show in the past few seasons, what pushed you away? Let us know @lunaquarterly or @PintsNCupcakes and until next time: Keep Fannin On!