Supernatural: The fandom with a relevant gif for everything. The show where nobody ever stays dead, and guest stars are more likely to return for another episode if they die than if they stay alive. The show where people actually like Satan. And, most importantly, the fandom where the Jared Padalecki Hair Appreciation Club was born.
In a Nutshell
Sam and Dean Winchester, two brothers who have literally been to Hell and back (more than once) face off against angels, demons, and anything else you could possibly dream of. Yes, even Paris Hilton. And sometimes, if we’re lucky, they even become (and / or fall in love with) some of those outlandish creatures.
Meet the Characters
The younger Winchester brother, Sam, or “Sammy,” as Dean calls him, began the show as a pre-law undergraduate senior at Stanford University. Now, ten years later, after losing everything time and time again, he has given up that youthful sparkle of optimism in favor of a more realistic approach to coping with Team Free Will’s rather unconventional reality.
The older Winchester brother, Dean has a indifferent, stereotypically badass exterior, but deep beneath that hard shell is a heart of gold that beats, above all else, for his family (and not just the blood kind, either, ya idjits). With a mountain of daddy issues to add to a tough Hunter’s life on the road, the way he’s been able to deal with the trials (both literal and
You might have heard of Misha Collin’s Castiel, but since he doesn’t make an appearance until Season 4, we are not including him yet for spoiler-y reasons.
A Brief History of Supernatural: the When, Where, and How
With its first season premiering in September of 2005, Supernatural is now on the precipice of a tenth season. In fact, the show is older than the network it airs on. Originally on the WB, it was picked up instead by the CW for its second season when the WB disbanded, and has been running there ever since.
Why It’s Awesome
Besides the inherent awesomeness of the show itself, there’s countless aspects of the culture and community surrounding the show, its cast & crew, and, most importantly, its fans that make it worth getting all wrapped up in.
One of the biggest sources of both shenanigans and good deeds in the fandom is (yep, you guessed it) the fabulous Misha Collins. Misha (Cas) actually started his own charity in 2010, called Random Acts. According to the organization’s website, its mission is as stated below:
“At Random Acts, it’s our mission to conquer the world one random act of kindness at a time. We are here to inspire acts of kindness around the world both big and small. We provide a vast network of caring people with the encouragement and support they need to change lives for the better.”
Random acts runs events all year long, from Endure for Kindness (E4K) to the Annual Melee for Kindness (AMOK), to name a few. Misha also runs a super abnosome international online scavenger hunt every August, which he has dubbed GISHWHES (the Greatest International Scavenger Hunt the World Has Ever Seen). In this week long spectacle of endurance, courage, and nonexistent self-consciousness, teams of fifteen people from all over the world complete items from a list (here’s the ones from 2011, 2012, 2013, and 2014). These items, ranging from pictures of water-sliding nuns to mud-wrestling grandparents, each have a different point value – at the end of the hunt, Misha and his crew count up all the points for each team, adding bonus points as deemed appropriate, and, after much deliberation, declaring the winning team (often after a month or more of judging). This team is then flown out to a distant location to hang out with Misha for a few days of even more abnosome adventures. See an insider’s perspective here. Misha has also initiated a whole bunch of random projects, including a cooking show starring his son, West (who is only a few years old), a parody of the TSA featuring a not-at-all-symbolic/representative Texan with a close relationship with his little brother and some severe daddy issues, and a commercial and website for his new, original brand of snake oil, called Serpessence.
Other members of the cast also have a great relationship with the show’s fans. Osric Chau (Kevin Tran), for example, is one of those cast members. He has said online that after he attended his first Supernatural convention, he made an important decision about his fandom:
“After I attended my first Supernatural convention I knew something in me had changed. My eyes opened up, and I saw how I wanted to interact with the fandom. Namely . . . I wanted to be in it. I’ve done five cons now and I can safely say that at every single one of them, there are a handful of attendees who just inspire me to do more. They get me out of the green room and give me that need to wander around way more than the staff and volunteers are comfortable with. They take the time to dress up, they make amazing artwork, they smile and do their best to spread their joy.”
In addition to a huge, and much appreciated presence in the show’s convention circuit, he has built on many of Misha’s projects, among many others, often participating in them with his fans. For example, this year he led a GISHWHES team composed of him and fourteen lucky fans, called Team Advanced Placement. In addition, he dovoted an entire afternoon of the hunt to helping other teams complete an item that required celebrity help (there were papier mache liknesses of him involved). He’s also started some fandom happenings on his own – for example, in 2014, Osric started commissioning fans to create cosplay costumes for his panels at Creation Conventions.
Most of the cast of Supernatural goes to conventions, such as the Creation Cons, all over the world every year, from JIBcon to ComicCon and more. At these events, they do panels, sign autographs, and take pictures with the fans (unfortunately, though, those last two will cost you quite a bit). At creation cons, Misha even judges the Castiel category of the costume contest. Tickets in and of themselves aren’t that expensive for these cons (it’s all the merch, photo ops, transportation, accomodations, food, and extra stuff that really adds up), so these are a great platform through which to see the cast in person and interact with them on a more personal level. Ultimately, though, it’s the fans and the culture they’ve created that make the experience of the show so amazing. Without the SPN Family, or, more aptly, Cult, the show could very well have ended several seasons ago. The fans have created such things as multiple comprehensive wikis for the show, with detailed entries for every character, episode, monster, and more, in addition to countless parody twitter accounts, including those for Demon Dean, Jared’s Hair, and, of course, Misha’s favorite – Kale. The fandom, especially the tumblr and fanfiction communities, has successfully creeped out innocent bystanders and cast alike (though Misha has generally played into it), with things such as the Mishapocalypse of 2013, among countless others.
|Show Quality||7 / 10|
|Characters||9 / 10|
|Fandom||9 / 10|
|Diversity||6 / 10|
|Drama/Comedy||10 / 10|
|Total||41 / 50|