It’s rare for me to find something that fully seduces and captivates me. I’ve found that as I get older, I have a markedly finite amount of patience for things I have to try to like.
When I find something that sucks me into its snare immediately, I appreciate it like a foot rub after 12 hours on my feet.
Supernatural was one of those snares. Our own fabulous Kristin McFarland told me to watch it, and I remember when I posted a Facebook status inquiring about others’ thoughts, it quickly became the highest-endorsed show anyone had recommended since Hannibal stormed the Alps with elephants (and that was even way before he got into cannibalism and Jodie Foster’s head).
The pilot sucked me in. I’ll admit to having previously thought the premise a bit thin — two brothers fighting demons and looking for Dad — sort of like Buffy with less than 50% of the X chromosomes. Admittedly, there are a few issues in that vein, but as the show progressed, I began to feel a warm regard for it, and before too long, I was sitting it down to tell it how ardently I admired and loved it.
What Supernatural accomplishes with a fervent and zealous deliberation is best exemplified in its ability to turn a humorous episode into a soul-searching exploration of its characters and their very evident humanity. Last night Spouse and I watched French Mistake (Ep 615), which is known for its über-meta hilarity — and in that episode I saw a glimpse of some of the finest acting Jared Padalecki has ever done when they’re back home, and he’s staring at a wall.
That might not sound particularly compelling, but he slaps the wall, thumps it with his hand a couple of times, and you see a dozen emotions flicker across his face. And because of that, I felt something.
That, my friends, is why I spent eight months drooling, binge watching, and ultimately saving-scrimping-pinching to be able to attend a Supernatural convention.
It’s been my first real foray into active and contemporary fandom. Buffy — my beloved Buffy — ended before I found it. All the things I loved as a kid — Fear Street, the Nightworld, X-Men, Power Rangers, Star Wars, Lord of the Rings — all of it was pre-Twitter, pre-Internet, and without any knowledge of what cons were or how to find them. I loved those things alone, from the relative sanctity and safety of my own room.
Supernatural has been, in some ways, the first fandom I found to be a home. The actors and creators feel like genuine people. When Jared hashtags #SPNfamily on Twitter, he means it.
There’s something to be treasured in getting to see a show build itself each week, in the chance to digest each episode after a thorough chewing instead of swallowing whole seasons in one bite like some kind of…Leviathan.
Is it worth it to spend money (lots of it) to fly cross-country (or cross-ocean, as many did) and see the faces of a show’s actors in person? That’s really up to you — you can be a superfan without ever having been forcibly removed from the set. The greatest thing about the experience is getting to love something together, cast and fans. And that’s what I learned this weekend.
Plus, a hug from Misha never hurt.
For me, the weekend was distinctly special. I got to meet Jared, Jensen, Misha — all of the obvious cast members. Which was really wonderful and exciting. But perhaps even cooler for me than those very brief hellos in the autograph and photo op queues was getting to spend a bit of actual time talking to Osric Chau, Travis Wester, and Felicia Day. Osric is absolutely delightful, Travis is a fellow fantasy author, and Felicia…well. Felicia is Felicia. I don’t really have words.
I also got to meet our lovely Shauna Granger in person as well as another writer I’ve known via Teh Internetz for a couple years, August McLaughlin. So as it is, these pictures…
…Mean as much or more to me as these pictures…
Most of my pictures didn’t turn out very well for the weekend…but there’s always next year. And until then, the ones above (all four of them) are the ones that really count.
Oh, and this one! Which I never would have gotten without Shauna having the chutzpah to ask for:
One of the other awesome moments of the weekend — getting to talk writing shop with Adam Glass, who has been with the show for years. *Salutes Shauna*
This week, I’m giving thanks for so much. For this show and the people who make it. For getting to meet friends in person after years of knowing them online. For getting to hear Mark Pellegrino sing Sweet Transvestite. For Osric as Rapunzel.
Would I go back? I’m already planning for next year.
Who’s with me?
PS: If you want to hear more about my weekend, I posted a vlog about it. It’s a long’un, but there’s some good stuff in there!