...It means an hour spent with the most nuanced siblings on television, Sam and Dean Winchester. It means Jensen and Jared, angels and demons, apocalypse and fan girl squeals. This is "Supernatural"'s last episode of the year. It'll be back after winter hiatus at some point in January, so you've got plenty of time if you have some catching up to do. Or, if you want to start watching, which you should. It's in it's fifth season right now, and those of you who marathoned it like I did (or are marathoning right now) know that it just keeps getting better and better. "Supernatural" is, perhaps, the most underrated show on television, if not for its instinctual, organic take on familial relationships, then for its fabulous pacing, inventive story lines (which are hard to come by, these days, in the fantasy genre), and an indescribably addictive quality that, until you watch every episode from the pilot through tonight's, will not let you rest until it's satiated. "Supernatural" will suck you in for hours at a time and then spit you back into your own reality, a little dazed, and that reality will feel increasingly dull and fabulously mundane. Then, however, in the process of your endless online searches for fan sites and blooper reels and off-camera images, and your incessant Winchester-centric tweeting, you learn that "Supernatural" fans, next to the Whedonites, are as voracious, as dedicated and unflinching as they come, and reality gets a little more exciting, because you realize you're not alone in your obsession and that, really, there's not a whole lot greater than being part of a fandom like this one.
Minor tangent on fandoms: I get so irritated with Twilighters, because they think they're so great. Well, guess what. I read the Twilight Saga, and I saw the movie, and I'm going to go see "New Moon," and yeah, I think Edward Cullen is a hottie, but there's something superficial about Twilight-mania. Don't you agree? Don't you sort of feel like, at any moment, this whole damn thing could just dissolve into the ether of pop culture phenomenon? Or get replaced by something else? Isn't that generally what happens when a fandom surrounds the novelty or the idea of a book or movie or television show rather than the actual merit of said production? The idea of Twilight and its appeal to young women is fairly simple to synthesize. Harry Potter went away, and those books were great, and then Stephenie Meyer came along and wrote a love story about a vampire,
and everybody freaked out. It doesn't matter that I (and many other like-minded women) find the subject matter of the Twilight saga to be incredibly sexual and far too mature for any wandering twelve-year-old girl. It doesn't matter that Bella Swan is a weak role model for young women, and no young woman should look up to her at all. It matters that this is something that was new, and the timing with Harry Potter, and the current revamping of vampires (re: "True Blood"), plus it's a love story, and then the movie, and Robert Pattinson, and everything collided and made Twilight mania. But, to be frank, Twilight sucks. Especially in comparison to Harry Potter. Stephenie Meyer may be able to write obsession, but she's got nothing on J.K. Rowling, who can write actual world-centric fiction. Rowling, while maybe not as gifted with prose or syntactic style, really knows how to build a world. She's kind of a genius in that way, I think, and the fandom surrounding Harry Potter, while it has lost some of its initial fervor, still remains intact. It's something that's become as much a part of our consciousness as getting on the bus in the morning and going to work. It's not a thing that I imagine will dissipate any time soon or ever, because it's brilliant. Because the books will be printed and reprinted, and we'll give them to our children to read, and they'll give them to their children, and call me crazy, but I just can't imagine for the life of me handing "Twilight" to my hypothetical daughter or son, who I would like to grow up respecting his or herself and women in general. Okay, that was a big tangent, back to "Supernatural."
ALL OF THAT SAID, the "Supernatural" fandom is so much fun to be a part of. It's actually quite unique, as far as fandoms go, and it's rooted in more than just the excitement of a moment or the next big thing. This show is actually good. Plus, the boys, Jensen and Jared, are very active with their following, holding multiple Supernatural-cons across the country, and really participating in the thing that keeps their show on the air: its fandom. It also pays a ton of respect to its fans by way of the show itself, which loves to get meta on our asses and refer to the fact that Sam and Dean are sort of a spectacle, and people love them, and the writers and actors and producers and creator Eric Kripke want to thank us for it (see episode 3.18 'The Monster at the End of this book" to get an idea of what I'm talking about, or the more recent episode "The Real Ghostbusters"). The boys are also best friends in real life, and that dynamic really shows in scene. Plus, the writers seem to know exactly what they're doing when they write these boys. There's so much authority, and the story memory is spot on (meaning: past dynamics and situations, instead of falling by the wayside, get absorbed into the consciousness of the show--this is what all great TV does--it's why "Mad Men" is so good). Plus, I say it all the time, and I'll say it again: There's nothing harder to write than siblings, and when you get them and they're done this well, it's writing (and acting) to marvel at, to stew in, to really love with your whole heart. It's not the greatest show on television by any stretch of the imagination (that's hard to do these days, because there sure is a lot of great TV), but it is great. And if you're looking for your latest obsession, look no further.
Oh, and if you are a "Supernatural" freak, like me, today's hash tags on Twitter are #Supernatural and #FindtheColt. Once per tweet, or else we'll get spammed. I think it's hilarious that the Supernatural following is so huge that Twitter has disabled #Supernatural from trending. Fun fact.