If you missed the first part of our SPN DePaul interviews, check out the post here

On May 9-11, DePaul University in Chicago hosted an academic conference celebrating ten years of Supernatural, welcoming attendees from all corners of fandom, including Keynote Speaker and writer on the show, Robbie Thompson. Unfortunately, Chicago is a bit out of the way for either of the Collective gals, so we asked our friends KT Torre, plus Katherine Larsen and Lynn Zubernis, the Fangasm girls, to keep us abreast of the goings-on at the conference. We sat down to ask them a few questions, and here’s part II of our SPN DePaul interview.

The CollectiveHow does the academic study of Supernatural affect the views of nonfans on the fandom?

KT Torrey: I think the biggest impact is that it makes SPN fandom visible to a much broader and more diverse body of critics. But you could argue that the creatives’ decision to introduce fandom into the show’s canon did the same thing. Taken together, I think there are lots of people outside of SPN fan culture that know of us, or about us, in a way that’s out of proportion with the size of our fandom and the number of people who watch the show.

Lynn Zubernis: Speaking about our own work in particular, I hope that it helps nonfans to understand why fans are as passionate as we are. Understanding and familiarity are the only things that make a dent in stigmatizing and prejudice, so it’s essential that the inaccurate stereotypes and misunderstandings get challenged. That’s what we tried to do with all of our books on Supernatural and fandom.

Another important outcome of the academic study of Supernatural is making the healthy and positive aspects of fandom in general, and Supernatural fandom in particular, more visible to nonfans. Fandom has traditionally been a community of activists, working to support not just other fans but humanity in general. Charity drives, involvement in social justice work, and a strong norm of giving make fandom a community very different from much of our culture. There has been both academic and mainstream media coverage of Misha Collins’ work with Random Acts and Jared Padalecki and Jensen Ackles’ ‘Always Keep Fighting’ campaign for mental health issues, which is illustrative of what fandom has always been about.

If you’re a fan of the show, you know that the academic side of the Supernatural fandom is quite strong. There have been scholarly journal articles, books and meta-discussions about Supernatural ever since the show premiered back in 2005. Fangasm: Supernatural Fangirls, written by Lynn Zubernis and Katherine Larsen, is a cult classic and has brought an air of legitimacy to the work of Supernatural scholars who love the show and work to connect it to the academic study of popular cultural, the definition of an aca-fan. On May 9-11, DePaul University in Chicago hosted an academic conference celebrating ten years of Supernatural, welcoming attendees from all corners of fandom, including Keynote Speaker and writer on the show, Robbie Thompson. Unfortunately, Chicago is a bit out of the way for either of the Collective gals, so we asked our friends KT Torrey and the Fangasm girls to keep us abreast of the goings-on at the conference. We sat down to ask them a few questions, and here’s what they had to say about SPN DePaul.

Screenshot 2014-10-15 09.49.19

Episode 10×05 or “It’s a Matter of Interpretation”

I came to the 200th episode of Supernatural from a week-long hiatus in which I had written for five straight days, or approximately 120 hours.

What was I writing? Fan fiction.

The irony is not lost on me that I completed my final major revisions of my 35,000 word DCBB fic a few hours before the episode “Fan Fiction” premiered. To say that I was a bit emotionally fraught would be to say that Alistair was ‘just a bit misunderstood.’

The 200th episode has been described as a “love letter to fans” so, without further ado, allow me to meta some meta.

A (Very) Brief Synopsis

Property of the CW
Property of the CW

Dean’s jonesing for a case. He seemingly pulls one out of thin air and convinces Sam to help him investigate the disappearance of a drama teacher at an all-girls high school. The school is putting on a play: Supernatural the Musical, a “transformative work” penned by a high school girl as an homage to Carver Edlund’s works.

Sam and Dean are not thrilled.

Turns out the goddess of epic poetry, Calliope, has a taste for the supernatural and wants to devour the writer of the play. So the show must go on, and Sam and Dean must kill a goddess to protect the girls.

Break a leg, boys.

Summer is a great time to catch up on good television. Last summer, I binge watched Supernatural and found myself in a fandom (for better or worse). A few years ago, I did the same with Dexter and True Blood, then Breaking Bad and Sons of Anarchy. My normal schedule demands I chose my weekly shows carefully, as I don’t have enough hours in my day to watch everything I want to. So each summer, I get to watch off-season shows that I missed during the rest of the year. It’s always a difficult decision, but I knew at least two shows I really wanted to see in time to catch up for their second seasons, one I was compelled to watch (I blame the Collectress) and one I just sort of fell into.

Sleepy Hollow

Sleepy Hollow Season 2 Promo cr: FOX
Sleepy Hollow Season 2 Promo cr: FOX

I started with the one show I was dying to watch; Sleepy Hollow. It is an old tale, but an American classic. This interpretation of Washington Irving’s short story is exciting, terrifying and even a little funny (Ichabod Crane cracks me up). As a close and personal Twitter acquaintance to Mr. Trollando Jones and, after seeing the #SuperSleepy antics during SPN S09, I knew this show would be worth the wait. There are only 13 episodes in the first season and I was hooked at the pilot. Each episode is fairly intense and connects to a larger narrative that audiences are not quite yet privy to. This is a show I deliberately left out of my earlier piece this summer on FOX dropping the ball on sci-fi, because I hadn’t started the season and couldn’t comment quite yet. Let me say, this is an excellent television show, complete with a diverse cast, intelligent writing, an interesting set and effects. When the network announced they planned to renew for a second season, I am not ashamed to admit I did a happy dance.

And yes, I am definitely a cheerleader for team #SuperSleepy. MAKE IT HAPPEN Robbie Thompson!

Cr: castielthedevil.tumblr.com

Episode 09×18 AKA Does Supernatural Even Have a Fourth Wall?

We’re in the final stretch. The last leg. There are only 5 episodes left in season 9 of SPN, and if last night was any indication, this finale is going to f**k with our minds. So, without any ado whatsoever, let’s talk meta.

Synopsis

The SPN Family is very…verbal, to put it mildly. We regularly trend things like #Misha4SPN10 or #AngelWarrior or #HelloCas (sometimes, without even meaning to!). We’re a dedicated group, and to say that we spend too much of our free time analyzing and contextualizing the show’s subtext is an understatement. Last night, Supernatural went meta again, this time, from the voice of one Scribe of the Lord/God-wannabe: Metatron.

The show lights up with Metatron, in a smoking jacket, sitting at a typewriter, talking about what makes a story good. We have the Word of God, the Divine Scriptwriter, giving us a lesson in Creative Writing 101. Everyone, slow clap for Robbie Thompson, who grabbed Thor’s hammer and f**king smashed that fourth wall, and, in doing so, made a brilliant commentary on the interaction between the show, the writers, and the fans. In the words of Robbie Thompson (Metatron):

Who gives a story meaning? Is it the writer? Or you? -Metatron

More on the meta of “Meta Fiction” in a minute.