Supernatural: The Rewatch

The first time I watched Supernatural, it was 2012 and I had just had my first baby. We were fresh home from the hospital, and all of us were sleeping on the couch because I couldn’t walk up the stairs to the bedroom, and so we watched a lot of TV while we took turns snuggling the baby. My husband put episode 1 on while I was kind of dozing, and I didn’t know what it was and really wasn’t paying attention. I honestly thought it was some corny horror movie, since he watches stuff like that sometimes. I sort of half heard some of what was going on, and then looked up at some point and there was a woman in white on the ceiling, burning. I don’t remember much after that.

Over the next week I was still on the couch, still managing a new baby, still healing and stressing over a million things. But somewhere in the fog of sleep deprivation and dirty diapers, I kept finding myself wondering why that woman was on the ceiling like that, on fire. Cheesy horror movie or no, my brain just couldn’t stop gnawing on that image. I finally had the presence of mind to ask my husband what he was watching, because I figured I was going to have to bite the bullet and watch the cheesy horror flick just to get my brain to shut up. He told me it was a show called Supernatural, which was super popular and already had seven whole seasons. And so once I was slightly more alert (but still spending lots of time on the couch for maternity leave), I started my Supernatural journey.

It’s not hard to fall in love with Supernatural. I think that much is pretty easy to agree with. I fell down the rabbit hole, HARD, which is especially important to note in this instance because this was the first sci-fi/fantasy show that I had done this with. This was before Doctor Who, before superheroes, before… everything. Supernatural was absolutely my gateway drug to sci-fi/fantasy TV fandom. I owe this show so damn much.

It’s hard to remember exactly what went through my mind during that first watch, other than “OMG THIS IS AMAZING.” Which is what I said, a lot. I remember absolutely loving the brothers, and trying to decide which one I loved best because that’s just what my brain always does (sidenote: I kept thinking that I *should* be a Sam girl, because he’s just exactly the kind of guy I always love… but it wasn’t until I was entirely caught up on the show that I was able to admit to myself that I was a Dean girl, through and through). I just loved everything about the story. The relationships, the lore, the meta-ness, the sense of humor. Just everything. The only thing I didn’t like was when the gunfire woke up the baby (I may have cursed at Sam and Dean to keep it down multiple times. I was tired.. don’t judge me). I was devastated when I was finally caught up.

I spent a few years after that trying to stay caught up week to week, but it just never worked. For me, Supernatural was a show that I binged, and watching week to week was just too hard. I needed MORE. So, because I was all over Twitter fangirling over all the sci-fi/fantasy things at this point, the major plot developments were basically always spoiled for me. But I found I enjoyed Supernatural best when I could binge an entire half season/season.

I rewatched the show again in its entirety five years later, when I had another baby. Sam and Dean’s gunfire was again loud, and again startled the baby, but I fell into the world just as hard as I had before. I loved revisiting old episodes, seeing the storylines in a new light, now that I knew what was coming. And just being pleasantly surprised to re-see things I’d seen before, but forgotten, because of the sheer VOLUME of Supernatural episodes that exist.

So here we are almost two years later, and I’m again rewatching the show. Just because I feel like it, I guess? I’ve been watching this season (14) week to week because it’s brilliant, and just recently finished my dissertation which was STRONGLY influenced by the Supernatural fandom, so I guess I just have had the show on the brain. But for some reason, watching it this time is just… different. Maybe it’s because I don’t have the recent physical trauma of childbirth plus the new baby haze, but… some of these storylines are just hitting me directly in my soul. While I loved the show before, deeply, I felt like I was watching things happen to other people, and enjoying it in that way. In this rewatch, suddenly the things that the boys are going through are not a far stretch from things that I’m thinking, feeling, or experiencing myself. It’s all the more powerful due to it being so unexpected.

With 14 seasons of awesomeness, there are about a billion avenues, emotions, and themes I would love to dig into and explore, despite knowing that others have probably explored them all well, and in depth. Hopefully I’ll get the chance to do some of that, if for no other reason than to help me process and play with some of my own emotional reactions and do some self-reflection. But in the meantime, I’ll just sit back and try to draw as much strength as I can from this trio of men, knowing that if they can do their best, even when their best somewhat consistently ends with them making a mess, and yet still be regarded as the best, and are still loved fiercely… maybe I can be brave and do my best, too.

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