The strike-induced hiatus is killing me. It’s so bad, American Idol and Dancing With The Stars are on my TiVo. Granted, I’m only half watching with my family while doing other things, but still, the situation is now desperate. I find myself going back fondly to my season pass list, sighing in despair to see shows like Supernatural, Scrubs, Heroes, Chuck, and 24 sitting idle, with no new listings for the near future. My heart crumbles.
I first did what many other fans are doing, breaking out DVDs, watching episodes online (actually, I gave that up as soon as I saw how bad cop shows from the 1970s really are) and replaying episodes on iTunes. Even this inventory can only take you so far, but then I found another source of entertainment for my evenings.
I’ve always been casually in touch with a few online fandoms, but recently, I felt daring, my boredom pushing me toward territories unknown. I took on the harrowing task of digging deep inside an online fandom, to see what is really going on underneath the countless debates over which actor is hotter. Picking the fandom was pretty easy, for one has proven to be more active, more passionate, and more downright amusing than all the others — the Supernatural fandom.
My journey through the endless flurry of threads and URLs has been a wild ride offering hours of entertaining, and sometimes disturbing, diversion. I’m back from my nightly excursions now with notes and much information to share. This can either be a great “how to” guide, or it might end up being a cautionary tale. You get to decide which.
I already had a LiveJournal account, so I added a community, supernatural_tv, to my friends list. This is a very active community where any piece of news, online polls, questions, articles, pictures, games, fun fan diversions, and any other thing that might trigger fan discussion is posted here. These fans don’t miss a beat. These posts often supply links to other sites, along with member comments on what they think about what lies on the other side of the URL. Make sure you know what you’re clicking. I have done my best to avoid anything with the word “spoiler” in it (small tidbits about upcoming episodes that may end up giving away the surprise). I haven’t always been successful, but I’ve tried.
If there’s one thing I’ve learned since I hooked into this online fandom, if anyone includes the Winchesters in a poll, prepare to be bombarded. Kristin Dos Santos from E! Online found out the hard way in January. She put out a poll telling online users to vote for the best show of the season, and promised she would cover that show in her upcoming columns. Her choices included a long list of all the top shows on the major networks and also included the CW shows. Supernatural ended up emerging victorious with 29%, while One Tree Hill came in second with 28%. After that, no show came close. Kristin responded by removing these two shows from the poll and relisting it, calling these two very active fan bases for these low rated shows “motivated”. The resulting backlash in the comments and from email was brutal. The underlying message? Don’t mess with the fandoms!
There’s plenty of fun stuff for the fan girls. I got a notice of a new poll yesterday on TV Guide, the Sexiest Stars of 2008. They actually had a category for sexiest brothers, and listed Sam and Dean Winchester. That’s a sure fire way to get traffic to the site. They were winning by 80%, but now the ridiculously wide margin has shrunk to 71%. That’ll spark a rally, I’m sure. Also, the CW source set up a hottie bracket, putting Sam in one bracket and Dean in another against other CW heartthrobs. It was no surprise that the final ended up being Sam vs. Dean, and they even had to include a third option for those of us who couldn’t decide between the two. I appreciated that greatly. How wrong is it that I actually considered voting?