When you first began this whole “meta” experiment, I applauded you. I thought the premise of “The Monster at the End of This Show” was brilliant: there’s this hack writer (who turns out to be a prophet) who has written The Dean and Sam Story into a series of books. Each book written by the prophet is an episode of Supernatural. And the books have “fans” who just happen to closely resemble the actual fans of Supernatural the TV show. You poked fun at us but you also poked fun at yourselves, so it was okay (although some fans didn’t like it). You even publicized the existence of Wincest. Okay, fine. I thought it was bold and ground breaking. And “The French Mistake”, last season, was thoroughly brilliant.

But then there was Becky. You wrote a slash fan into your own canon. And even though I was initially offended by her, I forgave you eventually because I still think that you were doing something kind of inventive and groundbreaking. I tried to believe that you didn’t mean to offend me by making the only known representation of a slash fan on television into a ridiculous, over-sexed girl/woman with no sense of boundaries.

Then, in last Friday’s episode, you went too far. I don’t know how or why you thought it would be a good idea to make a good portion of your viewing audience believe that you have nothing but contempt for us. I understand that once you’ve become known for your meta episodes you have to keep trying to push the boundaries, but this?

Yeah, Becky is back. This time she gives Sam a supernatural roofie, basically tricking him into marrying her. When he figures it out, she hits him over the head with a waffle iron and ties him to her bed.  She persists in trying to get him to like her even after this.  She nearly sells her soul in exchange for his love.  She is literally presented as a loser in life, desperate to prove to the shallow, popular folk from her high school days that she is good enough to marry a hot guy. She is depicted as quasi-delusional, criminal and pathetic.

How offended am I? Let me count the ways.

One. Let’s get something on the table here. You don’t know slash, Supernatural. (You don’t even particularly understand fans, apparently, but that’s for another point). We do not write slash because we can’t have Sam-Dean-Cas-Kirk-Spock-whomever in our bed. This is a much more complicated fantasy. We are not hanging about or showing up at conventions out of the vain hope that maybe, just maybe, we’ll run into our boy at the bar and it will be love at first sight and a whirlwind wedding.

Two. We are not a bunch of desperate single virgins. Yes, some of us are single. Some of us are not. Some of us are heterosexual, and some of us are queer. Many of us have satisfying sex lives, and yes, our slashy fantasies may play a part in that, but this makes us not much different from ninety-nine percent of people in the world. How many people out there are totally, absolutely satisfied with heteronormative gender and sexual orientation? How many people manage without fantasies? Please, show me these imaginary “normal” people.

Three. We are not losers. I am certainly not a loser, and the women I know who are into slash are not losers. We have careers and we have a life outside of our fandom. We are interested in social and political causes. We have other interests. We even have social skills.

Four. If we learned that the apocalypse was unleashed (yeah, I’m going back to a Season Five Becky gripe) we would be concerned. We would not persist in our little sex fantasy while other people ran around doing real, important things like saving lives.

Five, and this is a big one. We can and do respect boundaries. Indeed, boundaries are extremely important to us. How else could we function in this world that considers our harmless fantasies as evidence that we are mentally and emotionally unbalanced? We would never hurt our love objects. We would not violate their privacy. We would certainly not kidnap them.

I am so very, very disappointed in you, Supernatural, because you have perpetuated the classic old stereotype of the fan: unbalanced, delusional, apt to cross over into dangerous behaviour at the slimmest pretext. This is especially disappointing from you because you had led me to believe that you understand fandom. I know that your creator, Eric Kripke, is a fanboy. I am pretty sure that your current showrunner, Sera Gamble, is a fangirl. And whatever criticisms I may have had, I had persisted until last Friday in thinking of the previous “meta” episodes as love letters to us. You were playful and knowing. Or at least I thought so. Now it seems that you have absolutely no understanding of fans, even though some of you ARE fans. Don’t you realize that as a fan, you are a victim of prejudice? Well, you just perpetuated that prejudice by mindlessly revisiting the tired old image of the fan as dangerously obsessed loner.

You may think that this is me being wanky and reactionary.  It is not.  I have been the most equable of fans. I like when you change things up. I loved the Season Five conclusion. I enjoyed Season Six. I loved Soulless Sam. I thought what you did with Cas was great and that his removal from the narrative early this season was a good decision. I thought Season Seven started off with a real bang. Even after the introduction of Becky at the opening of Season Five, I still watched the show eagerly. I forgave you for the first two Becky episodes.

But this, now. I don’t know if I can forgive this, and it breaks my heart.

[META] Dear Supernatural
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7 thoughts on “[META] Dear Supernatural

  • 14/11/2011 at 19:49
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    Preach it!

  • 14/11/2011 at 20:02
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    Thank you so much for writing this. It’s exactly how many fans feel.

    • 15/11/2011 at 00:38
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      You are welcome! I am planning on sending a letter.

  • 14/11/2011 at 20:19
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    Thank you, yes, exactly! I am always leery when producers try to channel fans. Your post only convinces me further that the bridge between us is too wide to ever leap over, and although in a way that makes me sad, in another way, it just further brightens the line between producer and fan. I am tired of being pathologized, and of explaining my desires. SPN isn’t just talking to us, you know; it’s reinforcing the existing stereotype, and it’s made all the worse by its now being a betrayal.

    • 15/11/2011 at 00:40
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      It really is a betrayal, isn’t it? Because we were led to believe that they did understand.

  • 15/11/2011 at 01:25
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    More confusing was perhaps Sera Gamble saying in interviews that she thought fans would love this. I’m not certain what she sees in this episode to love – reinforced stereotypes or issues of violence and sexual consent? More than last year’s “The French Mistake,” this read to me like the collision of RPS and real life as a site of panic.

    Perhaps the good news is that this means more fodder for academic essays.

    • 16/11/2011 at 00:57
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      Yes, I guess on the positive side this will keep us busy writing for a while.
      I loved the French Mistake. But I can’t figure how she thought we would love this. Do you by any chance have a link? I would like to reference this in the letter I’m working on.

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