I dunno about you guys, but a lot of times when I can’t fall asleep, I end up wandering through AO3, hoping to find a fun fic that can make my thoughts stop chasing themselves around my head and settle down. It’s like storytime when you were a kid, except with more porn. Generally this technique works out for me, because I’ll give anything a try at least once, and sometimes this technique doesn’t work out for me, because… I’ll give anything a try at least once. However, even my laissez-faire approach to fanfic consumption took pause when, at three a.m., digging through the bookmarks of someone I’d never heard of before, I found a Supernatural fanfic advertising itself as a Dean/Cas romcom with a good portion of it in all caps. Now, I gave up on SPN a good while ago, but I did ship these two pretty hard back in the day, and well, I missed them. And it was three a.m. So I decided to give it a try. And as it turns out? I’m really glad I did.
Supernatural is back with a bang… well, more of a whimper. Even though I haven’t been Supernatural’s biggest fan in the last few seasons, I still thought the premiere would be exciting, somewhere under all the misogyny and white characters. But the premiere ended up raising more questions than it answered, and not in a plotty way, either. Spoilers after the jump!
Watch out, world. In just one short week, Supernatural will be returning to a television or computer near you for its tenth season. “But how?!” I hear you saying. “How did they get a tenth season?!”
Nobody knows how. They probably made a deal.
Queer representation is not a sneaky thing. It doesn’t creep up like a ninja, and it doesn’t hide behind equivocation. If something has queer representation, it’s because it includes a queer character who at some point has audibly and unambiguously expressed romantic or sexual interest in the same gender. Anything else is speculation. Hell, even Word of God is tricky—JKR may have said that Dumbledore is gay, but anyone who just reads the books and doesn’t bother to dig up an interview from ten years ago will have no idea.
I bring this up because of a recent trend I’ve seen in fandom, where all sorts of interactions and statements that don’t fit the above criteria are being held up as proof of a queer pairing’s now-canon status. Continue reading
One of my favorite types of fanfiction is the fix-it fic, which takes an upsetting plot point from the source material and twists it into a happy ending. And out of all the series I’ve watched or read, the one that forces me to turn to fix-it fic most often is, without a doubt, Supernatural. Save maybe only Torchwood, the Supernatural series is meaner to its characters than any other show I can think of, and its writers often leave the audience with depressing or unsatisfying conclusions as far as supporting or minor character arcs are concerned. In short, Supernatural‘s storylines are ripe for the picking when it comes to ideas for fix-it fic.
Author orange_8_hands’s Second Generation Roll Call series is an interesting sort of fix-it fic, in part because this kind of fic generally tends to provide a fluffy, happy ending to a canonically upsetting scene. This story instead takes the stories of Claire Novak and Ben Braeden, Castiel and Dean’s kids-but-not-really, and rewrites their conclusions to be more realistic in terms of Supernatural‘s canon. And as any Supernatural fan knows, if you’re in any way connected to Cas or the Winchesters, there are no happy endings.
Let’s just get into it, shall we? Spoilers after the jump.
Lal: “I am gender neuter. Inadequate.”
Data: “That is why you must choose a gender, Lal, to complete your appearance.”
Oh, Star Trek, you are one of those shows that consistently disappoints me. This conversation from Star Trek: The Next Generation perfectly illustrates how our society tends to view gender in a strict gender binary. In the episode “The Offspring”, the robot Data creates his own android progeny named Lal. He decides to create Lal gender neutral, so that Lal can choose what gender to be. It seemed like a great idea, but it quickly turned problematic when Lal declared gender neutrality “inadequate” before promptly choosing a female gender. For people who don’t fit the gender binary, this statement is wildly offensive. The message seems to be if you aren’t male or female then you are… inadequate. How fucked up is that?!
Ugh. I was really hoping this episode would be good. I hoped so hard. It turns out this episode was so atrocious that I don’t even want to review it. It was a clusterfuck on literally every front and I’m pretty sure it only scrapes by as not-the-worst-S8-ep because “Man’s Best Friend with Benefits” is still a thing that exists.
Okay, so for all that this episode was above and beyond upsetting to all of my feels ever, it was also really good. Remind me to shake Robbie Thompson’s hand if I ever meet him—he’s not written a crappy episode yet.
Well, Supernatural is back and so are my reviews. I’ll admit it I was excited for tonight’s episode. So far season eight has been excellent, but now the reviews are going to get harsher. Why?
Before the mid-season finale, I tend to give the show the benefit of the doubt. I assume that things I’m on the fence about will be fixed in the second half of the season. When things don’t appear to be headed in that direction I start to get pissed.
My current concern is Supernatural‘s female characters and the direction they’re headed.