when I say, “don’t you dare kill or otherwise take this character out of the narrative of the show” and they’re someone of a marginalized identity, i do not mean “i don’t want to see this character treated like a fully-fledged character equally at risk of the highs and lows of the story like any other and i want them to live eternally on a golden pedestal that makes them impervious to the effects of the actions of the plot and therefore a drag on the story.”
i mean, “until this character no longer bears the entire weight of the acknowledgement and representation of marginalized existence in this show, i do not want to see this singular thread terminate in tragedy like it always does.”
it is not a demand that you treat them as untouchable. it is a critique that you are still lacking. it is calling you out on having concentrated so much meaning and significance in one single character that you have made them too important to function properly like any other character in the narrative, and it is asking you to acknowledge this deficiency and not make it worse by also having them end like so many of their tragic predecessors have.
Create more of them to displace that weight youve assigned these individual characters, unhobble them from this iceberg-below-the-water existence, make them (plural them!!) part of the foreground and background, on the protagonist and antagonist sides, small parts and recurring characters - make diversity not some stale, recycled one-note effort you lazily check off the box for, but a conscious effort in including pervasive variety in your story, so that these characters can each become a fuller part of the narrative and have the equal opportunity to be impacted, positively or negatively, by the drama of the story.
When i say, “don’t you dare kill this character,” the real thing im saying is, “dear god, do better.”
The Ten Types of Supernatural Episode: an Illustrated Guide.
1. The Generic:
This is the kind of episode fandom veterans fondly refer to as “Old School Supernatural.” Features a 70s rock soundtrack, a classic (yet in hindsight, relatively nonthreatening) ghost or monster, comically bad special effects, and body horror. Probably from season one.
Examples: “Wendigo,” “Bloody Mary,” “Bugs.”
2. The Classic:
Not to be confused with the Generic, the Classic is the kind of episode that everybody remembers and everybody loves. It’s infinitely quotable, carefully toes the line between hilarious and absurd, and is still frequently blogged about even if it came out 7+ years ago. Almost definitely features Gabriel.
Once you see this episode, you will never be the same. Whether it introduces a beloved character, kills them, or raises them from the dead, the Life Changer is the episode that either sends you into a downward spiral of unhealthy obsession, or merely accelerates it.
Examples: “Lazarus Rising,” “Abandon All Hope,” “Lucifer Rising.”
4. The Black Comedy:
Though much of Supernatural revolves around a unique cocktail of horror and humor, the Black Comedy is almost impossible to miss. From famine-induced cannibalism, to a would-be antichrist, to a killer pagan Santa Clause, the humor of these episodes is darker than Batman’s worst nightmares and probably at least twice as depressing, yet manages to be oddly magical all the same.
Examples: “Yellow Fever,” “My Bloody Valentine,” “A Very Supernatural Christmas.”
5. The Crack Fic:
These are the episodes whose only real purpose is to make you wonder if Supernatural is some kind of elaborate fever dream. Neither advance the plot nor provide much further insight into its characters, but still entertaining in terms of pure absurdity.
Examples: “Man’s Best Friend with Benefits,” “It’s a Dog Dean Afternoon,” most of season seven.
6. The WELL-WRITTEN Crack Fic:
Despite having the same brand surreal absurdity of the Crack Fic, the WELL-WRITTEN Crack Fic not only serves to further character development, but will also tug at your heartstrings, make you laugh, and very likely make you cry.
Some shows break the fourth wall, but this one comes at it with a sledgehammer. From directly addressing the fandom and its terminology to the show itself, the Meta Fiction episode is usually surprisingly enjoyable and well-done, if you can get past the sheer mindfuck of it.
Examples: “Fanfiction,” “The French Mistake,” “Don’t Call me Shurley.”
8. The Tearjerker:
This one specializes in one thing and one thing only, and that is emotionally destroying you. May disguise itself as other kinds of episodes, like the Crack Fic and the Meta Fiction, before swiftly and efficiently moving in for the kill.
Examples: “the Rapture,” “After School Special,” “the Man Who Would be King.”
9. The Tragedy Porn:
Do you enjoy watching your favorite characters suffer and die horribly for no particular reason? No? Well in that case, you picked the wrong show, my friend. From the heart wrenching pain of Dean being forced to kick a newly-human Cas out of the bunker, to the soul-destroying injustices that were Kevin and Charlie, the Tragedy Porn is an episode that exists for no other reason than to make you want to crawl into a hole and die.
Examples: “I’m No Angel,” “Dark Dynasty,” “Rock and a Hard Place.”
10. The Grand Finale:
The Tearjerker, made ten times worse with the addition of “Carry on my Wayward Son” and a cliffhanger ending. Specializes in metaphorically ripping your heart out, making you sob like a pre-adolescent girl, and psyching you up for the next season, no matter how emotionally exhausted you may already be.
Examples: “No Rest For the Wicked,” “The Man Who Knew Too Much,” “Swan Song.”
The Ten Types of Fans on Tumblr, as told by Supernatural Characters:
1. The Becky
Generic unhinged fangirl. Has zero concept of socially acceptable behavior, is probably a multi-shipper, and is okay with the concept of sibling incest. Posts nothing but surprisingly well-written erotic fanfiction, and might legitimately have a member of the cast tied up in their basement.
2. The Gabriel
Posts nothing but memes and crack edits. Will find a way to make even the most heartbreaking scene seem comical and ridiculous, and you will love/hate them for it.
3. The Castiel
This person is an innocent in a world of shell-shocked Tumblr veterans. Is generally well-mannered and respectful, despite having to put up with a lot of bullshit from everyone else. Doesn’t get sexual innuendos, and thinks shipping has something to do with boats.
4. The Ambriel
Appears cute and innocent, but is also sort of ignorant and occasionally says something super offensive without even realizing it. Is probably fourteen or younger. Will not last long on this site.
5. The Sam
Will honest-to-God post a ten chapter essay on why his OTP should be canon. Comes up with the bizarrely good headcanons, edits, and theories. Ships Destiel like crazy. Is obviously smart, and probably went to an ivy league college. You will wonder why they’re not doing something more productive with their life.
6. The Crowley
Not to be mistaken with the Sam, this person is at least ten times smarter than everyone else, but more of a jerk about it. They will complain about everything, from poor writing, to continuity errors, to drama within the fandom.
They also probably post a lot of porn.
7. The Charlie
Posts the most adorable fanart, reblogs all your stuff, and sends you a *hugs!* in response to sad posts. Generally someone you just really want to hang out with, and probably has the best multi-fandom blog you’ve ever seen.
8. The Metatron
Is generally the worst in every regard. Obnoxious, disrespectful, doesn’t tag spoilers, and will try to convince you that your favorite characters are straight.
9. The Bobby
Legit oldest and most experienced person in the fandom. Has lived through all the drama, and has probably met the entire cast on multiple occasions. Should be treated with the utmost respect and reverence at all times.
10. The Dean
Is just completely obsessed with Destiel. Does things on Tumblr that they would never admit to in real life. Posts nothing but erotic Castiel fanart, fanfiction (both fluff and smut), and bisexual pride posters.
It starts with “Dad’s on a hunting trip and he hasn’t been home in a few days”, and then, you become part of the adventures of two brothers, a fallen angel, a grumpy old man and a car, getting to know the people that become part of their lives, from The Roadhouse, a badass nerd, a phophet and to the wayward girls. And suddenly, you become the invisible passenger of the Impala, and you fall in love with the show, the characters and the cast. And even though the show breaks your heart, it brings you an incredible joy, because for a moment, this show and these characters make you forget about the terrible aspects of your life and it makes you go on even when you don’t feel like it. You find a place where you finally belong, a place where there are more people like you and for once, life doesn’t seem so scary anymore. And yeah, these characters don’t exist, and I will probably never meet the amazing cast of this show because I’m broke, or the people I met on the internet thanks to this show, but it’s still there. I’m part of this and we have built this. And the best of all is that I found my family. Happy Supernatural day.