WARNING-THIS ARTICLE CONTAINS SOME OBSCURE SPOILERS
In 2005, when I first met Sam and Dean Winchester, I was twelve years old. I remember thinking both of them were cute, but I had a particular liking for the rugged, demanding, older Dean. I was entranced with the storyline at once. Terrified of all things that could potentially go bump in the night, I found solace knowing that if such things existed in our world, maybe there was a Sam and a Dean (and a John, at the time) to stop them from getting to people like me. I had always been scared of that kind of stuff, but it thrilled me to imagine a world where humans were so strong that they could overpower anything that came at them. Sam and Dean were ordinary. They simply had training from a young age and a steady hand when it came to firearms. It was like taking gymnastics lessons; the things your body could potentially do if you had the right tools and training was fascinating to me. I don’t want to sound like one of those loony people who thinks their favorite show is a reality. I know that things like wendigos and djinns don’t exist. That didn’t stop me from indulging in such fantastical storylines when I watched Supernatural. It was like I could live in another world for a little bit. A world in which simple people were the strongest beings that existed in that realm.
As I grew up, I remained a Dean Girl and kept up regularly with the show. I wasn’t an avid WB/CW watcher and I also couldn’t stand the idea of having to wait a week to find out what would happen next on my favorite show. What I could do was wait until it came out on DVD boxset, before I knew that pirating sites and the like existed. As the years went by and I grew older and more teenage-like, I would try to talk to my friends about the show, raving about the addition of angels and other interesting biblical elements to the series, freaking out that Chuck’s (a prophet of the Lord) guardian angel was the Archangel Michael. Michael. No one really understood, though. My friends thought it was weird that I didn’t watch Gossip Girl or Jersey Shore or The Secret Life of the American Teenager. I thought it was weird that they could be into shows that didn’t educate them on real life folklore and magic.
Supernatural wasn’t some bullshit show that fried your brain. It took intelligence and heart to watch a show with references to the folklore of obscure cultures and understand the intricate plotlines involving various magical creatures. It took intellect to realize the cleverness of the showrunners to take a dying show and revive it using the Bible. What I learned from Supernatural is the fun kind of knowledge, not the stuff I’ll need to know per se but the kind of stuff that will make me interesting to someone that wants to know how to correctly kill a vampire or werewolf (cut its head off, silver to the heart, respectively). It’s the stuff for people who learn for the sake of learning. Despite the weird looks I got from everyone my age when I talked about the show, I remained and remain a die-hard fan because I realized that Supernatural has given me more than what Make It or Break It or Keeping Up with the Kardashians could give me (a hearty appreciation for classic rock and the ability to cry at the start of Carry On My Wayward Son).
Once I was old enough to realize that the actors who play Sam and Dean were married in real life and having children (Congrats Jensen!), and also that I wouldn’t want to date someone as dysfunctionally co-dependent as Sam or Dean, but mostly Dean, I fell out of love with the leading men as my potential soulmates and fell into love with what they stood for: bravery, loyalty, and above all human willpower. No matter what type of monster Sam or Dean faced, whether it was the devil himself or the mother of all monsters, angels or demons, even Death with a capital D, they outwitted it or killed it or trapped it in a cage forever and it was all to save the human race. It was all for us. What did they owe the human race? Their few interactions with non-hunters, especially those they were trying to save from imminent doom, garnered them threats of physical violence or calls to the cops and I can’t even count the number of times people actually got, more like tried to get, physical. The point is, Sam and Dean didn’t owe the human race anything. They are the two most selfless people that have ever existed in fictional television. Sam and Dean proved to me, and millions, let’s be real, thousands, of their viewers what it means to be human. That in the face of all that is ordinary and plain in this world, human will remains the strongest thing that exists in our realm.