Announcing: The “Canon-Ball” Award!
In keeping with the positive, show-loving nature of The Winchester Family Business, I propose a new and ongoing contest, with multiple possible winners. Here’s my challenge: find a show-affirming alternative to just griping about apparent inconsistencies between current stories and what you perceive as show “canon” from previous episodes. Instead of just bitching about a seeming “retcon,” find a plausible, well-reasoned explanation for how and why a seeming difference actually just builds upon and develops an earlier truth. If you can, you could be the recipient of a (non-tangible!) “Canon-Ball Award”!
There’s a long history behind this idea. Many, many years ago, in the very early days of Marvel Comics, publisher Stan Lee created the “No-Prize,” which was awarded to any reader who, upon seeing something in one of the comics that seemed to be inconsistent with either the art or the past story, came up with a plausible explanation that made the apparent error instead something that fit logically within the comics’ world. As the name implied, the “No-Prize” had no tangible form or material value, but readers nonetheless vied to earn them by being positively creative instead of angrily and dismissively critical.
I think this is something Supernatural fandom could really use right now. It’s very easy to criticize when you’re not the one responsible for bringing out a new episode on schedule and within budget week after week; not the one who has to write a script in a couple of weeks, or find locations that work, or design and build sets within a week, or quickly design and execute costume, makeup, and effects, or act within or direct the shooting and then edit all the footage to capture every possible element in the script and make it fit within an ever-growing and complex history. Fans have a lot more time to peruse and internalize details of past episodes than do the people responsible for bringing us the show. Think about it: they put in 12-plus-hour days for nine months straight to capture a single season of 22 or 23 episodes. We get to digest their work in concise, straightforwardly presented, 42-minute finished segments once each week. Who has the easier perspective?
I’m not saying criticism isn’t warranted. Hell, I’ve taken the creative team – especially the writers in their beginning-of-season planning sessions – to task in some of my reviews for decisions I thought were ill-considered, and I’ll do it again. But I’ve also always sought ways to make most things fit, too, because I do believe everyone involved with making the show wants to make the best possible product they can, and thus had reasons that seemed rational and reasonable to them for the decisions they made.
So rather than taking the easy avenue of bitching criticism, can you find a positive interpretation for one thing you dismissed as a retcon? I dare you! I double-dog dare you!
Can YOU win a Canon-Ball?
(Legal disclaimer: the Canon-Ball would not involve any actual physical award. Alas, WFB doesn’t have a tangible Ball-generator!)
The gorgeous image I’ve used for the Canon-Ball came from fan Lisa Foster Diamont; it’s a photograph of an ornament made as a present for Lisa by fan Claudia Drinovsky. My thanks to both Lisa and Claudia for letting me use their beautiful work for this fun purpose!