In 2005, I’d been bombarded with wonderful commercials (remember when they advertised the show?) for the Pilot and was eagerly awaiting that first episode. I had been a Dark Shadows fan back in the Sixties and loved Buffy and Angel, so I definitely had a leaning toward horror TV shows, but I never went to the movies to see such fodder, preferring small-screen offerings. Ohâ€”and although I tried watching X-FILES, I could not get into it! I was also a huge fan of Jared Padalecki from having watched him grow up on Gilmore Girls, and was really looking forward to watching him on his own TV show.
I didn’t miss an episode of SUPERNATURAL from the Pilot on. I loved that ep! Everything from the spooky Woman in White to the search for the brothers’ mysteriously missing father and the terrible loss of Sam’s beautiful girlfriend locked me in. I wasn’t crazed, not yet, but I knew I wouldn’t want to miss an episode of this show. Actually, it took quite a while before SUPERNATURAL wrapped its tentacles around me tightly enough to seek out fandom.
The unspoiled ending of the first season, with the three Winchester men lying unconscious in the t-boned Impala as â€œBad Moon Risingâ€ blared from the car’s speakers had me sitting, staring at my TV set in absolute horror. Had the show been renewed for a second season? I had no idea! I had fallen in love with these three men, especially the handsome brothers! Was this their final fate, murdered by the demon like Mary and Jess had been?
I learned the show had been renewed, thank God, and tuned in eagerly to watch the brilliant â€œIn My Time of Dying,â€ the season-opener against which all season-openers are measured. John actually died! Had I been immersed in fandom, I would already have known that was coming, I’m sure. Since I didn’t, it was a horrible shock, and I was crying with grief for the brothers and myself. That John had sacrificed himself for Dean made it even harder to bear.
â€œBorn Under a Bad Signâ€ was the episode that sent me onto the net, looking for other fans with whom I could share this incredible show. That’s where I realized how huge a following it had, and I dove in with joy, making friends, gathering photos, avatars and reading amazing fan fiction. Along with the good comes the badâ€”wank, cruel people who exclude you for no good reason, arguments over things that should just be â€œLet’s agree to disagree.â€ I was already taking anti-depressants, and I found myself having to return to my doctor to up the dosages. She suggested to me that I stay away from any sites that catered to those things that brought me down, and I took her advice to heart. It took me a while, but eventually, I was able to make SUPERNATURAL net fandom a fun place for me to visit again. The biggest problem now is avoiding getting spoiled for future eps!
One thing that still depressed me, however, was the number of fans I noticed going to Vancouver to meet Jensen and Jared. It seemed they always managed to find where they were filming and got the chance to talk to them and take photos with them during their breaks. I needed that. Suddenly, I was completely obsessed with a goal I had to have–I was going to get a picture of me with Jensen and Jared, damn it!
The question was, where? Fan conventions were iffy; the last two Jared had signed up to appear at, he’d been forced to bow out due to filming commitments.
It seemed to me, after reading details about
several fan encounters, my best bet to meet them was where they shot the show 10 months out of the year–Vancouver, Canada!Although it strained our budget, my understanding husband agreed to my purchase of a plane ticket from New York to Vancouver. I made arrangements to meet two other avid SUPERNATURAL fans in Vancouver, where we would share expenses for a hotel room and rental car.
When we weren’t hunting down Jared and Jensen on location shoots (our best bet, we figured, for a face to face encounter), we hunted down and took photos of places where they had filmed episodes of the show. Vancouver is a stunning city, filled with parks, beautiful bodies of water, teeming cities, mountainsâ€”everything a TV show needs to film a show pretending to be filming all over the USA! We even filched some dirt and stones from the very hole where Dean made his deal with the red-eyed demon to bring Sam back to life (which is actually where every deal-making scene is filmed)!
On our very last day before leaving for home, the three of us saw a dream come true. We watched SUPERNATURAL being filmed from a close-up, exciting vantage point and, to my heart-stopping glee and pleasure, had the opportunity to meet first Jared Padalecki, then, about half an hour later, Jensen Ackles! I presented each of them with gifts baskets into which I had gathered their favorite chocolate, popcorn, New York hats and t-shirts, chewies for Jared’s dogs, animal crackers for Jensen-and whatever my research told me they enjoyed. Ironically, both accepted my presents with the same comment: “It’s not my birthday!”
I felt as if it were mine, however, as I stood beside each actor for photos, smiling idiotically. Jared put an arm around me and hugged me close while the two of us discussed our rescued dogs as if we’d known each other for years. I’m grinning like a fool in all my photos, looking like my mouth’s come unhinged, but I can’t help it. When it hit me who was standing beside me, my face just lost control of itself.
Jensen accepted my praise for his wonderful performance on SUPERNATURAL with a down-to-earth humbleness that assured me success hasn’t spoiled this young man. He was worried that he smelled bad after performing his stunt, but I gripped tightly onto his waist and assured him he smelled just fine. Honestly, I don’t even remember taking a breath, so he could have smelled like a locker room after a football game and I wouldn’t have noticed. I believe I stopped breathing altogether!
Both Jensen and Jared are grateful for us, for all their fans, and as I flew home the following day, my mood much lighter, my wish fulfilled, I thought, I’m so very grateful for them, too.
On the event of their 100th show, allow me to say thanks to them and congratulations to everyone involved in putting together the best TV show ever–SUPERNATURAL!