Recently I watched Sons Of Anarchy and by watched I mean devoured. I literally consumed it. I only stopped long enough to go to work. The minute I got home, BAM, next episode. I stayed up later than usual, got up earlier than usual, all to watch a TV show. I watched 4 seasons in 6 days. That’s 53 episodes in just under a week. Thankfully, most people I know don’t think that’s weird! Simply put, Sons Of Anarchy hit a nerve and it was that nerve that made me obsessively compulsively watch episode after episode until I had bags under my eyes and dreams filled with motorcycles and highways and hot biker boys. 

It dawned on me, that that nerve might be the very same nerve that my favourite TV show hits. That show, of course, is Supernatural. I’ve often pondered why I love Supernatural so much. What connects me to it? Why this show? What makes me want to watch it over and over, talk about it, write about it, apart from the obvious; story, writing, quality of the production and whatnot. Of course, most of it is Sam and Dean and their relationship, their love, their bond, their everything, but is it more than that? Supernatural has changed me on a cellular level. But why? Watching Sons Of Anarchy helped me clarify why. It was something I always knew I guess. It’s that damn nerve of mine. I’ve started to call it….my freedom nerve.

I was about 4 episodes into Sons Of Anarchy before I realised something, the show has very similar themes to Supernatural. It’s about family, loyalty, love and destiny versus freewill. There’s a ‘hero’ who always tries to do the right thing, even when it goes against the grain. That’d be the right thing for his family and that’d be the family he’s created around him, because in SAMCRO, family don’t end with blood either. He lives a certain lifestyle and at his core, he loves it, though he won’t admit it to himself or anyone else and so he fights it every step of the way. He pines for normality, a ‘normal’ home, getting out of the life and raising a kid, though he knows that will never be his reality, because the life that chose him, will always call him back. He wishes he could just chuck it all and run, but he won’t because he’s part bound by history, part bound by loyalty and a lot bound by love. He’s freer than most people, even though he often feels trapped. He lives a life outside of societal norms. He won’t be pushed around. He stands up for what he believes in and will fight to the death for those he cares for. Plus he’s smokin’, rides a hot motorcycle and does most everything to a classic rock sound track. Of course I’m talking about Jax Teller, but I could just as easily be talking about Dean Winchester….just swap the bike out for the Impala. 

But, but, the Sons Of Anarchy are bad and the Winchesters are good, I hear you all screaming. True. But even though they fight different battles for different reasons, a lot of where that fight comes from, a lot of why they fight is the same. Jax and Sam and Dean are archetypal heroes and they don’t want a bar of it, because great heroes never do.

It hit me like a tonne of bricks. These themes, the ones that are at the guts of Supernatural and Sons Of Anarchy, run through pretty much everything I watch. Everything. As I sat on the couch, remote in hand, Jax paused on my TV, I suddenly realised I’d been watching the same show for years. The same story, in one form or another, over and over with the same characters facing the same challenges. Heroes, people walking to the beat of their own drum. Outsiders, trying to stay true to what they believe in. Speaking their minds and living passionate lives dedicated to loyalty, family and love and most importantly, searching for some kind of meaning, some kind of connectivity in the world they find themselves forced to survive in. Yep, tonne of bricks. I laughed out loud.

My first loves, Buffy, Angel, Fox Mulder, even I guess, Agent Dale Cooper, were all individuals, outsiders, trying to live their life in a way that makes sense to them, whether through destiny, circumstance or choice. Being generally misunderstood by the masses and various authority figures, yet finding truth in the people that they connect with, as they build their own family. Finding people who do understand them. Being true to themselves…

It suddenly made a lot of sense why Supernatural means so much to me, why it’s pierced my heart and buried itself deep into my soul. Yes, sure, it’s absolutely about Sam and Dean, who they are and their story, absolutely….but it’s so much more. 

I’ve probably never been what you’d call, umm, like everyone else I know? I was a pretty rubbish student, even though I’m bright enough. I simply struggled to do what I was told. I think the word I heard a lot was stubborn. The only thing I ever cared about or excelled in was art and English. I was always the chick busted for daydreaming and doodling up the back of the class. I was always the chick that wore her uniform just a little wrong, had the wild haircuts, and crazy eyeliner. It wasn’t that I was trying to be bad or trying to stand out, good Lord no, it’s just how I was and even at 16, I guess I was being true to myself, without even knowing it. 

That gets harder the older you get don’t you think? You find yourself somehow being sucked into the expectations of family and society. You find yourself bending and conforming to become who you think you’re supposed to be. Who you think you’re supposed to be to get the job you think you’re supposed to have and live the life you think you’re supposed to live. At least I did. Some people call it maturing, but I don’t know…. It wasn’t a complete transformation, there’s always a rebel living free in my heart, but I was definitely no longer being true to myself, without even knowing it. 

Then….I started watching this show about two brothers. 

I said earlier that Supernatural changed me on a cellular level, and it did. It all started there. I’m sure of it. I just didn’t really know why. Even though I had unwittingly always been drawn to TV shows with similar themes it all started with their story. The Winchester’s story. I loved everything about it from the first moment I saw it. From the moment Dean said I can’t do this alone and Sam said yes you can and Dean said yeah, well I don’t want to…. Hook. Line. Sinker. It just grabbed me by the throat and left me gagging for more. But, not one single person I knew watched it. Not one. So I kept it to myself. I quietly watched season after season, getting more and more involved and slowly but surely getting more and more affected by the story unravelling week after week before my eyes. Something inside me started to shift. Those themes, the ones that I’d been unknowingly seeking out and which had captivated me for years, suddenly started to build some kind of connective tissue inside me.  

Then towards the end of season four, something big occurred. I discovered other fans. Holy cow! Where had they all been hiding! When that happened, the cellular transformation went into overdrive. I suddenly found a group of people who loved the show that I loved, who I could talk to about it, in detail. My secret show was now out in the open. What a relief. Not only that, these people, strangers, seemed to open their arms and accept me. They tolerated my eccentricities. They understood me with out even meeting me. They supported me and encouraged me. They let me be me, without any expectations, not one. Something in that released that little something in me that was still trapped deep down and voilà, my freedom nerve started hopping again. After that, everything sort of changed. 

Now I get why Supernatural resonates with me the way it does. It’s all my themes, the ones I didn’t even know I was watching, amped up on steroids! It’s the being true to who you are and fighting for what you believe in. It’s the family don’t end with blood and the finding people who get you thing. It’s the living by your own set of rules, the choosing free will over destiny. It’s love, it’s loyalty, it’s speaking your mind and being brave enough to be yourself…all set to a classic rock soundtrack, no seriously, you should see my iPod. Let’s face it; it’s the ultimate escapism but even escapism holds truth.

It even sounds a little nutty to me that a TV show could affect me on this level, but it did. Somehow, Supernatural, this story of these two magnificent brothers, helped me get back to being me…..

Of course the flip side of this is that now there are some people in my life who no matter how much they love me, will never quite get me. I know they try, but I know they don’t. Maybe they never did, but now it seems way more pronounced! Their bewildered looks seem way more frequent! Not only that, it’s harder to conform to the requirements of my day-to-day world, which I absolutely have to do if I want to, you know, eat! It’s harder to settle into the life I have, which ain’t at all bad I hasten to add. It’s harder not to daydream my hours away. It’s harder to do all of these things because every cell seems to urgently shimmer and every drop of blood gurgles and rushes through me making my freedom nerve twitch. Now, instead of ‘me’ being difficult to find, ‘me’ is difficult to contain! And you know what? I wouldn’t have it any other way because by rediscovering that pesky freedom nerve of mine, I’ve found a connection. I’m me again. For better or worse. And I have Supernatural and all of you, to thank for that.

A good friend of mine, who I’ve know for about 8 years, recently said to me that though I always seemed happy, now I seem like I’m who I’m supposed to be. It made me laugh. I said yeah, I feel like that too, (ok yes, we were a little drunk). She asked what’d changed. I said, well you know what, as buckets of crazy as this might sound to you…I think it was Supernatural and everything that’s come along with it. The brothers, the story, the friends, the conventions, the Js, the fans, the acceptance. She just smiled. She got it. I guess maybe my friends do get me after all…..

Why do I watch Supernatural? Because it’s who I am…. and as Ash would say, I’m cool with it.

 

Comments  

paul1ca_winchester
# paul1ca_winchester 2012-02-01 13:10
What an incredible article,superna tural learned me to never abandon or screw your family.
suzee51
# suzee51 2012-02-01 15:55
Wow! Your article really resonated with me. I have personally experienced the very same longing to have others who understand and appreciate how strongly I react to this show, and like you, know absolutely no one who is familiar with SPN. It's hard to experience the strong feelings SPN inspires yet have no one to share your thoughts & feelings with. Worse, it made me feel as if SPN had to be viewed as a "guilty pleasure" - something to be secretly treasured but never openly acknowledged. And yet other people in my sphere were constantly noticing how happy I act and asking for an explanation. But how can I tell them that I walk around giggling about the latest one liner Dean spouted in the last episode? How will they ever be able to understand that no matter where I am or what I am doing that something is bound to come up that has an SPN connection? That each day I see something or hear something that immediately pulls me right back in to the world of SPN? And even though I realize they would label me a fanatic, how could they ever understand how HAPPY this show makes me feel?

So each day I walk around hugging this secret joy to my heart and anxiously awaiting the next episode (new or rerun). No one around me understands - and that is their loss - but for me, this show has become my favorite Christmas present that I get to open over and over each new day. I know that SPN has changed my life for the better and made me a much happier person with a different outlook on everyday life. And I totally get what you mean when you say: "Supernatural made me me again." Thanks so much for this article!
sweetondean
# sweetondean 2012-02-01 16:04
Oh wow...you made me all happy-teary! Well you know we know why you're grinning on the inside...becaus e so are we!
jily4
# jily4 2012-02-01 17:14
WOW!! I wish I could write as beautifuly as you do. Your article put my thoughts and feelings on paper. I am a happier person since finding SPN. I laugh aloud many times a day because something reminds me of SPN, and Dean's one liners. I haven't gotten as involved with the SPN community as you, but I do know they are there, accepting and loving and willing to talk at any time. I feel more connected to the fandom then my real world community, which I think is a little sad, but, hey....... Anyway, thanks again for writing this article. It has made my day!!!!!
kelios
# kelios 2012-02-01 17:28
Wonderful! And so true, every bit of it. I did pretty much the same thing with SOA, everything about it just felt right.

I know what you mean about being changed by SPN on a cellular level...it's exactly how I feel. It just seems right.

Thanks for sharing your thoughts with us!
Belinda Williams
# Belinda Williams 2012-02-01 19:11
Gosh Amy you just say it so right....And I love you for it.

You caught me with Sons of Anarchy & Jax ( who is just buckets of wow on screen) & Dean (exactly the same comment).

But it is true those who don't watch Supernatural don't understand what we see & don't really get us for who we are or why we love a show so much. Even my family who do watch it, they don't really see what I see. They dont see the reviews or the funny jokes or the artwork or the fics etc.

As you know I belong to many fandoms, with many different story lines & fans but....Supernat ural is the ONLY fandom I've come across where we all get each other, & we're all cool with it.

Thank you for sharing your thoughts...alwa ys a pleasure.
Kim
# Kim 2012-02-01 21:04
I feel so much like you and have been watching Supernatural since the first episode aired, enjoying it alone. We have the same taste in shows, I am addicted to Sons and also loved Mulder when I was younger. My friend worked on the show yesterday and I am pea green with envy! What a great article, thank you.
suzee51
# suzee51 2012-02-01 21:47
PLEASE go to: celebufight.com and vote for Jensen Ackles. We need your help!
ryder21
# ryder21 2012-02-04 06:03
I have been voting fervently, but on my last vote Jensen was only JUST in front with only a couple of hours to go:
Vote fandom to get our boy across the line.
Pragmatic Dreamer
# Pragmatic Dreamer 2012-02-01 23:16
Hi Sweetondean,

That was simply wonderful - so heartfelt and real. Bravo!

My life echoes much of what you wrote. I've always marched to the beat of my own drummer. Sometimes, it has kept me in pace with my peers. Other times it has left me rockin' to a rhythm all my own. I see a similar tendency in both my daughters, and it makes me proud. But a little worried too. It can be tough and/or lonely going it on your own. On the plus side, it often spurs you to accomplish wonderful things (saving the world from the Apocalypse), or at least give them your best college try. On the minus side, it can leave you crying at home on many a Friday night too (having to bury too many friends, and never having a home, just an amazing classic car.) I must say though, since Supernatural moved to Friday nights, I'm sure they are much brighter than they were in my teenage years!

I think I feel drawn to Supernatural & the Winchesters because of that outsider status. I can empathize with it, because I've lived it. I've definitely been in the minority in several of the communities I've lived in. It leaves you feeling like the little MatchGirl, looking with longing through the window at the happy lives on the other side of the glass. But that outsider status also sometimes allows you to have a clearer perspective on many issues.

What speaks to me on the cellular level is the Winchester desire to help people, to make life better for others (even if their own chances at happiness seem tragically slim.) That desire speaks to me on so many levels because it's what I strive to do in my everyday life, both at home and on the job. And it's part of what I'm trying to instill in my children.

For me, I see Supernatural as a friend, as much as TV show. It has offered me solace and laughter on the rough days. And it's given me a chance to exercise an aspect of my personality - my love of writing - that had been on hold for awhile.

I think that's why I find it difficult to criticize the show. It's not that I don't see its faults. I do. It's just I don't feel comfortable badmouthing someone or something I'm fond of. It feels wrong to me. I choose to look at the less-than-perfe ct episodes as the bad days any of my friends, or myself might and do have. I look past them because I get so much else out of the relationship. Yes, it's a Pollyanna approach, but it works wonderfully for me.

Thanks for this!

Pragmatic Dreamer
Vanda
# Vanda 2012-02-02 03:47
Even though I don't watch SOA, I can definitely relate to Supernatural. For me life has always been a big road trip riddled with twists & turns, sometimes for the worse sometimes for the better... always searching for a place to fit in, trying to make the best of it all as I go. Yeah I've alwys been the oddbod that would always stand out somehow, but at least now Supernatural has shown me a world where I don't feel weird about it anymore. -Deanie_24
elle
# elle 2012-02-02 07:12
Hi sweetondean,

What a great article - thank you for sharing with us.

I think more people are affected by great shows or films than they realize and/or admit.

Growing up, Buffy was my show and I got through things trying to adopt a kick-ass who-cares front or understanding the lessons the show had for us viewers (I still quote Whistler's lines from the end of Becoming Part I about not being able to control when the big moments happen to us, but only our reaction to them and that it is this that will define us).

Supernatural has certainly had a huge impact on my life that is difficult to explain to the civilians out there (i.e. non-watchers). Supernatural has gotten me through some very difficult times in life because it has strong themes and messages that can translate even when you're not in battle against demons and angels.

Being a part of the community here at WFB, which is a result of SPN, has let my confidence build where I was always a little shy before - and it's helped me hone expressing opinions in a diplomatic way (or at least trying to!).

Because of SPN I did GISHWHES in the fall and it was one of the greatest experiences of my life that I think really saved me from a difficult period where a good friend (also my roommate) completely turned against me for no apparent reason and I was just trying to get through the very lonely days. Supernatural has been there for all of that. I am so grateful for Supernatural and the community of people like this that it has brought to my life.

Thanks for this, sweetondean, it's great to reflect and leaves me smiling. Glad I'm not the only one who thinks TV has changed their life.
kazkriz
# kazkriz 2012-02-02 08:59
You felt the same I did when I discovered this world online full of supernatural fans. Since I live in Perú I know I won't have the chance to talk to my friends or people I know about SPN coz they simply don't watch it... and then there's this huge awesome fandom that also accepted me with open arms. where I can just talk, share what I know with other "nuts" .. as I'm called back home. Sometimes it's hard to face people that say Why you crying.. it's a TV SHOW! and now I don't even try to explain it... I just do my thing and live my life next Supernatural.
tO ME.. It happened one day.. I turned channels and I saw two guys walking in a hall... a dark one... I remember I said... humm a horror movie... let's watch it. and it turned out to be Supernatural .. a tv show!! next day I bought my 5 seasons and I watched then just a week before season 6 premiered.

And now I'm here. Supernatural is so much more than "just a tv chow" for me, it's something about everything you said that hooked me. Supernatural now is a HUGE part of my life.
Holmes
# Holmes 2012-02-02 09:05
You can not even begin to understand how much impact this article had on me (along with every comment)!

It truly is like it was written by me!!! it summarizes every feeling i have towards SPN !!!

There are so many things this show (although it will always be much more than just a show to me, and to a lot of people, I believe) has given me that I truly can't even think about were I would be now if I'd never discovered this amazing treasure!

I also fell related to the fact that I know absolutely no one who even watches SPN. But again, it's their lost, because they have absolutely no idea what they're letting pass here!

Everything that comes along with Supernatural has made my life a much more amazing thing to have!. Every episode, every aspect of the relationship Sam and Dean have, the fandom, every interview I watch with J & J, have made me grow and appreciate life in ways I never thought possible before!, sadly I can't say that about conventions because I live in Venezuela (that's why my English is so crappy, sorry about that :)) and I have never been able to attend to any con :( .That would be a dream come true!!!!.
But, hey, at least there are some videos now and then of some panels, and that's enough to make love SPN even more!

Thanks for the article, I really love and share your feelings towards Supernatural! SPN is a way of life!!!
Sylvie
# Sylvie 2012-02-02 12:23
Thank you so much for this article Sweetondean, it really spoke to me. My whole life, I've felt like an outsider. As a teenager, I was the weirdo that would listen to Genesis (with Peter Gabriel, of course), Yes, Led Zeppelin, etc., when everyone else was listening to the Bee Gees, Donna Summer and others like that (in the 70s). Now I'm the weirdo who obsesses over a television show that no one I know even watches! Their loss is what I say.

I fell in love with this show from the very first frame and have been in love ever since. I anticipate my Friday nights so much. I even pay extra on cable to get the CW, because it's not a regular channel where I live. And since I've found this fandom, I'm even happier now, because I can discuss the show with all the diehard fans.

So let me thank you all for being there. We are no longer a silent minority. We are loud & proud to be fans of the greatest show (yes, I said it) on television right now.
SecretWillow
# SecretWillow 2012-02-02 14:02
I’ve often tried to figure out what it is about Supernatural that I feel so connected to, why it has touched me on every level of humanity that I’ve got, and how it moves me to tears of emotions that I don’t have names for. I still don’t have an answer, and I may never find one, but maybe that’s okay. I’m just so thankful to have found this show, and to discover that there is this whole online fandom of so many like-minded people out there, from whom I don’t have to hide my passion (and yes, obsession) for a television show. Even my brother, who is himeslf a fan of the show, will frequently tell me that I quote, unquote, ‘have reached Critical Mass’, and there’s no hope for me. Big words from the guy who forced me to watch an episode with him in the first place. I’ve always been kind of an outsider, even with my own friends, and try as I might to smush myself into their mold, I never quite get there. I want to shout from the rooftops how powerful and magical the show is, and how everyone else is missing out. But knowing that I wouldn’t exactly be winning friends or influencing monsters by doing that, I keep my joy to myself, my own private little inside joke, and when I remember that Sam lost his shoe, or that Dean came back from Hell re-hymenated, it puts a smile on my face that people always ask about, but I just tell them, life is good. Supernatural is so much more than just a TV show; it is more like a friend. And put together with all of the fans who allow me to be myself, it’s exhilarating. I get chills, even now.

Thank you so much for this article, sweetondean. It means more than I can say.
sweetondean
# sweetondean 2012-02-02 15:17
Thank you so much for such a lovely comment :-)
PENNY JAIME
# PENNY JAIME 2012-02-02 15:00
Well, no one I knows gets why I LOVE this show! Why, watching it while I'm on dialysis, keeps me sane. Why I have a collection of Jensen Ackles dvd's (Devour, Bloody Valentine,Ten Inch Hero, Smallville,6 seasons of Supernatural). You know, they don't have to get it. As far as I'm concerned, they are the ones missing out!!!
Karen
# Karen 2012-02-02 15:37
Hi Sweetondean
This is fantastic and so beautiful.
You have expressed things that I have felt but have never been able to put into words. Thank you.
nicolemarie
# nicolemarie 2012-02-02 18:55
I haven't watched SOA, at all, but I get what you mean about the boys and the show. My very first friend put me on to SPN and after years of her telling me to watch I finally did...when I was at a real low point. I had been knocked down to part time at my job and all of a sudden I found myself wallowing in self pity on my couch every afternoon in a dark apartment watching old twilight zone episodes. SPN really got me to care and look at what I was doing again. I watched the first three seasons the summer before the fourth started, and like you some time at the end of the fourth season I started to find fans!

still nobody at home really gets me, but oh well...I've got more confidence in myself and my writing than I ever had before, and well, I get it. As always, love ya Amy :D
Chokousei
# Chokousei 2012-02-02 19:09
You spoke my heart. Every body think I am doing well. Support my family and children of my relatives because their parents cannot. Always ask myself that whether it is what I want. I know the answer but just cannot put down the responsibilitie s even those are not mine. Supernatural is really what make me smile when I find it is too hard, too tired.
I am not an emotional person, but you really move me.
ryder21
# ryder21 2012-02-04 06:20
Dear Sweetondean, thank you for reaching out and making us feel that we are not alone. I have only recently become enamoured with this show, and particularly with the very fine acting of Jensen Ackles. But the show itself has the ability to make me laugh, cry and cringe all in one episode. The dedication and selflessness of the brothers touches me in a way that nothing else has before. I have found myself scanning the internet and you tube for all information about Supernatural and J2, and devouring it with relish.
Though, like you and many others it seems, this is my lonely obession. It is such a relief to find others similiar to me. Watching TV last night an actor commented 'Doctor..' and I turned to one of my family expecting a 'Doctor'...'Doc tor'. It did not happen of course, but I was laughing on the inside. They are puzzled when I laugh when they ask for Pudding, and curious as to why my ipod suddenly has Kanzas and Blue Oyster Clut on it. And like many, its ok.... I'm good with it. With SPN's help I have discovered more about my self, my likes, my interests, and I now have a community that I can share my inside jokes and references with. It's all about family, and that doesn't end with blood.
Thanks Sweetondean.
By the way, I too like SOA and ride a Harley myself.
Alex
# Alex 2015-10-19 09:44
I am watching all episode on this drama series infect I am downloaded on my laptop because my all cousin watching together this drama on every Sunday infect my brother purchase Sons of Anarchy jacket ("http://www.in stylejackets.co m/product-categ ory/3-sons-of-a narchy-american -television-ser ies-jackets") at the online store.