Sooo....episode 5.17
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Of course, I'm late to the party (I always am), but I've been pontificating on this last episode and have come to the conclusion that I haven't seen a SPN episode that bothered me as much since Malleus Maleficarum. Part of it, yeah, was the liberal use of the word "whore" and the return of the femme fatale archetype (more fuel for the thesis!) in a way that, for me, pretty neatly paralleled the character of Tammi in aforementioned other bothersome episode...but what more did I expect from an episode entitled "99 Problems"*?

Then, of course, there was the ending scene. Ackles knocked it outta the ballpark, acting-wise, but I must admit that I would have been more emotionally invested and a little less dumbfounded if there had been more of a precedent for it. But then I realized: they actually have been weaving in some hints in the series (in 'What is and What Should Never Be' and 'Dream a Little Dream of Me', obviously, but also more recently in 'Swap Meat' and 'Dead Men Don't Wear Plaid') that Dean has had thoughts in that direction (by which I mean the 'settling down in suburbia with 2.5 kids and a picket fence and a little patch of grass to mow' direction). His lack of knowledge about Lisa other than the fact that she's very bendy and may have, possibly, birthed his child is, well, troubling to say the least, but considering Dean's history with serious romantic attachments (re: Cassie, a relationship he also, by all appearances, rushed headlong into and ended up getting burned by) it's perhaps not as surprising as it initially seemed.

So, with all that in mind, if we do see some sort of relationship developing between Dean and Lisa (who I like, despite how little we've seen of her), possibly in season 6, can I just ask this one, eensy favor of the SPN gods? Can we PLEASE actually get to know her and her background and have her actually be meaningfully involved in the storyline? I want to see a female character who is developed into a fully fleshed-out human being, and if Dean thinks he's serious about this girl (whether or not he's actually deluding himself), then I want him to actually get to know her...and ON SCREEN. That way the rest of us can too.

I have so much more to say on this topic, but I really should be working on something that I'm being graded on, anyway, so I shall cease and desist for now.

A few other random observations:

-Castiel was great comic relief this episode. Drank a liquor store! "It's funnier in Enochian"! Good stuff.

-Seriously, why Blue Earth, MN? Wouldn't the Whore of Babylon reached way more souls by being a televangelist, or perhaps using the massive networking powers of the internet? I realize she might not have been quite as easy to fight that way, but C'MON, talk about poor strategizing on her part.

- And again with being in the Midwest during winter and there being an UTTER LACK OF SNOW. Of course, I suppose it depends on when this episode is suppose to be taking place. If we're finally reaching the end of March here, continuity wise, then maybe the lack of snow is more understandable.

* I'm assuming you all know the implications of this, but just in case you're uninformed: this title is taken from the title of a rap tune by Jay-Z whose major hook was "I got 99 problems, but a bitch ain't one". Classy, Supernatural. You are 100% class.

Because this bothered me so, so much...
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...but I have no idea where to direct this comment, as apparently the SPN creative team are (purposefully?) unreachable.

Cut for tl;dr comments on factual inaccuracies in 5x15 Dead Men Don't Wear PlaidCollapse )

If any of you lovely LJ people do know where I can direct my comments, it would be much appreciated. Happy April 1st!

If you have a few disposable hours handy...
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...please, feel free to check the list of tropes in Supernatural, via I went there for Serious Research Purposes and ended up eating up more than a few hours of my time reading through information that was less than relevant, but highly amusing, regardless. Oh Supernatural, I don't know whether to laugh or marvel at just how messed up you really are, like, on an epic scale. Oh dear.

In other news, I really have been getting work done (imagine that!). I now have a very tentative outline of my ideas (OK, very, very tentative), done Legitimate Book Research (the kind most approved of on the university level. This is in direct opposition to Looking Up Shit On Wikipedia, which is frowned upon), and have found some very solid meta that crosses a broad range of opinions on the topic. And by broad, I really mean broad. It seems that everyone has an opinion, and they all contradict each other. Speaking of, an example from the Supernatural page:

"Die For Our Ship: Any female that gets near the boys is vilified by the show's Yaoi Fangirls. This also extends to real life. And then the fandom complains about the lack of female characters."

With the addition (presumably by someone else):

* Although Ellen and Pamela were typically very popular with female fans. One might wonder if many of the fangirls' chief problem was that most of the love interests are little more than Token Romances and are given few defining characteristics of their own. This is demonstrated by the sudden turnaround in attitudes to Ellen's daughter Jo, who was practically The Wesley during her early appearances in Season 2, but after some serious displays of Badass in Season 5 and seemingly defying physics by turning down a night with Dean, became a much more popular and relatable character to female fans.

Hoooo, boy, so I knew this fandom was ardent and opinionated going in to this gig, right? I did know that. I possibly wasn't quite aware of the extent, but...too late now, eh? Guys, this is pre-emptive, but please don't kill or castigate me when I finish this thing. I can't please and agree with everyone.

On a slightly unrelated note, has anyone ever noticed that when one becomes immersed in a narrative (and/or fandom of said narrative), every song one hears suddenly becomes relatable to said narrative? For instance, earlier today I was listening to Ani DiFranco's "Two Little Girls" and was suddenly like, 'You know, this sounds remarkably like what Dean must have been thinking when Sam went off with Ruby and began becoming wacky on that whole blood addiction...', then promptly smacked myself in the forehead and made myself go do something decidedly non-thesis or SPN related. Then again, I seem to be able to find song lyrics to relate to any sort of situation, ever. I'm one of those annoying people that always need a soundtrack to their lives. It's an issue.

Update! and another request.
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Hey All,

Here's an update to let those following know how things are going with the project. I'm on break at the moment, sitting in the Minneapolis Central Library in heavy research mode. I'm reading Female Chauvinist Pigs, Femme Fatale: Erotic Icon, and Joseph Campbell's Hero With A Thousand Faces (these are the first in a stack of many books), and going through Livejournal,, the CW forums, and Television Without Pity to start to gauge fan reaction to the characters I'm focusing on. That said, it's not been easy. I was not in online fandom when these characters were introduced--I have only fairly recently started to watch the show. Therefore, I was not around when these characters were first introduced and have ideas about the fan reaction mostly on hearsay, as most of the forums no longer go back that far(other than livejournal, which you bet your bottom dollar I will be fully utilizing). So, could you help a girl out? Are there any places in which initial fan reactions to Ellen, Jo, and Ruby have been saved? Is there a way to find them? Would the Wayback Machine be at all helpful in this circumstance? Let me know. I would really like to have as many primary documents as possible to use for my piece on fan reaction, instead of having to rely on hearsay, which tends to generalize or skew the data some. Thanks! I hope you all are having a good new year!

Intro Post + A Request of the Fannish Community
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Hey all! So this is going to be my intro post -- it's more or less recapping and elaborating on what I explain about my project in my user profile. I have started this journal as a way to document my progress on my senior honors thesis, to pose questions to the Supernatural fannish community, and to vent on topics that are perhaps beyond the realm of my thesis but are nonetheless topics that interest me and that I'd like to start or continue a dialog on. This journal will definitely be a meta-oriented journal, so please keep that in mind--please only link to fic, art, vids, and whatever else IF it's related to the topic at hand. If it does relate, then please share! As long as everyone's comments are thoughtful and respectful, I will have no problem with them. However, if any of the comments veer into disrespectful, ignorant, or argumentative with no real purpose or direction, I will delete them. EXAMPLE: All female characters on Supernatural SUCK. Women are stupid anyway. Sam and Dean don't need 'em! <--This type of comment is bigoted, is not at all reflective, and will be kicked to the curb! Not that I think anyone will post something as silly as this. I know you all are an intelligent and generally awesome bunch, so I'm not particularly worried :)

So, what exactly is this project that I've been blabbing on about? My current working idea is the examination of the depictions of women in Supernatural AND the fan responses to these depictions. In particular, I wish to examine the characters of Ruby and Ellen, because of their obvious contrasts--Ruby is a character that has been depicted as an antagonist and has been fairly poorly received by the fan community for various reasons; Ellen is a character that is unambiguously a protagonist, as she has been helpful to the boys at various intervals and also is characteristic as a very motherly figure, and she has been fairly warmly received as a character by the fan community. Because of my analysis of Ellen, I may also look at Jo's depiction and fan reactions to her (to a lesser extent), because those characters are so irrevocably entwined in the narrative.

That being said, because fan reaction is such an important aspect of this project, I would love to get the SPN fan community's recommendations of the fannish meta that may have to do with gender depictions in SPN, and fan reactions to episodes related to gender-specific issues or the specific characters that I have mentioned. I am also interested in videos and/or transcripts of interviews with Kripke/the writers/the cast/etc that talk about the female characters, fan reactions to female characters and/or actresses that depict them, and subsequent revisions of the SPN universe or narrative arc because of these fan reactions.

Unconventional reactions to these issues (in the form of vids, art, even fic -- though these types of expression are probably not going to be the focus of my paper, they are still an integral part of the internet community's response to the show) are also welcome. Plus, you know, anything else you might feel to be relevant. I'm open. Because I'm very much still in the information collecting stage of my project, I'm not entirely certain where my research will lead, so I'm interested in pretty much anything you all can throw at me.

Thanks so much for your help, I look forward to hearing from all of you!

PS. Je parle aussi français, alors si vous avez des articles, des commentaires, etc en français que vous aimeriez m’envoyer, vous pouvez faire ça aussi ! Merci beaucoup en avance:)


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