Supernatural Dallas Con: The Boys Return (Close to) Home

The Supernatural convention in Dallas is always fun because it’s the closest we get to the boys’ hometown (until next year, when the con moves to their actual hometown, Austin!). That means they’re rested and have friends and family joining them and everyone is in a really good mood. That was the case for this con too! And it was equally fun for me because I had lots of friends there too.

I was excited to escape from the Philly winter to warmer Texas, only to arrive just as the giant Texas ice storm was ending. There were still piles of ice along the streets and slippery patches, and many people had stories of digging out their ice-encased cars that morning.

The convention center and the surrounding area was turned into a magical place, looking like a fairy corridor instead of a pathway through a parking lot.

And every branch or railing was a work of art if you looked closely enough.

Climate change, not fun. But really pretty for Liz’s camera to capture for posterity!

My intrepid friends came to pick me up at the airport anyway. #SPNFamily.

Friday was hosted by the lovely Jason Manns, as Fridays often are, in his comfy Mr. Rogers-esque sweater.

I caught some of David Haydn Jones’ panel on Friday – I love that he always dresses the part of wherever the con is, and this time was no exception. Cowboy David!

He’s working on a new song for karaoke, which is still a secret, but I’m looking forward to it.

He had only good things to say about Supernatural.

David: On my first day, Jared, Jensen and Misha were so collegial. Then they gave me a Bentley and a grenade launcher – I was a kid in a candy store!

What’s not to like? Well, actually the fire in that scene – which was real!

David: When you see that fire behind me, that’s real. Jared and Jensen were like, I’m outta here!

David is a great story teller. He told a hilarious story of that gag reel moment when he was attempting to say ‘chupacabra’ over and over, which was funny enough. But when he was saying ‘chupa chupa’ apparently in Spanish that means ‘sucky sucky’ so… very dirty.

David: There’s a whole fic on Ao3…

Also David, though I can’t remember context: You can always trust this audience for testicle humor.

David said that Ketch was originally conceived of as a sort of East End brawler – who sounds a lot like Billy Butcher on The Boys. He did have some more serious things to say too, including how being onscreen can exacerbate any kind of body dysmorphia someone might have. On the other hand, dressing up for a living is fun.

David: One of the fun parts of this job is getting to cosplay for a living.

Briana Buckmaster couldn’t be at the con because she’s filming a movie, but Kim Rhodes had her join the panel a bit through Facetime anyway!

Kim told the amusing story of her favorite memory from filming Kung Fu – which wasn’t actually from filming at all. Richard Speight, Jr. was directing, and they were walking back from lunch when a guy stopped Richard and asked for a selfie with him, proclaiming himself the worlds’ biggest Supernatural fan (and never noticing it was Kim there). As he walked away, Richard scoffed: “Not the biggest!”

They also apparently had a lot of fun on the Kung Fu set voicing the actor lobsters who were sometimes more well treated than some humans lol.

Like David, she had all good things to say about Supernatural.

Kim: I’ve been fortunate to work on shows where people who are at the top of the food chain make sure that no one gets fucked. Jared and Jensen were the same way. I’ve been so lucky to work with generous, lovely human beings. There’s not an atom less on Supernatural that it felt like my birthday.

She had kind words for the fandom too.

Kim: The greatest gift this fandom gave me is permission.

I love the way Kim greets fans, so full of joy each and every time.

It’s what she writes about in her chapter in Family Don’t End With Blood, powerfully.

She also had a visit from a tiny but awesome fan who joined her onstage – adorable!

We all had a delicious home cooked meal at a friend’s house on Friday night (and some homemade cherry cobbler which, mmmmm) and then I collapsed like I almost always do on Friday nights at cons – which meant I didn’t get to go to karaoke. The problem with the con being at a convention center is that it’s a little difficult to get back and forth, so once I was dropped off at my hotel, that was it for me!

On Saturday, we had a panel with Smallville’s Tom Welling and Michael Rosenbaum, which I’d really enjoyed at the last con too – this time they had a table, which confused me when I came in because it looked for a moment like I’d wandered into a conference instead of a convention. Michael played his guitar in between the two answering questions.

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Supernatural Cast Jared, Jensen and Misha in Three New Series on The CW!

It has been a BIG day for the SPNFamily! After weeks of speculation as to whether zero, one, two or all three of the Supernatural cast’s new pilot projects would be picked up by the CW, the news came in the afternoon that the network had cancelled multiple shows. Some of those  were fan favorites, and my heart goes out to those fandoms – it’s especially heartbreaking when a show is cancelled and doesn’t have a chance to do a proper wrap, leaving its characters and its fans in limbo. I’m so sorry for all those fans, and all those talented actors and crew now out of work.

The chances for the SPN pilots were clearly improved by that news, so it wasn’t shocking when all three pilots with Supernatural cast connections were picked up – ‘The Winchesters’ prequel with Jensen and Danneel Ackles and Supernatural writer alum Robbie Thompson executive producing and Jensen doing the Dean Winchester narrating, the Walker prequel ‘Walker: Independence’ aka Windy, with Jared Padalecki executive producing and Walker alum Matt Barr one of the stars; and Gotham Knights, with Misha Collins as Harvey Dent/Two-Face.

Fans joked that they’re changing the name of the network from The CW to The J2M network. But no joke, it’s a testament to the lasting popularity and power of Supernatural and the Supernatural fandom that they’ve made room for all three SPN cast pilots. The fandom may be fractured and contentious and right now arguing over which of the three everyone will be supporting (or not), but we are also passionate as hell, and currently trending all ‘our’ pilot pickups and faves.

Variety headline

After two failed Supernatural spinoffs, The Winchesters is the first to actually become a series. Fans have been a mix of enthusiastic and skeptical about the show portraying the beginning of the love story of John and Mary Winchester. The “mothership’s” canon had John not knowing about the supernatural at all at the time it’s set and their relationship being manipulated by celestial forces, so the prequel will have to come up with an explanation for them working together and their love story being an epic one. I’m a big fan of Robbie Thompson’s writing though, and I know how much Jensen cares about Dean, so I’m going into this hopeful – and beyond excited to hear Ackles bring Dean Winchester to life once again. I miss him. (I miss both Winchester brothers, and Supernatural itself, like a constant ache that just won’t go away). I’m hopeful that Exec Producer Danneel Ackles will bring a vintage aesthetic to the show that I can fall in love with too. Bell bottoms, paisley, the music…. Shot in New Orleans, so far, the show looks hauntingly beautiful and the cast seem wonderful.

Director Glen Winter with Thompson and Ackles

I’ve been enjoying Jared Padalecki on ‘Walker’ so I’m excited about that prequel too. Windy is set even farther back in time, in late 1800s Texas, centered on Abby Walker and her husband’s murder and her quest for revenge, and Hoyt Rawlins, the oft described “lovable rogue” type.  I really enjoyed Matt Barr’s portrayal of the present day Hoyt on Walker, so I’m looking forward to the prequel. Much like The Winchesters, the show looks gorgeous, and the cast and crew are clearly beyond excited about it. Director Larry Teng took the fandom along on much of the journey, tweeting lots of photos and enthusiasm. I’m so happy for the cast, who seem lovely.

Director Larry Teng’s wrap post

Padalecki took to twitter to let the Walker family know that the enthusiasm and congrats weren’t lost on him – and that he is as excited as we are!

Misha Collins is playing the role of Harvey Dent (and later Two-Face) on the third SPN cast-related pilot to be picked up, Gotham Knights. Part of DC’s Batman universe, the show takes place after Bruce Wayne has been murdered and his adopted son allies with the children of Batman’s enemies when they’re framed for killing him. Misha has said that the first season sees him playing Dent, but later he’ll get the chance to play a villain as Two Face. Also he seems to have a black trenchcoat, much to the amusement of his Supernatural fans.

To make the day even more exciting, some news that I’ve been waiting for was also released – Jensen Ackles will guest star as Sheriff Beau Arlen on the season finale of Big Sky airing next Thursday. (I was sitting there watching Big Sky, trying to get a little caught up in anticipation, when that news came out).  His character is described as “a confident and charming good ol’ boy from Texas who steps in as temporary Sheriff.” Charming indeed. That Deadline article came with a little ABC promo video, and let’s just say that Mr. Ackles is looking fine fine fine indeed with that long hair and a cowboy hat. Now we’ve got both Jared and Jensen as gun-toting cowboy lawmen on our screens this month. Phew.

Looking forward to next Thursday!

It’s been a great feeling to watch my timeline explode all day long with fans and other Supernatural cast reacting to all the good news. Misha Collins tweeted his excitement to his former co-stars, who will perhaps all be at the Upfronts next week (if Ackles isn’t committed to The Boys publicity and Padalecki isn’t finishing up Walker).

Looks like Jared is up for it – as long as he can play the cowbell! Seriously though, I love how this cast will always support each other and genuinely look forward to enjoying each other’s company.

Eric Kripke seemed almost as emotional as me about the incredible legacy the little show he created has left – and all the wonderful new things its cast has gone on to create. What a wonderful legacy for Mr. Kripke as well, as he prepares for the launch of Season 3 of The Boys (also starring Ackles, who luckily likes to keep busy).

Nothing is ever going to replace the OG Supernatural for me, but I feel incredibly lucky to have all these other shows to look forward to – and so proud of the actors who made Supernatural the phenomenon that it is, and everything that they’re out there creating now.  Whether you’re planning to watch one show or two or all three, there’s alot to look forward to coming up!

— Lynn

You can read Jared, Jensen and Misha’s

thoughts on fandom and the SPN Family,

and how they were changed by the show

and the fandom, in Family Don’t End With

Blood and There’ll Be Peace When You

Are Done – links on the home page or at:

 

 

The Walkers ‘Defend The Ranch’ in Episode 13

The 13th episode of Walker’s first season was intended to be the season finale, and it felt like one. There was a whole lot of drama, twists and turns, and an ending that looked like a tragic tableau from a stage play. As usually is true for me and this show, the emotional aftermath is the part that’s most fascinating. But not always very easy to witness.

Sometimes the drama comes close to over the top for me with this show, but I’m starting to view that as a difference in the type of show it is, after digging deep into a show like Supernatural for so long. Walker paints with broader strokes and its tropes are broader too, from the way music is used to the characters’ dress and appearance (Clint even dresses in villainous all black, for example). There are the stereotypical car chases and shoot outs and rodeos and everyone has a gun and knows how to shoot it, and that sometimes seems just too expected for me, but that may be the point. Within that stereotypical set up, however, the show explores more personal and psychological themes with unexpected depth. And that’s the part of it that I’m really enjoying.

I guessed the major tragedy that was going to happen in this episode, though not how or when. I liked that the episode played out almost in real time, no jumping back and forth, which upped the suspense. I can see how this would have worked as a season finale – and in fact, it’s hard to imagine how they are going to continue with five more episodes after this one. It’s a hard script to pull off because so much happens, and there were a few times when it strained credulity to go with it. Again, that might be part of the fun, it’s just that I’m used to picking apart Supernatural and trying to make sure canon makes sense (as much as that was possible…)

At any rate, I enjoyed this episode. The episode picks up right where the previous one left off, with Liam shot and seemingly not alive, Cordell calling his name and trying to go to him but Clint warning him not to. Abeline comes out and sees her son on the ground and screams his name too, falling to her knees in the grass – Molly Hagan always makes me feel for her, all my own instincts as a mother pulled in because she makes it real.

Trevor follows his father’s instructions and yanks Walker’s holster and gun away from him. Clint is unconcerned about Liam, though Trevor is clearly upset and conflicted.

Clint: The attorney who helped put us away? Don’t matter, he’s dead now.

(Yes, there’s a gif of that last shot out there but I couldn’t find it to include…)

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Walker Episode 11 – The Price of “Freedom”

The CW’s ‘Walker’ aired a dramatic new episode last week, and ushered in some big changes that will continue to play out for the second part of the season. The episode is titled “Freedom” and in a sense, that’s what many of the characters got – sometimes in a way they absolutely did not want.

They also gave us Jared Padalecki in a white tee shirt and Jeff Pierre without any shirt at all, which is just a comment on the aesthetic beauty of this show like I comment on every week, honest.

An Awkward Welcome Home

The episode begins with Hoyt’s welcome home party at the Side Step, Cordell and Augie getting the place ready while Micki and Trey keep watch in the parking lot so they can surprise him.

Augie is making welcome home videos for Hoyt, attempting to tape his father’s message while Cordell is busy trying to figure out what to text Geri. He keeps typing and then deleting, increasingly anxious. The other video messages to Hoyt are heartfelt, including a clearly joyous Abeline and Geri saying that Hoyt deserves good things, which just makes Cordell feel more guilty and conflicted. When he finally tries to record his message it’s incredibly awkward, starting out calling Hoyt “my best friend, a brother to me” and continuing to something about him sparking joy in Walker’s life. He gives up in exasperation.

I’ve said it before – about Sam Winchester as well as Cordell Walker – but Jared Padalecki can pull off the comedic aspects of his characters so well. I appreciate that in a show that can be either suspenseful or angsty, as this one can.

Micki and Trey wait in the car for Hoyt and Geri to get there, Trey putting on her hat and teasing about how good it looks on him (it does). Micki reassures him that his TBI struggles haven’t made him unreliable or changed how she feels about him, reminding him that he can rely on her for a change.

Micki: You are the most reliable person in my life

Trey (grinning) Relationship achievement unlocked!

I like that they’re continuing to follow Trey’s TBI (traumatic brain injury) story line instead of magically wrapping it up too quickly.

Geri and Hoyt pull up, him assuring her that he’s “going legit” because she deserves more, and her clearly avoiding him, turning away and putting on lipstick before she goes inside. He senses something is wrong.

Hoyt: You got someone you’re trying to impress here?

As they walk in, he asks her again, did he do something? (Other than being incarcerated?)

She says no and he believes it (because he clearly wants to, and that’s what we all do when we just desperately want to believe something is true).

Cordell sneaks up behind them and knocks Hoyt’s hat off, then tackles him to the ground, saying it’s payback (for that scene we saw in one of the first episodes).  They laugh, because wrestling is clearly a thing for them (ala the Winchesters), and then they hug (also ala the Winchesters).

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Happy Birthday Danneel Ackles!

It’s Danneel Ackles’ birthday, so we thought for our continuing celebration of Supernatural Spring Break week, this was a good time to both wish her a happy birthday and share the rather amusing story of one of our first times meeting her.

There have been a few memorable times since, including the party celebrating ‘Supernatural Day’ in Austin with Mayor Adler, which was just plain fun and an opportunity for some real conversation.

Photos: Prior Studios

And I’ll be forever touched that Danneel wanted a copy of Family Don’t End With Blood (and how incredulous she was that Jensen actually had a chapter in it!) and that she has read our other books too.

The actual first time we met Danneel was a long time ago – at the after party following the premiere of indie movie Ten Inch Hero, which was at a club in LA back in, I think 2008. We all left the premiere and walked over to the club, invited by director David Mackay – the cast and the audience all together.

We had a lovely little chat with Danneel there about the film, met screenwriter Betsy Morris who’s still a friend today, and asked actor Matt Barr (now of Walker) to watch the rest room door while I in desperation used the men’s room because there was a huge line at the women’s. (He was lovely about it and it makes me laugh now every time I see him as Hoyt).

It was a momentous party, what can I say?  After that, my co-author Kathy and I interviewed David over a three hour brunch in Vancouver for the first book we were working on, and mentioned that we’d love to chat with Danneel  too. To be honest, we didn’t really think that would happen. But a few months later, while we were in LA for the Supernatural convention, we got a call from David.

I’ll let some excerpts from our second book, Fangasm! Supernatural Fangirls, take it from here…

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