All of us here at Fangasm are especially proud to be pitching in with a charity auction to help Jared and Gen Padalecki raise money through #RunPadsRun for Dream Big, an organization that provides girls from low income households with the equipment and program fees that are necessary to participate in sports and physical activities. Many young women want to participate, but their economic situations prevent it. Uniforms and equipment are expensive, and so are the soccer and volleyball camps, dance classes, sports clinics and gymnastics classes that allow young women to excel in their sport of choice.
Why is this so important that the Padaleckis are running the Boston Marathon to raise money for the cause? With my psychologist hat on, I decided to find out – and it turns out the research is pretty compelling.
Multiple large-scale studies over the past decade have found a gender gap in youth sports, with girls from urban and low income environments the most impacted. Historically, sports have been an area in which women’s participation is sometimes limited, including access for racial minorities, GLBT+ persons, and women and girls. Girls have faced resistance to their participation, and women’s sports have often been devalued.
I’ve been a fan of the Hillywood Show since I discovered their parody videos with their first Supernatural video several years ago. Hannah and Hilly Hindi, the sisters behind The Hillywood Show, were kind enough to chat with me about that video and to also contribute some insights to the documentary film on fandom I co-wrote, Squee! I’ve been eagerly awaiting their second Supernatural parody with high expectations, but the reality surpassed them when it was released last week – Supernatural Parody 2 is a loving tribute to the show, its amazing cast, and its incredible fandom. As I took some notes on why I was enjoying it so much, I realized it’s because once again, they totally got it right – even for someone like me, who adores Supernatural and has written five books on the show and the fandom!
I was at the Supernatural convention in Denver last weekend, and there was quite a bit of talk about the new parody, which both fans and Supernatural stars Jared Padalecki and Jensen Ackles had high praise for. Jensen in particular was impressed with the production value and the professionalism of the set and the shoot, and especially with the realistic proton packs that he and Jared got to wear – they sometimes had to take them off between takes because Jared kept bumping into the door and other things. Jensen seemed excited that the blasters really worked too, which I think means they were having a lot of fun playing with them! I shared those reactions with Hannah and Hilly when we chatted.
Hilly: He did keep bumping into the door, we can confirm that one. Hannah: I just know that Jared really likes to push buttons!
Hilly: The pack, though, really was the coolest toy. They were like the real deal, so it’s the ultimate toy and Jared was like, yes! I could just see his eyes light up.
[There’s a great moment on the behind the scenes feature where Osric shows Jensen how to pull out his blaster, and he does. Then Jared pulls out his, with significantly more flourish, and Osric grins and whispers to the camera.
Osric: The gentle giant…
Jared makes the blaster light up and then asks, with his eyes all hopefully lit up, “do you want this on?”
Hilly: No, cuz that means you’re killing us…]
I laughed out loud at that.
Hilly: We haven’t been able to talk about it or hear from them since the shoot. They asked, “When can we mention it?” I told them you can’t until the video is out. So, weeks down the road now, it’s really cool to hear them talk about it.
Lynn: They definitely enjoyed it. So, after thinking about this a bit, I’ve identified ten things you got very right. I’m gonna go through them one by one, and you can comment, okay?
Number 1. One of the things that makes your parodies so brilliant and so loved by fans is that you really GET the show you’re parodying, maybe Supernatural more than even the other shows you’ve parodied. You were able to reproduce the show itself with the level of detail that fandom relishes – the kitchen set from Changing Channels, the library in the Men of Letters bunker, the proton packs with Dean’s little army man and the Colt and Sam’s with Ruby’s knife. Some of the scenes looked so eerily similar, like that iconic moment when Dean fires the Colt and kills Azazel in slow motion. How do you decide what scenes and what details to include and how much detail to put into it? It must take so much time!
It’s been a while since I had the pleasure of chatting with Tahmoh Penikett, who memorably played Ezekiel/Gadreel on Supernatural a few seasons ago. Tahmoh just finished shooting on a new digital sci fi adventure series called Deep Six, which caught my attention as a unique and exciting project. Deep Six is a digital sci fi adventure series that follows a group of astronauts and their military escort on the first deep space mission. They find themselves stranded after an unanticipated accident, and – wouldn’t you know it – also confronted with a first encounter that may not be very friendly. What makes the series unusual is its focus on realism – the creator is a scientist, and the show has two real life experts as consultants, including a professor of astrophysics and a space historian. With their help, Deep Six aims to portray space in all its beauty and majesty as well as its terrifying silence and endless expanse. Much as sci fi classics like 2001 and Alien anchored their stories in realism and thus amped up the terror, Deep Six aims to be both accurate and scary. Sign me up!
I caught up with Tahmoh today after a week of our schedules absolutely refusing to mesh and me coming down with a truly horrifying cold. But we persevered!
This was my first time at Jus In Bello con – and my first time in Rome – so needless to say, it was quite an adventure. It’s a very different model of convention, so I was curious to see how it compared to the Creation model of US cons that I know quite well. Long story short? In some ways, it’s better and in some ways it’s not.
The better comes from the more relaxed feel of the con – there’s plenty of security to keep physical order, but the norms for what can be talked about and asked about are much looser. This is, no doubt, in part because we’re in Italy and not the US, where everyone is ridiculously hung up about anything having to do with sex and thus there are strange rules about not asking actors perfectly reasonable questions. At JiB, the questions were playful and sometimes delightfully innuendo-filled (either intentionally or unintentionally thanks to the language differences), and as a result the actors were free to be the same. That meant panels that were flirty and dirty and just plain fun – and that left me with my stomach muscles literally aching from laughing so much.