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Supernatural is an American paranormal drama television series created by Eric Kripke that premiered on the now-defunct television station The WB in September 2005. The show follows two brothers as they hunt demons, ghosts and other supernatural figures. Since its debut, the series has aired eight seasons, with a ninth in the works. The show has also developed a dedicated following online.
Supernatural was conceived by writer and director Eric Kripke and premiered on The WB on September 13th, 2005. After The WB dissolved in 2006, the show moved to The CW. Supernatural follows the lives of brothers Dean Winchester (played by Jensen Ackles) and Sam Winchester (played by Jared Padalecki) as they hunt for supernatural creatures, a practice taught to them by their father following the paranormal death of their mother when they were children. Originally slated to be three seasons, popular demand prompted the series to be extended for five. Its fifth season concluded on May 13th, 2010 effectively tying up the show’s main storyline. But due to the show’s increasing ratings, it was renewed by The CW for a sixth season without Kripke as the showrunner. As of April 2013, the show is airing its eighth season with a ninth season in pre-production.
Though with its following from fans, Supernatural received overall fair reviews from critics. As of April 2013, the series has an 8.6/10 score on IMDb, and a score of 56/100 on Metacritic. While the first season averaged 4.52 million viewers, the eighth season has averaged 2.1 million viewers. In 2009 and 2012, Supernatural won the People’s Choice Award for Favorite Sci-Fi/Fantasy Show, also taking home Favorite Network TV Drama in 2012.
In 2008, the official Facebook fan page for the show created, which has accumulated more than 11 million likes as of April 2013. Two years later, in April 2010, he show also launched the official @CW_Supernatural Twitter account, gaining more than 250,000 followers in three years. They also maintain an official Tumblr account.
Due to its immense cult-like fan following, the show is very self aware of itself, known for adding slight nods to the fandom throughout the series, including a 2009 episode where the Winchesters attend a supernatural convention. Fans of the show began convening on LiveJournal as early as November 2005 to share fan works about the show. The oldest known community, Supernatural Fanfiction, has since accumulated more than 19,000 posts and 7,700 comments and is still actively posting as of April 2013. In February 2006, the Supernatural Newsletter (shown below) launched, posting daily roundups of news about the show and its actors as well as information on new communities, trending fan works, and fan fiction challenges. At least three separate directories on LiveJournal, the Supernatural Wiki and Delicious have been assembled to chronicle as many Supernatural-related LiveJournal communities as possible. The Supernatural Wiki has also chronicled the fandom’s history on LiveJournal from 2005-2009.
On August 17th, 2008, the /r/Supernatural subreddit was created, gaining more than 15,900 subscribers as of April 2013. In 2011, following a DDoS attack across LiveJournal, many fan fiction writers began migrating their work to other sites. This mass exodus resulted in the number of Supernatural related works on Archive of Our Own to go from 2,000 in May 2010 to more than 10,000 by August 2011. As of April 2013, the site hosts more than 38,000 stories in the Supernatural tag. Fanfiction.net hosts an additional 59,000 stories and nearly 6,000 crossover stories featuring Supernatural characters outside of their universe. On deviantART, over 183,000 fan creations has since been submitted within the site, as of April 2013.
Supernatural fans also began congregating on Tumblr, and one of the the first fandom blogs, Superfreakingnatural, launched in July 2010. The Supernatural Wiki maintains a list of Tumblr blogs related to the series. In July 2011, Supernatural-Fandom.com launched, creating a hub site for fans to interact outside of the blogosphere. In February 2012, the fandom was the subject of an article on entertainment blog Affairs, who interviewed a handful of fans about their experiences.
Mishapocalypse refers to a flashmob event that took place on Tumblr on April 1st, 2013, which involved dozens of Tumblr users changing their profile pictures to a photo of actor Misha Collins, who plays the character Castiel on the show. The trend quickly evolved into users photoshopping Misha’s head into a variety of unlikely situations.
Misha Crying is a series of animated reaction gifs taken from a scene from the season 6 episode The French Mistake, during which Misha Collins’ character Castiel is sobbing after being held at knife-point by hitman Virgil. These reaction gifs are often used to show fondness of a certain object or group and are often accompanied with additional text.
Destiel is a portmanteau referring to the slash shipping relationship between the characters Dean Winchester and Castiel. The term was used as early as February 2008, when the first LiveJournal community dedicated to the pairing was created. Actor Misha Collins has commented on the pairing on several occasions, mentioning it at two separate conventions in 2009.
2014 Crotoan Outbreak
On January 1st, 2014, fans of the show on Tumblr began joking about an impending arrival of a zombie apocalypse in reference to “The End” (Season 5, Episode 4), originally aired in October 2009, in which Dean wakes up five years into the future in an alternate universe and finds out that the world has been overrun after Lucifer released a zombie virus called Croatoan. In the episode, Dean’s future self learns that Sam has been possessed by Lucifer while fighting alongside a small band of fellow survivors. Upon confronting him, Lucifer explains, “Whatever choices you make, whatever details you alter, we will always end up here.”