At all times, I carry a wallet and phone case that are Supernatural themed. My phone lock screen and phone wallpaper are Supernatural themed. My work backpack is Supernatural related. I have a Castiel mug at work, and at home I have a Supernatural calendar, 2 necklaces, a bracelet, five posters, four professional photos, a Castiel tree topper, several knick-knacks, a tea infuser, and several specialty looseleaf teas — all Supernatural themed.
I. Love. Supernatural.
I’ve always been a sci-fi/fantasy fan. As a kid, I loved any kind of mythology or fairy tale-like story I could find. I played Super Mario RPG countless times because it had a fantasy-esque storyline.
As a teen, I read Tolkien for the first time and devoured it, reading The Silmarillion (arguably, Tolkien’s most difficult work to read) three times. I then read Chronicles of Narnia in a week.
So, it’s surprising that I didn’t get into Supernatural until just about four years ago. My intern working under me told me about the show. We shared other similar favorites, and he asked if I had ever watched Supernatural.
I couldn’t recall that I had, so he told me to check it out.
Well, as luck would have it, my wife was in a show that very month, attending rehearsals every night. After work one night, I decided to check out the first episode of Supernatural. I told myself that if it was too much spiritually I would stop. Otherwise, I’d check out the first season, at least.
One month later, and I had watched all nine seasons available on Netflix.
Yep, nine seasons in one month.
The mythology and sci-fi/fantasy aspect of the show attracted me, for sure. But honestly, it wasn’t that that drew me in.
It was Supernatural‘s exploration of male-male relationships that drew me in so powerfully.
The show’s first season follows two brothers, Sam and Dean, as they search for their missing dad. Father-son dynamics explored in the show resonated deeply with me. I related to both brothers’ struggle to find a dad they longed to see again, only to find that fatherly longing skirts over the tensions between them.
One brother does everything right but is never praised; another brother does everything wrong and is still somehow the one favored.
Over the next few seasons, we watch Sam and Dean stretch and grow their brotherly relationship. We see them fight, forgive, save each other, betray each other, and everything in between.
Then, a new character named Castiel comes onto the scene. A character who wasn’t originally supposed to last ends up becoming part of the family. The relationship between Dean and Castiel is especially poignant, to the point that it has the largest collection of fanfic written for any single friendship on TV.
Supernatural explores several other dynamics as well: surrogate fathers, surrogate sons, estranged friends, friends turned enemies, enemies turned friends.
All relationships between guys.
Honestly, I have not found another show that explores the wide range of male-male relationships like Supernatural. This is why I’m obsessed with it.
In a culture that seems to say there are only two male-male relationship options — sexual and non-sexual — it is refreshing to see a show explore the broader reality of relationships.
It is awesome to see that mistakes in relationships can be forgiven, love between men can be healthy and beneficial, romantic relationships do not exclude men from having friends, and we can heed the call to love sacrificially.
Supernatural is not for everyone. For some, the spiritual aspect may not be healthy; for others, the show’s lack of a million dollar budget may be distracting. And others still just don’t enjoy sci-fi or fantasy.
But Supernatural has been more than entertainment for me. It has been a source of learning, joy, healing, and encouragement.
Thus I will continue to be obsessed with it.
I’ll also keep collecting more Supernatural themed stuff.
Because Supernatural is everything.
Have you ever watched Supernatural? What are some other favorite shows, movies, or literature that feature gripping looks at male relationships?