Supernatural, Slash and Subtext: Part 1

Novelty t shirtSupernatural isn’t a perfect show, but then again, nothing is ever perfect and if it were, would we as a viewing audience still tune in? The Walking Dead is massively flawed, but sometimes I get the impression that people tune in just to try to parse out what they might have done differently as writers/ producers or even actors. Back to Supernatural, and to shows that do well, specifically within a certain demographic: What do shows such as Supernatural, Doctor Who, Sherlock, Once Upon a Time and even the original series of Star Trek all have in common? Well, they are or were all wildly popular and successful, especially among women ages 18-35, though still appealed to the “target demographic” of straight (ostensibly white, cis-gendered) men of the same or even broader ages.

(image from one of the many Star Trek novelty t shirts in our collection)

Science Fiction and to some extent, fantasy has always been a man’s world. The writers are men, the show’s producers are men, the showrunners and the majority of the lead actors and characters are all usually male. But so many of the fans are female, and straight females who are either tuning in with hopes of seeing two men in an intimate relationship with each other, or creating works of fan-fiction, better known as “Slash” in which their own fantastical, sexy projections and/ or interpretations of characters and events can finally manifest. (Star Trek T Shirt “Shoot that Thing!” because Kirk/ Spock was the original Slash.)

Leave a Comment