I had a whirlwind day in the Big Apple, so wanted to share a few photos and some of the fun. I was in NYC for the premiere of the new M. Night Shyamalan film ‘Split’, and as luck would have it, it turned out that Richard Speight Jr. and Rob Benedict would be in town too! They welcomed a small group of lucky fans to Tumblr headquarters for a screening of the last two episodes of Kings of Con followed by a Q&A.
Even waiting in line was fun – I met some great fellow fangirls while we stood on the sidewalk waiting to be let in, sharing con memories and photo ops and favorite episodes. Tumblr proved to be a wonderful host, with plenty of refreshments and a very friendly welcome.
I had already seen the last two KoC episodes, as had most of the fans there, but watching them on the big screen with a room full of fans was such a treat. We had a momentary audio glitch (must be a tech demon following Rob and Rich around this week…) and even it just added to the fun – because it sounded even more hilarious than usual.
Then Rob and Rich came out and took some questions, first from our Tumblr host and then from the audience. We had confirmed a few things that most of us were pretty sure about – for example, Jared and Jensen did a lot of improvising in their episode in that hysterical photo op scene. No surprise there! It was Jared’s idea to have Rob ask him to take his beanie off, and I think we all had already figured out Jensen’s ‘back that ass up’ in the outtakes wasn’t in the script. And the joke is that nobody actually knows what a squishy bear hug is – but I feel like lots of fans are going to try to find out at the next con.
I finally had the chance to catch up with Alaina Huffman (Supernatural, Stargate Universe and Smallville) at the Supernatural Burbank convention. Our paths have crossed many times, but we had never had a chance to sit down and chat until then – and what a fun conversation it was!
After playing Abbadon on Supernatural for multiple episodes, Alaina had just returned to that set to shadow director Phil Sgriccia. I couldn’t wait to hear all about that, but first we had to gush a little about the SPN Family. The Burbank convention in particular feels like a family affair, since many of the cast are local and can bring their families along.
Lynn: It really does feel like everyone is family at the cons.
Aliana: Especially here, everyone has their family and their kids here.
Lynn: OMG Matt Cohen’s son Macklin is so cute.
Alaina: SO cute!
[Yes, we were gushing. If you’ve seen Macklin, you totally understand why. There followed a brief pause for both of us to grab another handful of Doritos from the bag on the table between us]
The last Supernatural con of 2016 was memorable for me, though not for the reasons I thought it would be. I was spending time with the kids so was only able to get there Saturday night, and the second – literally – I stepped off the shuttle and into the hotel, my phone rang and I got the shocking news that my dad had passed away. It was one of those moments that turns completely surreal immediately. I think I told the doctor trying to be sympathetic on the phone “no that can’t be right, I’m in San Francisco.” He patiently answered that yes, he realized that, but in fact my father had still expired. It will be darkly comedic at some point, but I’m not quite there yet.
I wandered into the hotel in a sort of daze, and immediately some of the Creation people I’ve come to know over the years knew something was wrong. Even though it was way too late to get registered, they got me a wristband and my seat pass and whatever else I needed. My friend Max held my hand and walked me to my seat and checked on me throughout the concert.
I couldn’t even bring myself to make any phone calls; instead I drank in the Saturday Night Special like it was a lifeline. It feels like that sometimes anyway, but never so much as that night. I felt surrounded by love, fans who are friends all around me and cast who feel like friends too singing such emotional songs that I was swept up in it and out of my own sadness. Just for an hour, but it was what I needed to give me time to accept what had happened gradually, so it didn’t overwhelm me.
The mid-season finale of Supernatural won’t go down in history as one of my favorites, much to my disappointment. I didn’t hate it – it kept my interest throughout, so there’s that. Some of that sustained interest was me shaking my head and muttering “too soon, too soon,” and some of it was me shaking my head and demanding of my television “what the hell is even happening?” and occasionally it was me going “mmm boys in handcuffs,” but I wasn’t bored.
The episode moved the season’s arc forward, following Lucifer in his vessel-hopping reign of wreaking havoc right into the President of the United States, and eventually managing to drive him out. Yay for a moment of Winchesters success! Crowley and Cas continue to be a team, and Rowena joins in to help, all of them united in their very evident hatred of Lucifer. Along the way, the British Men of Letters reappear to seemingly save the day and Lucifer manages to create a Nephilim who will undoubtedly be a problem going forward. The cliffhanger ending sees Cas losing the Nephlim’s mother to be in a diner and the Winchesters managing to get themselves arrested. That’s a pretty good plot, and I like where we ended up, but there were some frustrations along the way.
This is a drive-by review, written from the family vacation last week, where I couldn’t actually watch Supernatural as it aired. Of course, I couldn’t entirely stay off twitter either, so I knew that a) I was probably going to enjoy the episode and b) Sam and Dean are wearing leather. And someone mentioned Dean in eyeliner. What???? Why was this the episode I had to miss??? I then spent the next day biting my nails and trying to find it on amazon or hulu and wondering when the hell the new episode finally appears on the CW app. Finally youtube allowed me to buy it, much to my tremendous relief. Because, Sam and Dean in leather!
Sunday was another rather emotional day thanks to the recent election.
In the morning gold panel, Jared said that he had messaged Misha when the results came in and was worried when he didn’t respond right away. Forty eight hours later he got back a sad frowny face. Both Jared and Jensen applauded Misha for his efforts to get people to vote, saying how proud they are of him. I’ve said it before, but I just love how supportive they all are of each other.
In response to some fans whose lives have been changed by the show, Jared reminded us all that #AlwaysKeepFighting is also a metaphor for the show – that it’s important to make a difference that lasts.
During the gold panel, a fan asked Jared and Jensen what their most elaborate prank was.
Returning to Burbank for what is, for now at least, the last Supernatural con that Creation has planned there, was both festive and emotional. Many of the actors live there, so that means their families can come see what they do for a dozen or more weekends out of the year, and even actors who aren’t making paid appearances sometimes show up to join in the fun. That means a con in Burbank is usually a very good party.
Even as an East Coaster, I love Burbank too. It’s such a nice little airport and a lovely hotel with a convenient little convention ballroom attached. There’s a handy bar to meet up with fellow fans, and there’s all of Burbank a few minutes away with its great restaurants too. I hated not being there last year, instead stuck at the giant Pasadena convention center, so I was thrilled to be back.
It was the weekend after the election, and emotions were running high for both guests and fans. Somehow the con felt like the best place to be, surrounded by a lot of love and support. There were fliers throughout the hotel letting fans know that this was a safe space, and that they were accepted here. It made me proud to be a fan and a member of this SPN Family – and to sort of want to stay there in that fandom bubble for as long as possible!