It’s easy to look at Supernatural as just that: two handsome guys fighting monsters. And if you skim the surface, that’s what you’ll see. But, these words from Tanya Cook and Kaela Joseph’s essay, “Gender, Activism, and SPN’s Legacy,” could be used as a tagline for the entire series.
Cook and Joseph’s essay is included in There’ll Be Peace When You Are Done, the latest anthology from Supernatural super fan and clinical psychologist Lynn S. Zubernis, the unofficial compiler of all things SPN. While Zubernis has presented other collections, such as Family Don’t End with Blood, this latest addition celebrates the whole of Supernatural: the actors, creators, and fans. More than just superficial stories or flighty anecdotes, the essays contained within the book dive into the depths of the show in a way that will make readers reconsider the last fifteen seasons and re-watch the series with their newfound wisdom and keen eye for detail.
The essays traverse every possible topic, but they all follow the idea of how Supernatural has changed the lives of the authors. Even more astounding is that not only has the show actually saved lives, but Zubernis’ previous works are also credited with that mighty boast. Some of the authors discuss their perceived shortcomings in life and how the series helped them overcome and demolish adversity. Others shed light on movements for those who are disabled, suffer from mental illness, are part of the trans or gay communities, and so forth.
Though each personal story spoke to me in different ways, I found myself drawn to two particular essays: “A Family Affair” by Jared Padalecki and “What’s Up, Tiger Mommy?” by Lauren Tom. Jared Padalecki has been a personal hero of mine since he started speaking out about depression, suicide awareness, and mental illness in general. He made it okay to talk about the things some of us live with in the dark. To read his words on the SPN family and how much the show has changed lives is nothing short of spectacular. Lauren Tom’s essay takes up a quirkier side of being on SPN, reliving the kick-butt side of her from her childhood. I was that same child she describes, which made me realize it wasn’t for naught that I identified so much with her character on the show. Yet, despite the smiles, she delves into deeper topics, such as stereotypes, racism, and conquering those demons.
There’ll Be Peace When You Are Done acts as a final summary of the show for fans, a series that is ending far too soon despite its longevity. It is beautiful, accessible, and – simply stated – a must read for any fan. At the end of a fifteen-year run, what started out as just another television show became so much more to so many. There appears to be no viewer from any part of society who hasn’t been touched, moved, and reborn because of Supernatural, and this collection reinforces how important the show was, is, and will continue to be.
Pretty astounding for two handsome dudes fighting monsters.
Edited by: Lynn S. Zubernis
Publisher: Smart Pop, an imprint of BenBella Books, Inc.
Click here to purchase.