16. Supernatural Fandom with Dr. Lynn Zubernis

Supernatural FanExpert, psychologist, and author Dr. Lynn Zubernis joins us as we talk about the fandom of Supernatural! We discuss how the show has changed over the years, how fandom helps people deal with depression, anxiety, and shyness, and just how awesome the cast is. 

Content Warning: Depression, Anxiety, Suicidal Thoughts 

00:01:27 Dr. Lynn Zubernis joins us
00:02:21 How we each got into Supernatural
00:08:34 Positive effects of the Supernatural fandom and fandom in general
00:13:08 The Evolution of Supernatural
00:34:21 SPN Family and Supernatural Conventions
00:45:37 Supernatural actors and their charity work

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Get Lynn’s other books here:

Fangasm: Supernatural Fangirls:
Buy on Amazon

Fan Phenomena: Supernatural
Buy on Amazon

Fandom at the Crossroads
Buy on Amazon

Supernatural Psychology: Roads Less Traveled
Buy on Amazon

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Greg:                            00:06                Welcome to the FanDummies Podcast where we discuss fandoms, pop culture and nerd out on topics spanning superheroes to supernatural. If you like comic books, sci-fi and fantasy, hit pause, click subscribe, and share with a friend. I’ll be your host for today, Greg, and with me is …

Erin:                             00:23                Erin.

Jessica:                         00:23                And Jessica.

Greg:                            00:25                And with us today, we’re lucky to have a fan expert, Dr. Lynn Zubernisis, a clinical psychologist and professor at West Chester University in Pennsylvania. She has written, edited six books on Fandom, five of which focus on the show she’s most passionate about, Supernatural. Her most recent, Family Don’t end with Blood, has chapters written by the Supernatural actors, all about how the show and the fandom have changed their lives.

Greg:                            00:50                Lynn is the area chair for Stardom and Fandom of the Southwest Popular Culture Association and on the editorial board of the Journal of Fandom Studies. She blogs at fangasmthebook.com, and at FangasmSPN on all social media, and writes for Movie TV Tech Geeks, Frolic and other publications. And if you haven’t guessed it by now, in this episode, we’re going to talk about the fandom of Supernatural.

Greg:                            01:27                Lynn, welcome to the show. That was quite an intro.

Dr. Lynn Zubernis:         01:31                Thank you.

Greg:                            01:32                We got our first names. You got five minutes. That’s pretty impressive.

Dr. Lynn Zubernis:         01:38                I know. I feel bad about that.

Greg:                            01:40                Everybody knows us, so you’re the star. We’re the FanDummies, you’re the fan expert.

Jessica:                         01:45                Yes.

Greg:                            01:46                Well, Jessica is kind of a fan expert on Supernatural.

Jessica:                         01:50                I am beside myself right now. I’m so excited about that.

Dr. Lynn Zubernis:         01:55                Oh, yay, a fellow Supernatural fan. Yay.

Greg:                            01:58                One of the criteria for being on the podcast, the topic, Supernatural, is that we all have to be fans of it. We want to make sure that we are passionate about what we’re talking about, so this is a good topic. We’ve all watched the show, we’ve all not watched every episode except for Jessica.

Erin:                         02:17                Close.

Dr. Lynn Zubernis:         02:19                And Lynn watched every episode.

Greg:                            02:22                I think maybe we’ll just break the ice and talk about how we got into the show. Lynn, since you’re our special guest, do you want to tell us? How did you find this?

Dr. Lynn Zubernis:         02:33                It’s actually an interesting and weird story. I had a friend who I already was into another fandom with, not really very seriously. I’ve never really been seriously into a fandom before Supernatural, but we were fannish about some things together. And during season one, right around the time of the pilot, she told me and our other friends, “Oh my God, there’s this great new show, Supernatural, you have to watch it.” She sat us down and we all watched the pilot, and honestly, I was like, “Oh well, that’s okay,” but it didn’t really grab me.

Dr. Lynn Zubernis:         03:05                Well, this was one of those people in fandom who is always trying to pull you into their fandom, so she never let up.

Erin:                             03:13                We get that here.

Dr. Lynn Zubernis:         03:14                I’m sure you get this all the time. I know you can relate, so during the whole first season, periodically, whenever the bunch of us would get together, she would bring video tapes, VHS tapes because this is back in the day. Supernatural has been on a long time, and we would watch the videotape of the episode and I liked them, but it just really didn’t totally grab me.

Dr. Lynn Zubernis:         03:36                So in season two I started watching the broadcast, mostly so I could talk to my friend, but I still wasn’t really a fan. And then one day early in season two, I was sitting there watching an episode and I was grading papers because I would do other things while I casually watched, and I realized that I had literally let the stack of papers slide off my lap and onto the floor. My mouth was hanging open, my pen was just dangling and I said out loud, “Oh my God, this is the most amazing show ever.” And my daughter was in the living room at the time and she said, “Mom, I think you’ve been watching this show for a year. What’s the matter with you? Is something wrong?”

Greg:                            04:19                That’s hilarious.

Dr. Lynn Zubernis:         04:19                And that was it. I went to the DVD set that my friend had sent me of season one, popped it in, binge-watched, re watched the whole season. And from that time on, I was just an incredibly passionate fan.

Erin:                             04:33                What was it in that episode that hooked you?

Dr. Lynn Zubernis:         04:37                I think it’s Everybody Loves a Clown, is what the episode is called, and there’s a scene where Dean and Sam have the Impala parked up on top of a mountain, and Dean finally opens up about his feelings and he gets tearful, and I was just like, “Oh my God, I had this show all wrong.” I thought this was just a little bit horror movie and adventure, and no, this is a deeply psychological, emotional show and who the hell are these actors showing all of this vulnerability and emotion? That was it, that was it.

Jessica:                         05:11                These macho dudes showing emotion.

Erin:                             05:14                Was there a single man tear?

Jessica:                         05:15                Yes.

Dr. Lynn Zubernis:         05:16                I think there was.

Jessica:                         05:18                That may have been the single man tear moment that inspired the song.

Dr. Lynn Zubernis:         05:21                Yeah, it may have been the very first one, honestly.

Greg:                            05:25                Jessica, do you like the interpersonal relationships of the show?

Jessica:                         05:28                Absolutely.

Greg:                            05:29                That’s what you’re into?

Jessica:                         05:30                Absolutely. Because as we talked about in our Walking Dead episode, not a fan of horror. I know you guys watched it before I did, and I caught up on the show during season eight, and I even watched it only during the day because I didn’t want to watch it at night because I was afraid I was going to have nightmares, but then it became about the people. It became about the characters.

Jessica:                         05:50                I was seeing it on social media everywhere. I was like, “Oh my God, the Supernatural has a gift for everything. It’s just everywhere, all the time,” and I was just so intrigued by it and I wanted to be a part of it. And so, I had a lot more to binge. I had to watch seven plus seasons and it was in the middle of season eight that I caught up, and I just remember loving season eight because it was the first part that I watched live.

Greg:                            06:15                Now, I think Jessica, now that I know this, I think Erin and I are the bigger Super fans than you because we were on board since the beginning.

Jessica:                         06:25                Oh, whatever. It’s fine.

Erin:                             06:25                We watched the pilot on TV.

Dr. Lynn Zubernis:         06:25                So it’s a competition all of a sudden?

Greg:                            06:25                That’s right. How did we get into it, Erin? It was a … I’ll let you tell the story.

Erin:                             06:29                Well, we used to watch the Gilmore Girls.

Greg:                            06:31                That’s it.

Erin:                             06:32                And Dean-

Greg:                            06:33                I hate admitting to it. I’m sorry to interrupt you.

Erin:                             06:35                This is Greg’s favorite story. Dean was on the Gilmore Girls, also known as Sam. We were like, “Oh look, he’s going to be on this new show.” We didn’t know really what it was.

Greg:                            06:44                Or who he was, really.

Erin:                             06:46                And if I’m right, I think it was on right after or there might’ve been another show between, but I know it was on the … Was it the WB back then?

Dr. Lynn Zubernis:         06:53                Mm-hmm (affirmative). WB, yeah. I think it was right after. I think they did that purposely to try to filter fans into the new show.

Greg:                            07:00                And that’s Jared that crossed over, right?

Erin:                             07:02                Yes.

Dr. Lynn Zubernis:         07:02                Yes.

Greg:                            07:03                He was on 7th Heaven as Dean, and then we-

Erin:                             07:05                Not 7th Heaven.

Greg:                            07:05                Not 7th Heaven? He was on … come on.

Erin:                             07:09                Nobody knows that we watched that.

Greg:                            07:12                Oh no.

Dr. Lynn Zubernis:         07:13                Now, they do unless you edit that out.

Greg:                            07:15                It’ll make it in, I’m sure. The Gilmore Girls, he crossed the chasm from the Gilmore Girls to Supernatural.

Jessica:                             07:22                And Jensen was on Smallville too.

Erin:                         07:24                Oh yeah.

Greg:                            07:25                Yeah.

Dr. Lynn Zubernis:         07:25                Yeah.

Erin:                             07:26                And we used to watch Smallville as well.

Greg:                            07:28                And that really helped me out because I liked Supernatural a lot from the very beginning. And when it was on in 2005, it was on after Smallville, on the then CW, first year to see-

Dr. Lynn Zubernis:         07:36                WB.

Greg:                            07:39                Oh was it the WB?

Jessica:                             07:39                It was the WB.

Dr. Lynn Zubernis:         07:39                It was the WB for year one, and then the CW for year two.

Greg:                            07:44                So it came on right afterward, and it was just very convenient because it was two shows I liked right in a row. Smallville was on for a very long time too, so it just stuck. So this is your 15th for this show, right?

Jessica:                             07:58                Yep.

Dr. Lynn Zubernis:         07:58                Yep.

Erin:                             07:59                And I’m embarrassed to say, but I did not realize there were conventions for this show.

Dr. Lynn Zubernis:         08:04                Oh, yeah, there’ve been conventions for over a decade. They started in 2007.

Jessica:                             08:08                It’s crazy.

Greg:                            08:10                And also, I read in your book, you said that this was maybe your first fandom, but you said you were a Trekkie.

Erin:                             08:19                What? Oh, yeah.

Greg:                            08:19                And a Buffy fan.

Dr. Lynn Zubernis:         08:19                Back in the day, yeah. I loved Next Generation, Star Trek: The Next Generation.

Jessica:                             08:24                We all love that here, especially Greg.

Greg:                            08:27                Oh, yeah. I’m a big Star Trek fan. I can’t wait for the new stuff to come out.

Erin:                             08:32                Picard?

Greg:                            08:32                Yeah.

Dr. Lynn Zubernis:         08:33                Yeah, me too.

Greg:                            08:35                In your book you focus a lot about … For those who don’t know, the book is called Family Don’t end with Blood. I want to make sure I reference the title, so people can find it and look it up, but the stories are from a lot of different people. I read yours and I read a few others and some of the actors and your opening, and it’s really interesting because the book is all about how the show changed lives either … It sounded like in your case, you found your voice, which I can’t imagine you not having that.

Dr. Lynn Zubernis:         09:06                I assure you, I did not for most of my life.

Greg:                            09:09                I don’t know if it had a similar effect on me because I really was in it for the action. Did Supernatural have an effect on you, Jessica?

Jessica:                         09:16                Probably. I think fandom in general has brought me out of my shell a lot. In high school I was slowly starting to get into things like Harry Potter and all of that, and most of my connecting with people was based around those common interests. And as time has gone on, I’ve just gotten into more and more fandoms and more and more things, and I just want to talk about them all the time, which is why we started this podcast. So yeah, I think it’s definitely had a similar effect on me in bringing me out of my shell.

Greg:                            09:44                Did you ever imagine yourself on a podcast?

Jessica:                         09:46                No.

Greg:                            09:47                In your wildest dreams?

Jessica:                         09:48                No.

Erin:         09:48                I didn’t imagine Jessica on a  podcast last year.

Greg:                            09:52                We never imagined-

Erin:                         09:52                Ever.

Greg:                            09:52                … our podcast.

Jessica:                         09:56                But get me talking about the right stuff and I’ll just keep going.

Dr. Lynn Zubernis:         09:58                I think that’s why fandom does bring so many people out of their shell because when you are so passionate about something, the impetus to speak about it and to write about it and to talk about it is so great that we push past those barriers that would’ve always keep us quiet. So I think that’s why so many people feel like fandom and the fandom community has changed them in such important ways, and then that bleeds into the rest of your life.

Jessica:                         10:23                Yeah, absolutely.

Erin:                             10:25                It’s very true.

Greg:                            10:26                Lynn, maybe you could give us a little bit about your journey. I know you referenced it in your book, but for those who haven’t read your book yet and are probably soon to go out and buy it, it sounds like your friend convinced you to go to a convention. Or was it you that convinced her?

Dr. Lynn Zubernis:         10:40                I think in the beginning, the first couple of books that I wrote were written with my friend Kathy Larsen, who’s a professor at George Washington University in DC, and we were both friends with that original person who got us hooked on Supernatural, so we fell in love with it at the same time. So the first five, six years of my journey I really took with her. It was wonderful to do it with a good friend, and I think we facilitated each other.

Dr. Lynn Zubernis:         11:08                The first thing we did was to fly across the country to see Jensen Ackles in a local theater production in Dallas which seemed like an insane … That our families and our partners were just like, “You’re going to do what?” But we only signed up for one performance because we felt really guilty about it, and we were being given a hard time by our family. So we literally were going to fly out there, go to one performance, and then fly back. But at the end of the performance, we realized that there were still tickets available for subsequent performances, and some other fans who we met there were like, “Really? You flew from the East Coast to Texas and you’re just going to turn around and go home? Jensen Ackles is still going to be here.”

Dr. Lynn Zubernis:         11:52                So we bought tickets for the next day’s performance too, and then that was where we met Jared by coincidence in the lobby, and it started us down the path even more seriously, so slippery slope.

Erin:                             12:09                Did you go up and approach him? Were you fan girling over him?

Dr. Lynn Zubernis:         12:11                I did. Well, no, I wasn’t fan girling over him. I was totally cool coming outside. Kathy is an introvert and I’ve become more extroverted, so first we had a huge argument about whether or not we should approach him, and she said no, and I said, yes.

Jessica:                         12:30                It sounds about right.

Dr. Lynn Zubernis:         12:31                And-

Erin:                             12:31                It sounds like Jessica and I.

Dr. Lynn Zubernis:         12:31                Oh, yeah it was terrible. We really were fighting, and then I finally was like, “If you’re not going, just give me your camera because I’m going.” And I walked up to him and very politely said, “Are you Jared Padalecki?” And he was like, “I am.” And I said, “Oh, that’s so nice of you to come to support Jensen, your co-star.” And then we had a lovely chat and I realized, “Oh my gosh, what nice guys these guys are.”

Greg:                            12:58                I would have said, “You were awesome on the Gilmore Girls.”

Dr. Lynn Zubernis:         13:03                I’m ashamed to say I didn’t watch Gilmore Girls.

Greg:                            13:05                That’s funny.

Jessica:                             13:08                That’s good.

Greg:                            13:09                Maybe we can talk a little bit about the evolution of the show over the years. When we first watched the show, it was very … I don’t know how best to describe it, but it was gods and Lucifer and demons, and as the show went on, they really added more complexity in depth and lore. Jessica, what did you think about …? Just give us a season one through five-

Jessica:                         13:30                Oh gosh.

Greg:                            13:31                … gut reaction here.

Jessica:                         13:32                Well, it was definitely more geared toward horror at the beginning, and I think the complexities came when they started adding the angels and the demons, and the heaven and the hell, and all of the ongoing story arcs that had to do with the apocalypse and all of that. Early on, there was a lot of monster of the week, which was taken from the X-Files and all of that stuff.

Greg:                            13:52                Because there was a different show runner for seasons one through five, right?

Jessica:                         13:55                Yeah. That was Eric Kripke, the creator and Robert Singer I think, has helped out pretty much since the beginning, so those two were really the head honchos then.

Greg:                            14:05                Isn’t there a character, Bobby Singer? He-

Jessica:                         14:06                Yeah. Exactly.

Greg:                            14:08                That’s why.

Erin:                         14:09                How did he get the last name Singer? I saw that in your book. I read that.

Dr. Lynn Zubernis:         14:13                The character is named after the real person.

Greg:                            14:17                That’s awesome.

Jessica:                         14:17                And also in … What is it? Oh, The Boys. We just watched. I know Jim Beaver played a character. His name was Robert Singer. There’s a theme there.

Dr. Lynn Zubernis:         14:26                Oh, yeah.

Jessica:                         14:26                Kripke likes to toss little references in there.

Erin:                             14:29                So Lynn, have you seen The Boys?

Dr. Lynn Zubernis:         14:31                Oh, yeah. I did an interview with Eric Kripke about The Boys a couple of months ago after I … I’ve stayed in touch with him ever since the beginning when I started doing the early books. He was one of the first people that I sat down and talked to, and we’ve stayed in touch ever since.

So when he was doing The Boys, I saw him at Comic-Con and said, “We need to chat again,” so we had a really nice chat, and I love The Boys. It’s an amazing show.

Greg:                            14:56                It is unbelievable. It is not for the faint of heart, but it’s cool.

Dr. Lynn Zubernis:         14:59                No, yeah.

Erin:                             15:01             I’m just gonna say  dolphins.

Dr. Lynn Zubernis:         15:07                I love it for that.

Greg:                            15:08                Me too. That was unbelievable. So Lynn, I got to ask, did you ever see yourself hanging out with Eric Kripke and M. Night? Is this a life that you even envisioned that you would have?

Dr. Lynn Zubernis:         15:19                Oh my God, no, not in a million years. In part of my chapter in Family Don’t end with Blood, I talk about the fact that I was so shy and introverted as a kid that I once got a D in geography class because I had never spoken. And class participation was part of the grade, so when my mother marched in there and said, “But she has straight A’s,” the teacher was like, “She has never spoken. She could be mute for all I know.”

Erin:                             15:45                Oh, gosh.

Jessica:                         15:45                Sounds like me.

Dr. Lynn Zubernis:         15:47                That was me for most of my life, so no, and I never had any real interest in the television or film industry. It wasn’t my thing at all. I was always fannish. As a kid, I loved Star Trek, so it’s not like I wasn’t passionate about stories and storytelling and especially sci-fi in genre. I was, but I never thought that I would be at all on the other side or straddling both sides of that. I always thought I would be firmly on the fan side, just looking over the fence like, “Oh wow, what’s going on over there?”

Greg:                            16:23                Yeah, that’s funny. You realize that they are just normal people working a job.

Dr. Lynn Zubernis:         16:29                Totally. And I know M. Night Shyamalan in a different way because I went to grad school with his wife, so I’ve known him since before he was famous. I’ve known him forever, so he’s just a good personal friend. That’s a little bit different, but I think maybe knowing him in that capacity, and my son has acted in some of his films, so I’ve been on his film sets a lot. That took away, I think, some of the anxiety for me. I was able to walk up to Jared because I had chatted with Bruce Willis and people and on Night’s films, so it didn’t seem quite so intimidating, I think.

Erin:                             17:05                They’re just people too. I mean-

Dr. Lynn Zubernis:         17:07                Yeah, exactly.

Greg:                            17:08                I hope you didn’t say, “Man, this is easier than talking to Bruce Willis.”

Dr. Lynn Zubernis:         17:11                No. No, I did it. That would have been foolish.

Greg:                            17:15                That would have funny.

Dr. Lynn Zubernis:         17:15                But I thought it. I thought it.

Greg:                            17:17                Yeah, I bet. Eric, he moved on from the show after season five, and then Sarah took over I guess, from season six. How do you think the show changed in season six, and this question is for anybody?

Dr. Lynn Zubernis:         17:32                That’s a big question. I think it definitely did. I think it was a tough transition for both. Sarah, who I love … I love The Magicians, I love her new show too. All of her new shows are fabulous, and I think she’s a fabulous writer and was a good show runner. But I think it was tough to step into the shoes of the actual person who created the characters and the show.

Dr. Lynn Zubernis:         17:55                He was the show runner for five years, and he had an arc planned out that was a five year arc, and it ended with Swan Song. And then Sarah had to step in and pick it up from there and take it somewhere, so I have a lot of empathy for how hard a position that was for her to be in. The next couple of seasons are not my favorite seasons, six, seven and eight.

Jessica:                             18:15                Same.

Greg:                            18:15                Right.

Dr. Lynn Zubernis:         18:16                I think it took a little while for the show to 100% find its footing again, but that said, every season there are episodes that I think were amazing, so it’s not like the quality just disappeared. But I think it did struggle a little in that transition.

Jessica:                             18:32                I agree.

Erin:                         18:33                Also, sometimes shows just go on for so long that it’s hard to come up with content that you’re just going to love every week. There’s always going to be ups and downs on these episodes.

Greg:                            18:43                I always think Star Trek: The Next Generation season four.

Erin:                         18:47                You won’t even let me watch them. He’s like, “No, we’re going to skip that one.”

Greg:                            18:52                It’s the blue box on the DVD set, and just act like that one doesn’t exist.

Dr. Lynn Zubernis:         19:00                There’s no entire season of Supernatural that I didn’t like plenty of things in, but there’s a couple episodes in that middle area that … I’ll never watch season seven, Time for a Wedding! again. Once was enough.

Jessica:                         19:16                That one? That’s rough for sure. Wait, but was Garth in that episode?

Dr. Lynn Zubernis:         19:22                No, I don’t think so.

Jessica:                         19:24                Oh, then it was in a different one. I’m thinking of a different one, I think.

Dr. Lynn Zubernis:         19:27                Yeah, that’s the Becky episode. The last Becky episode.

Jessica:                         19:29                Yes, that’s what I’m thinking of. I have some soft spots in season eight because like I said, it was when I caught up with the show and it had some Charlie in, it had some Kevin in, and it had some Garth, and I’m very attached to those characters, so that will always have a special place in my heart, I think.

Dr. Lynn Zubernis:         19:46                No, agreed. I’m a huge Charlie and Kevin especially, fan and so they’re … Like I said, there are always storylines and episodes in every season that I absolutely loved, but-

Erin:                             19:57                I remember Jessica almost quit watching the show when they killed off Charlie.

Dr. Lynn Zubernis:         20:02                That was a bad time. That was a terrible-

Erin:                             20:03                [inaudible 00:20:00] off Charlie.

Dr. Lynn Zubernis:         20:03                No, that was a bad time. That was a terrible decision-

Erin:                             20:05                She was salty for a month after that-

Jessica:                         20:06                I’m still salty.

Dr. Lynn Zubernis:         20:08                The whole FanDummy was salty. That was a mistake-

Jessica:                         20:12                For sure.

Dr. Lynn Zubernis:         20:12                That was just a mistake.

Jessica:                         20:14                Absolutely.

Greg:                            20:15                That’s amazing. So season eight was, I guess Jeremy Carver’s first season, right? That wasn’t the greatest start, I don’t think. But season nine seemed to do much, much, much better.

Dr. Lynn Zubernis:         20:25                Yeah. I think nine, 10, and 11 really found a new footing again and got pretty strong.

Jessica:                         20:31                That era introduced the Mark of Cain and the Knights of Hell and Demon Dean and Rowena and-

Greg:                            20:38                Demon Dean.

Jessica:                         20:40                Yeah.

Dr. Lynn Zubernis:         20:41                Yeah. That storyline should have run for about 10 more episodes than it did, but it was a great storyline.

Jessica:                         20:46                I think so too. I still remember watching that finale and watching Dean open his eyes and the collective gasp around the world.

Dr. Lynn Zubernis:         20:58                Yeah. What a great season ending. Holy crap.

Jessica:                         21:00                Yeah. I love that.

Greg:                            21:01                Do you think Sam’s struggle being addicted to demon blood resonated with fans that might also be struggling with substance abuse?

Dr. Lynn Zubernis:         21:12                I think that’s actually one of the things that the show does very well. I’m a psychologist by trade. That’s what my PhD is in. So I’m always watching the show with my psychologist hat on alongside my fan girl hat. So they’re balanced jauntily on different parts of my head. I think the show does a really good job of tackling psychological issues, sometimes through metaphor, like the demon blood, Sam’s demon blood and his addiction. And that was so well done. You could feel his craving and his shame and his pain and Dean’s derision and how it tanked their relationship. It was heartbreaking, but it is what happens with addiction. And I also love later when Sam has been to the cage with Lucifer, how his PTSD keeps getting shown in subtle ways, but they never forget it. Jared Padelecki, brilliant acting job. Never let you forget that Sam’s got PTSD from your time and-

Jessica:                         22:13                Even today. Yeah.

Dr. Lynn Zubernis:         22:14                Yeah, even now. Exactly. They haven’t forgotten. And I think that’s rare in a genre show like supernatural, that depth.

Greg:                            22:23                Yeah. And I know it’s probably not the most fun topics to discuss, but there’s a lot, these characters lose people, they’re very close to you and they have to adapt and change the places where they live and things aren’t safe anymore. I just think that the way they approach this, even though, technically, it’s a horror show, the way they approach it is pretty interesting.

Dr. Lynn Zubernis:         22:45                I think that’s partly why part of the point of family don’t end with blood was to be helpful to fans reading it by showing that the actors on the show have been through really hard times and have confronted a lot of challenges too and that the show and the fandom and each other have helped them through them too. And really, I think one of the reasons that the show has resonated with so many people, is because it’s a very dark show. There’s grief and there’s loss and there’s trauma all over the place. But it’s also an incredibly hopeful show because Sam and Dean from the beginning, no matter what life threw at them, they just stand up and always keep fighting. And that mantra, it’s been taken on into real life by their charity campaigns and by the fandom. And I think that’s really helpful in a world that sometimes throws a lot of challenges at people.

Jessica:                         23:36                Yeah.

Greg:                            23:37                Did the fandom help you help people in your practice?

Dr. Lynn Zubernis:         23:44                Yeah, for sure. I discovered around the time that I started trying to figure out what the hell was happening with me and why I was so passionate about the show and if it was a good healthy thing, I started realizing that A, yes, it was a good, healthy thing that was really helpful to me and others. And B, it’s often something, when people are really depressed, the first thing that they lose is being able to experience pleasure and things called anhedonia. And sometimes if you can help somebody tap into what they’re passionate about and rediscover that, that can be a reason for them to pull themselves out of things like depression or anxiety.

Dr. Lynn Zubernis:         24:23                So fandomwas very helpful in that way. It was also helpful as a community where people could be real for the first time. So people who had never really felt a sense of belongingness or had felt at odds with the world or out of step with mainstream culture, sometimes if they could find a community like fandom, they could find that sense of belongingness that humans, we really need that sense of belongingness to feel okay about ourselves.

Dr. Lynn Zubernis:         24:50                And then lastly, fandom is also a place where people often discover their creativity and try new things because it does feel so accepting. So if I could help a client who was really struggling, tap into something they were passionate about and maybe into a fan community, that is a really incredible thing and a really positive thing. So yeah, for sure.

Jessica:                         25:11                I was nodding my head yes throughout the entire time you were talking.

Greg:                            25:15                This is an audio podcast.

Jessica:                         25:16                Yes, I know but I didn’t wanna interrupt like, yes, yes, yes.

Erin:                             25:21                So you’re saying is totally healthy that we’re all obsessed with these TV shows and these movies and these actors and-

Greg:                            25:26                Yeah, I heard it from a doctor.

Dr. Lynn Zubernis:         25:27                That’s right, yeah. You have to listen to me, I’m a doctor, yup, totally healthy.

Erin:                             25:32                Every once in a while, we’re a little obsessed with this stuff. Should we be this obsessed?

Dr. Lynn Zubernis:         25:37                That’s why I started doing the research. And I’m not saying that sometimes people, it’s a continuum, right? So I’m not saying that sometimes people end up too far down the continuum. If you are going to not want to keep living because your favorite show is going off the air, or if you are ganging up on somebody who doesn’t ship the thing as you do, it’s possible to go too far, but I think for the vast majority of people, yeah, it’s positive and it’s healthy.

Greg:                            26:05                Nodding Jessica.

Jessica:                         26:06                No, I wasn’t nodding at the bad stuff. I was nodding as in she has a point and I’ve seen it before. Yes.

Greg:                            26:16                Okay.

Dr. Lynn Zubernis:         26:16                Yeah.

Jessica:                         26:17                Yeah.

Greg:                            26:17                So to close out the evolution of the show, I know we go on tangents, but that’s what makes podcasting so much fun. These seasons 12 and 15 which we’re embarking on now, the show runner is Andrew Dabb?

Jessica:                         26:29                Andrew Dabb, yeah.

Greg:                            26:30                So Jessica, give us a recap of what’s happening because I think this is where we stopped. I don’t know if I’ve seen season 12.

Jessica:                         26:39                This is the introduction of the Men of Letters, the British Men of Letters, which brought the characters Mick and Ketch and they go on hunts with the Winchesters, which now includes Mary because she’s back from the dead.

Greg:                            26:53                All right, I remember this.

Jessica:                         26:54                Yeah, I know.

Erin:                             26:55                Yeah, we saw that.

Jessica:                         26:56                Amara brought her back as a thank you to Dean for convincing God to forgive her. And Lucifer’s son Jack, who was a Nephilim comes into play here and at the end of the season, they send Lucifer to the apocalypse world where Sam and Dean were never born. And that is the introduction of that whole world, which is still in play today because there’s a whole group of people on the other end who are hunting and trying to survive in a very Walking Dead esque feel. And it gives the opportunity to bring a whole bunch of characters back, which I love, and all the other worlds so that we can bring all of those versions of the characters back.

Dr. Lynn Zubernis:         27:40                I disagree with you about that.

Greg:                            27:42                Yeah.

Jessica:                         27:43                Well, at that point.

Greg:                            27:43                School her Lynn.

Dr. Lynn Zubernis:         27:47                No, it’s just a personal preference. I desperately wanted people like Charlie and Bobby back, but I wanted our Charlie and Bob back. I didn’t want a Charlie who never knew Sam and Dean and a Bobby who never … that doesn’t feel the same to me, that Bobby never knew Sam and Dean. He didn’t consider them like his sons. So the emotional attachment I had to those original characters never transferred for me to the AU versions.

Jessica:                         28:13                That’s very true, especially with Charlie. When Dean was trying to connect with Charlie and she was like, “Cool dude, what are you doing?”

Dr. Lynn Zubernis:         28:21                Yeah, because he’s a stranger. She doesn’t know him.

Jessica:                         28:24                Yeah, for sure.

Dr. Lynn Zubernis:         28:25                She wasn’t like a little sister to them because they weren’t in that world. I saw the alternate universe and the bringing back of those characters as an acknowledgement of, “All right, we really screwed up with killing off some of these people, maybe we could bring them back like this.” And me and a lot of people were like, “Yep, nope, you can’t.

Jessica:                         28:46                Not good enough.

Dr. Lynn Zubernis:         28:47                Nope. Not good enough.

Jessica:                         28:49                Which is true.

Greg:                            28:51                Now how does that break the Canon, because I know a couple times the brothers have gone to heaven and seen Bobby, haven’t they?

Jessica:                         29:00                Yeah.

Greg:                            29:01                So is there multiple heavens for multiple alternate realities? Word is that-

Dr. Lynn Zubernis:         29:05                I think so. Yeah. I think the alternate universe is our true alternate universe. So everything is different.

Jessica:                         29:13                Yeah.

Greg:                            29:13                Wow.

Jessica:                         29:14                Yeah. And then season 13 focuses on that world a lot because Mary ends up in that world and Sam and Dean are trying to get her back. Jack also ends up there and so they’re trying to get her back and then all of those hunters from that world end up in the real world, earth prime, whatever you want to call it, the main world. And Lucifer’s still around causing trouble at this point. Not too thrilled about that. I felt like they beat the dead horse with that a little bit.

Dr. Lynn Zubernis:         29:47                Oh heck yes.

Greg:                            29:49                Is it the same actor?

Jessica:                         29:50                Yeah.

Greg:                            29:51                Oh yeah.

Dr. Lynn Zubernis:         29:51                Yeah.

Jessica:                         29:51                Which is-

Dr. Lynn Zubernis:         29:52                And he’s a great actor, but yeah, sometimes they just don’t know when to wrap up a storyline.

Jessica:                             29:57                Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Jessica:                         29:59                Yeah. And I definitely felt that that did that and I loved having Jack around and I love still having, well, speaking in different versions.

Dr. Lynn Zubernis:         30:09                But I like this. I like Belphegor , Belphegor’s hysterical. Alex Calvert is doing a bang up job playing that character. He’s snarky and sassy and I love him.

Jessica:                         30:20                Yeah, I love him too, but I hope that we get real Jack back. I’m sure that we will.

Dr. Lynn Zubernis:         30:26                We will.

Greg:                            30:27                Season 14.

Jessica:                         30:28                Yeah. You want to fill in some for me, Lynn?

Dr. Lynn Zubernis:         30:31                No, you’re actually doing a fabulous job.

Greg:                            30:34                You’re not getting off the hook of that easy.

Erin:                             30:35                Dang it. Wait, season 13 says Scoobynatural.

Jessica:                         30:38                Oh yeah, Scoobynatural. I put that in there because Scoobynatural happened and I thought it was so much fun.

Dr. Lynn Zubernis:         30:45                Oh yeah. That was just a standalone, but it was so much fun. The actors enjoyed it so much and it was such a fabulous crossover of two things that people have loved. It was, yeah, I love it when the show goes out on a limb and tries new things and gets creative and isn’t afraid to do things like that because they’ve been on the air for 13, 14 years at that time, so why not?

Jessica:                         31:07                Yeah. And I think that’s one of the reasons why they’ve survived so long is because they take these risks and they just work. Yeah.

Dr. Lynn Zubernis:         31:14                Yeah. I totally agree.

Jessica:                         31:16                Yeah. This was also when they tried to get Wayward Sisters as a spin off and it didn’t get picked up and I’m still salty about that too-

Erin:                             31:27                I still hear about that almost every day.

Jessica:                         31:28                No, that’s not true.

Erin:         31:28
All these other shows are getting spinoffs, why aren’t the Wayward Sisters getting spinoffs?

Jessica:                         31:35                Maybe every day this week, I did mention that.

Dr. Lynn Zubernis:         31:38                Yeah, that was hard. The fandom was definitely divided about that, but it was really hard for a lot of people. And for any of us, I happen to love Kim Rhodes and Brianna Buckmaster. They wrote chapters in Family Don’t End With Blood that I love. And I just adore them and I have wanted it for them. I do think they maybe didn’t craft the pilot as well as they could have. It lost a little of its emphasis on Jody and Donna and I don’t think that that was necessarily the best way to go. But yeah, that was really hard.

Jessica:                         32:16                Yeah, I was definitely interested in all of their stories and how those girls came together and I’m still disappointed that it didn’t end up happening.

Dr. Lynn Zubernis:         32:25                Yeah, me too.

Erin:                             32:27                Seemed like it would have been a good show.

Jessica:                         32:28                Mm- hmm (affirmative).

Dr. Lynn Zubernis:         32:30                Yeah, I think so. The confusing thing I think for a lot of the fandom was, it would have had a built-in audience, not the entire fandom. That is very true, but I think there were enough people to have gotten it off the ground.

Jessica:                         32:44                Yeah. And it’s just mind boggling than all these other shows on the CW were getting spin off, after spin off, after spin off, and then that one didn’t get picked up.

Erin:                             32:51                All the superhero shows-

Jessica:                         32:52                It doesn’t make sense to me, but whatever.

Erin:                             32:55                Yeah, I know.

Dr. Lynn Zubernis:         32:56                I think also, I don’t know this, I have no insider information, but they pivoted the show around Kathryn Newton. Kathryn Newton is a big movie star now, so she was not going to be coming back to do Wayward Sisters as much as I think she loved it.

Jessica:                         33:11                Yeah.

Erin:                             33:12                I think I said that the other day that, yeah. Do the actors even want to do it?

Dr. Lynn Zubernis:         33:16                I think the rest of them did, but they made Claire such a pivotal character that I don’t know how that would have worked without her at that point.

Jessica:                         33:25                Yeah, that’s a good point for sure.

Erin:                             33:26                Yeah.

Greg:                            33:27                Is the Pilot out there? I haven’t seen this.

Jessica:                         33:29                No, it was an episode of Supernatural. It was like a backdoor pilot.

Greg:                            33:34                Oh, that’s interesting.

Jessica:                         33:35                Yeah.

Greg:                            33:36                Like what Doom patrol did on Titans?

Jessica:                         33:38                Yes, exactly.

Erin:                             33:39                Wasn’t there another episode that they try to spin off 

Jessica:                         33:43                We don’t talk about that.

Erin: Yeah what was that?

Dr. Lynn Zubernis:         33:45                It’s another one that I’ve never re-watched. It was called Bloodlines.

Jessica:                         33:48               Yeah.

Erin:                             33:49                Yeah.

Dr. Lynn Zubernis:         33:49                It didn’t seem at all like an episode of Supernatural. I don’t know what it was, but nobody liked it.

Erin:                             33:55                Yeah, I remember that being bad.

Jessica:                         33:56                Nope.

Greg:                            33:57                What is it? Ghost hunters or ghost chasers?

Jessica:                         34:00                Ghost facers.

Erin:                             34:01                Ghost facers.

Greg:                            34:01                Yeah, I’ll take a show for that.

Dr. Lynn Zubernis:         34:05                Yeah. That was pretty popular. Those guys are pretty popular.

Jessica:                         34:08                Yeah, that was a lot of fun.

Greg:                            34:09                That will end up in season one because they get killed.

Erin:                             34:12                Like little internet shorts or something.

Jessica:                         34:14                Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Greg:                            34:14                Yeah. But it would have been-

Erin:                             34:15                They have Short Treks they could do Ghost Facers.

Jessica:                         34:17                They did. They did on the show and Castiel even showed up in it.

Erin:                             34:21                Huh?

Dr. Lynn Zubernis:         34:21                That’s true. Yeah.

Erin:                             34:23                Yep.

Greg:                            34:24                So let’s dive into the FanDummy of Supernatural. It even has its own hashtag SPN Family.

Jessica:                         34:31                Yep.

Dr. Lynn Zubernis:         34:31                Yep.

Greg:                            34:31                That’s pretty significant. I definitely did not understand the significance of this fandom. The conventions, just a search on Twitter, there’re thousands of fan accounts that are very popular. Think it’s going to keep going or is it something that has legs or-

Dr. Lynn Zubernis:         34:52                Yes, I think it will keep going. I don’t think it’s going to disappear. There’re certainly plenty of other shows whose fandoms have continued, but I do think it’ll be different. It’s not going to be the same. It’s a fandom right now that is incredibly active because there is new content for the fandom to devour literally on a daily basis. The interaction is immediate and constant and it’s a big part of people’s lives because there is so much content and devour. So that’s going to change quite a bit. So I think the fandom itself will continue, but I do think it’s going to be different.

Jessica:                         35:28                Yeah, I think these actors are so personable and they love their fans so much that they create these personal relationships that a lot of the fandom is going to continue because of the support of them.

Dr. Lynn Zubernis:         35:42                Yeah, I agree. They already have conventions booked through the end of 2020, so there’re conventions booked after the show has gone off the air. So clearly they’re counting on, and I think, you mentioned conventions, the conventions have been a huge part in how the show has evolved and how it has stayed on the air. Because Creation Entertainment, I give them some credit because they realize very early on, “Oh, this fandom is different and oh, these actors are different.” They started running conventions very, very early and there has never been a show including Star Trek and the ones that we stereotypically think of for conventions. There’s never been a show that had the number of conventions that this show has had for 13 years, like 15, 20 a year. So these actors were already, I think, pretty open as people and pretty down to earth, but nobody can sustain stereotypes when you are having face-to-face relationships every other weekend for a protracted period of time.

Dr. Lynn Zubernis:         36:49                So they really did develop a reciprocal relationship with fans and the fans in turn made the intense loyalty to the show even more. So the conventions help the show stay on the air, the show staying on the air help the conventions continue and all of that help the relationship between the fans and the actors.

Jessica:                             37:08                Yeah.

Greg:                            37:08                So if someone’s listening to this podcast and wants to interact with fans, what’s the best place for them to do that, do you think?

Dr. Lynn Zubernis:         37:16                There’s multiple platforms at this point. There’s a huge FanDummy on Twitter, so if you follow the hashtag SPN Family, you can find the FanDummy on Twitter. There are individual Facebook groups for all of the conventions, so if you want a more local experience and face-to-face contact, you can find that particular city. We’ll have a convention group on Facebook. There’s a thriving community on Tumblr, Instagram, pretty much anywhere you go, you can-

Jessica:                             37:44                Everywhere.

Dr. Lynn Zubernis:         37:45                Yeah.

Greg:                            37:46                Wow. Now do Jared and Jensen go to all these conventions or do they just-

Dr. Lynn Zubernis:         37:50                Yep.

Erin:                             37:50                Yeah.

Jessica:                         37:51                Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Dr. Lynn Zubernis:         37:51                Yep, everyone.

Greg:                            37:52                That’s unbelievable.

Jessica:                         37:53                I know.

Greg:                            37:53                That’s a lot of work.

Jessica:                         37:54                Yeah.

Dr. Lynn Zubernis:         37:55                Is a lot of time investment, but A, it’s financially a really good idea and B, they enjoy it. Obviously they’re getting paid for it and they go for financial reasons, but I really, is it that I’m not being naïve? I don’t think. They really enjoy it. They enjoy meeting fans. It’s how they can know that what they’re doing has an impact on other people. There’s no way they would have done the book, Family Don’t End With Blood if they didn’t really genuinely want to connect with fans because they didn’t do that for money. They did it and they worked on it for two years. They did it because they really wanted to tell the real story and share their real selves with their fans. So I think it’s genuine.

Jessica:                         38:33                From what I can tell, they’re way more expensive than the Wizard Worlds and-

Dr. Lynn Zubernis:         38:39                Oh, they are.

Jessica:                         38:39                And-

Dr. Lynn Zubernis:         38:39                They are exponentially more expensive.

Jessica:                         38:43                That’s another factor as to why I haven’t been to one. Yeah, but-

Dr. Lynn Zubernis:         38:47                Yeah. No, understood, yeah. I go to most of them because I take the books to sell there.

Jessica:                         38:53                Yeah, that’s-

Dr. Lynn Zubernis:         38:55                … since it’s a business thing too.

Erin:                             38:58                Yeah, that’s fun.

Greg:                            38:58                Do you get a booth and sign them and sell them?

Dr. Lynn Zubernis:         39:02                Yeah, I do. Yeah, I always have a table and I love meeting people who’ve read the book and people come up and tell me, I’ve had people come up and say, “I had the razor blade in my hand and then I saw the book on my nightstand and I picked it up instead and I put down the razor blade.” You can’t ask for having more of an impact than something like that.

Jessica:                         39:20                Yeah.

Greg:                            39:21                That’s unbelievable.

Jessica:                             39:22                Yeah. That’s incredible.

Greg:                            39:23                Wow. If you can impact one person’s life so significantly, that makes the book totally worth writing. And it really says a lot about the fandom. Hopefully someday we’ll get to meet some of the cast and crew. That would be amazing.

Erin:                             39:35                We did get to see, let’s see, Jared and Jensen and Misha from maybe 10, 15 feet away at Comic-Con-

Jessica:                         39:43                At San Diego. We went to San Diego for the first time this year and Alex Calvert was there too.

Erin:                             39:49                Oh yeah.

Dr. Lynn Zubernis:         39:50                Wow, yeah, I was there too.

Erin:                         39:51                Oh, you were probably in the big pile of people.

Dr. Lynn Zubernis:         39:54                Probably.

Jessica:                         39:55                The river of people that you refer to in your book…akk too familiar with that. I kept getting pushed forward.

Erin:                             40:02                Yeah, I was like pushing on Jessica, “Get up there, get off the-“

Erin:                             40:03                Yeah, I was like pushing on Jessica, get up there.

Jessica:                         40:03                And then people…

Dr. Lynn Zubernis:         40:05                It’s a little scary, right?

Jessica:                         40:06                Yeah. And then people were like, move, take your picture.

Erin:                             40:09                Yeah, the workers.

Jessica:                         40:09                Take your picture and move along. And I’m like, I can’t, I’m stuck here forever and I get to stare at all of them. So jokes on you.

Erin:                             40:16                Yeah.

Dr. Lynn Zubernis:         40:18                If you haven’t experienced it, you just sort of can’t imagine what that’s like.

Jessica:                         40:22                Mm-hmm (affirmative). Yeah. But I totally understand.

Erin:                             40:25                Yeah.

Greg:                            40:25                Lynn was probably standing next to them, helping them.

Erin:                         40:27                Yeah, are you in our pictures?

Dr. Lynn Zubernis:         40:31                I had a press pass.

Jessica:                         40:32                Oh, gotcha.

Dr. Lynn Zubernis:         40:33                Because I was in the press room and I was not on the floor.

Greg:                            40:36                Yeah, see? Celebrity. Celebrity here.

Dr. Lynn Zubernis:         40:38                No, no, no. Just hardworking press.

Erin:                             40:41                Are you going to be there next year?

Dr. Lynn Zubernis:         40:43                Ah, probably. Yeah.

Erin:                             40:44                Yeah.

Greg:                            40:45                Awesome we’ll be there too.

Erin:                             40:45                We got tickets. Yeah.

Jessica:                         40:47                Not for all the days, but we’re going to try on the open registration day to get the full thing because we want to make it worth it.

Dr. Lynn Zubernis:         40:53                Oh yeah. For you guys, with what you’re doing with the podcast, you should be there for sure.

Jessica:                         40:57                Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Erin:                             40:57                Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Greg:                            40:58                Yeah. So do you have a favorite actor on the show? I’m sure that’s a…

Dr. Lynn Zubernis:         41:04                I don’t have, I don’t have a favorite actor. I have a favorite character.

Jessica:                         41:07                There you go.

Greg:                            41:07                Ooh, okay.

Dr. Lynn Zubernis:         41:08                I am. I am a Dean girl.

Jessica:                         41:10                Yeah. I’m a Dean girl too.

Greg:                            41:13                I picked up on that from your book.

Erin:                             41:17                Because she was hugging Dean in the picture?

Greg:                            41:19                She said she was worried she let her hands wander.

Erin:                             41:21                Oh no.

Dr. Lynn Zubernis:         41:24                Oh God. I know them way, way too well now for anything like that to happen.

Jessica:                         41:28                Right.

Greg:                            41:29                It must have been early on.

Jessica:                         41:30                Right.

Dr. Lynn Zubernis:         41:30                Yeah, no, that was early on.

Erin:                             41:32                That wasn’t me.

Dr. Lynn Zubernis:         41:33                Before they knew who I was.

Jessica:                         41:36                On that note, are you friends with Osric Chau?

Dr. Lynn Zubernis:         41:38                Yeah.

Jessica:                         41:40                Could you tell him that I said hey?

Dr. Lynn Zubernis:         41:42                Yes, absolutely I will. I will text him and say you said hey.

Jessica:                         41:46                This is the best podcast ever.

Dr. Lynn Zubernis:         41:49                I love Osric.

Jessica:                         41:50                I do too.

Dr. Lynn Zubernis:         41:50                He is so sweet and so incredible and just understands fandom and cosplay from the inside. He is. He’s amazing.

Jessica:                         42:00                Mm-hmm (affirmative). For sure.

Dr. Lynn Zubernis:         42:00                And I am so happy for his incredible success.

Jessica:                         42:03                Me too, and I can’t wait for him to be in the CW shows.

Dr. Lynn Zubernis:         42:06                I know. I know.

Jessica:                         42:07                And I’m wearing his advanced placement represent shirt right now.

Dr. Lynn Zubernis:         42:10                Oh, I love that. Oh that’s awesome.

Erin:                             42:13                She pretty much is his biggest fan.

Jessica:                         42:15                I don’t know about that. I’m a big fan.

Dr. Lynn Zubernis:         42:19                Own it. Own it.

Erin:                             42:20                Biggest fan that I know.

Dr. Lynn Zubernis:         42:23                He deserves it. He deserves it.

Erin:                             42:24                If he ever comes into our town or city in the next year or so, just tell him that he can go get a bubble tea with us. We’ll take him out.

Jessica:                         42:32                We’ll take him out for bubble…

Dr. Lynn Zubernis:         42:33                He loves that.

Greg:                            42:37                So Erin, do you have a favorite character or actor?

Erin:                             42:39                Oh gosh. I don’t know. I like them all. I like Jared and Jensen probably best. And Misha is pretty great.

Jessica:                         42:48                Oh they’re all so great.

Greg:                            42:49                Well I would think based on the shirt you’re wearing, tell everybody about that.

Erin:                             42:52                Oh yeah, we went down to Austin. What? Over like Memorial Day weekend. That’s where were Jensen has his Family Business Beer Co.

Dr. Lynn Zubernis:         43:00                Yeah. It’s good.

Erin:                             43:02                Yeah. So Greg and I stopped by there. We were going to eat lunch there but the little food truck wasn’t open yet.

Dr. Lynn Zubernis:         43:09                Oh. And they have such good food at the food truck there.

Erin:                             43:11                Yeah.

Greg:                            43:12                I can imagine that place being crazy. We were there really early in the day.

Erin:                             43:15                It was like three or four.

Greg:                            43:16                Yeah, it was too early for like a beer garden style place. But, it was really beautiful and…

Erin:                             43:22                It was a neat place. And then that weekend Jensen was supposed to be there, I guess.

Jessica:                         43:28                They missed him by like a day.

Erin:                             43:29                Like one day.

Jessica:                         43:29                And I was like, you guys come on.

Erin:                             43:29                We could have went the next day. But we went, I don’t know why we went that day.

Greg:                            43:35                I think we just had some spare time.

Erin:                             43:38                It’s like really far out from the… We stayed downtown in Austin and it was a good 45 minutes or more…

Dr. Lynn Zubernis:         43:45                Yeah, it’s a drive.

Erin:                             43:45                Out from the city. Especially with the traffic.

Dr. Lynn Zubernis:         43:45                It’s still fun though.

Erin:                             43:45                Yeah.

Dr. Lynn Zubernis:         43:47                I mean, it’s just a fun place to hang out and it’s so pretty with the lights when the sun goes down and yeah, I love that place.

Greg:                            43:53                Yeah, and the evening in Austin is fall and spring. Austin is amazing in the evening. It’s cool.

Dr. Lynn Zubernis:         43:59                Yeah.

Greg:                            44:00                So it’s really nice.

Erin:                             44:00                Yeah, we’ll have to go back one day.

Jessica:                         44:02                And take me this time?

Erin:                             44:03                Yeah. I told you last time you could come. I said, Jessica you can come, Jessica you can come. You can come Jessica. No.

Jessica:                         44:09                Next time.

Greg:                            44:09                My favorite actor and my favorite character is Crowley. Mark Sheppard.

Dr. Lynn Zubernis:         44:16                Oh yeah. What a great character.

Jessica:                         44:18                Yeah.

Dr. Lynn Zubernis:         44:18                And I love Mark. I’m so glad that he wrote a chapter in the book because he left the show shortly after, so I was really glad that he contributed a chapter before he left.

Jessica:                         44:27                Yeah. Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Greg:                            44:27                I love characters that start off bad and up good. Like I just, they just resonate with me.

Erin:                             44:32                Yep.

Dr. Lynn Zubernis:         44:33                Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Greg:                            44:34                And he had all sorts of, his character was really deep. Right. He had troubles with his family, so to speak.

Dr. Lynn Zubernis:         44:38                Yep. Yeah.

Greg:                            44:40                And he had to overcome that. And I thought it was an interesting take on a familiar story.

Dr. Lynn Zubernis:         44:48                Yeah, agreed. And Mark Sheppard is just so incredibly talented. He just invested that character with so much personality.

Jessica:                         44:55                Yeah. For sure.

Greg:                            44:56                Yeah. We just recently saw him, didn’t we? On the Doom Patrol.

Erin:                             44:58                Doom Patrol.

Dr. Lynn Zubernis:         44:59                Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Jessica:                         45:00                I just love when he shows up and stuff. He’s the one actor from Supernatural that I’ve met because he went to Planet Comicon in Kansas City and I met him there, and I got a photo with him, and it was great.

Erin:                             45:12                Yeah, that was awesome.

Jessica:                         45:13                That was actually shortly after he left Supernatural. So he was, trying as best as he could to stay civil on the stage.

Erin:                             45:20                Yeah.

Dr. Lynn Zubernis:         45:23                Yeah, yeah.

Jessica:                         45:24                There was some drama around that.

Erin:                             45:27                Really?

Jessica:                         45:27                Yeah.

Dr. Lynn Zubernis:         45:27                Yeah.

Erin:                             45:28                You’ll have to tell me about it later.

Dr. Lynn Zubernis:         45:30                Off air.

Greg:                            45:31                Yeah.

Erin:                             45:32                Yeah, his little booth was next to Sonequa Martin-Green’s and we met her, but we didn’t go meet Mark Sheppard.

Greg:                            45:36                Yeah, she was awesome on Star Trek Discovery. Amazing. One of the interesting things about the actors of this show is they became famous from this show. They got a platform in which to make a difference in. A lot of them have been making a difference.

Dr. Lynn Zubernis:         45:52                Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Greg:                            45:53                Jessica, do you want to talk about the charities? These folks are either starting or associated with?

Jessica:                         45:59                Yeah, Misha created Random Acts, which is just inspiring people to do the little things in the world to make a difference in people’s lives. And as small as buying somebody a cup of coffee to building a school in Nicaragua, they’re just reaching out in so many different ways and a lot of the a represent tee-shirts that the supernatural actors have designed or had designed, have donated to Random Acts.

Greg:                            46:26                Wow.

Erin:                             46:27                That’s neat.

Dr. Lynn Zubernis:         46:27                And Family Don’t End With Blood. Every copy sold benefits, Random Acts, as a matter of fact.

Jessica:                         46:32                Yay. That’s awesome.

Greg:                            46:32                That’s awesome.

Jessica:                         46:34                Perfect.

Greg:                            46:36                So everyone who’s listening, instead of buying one by a thousand.

Erin:                             46:39                Yeah.

Dr. Lynn Zubernis:         46:39                There you go.

Jessica:                         46:41                Yeah. It goes to Random Acts.

Greg:                            46:42                That’s right.

Erin:                             46:43                And you can give the books out to your friends.

Greg:                            46:45                Exactly.

Dr. Lynn Zubernis:         46:46                Right. Actually, a lot of people do that. Yeah.

Jessica:                         46:48                That’s awesome. Another thing Misha does is the Greatest International Scavenger Hunt, which is the craziest most Misha thing in the world. It’s the best.

Dr. Lynn Zubernis:         46:56                Have any of you done it? I’ve done it in the past five years.

Greg:                            46:59                What?

Jessica:                         46:59                No, I haven’t. I almost did it one year.

Erin:                             47:02                No, no, no. I’m going to start this over. Okay. We learned about it the first year. I think he did it.

Jessica:                         47:08                Okay.

Greg:                            47:08                Who did it?

Erin:                             47:09                And Jessica would not do it. I tried to get her to do it with me. I’m like, that sounds like so much fun.

Dr. Lynn Zubernis:         47:15                It is so much fun.

Erin:                             47:17                Calling you out.

Jessica:                         47:18                Okay.

Erin:                             47:19                I always want to do it. Every year it goes by, and I’m like, Oh my gosh, that looks like so much fun. It’s like they make like what was the one that they had like their faces like in Skittles or something?

Dr. Lynn Zubernis:         47:28                Yeah, yeah.

Erin:                             47:29                They do such fun things.

Jessica:                         47:30                Yeah.

Erin:                             47:30                I’m like, that’s totally something we could do.

Jessica:                         47:33                This was past Jessica that would not have done a podcast. Remember?

Greg:                            47:36                See?

Erin:                             47:36                Now you’re on a podcast. So this year we’re going to sign up to do…

Jessica:                         47:39                I guess we’re going to have to do GISH.

Greg:                            47:40                You should write a blog article about how Supernatural helped you come out of your shell.

Dr. Lynn Zubernis:         47:44                Yes.

Jessica:                         47:44                Yeah. So with GISH…

Erin:                             47:47                I like this Jessica.

Jessica:                         47:49                She thinks. GISH is a scavenger hunt that requires you to do good things, weird things out of the box. Things like making Jensen’s face out of Skittles to donating to cleaning up the environment to just helping people around you. Like all kinds of stuff. It’s just the greatest international scavenger hunt. It’s exactly what it says.

Erin:                             48:13                Yeah. And what’s the prize usually?

Jessica:                         48:15                You get to go on a trip with Misha.

Erin:                             48:20                Yeah. Who doesn’t want that?

Jessica:                         48:21                Yeah, that’s super good.

Greg:                            48:22                Wow.

Jessica:                         48:22                And then we kind of mentioned always keep fighting, but that’s Jared’s campaign to raise awareness and support for those with depression and anxiety. And he himself struggles with a lot of that. And he has done his very best to reach out to those who are also struggling.

Jessica:                         48:38                And I really admire him for that.

Greg:                            48:40                It just goes that you can’t judge a book by its cover. You look at him, and he is fit and seems amazing.

Jessica:                             48:47                Tall.

Erin:                         48:47                Tall.

Greg:                            48:48                Like you would have a problem in the world. And he fights his own demons.

Erin:                             48:51                Yeah.

Greg:                            48:52                In real life.

Erin:                             48:53                Yeah.

Jessica:                         48:53                And in the show. Some of my favorite represent campaigns that have been on the tee shirts are Kim and Brianna’s Wayward AF campaign.

Greg:                            49:02                Best name ever. I’m sorry to interrupt you.

Jessica:                         49:05                Yeah. It’s just, it celebrates uniqueness and just you being you, even if it’s a little wayward, like it’s good to be wayward. It’s good to be outside of the box, wayward sons, wayward daughters, wayward sisters, whatever. It’s just, it’s good to be wayward. Love that. And then Jensen and Misha launched the You Are Not Alone campaign. And also at the same time launched the SPN Family Crisis Support Network, which is exclusively made up of fans and for fans who like, it’s people volunteer to be a crisis support network.

Jessica:                         49:37                And I think that’s amazing. Love that.

Dr. Lynn Zubernis:         49:40                And they’ve done countless other, when something happens in the world and it needs money, they’re like the first people to jump in. And I think, I mean the reason when I got Jared’s chapter for Family Don’t End With Blood and I realized it’s like 33 pages long and he, he walks you through like the time when he almost gave up on life. I was so dumbfounded that I think I texted him and said, dude, are you sure you really want to tell? This is a book. And he said like, is it going to make a difference to people if I’m not real? And I was like, no. Okay. But it’s very courageous how much he’s spoken out and how candid he’s been about his own struggles. It’s very inspiring.

Jessica:                         50:23                Yeah.

Greg:                            50:24                That’s incredible.

Jessica:                         50:25                He’s the best.

Dr. Lynn Zubernis:         50:27                He is. I mean, I told you I’m a Dean girl. It’s my favorite character. But man, I love me. Some Jared Padalecki and some Misha Collins and some Jensen Ackles, they’re just all awesome.

Erin:                             50:38                What’s the episode that Sam they’re like at the spa? They do the cupping or something and then they both have the tracksuits on.

Dr. Lynn Zubernis:         50:47                Oh yeah. Yeah. Sam’s like doing yoga?

Erin:                             50:49                I like that one.

Dr. Lynn Zubernis:         50:51                Yeah, I know what you’re talking about.

Erin:                             50:52                It’s funny.

Greg:                            50:54                Hey, Erin, tell Lynn a Jared Padalecki joke.

Erin:                             50:57                Oh gosh.

Dr. Lynn Zubernis:         50:58                Oh no. Here we go.

Erin:                             51:00                Jared Padalecki doesn’t shower. He only takes bloodbaths.

Greg:                            51:03                Do you know why we tell those jokes?

Dr. Lynn Zubernis:         51:07                Well I know there’s a whole account now devoted to these because of him doing the Chuck Norris.

Greg:                            51:15                Yes, yes.

Dr. Lynn Zubernis:         51:16                Yeah, yeah. I get it.

Erin:                             51:17                That’s awesome. I have to go follow that account. That’s great.

Greg:                            51:20                That is the best thing.

Dr. Lynn Zubernis:         51:21                There’s a Twitter account. That’s just those jokes. It’s hysterical.

Erin:                             51:25                Here’s one that is appropriate for your book. Jared Padalecki doesn’t actually write books. The words is assemble themselves out of fear.

Dr. Lynn Zubernis:         51:34                Oh no, I haven’t seen that one. I love it so much. I’m going to tell him that because he is going to disagree because he gnashed his teeth so much and I held his hand so many times writing that chapter, man. It was hard for him.

Erin:                             51:48                The question is, does Jared Padalecki actually know karate? Is it karate?

Greg:                            51:55                Yeah. I don’t know what.

Erin:                             51:55                Can he roundhouse kick?

Greg:                            51:58                It’s going to be interesting. We’re going to see.

Dr. Lynn Zubernis:         51:59                I don’t know, I bet he can. I mean, he’s very athletic.

Greg:                            52:01                Very true.

Jessica:                         52:01                Yeah. I have all the faith in him.

Erin:                             52:03                Yeah, he wears that track suit.

Greg:                            52:03                Erin loves the tracksuit.

Dr. Lynn Zubernis:         52:06                We’re back to that tracksuit again, aren’t we?

Greg:                            52:10                See, I just learned something very interesting about Erin.

Erin:                             52:13                Jessica and I talked about it.

Jessica:                         52:15                Oh my goodness.

Greg:                            52:16                Yeah. I think, hopefully Chuck Norris has happy handing the torch over to Jared because I think it’s going to be awesome.

Jessica:                         52:23                Yeah.

Erin:                             52:23                I think it’s perfect.

Dr. Lynn Zubernis:         52:25                Yeah, I think so.

Greg:                            52:26                At this point in the show, we typically play a game where we guess what season has the highest score on the tomato meter on rotten tomatoes.

Dr. Lynn Zubernis:         52:35                Oh my.

Greg:                            52:37                But I don’t think that we can play this because season two, four, five, six and 13 and 15…

Jessica:                         52:49                Are they tied?

Greg:                            52:49                All are at 100%.

Erin:                             52:51                What?

Dr. Lynn Zubernis:         52:51                Oh wow.

Greg:                            52:52                Can you believe that?

Dr. Lynn Zubernis:         52:53                Wow.

Jessica:                             52:54                Well 15 just started.

Greg:                            52:54                Still.

Jessica:                         52:55                That surprises me.

Jessica:                             52:57                Even in season six?

Greg:                            52:58                Did I say season six? No.

Jessica:                             53:00                Oh okay.

Greg:                            53:01                Yeah, no, I said season six yes, yes.

Dr. Lynn Zubernis:         53:03                No, not season… Oh yes, season six.

Greg:                            53:05                Yes, I did. Yeah, season six.

Dr. Lynn Zubernis:         53:05                Not season seven, I bet.

Jessica:                             53:06                No.

Greg:                            53:07                Season seven 80%, season eight 67%.

Erin:                             53:10                Wait is this audience?

Jessica:                         53:10                Really? That surprises me.

Greg:                            53:12                And they are all audience.

Erin:                             53:14                What about critics?

Greg:                            53:16                I haven’t clicked on them yet to see what the critics are, but this is a fan-loved show.

Dr. Lynn Zubernis:         53:21                It is.

Greg:                            53:24                That’s just the case so we can’t play our game, but.

Jessica:                             53:27                That’s a bummer.

Dr. Lynn Zubernis:         53:28                But very good reason.

Greg:                            53:29                Yeah, for good reason. All right, so do we want to a roll to see who is going to be the host of next week while we wrap this up?

Jessica:                         53:36                Yeah.

Greg:                            53:37                And for the listeners who their first podcast, we roll every week to see who’s going to be the host so that we all can share it evenly and contribute.

Jessica:                             53:44                And share responsibilities.

Dr. Lynn Zubernis:         53:48                I love that.

Greg:                            53:50                All right. You’re ready guys? One, two, three.

Erin:                             53:53                I got a six.

Jessica:                         53:55                I got a six too.

Greg:                            53:56                Five. You guys roll?

Jessica:                         53:57                Oh that’s creepy. If we had gotten six, six, six on the Supernatural episode that would have been freaky.

Greg:                            54:01                That would’ve been freaky.

Jessica:                         54:04                I would’ve had to take a bath in Holy water.

Greg:                            54:09                So you guys have just have to have a roll off.

Erin:                             54:10                Okay, do you want to count?

Greg:                            54:12                Yeah, I’ll count one, two, three.

Erin:                             54:15                I got a two.

Jessica:                         54:16                I got a seven.

Greg:                            54:18                Jessica is the host. So the way it works is whoever’s the winner is the loser because the host is hard work.

Greg:                            54:25                So Jessica, you’re the winner loser for the next episode. So Lynn, as we close the podcast, do you want to give the listeners just a guide to your books? Like what do you suggest you want them to go out and buy Family Don’t End With Blood now or should they start with was it Fangasm? There’s a few, right?

Dr. Lynn Zubernis:         54:45                Yeah, no, there’s five about Supernatural, but they’re all very different. So one doesn’t necessarily flow from the other. If you were going to start with one, I would certainly start with Family Don’t End with Blood because it’s the most unique one. It’s such an unusual thing when the lead actors of a television show write their own book.

Dr. Lynn Zubernis:         55:03                So I would definitely go with that one first. And then if you want sort of the story behind like getting started and getting to know the actors and writing all these books, Fangasm is an autobiography or a memoir. So that’s Kathy and my own story of falling in love with the show. And it’s very humorous, like we get ourselves into all kinds of crazy situations that actually really happened, but kind of, ended up in Jared Padalecki trailer when he started taking his clothes off and got really distracted. And so that’s the fun one.

Dr. Lynn Zubernis:         55:35                And then some of them are, are more like, I wrote one called Supernatural Psychology with Travis Langley who is that’s all about the psychology of the characters and what makes them tick and fan phenomena. Supernatural is more about the show. And Misha wrote a chapter, Richard Speight wrote a chapter and then our original book was called Fandom at the Crossroads. And that’s really only if you’re really going to sort of seriously study what fandom is all about. That’s the more academic books. So they’re all different.

Greg:                            56:07                Yeah that’s interesting.

Jessica:                             56:07                They all sound fun.

Greg:                            56:08                Yeah. Well if you liked Supernatural, they’ll all be interesting. But they are very different.

Erin:                             56:12                So is there a show that you’re going to fan girl out over? Like after Supernatural’s over?

Dr. Lynn Zubernis:         56:18                La, la, la, la, la, I can’t hear you. La, la, la, la, la, la.

Greg:                            56:22                She’s going to start back over, season one.

Dr. Lynn Zubernis:         56:24                I don’t know what you said.

Erin:                             56:25                What’s going to happen after it stops.

Dr. Lynn Zubernis:         56:27                Do not know. Don’t want to think about, it’s only October in denial. Get back, get back to me in the spring and I’ll have an answer.

Erin:                             56:38                Just so I can jump on the Lynn bandwagon.

Greg:                            56:40                Just so Lynn, tell everybody where you would like them to find you or follow you.

Dr. Lynn Zubernis:         56:48                You can follow me on all social media. It’s at Fangasm, SPN. Twitter is where I’m most active, but I’m on all the social media platforms and I blog at my own website. At Fangasmthebook.com.

Greg:                            57:03                That’s amazing. We really appreciate you coming on the show and school in us all in some Supernatural and psychology it seems.

Dr. Lynn Zubernis:         57:10                I can’t help myself.

Greg:                            57:13                Thanks again for listening to this episode of FanDummies. You can find fandoms on all social media platforms as FanDummies. You can also check us out on FanDummies.com where we have fun fandom articles and fandom merch. So just like you’re going to go out and buy 1000 copies of Lynn’s book that you just heard, you can buy 1000 FanDummies coffee mugs so you can drink coffee and read each one of those books. Family Don’t End With Blood would make a really great Christmas gift.

Dr. Lynn Zubernis:         57:39                It is because it’s so inspiring. Yeah,

Greg:                            57:41                For sure. And it’s a great message to friends and colleagues that more can bring us together as a family than blood.

Jessica:                         57:47                Thank you so much.

Dr. Lynn Zubernis:         57:49                Oh, thank you for having me, guys. This was so much fun. I love to talk about Supernatural, so thanks for inviting me.

Erin:                             57:54                Yeah, thanks. It was fun.

Greg:                            57:55                Appreciate it.

Erin:                             57:55                Bye.

Greg:                            57:55                Thank you. Bye bye.

Dr. Lynn Zubernis:         57:57                Bye bye.

Greg:                            57:59                All right, see ya. Bye.

Jessica:                         58:00                Bye