One of the few joys of having to spend a large part of the past eighteen months inside is that I’ve gotten to catch up on TV. And by “TV,” I mean all of it. Not just shows I was actively watching and fell behind on or shows I meant to start watching and hadn’t gotten to yet. I mean I’ve watched. Every. Single. Show. One of the more surprising ones was Supernatural, the WB/later CW bro’d out version of The X-Files.
By surprising, I don’t mean that it was literally anything other than I thought it would be, but that it was a lot more fun than I thought it would be. (Possibly at a later date, I’ll have to have a serious discussion with the internet about the aggressive misogyny in a lot of the minor plots and insults, but now is not that time.) It was best when it was refusing to take itself too seriously, which makes sense since any episode that was intentionally wacky tended to focus on the end of the world and if God/Daddy really loved them. Also dramatic acting.
But the show had more good moments than it didn’t which helps explain its fifteen seasons on the air and its cult following. Having watched the show after it ended, I missed out on a lot of online and convention dedication, but I get it. It’s involved, it gets deeply into its own mythology, it’s endlessly gifable. It’s a catchy show. I watched three-hundred-twenty solid hour-long episodes of the Winchester brothers fighting monsters and then decided to top it with two hours of guys from the show playing fictionalized versions of themselves living fictionalized versions of their lives.
You should too.
Actually, even if you haven’t watched Supernatural, you should still watch the meta, spin-off web series Kings of Con, a show about actors working the fan convention circuit. But don’t worry, you don’t just have to take my word for it. You can take my word for it in a numbered list form:
1) Seriously, It’s Really Fun
Have you ever had a game you play with your friend every time you hang out? Not like a board game or a card game, but more of a bit or a running gag? In my case, whenever I hang out with my high school bestie, I’ll jokingly ask if her mom has heard any gossip about people we graduated with, and she’ll do an exaggerated impression of her mom. Then five minutes later we’re actually gossiping about people we went to high school with accompanied by full wine glasses and our senior yearbooks. Because we’re bitchy but funny. I bring this up because it seems like the entire idea came about while the creators were appearing at another Supernatural convention and trying to entertain themselves.
Kings of Con
Kings of Con stars Rob Benedict and Richard Speight Jr., actors with recurring roles on Supernatural, as Rob Bennett and Richard Slate, actors with recurring roles on a pretend TV show with a large following of convention-going fans. The premise is thin and obvious, but not bad. In fact, if anything, having the punchline hit so close to home for the actors makes the show really fun. There’s an easy chemistry between the leads and the supporting cast which allows for some genuinely mean but funny jokes at each other’s expense. The kinds of jokes you can only make when you know with absolute certainty exactly where the line is because you know each other that well. It’s like watching home videos of a group of friends hanging out, but these friends are much more attractive than average people. Which means they’re better, obviously.
But even if you don’t really love that:
2) It’s Only Two and a Half Hours Long
Usually, telling you a show can be completed in a single afternoon might not be a great selling point, but what about when you need to kill an afternoon and don’t want to get overly invested? Kings of Con. Each of the ten episodes runs between ten and fifteen minutes. It’s not Arrival or anything, but what else are you going to do? Read? Come on.
3) Kim Rhodes Is There and Her Hair Looks Like This
Kim Rhodes as Sheriff Jody Mills was one of the best parts of Supernatural. That haircut could kill me if it wanted to.
4) Actually, a Lot of People Are There
Remember when I said the whole show only lasts like two hours? In those two hours, they managed to get guest spots from a lot of Supernatural folks, but also:
- Lindsay Sloane
- Josh Meyers (Seth’s brother)
- Marc Evan Jackson
- RON LIVINGSTON? WHY IS RON LIVINGSTON HERE?
- Bernie Kopell (yes, from The Love Boat)
And I get that most of those aren’t household names, but even that lends itself to the idea that this was mostly a group of friends goofing around and ripping on each other, and sometimes other friends stopped by. And, man, do I love the idea of being friends with the Love Boat.
5) This Is Their IMDb Entry
I understand that IMDb is the Internet Movie Data Base and nothing official, but this delighted me.
Ten episodes. Over eleven years. Apparently.
The real answer is that the show first aired back in 2006, and up until 2017 there was some talk of releasing a second season. So for all IMDb purposes, the show was active for eleven years. But here’s another thing:
Again, the show started in 2006 and aired its first episode a short ten years later. Or something. I guess this is what happens when someone pays to watch you and a bunch of people you like hanging out with just make a show. A show you should definitely spend two hours on.