Archives For supernatural

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I’m excited to share that I contributed a chapter to the book The Gothic Tradition in Supernatural: Essays on the Television Series, edited by the brilliant professor Melissa Edmundson and published by McFarland. Hands down, my favorite part of Supernatural is Charlie Bradbury, so I wrote about her awesomeness and Gothic heroism. It’s easily the best thing I’ve ever written (thanks to some amazing editors), and I can’t tell you how much fun I had on the project. I even worked a swear word into my title, because I’m a professional!

Take a look:

charlie bradbury supernatural ashley walton

If you’re interested in Supernatural, badass female characters, or Gothic themes, the book is available on Amazon, and the Kindle edition is a pretty good deal. If you’re not into any of those things, it’s cool. We can still be friends.

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charlie bradbury supernatural badass

Supernatural wouldn’t be the same if it weren’t for Charlie Bradbury. Not only is she one of the few fully-fledged characters, she facilitates emotional communication between the Winchester brothers, enabling them to reconcile their feminine-gendered traits. Arguably, Dean and Sam both exhibit femininity throughout the show, despite their cookie-cutter emulation of American blue-collar, heteronormative masculinity. However, in the first six seasons, the brothers only show outward emotion in certain contexts—a pattern that Charlie disrupts.

In the first six seasons, even though Dean regularly denounces things like yoga and chick-flick moments, Tanya Michaels compares Dean to a soccer mom, who sees himself as the protector, nurturer, and upbringer. Michaels says, “In Mary’s absence, can there be any doubt that Dean was the most nurturing influence in Sam’s early life?” (82). Even in Sam’s adulthood, Dean watches over him and would give his life to protect him. There’s no question that female-gendered qualities abound before Charlie enters the scene; however, they seem to only surface in specific contexts.

Through most of the show, Dean would rather keep his feelings to himself and pound a few beers (or a fifth of whiskey) before talking to Sam about his feelings. The exceptions to this rule usually involve a heart-to-heart in the Impala, what Melissa Bruce notes as “visual space that is typically masculine, yet the series uses it as a device through which to filter the more intensely emotional moments” (154). In other words, the Impala renders the feminine show of emotion as acceptably masculine. In the rare instances where the boys do express emotion outside of the Impala, Lorna Jowett notes: “Dean and Sam sit […] facing straight ahead. (Typically, the characters do not look at each other while expressing emotion)” (45). Meaning, in the first six seasons, the Winchester brothers express emotion in specific contexts to uphold their carefully-guarded masculine personae.

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supernatural pie

On July 24th, Utah celebrates Pioneer Day, commemorating the Mormon Pioneers who traveled 1,300 miles by foot and wagon train and finally settled in Salt Lake Valley in 1847. It’s a big deal in Utah– like a second Independence Day– with fireworks, parades, and festivals. Many local businesses even shut down for the day, including local banks.

For those who feel out-of-place in Utah’s greater culture, and for most residents of Salt Lake City, it’s easy to feel outside of the festivities. Luckily, in the last few years, Salt Lake has embraced Pie & Beer Day to celebrate, maintaining the tongue-in-cheek, counter-culture spirit that makes Salt Lake wonderful. This year, more restaurants and bars than ever hosted Pie & Beer Day events. The most popular was Beer Bar‘s second annual Pie & Beer Day bash, featuring a Pie Pass (for 6 slices of pie!) from several local bakeries.

Jeff and I decided to take a quieter route and go to one of our golden favorites: Avenues Proper, a restaurant and brewery in our neighborhood, walking-distance from our apartment. We devoured apple-blueberry-raspberry crumble pie with stout ice cream from Hatch Family Chocolates. It was everything I’d ever wanted, and the stout ice cream was the surprise star of the dish. (Mind you, good pie and ice cream is my favorite dessert, only possibly rivaled by fruit-stuffed beignets, which are basically little fried pies.)

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