The Shipping News: “Supernatural” Returns and “Atlantis” Surfaces

Plus, Teen Wolf news from New York Comic Con and the problem with “woobifying” your favorite villain.

Fandom News

Thanks to New York Comic Con this past weekend, plenty of new tidbits of TV information are now circling the internet. Some of the biggest news for slash fans comes, of course, from the Teen Wolf panel, which announced that Teen Wolf has been renewed for a fourth season! …And is also getting a talk show? Okay, MTV, whatever you think is best.

Plot-wise, it sounds like Stiles is going to have an intense time in season 3B, but as per usual the hints about his arc have been tantalizingly vague. What we know: we will be learning more about Claudia Stilinski and how she died, Stiles will lose a “certain status,” Derek will become a “hero,” and the whole of 3B is going to play like a “psychological thriller.”

Latest casting news from Teen Wolf: a new Sheriff’s Deputy will be joining us in January. Actor Ryan Kelley will play Deputy Parrish, who is described as being “pretty young and very good-looking” and seems to be related in some way to the Beacon Hills mysteries he is investigating.

When hearing casting news, the question every shipper must eventually ask themselves is this: how will this character affect my OTP? And this question is especially important in the realm of Teen Wolf, a show that has such a vocal and powerful fandom, as well as a myriad of popular pairings. And if this Deputy Parrish does turn out to be a compelling character, let’s hope that he doesn’t follow in the footsteps of several past characters by a) getting killed off arbitrarily at the end of the season, or b) unexpectedly leaving the Teen Wolf show for greener television pastures.

Continuing the subject of Teen Wolf and its fandom, The Sterek Campaign has launched another Teen Wolf Charity Project. Like last time, the Campaign will be hosting a fanworks charity auction to benefit Wolf Haven International. You can still volunteer your talents with the project, so if you’re an author/artist/crafter interested in participating or a fan looking to do some good while enjoying your favorite pairings, head on over to read more about the project!

(source: The Sterek Campaign tumblr)

The Maze Runner movie adaptation premiere date has been delayed from February 14th, 2014 to September 19th, 2014. A several month jump, sure, but honestly I was still more upset to learn a few weeks ago that Finding Dori was pushed back ‘til 2016. QUIT DELAYING MY HAPPINESS, HOLLYWOOD.

On a happier note, The Maze Runner sequel movie based on The Scorch Trials has already been greenlit for production! The Mortal Instruments tried a similar move only to have production on the sequel delayed due to the first movie’s poor performance, so let’s hope that The Maze Runner does better in the box office. I’m sure we’ll all be very put out if Dylan O’Brien doesn’t make it back to the silver screen for the sequel.


The gritty UK superhero show Misfits is gearing up for a final season. A trailer has debuted in the last week and it looks promising – here’s to hoping the finale reclaims some of the show’s former brilliance and delivers a satisfying farewell.

The Road Thus Far: Supernatural Season Premiere

So who DIDN’T watch the Supernatural season 9 premiere last Tuesday? And did you love it? Hate it? Don’t care? Well, if you haven’t seen it, watch out for a few mild spoilers below.

Personally, as someone who feared that Dean and Castiel would remain separated and totally (tragically) out of contact for several episodes, I was very happy with their interactions in the season premiere. Dean’s moments of prayer were heart-wrenchingly honest and left me gutted, remembering just how far the two of them have come. The shift in Dean’s demeanor from vulnerable to fierce when he sends out the open call to all angels is perfect, and in that moment it becomes strikingly clear just how completely Cas has entered Dean’s small circle of family.

And the perfection continues. Dean’s cocky refusal to give up Castiel to the circling angels was amazing. Even when Dean himself doesn’t actually know where Castiel is, he doesn’t use that as an excuse; he wouldn’t give up Cas even if he knew exactly where the angel was. His loyalty is unshakable. He will protect Castiel no matter what. GOODBYE, FRIENDS, I AM GONE.


And then the phone call, the phone call asdkjflk. That brief exchange was, for me, one of the most satisfying Dean/Cas moments in the series thus far. The honesty, the raw concern – the feeling of the two men being friends and peers was awesome. No more doubting each other. Dean’s blatant worry and Castiel’s assumption that of course he’ll come to wherever Dean is – it’s more than my Destiel shipper heart can take, you guys, and I’m very excited to see where their relationship goes this season.

Despite the great Dean/Cas moments, Wincest shippers were not left in the lurch this premiere. Dean makes an appearance in Sam’s psyche as what is essentially everything Sam has to live for and Sam ends up comforting himself by comforting the piece of his mind that projects itself as his brother. And obviously Dean is heartbroken to see his brother dying in a hospital bed, and becomes so desperate to save Sam that he endangers his own life calling out to the angels. And let’s not forget that he was this close to making ANOTHER deal with the devil in exchange for Sam’s life. His desperation even leads him to trusting an angel he just met, which violates probably every single Winchester instinct he has. That is how determined he is to keep his Sammy alive.

Up and Coming: Jason/Pythagoras (Atlantis)

I saw this pairing mentioned in a comment a couple of weeks and immediately went to check it out. (Never let it be said that we don’t listen to our readers!) Python is the name for the fledgling ship featuring Pythagoras and Jason from BBC’s new show Atlantis. This show is taking over Merlin’s old time slot and it is clearly meant to appeal to the same fantasy-loving crowd. It follows the exploits of a young man named Jason as he travels unexpectedly from our world to the world of Atlantis, which turns out to be a bustling city that houses many figures from Greek mythology. Just after arriving in Atlantis, Jason (who I am kind of convinced is actually Merlin and Arthur’s handsome fantasy lovechild) is rescued from city guards by a kind and geeky-looking man named Pythagoras. The two strike up a fast friendship, and Jason in fact feels such loyalty to Pythagoras that he takes Pythagoras’ place as a sacrifice to the minotaur, despite only knowing the guy for a couple of days.

It seems like the Jason/Pythagoras relationship could be a pillar of this new show, and I’m hoping the rest of the season will see it continue to develop and deepen. There are a couple of potential female love interests for Jason in the works after the first two episodes, but I could also easily see him getting some kind of rival or arch-nemesis and being shipped with that guy hard. We’ll just have to wait and see what kind of ships set sail in Atlantis.

Fandom Dictionary: Woobified

Most interesting stories out there feature a villain of some kind, be it a Big Bad or Flavor of the Week. And sometimes in the course of a show, a villain can become very popular with the fandom to the point where their horrifying flaws are forgotten and evil acts are forgiven until they appear in fanworks as totally sympathetic and misunderstood and not all that terrible after all. This process is scientifically known as being “woobified.”

This term comes from the root word, “woobie,” which describes a type of character who is both compelling and pathetic, inspiring great sympathy in the audience. You may find yourself wanting to defend them against haters and give them a comforting hug. They can do bad things and be morally ambiguous but you get the sense that they’ve had it rough and want to do the right thing. (Think Derek Hale. And maybe Fox Mulder. Poor guys.)

But the kind of woobifying I’m talking about here generally occurs with attractive white dudes who do way, way evil things past the point of being simply “misunderstood.” Fans sort of adopt these characters and become their staunch and adoring defenders even though they are kind of the worst people ever. Some examples of frequently woobified characters: Viserys Targaryen (Game of Thrones), Hannibal Lecter (Hannibal), and Severus Snape (Harry Potter).

The problem with this, as many fans see it, is that it excuses the character’s terrible deeds and in extreme cases it overlooks the trauma they have inflicted on their victims. If you’re going to forgive Viserys for physically and emotionally abusing his sister for years and facilitating her rape, and then give Daenerys crap for letting him die, you may want to examine the message you are sending. Additionally, I believe that woobifying a character you love actually diminishes their character. Like, okay, Hannibal is an awesome character with layers and personality and charm, but that doesn’t change that he freaking EATS PEOPLE and is a full-fledged serial killer. That doesn’t mean people shouldn’t love his character or write about him or even ship him with someone, but it means that you’ve gotta acknowledge that just because a character is amazing doesn’t mean he (or she) is a good person, or that every one of their actions can be excused via a tragic past.

Agree? Don’t agree? Let me know by answering my…

Question of the Week!

Other characters I’d be interested in hearing readers’ thoughts on in re: woobification include Regina Mills (Once Upon a Time), Dexter Morgan (Dexter), Khan (Star Trek Into Darkness), Loki (Thor/The Avengers), and many more. These characters certainly fall into the realm of “morally ambiguous” and we’ve learned to sympathize strongly with them and their stories – but how do you integrate the abuse and pain they’ve unrepentantly inflicted on others into your love of the character?

Quick disclaimer: this is not meant to be a judgy or loaded question. I love plenty of bad guys. I can find their actions reprehensible and still think they’re great, challenging, fascinating characters. I just want to know what YOU think of the concept of “woobification,” if you ever find yourself doing it, if you were even aware of it happening, etc etc.

As usual, I’ll be waiting excitedly for your thoughts, comments or questions!