I’ve recently fallen in love with the show Dominion, on SyFy, and was asked what viewers both in and out of US can do to help the show build social media buzz, and generally how fans keep the show on the air. While this (overly-long) primer is directly aimed at that show, it holds true for any other television show you want to support. Hope it helps!
How to help Dominion succeed:
Whether you’re in the United States or abroad, tweet during the Nielsen Window if you can at all! For three hours before, during the episode, and for three hours after the episode (local time) anything on the Dominion hashtag will help the show’s Nielsen SocialGuide ranking. SocialGuide covers four units of measure:
- Number of Tweets: Obvious. How MANY tweets we put out during the episode. Tweet, fans, tweet like the wind!
- Unique Authors: How many individual Twitter accounts use the tag. (So even if you can just pop in once to tweet the tag on the go during the ep, you’re really helping out more than it seems!)
- Impressions: How many times each tweet was seen. This is why RTs help so much!
- Unique Audience: How many different people see each tweet. This is why it helps a lot when accounts with larger followings pop into the discussion, because it broadens the audience for the tweets (and retweets).
There are two brackets of this on SocialGuide: Live + Same Day (they measure Impressions/Unique Audience all the way until 5AM the next morning!) and Live + 7 Day (all the episode-timeframe tweets Impressions/Audience through a week). The ranking takes ALL OF THESE MEASURES into account. So it’s important we push this from all angles, not JUST the number of tweets, though that’s easiest for us to track!
AROUND THE WEB:
Twitter is IMPORTANT, but it is NOT the only measure of social media activity. The image below tells you another VERY significant way that you can help the show.
Rate the show, and EVERY EPISODE of the show, on IMDB! It’s easy, and you can use your Facebook Account to log in. IMDB is an Alexa Top 50 rated website–one of the 50 MOST USED, MOST INFLUENTIAL sites on the entire internet. It is, quite simply, the number one resource for all things TV and movies. Rotten Tomatoes? It’s not even Top 500! When you rate an episode on IMDB, you are effecting how potential viewers see the show and whether they’re likely to check it out. You’re telling advertisers how popular a show is by how many clicks it’s getting, you’re telling networks how it’s being received, and you’re even helping actors/creators because IMDB often stands as their digital resume to the world. I can’t stress how important this site is enough. Do Dominion a favor and rate it whenever you get the chance, wherever you get the chance (TV.com, Show Ratings, Rotten Tomatoes, wherever!) but never skip the IMDB. You don’t have to write a long review on it (though you’re welcome to!) just use the star system and grade the episodes.
PLAY IT AGAIN!
Didn’t get the chance to watch the episode Live? Watch it within 7 days (within 3 if possible!). Nielsen tracks Live +3 and Live +7 as very important measures of show success. People tuning in on the DVR, as well as legal streams and downloads, are all VERY helpful to the show. You may not see the measure unless you go looking for it deliberately, but you’re still helping out even if it feels a bit late to. You’re ALSO helping out if you watch the show AGAIN through a different method. So, you see it on the TV? Go watch it on SyFy too! (Pro-Tip. If you DO have the patience to sit through the commercials, do so? They also measure how many times the commercials are watched, to report back to advertisers. So, mute it, wander off, get a drink, use the restroom, but if you can let those commercials run you’re helping. If you can’t, you’re still helping, but you can feel righteous in watching those ridiculous little ads and judging them if you do).
VIEW AND COMMENT ON ALL ARTICLES:
This is going to seem self-serving, because I WRITE some of those articles, but bear with me okay? Online news sites write news based upon what will get them viewers on the site. The reporters are often paid based on the traffic they get, and the site as well. If a topic isn’t drawing readers, it’s not going to keep being written about. I come from the Supernatural fandom, and we’re a loud, contentious, pain in the butt fandom more often than not (I say this with love, and full understanding that I am myself loud and contentious), but boy do we get ink because we voraciously read anything related to the show. Readers = Articles. Articles = Publicity. Publicity = Greater Reach. Greater Reach = More Audience. More Audience = Show Longevity. It’s a continuing chain, and it ultimately depends on you, the fans. When news sites send reporters to something like Dominion at Comic Con, what they’re doing is placing a bet on what will get them some audience — they picked THAT panel over others, they wrote the article, they put it online, and they wait to see if it’s going to get any readership. If it doesn’t, they’re probably going to bet on a different panel next time. It can be a really great thing for the show when we’re active and checking things out, or it can really make something wither away no matter HOW good it is.
(That said, I’m going to write about it either way because I write a lot, and write what I love. But go hit up all those news sites that gave some love to Dominion at ComicCon, and show them some love in return. Link to their articles, spread the word, get other people on there, have discussions in the comments or just leave an attaboy for the writer. You’ll see, it can go far!)
Trending events are different from the live-tweeting of the show. The goal of a trending event isn’t just to help the show’s SocialGuide ranking, as above, it’s to reach a new audience or convey a specific message. You will almost never see the show tag itself trend–that’s because it’s next to impossible to trend a tag that has a regular stream of traffic on it. Twitter’s trends are meant to be like a news ticker: they only capture sudden worldwide, national, state, city surges in traffic on a specific topic, otherwise you’d see common words/phrases/tags that we use every day, in every tweet, popping up as trending all the time. (I expect Twitter’s trending would be “LOL,” #GPOY, #YOLO, celebrity names, etc if they didn’t filter this way). So why do we trend things? Because trending puts the topic in front of the worldwide audience. For the duration of the trend, your chosen tag is in front of people who wouldn’t normally know anything about your show. It can catch interest, raise awareness, and when combined with the show tag all of those people seeing your tagged tweets greatly impacts the Impressions and Unique Audience of SocialGuide. The trick to trending is that you pick an episode-related or campaign-related secondary tag, spread the word on social media (Tumblr posts, Facebook posts) and spread it on Twitter through things like banners/spaced out messages (ex: “Use Tag “RenewDominion” during the event!” – don’t butt the hashtag up against the phrase) in order to make sure that traffic flow isn’t there before the event itself. Then, at a predetermined time (the start of the episode’s first/East Coast airing, usually!), everyone tweets the heck out of that secondary tag. Keep your tweets coming, pair it up with the show tag (ex: “Tom Wisdom’s smile is made of sunshine and roses! #Dominion #RenewDominion”) and go to town. Not sure you’ll be there to help? Set up a queue of tweets for yourself! Set the time, load it up with pictures, images, lyrics, your favorite things about the show, random commentary, whatever it is, and then let it go.
CHECK IN TO WATCH THE SHOW:
Not a TVTag person? Me neither. But I’ll still check in when Dominion is on! Everything like that raises buzz just a bit more, and it feeds into the same cycle above as the news articles.
CREATE! HAVE FUN!
The show can be amazing (and it is), but I pretty loudly advocate for fandoms because fandoms are extraordinary. YOU GUYS are extraordinary. You’re already proving it by being here! So, write fics, make art, be brave and make friends! You’ll be helping the show by building community, by piquing people’s interest, but also you’ll be making the Dominion fandom even more awesome. It’s more important that you go out there and you have fun with it than you do any aggressive campaigning to pull people in–fun can entice people all on its own, and will create a sustainable online community from a bunch of people with obviously excellent taste in TV.
❤ to you all! – ExorcisingEmily
Many shows start strong and peter out; Dominion has been picking up steam every episode, both in terms of advancing the plot and generating online buzz. Dominion’s cast and crew could certainly give tips to seasoned shows on how to engage viewers directly with humor, respect, and verve, with the show-r
unner, stars and crew easily accessible, responsive, and incredibly fandom-positive. Fan interactions aside, it’s the story that takes center stage every week. “Black Eyes Blue” was a testament to how far the characters of Dominion have come in six short episodes, completely putting to rest my fears that the people would be overshadowed by the tome of mythology that Dominion has to draw upon.
Each character’s motivations and secrets are coming into play, revealing central conflicts which draw more from human experience than the “Heaven got pissed at Earth and declared war” story that began in the movie Legion and carried over into Dominion. While Legion relied heavily on CGI, body horror and effects, it’s not necessarily Dominion’s signature winged higher angels or ‘Eight Ball’ wall-crawling lower angels that are the true monsters.
Dominion offers a very human conflict, wrapped in an appealing package with themes that resonate with viewers. The ensemble cast portrays them to meet a range of human frailty and strength. In many ways, this is a show about the destruction and reconstruction of family. From Claire’s heart-breaking final scene with Clementine, to William’s rib-breaking scene with David, “Black Eyes Blue” pointed the spotlight directly at the divide between generations.
So let’s talk for a moment about Season 9 of Supernatural.
Going into the season, we were promised great things:
Regarding the “broken landscape” that season 8 left behind, we were told by Jeremy Carver to expect “A lot of players this year and a lot of players for the throne of who’s going to rise to the fore here, and there’s a lot of really juicy options that we’re going to be introducing, so we’re excited.”
What we have seen, though, is a broken king of Hell in a bunker cell and the trunk of a car, posturing with a rarely-seen Abbadon. We’ve seen Bartholomew once, and he was flat and generally uninteresting. We’ve seen Malachi once. We’ve seen Metatron once, same episode. None of these interactions really made a massive impact on the viewers, save Metatron outing Ezekiel/Gadreel. For the most part, the plot of the season has been put by the wayside in favor of one-off “funny” episodes.
And as for these new, individual angels. . . “I think the angels that have fallen are not a monolithic force, in that we treat them for the most part as individuals. And in that way, we’re really able to dig deeply into these individual characters, who are these angels.”
Well, I don’t feel I’ve gotten to know any of them particularly; and the ones we do are killed rather quickly, before we can truly care.
We had Carver telling us that we’re going to be getting a new look at these characters, a fresh understanding of them, in interviews saying “I think, especially after nine years, we all tend to put our brothers and the various supporting characters into certain boxes that we tick off: “This is who they are, this is how they would act,” and I think any time we can find a piece of the past that maybe makes us look twice at our characters, and maybe adds a couple extra layers of complexity, is always fun.”
What we’ve seen though isn’t development of these characters, it’s either regression or out of character. New layers implies that they build upon past ones, not slather over them to blot out what we already know. It’s one thing to think outside of that ‘box,’ and another thing to take these characters we love and render them unrecognizable.
And there’s the perpetual commentary about how character driven the season is:
Carver: “So we’re always trying to turn over a new dimension and new sides to our characters. I think we’re all really excited about taking a really strong character approach.”
Singer: “We left so many balls in the air and we have so many great characters that we haven’t paid off that we’re kind of telling a … I hesitate to say ‘soap opera,’ but that kind of character-driven, multilayered storytelling.”
But what have we seen of our characters this season so far?
From the very first episode, Sam is whumped. He’s dying, and within his own head his conversation isn’t necessarily a terribly flattering depiction of this man we know has defeated the Devil. He’s immediately then non-conned into being an angel condom by Dean, and then lied to. This is where he sits the entire season.
If we look at Sam as a character, rather than both roles played by Jared, what has Sam been able to do this season?
Well, nearly die a lot. Honestly, we were all making jokes about how much Ezekiel had run around saving Sam, weren’t we? When did this man, one of the best hunters in the world, get so sloppy? What happened to the Sam that waded solo into that mess of Croats with Bobby staring at his back in pride and awe?
Additionally, when did he get so gullible? Sam is intuitive: it’s one of his great strengths, both as a hunter and as a human being. He’s intelligent, great at reading people, and not exactly easy to fool. So how is it that these lies Dean tells are being missed and shrugged off? Why didn’t he catch on? Why did it take another Veritas (whoops, sorry, Vesta!) scene to tell him something was off?
Sam has let Dean’s avoidance lies go in past seasons (think Hell), but not because he was oblivious to them.
But apparently this is the new interpretation of Sam. I mean, this guy’s been missing things like his brother “going missing on hunts” for months since he was 9 (or 12… math is hard!) when there was no hunt, and no conceivable way that smart kid we saw in past eps would buy that.
So. There’s our “new layers” for Sam. He has been robbed of agency, transformed into a barely-present puppet to an angel who perpetually interrupts his conversations (that’s gotta be annoying!) and erases his importance in favor of a gimmick that we were once told kept Castiel from being a main character; taking the hunt and the war and the fight out of the hands of the Winchesters and making it too easy to get out of situations they write them into.
Where is he now: Well, according to Gadreel, there is no Sam (Only Zuul).
Dean Winchester is a lying liar who lies. No, really. His entire role this year is to hold on to this ‘big secret’ of the fact that he sold his little brother to be vessel to an angel. I seem to remember this being a major plot point for several seasons, how they didn’t want that. They’re Team Free Will, after all, because they were fighting against being vessels.
So, this season has been one clumsy lie after the next to explain why they’re suddenly out of whatever situation they were in (because of convenient!Ezekiel interventions).
We’ve talked about Dean’s codependence since Season 1, and this season rather than changing that or giving us a new angle or even appreciation of it (for those keen on the idea), Dean is being held hostage by it. His codependence is a loaded gun held to his temple, telling him to lie to his little brother, kick his best friend out to be hunted without assistance, and generally alienate everyone he cares about.
This isn’t a positive no matter what side of the codependence issue you’re on: if you’re pro-codependence, you’re watching that relationship be twisted into something to hurt Dean and Sam both. If you’re pro-independence, you’re watching this be trotted across the screen perpetually in exactly the way you dislike. It’s a tiresome, repetitious plot device.
Like Sam, Dean is also being damseled this season. How often have Ezekiel, Charlie, Jody, Sam etc had to save Dean this season? How often has Dean actually been a decider, considering Carver discussed him “driving the mytharc.” Honestly, we haven’t seen it. What we’ve seen is Dean being a pawn to someone else’s manipulations from the very first episode (Gadreel/Ezekiel) and then having to MAKE himself seem like the big damn hero after the fact to explain what Ezekiel’s done.
Now let’s talk a little bit about character assassination. Dean Winchester is not stupid. Dean is intelligent, actually; he is clever, tactically-minded, mechanically-minded, has hunted and researched on his own, and he has a head for obscure facts that extends beyond just his pop-culture references. Sam is more educated than Dean, but Dean’s raw intelligence is not insubstantial. So why are we so often getting him written as “dumb for laughs”?
Dean’s also not skeezy: he likes sex plenty, and he’s a hell of a Casanova, and he will privately objectify women or do so with an audience he feels comfortable around (“Gumby Girl,” Busty Asian Beauties) but when Dean goes to pick up a chick, he does it with charm, a compliment, and an open offer. He may give a false name and job because of his line of work, but he goes in offering ‘a good time, one night only’ and will walk away when it’s not wanted.
He accepted Jo’s “self-respect” line on her last night on Earth, when if he’d pushed after seasons pining over him she might have gone for it. He didn’t demean Nancy in Jus In Belo for being a virgin or offer her a roll in the hay to disqualify her from Ruby’s spell. He walked away when Kali said she wasn’t interested. The argument for “Rock and a Hard Place” seems to be that Dean’s hot, so of course any woman would! Well, Dean’s hot, and there are plenty of willing women who aren’t in chastity groups, so why would he push?
This season has been problematic in its portrayal of Dean in many ways. His ‘new layers’ are either stripping away past development, or slathering on a thick glaze of caricature interpretation of his personality. Dumb, lecherous, lying one-dimensional Dean!
Honestly, how has either Winchester lived through the mess of their own lives if this interpretation is true to their past selves in any way?
Where is he now: Well, his little brother is purportedly gone because of his lies, his best friend is being hunted and going to war without him because of his lies, and his surrogate son figure is dead at his brother’s hands because of his lies.
This season began with a lot of promise for Castiel. Many fans believed for years that it was necessary for Cas to fall in order to better integrate him into the lives of the Winchesters or bypass the deus ex machina potential now being abused with SamZekeGadreel. His transformation into a human was something heavily promoted in the hiatus.
And from the start, rather than use this opportunity to have Castiel be the fresh eyes on humanity that he was lauded to be in the “Angel Warrior” featurette of Season 8, Castiel’s humanity is a running gag. An ancient creature who has been watching humanity since before it finished evolving, who’s fallen to (mostly) human before, lived an (inexplicable and understandably ignored) married life with Daphne, who has followed the Winchesters around from about a foot away for the past several years, and is unfathomably intelligent in many ways is written as an idiot because he’s in his meatsuit more permanently.
The transformations are jarring: this is no longer Castiel the warrior. It’s bumbling Cas in a way he’s never been: not when crazy, not when fallen entirely in 2014, not when tilting his head and declaring he doesn’t get a reference, and not even when he was the unwitting straight-man for jokes because of his unfamiliarity with humor or humanity.
His storyline has become about sex and laughs and torture; and almost ONLY sex and laughs and torture. From bouncing boob shots to dubious sexual consent with a creature who tortures and murders him after taking his virginity, to ‘is it a date or not,’ and on to backslaps and high-fiving over the hotness of chicks (. . . if Reapers are suddenly angels, was the April thing incest as well as dubcon/non-con of both parties? Lord only knows) the way Castiel is being written this season is probably more suited to a sitcom (well, minus the torture) than Supernatural, and feels disrespectful of his past and his capability.
Like Dean, like Sam, Castiel is now the frequently-damseled former hero as well. Castiel is gullible, canonically, but the repetition of him being duped and then tortured (down to torturing him in the exact same way in half the episodes he’s been in this season) by no means helps develop his storyline.
Rather than actually develop this humanity aspect they promised, they had Castiel inexplicably take to vamping other angels for Grace. Either this is his demon blood (repetition) or this is him stealing souls for power for the greater good (repetition), but either way it drops him back into sort-of angel with powers that may or may not work when you need them to (status quo).
These are our new layers for Cas: sex, lols, and humanity derp.
Where is he now: Tortured again. Dumped by his only friends again. Cutting ties to go to war again. Homeless still. Kind-of maybe an angel again (I figure season 5 inconsistencies of abilities).
Kevin had great growth and character development last season: Season 8 took the character from being a kid they had to chase after, to being one of the family. The end of last season challenged him to buckled down into his role as the prophet.
Unfortunately, the plot can’t have him figuring out that angel tablet too soon! So instead of contrivances like broken tablets, they suddenly had to render Kevin inept at tablet translation (you know, that thing he was specifically born for and fated to do). He’s translating to cuneform, he’s headscratching and lost, and generally he’s a lot less efficient with this whole tablet of Angel than he was his partials of Demon.
And when he’s not that, he’s written out in stupid ways: few too many shots the night before, going on vacay to a warded hotel room, he is handwaved away in absurd ways in order to explain his absence at the Bunker.
And then they do to Kevin what they tried to do several times to Castiel: they wrote him off of the show because they couldn’t figure out how to use the power they gave him. The writing put itself in a corner, the solution they built in was too powerful, and so they axed it.
New Layers: Dumbed down.
Where is he now: Shock value death in order to place guilt on both main characters (how original, Supernatural!)
So, given we know that not all of the season is written yet. . . where did these ideas of character driven and developing story come from? Where’s the exploratory season we were promised? Is this what we were meant to perceive as that?
What we have so far is a mess of broken characterization, choppy scripts that jumps from episode to episode and often scene to scene without creating a united narrative, juvenile humor, problematic consent issues, and little to laude about the current story arc. Canon facts like reapers, like their childhoods, like their capabilities, like how angelic possession works (if it’s THAT easy for a vessel to throw out an angel, they just undermined their two strongest seasons–4 and 5–almost entirely) are being torn apart, with the requirement that the audience rather than the storytellers find ways to fit these breaks into a new canon for the show.
I’m finding very little to look forward to in January as we leave the first half of Season 9 behind us.
The Supernatural fandom is no stranger to wank, ship wars, campaigns and disconnects between the fandom and the production, cast and crew of the mainstay CW show, now entering its ninth season. However, this week online has been the most troublesome time period for the fandom in general, as WB Executive Chad Kennedy and director Guy Bee unknowingly created a massive divide within the show’s active and diverse online community. Their comments left many LGBTQ+ fans feeling entirely disenfranchised by the show’s narrative and production side, and alienated a large portion of one of the most thriving internet fandoms spun off by any television show: the Destiel shippers.
It’s not my intention to document the wank. The SPN PR Twitterpocalypse that apparently furthered earlier accusations of queerbaiting by Supernatural has been well covered in other media. For the best breakdown of. . . well, the breakdown, I would direct your attention to The Daily Dot.
However, one repeated “fact” being spread within this mess by a segment of the fans to the cast and crew deserves to be called out for the deliberate misdirection that it is.
The Destiel fandom is more than 1% of the population of the Supernatural Family.
The internet fandom concept of Dean and Castiel as a romantic relationship has existed since the angel’s introduction Season 4, in much the way that Slash ships always arise in shows driven by the close relationships of male protagonists. Long before the term Destiel entered into the fandom vernacular, internet trends showed a fairly familiar rise of interest in the pairing of Dean and Castiel. For a time, they mirrored the earlier growth of Wincest (the fandom sexual relationship between brothers Dean and Sam Winchester) within trends in the online fandom.
However, what spurred the large backlash of viewer responses we saw within the Twitterpocalypse is the increasingly romantic light the pairing has been shown in within the canon of the show itself throughout Season 8. Throughout Season 8, the internet trend Destiel surpassed interest in all other ships, show concepts and even the show itself because the Internet began to wonder. . .
Were they actually going to do it?
Were they going to confirm the romantic relationship they have been displaying in well-known television tropes, in framing, in text and in subtext?
If Supernatural is in fact queerbaiting, in Season 8 the fandom took the bait. The pairing had us hooked. New viewers have flocked to the show in curiosity, Tumblr tags exploded with Destiel, fansites were created, podcasts speculated, even the media began to wonder.
The misconception that Destiel fans are a small part of the fandom actually overlooks some very simple truths in favor of unverified and condescending assertions. Based upon the results of Profound Bond’s census, many anti-shippers and more discontented members of other ships within Supernatural’s armada came to the conclusion that the numbers there were indicative of the entire fanbase. This discounts that many if not all methods of achieving accurate census on the Internet are highly flawed and provide an incomplete look at data, particularly fan created polls. Perhaps a better gauge of the ship’s prevalence online, and its prominence within the fandom, would be the fact that Destiel has not lost a single poll this year, or the widespread coverage of the ship in mainstream media over the past two months.
It should go without saying that this level of genuine attention has never been given to a “fandom created” homosexual ship in any show. It is far more on-level with the attention given to slow-burn television romances between male and female leads, such as the Rolling Stone cover of Mulder and Scully, and coverage of Castle and Beckett, or of Booth and Bones. This is a level of legitimacy given to this ship that spreads far beyond the enthusiasm of its fans, and indicates that this is an interest and news generator beyond Supernatural’s primary fanbase.
The systematic dismissal of the Destiel fandom has primarily been led by fans who viewed the introduction of a third lead as a threat to what they believe the core value of the show is: the relationship between brothers Sam and Dean (whether sexual or familial). These same people organized fan campaigns to have Castiel killed, to have Misha Collins fired from the show, and created a false narrative in which they portrayed Destiel shippers as sending hate and threats to actress Shannon Lucio, who was announced as a love interest to Castiel prior to the season beginning. Though these rumors were entirely false, her timeline was flooded with “apologies” on behalf of the fandom for rudeness that was not occurring. Throughout the Twitterpocalpyse, a stunning number of the comments sent to Kennedy, to Bee, and to other members of Cast and Crew were actually passive-aggressive attempts to completely dismiss the views of fans who were insulted and upset by the idea that a queer romance would need to be justified by the story-line. These comments from Bee and Kennedy were particularly concerning as they directly followed an episode in which the narrative had Castiel unnecessarily lose his virginity under false pretenses to a woman who then murdered him, in a series that uses and discards female love interests within the span of one episode on a regular basis.
The one percent myth was thrown at every writer, producer and crew member with even the vaguest form of creative control over the story in an attempt to devalue the view of upset fans and to create a negative view of shippers as being the “bad seed” of the fandom, despite the fact that many of the commentators are shippers themselves (of Wincest or J2) and are frequently the very people who demand changes to the show they are purportedly entirely happy with. When the question isn’t the correction of the mistake they consider Destiel or Misha Collins, they present themselves as the show’s only “true fans” and belittle the interpretation of others.
The truth is very clear, when you stop looking at fan-created ‘facts’ and push away the veil of false narratives and gaslighting techniques and claims of shippers cyber-bullying for their perspective, and look instead at verifiable facts within the show’s very active online fandom.
Castiel overtook both brothers in terms of internet trends following Season 6’s “The Man Who Would Be King” and has remained the show’s most searched, reported-on, and discussed character now for two seasons, and has a staggering lead over the others entering into Season 9.
Destiel overtook Wincest as the primary ship of the show in Season 8, when new fans flocked to the show in hopes of seeing the romantic storyline they had heard about on the internet fulfilled.
Dean’s canon bisexuality has been speculated upon since Season 2, long before Castiel ever entered the picture, and would need no further “justification” within the show to feel natural and unforced.
These are not small portions of the fandom. This is not a viewpoint that should be casually dismissed.
If Supernatural is in fact queerbaiting, with no intention of providing conclusion to the story-line they have built between Dean and Castiel, they need to address it to the fandom in a respectful manner, and they need to resolve it within the narrative of the show. But they need to do so fully understanding that this is not a “delusional” ship steered by a few “weirdo” fans who see “storylines that don’t exist.”
The show’s creative team needs to act with the full understanding that a substantial portion of their online fandom is searching for a romance they have come to truly appreciate as a large part of the appeal of the show’s beloved characters.