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Wayward Sisters: The Series We Need Now

January 21, 2018
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A little girl shrinks into the corner of a dirty room. Her long, wavy blonde hair is dirty, her tearful blue eyes reflect fear. She cries, terrified as one of the monsters who hold her captive approaches. He speaks, mocking her, scaring her until she screams. Then there is a knock at the door. A young woman with long, wavy blonde hair and blue eyes enters the shoddy cabin. Within moments, the young woman eliminates the monsters all on her own, and reassures the little girl that everything will be okay. This is the beginning of Wayward Sisters.

Despite being a longtime Supernatural fan, my one criticism has been the lack of long term recurring female characters. Women don't survive often in Supernatural (I am still upset about Charlie Bradbury). But the show has always been about the two brothers, and to be fair, it hasn't been only female characters who don't tend to survive for long. Yet, this specific group of characters that would carry the series Wayward Sisters, should it be picked up, are characters that Supernatural fans recognize and know well. This backdoor pilot episode follows Sheriff Jody Mills, Sheriff Donna Hanscum, Claire Novak, Alex Jones, Patience Turner, and Kaia Nieves, as they go on a journey to rescue Sam and Dean Winchester. These are characters whose stories, once we overlook the supernatural elements, are stories that many of us might relate to.

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Considering how much media we generally consume, it seems silly to think that representation is not a big deal. We know that representation matters. This is a conversation that has been going on for a long time, and it is exactly this conversation that has given rise to more people of different demographics being able to see ourselves on the screen through works such as MoonlightWonder Woman, How To Get Away With Murder, Fresh Off The Boat, or Coco. Seeing yourself reflected in another's story is not only validating, but incredibly moving, especially if you are a person of color used to seeing people of color portrayed as gang members or drug dealers on TV, or at best as housekeepers. Not only does accurate representation have its pros, but research shows that not seeing yourself represented in the media can lead to a feeling that you are not important, that your story doesn't matter.

We deserve better.

But Wayward Sisters is not just about the need for more female representation in television just because. It is about the need to tell the stories of women who have overcome incredible odds. Women who have survived trauma, sexual harassment, violence, heartbreak, and tremendous loss. Women whose voices we want to hear because they echo our own. It is about telling these stories in the historical context of nationwide Women's Marches, the #MeToo movement, and the Time's Up initiative. It is about carrying on Supernatural's message that family is not just the people you are born to, it is the people who have your back when everyone else is gone. It's about sending the message that you are not alone. There has never been a better time than now for a series like Wayward Sisters. CW, we are watching.

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