Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Supernatural - The Phobia Factor

This Friday marks a potential first for me as a Supernatural viewer - the first time I miss a new Supernatural episode on the day it airs. I've missed a new episode before but watched it later the same day. I've missed the occasional rerun if I've had other plans and didn't love the episode anyway. But in 117 episodes, I have always seen an original on the day it aired. This Friday may change all of that. I am taking a group of teens to Chicago for a tournament and I am paranoid that I will miss my show.

Generally, I watch Supernatural live, record it, and download it on iTunes. Therefore I have it available whenever I need to see a new episode. This week, I've wondered if our hotel carries the CW and if I can possibly make it there by 8:00 - not likely. I've worried that my recorder won't work since I don't have a DVR to automatically record. I've been tense about iTunes messing up this week's episode like they did last week. I'm concerned the live streaming site won't work within the hotel. In short, instead of fretting about spending 12 hours in a car full of teenagers, I'm a mess over the possibility that I won't see Mannequin 3 at all. Irrational? yes. World-ending? no. It's a phobia. It just needs someone to coin an unnecessarily hard to pronounce name for it.

This, last week's episode, and people's comments about episode 6.14 have me thinking about Supernatural and phobias. I know that from the first cobweb last week, I was gripping my pillow tight and watching through partially splayed fingers. I hate spiders! Others have been worried about mannequins coming to life on Friday and I can't describe the comments during Everybody Loves a Clown. Who knew there was that much clown fear in the world? I wondered how Supernatural exploited some of the most common phobias. According to the internet (not always reliable), the 10 most common phobias are:

1. Arachnophobia (fear of spiders) - I can attest that the spider on the realtor's head in Bugs was traumatizing.

2. Social phobia (fear of social events) - This one is pretty broad. Probably the closest was Dean's reluctance to dress in a suit for the museum party.

3. Aerophobia (fear of flying) - Yikes! I bet Like a Virgin didn't help this one, but thanks to Phantom Traveler you know you are in good company.

4. Agoraphobia (fear of not being able to escape - aka fear of crowds) - While there has been plenty of close escapes in the Winchester world, I'm not sure their fear of not escaping is the same as most people's with this phobia.

5. Claustrophobia (fear on enclosed spaces) - No Exit had to be a nightmare for these folks - not to mention Family Remains.

6. Acrophobia (fear of heights) - With Meg and Cas falling/being dragged out of tall buildings in Shadows and The Third Man, people with acrophobia might have had some tense moments.

7/8. Nosophobia (fear of disease), Emetophobia (fear of vomit), Carcinophobia (fear of cancer) - My guess is these folks really, really hated Pestilence.

9. Brontophobia (fear of storms) and Astraphobia (thunder and lightning) - Sorry. I'm drawing a blank on these. Someone help me out?

10. Necrophobia (fear of death and dead things) - My guess - no one with an acute case of this phobia is watching Supernatural or most cop shows. Number of shows dealing with death in Supernatural - um, I'm guessing 117. Plus, there's Death.

Other phobias also not cured by watching Supernatural:

Haemophobia (fear of blood) - again with 117 episodes out of 117 showing blood, I'm guessing Supernatural is not the show for these phobia sufferers

Phasmophobia (fear of ghosts) - better change the channel with this one too. The Pilot had to scare these people off.

Nyctophobia (fear of the dark) - You'd have to skip all of season 1 with this fear.

Ophidiophobia (fear of snakes) - Yellow Fever had to be tough for those suffering here.

Cynophobia (fear of dogs) - well, there's Mystery Spot but far more creepy was All Dogs Go to Heaven. Apparently it's not enough to fear dogs attacking us. Now we have to fear dog-men watching us sleep.

Trypanophobia (fear of injections or needles) - Hospitals are a mainstay in Supernatural. Whether it's In My Time of Dying, On the Head of a Pin, or even Appointment in Samarra (courtesy of Freddie Krueger no less), needles and tubes happen.

Mysophobia (fear of germs)- Any room Dean and Sam have ever stayed in should be enough for these guys.

Taphophobia (fear of being buried alive) - While Doc Benton and H H Holmes deserved it, that couldn't have been any consolation. Dean's return might have made you gasp for breath too, and not in the way the rest of us did.

Coulrophobia (fear of clowns) - Perhaps the people of Medford should have taught this one to their kids. It would have spared many the anxiety of watching Everybody Loves a Clown and made Sam more comfortable too.

Dental phobia (can't find official name but the fear of dentists) - Given it seems only pedophiles get skewered like this on Supernatural, just hearing the drill in You Can't Handle the Truth had some people closing eyes and ears.

Last but not least.....this week's phobia is....

Pediophobia (fear of dolls, mannequins, and dummies) - We already got a taste of this with Playthings and Fallen Idols, but the writers of Supernatural seem determined to creep people out even more with Friday's Mannequin 3: The Reckoning.

So what other fears has Supernatural exploited? What future phobias do you think are still coming?? Is there anything you were not afraid of until you started watching? For me, I never knew to fear the kitchen sink until season 1. That sink is evil. If it doesn't kill you, it will at least take your hand. And what kind of crazy person gives their kid this toy to play with:

Yikes! You know the Supernatural PTB are sitting around thinking of how to frighten and freak us out. They are evil that way and that's probably another reason why we love this show so much. Sound off in the comments below about which scenes made you want to turn on the lights and grab a pillow.

Screencap by Screencap Paradise, Supernatural Fans Online.
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