I'm not talking about those moments when the show "hits me in the feels". I know what that's all about. I've even blogged about my emotional reactions to television shows here, here, and here. No, I'd say I understand those feelings fairly well. What I'm talking about is this weird feeling of nostalgia I get when I watch the first two seasons of Supernatural. Nostalgia for what, exactly? I honestly have no idea.
Not My Personal Experience
There is something about the eerie locations of the first two seasons that make me long for some unnamed event in my past, but for the life of me I can't figure out what I experienced that I'm recalling so fondly. The show is filmed in the environs of Vancouver. I've never been to Vancouver. The closest I've come is the one trip my husband and I took to San Francisco sixteen years ago. Not exactly the damp, foggy expanse of fir and spruce trees which provides the backdrop for all Supernatural episodes.
Not only have I never been to the places where the episodes were filmed, I also have nothing in my past which relates to the show's concept. I mean, you know, I don't hunt demons for a living. Duh. But I've also never lived the nomadic existence of the Winchesters. I've never traveled the country in a classic car with classic rock blaring on the radio, eating greasy food and sleeping in crappy motels. I mean, sure, I've eaten greasy food a few times and I've stayed in a few less than stellar lodging establishments, but I wouldn't say that experience sums up my childhood in any way. So what the heck?
And a really weird thing? The show makes me think of duck hunting. Yeah...duck hunting, of all the far-fetched things. I've never been duck hunting! I've never been any kind of hunting. Okay, so I grew up in rural Georgia, where lots of people like to hunt, but I've never joined them. Maybe I'm reliving memories of being a kid and hearing the older men in my life telling tales of being out in the woods, but if I were it would most likely be deer hunting. I rarely remember hearing anyone talk about hunting duck. I'm sure I know people who do, but deer is definitely the game of choice around here. So why the heck do I think about duck hunting when I watch Supernatural, when neither I, nor Sam, nor Dean, have ever shot a duck? Well, I guess there could be something in Sam and Dean's backstory about duck hunting. I mean, they had this whole history together before the events of the first season took place, but...well, I'm pretty much grasping at straws now.
What I Have Experienced
So we've established that I've never lived a lifestyle even remotely similar to that depicted on the show. But I still feel nostalgic when I watch it. Why? Well, there are some memories it could be bringing up.
My grandparents lived in a huge log house that sat on over a hundred acres of mostly wooded property. They even had a lake. My dad raised horses when I was a kid and we kept them over at my grandparents' house. So I have no memories that relate to hunting, but I did spend a lot of time outdoors. Either riding horses or just exploring the vast wooded area that constituted my grandparents' backyard. Along with these memories are the memories of driving the ten or so miles along country roads from our house to theirs. I didn't ride in the backseat of a '67 Impala, but I rode in my dad's red pickup truck. That's close enough, right? And my parents did listen to classic rock, so the soundtrack of Supernatural is also kind of the soundtrack of my childhood. But somehow all that doesn't quite seem a close enough parallel.
On the duck hunting front, there were a couple of paintings hanging on my grandparents' walls depicting hunting dogs, with ducks on the wing in the distant sky. So maybe there's one connection. (shrug)
I've also been a horror movie buff my entire life. By that, I mean to say that I saw Poltergeist when I was four, A Nightmare on Elm Street when I was five, and The Exorcist when I was eight. My parents were pretty lax when it came to my television viewing, so I basically watched whatever I wanted. So maybe some of the inside jokes and hidden tributes to classic horror embedded in the writing of Supernatural is taking me back to the days when I was still discovering the genre. I don't know. It still doesn't seem like I've hit on it yet.
My last possible explanation is that the show brings back warm memories of staying up late to watch Twin Peaks with my parents. That show was probably my first glimpse of the Pacific Northwest, and similarity of scenery between it and Supernatural just might be what's bringing up these odd feelings. And I do have one really cool memory of spending the night at my grandparents' house (the log cabin, remember?) and watching Twin Peaks there. If you've never experienced watching Twin Peaks in a log cabin in the middle of the woods, I highly recommend it. While you're at it, watch The Evil Dead as well. It's a cool experience. But surely one night of sitting up late in a log cabin watching a creepy show that prominently features fir trees is not the memory I'm harking back to. Is it?
Still Something There
There's still something about that show. I don't know. There are scenes where the characters are standing in a wooded area, or sometimes a field, and it's almost like I can remember standing there myself. Which is of course impossible. Unless I've had past lives, but I don't really believe in that so I'm not going to jump to that conclusion.
Am I the only person going through this crazy thing? If not, I would love to hear about it. So if you've ever had some vague, unformed memory sparked by something seemingly unrelated, please tell me in a comment.