‘Wayward Daughters’ Is The ‘Supernatural’ Spin Off We Need

wayward daughters

Wayward Daughters

After the ill-fated attempt at creating a Supernatural spin off with ‘Bloodlines’, the CW has expressed interest in taking another shot at creating a series that takes place in the same universe as the popular horror-themed drama. There’s no word yet on what their next attempt will be, but fans have plenty of ideas of what they’d like to see in a show.

One of the most talked about ideas has been for Sheriff Jody Mills to get her own show, which has only strengthened these past few months as her story has expanded. She now has a sidekick, Donna, an adopted daughter, Alex, and, as of “Angel Heart”, will be looking after Claire Novak.

Things are set up perfectly for an exciting, demographically appropriate, and strongly female-dominated story that can run parallel with Supernatural.  Fans have dubbed this concept “Wayward Daughters.”

One of the biggest criticisms against a Jody Mills spin off that I’ve run across online is her age. First of all, on principle I find this notion appalling. However, I understand that the demographics for the CW skew young so if I take a step back from my gut reaction, I can understand where it comes from. But now that Alex and Claire are with her, this is a moot point.

We have two dynamic, fierce, tough teenage girls who have tangoed with the supernatural for a huge chunk of their lives. They are the next generation of hunters and match the network’s demographic aims perfectly.

Another thing this spin off idea has going for it is the all female crew. For years fans have wanted more diversity in the Supernatural universe and have hoped to see the spin off reflect that (see: ‘The Supernatural Spin Off Needs a Female Lead‘).

Entertainment in general is dominated by cis straight white men, but a lot of us want to see characters we can identify with depicted in these stories, too. Supernatural in particular has often killed off many of their women and POC characters rather quickly… until now, at least. This season has had many incredible women feature prominently, and now most of them are all hanging out with Jody Mills.

JodyDonnaOne of the biggest failures of Bloodlines was the fact that none of us really knew who these characters were or why we should care about them. A Jody Mills spin off fixes that issue, too.

We know these characters. We love these characters. We love the actresses and their interactions with fans. We want them at our conventions and want to see them on our screens as often as possible.

All of this adds up to a perfect mix of elements to give both the fans and the network what we need.

I had a chance to talk with Riley and Betty Days, the organizers behind the Wayward Daughters social media campaign, about what they’re doing, what they hope to accomplish, and how others can get involved.

Q) What is ‘Wayward Daughters’ and why are you rallying behind the idea?

Riley: Wayward Daughters is a sort of fan-created idea that’s been circulating throughout the Supernatural fandom in one form or another ever since Jody took Alex under her wing last season. When Claire was sent off to Jody’s at the end of “Angel Heart”, the fandom exploded with enthusiasm over the line that she was being sent to “some sort of halfway house for wayward girls.” We latched onto the idea, even though it was thrown in as a joke. There’s been so much fandom-wide excitement over the complex, incredible female characters that Supernatural has been including in its episodes recently that we all just sort of jumped at the opportunity to see more of them. When we realized that Kim Rhodes and Briana Buckmaster were just as excited as we were, it sparked a firestorm.

Betty Days: I think the concept of Wayward Daughters has a lot of potential, because it’s about women mentoring girls, and that’s something we don’t see a lot of in media. Given SPN’s fanbase of women from a wide range of age demographics, it seems like something that’s definitely in our wheelhouse as a fandom, something we can all relate to and learn from. We can use it as a tool to send some really good messages, break through a few glass ceilings, and build really meaningful dialogue that SPN by definition is unable to focus on for more than one or two [episodes] a season.

Q) How many people are involved behind the scenes of the campaign and have any of you led similar campaigns before?

Riley: It all started with a series of tweets between Twitter user zoewillowsmama, Betty Days, Kim Rhodes, and myself. I offered to make t-shirts to use as a fundraising tool, but Kim suggested that the powers that be would be more apt to listen if we had strength in numbers rather than funds. I knew that there was a buzz around the idea on social media (particularly Tumblr), so I asked Kim how best to channel that energy into an effective outlet. She told me to try to get a lot of people to show the producers how much they wanted Wayward Daughters. So, I took to my blog, sending out the call to action. Within minutes, dozens of people responded asking how they could help, where they could get the Wayward Daughters t-shirt, to whom they could write emails or letters. So, in a way, the whole fandom is involved behind the scenes.

But if you want to get technical, [Betty Days] suggested I grab the Tumblr and Twitter URLs so that we could further channel the energy of the fans through a central outlet. Betty and I run the Twitter and I have been running the blog. I’m a graphic designer, so soon after making the social media accounts, I created a logo and signage for the Wayward Daughters Academy to give everything a unifed look and to have a sort of visual to rally behind. I, personally, have never led a campaign of this magnitude – I was just a very enthusiastic viewer who given the right tools by Kim Rhodes.

Q) What’s the reception of your campaign been like so far? Have the actors or show runners noticed?

Riley: The reception of the campaign has been overwhelmingly positive. I knew that the fans were excited to see more of Jody, Donna, Alex, Claire, and even Krissy and her gang, but I never anticipated just how much. In the first day, nearly 3,000 people had liked or reblogged the call-to-action post (which had information on how to mail letters to the producers and network), several hundred people had followed both the blog and the Twitter, and I was receiving dozens upon dozens of very enthusiastic tweets, messages, and notes – people begging to know how to make it a reality, people saying they would pay money to make it happen, but most of all, people saying that yes, THIS was the spinoff they’d been waiting for, THIS was the spinoff they would watch with as much enthusiasm as with Supernatural.

I kept Kim and Briana in the loop during that first day, showing them just how much positive support the idea was getting. They were both so excited that they began tweeting a pitch for dialogue to the pilot episode to one another. We’ve been tagging Robbie Thompson and Robert Berens (some of the fan favorite Supernatural writers whose involvement we would love to see), but they haven’t interacted with us yet so it’s hard to tell if they’ve noticed. As for the producers – I know that hundreds of people have already sent letters or postcards their way, but if that isn’t enough, I started a petition yesterday that already has nearly 1,000 signatures, so I’m hoping we can send that their way when we get more.

Q) What is your campaign currently working on?

Riley: Right now, our biggest goal with the campaign is to generate more excitement and involvement. The fans of Supernatural are some of the most involved and invested viewers of any media I’ve ever seen, and that’s incredible. We’re hoping to continue to channel that willingness to become involved and be invested by starting a Represent t-shirt campaign (similar to the ones Osric and Jared and Jensen have done recently) to raise awareness for our cause and to benefit an organization that helps homeless or troubled youth. We are currently researching charities and organizations, so as soon as we find the right one and I finish the design, we’ll get that going.

Q) Do you have some ideas for what you’d like the next step of the campaign to be? Any plans?

Riley: After the t-shirt campaign ends, we’d like people to take pictures of themselves wearing the shirts and flood social media with them. We’re trying to generate as much awareness for Wayward Daughters as we can, because we know the potential excitement of the majority of the fandom is out there, we just have to tap it. Betty is looking to do some fun and engaging activities with the supporters of Wayward Daughters, like giveaways. After we’ve gathered enough voices, I’m hoping that we can get in touch with some of the writers, show runners or producers to find out the best, most effective way to proceed. We already have thousands of fans behind us, so I’m hoping that it will be enough support to show that we really are invested in this idea and that we will do whatever it takes to make this dream a reality.

Betty Day: I have a few ideas on how to generate interest, but I’m also open to hearing them from others, too, because our fanbase is filled with brilliant, enthusiastic individuals. We’re also lucky enough that we can have open dialogue with the actors and creators of our show so that our voices can be heard. I have a lot of hope for this project, and I think with enough inertia and creativity, we can make it happen.

Thanks for talking with us, Betty Days and Riley.  You can follow their campaign on Twitter and Tumblr.

So readers, what do you think of this spin off idea? Does it have potential?

Wayward Daughters Petition
Call To Action Post
Postcard Campaign

Author: Angel Wilson

Angel is the admin of The Geekiary and a geek culture commentator. She earned a BA in Film & Digital Media from UC Santa Cruz. She’s contributed to various podcasts and webcasts including An Englishman in San Diego, Free to Be Radio, and Genre TV for All. She’s written for Friends of Comic Con and is a 2019 Hugo Award winner for contributing fanfic on AO3. She identifies as queer.


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About the author

Angel is the admin of The Geekiary and a geek culture commentator. She earned a BA in Film & Digital Media from UC Santa Cruz. She's contributed to various podcasts and webcasts including An Englishman in San Diego, Free to Be Radio, and Genre TV for All. She's written for Friends of Comic Con and is a 2019 Hugo Award winner for contributing fanfic on AO3. She identifies as queer.

Comments

  1. As much as I can get behind the idea of a spinoff centered around Jody, Donna, and young hunters in training, I respectfully disagree that viewers can’t identify with the Winchester’s and/or Cas and Crowley. Gender to me has no impact on how I view the show. The story and their struggles are in my opinion universal.

    This is of course just my two cents and I respect everyone watches for different reasons.

    1. I never said that people can’t identify with Cas, Dean, or Sam, nor did I say that women can only identify with female characters. Sorry if my words came off as implying such. But for some of us, we WANT to see women in the media in a stronger way. So I definitely respect not everyone needs that, but a lot of us do. I’m one of them.

  2. I’d never stop watching Supernatural in favor of a show featuring girls and women. That said, gender DOES impact my experience of a TV show, movie, play, etc. Girls need representation via strong women characters, and these two are perfect. There’s been talk in the fandom for a couple of years about this idea, especially after Alex Annie Alexis Ann, and the idea of Claire joining Jody and Alex, and Donna and Jody teaming up again, just tapped into that excitement. You’ve got my support!! 🙂

  3. In my opinion, this is an amazing idea!! I would love to see a spinoff starred by these amazing female characters we already know and love. The “Wayward Daughters” concept is just plain awesome!! I would definitely watch this show. (And of course, it would be great if more already known characters, characters we care about, could appear from time to time. After all, Garth, Charlie, Krissy, Kevin Tran’s mother, Cole, Hannah, and idk a hell of a lot more characters I might be forgetting DO live in the same universe and are familiar with the whole hunting lifestyle. I would be delighted to be able to keep learning about them, too, even if they keep being recurring elements.) Just bring it on already. #WaywardDaughters

    1. okay, first off I just want to say, this seems like an AMAZING idea. to me. I am a feminist and really want to see more strong female characters in the media kicking ass. And these women are definitely strong. They’ve been through different kinds of hell, the supernatural kind and the human kind. I love Sam, Dean, Cas, Crowley, etc. but I’m also ready to see some serious female characters who stick around and do more than just flit by for one episode once every two seasons. (no offense meant by any of this in case you are indeed offended)

  4. I’ve always thought a Jody & Donna spin off would be an amazing idea. The only drawback of this idea that you’ve presented explicitly, is that there is a great divide with fans when it comes to Claire Novak. I personally, did not like this sorely fleshed out version of Claire that we have been made to swallow down. I don’t know if it’s the writers fault, or the actress’ amateur acting skills, but Claire was hard to watch 9/10 times.

    So yes, give me a Jody & Donna centric spin off. But the Wayward Daughter’s thing doesn’t sit completely well with me. To be clearer, I don’t want to watch an hour of poorly written teenage drama, that largely discredits the seriousness of the Supernatural world that we know, and makes a mockery out of what it is to be a “hunter”. Being a hunter is more than dressing in cool hunter clothes, braiding your hair, and being given a gun.

    If we are going to invest into a story, I want it to be just as compelling and heart driven as the show we have all come to fiercely love. And I believe Jody & Donna can lead a show like that, but I’m not buying into this Wayward Orphanage of teenage drama that you guys are dishing with it.

    I respect your drive and passion to spread awareness for this project. This idea alone, even though I don’t agree with parts of it, is still greater than that horrendous back pilot in S9. I think we can all come to agree on that. 🙂

    1. I actually think Kathryn Newton is a wonderful actress and I don’t find her acting or the writing of the character are weak at all. I know some people, such as yourself, disagree, but I very much like Her. But yes, we can agree that Bloodlines didn’t work. That seems to have united all sides of fandom.

    2. Definitely agree that Kathryn was wonderful. Also agree that I’m not hoping for a teen-drama show. Something that connects with the SPN universe and tells these girls’ stories (including Jody and Donna) would be great. I remember watching Freaks and Geeks and thinking, hey, this new generation of hunters could change the way the job is done. Now THAT would be a story! 🙂

    3. “I don’t want to watch an hour of poorly written teenage drama, that largely discredits the seriousness of the Supernatural world that we know, and makes a mockery out of what it is to be a “hunter”. Being a hunter is more than dressing in cool hunter clothes, braiding your hair, and being given a gun.”

      I think it’s unfair to assume that this show would be that – Claire and Alex both lost their families because of supernatural occurrences, just like the brothers, and have experienced a wealth of trauma as a result, again, just like the brothers. Just because they’re not archangel vessels (though, Claire is actually pretty close…) doesn’t mean that their narrative will be consumed by teenage drama. Instead I think the SPN universe would provide them with really interesting parallels between the supernatural drama and the real life anxieties, fears, and experiences that come with being human – again, just like it did for Sam and Dean. Obviously we’re all coming at this with very different personal histories that draw or repel us from certain plot lines, but I found Claire’s story really compelling and appreciated what it meant to have this effectively orphaned, highly traumatized girl fighting the best way she knew how in this universe so dominated by men. I guess what I’m saying is that following teenage girls as they learn what it means to be in ‘The Life’ doesn’t undermine its seriousness, and if you think that it does, I’d encourage you to think about why that is.

  5. I think this is such a wonderful idea!

    Ironically enough for a show that has a notorious troubled record with its female characters and fandom reception of them, Supernatural has managed to create some fantastic female characters who click with a large portion of the fandom and whom a lot of us have become very fond of because of how nuanced and honest they feel. I think that Carver-era Supernatural’s finally shown the ability to tap into these characters’ potential that was missing before.

    In a lot of ways I believe that the 200th Special and its positive (understatement) representation of fandom is emblematic of this. And I absolutely agree that so were our short encounters with Krissy and Alex in the past two years, and the multiple episodes with Claire this season – I loved her and her storyline so much! Do I even need to mention what a phenomenon Charlie’s success in fandom has been?

    So… Consider me on board! I love this new trend and if there’s one Supernatural spin-off I’d like to see, it’s something like this.

  6. I think this campaign is making valid points for a proposed Supernatural spinoff, and seeing how well the young female led show The 100 is doing (without becoming a teenage drama) I think the CW should look into this. I love The Jody & Donna dynamic and could see how the differences in the experiences of the younger characters can be contrasted with the two sheriffs’ experiences – Claire & Alex know more about their specialty areas (angels and vampires than Donna). I’d like to see them meet up with Krissy’s group … And I’ve been wondering whether the mind-wiping of Ben took? Or does he know about the supernatural? Adding him to the mix would help make it an ensemble cast and give the guys someone too.
    One question – where are these Tshirts of which you speak?

  7. Personally, I suspect the network’s demographic aims won’t be ideally served by this spin-off. In fandom, yes, we’re far and away largely female, but that doesn’t represent the actual demographic of the show. I’d like to see a wide variety of genders, races and orientations, if we’re talking better representation. Pretty sure there won’t be good carry-over from SPN to this spin-off if the major draw is “Hey, look at all these strong female characters!” In fact, the whole idea of the Strong Female Character frustrates me. I want meaty, complex characters, regardless of their genitalia. Give me all of them, if we have that option, not just the while women.

    1. I agree on most of your points. Especially the generic “strong female character” label. When I said “strongly female” I was using it to imply it was “mostly female” not describing them with the generic qualifier. And yes, I want POC, queer, trans, and disabled characters too. We are on the same page on all of that.

      There’s only one point where we differ. I do think young women is a strong demographic of the WB. The 100 has a female protagonist. A queer one too! And it’s heading into its third season. We also have iZombie and I hope it gets renewed because it’s amazing.

      But that’s one difference in our opinions. Other than that, yes, co-signed. We need better representation across the board. That includes women along with all the other major under represented demographics too.

      1. Yeah, the CW may skew young and female, but does SPN’s demographic skew that way too? Not as strongly, I’m pretty sure. It’s really going to depend upon top-notch writing, show running and how many fans they can keep from the original show. There’s a certain grim promise made by the universe that SPN operates in, and if the franchise can maintain and reinvigorate that, then it might have a shot. But an all-female cast alone won’t guaranetee that, and is just as restricting as an all-male cast. But we shall see what transpires!

        1. I think in order for a show to be successful it’s going to have to appeal to more than just Supernatural fans, I think. Angel had viewers that never watched Buffy (who I then convinced to please please please watch Buffy!!, but I digress…) But yeah, let’s see! I’m hoping for the best.

  8. I wouldn’t mind seeing a return of Deans daughter, theoretically being half monster she went to purgatory every other Winchester has been resurrected in some form there’s potential there for a seriously interesting storyarc especially considering she got killed by good ol’ uncle Sammy and Deans having been in purgatory, a rouge bad angel for example metatron could bring back her and Adam to seek revenge that would totally be badass!

    1. That hasn’t launched yet. Follow their social media links for when it’ll happen 🙂

  9. I think the premise is very interesting and I’d definitely give it a go. But SPN did well because it appealed to both sexes and a wide age range. My only concern is that this set up with an all female cast would limit the demographic appeal, especially if the CW does its usual thing and tweaks the show into being more about romance & angst than monster hunting. If the spirit of SPN could be maintained, then I think the spin off could have a decent shot.

  10. being completely honest, I just don’t see a Supernatural spinoff being viable no matter who it’s centered around. fans are invested not only in the storylines, but in the dynamic between the brothers and those around them. Yes Jodi Mills is an awesome character – just like Charlie (SPOILER) – was… but, I wonder if the reason they’re so cool is because we don’t see them often and they have great story lines written for their special appearances. I also don’t like the idea of “we’re feminists so we need a female spin off.” No… we don’t. We need a GOOD spin off, with GOOD writing, and strong characters that can hold the story… the sex of those characters be damned. I’m a girl and I am personally fine with Supernatural the way it is, with two male leads, because they have a compelling story and a dynamic that keeps you tuning in.

    So long story short (too late) – While it sounds good on paper, I just don’t know if guest stars can hold an entire series and remain as interesting as they are when they appear once or twice a season.

  11. This would be so amazing. The fans would rally behind this, I think. We should get it trending on Twitter!

  12. “Supernatural in particular has often killed off many of their women and POC characters rather quickly” Supernatural literally kills every one of their recurring characters regardless of gender or race, that’s basically their thing: Everybody dies.

  13. Recent comments from Mark Pedowitz indicate that network interest in a spinoff is still strong. He remarked that he hadn’t heard of Wayward Daughters specifically – this is our cue! Letter writing campaign is in order, to him, other network executives, producers and even writers. The word is that tweets, etc., don’t carry much weight; letters do. Drafting letters now! 🙂

  14. While I hate the fact that making this would be considering pandering to the feminist out there, I have to admit I also would love to see this and was glad that I wasn’t the only one. Not only that, it seems quite obvious that this is the “secret” direction the people behind the scenes were going with. (How do you accidentally make this mixing pot?)

    There would be only a few small changes that they’d probably have to make. Jodi would have to die by something supernatural, throwaway the wacky sidekick, bring in Charlie as either the lead or the “Bobby” of the group, and make the story about how the two “sisters” learn to deal with each other. It would be a “sibling rivalry” situation where neither girl really likes each other but knows the other has their back. It could eventually (potentially) lead into some homosexual relations between the girls since the same couldn’t be said of Dean and Sam.

    Like I, and the OP, have said, the groundwork has already been laid and it seems like the only logical answer to what they’d do. If they don’t do the homosexual route, it’d be expected that some type of boy character will join the group and make some type of love triangle situation happen since the demographic IS still women. (Don’t hate me when all dramas and romance tvs and movies that pander to the female demographic have this in some way)

    All in all, this would be very interesting to see. Like I said though, this can’t NOT be what CW and the people behind Supernatural had planned. The pieces fit together like no other and if they did manage to accidentally do this, it would likely be the “queen” of missed opportunities.

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