Who is Nicki Aycox?

Born in May 1975, in Hennessey, Oklahoma, USA, Nicki Lynn Aycox was a musician and actress with roles in “The X-Files: I Want to Believe”, “Jeepers Creepers 2”, “Supernatural”, and several other series and movies. In 2015, she released “Red Velvet Room”, her debut EP, which contained five original songs.

Not much is known of Nicki’s parents or formative years; the actress was raised alongside her younger brother, Steve, and had Native American ancestry. She began playing the piano and singing in beauty pageants during her childhood; some early acting appearances included roles in “Boy Meets World”, “USA High”, and “3rd Rock from the Sun” as well as a recurring role in “Providence”.

One of Nicki’s best-known roles was in “Jeepers Creepers 2” with her portrayal of the psychic cheerleader Minxie Hayes. From July to October 2005, she depicted Private Brenda Mitchell in “Over There”, a series that documented the effects of the Iraq war on the soldiers’ families; the main characters were a unit of the US Army’s 3rd Infantry Division.

Nicki also landed a memorable guest role in a 2006 episode of “Criminal Minds”, chilling thousands of viewers with her portrayal of the sociopathic serial killer Amber Canardo. In the same year, she began playing Meg Masters in “Supernatural”, hand-selected for the role by Kim Manners, the executive producer of the series who had previously worked with Nicki in “Over There”.

The actress had a minor role in the 2007 thriller “Perfect Stranger”, which boasted a star-studded cast of big names including Bruce Willis and Halle Berry. A couple of years later, she scored another recurring role as the undercover LAPD police officer Jaimie Allen in “Dark Blue”, a gripping action drama series that ended in September 2010.

In 2021, Nicki was diagnosed with leukemia and sadly passed away from the illness in November 2022, at the young age of 47.

“Supernatural”

The dark fantasy drama TV series “Supernatural” was created by Eric Kripke and first aired in September 2005 on The WB. The show stars Jensen Ackles and Jared Padalecki as Dean and Sam Winchester, two brothers who hunt monsters, ghosts, demons, and other supernatural entities; it was produced by Wonderland Sound and Vision in association with Warner Bros. Television, and has had a spate of executive producers during its 15-year run, including John Shiban, Phil Sgriccia, and Kim Manners who tragically died during the making of season four.

Eric would unsuccessfully pitch the series for years, meaning that it was in development for almost a decade. When it was finally picked up by a network, most of the filming took place in Vancouver, British Columbia, and its surrounding areas. A staggering 5.69 million viewers tuned in for the pilot episode, and encouraging ratings during the first four episodes led to The WB green-lighting a complete season. Eric initially intended for the series to last three seasons, later expanded to five.

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After season five, the show’s main storyline was wrapped up and Eric departed the series, but “Supernatural” continued for 10 more seasons. It’s new showrunners were Robert Singer, Jeremy Carve, and Sera Gamble to name a few, with the show subsequently breaking the record for the longest-running American live-action fantasy TV series with the premiere of season eleven, and concluded in November 2020 with a total of 327 episodes in its catalogue.

“Supernatural” was inspired by Eric’s childhood love of urban legends. The series was originally intended to be a movie, and went through several changes once it was picked up by The WB. Although Eric felt that the show would work best as a road trip series and have the main characters be tabloid reporters, he changed ideas at the last minute, and made Sam and Dean brothers instead. The Winchester siblings were born in Lawrence, Kansas, thanks to its proximity to the famous Stull Cemetery, which is known for its urban legends.

Various changes and revisions were also made to the script. Originally, Sam and Dean were raised by their aunt and uncle instead of their father; realizing that this would make the backstory too complicated, Eric reworked the script so that the siblings were raised by their father to be hunters. In similar fashion, Sam’s girlfriend Jessica was originally intended to be a demon, but she was instead killed off in the same manner as the Winchester siblings’ mother. After months of meticulous changes, the pilot episode was finally ready to go.

-LasV

Posted by Castiel, Sam & Dean- Supernatural on Monday, September 7, 2015

Characters

Sam and Dean Winchester were the undoubted protagonists of “Supernatural”. Jared’s love of horror series fueled his interest for the role of Sam, as well as the similarities between the plot of the show and “The Twilight Zone” and “The X-Files”. The actor has previously compared Sam to Luke Skywalker and Neo, and was eager to play a reluctant hero. He was convinced to audition for the role by one of the executive producers whom he had already worked with.

Meanwhile, Jensen was also asked to audition for the role of Sam, but read the script and preferred Dean’s character. When asked what drew him to that role, Jensen explained: “With that character there was always a bit more comedy, and a bit more recklessness, and it just appealed to me more… So it was great. I found a character that I really enjoy playing.”

“Supernatural” makes up for its lack of lead characters with plenty of recurring ones. John Winchester, Sam and Dean’s father, was played by Jeffrey Dean Morgan, and made a brief appearance in the pilot episode before returning halfway through season one. John became a recurring character until his death in the premiere episode of season two; his spirit returned in the season finale to help out Sam and Dean. Later on, the siblings discovered that John had a third son with another woman.

John’s character was intended to die early on in the series to propel Sam and Dean’s character development and make things more challenging for them. Jeffrey was believed to be reluctant to return to “Supernatural” for season two due to his busy work schedule that included a recurring role in “Grey’s Anatomy”, ruling out future appearances.

The demon Azazel and his unnamed daughter were also introduced in season one. Azazel mainly appeared in the form of shadows or silhouettes and could only take physical form when possessing John. Similarly, his daughter used a girl named Meg Masters – played by Nicki Aycox – as a host. In the season two premiere, the actor Fredric Lehne played Azazel’s host and was asked to return for the season finale. Despite the character’s death, Azazel appeared in later seasons, played by different actors.

Nearing the end of season one, Azazel’s daughter was exorcised from Meg. The demon and the host continued to appear two separate characters; Nicki Aycox reprised her role in season four when Meg’s spirit tried to kill the Winchester brothers.

Misha Collins and Mark Sheppard are just two actors who didn’t expect their characters to become so popular. They were promoted to series regulars in the fifth and tenth seasons respectively; Misha portrayed Castiel and other characters, whereas Mark embodied the demon Crowley. Many new characters were also introduced when the writers wanted to focus more on hunters; Bobby Singer, played by Jim Beaver, was a family friend of the Winchesters who would become a surrogate father and mentor to Sam and Dean following the death of their father.

Harvelle’s Roadhouse, a saloon frequented by hunters that was introduced to the series in season two, also birthed many new characters. The saloon’s owner was Ellen Harvelle, the widow of a close friend of John Winchester’s; her mother, Jo, and the resident computer whiz Ash also helped run the show. Eventually, Jo’s character was written out of the series for not being popular enough. Likewise, Ash was killed off in the season two finale, and the Roadhouse was destroyed.

“Supernatural” Controversy

In this day and age, many a series or actor have been cancelled due to being perceived as problematic. Although “Supernatural” is fondly remembered by millions of viewers, some members of the show’s fandom have become disillusioned with its protagonists, namely with Jared.

When the main series ended, Jared and Jensen stopped interacting on social media, which soon caught netizens’ attention. Later on, it was announced that Jensen would be developing a prequel series for “Supernatural”, which Jared had no idea about. Fans of the show began going crazy online, and many theories circulated about the rumored bad blood between the two… at least until their PR teams forced them to come together and put on a display of unity.

In October 2021, Jared landed himself in hot water while attending that year’s Denver Con. When asked about the possible love story between Dean and Castiel, Jared compared their hypothetical relationship to incest, disappointing the show’s gay fans who had “shipped” Jensen and Misha’s characters for years. The disastrous convention was also plagued by rumors of a behind-the-scenes fight between Jensen and Jared, never denied or confirmed.

However, that wasn’t the first time that Jared and Jensen let their fans down. During a 2017 fan convention appearance, Jared asked Jensen, “Excuse me, does the rag smell like chloroform to you?” Jensen replied: “No, Mr. Cosby.” At the time, women were coming forward and sharing sexual assault allegations against Bill Cosby of “The Cosby Show” fame; many of the convention’s attendees were clearly uncomfortable, as it was too soon to be making those sorts of inappropriate jokes.

Marine Cole Trenton is a well-known recurring character who tried to kill Dean in the show’s tenth season. When the internet discovered that the actor portraying Marine – Travis Aaron Wade – had been cast despite various women accusing him of inappropriate sexual advances and harassment, fans were rightly horrified and began spreading the news. Travis’s reaction was to call them liars, block them, or blame the harassment on “hackers” who had infiltrated his social media accounts. Things got worse when women came forward to claim that they had been sent cease-and-desist letters from Travis’s legal team. The show never acknowledged this scandal, despite it raising plenty of eyebrows and making headlines across the world.

“Supernatural” writers were also slammed for not including enough characters of color. Over the years, there were less than a dozen non-white characters who played a significant role, and all of them were either evil, written off after a couple of episodes, or died tragically. Asian viewers were happy to finally be represented when the Tran family was introduced to the series… But not so happy when the family members were also written out in a somewhat lazy manner. Meanwhile, black viewers have lambasted the showrunners for making black characters like Raphael, Gordon, Jake Talley, and Uriel evil and one-dimensional.

Last but not least, rumors of mistreatment behind the scenes plagued the “Supernatural” cast and showrunners for years. In season ten, Jared dislocated his shoulder but was forced to keep filming with his arm in a sling, instead of being allowed time off to heal. This and other instances led to the series’ showrunners earning themselves a bad reputation. Mark Sheppard’s sudden departure from the show fueled those rumors, as he had been playing Crowley, King of the Underworld, for seven seasons when he suddenly disappeared.

Although Crowley was killed off by Lucifer, Mark raised eyebrows when he emphatically denied that there was any possibility of him returning to the show in the future. He also stated that he wouldn’t be taking part in future conventions, which made the fan community think that something went down behind the scenes. Did Mark annoy the wrong people, was he treated badly, or did he simply get bored of the “Supernatural” universe? We’ll never really know.

Despite the occasional scandal and controversy, “Supernatural” fans fondly remember the series, and are coming out in droves for its spin-offs, with the most successful being “The Winchesters”. The latter series became The CW’s most-watched debut of the season, after pulling 757,000 viewers for its first episode, so the “Supernatural” guys are clearly doing something right.

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