Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Dear Fandom: Snap out of it.

We're at that spot in the fall TV season at which the season is still young enough that it has the excitement that comes with the blush of newness, but old enough that fans have to face the fact that whatever dream season they had in their heads isn't magically happening, and as a result, fandom is LOSING ITS COLLECTIVE MIND. People are calling for showrunners to drown themselves. People are using, a site designed to advocate for real social change, to start petitions about PLOT POINTS. People are protesting the fact that networks dare hire actors who have political views. People are greeting happy announcements from actors they idolize with pure lunacy. I've seen instances with at least four different shows of people deciding they'll hate whole plotlines or seasons based on one image or casting call or tweet from a writer. At one site I write for, we keep having to close the comments on our posts because of "fans" being cruel toward each other and the actors. People are calling for fans to pray - actually pray - for fictional characters who may be in danger. Don't you think maybe God has a few or 500 more important issues on His mind right now? I mean, COME ON.

I'm self-aware enough to know that I am in no place to fault anyone for watching or thinking or talking about TV too much, and nor would I want to. But there's a line somewhere. I am always in favor of more good discussion and analysis and criticism of TV, of any art form. And art can and does change the world, but not through 'shipper wars or nasty personal tweets. I take fiction as seriously as anyone, but at some point, we need to stop and remind ourselves: This is television. Entertainment. The stakes are not that high.

So, consider this a plea for sanity. Step away from the computer for a second. Take a deep breath. Remember that this is fiction. Remember to save your outrage for the many very horrible, very nonfictional things going on in the world right now. Remember that the people in the computer are, in fact, people. Remember that all the writers and actors and showrunners are people, too. Remember Wheaton's Law. And for goodness' sake, if a show is really causing you that much distress, turn it off and watch something else.


  1. Very well-put. The TVD fandom is really turning me off ATM. I feel like just forgetting about every site, blog, twitter, etc. related to the show and just sitting and watching it alone...contemplating it ALONE. This is all so discouraging :(

  2. Wow. There may not be enough 'wow' to cover some of those links. I thought I was a crazed TV fanatic. Alas, I'm a piker.

  3. I just have to say those links scare me. I clearly am not as much of a tv fanatic as I thought but if that's the level you have to be I'm glad. Seriously the one about Jared and his wife? I'm a huge JP fan and I've had a crush since his Gilmore Girl days but I would never be so distraught and crazed about him the way those fans were.