Pro and Cons of Fandoms - Let's chat.
All creative types dream of having fans, actors, authors, screenwriters, musicians, poets and artists. We all want people to love our work and interact with us and share their thoughts. Fandoms help keep shows alive now thanks to social media, Supernatural is one great example and Whedon knows the BrownCoats rallied and fought to get Firefly back on somewhere, anywhere. That's wonderful and amazing. I know fandoms also are a way for people to connect and relate to each other and bond as close friends and family. Comic Cons and show specific cons are truly astounding places to people watch, the imaginations and talents of cosplayers are on full display and attendees get to meet someone that has inspired and excited them. All these things are truly wonderful to behold.
I'll admit right here that I am not a overly ambitious fan. I love my shows, and am thrilled to meet the actors or writers, I may even do a cosplay at some point in the future when the funds are available to me to do it right. I'm excited to meet certain people and learn new things at some of the panels. There are some things among fandoms that I just don't get.
2. The sense of entitlement that the show, it's plot and characters are your personal property and if it doesn't do what you want it to it therefore sucks and you will never watch it again.
Shipping - I don't get it and probably never will but what I do notice is that shippers seem to get so caught up in their ship of choice that they completely ignore plot lines, character development, continuity and pretty much everything that is not involved with their ship. They also swarm the hell out of any and all fan pages, then create dozens of pages that swoon over their ship and become so caught up in that that they annoy everyone else that is interested in the show. I've been watching Arrow since the beginning and follow Stephen Amell on Facebook and in the last several months can no longer tolerate looking at the comments or other the posts by others because they are so Olicity heavy, the CW Arrow fanpage tends to be overrun with the same. If there are not "Olicity moments" in the show they bitch, the least little look between Oliver and Felicity is analyzed under a microscope. They have incredibly negative and hateful attitudes towards any other female Oliver even looks at.
This bothers me on several levels.
1. THE ACTORS ARE REAL PEOPLE READING THESE COMMENTS: Any of these folks think about how Katie Cassidy or Caity Lotz feel when their characters are called bitches or whores? How seeing repeated calls for Laurel's death on the show may make Katie Cassidy feel? Stephen cares deeply for his fellow castmates, that is fairly obvious if you watch his QA and it must hurt him on some level as well. I'm sure most actors have developed a thicker skin but it's just fucking disrespectful. They work long hours and pour their heart and soul into their characters and then to see repeated negativity over and over has to be disconcerting and painful. I've had shippers tell me that the actors and writers probably love it because it shows people are passionate about the show. I highly doubt that.
2. THE SHOW IS NOT JUST ABOUT YOUR SHIP: The writers have a responsibility to develop the plot and all the characters in the show, not just your personal ship of choice. Shows like Arrow which are based off a comic book and have some sort of responsibility to the comic book fans who want Laurel and Oliver to have a relationship in one way or another are valid fans and are just as important as you are. There are other plot lines and characters that need developing and Oliver and Felicity can not be in every damn scene. Same for Supernatural and the shippers for that show. I'm downright annoyed when a show ends and I look on Amell's page and half the posts are "Why haven't you kissed her yet?" He doesn't write the show people.
3. HISTORICALLY WHEN A TEASED ROMANCE COMES TO FRUITION IT KILLS THE SHOW. Moonlighting, Bones and a myriad of other shows crashed and burned when the "power couple" finally became a couple. The show shifts to being about their relationship and loses everything else. Quickest way to kill Arrow's unique feel would be to have Oliver actually get with anyone for more than a few episodes. The show at it's heart is about Oliver's struggles within himself and his desire to save his city and not become a monster in doing so. When it becomes a romance it is no longer Arrow. It's another crappy romantic sitcom. Arrow needs to stay gritty, dark and filled with action. I'd hate for it to become "Someone kidnaps Felicity again because she's Oliver's weakness, he rescues her, they kiss, end show." Arrow is fundamentally a messy show, there is no black and white and that is why it works.
Sense of Entitlement - This piggybacks on shipping but I want to explore a different part of it. I came into Supernatural late, just started watching it last year on Netflix and am now all the way through Season 8. I was very hesitant to watch seasons 6-8 because of all the negative things I read. How the show had lost it's way, the brothers were always fighting, it was a stupid plot line etc etc. Fans were lamenting the length of the show and stating how it should have just ended at season 5. I figured if everything I read was how sucky it was then I shouldn't invest the time. A few of my friends said to just watch it and see so I did. I LOVED all of those seasons. I binged watch plenty of it and was just as riveted and sucked into seasons 6-8 as I was in seasons 1-5.
It seems that fans were missing the "good old days" of the brothers not fighting, which never happened. they hated he fact that there was no monster of the week, which there still are and how everything had become so serious, which it has always been.
I started rewatching season 1 last night. The brothers fight in the very first episode. Four episodes in Sam is already keeping secrets. They fight a demon on the Phantom Travel episode. I often wonder which show these people are watching. No matter what season you watch there is a campy, funny ridiculous episode or two, there are still "monsters" of the week. In later seasons it become witches, psychokinetics, but there were still some ghosts and spirits. The show matured as the actors did, it had to evolve past monster of the week but the core of the show has been and will always be how Sam and Dean deal with each other, their different goals and viewpoints. Yes there is some repetition in their interactions but that has to be expected. Realistically they would have probably split up by now, Sam choosing to live a normal life and telling Dean to leave him alone or Dean kicking Sam out but because it is a show they stay together. My point is that fans have this sense of entitlement that the writers have to make them and only them happy, if they don't get what they want they bitch about it everywhere and whine and complain. It's not just your show. Suck it up. If you don't like it stop watching but don't sit their and try to ruin if for others.
I have watched footage of con panels with Jared and Jensen and Misha and I read about the huge controversy over Jensen basically banning Destiel questions. People seem to not realize that they are under contract and can't comment on certain things and even more to the point, they don't write the show and quite obviously don't appreciate the questions on that topic. Supernatural has had more gay and lesbian characters and references than any other show I have seen with the exception of Will and Grace and maybe a few others. It's fairly obvious that none of the actors or writers have issues with homosexuality but let's be realistic. Dean is straight and Castiel is usually an angel, therefore is asexual in nature. When he was a mortal he slept with a woman. Hint hint... Cas and Dean are family, not lovers.
When people ask Jared or Jensen odd, personal questions and then get upset when they don't answer them all I can think is how horrible it would be to have to deal with that. They are people, not something you own or exist strictly for your entertainment. Have some class and respect people.