It is a truth universally acknowledged that there are levels of geek. The true fan or better fan debate is tired and mind-numbly boring so I’d rather investigate the much more tangible and terrifying circles of fandoms that have scared me off from supporting otherwise enjoyable shows/books/movies/etc.
I emphasized circles rather than levels for a reason. I’m not about to sit here on my high horse judging obsessive fans while typing in front of a floor to ceiling bookshelf full of comics and while plotting which trade to bring on the subway tomorrow morning. I mean, they’re batty and I’m normal? I once tried to look for the collected A Song of Ice and Fire/Game of Thrones Maps in the nonfiction section.
That disclaimer being thus disclaimed, last week I started watching Hannibal, which, in its first season is a fantastic show. Now, I don’t know why I expected fans of the show to be less um, eager? Considering it’s gory show about brutally artistic murders and psychopaths I, didn’t think it was so farfetched not to expect this kind of participation in the fandom:
What do you mean by this, Hannibal fans? This is not a ship. No. I’d rather be all for Will Graham/ that Giant deer he keeps dreaming about. Lady Boner and “Hannibal Lector’s smooth suit while he was slicing up that human liver” should not be used in the same sentence as often as they are. Just no.
How about one of the most established and active fandoms around like Supernatural. The show was supposed to end in season 5, but sheer willpower of the fans have kept it going well beyond that. What does that mean exactly? 8+ seasons of shipping two brothers with each other, with some chiseled-jawed angel, and I’m guessing occasionally with their car.
I’m going to be straight up, Supernatural fans, ya’ll are a fucking scary bunch. You’re so intense that creator Eric Kripke doesn’t pay you fan service, he (lovingly) pokes fun at you that he let his own characters discuss “Wincest” in an actual episode. I’m serious. In the 4th season the guys meet with an author of a Supernatural book series a la Stephen King in the Dark Tower series mixed with Misery.
I borrowed this from tumblr along with the caption to give an idea about what I’m talking about. Someone saw these two coats together in a store, and because they are similar to those worn by characters on the show, commented that it was purposely done to show support for a “one true pairing” or a favorite couple (possible or no) in a fandom, Dean/Castiel. In case you were wondering, no they’ve never hooked up because neither Winchester is gay and Castiel is an angel with better apocalypse-related things to do. The thing is, I totally believe that some employee of Sears or whatever would do this if they were fans of the show because that’s what it means to love Supernatural. For example, how about this blog that was requesting pics of Misha Collins holding his phone with his pinky splayed just so?
So I never gave the show a shot until last weekend when a few friends/fans decided to marathon their favorite episodes because it just seemed like too intense a commitment. Man. Is. This. Show. Great. Super great. I didn’t even mind being spoiled or jumping around through seasons, because the show is about the relationship between the brothers and their isolation from the rest of the world because of their mission to kill demons and shit (as I understand it from like 15 episodes). It’s pleasantly episodic at times while still feeding in to a overarching plot. (Buffy 2.0!)
I even believe I owned up to some feels only like 2 episodes in.
Am I going to join the ranks of the Supernatural fans now? Nah, probably not. I watched a bunch of episodes and never once wanted another character to lick the tears of any other character be they blood relation, deity, or automobile. I’m going to watch the Kripke seasons this summer but the fandom is a too well-oiled machine at this point to jump on that crazy train. It’s nice that about 50% of my tumblr dashboard now makes sense.
But hey, run your fandoms how you please and don’t mind the rest of the world. Fans are what make or break a show and I like to think that dedicated and loyal fans make it more than a paycheck gig for everyone involved in the production. So if you’re a Supernatural freak, wear that flag proud. Knit it out of Jared Padalecki’s shaven chest hairs if it pleases you and he consents. I’m just gonna slowly back away and deny ever seeing a single episode if you want to show if you ask and I’ll expect you do to the same when I talk about Harry Potter.