I still think Warehouse 13 needs to be considered a bible for all writers/directors/producers on how to make something brilliant that also happens to pass the Bechdel test with flying colors, AND includes canon queer characters, older women, people of color, etc. It’s one of Syfy’s top-rated shows, too, so boom go the “people won’t watch it” excuses for making stuff into nothing but sausage fests. It’s doable. If you can’t/don’t/won’t, it’s because you’re shitty at your job, not because audiences won’t watch stuff without wall-to-wall straight, white dudes.
great point. the show is not above criticism as it sidelines and typecasts poc, as well as ignores positioning Steve as an actively gay character. that being said, the show still kicks some serious ass and this post is a super important point. long live the warehouse!
Points taken, definitely (though I think the latter issue may be improved upon somewhat as the rest of this season goes on.)
I also have to give credit to Joanne and Jaime, for pushing ahead with the Bering/Wells thing even if it wasn’t originally intended to be canon (and still isn’t, technically.) Kind of funny, really, how the show’s biggest fan-supported ship turned out to be f/f, and traditional m/f-leads het shippers are finding themselves in the position slashers usually are.
Overall, I think most SFF shows these days are doing diversity much better than their mainstream counterparts. There are still fails now and then, both in the stuff I mentioned in the previous post (SPN, DW, Merlin) and in other stuff (why, if Grimm has a gay showrunner, has it had no gay characters? Weird.) But there’s also been some great progress. Honestly, I think that’s why it’s so jarring when stuff like SPN does fail to be inclusive. It’s just not that common anymore for a genre show to be all white dudes, all the time. We’ve definitely made some great steps forward.
And speaking of steps forward, I do have to put in a plug for a couple of shows about to have their U.S. debuts on Syfy next month: Sinbad and Primeval: New World. The former has a black lead and other prominent PoC characters, and for once is a fantasy set outside of Europe. And the latter has both PoC characters and a canon bisexual (not to mention one of the most realistic women characters I’ve seen in years in Dylan Weir.) Many of Syfy’s other recent shows have been good, too—Defiance, Continuum, etc. (My issues with Lost Girl are a different post, sadly.)
I think the conventional marketing wisdom is still a factor. Cable shows do still make only a fraction of the ratings of their network counterparts, and goodness knows the biggest ratings of all are still going to trashy reality dreck, instead of quality scripted stuff. Sadly, many women, queer folk and people of color are still blithely watching stuff that marginalizes or even denigrates them, and straight, white dudes are still considered a target demo, even if they don’t make up the majority of viewers and haven’t for a generation. But we are making progress, and I think there are fewer and fewer excuses to be had now for not being inclusive. The target 18-35 demo takes diversity as a given, not a controversy, so there’s no point in trying to pussyfoot around their delicate sensibilities anymore. The people who did care about such things are aging out of marketing sweet spots, so catering to prejudice just isn’t important anymore.
Now if only the folks with the purse strings would realize that. ;)
Misha lays down the motherfucking law. [x]
In which Misha explains—perfectly—why I stopped watching the show. I just can’t get into anything that doesn’t have three-dimensional women, even if it’s a slashfest. This is also why I’m not terribly into Sherlock or Merlin, though I watch them. Every woman in them is a cardboard stand in, not a real person.
He’s also right that many SPN fans would find female characters threatening to their pairings, which is ridiculous. I don’t think a show/movie/book has to be devoid of realistic women in order for slashable pairings to happen. Arrow, for instance, has plenty of slash potential, but also has some great women. And of course my favorites—Primeval, Game of Thrones, Vikings—are swimming in slashbait, yet also manage to pass the Bechdel test at least now and then. When’s the last time SPN, Sherlock or Merlin did that? Hell, DW also doesn’t do it often, which is why I don’t watch that, either. Honestly, if a dudebro bait/slash tsunami like Hawaii Five-0 can manage to include great women, there’s no excuse for a fan-savvy SFF show not to.
I just don’t get why women would be so heavily into stories that basically erase them from existence or treat them like unicorns or scenery. We’re half the damned population. Why are we only 25% of TV characters?
Notes on some other stuff!
Am slowly getting caught up on everything that went by the wayside while I was horribly sick for weeks (doing much better now, thanks to a proper diagnosis and meds.) The biggest part of this is that my book’s about to be published! Watch this space for a link! Also have a bunch of little household things to do, but those can wait, because I have fanthinging to catch up on, dangit! Like so:
Started watching this as candy to keep me distracted from pain. Almost caught up to the s3 airing. Can’t say it’s a work of art or anything, and I do have some pretty big issues with some gender stuff, but it’s decent, and filled with deliberate slashbait. Also, Grace Park kicks massive tail, which is always a plus, and I get to see more of adorkable Masi Oka, which in itself is reason enough to watch. This show also reminds me that I need to find out when Strike Back’s next season is coming.
Speaking of candy: Have always watched this on the US pace, so just starting s5 now. Opening ep was full of Merthur and sweaty, shirtless knights, so booyah for that. Also, Alexander Vlahos is smokin’. Whoa.
Somewhere in me is a very long post about this show and its finale, particularly the OT3 aspects. But I think I need to let that percolate a bit more just yet. I will say that my TV-show plate, overloaded as it is, does feel like it’s missing a key component, now. There was nothing else like it, and TV as a whole has been made poorer with its absence.
I almost want not to consider that part of s3, since the rest of the series was so good. Sad about the ending, of course. And wondering whether I’ll be into s4 if it’s going to be so Rose-heavy, as she annoys the everloving fuck out of me.
Oh, god. The s2 finale destroyed me. I … I … I can’t. All I will say is Ben Whishaw for everything, ever.
And speaking of Ben Whishaw. As a tech nerd? Yes. Yes I do believe so. Also tickled as hell that Bond is now canon bi. HE IS SO, DAMMIT. Nice to see Naomie Harris as a badass, too. A Bond girl with a purpose of her own is very refreshing. And Judi Densch is just perfect, as always.
Quite tickled to have been in the right place at the right time to start up the Little Links Twitter, and am very glad Pottsy likes it. FTR, I’m really not into the BNF thing. Did that before, and it’s icky (though that fandom was also a clusterfuck of epic proportions.) But I do like knowing that one of the recognizable “faces” of this fandom is made up of sensible adults who know what they’re doing and take it seriously. Given how much his Twitter @s are nothing more than RT/follow requests and inane babble, I’m glad he now knows we’re not all like that.
Looking forward to the season premieres of Lost Girl, Criminal Minds, Arrow and Wild things, and of course the return of PNW. Also going to check out Continuum.
Need to remember to watch Jekyll, Death in Paradise and Him & Her soon.
Also, I think I may need to see the Hobbit a few more times, though I’m going to stick with the 2D version.
When will I have time for all of this? I have no idea! Now that book #1 is essentially on shelves, I’m going to take a bit of time off and recoup. Then book #2 will get thrown into the pub process (editing, cover art, all that.) Also need to pick #3 back up and decide whether I’m integrating its prequel or doing a separate book. Dang. This writing thing is starting to feel like work! ;)
A moment of silence, please, for these fantastic, long-running shows, which lost their battle for ratings and network support in 2012:
- Sanctuary, Age 4 (Syfy: Last episode aired Dec. 2011; cancellation announced May 2012)
- Primeval, Age 5 (ITV: Finally killed in summer after a long life-support tease)
- Eureka, Age 5 (Syfy: Cancelled in 2011; last episode aired summer 2012)
- Fringe, Age 5 (Fox: Final season announced April 2012)
- Merlin, Age 5 (BBC: Final season confirmed Dec. 2012)
- Leverage, Age 5 (TNT: Cancellation confirmed Dec. 2012)
Honestly, I think we should all form a multi-fandom support group. We’ve lost too many of our beloveds over the past couple of years. :(
I’m sorry, I’m still waiting for the Primeval fandom to receive all of this sympathy from the SuperWhoLockians like the Merlin fandom’s getting.
Primeval got a spin-off! They’re not dead… thus, not a reason for total devastation.
Granted, it’s a Canadian spin-off and lacks Conner, Abby and Lester but Andrew Lee Potts still made a cameo in the pilot
I think that’s a factor, yeah. The premise and the universe are still alive with PNW even though the UK team as we knew it won’t ever have their own show again.
Semi-related, I think part of the problem is that PUK didn’t die decisively like other shows (not just Merlin, but Eureka, Fringe, Sanctuary, Robin Hood, etc.) Instead of a clean kill, ITV played Weekend at Bernie’s with its corpse long after it had already become a fossil. The net result: even some people in the fandom still think there’s a chance it might come back, because they don’t know that “no plans for series 6” is TV-speak for “we’re never doing this again, ever.”
Frankly, it pisses me off, because it means we never had a proper mourning period. We never had a chance to really grieve for what is well and truly lost because ITV refused to give us closure in a way that everyone clearly understood.
Of course, that’s par for the course of how they treated the show the entire time. They wanted the same kind of ratings DW got for BBC, nevermind that ITV doesn’t get those kinds of ratings for anything except soaps and cheapass reality shows. They couldn’t justify killing it outright, though, because its ratings were decent enough (early on) to keep up a fanbase. So instead of just being honest and saying, “This show is too expensive to produce compared to its ratings. Sayonara.” they strung Impossible and the fans along for three more series, all while refusing to do much in the way of promo so it died on its own. Pathetic cowards, if you ask me.
But, yeah. We never got much sympathy because it was never clear to the metafandom that it was indeed a prehistoric ex-parrot.
specificskillset asked: Multiples of five :)
5. Have you added anything stupid/cracky/hilarious to your fandom, if so, what
I’ve written a few tongue-in-cheek fics, but probably the best-known silly thing is the little parody vid, The Hatter Your Man Could Smell Like.
10. Name a fandom you didn’t care/think about until you saw it all over
Criminal Minds, definitely. I wrote it off as a CSI clone until I saw people posting mondocute pics of Reid and Garcia everywhere. Then I mainlined the first six seasons over one summer, and the rest is history.
15. Choose a song at random, which OTP does it remind you of
My shuffle’s first pick: K.T. Tunstall/Suddenly I See
Technically speaking, this song is about hero worship from a young woman to an older, more experienced one. In that frame, I’d make it Jess/Emily (Primeval.) I could also see it working for Cally/Kara (BSG) which I actually did ship in early seasons.
20. Do you remember what your first fanwork was?
I do, but I plead the fifth, as it was a dreadfully horrible bit of author-avatar porn regarding a band I was into at the time. And by at the time, I mean when I was 17. And stupid. And … yeah. Eep.
My first fanwork in my current primary fandom was the Connor/Hatter epic, Connor’s Adventures in Wonderland.
25. A fandom you’re in but have no ships from
I don’t really get active in very many fandoms, but of the stuff I regularly consume, I don’t actually ship anyone in Merlin. I see the Merthur bait, big time, but other than being amused by it, it doesn’t really do anything for me.
I also never really had any ships in Sanctuary. I had a vague Henry/Tesla thing for a while, but that was it.
Looking for something new to watch?
Here’s a list of some of my favorites. Chances are good that if you like one of the shows on this list, you’ll probably like a few more.
Amazon has all of them at least on DVD—and has most of them streaming as well—and Netflix and iTunes should have them, too.
- Lost Girl
- Warehouse 13
- Painkiller Jane
- Criminal Minds
- Robin Hood
- Battlestar Galactica
- Being Human
ded of lulz
Just watched the Merlin s3 (US) premiere tonight. Made me giggle thinking about this vid. Also, jeebis, but that show is heavy on the fanservice. Shirtlessness and bondage in one episode. Eesh!
Ben Mansfield and Bradley James play frisbee. <3
This is really quite cute, and I think I finally understand this fandom, now. I’d gotten the whole more-or-less canon slash (despite the creators insisting it’s not deliberate. COME ON, REALLY?) thing, but now I get the rest of it, too.
Also into: Game of Thrones, Sinbad, Arrow, Vikings, Continuum, Leverage, Warehouse 13, Fringe, Criminal Minds, Sherlock, LOTR, BSG, Lost, Sanctuary, Downton Abbey, The Hour, Being Human (UK), Eureka, Longmire, Merlin, Wilfred, The Borgias, True Blood, Grimm and Lost Girl. Among other nerdy entertainment delights.