Sunday, November 3, 2013

Day 91 of 365: Why I Hate Fangirl Fodder

I was once a huge fan of shows like Bones. Interesting, dynamic people doing interesting, dynamic things. Problems to solve and crises to avoid. I'd tune in religiously.

And then the show became fangirl fodder.

Suddenly the focus is not on the crime, but on whether or not Booth and Bones will get married. Everyone on the show gets paired up and the storyline is 1 part proper story arc, 5 parts relationship drama.

Or, like House: House was a fun spin on Sherlock Holmes. The show focused on how people lie, even when their lives are on the line, and how people are never what they appear to be. And then the show descended into House & Cuddy getting kissy-faced with each other and worrying about who will be able to relieve the nanny that night.

Fangirl fodder. Aka stories that are only there to placate the girls who live vicariously through the show (and write fanfiction where their favorite characters hook up). It might be a guaranteed way to keep a show on the air (because who isn't a more devoted viewer than a girl who wishes she was Bones and kissing Booth?), but it's tedious and obnoxious and many a good show has fallen because of this.

I hate it. I absolutely hate it. Maybe it's because I don't need to live vicariously through characters (and therefore do not need to see my fanfiction come to life). Call me crazy, but I'm pretty sure things like Twilight would've been DOA had the majority of the readers not been lovesick teenagers and unsatisfied soccer moms. Have meaningful, satisfying relationships and suddenly you're not buying romance books off the shelf or watching Castle because you want the main characters to hook up.

I'm obsessed with the human condition. The flawed, short-sighted behavior. The jealousy, the territorialism, the guilt, the quest to be a decent person (even though our DNA somewhat prevents it). We are selfish creatures on a quest to not be so barbaric and that is fascinating. It's why I love shows like Shameless and Lie to Me and Sherlock Holmes (the BBC show, not the Fox one). Show that pick apart mankind and provide just a little more insight or commentary on what makes people tick and why. And a show loses that when it goes into fangirl fodder. Sure, getting upset because your crush might've kissed your rival is just as much a part of the human experience, but it's a tired trope and nothing new or interesting is ever added to the mix.

And maybe that's just how I see the world at large. Look around. Look at how insane and flawed and hopeful and optimistic the world is around you. Look at all this interesting shit. Are we really going to be so naïve as to think the only things that matter are things involve relationship drama? There are better things to sing about than a guy who doesn't like you. There are better things you write about than a crush on a boss. There are better things to experience than a fight with your significant other because you think fighting equals passion (and, sadly, I know people who do that).

My first manuscript touches upon the idea that the Quest For LoveTM is not the be-all-to-end-all. My third manuscript, while packed to the brim with couples, is not about finding and keeping love, but what love means to you when you're at your lowest, and how we can lash out at our very support system because we are just that flawed.

So that's my rant for the day, brought to you by the fact that one of my other favorite shows -- The Mentalist -- has also been slipping into Fangirl Territory.

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