Why Is Fandom Today So Limited?

I went on YouTube today and caught this cute little animated video about why fangirls just can’t escape the MCU. As I watched it, I had noticed that, once again, the media presented me with the same type of fans: the Whovians, the Trekkies, the Marvel fangirl, the Star Warrior (aka Star Wars fan) and the anime fan. Even though I was charmed by the video, I kept wondering: where’s the Xena fan, the Steampunk, the Dune fan (who could quip that no one’s done an adaptation since the disasterous 1984 film), the DC fan or the gamer?  Why were the only Star Wars fans represented, displaying OT era clothes. Couldn’t one of them been dressed as Ahsoka Tano? She has fangirls too.

This isn’t the only incident of limited fandom.

Yesterday was Fangirl Friday at Barnes and Noble as part of their Get Pop Cultured Month. On their Sci-Fi and Fantasy Blog, they had a test made by Sam Maggs, author of The Fangirl’s Guide to the Galaxy. Depending on which answers you chose (and how many times you chose a, b, c, etc.) your results are that you are a fan of: Harry Potter, Joss Whedon, Dr. Who, Tolkien, Supernatural, Sherlock, Game of Thrones, comics, YA literature and Disney (the test is here, for those of you who are curious).

I’m not  a fan of any of the aforementioned book series. I don’t see the appeal of Joss Whedon or his works. I’m not a Marvel girl (though Lord knows I’ve tried to be). I’m a DC girl but Marvel’s been getting all the media attention (and praise) lately and even my love for Disney has waned in recent years. So I just skipped the test all together.

Why are we constantly being exposed to the same type of tv shows, movies and comics when it comes to SF and F? Why do todays “geeks” seem so alliterate when it comes to SF and F literature except when it’s a best seller? Where’s the love for Isaac Asimov, H.G. Wells, Ray Bradbury or C.L. Moore? Why are OT Star Wars fans or TOS Star Trek fans given a voice in public blogs and websites and not TNG fans or PT fans? Where’s the appreciation for shows like The Twilight Zone and The Outer Limits or films like Invasion of the Body Snatchers and The Day the Earth Stood Still, media that pioneered the genre? It’s very frustrating.

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4 Comments

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4 responses to “Why Is Fandom Today So Limited?

  1. Stefan Kraft

    Another thing I was asking myself recently: do media focus too much on the action and entertainment aspects of nerd movies and serials? More “Star Wars is cool because it has space battles and light sabres” and less “Star Wars is great because it shows a hero’s journey, the battle of good vs evil, how the good can be corrupted, the value of friendship… And beautiful designs.”

    Let’s not forget the moral questions Star Trek tries to answer…

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    • I feel that a lot of today’s genre movies are more action heavy than cerebral. In fact I came across an article on Yahoo recently that complained about how the author felt “Pacific Rim” failed because it focused too much on the human aspects and not the action.

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  2. I kinda liked the 1984 Dune – I can see why it flopped, but I like what they were going for. I liked it better than the TV adaptation they tried…oh god, I forgot if it was the late 90s or early 00s…

    But anyway, as much as I AM a fan of many of those things you listed (and have to bite back my urge to ask you why you aren’t – fun discussion for another day, but irrelevant here), I also see many things that aren’t represented. I mean, did they ignore Final Fantasy, or did they erroneously lump it into Anime?

    I agree that many people are surprisingly illiterate when it comes to the history of just about any work. Not to mention there’s STILL a gendered stigma as to what attracts people to certain works.

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    • I’m more of a fan of the novel (you should see my article ’30 (worm)Signs That Prove You Are Obsessed With Dune’) than the 1984 film or the 2000 mini series. I felt that David Lynch’s work was just too creepy and unsettling for something that I felt was more along the lines of Shakespeare, Lawrence of Arabia or Masterpiece Theater. Lynch, to me, was just the wrong choice of director. I didn’t like the mini series because I felt there were too many unnecessary sex scenes. But I know that the film is getting more appreciation recently. That’s OK. I’m just wishing for a very faithful adaptation of Frank Herbert’s masterpiece.

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