Game Of Thrones – The “Well, In The Books…” Fans
Let me begin this with saying there are three types of Game Of Thrones fans:
a) those who read the books before the TV show and keep themselves to themselves, b) those who only heard of it when it came to TV, enjoy the TV show but don’t wish to pursue it any further, and c) finally, those who watched the show, then bought the books and have anointed themselves Kings and Queens of all Game Of Thrones fans, better than all the others because they know more than you.
These are the kind of fans who, for example, when the trailers for season 3 came out, flooded YouTube and other places with non-headlined spoilers. It’s not enough that they made a conscious effort to ruin the show for themselves, they’ve decided to ruin it for the people they consider “lesser fans”.
“Excited about ****’s storyline? Doesn’t matter. She dies in book 4.”
“Why would you ruin that for me?”
“Err, well a true fan would have read the books.”
In terms of this bracket of Game of Thrones fans, knowledge isn’t power; knowledge is the power to be self-righteous and ignorant.
Beyond this there are people who use referrals to the book to excuse the TV show and make you feel like an idiot. For example, I only watch the TV show and happen to find Daenarys completely insufferable, to which this corner of fans will respond with, “Well if you read the books and understood the character, you would know you should love her.’
Congratulations. You’ve read a book. I hope the Queen has a big enough medal for you in the New Year Honours list.
Whilst you have to respect the fans who love the books, that does not make you better than the fans who choose not to read them for the novel reason of “being surprised by a TV show as it comes out.” If such a thing still exists.
My Little Pony – Brony Cloppers
I’m not one to judge people for enjoying a show deemed out of their target audience. I myself still have a deep affection for all things Digimon, Yu-Gi-Oh, Power Rangers and High School Musical; however the people who have a love for these types of shows and adopt a persecution complex are the type of people who you think needed an extra cuddle when they were a baby…or are just plain ridiculous.
I don’t bring up the fact I like High School Musical in front of people only to go “Oh don’t hate me because I like that! You’re so judgemental!” That, FYI, would be a modest reaction for the hardcore group of bronies who have been known to accuse people who don’t really care about their obsession as racists.
If you ignore the bronies who overtake conventions, have been known to be involved in physical altercations, ruining the conventions for their younger audiences, and move straight on to the internet bronies, you enter a whole new world of weird and absolutely nowhere near wonderful.
Rule 34 is an internet meme that should be kept that way, not adopted as a way of justifying porn of animated horses styled for and created for children. It dances a little too close to the bestiality/paedophilia lines for any reasonable person to appreciate. However, not only does such a branch of My Little Pony fandom exist (they call people who pleasure themselves to this porn cloppers), but they treat this as a rite of passage to “true fandom”, some claiming you’re not a real fan until you’ve played with yourself over a cartoon horse.
Those who do not partake in this are then attacked by these (I stress, minority) members who hijack messaging boards with fan fiction and animated horse porn as not being real fans and discriminating against those who do.
Arrested Development – “The Greatest Comedy That’s Ever Existed” Fans
I like Arrested Development nowhere near as much as the next man, because the next man probably has never watched it. I like Arrested Development a normal amount, whereas the 1 of the 20 men next to me in this incredibly laboured metaphor holds Arrested Development as the pinnacle of all comedies ever created.
It’s funny in places; but the best comedy show ever? Hmm.
One issue I find with shows like Arrested Development is the fact it wasn’t very successful in the rating side of things and the fans it does have undertake a “siege mentality” approach to the show, defending it with their lifeblood and pitching it to the many people who don’t watch it as the greatest thing ever, elevating it to a pedestal which many non-original fans fail to see.
The love of this cult show drives fans to many strange ends, such as the people who criticised David Cross for taking a role in Alvin and the Chipmunks because it was branded as selling out and abandoning his cult comedy roots.
Now I’m all one for respecting fans, but what’s the problem with accepting a well paid job? Does the person who accepts a job at Subway over the lower paid job at a hipster sandwich shop get criticised? No…he’s being incredibly sensible.
One of the issues with a show like Arrested Development is that it had a small, loyal fanbase. It never reached a broad spectrum, and those who loved the show surrounded it in defence of it, bigging it up to ridiculous proportions and attacking comedy that didn’t match it. See Community fans for a modern reference.
On top of this my run-ins with Arrested Development fans have ended with my comments of “It’s good, enjoyable, not the best comedy ever,” being met with angry comments about mainstream comedy not being as good as Arrested Development; which isn’t really the topic of conversation. Criticising The Big Bang Theory doesn’t make Arrested Development better, nor does it change the fact The Big Bang Theory is the highest rated comedy show in the world.
Passion is to be respected but passion about a subject that leads to the abuse of irrelevant ones is what makes a fanbase inaccessible to outsiders and puts people off the show.
Lost – The “You Didn’t Get It” Fans
Now as many who have followed my writing on here (through choice, anger or unfortunate events) could tell you, Lost is my favourite TV show of all time.
One of the reasons for that is the ending which I found immensely satisfying, both because it brought the show full circle and allowed your own interpretations of the purpose of the show and the island. I fully bought into the ideas of fate and the character-driven show; however, I am aware that many were dissatisfied by the show’s conclusion because of a lack of definitive answers. As a result, many ended up labelling the ending as a cop out.
I see these perspectives and respect them; while I don’t believe a show needs to give an answer to every question, I appreciate people who felt Lost left itself short.
However, where most can appreciate this, discussions and message boards often erupt in to a (mildly heated would be an understatement) debate about how those dissatisfied with the ending “simply didn’t get it”, with fans who did like the ending of the show putting themselves on pedestals of supposed superiority for being of an intellectual stature high enough to understand the ending of Lost.
It’s incredibly foolish to label people who didn’t enjoy the ending to a very divisive show as too stupid to get it, and the groups of fans who go out of their way to say “Oh, did you get it? Well let me inform you…” are the ones who make people say, “So…Lost is something I’m never revisiting.”