We often hear "it’s a good show but the fandom is so toxic" in the context of various popular TV shows. Many of us have had personal experiences of "leaving" a fandom due to toxicity, an experience that can unwittingly impact our enjoyment of that show going forward. Discuss this phenomenon with any examples of your choosing. Some suggestions: Voltron: Legendary Defender, Rick and Morty.
I think one important factor is what part of the internet you find these toxic fandom members. The closest example I can think of is the subreddit for an anime I watch. I used to feel very alone there because everytime I expressed my opinion I was either mocked or downvoted (or both) which made me not want to offer my opinion at all. Then I discovered, through a poll, that it was because a majority of the active users of the sub were teenage boys ( whose opinions vastly different from mine, a grown woman's.) I've since found myself at home on a different online forum because the people there were closer to me in age, and while the experience did leave a sour taste in my mouth, it didn't make me leave the fandom entirely. My advice to anyone dealing with a toxic fandom would be to try looking for different sites. – brightasgold2 weeks ago
I reckon what is more important is ones own opinion about the show and that what anyone else says shouldn't matter. I have been watching anime for a very long time and have been part of such toxic fandoms, but I have never done anything toxic or tried to push my own opinions on to other people because of what they think is wrong. One example I can think of is Attack on Titan. Fans who read the manga think it is funny to spoil anime-watchers only fans and do it all the time without having a care in the world, as well as "fans" who complain about MAPPA's use of CGI and animation in Season 4 (which i didn't really see the problem with) are what make this fandom annoying and toxic but even so, it doesn't affect my love for the anime. I also think another example would be the My Hero Academia fandom where literally half of the fandom ship characters together (mind you, most of the characters are minors or grown ass men and women) while the other half of the fandom argue that My Hero Academia is the greatest anime of all time (*insert eye roll* I mean don't get me wrong, I actually like the anime) but it doesn't overall affect my love for the anime. I can understand why people would want to leave the fandoms but is there really any reason to stop loving the anime? – toria032 weeks ago
Yes. I totally agree with this point of view. Quite recently I watched a Thai drama called 2gether. I loved the plot and the actors but the toxicity of the bl fandom, otherwise known as the boy's love genre, made me weary of engaging with it anymore. The toxic fans watch these dramas solely to fulfill their shipping agendas. They fetishize gay love and ship the actors in the lead roles to such a ludicrous extent that the boundaries between the actors and they characters they play are rendered invisible. The actors are also encouraged to do fan service which is nothing but a marketing of their relationship as will encourage the delusional fans to ship them even more. The Thai bl industry therefore is the main culprit and is responsible for generating these toxic fans. – Madhukari2 days ago
For this, I define "fandom" as the content – the book, show, movie, etc. – well-loved by fans. But some fans say their fandom has been ruined by other fans. Whether a fandom can be ruined for a fan is, of course, subjective; it’s more interesting to consider why the fans say the fandom is ruined for them, how it’s even possible, and what fans can do about it. Examples may include H.P. Lovecraft’s books and, more recently, Rick and Morty.
I would suggest a few more examples of how some fans can be considered to ruin fandom for other fans. What might be viewed as enthusiasm by some fans might equally be considered obsession by others - such as Star Trek fans who love their shows so much that they buy Star Trek pyjamas; and how far can fandom go before it becomes idol worship. All fans are 'guilty' of overdoing it in other fans' eyes or conversely failing to take their fandom seriously. You're right when you state that it is subjective. I'd also suggest looking at how some fans who don't have the money to buy official merchandise can be very creative in making their own props and costumes. An example of this would be the incredible costumes made by some Dr.Who fans in Latin America (where the show is titled 'Doctor Mysterio') who did so simply because they had no ready access to official merchandise. – Amyus4 years ago
Interesting topic. I ran into this as recently as last night when the second episode of Once Upon a Time season 7 aired. Fans are already griping and moaning about the writers' decision regarding Hook (won't spoil it if you haven't seen it). Reading all that griping had me bummed because I thought, "They've got a point; this could be the death knell for my favorite series." But then I thought, that's stupid. I still love the series, and in cases like this, what matters is what I think. Then again, being a fan isn't as fun if a bunch of other fans are dissing your show, your movies, your books...whatever. I'll be interested to read about these and other thought processes, and the conclusions different fans of different media come to. – Stephanie M.4 years ago
I think you should use a more formal definition of the term fandom or even give a few definitions. It will help someone writing this topic really get a grasp of what you are trying to ask here. Also, I think if you do write this topic you should consider writing about things that are similar and not so broad. For example, writing about H.P. Lovecraft and J.R.R. Tolkeins. Or comparing Rick and Morty, Adventure Time and The Regular Show. It will help you keep focused and it could be neat to see if any of the fandoms overlap for similar shows or similar genres. – IAmToast4 years ago
Here's what I'm thinking: Fan A and Fan B watch Rick and Morty. Fan A throws a riot in a McDonald's because of the show. Fan B says that the show is now "ruined" for him, and gives Fan A as a reason. That's an example; I may not have a clear definition, but the definition doesn't matter. The author who takes the topic can use whatever terms they want. – noahspud4 years ago
Investigate the seemingly modern phenomenon of media being "ruined" by it’s fandom. Works like Steven Universe, Undertale, and Minecraft all have encountered problems with people being reticent to engage with them despite merit of the works themselves due to preconceived notions of what kind of people engage with those works. In some cases, particularly Steven Universe, high profile twitter users have expressed fear of discussing the show for worry of how the fandom may lash out at them. How new is this phenomenon? Is critiquing a work based on it’s fans valid? How can creators avoid this stigma? Should they have to?
This is often a huge problem with media (particularly large fandoms), particularly in regards to the 'extreme' fans, who discriminate against 'fake fans' and become overly obsessed in shows, turning off those who are more casual fans. Looking at the fandom before the show is becoming the new first step to becoming interested in something, and it can indeed damage the popularity of a show, even changing the entire target audience (take My Little Ponies, for example, where the growing fandom of 'Bronies' has turned most parents away from introducing the show to their children, lest a middle aged man in a unicorn onesie starts stalking them on the internet - a common idea people associate with the new fanbase). – SophIsticated4 years ago
Some fandoms can also get really out of control, especially if little kids that can't take others different opinions make up the majority of it. This can become an issue on social platforms where the fandom in question is being discussed etc. – airyfrairy4 years ago
Agreed, very much. I loved Once Upon a Time when I first started watching it, for example. I still do. But the negativity of the fandom has left me feeling pressured to say, write, or think negative things I don't necessarily agree with. The same is true for other shows I've enjoyed. Once the fandom gets too vocal, I tend to go "into the closet," for fear that being associated with the show will cause backlash. And let's face it: I often closet myself because I'm just sick of hearing fandom blather. – Stephanie M.4 years ago
Explore the extent to which fandoms influence the progression of the television show they are associated with. The show "Doctor Who" comes to mind particularly, especially in terms of the episodes that feature more than one incarnation of the Doctor working together. This can be seen as an appeal to what the fan base would want to see, though the producers are able to fold it into the internal logic of the "Doctor Who" Universe. This article might also explore the motivation for shows like "Doctor Who" to incorporate popular aspects of their fandoms into the show.
This seems like it could be a really interesting topic to discuss. There's definitely merits and pitfalls to incorporating a ton of fan feedback into the show, in that it can often satisfy people through "fanservice" but may come at the expense of the overall structure or vision of the creators. Doctor Who is a great example, and definitely has a major place in the discussion. – Null6 years ago
I can think of several instances where a few friends were turned off from a show because of its fandom (ex. the aforementioned Doctor Who, Steven Universe, and the Sherlock BBC series). While it is nice to see a writer take inspiration from fans, it comes with the sacrifice of appealing to those who are new to the show and aren't part of the fandom. I would be interested to see the complications that new viewers would experience when particularly "odd" fan-catering moments appear in a series. – Filippo6 years ago
As some folks have already said, this is a very real occurrence, one worth discussing. In many shows, one can see the influence of the fans creeping in. The writers don't always take the bait, and especially recently, many shows like Breaking Bad have chosen to make compelling stories instead the easy route (Skyler learns to love Walt, they work together and live happily ever after.) Decent shows know that the easy, disney-like scenario is not the way it is in real life. I remember when House, M.D. was on (full disclaimer: that was my favorite show) the fans wishes definitely crept in sometimes. The folks wishing for Cuddy and House to have a relationship did indeed get their wish, but to the writers credit, it didn't last. That may not have been what the shippers wanted but it was the right way to go. It would've been completely against type for House to suddenly become dependable and a rock. Also, it wouldn't have made sense for Cuddy to say fuck it and be with House as he was. It just doesn't work. Other shows demonstrate a little more influence from the fans and it's worth discussing. Just the debate that exists over whether this influence helps or hurts TV would be amazing to read! – mss406 years ago
Fandoms play a HUGE roles. Many shows have been saved from being cancelled based solely on their fan bases. For example, Chuck. It was on NBC and never really did well in the ratings department. And just about every season they were in danger of being cancelled, but the fans (and Subway) helped to rescue it. Another instance of Fandoms having an influence over a TV series is Veronica Mars. They raised enough money to make a movie. Fandoms could ultimately decide the fate of a show. Having a small yet powerful fandom, I think, is incredibly powerful. – diehlsam6 years ago
A historical analysis of the Star Wars/Star Trek "rivalry." Is/Was it really as big as some people make it out to be? Can one be a fan of both franchises? It seems like a silly thing to say today that you have to choose one or the other, but I’d be interested to read about the histories of both franchises and how the so-called "rivalry" came about.
I think I heard someone say recently that the "nerd rivalry" we see satirized in sitcoms between Trekkers and Jedis is a fabrication. It doesn't really happen. Fans are far more cordial towards each other at conventions, unless we're talking about Sports. Sports really do have bitter rivalries, and it's pretty visible. I personally am an average fan of both franchises. I've rather enjoyed the original Star Trek series. I used to watch a lot of Next Generation. And I've seen every one of the films save for "Star Trek: Nemesis." But I supposed I would say I'm a slightly bigger fan of Star Wars, which I'm even more excited for now, since we're supposed to get a brand new film in the franchise every single year till who knows when. There's so much potential for both franchises, though, that if Paramount can figure out what to do after "Star Trek: Beyond," they might be able to directly compete each year with Star Wars, if they want to. – Jonathan Leiter6 years ago