Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Fangirl Confessions: An open letter to Jeff Davis

Jeff, we really need to talk. You see I have this problem – and it’s kind of your fault and by kind of your fault I mean you have no idea who I am but I’m buying in to the myth of celebrity (and writer as god) so I’m going to talk to you like we’re old mates in a way that is just a little bit creepy… but whatever back to my problem (which is still entirely your fault Jeff).

You’re probably aware of the fact that you created a little show for MTV called Teen Wolf. It was a pretty silly idea and it I’m pretty sure it only happened because MTV wanted to cash in (albeit belatedly) on the Vampire/Werewolf craze (which is granted Twilight’s fault not yours). Anyway, despite the silly concept, you and who ever is responsible for the casting for this program managed to find some serious hotties for us to oogle, which was nice of you and set Teen Wolf up as my new favourite trashy TV show.

You know what I mean by ‘trashy TV show’ right? A silly concept show, with incredibly beautiful people (with very little substance) and a narrative that is just interesting enough not to be boring but familiar enough so that I don’t really have to think about it. Like I care enough when I’m watching it but forget about it almost as soon as it’s finished. As a professional fangirl I need TV shows like that or else my head will explode (fact). It is for these reasons that I began watching Teen Wolf one fateful Sunday after I may or may not have drunk a little bit too much the night before.

But then Teen Wolf wasn’t just a trashy show. It was intelligent with endearing characters and intriguing storylines. Sure it’s filled with insanely attractive people but then you made me care about them, which puts a damper on my blatant objectification. All I wanted was something to distract me from my hangover but soon enough I was dragged into the pits of fandom unable to claw my way back to safety. Totally not cool because I really don’t have time for another fandom.

This fandom, by the way, is way too awesome. I know that doesn’t sound like a problem but it is. You see I have been involved in fandom for long enough that I can say “back in my day” without it being a complete exaggeration and I’ve reached a point of relaxed cynicism where I can enjoy in the awesomeness that is fandom without the crushing pain that accompanies it. Then the Teen Wolf fandom comes along with all the optimism and naivety of youth and I want think I’m smart enough not to fall for it but it’s sucking me and it’s your fault Jeff.

Jeff, you are in fact a gift. You keep engaging with the fandom, picking up the in jokes and acknowledging us but not like you’re making fun of us. It’s almost as if you respect us, which is upsetting because it’s making me like you. Also, you tweet like every day and it’s always funny and insightful and relevant to fan stuff and it’s entirely distracting… I have things to do Jeff, I’m supposed to be a grown up, I can’t spend all my time thinking about teenage werewolves.

Finally, of course, we have to talk about Sterek because EVERYONE is talking about Sterek… even you. Now I have been a slash fan for almost as long as I have been a fangirl (since Draco first introduced himself to Harry while they were waiting to be sorted). It’s kind of part of my identity – everyone irl knows of my fetish (although they mostly laugh it off as a strange quirk) and AfterElton has recently deigned to call me a slash expert (expert is probably a slight exaggeration but ignore that).

Anyway, I’m used to slash fandom – the wank, the winks (or Queerbaiting if you must) and everything that goes along with it. I have pretty much come to terms with the fact that slash is resigned to subtext – sure I’m always open to some actual text but I figure that my fav slash pairings are probably not going to become canon any time soon. In fact, I kind of point and laugh at all the fans that buy into the possibility that a fan favourite slash pairing is actually going to get together in the text. I’m like guys, it’s just shipping teasing – quit taking the bait.

Then you came along Jeff, you and you silly show Teen Wolf and the stupid ship Sterek and suddenly I feel my cynicism dissolving. Suddenly I have this strange optimism growing inside and I hate myself for thinking that it might happen. It’s not like the entitlement I used to feel when I was a teenager – when I felt like the powers-that-be actually owed me something because I straddle both worlds now (fandom and production), so I know you owe me nothing and I’m super grateful that you keep making awesome TV. This is something new and it’s way worse.

The thing is, you’ve created a world on Teen Wolf, where it would be plausible for Stiles and Derek to become a couple (apart form the age gap but I mean really it’s not the only teenager/adult relationship on TV). While I highly doubt that it will actually happen it doesn’t appear as if you’re dismissing the idea just because it’s a slash ship, which is really not something I’m used to. I don't need this kind of hope in my life and it scares me, Jeff because I’ve been burnt before.

It’s not even that I need Sterek to get together, I pretty much trust you to do what is right by these characters (I’m just hoping that what is right for them involves hardcore sex). It’s just that once you start to trust again, then expectations start to rise and that’s when you get hurt. I miss not caring about things Jeff, how dare you make me feel?

So you see my problem, right? I have all these expectations that the television shows I watch and the showrunners I idolize are all going to be as awesome as you and Teen Wolf… and it’s just going to suck when they’re not. I’m even going to start expecting slash pairings to be taken seriously, and it’s taken years for me to squash that spark of hope. Let’s not even talk about what will happen if Sterek actually became canon because I’m pretty sure I will have an aneurism (I’ll die with a smile on my face if it makes you feel any better).  

Then there is the more pressing problem that I am entirely obsessed with a television show that is not even on the air at the moment – it hasn’t even started shooting yet! I’ve got things to do, and I’m trying to run a blog here – a blog with a variety of content that is rapidly turning into a Teen Wolf appreciation blog.

Seriously my love for this program is affecting my life and it’s entirely your fault, although I guess television is a collaborative effort and it’s stupid to lay all the blame on one person, but I don’t care I shall blame you anyway. I mean, have you tried explaining to people that Teen Wolf isn’t as stupid as it sounds, because it’s hard!

All right, I have to go and write some Shipping News, which will consist almost entirely of analysis of your tweets, Jeff – it’s like you don’t even realize what you’re doing to me. But thanks Jeff. Thanks for turning this cynical old fangirl into a believer again, I’m sending you my therapy bill when this inevitably comes back to bite me (pun intended).

Lots of love,

UndieGirl, xx