2015 Fandom Year in Review

Jan 06, 2016 23:22

Happy new year, everyone!

I'm slowly catching up on fandom reading and comments. My old laptop recently sad-tromboned its way into obsolescence (tbh it was obsolete LONG before that but I put things off) and now I'm more or less adjusted to the new one. Before that, though, the annual retrospective:

Which TV shows did you start watching in 2015?

Empire, Girlfriend's Guide to Divorce, iZombie, Jessica Jones, Mr. Robot, The Nightly Show, Rome, Scream Queens, Show Me A Hero, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, UnREAL

Which TV shows did you mean to get into but didn't in 2015? Why?

Outlander. I don't get Showtime and apparently won't go out of my way to leave my comfort zone. Oh, and I....maybe not enjoyed, but was impressed by the pilot for Narcos, I just haven't gotten around to watching more of it yet.

Which TV shows do you intend on checking out in 2016?

Outlander and The Affair are at the top of my watchlist.

Which TV show impressed you least in 2015?

I watched an episode of Supergirl because I didn't want to be as annoyed as I was with it based on just the promos. After watching the pilot, I feel exactly the same about it as I did based on the promos.

Which TV show do you think you might let go of in 2016 unless things significantly improve?

I'm not on my last nerve with anything, I don't think? Sleepy Hollow tends to pile up on the DVR. It's still alright, just not something that tends to appeal. I'm also behind on AHS: Hotel, but that's because it's a successful horror story, meaning I'm not necessarily in the mood for it on any particular schedule.

Which TV shows do you think you’ll never let go of no matter how crappy they get?

eeeeeh, I let go of things if I think they suck. If I don't want to let go of them, then it's because they're delivering on entertainment value to some degree, which means they aren't crappy. Shows that have proven to keep my interest through moderate ebbs and flows are Pretty Little Liars, Scandal, Supernatural, and TVD. The Originals would probably be on this list, but 50+ episodes in and it hasn't tested me yet so...

Your main fandom of the year?

ASOIAF/Game of Thrones, OMGGGGG. A couple of months after my fabulous rewatch/wallow this time last year, I read the side materials and then reread all the books and I used to think the third book was my favorite but I was SO WRONG, ADWD is the shit and it was absolutely stunning to watch it come to life. And the first S6 teaser is just troll-tastic.

Your favorite film you watched this year?

I don't watch a whole lot of movies and don't really keep track of them. I did enjoy Trainwreck. Oh, and 7 Days in Hell, surreal and hilarious.

Your favorite book read this year?

Covering by Kenji Yoshino, but while I highly recommend it, it's not particularly fannish. I did also read and enjoy A Thousand Times More Fair: What Shakespeare's Plays Teach Us About Justice by the same author.

Your favorite TV show of the year?

I'm disqualifying GoT because, much as I think the show does stand on its own, I have a difficult time separating it entirely from the books. I'll say Mr. Robot for cerebral fascination and The Originals for the gut response.

Your biggest fandom disappointment of the year?

Well, this is a recent bummer. Not unexpected, and not the worst thing in the world show-wise because whether to read or watch first was going to be a tough choice for me, but still.

Your biggest squee moment of the year?

I don't do a whole lot of squeeing, so we'll go with an arbitrary subset of biggest reactions of whatever type.

[Game of Thrones]

No big intellectual reason, it's just magnificent.


Hardhome was so good. I've never experienced the show like this, where I really didn't know what was going to happen.

Much as I can't complain about Dany's effectiveness as a character in the books, she's not one of the characters that caught me. Show Daenerys is a different story. Maybe it's getting to see and experience her charisma, maybe it's the age-up, maybe Clarke's performance just works for me. Whatever it is, she's become one of the most emotionally riveting characters for me. Her escape from Daznak's Pit is far from her most admirable decision; it's not even a moment of any particular vulnerability or strength. But that look on her face when she figures it out. She transcends, she becomes, she flies. It gets me every time.

I'm resisting the urge to get into why critics and fandom are missing this aspect of the show, but some day I will at least write the post on how GoT, as it's pullled away from the books, has increasingly strong interest in and emphasis on survivorship. Sansa's and Theon's leap of faith may not be as physically empowering and metaphysically significant as Dany's, but it's just as powerful.


Obviously these last two are not moments I felt good about, per se. But the show getting to do a legit cliffhanger is so exciting. I also really love that these two things happened right next to each other. As different as the two charcters and their situations are, both scenes are very much about this sadistic scapegoating ritual. This isn't happening to Cersei because she's a vindictive, power-hungry narcissist, nor is it happening to Jon because no good deed goes unpunished. It happens because human beings get something out of it.

[The Originals]


Really, every inch of the Dahlia arc. I kept wanting to write a big gushy post about it but it's so seamless narratively and so psychologically on point I never knew where to start.

In this season's Big A reveal, Pretty Little Liars pulled off something I have never seen another show do. It resolved a mystery which ran for over 70 episodes in a way that made airtight sense on every level - thematically, psychologically, even logistically. People called it years ago based on incidents and hints that were directly referenced during the episode. I'm a big proponent of LOST-style discovery of answers and resolutions even if it requires some handwaving on the details, but damn, is it impressive when the whole thing works.

[Empire]I don't squee, admittedly, but I do shriek with glee when a show explodes out of mere entertainment and becomes glorious, unabashed camp.


The most missed of your old fandoms?

Dollhouse and BSG will probably always be the answer to this question. IDK if this is missing, per se, but I've been wanting to reread the Harry Potter series for a while and see if it strikes me differently.

Your biggest fan anticipations for the coming year?

year in review

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