Wednesday, March 16, 2016

The perfect joy of Fixing Things

One of my least favorite things is when a show or a movie does something just stupid with a character, especially if it's obvious that it's just for shock value or some really lame attempt at being unexpected that falls flat. There's too much good TV around to get away with being lazy and derivative (in the bad way) these days.

But while I hate that, I absolutely love the ability of fan communities to fix it. Because when the show itself drops the ball so badly that the fans have to step in and rewrite it, this door opens up in the story--or is exposed, or we line up just right to see it, or something--and suddenly there's space in the story for us.

The days of passive TV consumption are done. We're not at a point where we can just write the shows as we want them to be*. But we're at exactly the point where we can take the source material, and through fan art, fanfic, meta posts, articles, and discussions, we can correct the things that piss us off. And there's a community that wants to see and share these things! I mean, how cool is that?

Here's a few of the posts I've found on tumblr that try to make the strange Black Widow-Hulk storyline make more sense. It was sort of a "whatever" for me, which is rare since I'm such a hardcore shipper, but it really upset a lot of people, and their responses to it are so often creative and generative and better that it's impressive:

See how these things, these pretty simple tweaks make this thing so much better? Something as fantastically messed up as a whole season of a show (cough - sleepy hollow season two - cough)** takes a lot more work, but that's also a lot more space. A show that is perfect and ideal, no matter how good, no matter how addictive, is hard to find space for yourself in. But a thing that's still good, still loved, but broken in specific places? That's a huge opportunity, and I ADORE that there are people who see that and get mad, and then instead of sitting around complaining, get up and do something about it. Because broken stories are insulting to those of us who have invested in them***, but they're also a place to rework the text, something we don't get to do in any official capacity, but that we have this whole space online to look at, collaboratively, creatively, and replace with something that works and flows and makes more sense without having to destroy or invalidate the whole canon to do it.

And that's amazing.

What do you guys think about fan-fixes? What're your favorites? Share in the comments!

*and I'm not sure I really want that to be the norm, because majority rules rarely makes the best decisions.
**Or last season of Homeland, from what I gather, for instance.
***And there's a difference between a damaged storyline that makes out of character and questionable choices just for the sake of making them, with no set up or context, and stories that make choices that make us uncomfortable on the way to better stories.
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