Fandom Feuds

When watching your favorite television program what do you focus on the most? Are you entranced by your favorite couple? Perhaps the gripping or hilarious storyline? Are you tuned in for the plot twists and turns that you never see coming? No matter the reason that has you transfixed to the show, you more than likely have many expectations that you want to see play out on screen. These expectations can foster unrealistic hopes and lead to some major meltdowns for show followers who don't see what they want unfold on their favorite programs. Whether you are watching a comedy or drama, keeping a level head about the happenings in an episode or show season seems to be thrown out the window.

Lately fandom shippers have expressed their displeasure at either the ending of an episode or season by taking to Twitter and Tumblr to express their comments and criticisms. The recent Pretty Little Liars season two finale lit up Twitter with the buzz of fans chattering about the show's intense finale "UnMasked," with the reveal of the show's elusive tormentor of its four main characters. In fact, it generated the most social media buzz of any regularly scheduled series in TV history. Show Executive Producer I. Marlene King received tweets from fans who expressed displeasure at the reveal of Janel Parrish's character Mona being "A." King took to Twitter to say to fans that she never said that Mona wasn't "A." In fact, in the books that the show is actually based off of, it is revealed that Mona is "A." It almost seemed like it shouldn't even be that much of a shock to fans, and maybe that's wherein the problem may lie. Fans expected the show to turn away from the books as some felt Mona would be too obvious of a choice. In truth, Pretty Little Liars has shown fans that Mona is just a small part of "A," that she may be taking orders from someone on a much larger scale.

A similar bemoaning fell on the Glee writers when it was revealed at the beginning of the third season of the show that Darren Criss's beloved character, Blaine Anderson, was actually a junior while his boyfriend Kurt was a senior. This created quite the uproar from "Gleeks" (the nickname for fans of the show) who were distraught over the thought of their favorite fandom possibly being torn apart. After being inundated with tweets before the episode that revealed Blaine's high school status, Glee writer and Executive Producer Brad Falchuk tweeted to fans that previously Blaine was referred to only as "junior Warbler Blaine Anderson," and that it just meant he was an underclassman. However, the reference could be seen in different contexts, and clearly many fans thought that it alluded to Blaine's grade level. Not only did Twitter become set aflame when this reveal occurred, but Tumblr was also burning with fans gossiping and falling apart.

While fans are undoubtedly allowed to express their emotions, feelings, and opinions over the subject of fandoms, storylines, etc., is it right for them to cast stones at the writers or executive producers when things don't go the way they want? Freedom of expression and creativity become called into question. The show seems less organic, exciting and fresh when it is beleaguered by the constant need to please, cater to, and listen to fans. Casts, writers and show runners will never make fans one hundred percent happy, so they focus on what they feel is best for the program, storyline, or character relationships -- which is absolutely what show runners should keep in mind.

If a television program falls short of what your expectations are, take a deep breath and count to 10. Realize that what is meant to be for the show will be, and that in fan-fiction, the world is your oyster and you are free to be as creative and as expressive as you would like. Enjoy the path that the show runners take fandoms and storylines down and take each with a grain of salt. A show may be here today and gone tomorrow, so savor every moment the program is on air, and remember the rest is still unwritten.