Hello and welcome to This Week in Fandom, the OTW’s roundup of things that are happening! If you’re feeling nostalgic, you’re in good company: Sarah Michelle Gellar posted an instagram photo of herself wearing Buffy’s prom dress from Buffy The Vampire Slayer episode Prophecy Girl with the caption “All dressed up and no where to go. “I say we party” #safeathome #prophecygirl”. Are you dressing up for yourself and your pets, or are you more of a pyjama chic fan? Read More
Hello and welcome to This Week in Fandom, the OTW’s roundup of things that are happening! As with last week’s TWIF we are offering a slight variation on our regular format, with a lot of people still at home and much of the entertainment world still on hold. But fear not, despite the hard times everyone is experiencing, we’ve sought out some good things happening around the globe. Have you encountered any exciting fandom ideas or initiatives? Let us know in the comments and we might feature them in a future TWIF!
First, it’s clear that fans under movement restrictions, currently in place around the world, are in many cases turning to fanworks for entertainment. AO3 traffic saw a spike from 262 million views in the first week of March to 298 million in the final week, enough of a difference that we’re having to make a few changes to some users’ experience in order to maintain an optimal experience for everyone. But it’s not just fanwork consumption that’s been affected. As Aja Romano observed this week in an article for Vox, fan creators are already making the best of these exceptional circumstances by creating something new: the quarantine trope.
imagine being quarantined with your enemy… and you have to share a bed… and you slowly grow closer… and end up being… lovers
— ??????️ (@eyretartt) March 14, 2020
As you can see, the quarantine (or self-isolation) trope offers a topical adaptation of the legendary fandom favourite, And They Were Roommates (Oh My God, They Were Roommates). What better way to flatten the curve, and make the best of a stressful situation, than staying home and spending some quality time developing your own variant on the theme? Or, as we say, improvise. Adapt. Overcome. We got this. Leave it to the fans to transform and create in a time of crisis.
If you’re interested in the other ways that fan creators have responded to the COVID-19 crisis, articles on the subject have already begun to pop up online. Gavia Baker-Whitelaw at the Daily Dot has an interesting article on the ways in which current events, like this one, translate into fan communities; and Palmer Haasch at Business Insider offers a similar, shorter piece which includes a conversation with a fan creator about her motivations.
Welcome to This Week in Fandom, the OTW’s roundup of things which are happening! With NaNoWriMo in full swing, how are your projects going? Feel free to groan, commiserate and celebrate in the comments!
First up today, the long-anticipated His Dark Materials TV series debuted on 3rd November, and the internet is in uproar over everything from Mrs Coulter’s outfits – worn by an exquisitely villainous Ruth Wilson –
— ellie ϟ (@griiffinskane) November 17, 2019
to the surprise drop of a particular actor’s image in the most recent episode, indicating a future appearance (minor spoilers at the link!). Some commenters found the hustle to get this actor on board relatable; it seems like the “hot priest from Fleabag” label is going to be following Andrew Scott around at least until he makes a longer appearance in the HDM series.
Other fans were less happy about this character being introduced so early because it suggests there may be changes in the order of plot events from the book, but it looks like these differences were green-lit by Philip Pullman and the show will stay largely faithful to its source.
Meanwhile, Phillip Pullman tweeted about the 2007 film The Golden Compass and hinted that the new series won’t shy away from the book’s more challenging themes:
— Philip Pullman (@PhilipPullman) November 10, 2019
And lastly on this topic, despite the controversies around the Game of Thrones series and co-creators, it seems that its success may have cleared the way for more television with an epic scale and budget. In a press conference launching the show, His Dark Materials’ Executive Producer Jane Tanner discussed how the success of Game of Thrones allowed her to finally get her ‘passion project’ off the ground:
“I am a great believer that the timing often is right when it’s right…And I really had to wait for television to go epic, and for Game of Thrones to happen, and for myself to be working in Los Angeles for eight years, and to really see how you could build a large-scale television show.”
While we’re on the subject of book adaptations, Samantha Edmonds wrote for SyFy Wire about Good Omens, queer subtext and how adaptations can improve on the original in ‘How Fandom Made The Good Omens Miniseries Better (And Gayer) Than The Book’. Regardless of whether the book or the series is your personal favorite, it’s certainly noticeable that fandom spaces have been full of new Good Omens content since the series’ broadcast, as fans have responded to the showrunners’ decision to canonise the books’ queer subtext.
For those seeking even more of the internet’s favourite Ineffable Husbands, it’s worth noting that Neil Gaiman has published his original script, including many scenes featuring Aziraphale and Crowley that didn’t make the final cut.
And finally, GeekGirlCon was held this weekend in Seattle. Social media is full of cosplay photos:
— Blind Eye Books (@blindeyebooks) November 16, 2019
— Jay Justice@Geek Girl Con 306 ♿️???️? (@thatjayjustice) November 16, 2019
The fandom podcast Fansplaining also recorded their first ever live episode at the convention (keep your ears pricked for it soon!), and we really hope someone does a writeup of the Research & Data Science in Fandom panel:
— ? social justice cleric bard ? (@Kindredness) November 16, 2019
You can find more recaps on GeekGirlCon’s blog in the coming week.
Did you go to GeekGirlCon? Tell us all about it in the comments!