Welcome to This Week in Fandom, the OTW’s roundup of things that are happening! Before we start – we have some spoilerific content this week so proceed with caution if you haven’t yet seen the Game of Thrones, Big Bang Theory or, indeed, Eurovision finales…
So, let’s begin this week with an ending: yes, after eight seasons of swords, sex and sibling rivalry, Game of Thrones came to a conclusion with King Bran the Broken sitting on the Iron Throne. Inevitably, given the show’s huge audience, not everybody is happy with how things turned out. Commentators have criticized the final season for its uneven pacing, its treatment of female characters (TW for discussion of rape), and the number of plot threads left hanging; one fan-made petition to “remake Game of Thrones Season 8 with competent writers” has (at the time of writing) close to 1.5 million signatories.
That petition has itself prompted discourse about the relationship between consumers and creators, with Sophie Turner (who plays Sansa Stark) labeling the petition ‘disrespectful’ and Riverdale’s Lili Reinhart commenting on Instagram that ‘TV shows are not fan service’. Even though fans are unlikely to see a remake any time soon, they will have plenty of other content coming their way: HBO already have no less than three prequel series in development and George RR Martin, posting on his blog after the final episode aired, reassured fans that he really, definitely will be finishing the books. At some point.
Another televisual juggernaut also rolled to a halt this week, as the final episode of The Big Bang Theory aired on CBS. The conclusion of the show’s twelfth and final season saw Sheldon and Amy awarded a Nobel Prize, Penny and Leonard announce the impending arrival of their first child, and featured a crowning cameo from a true genre TV heroine, Buffy the Vampire Slayer’s Sarah Michelle Gellar. TBBT’s showrunners seem to have achieved the near-impossible and left most of the 20-million strong audience happy with how things turned out; Digital Spy has a round-up of some of the warmest fan praise.
Elsewhere, the internet was buzzing with casting news as it was not-quite-officially announced that Robert Pattinson would be starring as the caped crusader in Matt Reeves’ upcoming (2021) The Batman. Most of the commentary online seemed to come from people defending #Battinson (best just to give into it now) against a tide of criticism that never really materialized; instead, fans have largely embraced the prospect of Pattinson’s transition from vampire to, well, bat. Twitter users @olifuxart and @datrinti offered some tasty visuals to mark the occasion.
This is a fast sketch of #Battinson. Just wondered how he may look in the new Batman.
I really don’t mind about people’s bias on him. I believe he is gonna do pretty well, this time I have a good feeling! pic.twitter.com/VHuyWaMStX
— Olifux (@olifuxart) May 17, 2019
— Tiago Ribeiro (@datrinti) May 19, 2019
And finally, Europe (and indeed, the rest of the world) enjoyed the 64th annual Eurovision Song Contest on the night of May 18th. Duncan Laurence came out on top for the Netherlands (their first winning entry in 44 years) with ‘Arcade’, a song which had already charted in several European countries.
At the other end of the table, Michael Rice’s 26th-and-last placed finish continued a run of poor results for the UK, which has finished somewhere in the last three positions for six of the last ten years. On Twitter, @kitlovelace offered a deep-dive analysis of how the country has been (musically) getting it wrong.
Now I'm all caught up with the results from last night's contest, with the UK placing last, I'm going to wheel out the same musical analysis I do almost every year to offer up one possible explanation as to why the UK consistently does so poorly at Eurovision these days…
— Kit Lovelace (@kitlovelace) May 19, 2019
Better luck next time, Brits!
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