Thursday, March 28, 2013


There is a rule on Tumblr: do not tag your hate. If you're going to spew about how much you hate a character, actor, writer, or show, you're not allowed to tag their names in your post. It is in bad taste to do so, and users will send you messages telling you to take the tags down. 

I understand hating a character. For the sake of this article, and ONLY for the sake of this article, I will say that I cannot stand River Song from Doctor Who, I hate April in Grey's Anatomy, and the best plot line I could think of for Bonnie in The Vampire Diaries is a slow, painful death. So I understand the need to hate on a character, to actively vent about how much you can't live one more day with them on your television screen. 

HOWEVER. It is rude to do so on a public forum. It is rude to take an artist's work and tell the world that you think it's horrible, for no good reason other than to spread hate. It's even more inconsiderate when, on Tumblr, you're using a tag that people use to show their love and appreciation for said artist's work. (Side note: criticism is understood- appreciated, even, by good writers- and allowed to be tagged.)

Now, on to my main point. I understand the need to hate on a character. What I don't understand is this: hating on a writer, a showrunner, an actor, a producer, etc. In the fall, Steven Moffat (Doctor Who, Sherlock) deleted his Twitter account. According to speculation, it was because of all the hate he was getting from Whovians (fans of Doctor Who) who don't like or appreciate his way of running the show. I, myself, do not like the way he runs Doctor Who, but I do not send hate or threats simply because I don't agree with him.

And now, there's this: 


Promoting and spreading hate is a horrible thing to do. Bullying is bullying is bullying. Hate is hate is UNACCEPTABLE. Putting his acting chops aside for the moment, the man himself is incredible. He has a way with his fans that few actors have, relating to them in ways most Hollywood veterans don't even understand. In 2009, he founded Random Acts- "working with volunteers, Random Acts encourages people of all ages to perform their own acts of kindness wherever, and whenever, possible." In 2010, he rallied his fans to raise over $30,000 for UNICEF. He also holds the Guinness World Record for putting together the world's largest scavenger hunt (GISHWHES- Greatest International Scavenger Hunt the World Has Ever Seen).

I honestly don't care how much a fan dislikes Castiel on Supernatural. I love the character (although I don't always love the direction the writers take him in) and I'm very happy that he will be a regular in Season 9. What bothers me is not dislike of a character, but the terrible things a person will say about an actor as a result. 

To counter the hate, I urge you to go to on March 30th (this Saturday) and either: donate money for funding, learn about AMOK so you can get involved next year, or put together and submit a proposal for an act. Good luck and spread the love.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

"You Are My Sunshine, My Only Sunshine"

For the past twenty-four hours, I've been sharing this picture of Amy Acker and Alexis Denisof (oh hey, Tom Lenk) on every social media platform I'm a part of:

It's on FacebookTwitterTumblr, and even my own personal social network profiles- and I've seen it on plenty of others as well. Many fans who have only clued in to Joss Whedon's brilliance throughout the past year or so, with Avengers, have no idea why this picture holds so much significance to us Whedonites, and more specifically, Angel fans. 

I fell in love with Winifred Burkle the moment she graced my screen in the first of the Pylea episodes in Season 2. The same can't be said of Wesley Wyndham-Pryce's entrance in the third season of Buffy, although it can definitely be said of Alexis Denisof (who, in my opinion, ended up playing the most complex character in the Whedonverse). It took two and a half years for Fred and Wesley to finally become a couple, although in the hearts and minds of many Angel fans, they already were from the moment they met. 

When Fred died and Illyria took her body, I was overcome with disbelief. Not complete disbelief. After all, this was Whedon- Tara, Cordelia, Joyce, Anya, and even Buffy herself (although with a resurrection after) had been killed. These were all characters we loved and cherished. So I wasn't completely surprised. But I- along with other fans- was hurting. Fred and Wesley had finally gotten to the place we'd all been rooting for them to get to, and she was torn away at the first sign of their happiness.

So it's understandable- the excitement that has overtaken me, along with the rest of the Internet. Amy Acker and Alexis Denisof playing Beatrice and Benedick in Joss Whedon's production of Much Ado About Nothing? Finally! Aside from Acker and Denisof's undeniable chemistry, which I can't wait to see again, Fred and Wesley get to "be together." We've been waiting for this for what seems like eternity. 

But I'm just scratching at the surface here. We, as an audience, were introduced to heartbreak and star-crossed love very early on in the Whedonverse. Buffy and Angel, Willow and Oz, Tara and Willow, Buffy and Spike, Cordelia and Doyle, Angel and Cordelia. Why were Fred and Wesley so important? Why did their story hit us so hard? Why the excitement and the passion, almost eight years later?

Because they weren't star-crossed. There was nothing magical or fantastical separating them- no vampire immortality keeping them from living a life together, no memory spells being used on each other, no lycanthropic violence tearing them apart, no Powers That Be Bitches raising one of them to a different plane of existence. Just...another boy. Charles Gunn, who made his move before Wesley could. 

Wesley and Fred's separation was the romantic equivalent of Joyce's death on Buffy- completely natural, in a world that was anything but. For two and a half years, we rooted for a couple that was separated only by human apprehension and mistakes. We wanted to see them together so badly- because, despite Joss's penchant for not just breaking but destroying our hearts, he made us believe in love in a way that no writer has, before or since.

So I, for one, can't wait until June 7th. Not just because of the movie itself and the excitement that's surrounding Joss's interpretation of Shakespeare, but because the couple who stole our hearts will finally return them to us, safe and intact again. 

So here's to you, Joss, Amy, and Alexis, for making our dreams come true. 

Wednesday, March 13, 2013


I don't normally like to talk about television completely subjectively. Mostly because it opens a lot of room for people to argue with me, and I don't have patience for that (when obviously I am right, duh). But I will now. And I'll preface it by saying that I've read pieces on this topic before, but I'm still writing this as a 100% opinion piece (not that the SupernaturalShake is the most sophisticated piece of evidence a person could use to back up an argument).

TV shows that are based on the supernatural will always bring more depth than realistic dramas. It's my experience that this is true, and if you ask any of my friends, I watch a hell of a lot of TV, so I know what I'm talking about (wow, this blog post is coming out sounding SO arrogant).

A lot of people scoff at the fantasy or sci-fi genres, especially when you bring up show titles like Buffy the Vampire Slayer, (as much as I wouldn't have it any other way- seriously Joss, you could've done better with that, really). Fantasy or sci-fi are not mature enough, they say. It's all about the monsters and gore, they say. 

They're kinda wrong. Very wrong, in my opinion. I will never know as much about Tami Taylor as I do about Buffy Anne Summers. (That's a great place to start, actually. Does Tami Taylor have a middle name, even?) Seeley Booth's PTSD-y past will never reach the level of detail and knowledge fans have of Spike's scarred and tortured depths (or Angel's*, for that matter). These realistic characters will never be pushed to their limit the way the supernatural ones are. As stand-alone shows, Friday Night Lights and Bones are damn good at developing their characters (FNL more than Bones), but when they're compared to Buffy, Angel, and Supernatural, their characters just seem...shallow. 

Don't get me wrong. I love these shows. They, and other true-to-life shows, are so incredibly well-written that I hesitated to even write this post. Let me stress that I am not putting them down in any way. But genre shows have always left me, as a viewer, with more of a sense of their characters than other shows. You know exactly how far these people will go and how far they have gone, and you will never doubt their consistency (unless Steven Moffat suddenly takes over the show).

I simply think we don't know even a fraction of who characters on a true-to-life show really are. I can know how Tami and Eric Taylor would react to Julie playing hooky, but I'll never know them to the depths of their soul the way I know Dean Winchester. Hell, I don't think we know who we are- human beings are capable of so much more than we know. And the only television shows or literature that prove this to us are of the supernatural persuasion.

"Nothing in the world is the way it ought to be. It's harsh and cruel. But that's why there's us. Champions. It doesn't matter where we come from, what we've done or suffered, or even if we make a difference. We live as though the world was what it should be- to show it what it can be." How often is something like this said by a character in a regular drama? How often do regular television characters inspire you to be better, do better, save the world or even just your little corner of it? (I'm genuinely curious about that. If someone like Meredith Grey or Juliette Barnes has ever inspired you to save the world, drop a comment and let me know.) Who knows? Maybe I'm just a world-class geek who grew up on Power Rangers, The Chronicles of Narnia, Charmed, and Harry Potter.

Oh, and P.S.- I wouldn't have it any other way. (In fact, if I had a TARDIS I'd probably go back in time and give 12-year-old me my DVD's and files of Buffy, Angel, Dollhouse, Firefly, Doctor Who, Supernatural...oh, you get the point).

*Seeley and Angel are both played by the same actor, David Boreanaz

Wednesday, March 6, 2013


There are people in Hollywood who suck. They don't appreciate their audience, they don't care about their audience. After their fans help them get to where they want to be in their career, these people turn their backs on their audience and betray them. 

Like Dan Stevens, for example, who I adore, but who left his fans high and dry with his exit from Downton Abbey after the third series* without an explanation. He's a wonderful actor and he did his character justice, but not his fans.

Then there's Sarah Michelle Gellar, who everyone knows is my favorite actress. But when she had a chance to guest star on the one hundredth episode of Angel, she turned it down. Her schedule was too "busy." Seriously, woman? Your schedule wouldn't have been busy if it hadn't been for Joss Whedon's genius and his genius (if I do say so myself) fans.

And then there are people like Joss Whedon and J.J. Abrams. There's also the cast of Firefly. There's Jensen Ackles, Jared Padalecki, and Misha Collins (known to their fandom as J2M, I kid you not).

I certainly respect actors, producers, and directors like Sarah Michelle Gellar and Dan Stevens. They're great at what they do, and I have so much admiration for their skill in their chosen art (let's face it, I'm a little bit obsessed with them). 

But the people who will get my loyalty and love as a fan? Joss Whedon gets my loyalty for his smart writing, which shows that he knows his fans are intelligent people who don't need their shows dumbed down. He, and the cast, get my respect for hearing the call of their fans and coming back together to film Serenity, the movie that takes place after the events of Firefly. (I could go on and on about Joss, but for your sake, I won't.)

The people who do this : Supernatural Shake (Jared Padalecki, and the cast and crew of Supernatural), and the person who does this: Eye of the Tiger (Jensen Ackles), are the people who get my loyalty. My devotion goes to Misha Collins and Jensen Ackles, who are aware of, and play into, their fanbases's love for Dean and Castiel's relationship on Supernatural. They see it and they utilize it as inspiration and motivation, instead of ignoring their audience and leaving them in the dust.

J.J. Abrams and the rest of the writers for LOST get my respect because they worked out a plan for their show and stuck to it- six years, end of story. They could have capitalized on great ratings to make more money by airing more seasons, as I'm sure the network would have loved for them to do, but they didn't. They respected the story, the actors, and the fans, and ended it.

You don't have to buy each of your fans a piece of pie and tell us over coffee how much you appreciate us as we gush to you about how Buffy changed our life. You just need to know that we're here and show us that you know. 

I mean, without us, your work would be sitting on the shelf, collecting the above-mentioned dust, wouldn't it?

*In Britain, seasons are called series.