Thursday, May 16, 2013


This season of TV has to be the most disappointing one for me yet, both in terms of the quality of TV and the idiocy of the networks. Of course, there were some very well-written shows that definitely fulfilled their potential this season (Parenthood, I'm looking at you) and some network decisions that didn't make me roll my eyes (CW, I'm looking at you), but overall, this season, ending with upfronts this week, has me wanting to take Hollywood by the shoulders, shake them, and ask exactly how much crack they've smoked this year.

Let's take the shows that went downhill this season. I have officially given up on Pretty Little Liars and Revenge- the former because there's only so much unnecessary drama I can take, and the latter because it has become so ridiculously convoluted that I'd have to take notes to make sense of it all. Grey's Anatomy needs to kill off April Kepner before her shrieking voice kills meThe Vampire Diaries became so boring that I've had to yawn my way through eighty percent of this season's episodes (although the last few have vastly improved upon the first twenty). The amount of jokes about sex on The Big Bang Theory makes me sad, because the show used to actually be funny, on its own merit. Doctor Who gets the award for the show I am most disappointed in. It used to be a show that inspired me- now the writing, and even the acting, makes me cringe. And Glee? My God, someone direct April Kepner and her death-inducing shrieky voice my way.

Then there are the networks. I honestly don't know what NBC was thinking when they canceled Go On. It was the best thing they had going this year in comedy. Then ABC finally did what we've feared for two years- they axed Happy Endings even though it was one of the smartest, funniest shows on TV. Here's to hoping USA will pick it up (fingers crossed). Another one on the stupid list for ABC is giving Agents of SHIELD the 8PM timeslot on Tuesday nights, right before other, brand new shows. The last time I paid attention to that timeslot was never. Yes, this is Joss, and yes, this is Marvel, but they're not giving AoS any lead-in that could boost the show. On the Doctor Who news front, Steven Moffat has been quoted talking about developing the story for the 8th series. I'm sorry, but the show's writing has severely declined since he took over, there is absolutely no character development, and the show has lost over 2 million viewers in the six months since the 2012 Christmas Special- why hasn't he been fired yet?

I raise my glass in a toast to less stupidity next year.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Random Acts 4 Misha

On March 30th, 2013, the apocalypse destroyed the world. The Mishapocalypse, that is. To counteract a hate campaign against Misha Collins, his fans showed how powerful the Supernatural fandom is by taking to Facebook, Twitter, and especially Tumblr to share their love of the actor who is most notably known for his portrayal of the angel Castiel. Last week, Russ Hamilton spoke about the power of the fandom, saying that getting "the Fandamily and cast and crew involved is, in my opinion, hugely important." 

It seems that a few very special people had the same thought. While the fandom decided to create another Mishapocalypse for Collins's birthday on August 20th, Sarah Garner, Sam Resner, Giovanna Bonavoglia, and Ellie had a better idea- a Random Actopalyse. Based on Collins' charity organization, Random Acts, this event sets out to kill the world with kindness. The idea is that, as a birthday surprise, the fandom- and anyone else who wishes to participate- will perform acts of kindness and donate to Random Acts in Misha Collins's name. 

Others have had this idea before. I, myself, wanted the fandom to do this during the first Mishapocalypse and wrote a blog post about it. The official administrators of the event have seen countless posts on Tumblr with a similar mission, as have I. But now this event actually has a fighting chance to succeed. With over 100 attendees on Facebook, 500 followers on the official Random Acts 4 Misha Tumblr, and over 3,600 notes on the original blog post, the fandom has reached thousands of people from all over the world, including England, New Zealand, and South America. We can now succeed in bringing about a Misha Collins day dedicated to raising money for the under-privileged, spreading random acts of kindess, and putting smiles on strangers' faces. 

**Logo credit: Chava Weisberg
**As noted, this is a surprise for Misha Collins. Please do not tweet him about this event. 

Monday, May 6, 2013

Russ Hamilton, God of the Fandoms

This week, I was lucky enough to be in touch with Russ Hamilton, the location manager for the CW's Supernatural, and ask him some questions about the fans of the show. Fans who want to be heard, who want their opinions to matter- people with whom Russ is in touch via Twitter and Tumblr on a daily basis. 

One of my main platforms, as a writer and as a fan of television, is that the fans matter. Furthermore, the people who are involved in the show- the creators, the writers the executive producers, the actors- need to acknowledge that they matter. Fans, or fandoms, can make all the difference. It began when the Browncoats, fans of Joss Whedon's Firefly, organized themselves on the Internet after the show's cancellation in 2003. As a result, Serenity, the movie that wrapped up the show, was produced and released three years later. 

Since then, fans have stormed onto the scene and made a lasting impression. In its last season, after killing off a core character, the writers of Alias had to rethink, and then re-write, the rest of the season. Why? Because the fans stopped watching. Doctor Who, a show that was off the air for fifteen years, was rebooted in 2005 and succeeded because of its loyal fanbase. The entire Whedonverse fandom takes part in a weblog on a daily basis- posting news, photos, and well-wishes in reference to anyone who's ever been in a Joss Whedon project. Ten years after Firefly spawned a revolution that its characters would be proud of, Arrested Development is coming out with a new season on Netflix and the fans of Veronica Mars raised almost $6 million for a movie of the ill-fated TV show. 

The cast and crew of Supernatural operate on a whole different level. Many of them interact with the fans on Twitter on a consistent basis, and they show up to cons (Supernatural conventions) that take place around the world at least once a month. I've previously mentioned the Supernatural Harlem Shake that Jared Padalecki and Jensen Ackles put together, and the Eye of the Tiger sequence that was at the end of "Yellow Fever" (4x06). Misha Collins also values his fans, tweeting to us fairly often and calling us his minions.

Then there's the above-mentioned Russ Hamilton, the god of crew interaction with fans. Not a day goes by without Russ speaking to us and making us feel important and included. Out of everyone in the SPN Family, Russ talks to us as if there is no difference between the crew and the fans, and in our Q&A below, he talks about how Supernatural bridges that gap. Read on for the illuminating, and highly entertaining, words of Russ Hamilton.

Dear TV | Why do you do what you do, interacting with us? Why do you think it's important?

I interact with the fans (Fandamily) because I enjoy it, and it's important to me, because I like to know what people think, what they see in a scene, and what they take away after it. I enjoy knowing what they (you) want, and whether or not I agree is of no matter. We all hold valid opinions and beliefs.

Dear TV | How did you start interacting with us? Are we, as a fandom, ever frustrating?

I started interacting at the first VanCon. It went from there to me eventually being convinced to join Twitter last year, and on my own decided I wanted to jump into the Tumblr Nation. I love it. Getting to interact is great fun, but we all must walk a fine line. There is only so much we can share after all. I try not to get frustrated, but sadly I am human and it does happen. There is a line, and even I am known to cross it from time to time. But I refuse to take any of it too personal. We all have a common bond, and that is this show. 

Dear TV | Do you think every show could have a crew member who does this, or do you think it's specific to Supernatural and the SPN Family?

I think that any interaction from anybody on any show is subject to the individual. I am sure that some do it for attention, some for personal gain. I can only speak for myself when I say that I feel very connected to this Fandamily, and when I say I love you all, I genuinely mean it. I fully believe the SPN Family has set the mark for all other shows- past, present, and future- for fan interaction, because we all care and know in our hearts, that without all of you, there is no us.

Dear TV | I'm sorry if this is a sensitive question, but do you ever get hate? How would you react if you did?

Do I get hate, GAWD YES!!! Last year, I had a death threat that was dealt with, without getting the authorities involved, because in the end, even she was and is a member of my Fandamily. She crossed that line that we spoke about and had a hard time not pursuing what she wanted. And besides that, there is still much hate. I try to drown it down with Love, as I put it. The hate is just someone that wants to be heard, and more often than not it can be resolved easily. Of course, I am not an actor, and that is a whole new world. I have been attacked on Twitter, and all in all I accept most of it. I have only ever decided to block two people.

Dear TV | What do you think of organized events like Misha Love Day, aka the Mishapocalypse? Pointless fun or significant?

Organized events are gggggrreat. It is highly significant in my eyes. To get the Fandamily and cast and crew involved is, in my opinion, hugely important. The wall of "us and them" has always bothered me. I do not often understand why or how our show has become such a great way to bridge that gap, but I am glad that we have, and that we have people on our show who seek out ways to interact. It speaks volumes of the genuine dedication and love we have.

Dear TV | Do you think the fandom had anything to do with Charlie Bradbury surviving "Pac-Man Fever" (8x20)? Were the writers ever planning on killing her off?

I genuinely do not know. I am, as much as I hate to phrase it this way, just a Location Manager. We get the scripts, we break them down, have the scouts look for a location to film that work for the script, and then put it all together. Do I believe that the writers know who the fans love? Yes, of course. But in the end it is all about the storyline and how it can be made.

You can follow Russ on Twitter @RUSS_MOVIEGOD. His Tumblr URL is