Of Fangirls and Fandoms #5 – The Evolution of the Craze

These are dangerous waters. There’s not much to this, but this deserves a separate post.

This is Phase#5, wherein the fan(atic) starts to get curious about behind-the-scenes of behind-the-scenes.

This begins with finding out some biographical details about the actor (the very reason it’s dangerous – it’s not about the characters anymore; it’s about the people who plays them). Then moving on to the show related interviews, finding them interesting enough to move on to every single interview. There’s also stalking on Instagram, feeling stupidly happy when he/she gets married (there are also some who get insanely jealous to the point where they hate on the spouse; but we’re not going to talk about the psychotic segment of the fandom right now) and losing it when they’re about to be parents (TWINS! If you know what I mean).

And don’t you just love it when real life imitates life on-screen? Brothers on-screen, and bestfriends off-screen; Lovers on-screen and off-screen (and when they break up, you die a little too)

In conclusion, this phase is when all hell breaks lose and you know the characters and the actors as if they’re your bestfriends.

*MY LEAST FAVOURITE PIECE, BUT NECESSARY NONETHELESS*

Of Fangirls and Fandoms #4 – Cultivation of the Craze

Once anyone is past the binge phase, there are two roads that can be taken – continue to watch the show once a week, when you are all caught up with the previous season or further cultivate the craze.

The cultivation basically includes fuelling the obsession that starts out very slowly. This means spending hours on the internet, looking for bloopers/gag reels, behind-the-scenes, making-of-whatevertvshow, watching deleted scenes, directors commentaries, etc.

In short, you might as well be taking an exam on the show.

I particularly enjoy watching what goes into the making of a TV show episode (or even movies for that matter), for me, makes it much more enjoyable, especially when I am watching it again (I always do; a tale for another day).

This is the phase when the TV show becomes all-pervasive (with me, to the point where I begin dreaming about the characters coming over for dinner; an alternate episode in some cases). Thoughts centre around the show all the time, and you wonder about the what-ifs and endings, and you can’t help but talk about the show. All the time.

I have had this phase with many TV shows, and people have often ridiculed me, but try as I  might, I could never tell them that obsessing over a TV show, which has its own fixed course of things, would never disappoint me. Even if it did, it would be easy to get over (unless the disappointment is at par with How I Met your Mother series finale)unlike the kind of disappointment that comes with people.

Of Fangirls and Fandoms #3 – Shipping Ships and OTP : Level 2

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Level 2. Yes, there is a level 2.

Level 2, according to me, is when OTPs are not just fictional characters, but also the actors who play them! Blake Lively and Ryan Reylonds (Carol Ferris and Hal Jordan from Green Lantern), Jensen Ackles and Danneel Harris (Priestly and Tish from Ten Inch), Jared Padalecki and Genevieve Cortese (Sam and Ruby from Supernatural), Ginnifer Goodwin and Josh Dallas (Snow White and Charming on Once Upon a Time) Jennifer Morrison and Sebastian Stan (Emma and Mad Hatter from Once Upon a Time) for instance.

Here once again, it is irrespective of whether or not they are actually together! For example, Cockles (Jensen Ackles and Misha Collins from Supernatural), Leighton Meester and Ed Westwick (Chuck and Blair from Gossip Girl), Jennifer Morrison and Colin O’Donoghue (Once Upon a Time), etc.

This is fun as well, but one thing I really dislike is when people hate on their actual partners and say things like “You don’t deserve her/him! She/he does not belong with you!”

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OTP also comes in the form of NOTP and BROTP. NOTP is the ship that you hate/do not see happening (Supernatural’s Dean and Amara, for example. My personal NOTP is Destiel and of course, Sam and Dean with the ship name WINCEST(!?)).

BROTP more or less enocompasses the bromance – Destiel, Sam and Dean, J2 (Jared Padalecki and Jensen Ackles), Oliver and Diggle from Arrow,  etc.

Of Fangirls and Fandoms #3 – Shipping Ships and OTP : Level 1

Don’t we all have that one couple on TV shows that we love so much, that we cry when they do, laugh when they do, feel happy the entire day when they first kiss, feel upset for them and feel betrayed when one of them does. And then of course, there is that moment when one of them dies – the world falls apart!

Dubbed as OTP, One True Pairing, is one aspect of a TV show that consumes the audience. It is actually a great feeling and a great amount of fun too. The verb form of OTP would be “shipping”, I suppose, (although I don’t see as to why it is called shipping) and a synonym would be “ship” (once again, I do not understand the relevance). Coming up with ship names is loads of fun as well; basically a compound word made of the two people that the audience ships, and oh the delight when the ship-name is an actual word! (Gossip Girl’s Chuck + Blair = Chair)

The best thing about OTPs is that they do not have to be canon (depicted in the  show, hence making it official and legitimate). The OTP could be the audience’s wishful thinking or it could be a potential relationship. There are many gay and lesbian ships that exist too! One of the most popular gay-ships is Supernatural’s Dean + Castiel, a.k.a, Destiel and also SwanQueen from Once Upon a Time – Emma and Regina.

My first OTP, so to speak, was Jisbon (Patrick Jane + Teresa Lisbon). Now, I have so many that I can’t even keep track! ( Most recently, Supernatural’s Dean Winchester + Jo Harvelle = Chestervelle and Once Upon a Time’s Captain Swan, Emma + Captain Hook, Arrow’s Olicity – Oliver+Felicity).

Lately, I have been thinking as to why people (and I) obsess over a relationship that we know is not real (of course, deducing the reason would not really make the obsession any less). I think it is largely because most people are romantic at heart, and watching all these love stories unfold and develop from scratch right in front of their eyes gives them what they know life may or may not provide them with!

There was a time when I used to think up these little scenarios or ways that I would meet The One, but now I have come to realize that life simply does not work that way, and watching these little fantasies come to life on the screen makes me feel warm, to be honest.

Frankly, I do not really indulge in these fanciful thoughts of being able to find The One and will always think a million times before entering a relationship. I would hate it if people talked cheesy to me or even if I realized that I “liked” somebody, but when my OTP does it, I feel inexplicably happy for the entire day!

All the drama that we see on TV is dramatic enough on TV and at some point in the TV, the conflict or whatever it it that triggered it, is resolved. In fact, I am sure that if similar drama happened in our lives, we may not even be able to withstand it because resolution happens on the TV show because it is a TV show! It does not always happen that way in real life, and I think TV show OTPs lives become a vicarious experience of sorts.

It is vicariousness for me, because although I feel bad/good when something bad/good happens to my OTP and I feel really sad/ecstatic as per their situation, these feelings only go down my mind to a certain level only, and will eventually fade (I think), but the same thing happening to me has a lasting impact.

Of course, not everything about all OTPs is about vicariousness, because no, I don’t want the person I love to die and no I definitely don’t want him to be a Christian Grey! Sometimes, it is simply because they just seem so perfect for each other (canon, or not) that not being together just feels wrong, and when they are, so right that I feel pained and happy accordingly.

OTP is my favourite thing in TV shows because lately I have come to the realization that if there is not some form of OTP or the other on a TV show, I don’t really watch it with a passion, a.k.a, crazed obsession. OTP TV shows motivate me to watch because “DO THEY MAKE IT! WILL THEY BE HAPPY!”

Of Fangirls and Fandoms #2 – The Binge Fest 

The first TV show I got seriously addicted to was The Mentalist.

Watching the trailers, curiosity aroused; behavioural deduction? Fascinating!

I watched the Pilot episode and well, I loved it. So I watched the next episode too and decided, “This seems like a great show! I’ll watch it, one episode a day.”

One day, one episode.

Around the same time, I got the hang of Torrents, and in a fit of greed, downloaded all the seven seasons.

The charm of Patrick Jane got to me, and I felt the need for him to seek his vengeance with the same passion that he did. And I just had to get to the part where he finally confronted Red John, the antagonist who killed his wife and daughter.

One episode became three a day, until holidays began. Jane was getting closer than ever to finding Red John, and well, I obviously had to keep up.

Technically, it’s considered “binge-watching” if you see more than three episodes a day, but… that’s just the amateurs. Experts binge on seasons!

During the holidays, I watched as many episodes a day as I could and only went to bed till my parents lost their nerve. As I fell asleep, I would wonder what would happen and once I fell asleep, I dreamt of the same.

This was the beginning of the ‘Binge Fest’.

One of the best things about binge-watching is the escape it provides. Watching anything consistently for a long durations of time, invariably transports the mind to the realm where the show is set. This is one of the things that draws me to binge-watch over and over again, simply because of being able to escape and take my mind off things that were bothering me (which is generally a lot!)

Binge-watching is also an extremely fulfilling experience. It entails being wrapped in a blanket, surrounded by food and sitting, unmoving, on one corner of the bed and watching every episode, through the seasons, uninterrupted.

Yes, it is some what unhealthy ( definitely a healthier way to pass the time instead of alcohol! ) and I admit that a moderate balance is important. But once in a while, it is okay to”let go” and binge!

Now, when I watch a Pilot, I think, “This seems like a great show! I’ll watch it, one season a day.”

Of Fangirls and Fandoms #1 – The Beginning

I discovered the realm of TV shows in 11th grade. It’s not like I’d never watched TV as a child; I watched plenty of cartoons and serials.

But when I was young, shows on television were just that; shows on television. Then dawned the age of internet and I discovered the world of fandoms in all their glory.

And it was amazing; watch the TV shows whenever you want, even if you miss it on TV. Discussions with people from across the world about the show, updates on spoilers, interviews, panels, bloopers, and what not!

My passion for TV increased exponentially and well, I had people from across the world to fuel it. And ah, the exhilaration and the escape it provided!

There was a kind of relief that watching all these TV shows provided me. For someone who was lonely and thought too much, watching TV shows was a great escape.

Over time, I became attached to the characters, loved the actors who played them and slowly (but surely) got consumed by the shows.

I started to watch 10-12 TV shows at a time and that’s how I became a fangirl.

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