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TV/Media Commentary and Societal Insights. With a Beard.
The whole concept of being a “fan” of something has exploded in the past few years, no doubt thanks to things like the internet, and the internet, as well as the internet. Being totally in love with and knowing everything about the thing you like no longer makes you a nerd, it’s just kind of accepted. Movie fans, sports fans, music fans, video game fans—everyone’s on the same level now in terms of societal acceptance of utter devotion, now that it’s so much easier to form a fan community with people all across the globe.
That being said, there’s still a huge chunk of fans that are on a wholly different playing field. People that become well-known staples within the fanbase—running websites, moderating message boards, crafting loads of fanfiction, fanart and GIFs, organizing campaigns, travelling to conventions, following concerts. I myself have pretty much gotten out of the habit of being crazy intense with fansites after some bad experiences. Now, I don’t want it to sound like “I don’t participate in fandom” because I’m a pretentious dick or something. I mean, I kind of am a pretentious dick, but not about this stuff. In fact, me not being able to get too fully immersed in some of the most intense fandoms just means I don’t have the balls to be in them, and here’s why.
Hindsight is frustrating in real life. Of course sitting at a computer reading blogs and never exercising can make you fat and hurt your eyes. But when those blogs the blind fat you is reading are using hindsight for media, it’s awesome; connecting the dots, tracking the evolving trends, and tying together overarching themes you wouldn’t get from any single installment. This works for any media franchise, but especially television.
While fans tend to discuss the same sorts of concepts and often repeat the same ideas ad naseum, one way to add some freshness to a fandom is by revisiting the entire series again, watching episodes one at a time, sometimes week-to-week, and then analyzing them one kernel at a time. The Time Team has done retro-Doctor Who episodes in Doctor Who Magazine since freaking 1999, so it’s not a new concept. But as many of us get older, the appeal of taking another, more in-depth look at our favorite decade(s) old shows become stronger and stronger.
Retrospective articles and videos are things I plan to post more of, both here and on other sites, but for now, I’m actually going to turn my traffic away, and towards five other bloggers and journalists who are doing a damn good job at retrospectives on their own. Episode-by-episode, these guys break down, analyze and review each story and character, but with a foresight past reviewers wouldn’t have had. Yet, in a way, their eyes are still “fresh”–some haven’t seen these episodes in years and only remember vague details, giving them a unique perspective of viewing it 50/50 as a newcomer and veteran, in a way. If you’ve seen any of these shows, you should check out these sites, in no particular order. Read more of this post