My current fandom obsession is Lost, and I've been struck by the commonalities the fannish experience has with Harry Potter. Damon and Carlton, the show's guiding hands, have more than once compared their storytelling approach to JKR's, in telling a long-haul tale, sprinkling the clues along the way. And fandom responds by furiously theorizing about what it all means, how it's all going to turn out.
One of the Lost bloggers I read, Ryan McGee, made a point yesterday that, well, made me think of what this comm has chronicled regarding HP fandom. In this post (spoilers up through last Tuesday's Lighthouse), he discussed two current prevailing theories about what's going on in this home stretch of the final season, and then he lamented:
Both are perfectly valid perceptions at this time. Here's my biggest problem: only one viewpoint will ultimately be right. Normally, creating multiple perceptions in the audience's mind is a good thing for a mystery show to engender. But we're talking about much more than after-the-fact bragging rights (which I always hate, since it essentially amounts to bragging that you picked the right door in "Let's Make a Deal"), it's a concern. Because being wrong might aversely affect certain fans perceptions of the show as a whole. The example above says a lot about the type of person you are, so having your perception proved wrong might be construed on some level as a condemnation of you as a viewer, not just your theory.
Maybe I'm overworried here. I hope that's the case. Wouldn't be the first time, wouldn't be the last.
I made a comment that recalled the HP experience of fans proved wrong, who not only took it personally, but also often claimed it as the author's moral failing -- basically telling him that, alas, I think his worries are quite well-founded.
And this kind of theorizing is more on the overall gen-plot level -- that's more the corners of fandom I follow. I haven't stumbled across shipwars, but they've got to be out there. They always are, and the show's propensity for triangles and quadrangles could only feed them.
I'm just saying, as the end approaches, there could be a multi-front wankstorm on the horizon. Whether outraged Lost fans will have the staying power of HP canon deniers remains to be seen.
But I'm sure there will be Benwives. If there aren't already. :)
I love Ben too (as evidenced by my excess of Ben icons), but I don't think I want to marry him on the astral plane. :D I'm a member of the henrygalelovers comm on LJ, but everyone seems sane over there. If there are pockets of crazy, they must be elsewhere!
I love Ben, myself. He seems like the kind of villainous mastermind that's really hard to hate; he does horrible things and makes horrifying plans, but he's brilliant, cunning, and not an episode goes by where he doesn't get beaten up, or look like he was recently beaten up, and you just have to feel sorry for him. He's such a genius, but he never figures out a way to execute his plans without getting punched-- he's so hard to genuinely hate.
I've never been able to hate Ben, I admit. And it got even harder with the glimpses we've had of his childhood.
The Lost villain I come closest to hating is Charles Widmore, but that's mainly because I'm such a Desmond/Penny shipper. And as of right now, I don't hate Smokey per se, I'm just utterly terrified of him, a different kind of feeling!
Ah, see, I ignored the chainfic, just wasn't my thing and I always scrolled past it on my flist, so maybe I missed out what you're talking about. It's fair in a Ben comm to talk lots and lots about Ben. It's just staying short of that tipping point, where you start to expect that the show ought to revolve around Ben. And I haven't noted that in the posts or comments I've read. But it's not like I monitor everything there!
I noticed it a lot during the conclusion of season 5--where's my badass Ben, Ben should be badass badass badass, Ben is really the savior of the island, Jacob has ~marked~ Ben for Speshul Epicness, so on so forth. I get that we all like Ben, but we have to realize in the grand scheme of things he isn't nearly as central to the story as, say, Jack and Sawyer are. Unfortunately, he's expendable. He's an exposition machine, and he's more tied up in the history of the island than Jack and Sawyer, but I can't see him being that crucial to the end game, y'know?
On the one hand, I do miss badass Ben ten steps ahead of everyone else; on the other, I'm loving watching him totally broken down and powerless. It's an interesting progression for his character -- though I do hope we'll get to see the more badass Ben make a return at some point.
He's an exposition machine, and he's more tied up in the history of the island than Jack and Sawyer, but I can't see him being that crucial to the end game, y'know?
Oh, I totally agree. It's not quite as delusional as Snapefen crying foul that Harry Potter was the hero in a series of books called Harry Potter, but the ensemble is important in Lost, and some members of the ensemble are more important than others -- it's not going to be Ben saving the day in the end.
At best, he's going to play a part in saving the day, and he'll probably die in the course of it. This is exactly what I thought would happen with Snape, I accepted it beforehand, and, lo and behold, that's what happened. I was just pleased he was shown to be on the side of good, and I was taken aback by this cadre of more rabid Snape fans who were outraged at his death and everything else they could pin on JKR. I shouldn't have been taken aback, but I was! And I do wonder if whatever Ben's fate may be, it may be greeted with the same kind of outrage.
Aha, now that you've pointed it out, I'm spotting the badass badass badass Ben thing poppingup. As you see, I had to jump in there. I'm truly perplexed how anyone could see Ben as 100% pure, in-control badass -- that got undermined as far back as the moment he threw a childish, foot-stomping temper tantrum at Juliette in S3, if not in some earlier scene that I'm forgetting. Heck, the dorktastic ham scene was a strike against his unadulterated badassery too.
Huh. Probably good for me to steer clear of that, since I'm a Sawyer/Juliet girl all the way. Although, without really having interacted with any Skaters, I can't quite equate them with Harmonians, since Skaters actually have clear textual basis for hope in their ship, at least in past seasons. And as much as I'd prefer Darlton drop the Triangle, I can't quite bring myself to believe they have just yet.
Although, without really having interacted with any Skaters, I can't quite equate them with Harmonians, since Skaters actually have clear textual basis for hope in their ship
That they do, but "hope in their ship" has recently translated into stretching the current facts of canon into rose-tinted lenses. Take spoiler queen Kristin, for example. Every spoiler she relayed about the triangle was deemed great news for Skate--and, well. You can see the state that Skate is in now.
Nevermind the disturbing undertones of glee over--ermm, what happened at the end of last season. And now a lot of 'em seem obsessed with the notion of Sawyer and Kate reuniting even though it appears the show is done with that plot and moreover doesn't have the time for it.
Nevermind the disturbing undertones of glee over--ermm, what happened at the end of last season.
Now that's just unpleasant. But, of course, totally unsurprising from that degree of obsessed shippers, as seen in every fandom.
The evidence really does seem to be onscreen that the Triangle is done, over with, and this is my hope, but, like I said, there's a part of me that just can't quite believe it, and waits for it to rear its head again, now matter how time is running out. :)
Oh, and on a side note: This is not the first time you and I have chatted Lost in comms on JF. Do you mind if I cut out the middleman (middleperson? middlesite?) and friend you on LJ? (I'm nam_jai there too.)
I hear you! The weird thing is, many of the die hard Skaters are actually pretty smart and rational. But when they talk about Skate, some of the particularly, uh, fervent ones suddenly morph into screeching, vicious harpies who can't resist baiting and taunting other shippers, and back-slapping each other ad nauseam.
The lolarious bit: Skaters frequently accuse Jaters of being like Harmonians! As in, they think Jaters are the only ones insisting on manipulating canon till they're blue in the face, and ignoring/ glossing over any opposing ship interaction. When Skaters themselves loathed the Jack/ Kate sex in Season 5 (episode: 316) and dubbed it, 'creepy, vampire sex' because it went against Skate. Or something.
So in the case of the Triangle of Doom, the shipper delusion comes from both sides and in the form of denying that there even is a triangle? (And that takes some delusion, when you consider how many other, non-shipper fans loudly gripe, "Enough already with the damn Triangle!")
Skaters themselves loathed the Jack/ Kate sex in Season 5 (episode: 316) and dubbed it, 'creepy, vampire sex'
As someone who doesn't care either way about Jack/Kate, may I just say: The hell? Maybe their relationship hasn't been the healthiest, but vampires? And who was the (presumably metaphorical) vampire anyway?
Well, without giving any spoilers, the current season has spawned ever-louder declarations of 'the triangle iz ded!1 She's chosen!1' from both sides, ironically enough. Jaters insist Sawyer would be a grade A tool for hooking up with Kate after Jules, and Skaters insist Kate clearly doesn't give a rat's arse about Jack anymore. Personally, I wouldn't be surprised if there was another twist, and both 'sides' suddenly had potential all over again.
Re: Darlton, I have a slightly different perspective. See, with HP it was crystal clear to us (us normal types, anyway) that Hermione and Harry had a sibling-like vibe. However, LOST has taken pains to give us romance on both sides, and to keep things murky and dualistic enough that at any time, both sides have some sort of canon backing and/ or reason for derangement. I've seen Skaters insist the Jack/ Kate dynamic is like brother/ sister (despite them shacking up, nearly getting married). I've seen them discounting Jack's proposal to Kate in S4 as depressing, fake, twisted, perverse.... you name it, they've said it. At the same time, I've seen Jaters brand the Cage Sex in S3 between Sawyer and Kate as 'pig porn' (I kid you not).
My response: LOL! Because really, both relationships are different, both have merit and weakness, and if it hadn't been for Juliet and Sawyer, I would've been completely neutral to the Triangle's outcome.
As it is, they just had to create something unexpected and moving there, without warning. Personally, I think Darlton (with all their talent and amazing strengths) excel more at depicting loving, complex, established relationships ala Jin and Sun, Desmond and Penny, Rose and Bernard. I think that's one reason why Sawyer and Juliet got such a positive response.
To end this tl;dr I'll just comment on the shocking degree of possessiveness I've seen on both sides: Skaters seem to feel they're Sawyer's sole defenders, and ditto with Jaters and Jack (though as a non-Jater and a 'Jacker', I guess I've done that too). But damn it, I actually happen to like Sawyer, and Kate, and Locke (!) and Sayid... You get the picture. :)
If the triangle is dead, at the moment it looks dead on all sides. But I'm not privy to spoilers (and don't want to be, so thanks for your caution).
excel more at depicting loving, complex, established relationships ala Jin and Sun, Desmond and Penny, Rose and Bernard. I think that's one reason why Sawyer and Juliet got such a positive response.
I think you've got an excellent point there. I've long been a fan of those first three pairings you mention, but I didn't make the connection that it may have been part of a Lost pattern when I fell for Sawyer/Juliet so quickly.
Me again, sorry. Just wanted to answer the vampire sex bit: Version 1: Kate was devastated and Jack was an arsehole for still shagging her! He should've pushed her away and demanded answers! (Remember, these same people loathed him each time he actually demanded an answer from Kate, and refused to accept a lie/ evasion). He was a sick tool and he only thought with his pen1s!! This doesn't play up the vampire bit, just Jack's general crappiness, and desperate horniness.
Version 2: Yuck, the way Kate kissed him!1 Looked like she was hungry or something, and the entire setting was so dark and depressing, it felt like vampires making out!1
As lolarious as Jaters whining about 'Sawyer sleeps around, he banged Ana Lulu and he had an STD before the crash and he's gross how could Kate have sex with him she probably has a disease now yuck!1'
Am an obsessive LOST fan, a Jack girl all the way, I'll admit, though he can be incredibly annoying. But I'm no Jater, and steered clear of ships till last season and the sudden, unexpected sweetness that was Sawyer and Jules.
Thing is, I like all the characters well enough, Ben included. But man! Skaters LOATHE Jack with a fiery passion (due to his role in the Eternal Triangle of Doom). There have been forums, sites, blogs dedicated to the shittiness that is Jack (in their eyes). Some of the stuff gets incredibly vitriolic and downright creepy: they have threads to discuss the actor, and go to any lengths to diss him (weird, since he's merely playing a role, poor chap)?? In fact, I wanted to make a wank post a while ago on this, but couldn't figure out how to.
I'm sure Jaters hate(d) Sawyer too, but now they've cooled down, thanks to the inclusion of Juliet into the Triangle.
So, now Skaters are taking on Jaters and Sulieters alike, at once. I think ship wars may have taken a backseat in this case, due to the overwhelming prevalance of the bigger mysteries. Still, they exist, and have flourished. Darlton are to blame, for stringing out the main romance till it's lost (hee!) all semblance of believability.
If you want to check out the Wars, there's LOST University: go to frats and sororities, and check out the history of the ship threads for some undiluted Skater nastiness, some genuinely perplexing Jater ostrich-ness, and some valiant Suliet defensiveness.
There are also ship only forums where alternate shippers have a field day destroying each other, getting personal... the whole nine yards. I'd give you the name, but.... I think no.
The Fuselage is relatively tame in terms of ship wars, because of strict rules.
Anyway, if anyone wants more info on this, I'd be happy to provide it!
Darlton are to blame, for stringing out the main romance till it's lost (hee!) all semblance of believability.
Well, I'm no fan of the Eternal Triangle bogging down the Lost narrative, but I'll give Darlton a pass on blame for any shipwar. The HP experience has taught us that the creator can make it glaringly obvious, in canon and interviews, what the chosen ships are, and there will still be shipwars. It's a fandom constant.
You should have seen Buffy fandom: massive shipwars (Spuffy [Spike/Buffy] vs. Ducks [Angel/Buffy - don't ask] among other wankery. It could be pretty wanktastic...not quite on the level of HP fandom, though.
I should probably check out Lost...it seems like a show I would like, I just never tried it.
I watched BtVS, but was never involved in its fandom, and I can't parse this ship name. You said don't ask, but I have to ask: Ducks?
At this point, Lost has probably got to be one of those check-it-out-on-DVD shows rather than try to jump in at this very late date. But I've read some people contend -- and it makes sense to me -- that a blazing-ahead DVD watch of Lost is going to work better than the way viewers endured the endless rounds of start-stop-reruns-start-stop-reruns-start-etc., before ABC finally switched to airing S5 and S6 all in one continuous run.
Apparently a BNF called 'Ducks' created the board. I think it's kind of like Snapedom, in that there are moderate members of the group, but they are far overshadowed by the rabid fen. That's how it seemed when I last kept up on the whole Ducks thing, anyway.
The Spuffy equivalent of Ducks is Spuffers, BTW.
-- Yeah, I plan to check out Lost on DVD, someday. That way I can watch it without all the tortuous suspense. ;)