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27 September 2006 @ 01:12 pm
The Fandom Pyramid  
I've been chatting with an old friend from Forever Knight fandom today, and it got me to thinking (run and hide now before it's too late!).

Fandom for me is kind of like a pyramid. The bottom layer is composed of shows/movies I love, and follow religiously, but never read or write fic for, or join/start an email list for, or would travel to a con for, probably wouldn't buy the DVDs. Currently on the air, that would be shows like Lost, 24, 4400. Then the next layer. I'll join an email list, maybe even start one, but generally no fic, probably no cons (if there were any), though I'd consider it. I might buy DVDs. That gets me shows like Battlestar Galactica, Supernatural, Atlantis, HEX. The next layer up is more involvement, probably some combo of many of the things I've mentioned already. Stargate, Pirates of the Caribbean, Grey's Anatomy, House, Dr. Who, Slings & Arrows, Gilmore Girls, Firefly (which is not quite dead, so I'm including it). Then there's the pinnacle! Fandoms I spend lots of time talking about, I write fic for on a regular basis, I socialize with fellow fans, I'm a fanatic [g] Now, turns out those few special ones are both dead shows: Forever Knight and Highlander. I have no new, living, still on the air, 'real' fandoms. And I wonder if there's a fandom like that out there still for me to find? Or did I peak fandom wise? Maybe some of those second layer shows will move up at some point, or maybe something new will come along, but it's been a lot of years in between pinnacles!

I'm not sure, but I think some of those lower tier shows are just too big to ever be able to duplicate that feeling of belonging to a fandom. Mainstream shows lack the intimacy of smaller niche shows when you're trying to get to know your fellow fans. Maybe that the difference, maybe that's why there hasn't been anything new to really grab all my fannish interest. I think it's the people and the relationships that are the glue in a fandom. If I look at those layers, I realize that the one thing keeping most of those shows from reaching the pinnacle is no real interaction with fellow fans in any meaningful way.

I should probably just be grateful for the fandoms I have had, and not expect lightening to strike again. But that doesn't stop me from pondering the subject!

(Now I have that song "All The Girls I've Loved Before" in my head! Arrr!!)

 
 
: contemplativecontemplative
 
 
 
Everly Morgan MacManus O'Doyle: ZombieMonkeyCoffeesaighin on September 27th, 2006 09:01 pm (UTC)
Out of curiosity, did you ever get around to being exposed to "Deadwood"? (Although that one has now tragicly been cancelled too *pout*)
For me, that was one that rapidly & rampantly hit that top tier. Though writing fanfic for it's sadly beyond me; the sophistication of the dialogue, even at its most vulgar, is too intricate for little me (I can follow it, but I damn sure can't write it. Even when it's chock full of "cocksucker" & "cunt", it borders on Shakespearean). It would demand the expertise of more advanced wordsmiths like you, Nin, or Maygra ;-)
Sophie: Cheesesophiedb on September 27th, 2006 09:19 pm (UTC)
I tried watching Deadwood, but could never get over the fact that Lovejoy is "in charge." Definitely a good show though!
Everly Morgan MacManus O'Doyle: BackInksaighin on September 27th, 2006 09:53 pm (UTC)
Hehehe! Okay, that I can understand...*grin* though Al comes across a bit more "Teddy Bass (from "Sexy Beast") from hell" than Lovejoy...
Ith: Helm - Shoot Lowithildyn on September 27th, 2006 09:56 pm (UTC)
No, we never got the channel it was on. Though I'm not sure it would have been my cup of tea. I tend to dislike excessive foul language :) It would be a coin toss as to whether the show grabbed me enough for me to overlook that aspect. And I do really like Ian McShane, so another point in its favour!

(yeah, I think of it as the show with Lovejoy too [g])
Everly Morgan MacManus O'Doyle: BackInksaighin on September 27th, 2006 10:18 pm (UTC)
Hmmm...methinks I should mail you the DVDs and get you and Nin hooked on it ;-) Especially if you're already an Ian McShane fan...
But yeah, being a fan of the show did turn me back into a bit of a gutter-mouth *innocent, angelic smile*...but the show manages to make even the most crass words come across like Byron's poetics...and really, not much beats Ian McShane singing "The Unfortunate Rake" *grin*...
Ith: Watanabe - Horseithildyn on September 27th, 2006 10:26 pm (UTC)
Tell you what, I'll rent the first season this winter when I catch up with new TV and the DVDs I already have backlogged. You aren't the first person to rec the show, so I should probably take a peek :) And yeah, I love IM. Am I the only person who remembers he was on Dallas?
100% Running With Scissors: fredllyria go to extremesviridian on September 27th, 2006 09:47 pm (UTC)
Mine are all like that, too.

My obsessive fandom was La Femme Nikita. I had a website for it, was on all the email lists, went to one of the cons.

My other obsessive fandom was Buffy/Angel, but it was so huge that I sort of stayed away from the fandom while the show was on the air and have only fallen into it more now that it's off and now that I write RP/fic in the fandom. I've found a little niche there and I think it worked better to approach it my way rather than try to jump into the fray while the shows were still hugely active.

I miss my intense little fandoms, though. I love Lost, but I'll never be into it on a real "fandom" level. I'm a little more involved with Doctor Who, but not hugely. I need a tiny, underappreciated show to love again.
Robertarobi_travels on September 27th, 2006 09:51 pm (UTC)
"La Femme Nikita"

That was a good show. I actually took a trip to Montreal one year (by my lonesome) because of that show.

Roberta
Ith: Teaithildyn on September 27th, 2006 09:57 pm (UTC)
LFN and Buffy would very much be near the top of the pyramid for me :)
Everly Morgan MacManus O'Doyle: Wicked Sidesaighin on September 27th, 2006 10:40 pm (UTC)
Yeah, I wouldn't mind my very own Roy Dupuis stashed in my closet...*le sigh*
Season 5 out on DVD next month! Squeeeee! *does the dance of joy* And yes, I pre-ordered it back in July, like the geek I am...
Roberta: PW - Aaahhh!!robi_travels on September 27th, 2006 09:49 pm (UTC)
The two shows which interested me where clearly, "Forever Knight and Highlander". But I did not know fandom and only had one friend I could speak to about the shows.

I only used computers to do real work. Then, by chance I saw a site for a PWFC con. Since I was planning on being in the area of the con at the time, I decided, what the hell.

If not for Ith, Nin and Jen, it would have turned out very different, with it being my first and last con. However, they sucked me in. Now I even have a LJ id (and pretty icons too) thanks to Ith.

As for shows on air -amazing race is the only thing try to watch every week. But that is really not a fandom kind of thing.

Roberta
lillielilliew on September 27th, 2006 11:12 pm (UTC)
I think FK and HL hit at about a unique time in fandom history. The internet was just taking off, websites were new so much of the talk about shows (which still weren't all that maintstream yet) was done via email or small groups at cons. Nowadays, I think we suffer from just "too much" in terms of forums, websites, mailing lists, blogs, you name it about shows. You don't necesarily have those close knit communities like we once did (remember IRC?).

I never got into any other fandoms really other than FK. I've followed shows, but just never enough to follow up into communities. Not enough time or patience, I guess.

But I've met lots of great people and great friends along the way.

Ith: Peach Blossomsithildyn on September 28th, 2006 05:50 pm (UTC)
I think that's a definite part of it. Plus, there don't seem to be those syndicated shows like FK and HL anymore. Everything is on some sort fo network.
lastevens: NickKnightlastevens on September 28th, 2006 12:23 am (UTC)
Wow Fandoms

For me FK was my real first fandom. I got to meet some of the best people in the world online through the lists FORKNI-L and FKFIC-L and actually getting a chance to meet my online friends and also getting the chance to meet some of the actors and other people from crew at conventions. I had the pleasure of going to the FK Mini-Con that was held inside of Toronto Trek in 1996, Syndicon97 which I might add was strictly dedicated to FK and HL. Forever Knight was unique in alot of ways I think especially because of the fans we cared about the actors and they seemed to care about us.
FK inspired me to start writing fanfic and also pushed me into the direction I'm in now which is Theatre Arts and eventually I want to go on to film school.

I've been involved with other fandoms like Hercules/Xena joined their lists made many friends and attendend conventions, met some of the NZ actors from the shows and even run a fan club for one of the Young Hercules actors.

But to me FK still remains my all time favorite fandom

FK fans today are still going strong there is still letter writing campaigns, petitions to bring the show back, to get a movie or movies,more merchandise like books and CD's. We lobbied to get Sony to release the DVDs which they did finally and Kickstart The Knight took out an ad in the SCIFI Magaine to show our appreciation and to thank Sony and FK PTB for realesing Seasons 1 & 2 and to let them know we were eagerly awaiting the awaiting season 3 which will be out Oct 3rd. Here is the link to see the ad http://nancykam.com/crusader/2006-scifi-ad.html

We still have Fan Fiction that continues to be written, Websites that are still devoted to the show and it's characters, email lists that are still growing strong.

FK fandom hasn't died or dwindled and we certainly haven't gone away quietly in the night as other fandoms have.
Ith: Burnithildyn on September 28th, 2006 12:56 am (UTC)
Yeah, I'm one of the people that continues to write FK fic. I was on Forkni and FKfic for 11 years, till I unsubbed finally a few months back.
Laurie odell: hawkmancyberducks on September 28th, 2006 04:56 am (UTC)
Before HL I was really more fannish about favourite books. There are lots of movies, shows I like/have liked without fannishness. But before I discovered HL I never wanted to read fan fic. I find I can't be fannish about a thing that's .....too big. I am really only fanatic about 2 shows - HL the series, and Torchwood - one's been off the air for a long time, and the other hasn't even started yet...
Ith: Eyesithildyn on September 28th, 2006 05:51 pm (UTC)
Book fandom was where I started out, and I still prefer going to a Science Fiction con as opposed to a media con.
pat: Duncan cutepat_t on September 28th, 2006 08:51 am (UTC)
Well, it's only been one fandom for me and I'm hanging in there with it for all it's worth. I came into the fandom rather late (2000) after it had been off the air and I can't help but think how much fun it would have been to been in the fandom while the show was still playing first run.
Ith: Methos - Sketchithildyn on September 28th, 2006 05:54 pm (UTC)
Were you watching the show when it was first airing? You've probably told me, but I've forogtten :)

I was talking a bit with Mischief last night about how the Methos I was writing when the show was still on changed as we got to know more about him, and writing in a new series with a Methos that I'm starting with all the episodes under my belt is quite different.
pat: Becky-Helmpat_t on September 28th, 2006 06:39 pm (UTC)
I did watch it first run. Until season 5. When we moved to Mississippi we had to get satellite - no cable. And they didn't have the channel it was playing on. It was 4 years later before I knew if Jacob had killed Joe.

You will notice in some of the older fics, that Methos has significantly changed. It's really quite interesting to see how he is written as the show unfolded and we saw more of Methos and less of Adam.