When it comes to fandoms, I definitely have a “type.” I like what I like, and I like to know what I’m going to get. I tend to not jump headfirst into new fandoms on purpose because I’m a little too aware of how crazy obsessed I can get with books and shows. I try to be methodical about it.
Buuuuut that doesn’t always work out. One minute I’m insisting that I’m not going to get involved in some fandom for XYZ reason, and the next I’m atop the fandom trash heap, wearing a Trash Queen crown and screeching about how I will end anyone who dares to hurt my children.
Shadowhunters. I have deeply mixed feelings about The Mortal Instruments. The world that Cassandra Clare wrote about was so amazing and rich, but I didn’t really like any of the characters, especially Jace. (He’s actually #2 on my list of Most Hated Characters Ever.) I only watched an episode of Shadowhunters because I wanted to see what Magnus was wearing. But the changes that they made to the characters made me fall in love with each and every one of them. I still hate book!Jace with a passion, but TV!Jace is my son. I would die for him.
2. Bob’s Burgers. After being burned by the likes of Family Guy, South Park, and Archer, I was reluctant to give another animated show for adults a try…but I’m so glad I did. Bob’s Burgers has a sweetness to it that many adult shows don’t. It’s awkward, weird, and so, so loving. Plus, the humor is at least 33% puns.
3. Yuri!!! On Ice. Everybody on Tumblr was raving about how Yuri!!! On Ice was saving 2016. It can’t be that good, I thought, like an idiot. But it is. It’s that good. It’s truly incredible. It’s wholesome and hopeful and sweet and optimistic, and the major plot twist is, I sh*t you not, the best one that I have ever seen in any work of fiction, ever. After the hideousness of 2016, Yuri!!! On Ice was exactly what I needed to feel like there was hope for the future.
4. Twilight. I’m not a big romance fan, but I freakin’ adored the Twilight series when I was fifteen. What I saw in them, I’m no longer sure, but Past Ruby fell in love with the series like six chapters into book one, and from that moment on was just like:
5. Harry Potter. I know, I know! How can you be surprised to find yourself in the Harry Potter fandom? But it took me a little while to warm up to those books. I first tried reading them in second grade, and I was just a little bit too young for them—not only were they beyond my reading level, but I was really, really scared of Voldemort. It was enough to put me off the books for two more years, until one fateful night when I was trapped at a grown-ups party, saw Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone on the end table, and thought, Well, I’ve got nothing better to do. Famous last words.
6. The Great British Bake-Off. “I need you to watch this with me,” my mom said. “Mom, I don’t like baking competitions, they’re too weepy and melodramatic,” I said. “Not this one. This one’s British,” my mom said. And British it is. There’s no wailing over how dreams have been crushed and judges have been unfair. There’s no melodrama and no backstabbing. The bakers of GBBO are friendly, enthusiastic, and so, so kind to one another. Plus, they produce the most amazing food.
7. Adventure Time. My first impression of Adventure Time was that it was too weird and postmodernist for me. The strange plots and goofy animation just made so little sense. It grew on me, though, as I watched the characters bond and grow and learn. I’m such a sucker for bonding and growing and learning.
8. Brooklyn Nine-Nine. It looked pretty dumb in the trailers, and, yeah, it can be dumb sometimes. But it’s also one of the most genuinely funny shows I’ve ever watched. Like my beloved Parks and Recreation, Brooklyn Nine-Nine is genuinely sweet, and it’s not afraid to tackle more serious issues like discrimination, gun control laws, homophobia, and police violence along the way. The humor is rooted in pure, inoffensive silliness and its characters are strange, diverse, and so very loveable.
9. Miraculous Ladybug. By far the best magical girl show I’ve ever seen, and not just because I can use it to practice my French. Not only is the animation stunning, but the magical girl (Ladybug, alias Marinette) is 100% the hero of every story. The help that she gets from her partner-in-crimefighting, Chat Noir, is invaluable, but in the end, it’s Ladybug who saves the day. Every time. I wish I’d had this show as a kid. As an adult, I still feel empowered by its extreme levels of girl power. I also feel a lot of pain because of the love square (long story).
10. Steven Universe. Did I expect to get into a kids’ show fandom? Obviously. I love kids’ shows. Did I expect it to hurt this much? Obviously not! Steven Universe has put me, and everyone else in the fandom, through a truly ridiculous amount of pain. It’s absolutely crazy how good this show is. The concept is so unique, the worldbuilding is spectacular, and no character is undeserving of love and redemption. What a great message for the kiddos (and the grown-ups).
Have you ever joined a fandom without really meaning to? Have you ever been surprised by how good a book or show was, or how much you liked it? And are the things you like about your favorite books or shows reflected in your WIP?