Episode 35: Fandom Recap 2018 Part 1

cover art in which Merlin wears a headset with microphone and holds up a finger to his lips as if to tell you to be quiet

In today’s episode, MissSnowfox and Momo talk about the last year in fandom, things that happened, and how they feel about the Merlin fandom now. This episode will be split in two because, well, we talk a lot :).

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Find more stream or download options for this episode below the cut.

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News:

Resources:

Archaeologist_D’s comment on Episode 27
Moss’ comment on Discord on Episode 6
Amphighoury’s comment on Discord on Episode 28
Archaeologist_D’s comment on Episode 26
Carpe Dentum’s comment on Discord on Episode 10
Lao-Pendragon’s comment on Episode 29
ueberdemnebelmeer’s comment on Discord on Episode 20
Archaeologist_D’s comment on Episode 28
Amphighoury’s comment on Discord on Episode 31
Lao-Pendragon’s Comment on Episode 6

Merlisten Schedule
Merlisten Aired Episode

Resurrection Anthology
COiNELOT
Reel Merlin
After Camlann Big Bang
Pornalot
Winter Knights
Merlin Holidays
Merlin Reverse Big Bang
Merlin Memory Month
Merladies Fest
Merlin Writers and Artist Telephone Game
Merlin Writer Appreciation Month 2018
The Pendragons Merlin Anniversary Festival 2018
Bottom Arthur Fest
Merthur Kiss Fest
10 Years of Merlin & Arthur

Camelot Drabble
Kink Meme
Merlin Stills
MxA Newsletter
Merlin Forever – The Merlin Rewatch

Maryluis’ #medievalhusbands artbook

Mentioned Fanworks

Exposed [the Colin/Bradley fic recommended by Julylilly]

Credits

Merlisten theme music composed by side_steppings
News music by Mansardian on freesound.org
momotastic on AO3 | tumblr
misssnowfox on AO3 | tumblr | YouTube

5 thoughts on “Episode 35: Fandom Recap 2018 Part 1

  1. Also, I’ll interject and confirm, the 10th Anniversary Convention in London did happen but it seems it was a very small affair. You can only find a few posts about it on Twitter. I wasn’t there but all I know is there were at least a couple of cosplayers and people bid on a cardboard cutout of Bradley James. The people running it really didn’t promote it a lot after getting into some Twitter drama (not saying that’s the reason but the timings did coincide) and also didn’t bother to answer questions on the Facebook page (which is no longer there) nearer the event when people were asking if it was still happening because they’d received no information. It’s a shame because my understanding is the profits were going to the Women’s Aid charity.

  2. I was around 23 when 4th and 5th season aired and I definitely didn’t appreciate that it turned darker. If it aired now when I’m nearly 30, I would still not appreciate the darkness. 😀

    *

    I started shipping only when I fell for Merthur fandom. I had ships that I shipped, but they were canon and I didn’t even know it was called shipping. I was totally surprised when I found out there’s fanfiction and fanart and how awesome all of that part of fandom was.

    *

    When I was working in a supermarket, one of my favourite czech actors came to my queue. I didn’t know where to look and just tried to remain calm and unaffected, but my face was definitely red like tomato. Still remember what he bought though, even when it was more than five years ago. xD I would definitely not survive if it was Colin though. I would probably pretend that I’m not a massive fangirl of his because he’s just there to shop. And I’d be dying inside at the same time. xD

    *

    Colin is definitely breathtakingly atractive in person. I was lucky enough to get his signature after Gloria one evening which meant standing very close for a few blissful seconds and my mind blanked completely. I couldn’t say more than a very meek thank you. When I managed the “close encounters” after Translations (just him walking past), I blanked again. I’m not even sure I’d be able to talk to him if he stopped running away after his performances. xD

    *

    My experience with Merlin fandom is that it’s an incredibly nice place to be in, very open and inviting to new members, very joyful and inclusive. But somehow that never felt exactly right for Arwen part of the fandom.

    Maybe it’s because part of Arwen shippers are people who only ship canon ships and go about it with certain level of superiority. “My ship is canon and what is more” kind of thing. While when you ship something that isn’t canon, no matter how much coding and innuendos can be found in the source material, you’re kind of used to “ship and let ship” rule (there are rude people there of course, but I haven’t encountered many in Merlin fandom).

    I also noticed that if there’s not enough content for a particular ship, its fans usually just sigh about it and live with it, or create something themselves, or try to promote it in some way through some fest. But with Arwen fandom I’ve seen this “provide for me” attitude of barging somewhere and demanding more content from people who are not fans of Arwen and then being offended when those non-fans don’t want to provide. Again, it’s probably a problem of just a few individuals, but it’s making Arwen fandom look quite bad because we don’t really hear much about them otherwise.

    Anyway, I hope I won’t be cursed for eternity now that I dared to write this. xD

  3. These are my 2 cents on the whole “everything you consume has to be squeaky clean” thing you addressed on the Fandom recap (because I have Thoughts™ on it and I’ve never really had a proper rant, I just bottled everything up. sorry if I subject you to this, but I feel you’re some of the few people I believe I can have a honest conversation with about the topic).

    It’s definitely a rising trend.
    In the Merlin fandom it’s just simmering, it hasn’t exploded yet (and hopefully it never will) compared to others; personally, I only had very pleasant and positive experiences in it and always felt very welcome. However, if we’re talking about other fandoms, it’s hysterical. I mean, there are people who hate stuff and are actively surfing the tags dedicated to such stuff just to start the phantomatic Discourse for the sake of it – got to commend their tenacity into hating something they don’t care about (especially those who waste their time with overwinded essays on why we should hate something). It’s as if they can’t give value to the things they like without comparing them to others they put effort into hating.

    Maybe it’s because of the main demographic the specific product I’m thinking about caters to (i.e., teenagers) – the amount of purity wank going on in that fandom is horrific – but we can’t boil everything down to that. These people need to understand that “rainbows and roses” are not a thing, and there’s no need for purity in the content you consume to enjoy it. Also, nitpicking and overanalysing and having to be aware of everything “problematic” at all times becomes exhausting and takes the joy out of anything quite quickly. Flaws don’t make material worthless, you can acknowledge and criticise them, keep what is edifying for you and bloody move on.

    Even though I’ve never been directly, 100% involved in this type of situations, it shaped how I experience fandom and how I behave in it: I genuinely mull over what I comment in the tags on Tumblr because once someone belittled me on anon and then had the guts to de-anon themselves and spit bullshit and statements about my actual intelligence in chat, for a stupid, light-hearted comment in the tags which was perfectly innocuous. And I fucking justified myself with sources and all that jazz, because I was stupid back then and didn’t know better, as if anytime some fucko on the Internet tells you to you need to take homework assignments from them.

    Anti this, anti that, people complaining their ship isn’t as popular as others and getting all bitchy about it: can’t you just shut up and enjoy the things you like? Can’t you just produce content for your ship instead of whining because others don’t ship it, or worse, demanding from them to provide it for you?

  4. You don’t need to respond. It’s cool.
    On the talk back, I found Arthur’s speech in Ealdor gave me chills. I thought it was great.
    I’ve met several of the cast and I was a super gibbering mess. Super uncool. It was embarrassing. I hope I’m better now.
    After your canon tag episode, I went around and tagged canon when it was appropriate! I never even thought about it before. Kudos to you for making me think.
    I agree that Momo’s Modern Arthur was great. I loved it. Plus Rox’s Queen Merlin was amazing.

    Okay, this part is about the fandom wank – you can comment or not – I’m cool with either!
    I grew up in Star Trek fandom. There wasn’t that much wank initially (and I didn’t even know about Kirk/Spock pairings until way past the end of the initial show), but when I got to Star Wars fandom, OMG the trolls, the trolls, and the wank and it was just ridiculous. One time, I was attacked so very badly for writing a story and it made me cry (yes, I do cry but not often). I finally had to get the mods to come in and break it up because the pile on was just ridiculous. I almost left the fandom then, but my good friends talked me out of it and I went on to write a lot more Star Wars before falling in love with Merlin.
    Merlin fandom has been a lot more welcoming. I’ve not really seen much of the wank (other than the Arwen fans – sorry guys but really you need to chill – yes, I know it’s canon but it’s just not interesting to me so please move along). I’m happy for most people loving their particular ships (even the rare pairs) and it’s fine as long as people don’t DEMAND that I go along with it. I have my own ships, thank you very much.
    As for the purity issue, yeah, it happens in all the fandoms I’ve been in. It seems to be a thing but I’m too old for that kind of crap any more. I do try and be nice to people but I will wander away pretty quickly. (momo, people sending you a PM like that isn’t nice. That’s just not right, imo. Sorry you had to deal with it.).
    I think it’s fun to analyze the show, pointing out the plotholes and mischaracterizations and the really cheesy dialogue (which I love, btw because it makes me laugh – destiny and chicken or Gwaine talking about pie and cheese.). If we disagree, it’s fine, too, because I learn things even if I’m disagreeing with the person.
    Besides, honestly, it’s really just a show. It’s not like climate change or a deranged leader or people actually dying. It’s supposed to be fun, a way to forget the troubles of the world and relax before diving back into real life challenges.
    I hope you continue to do the podcasts. They’ve been great fun and sometimes even make me think!

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