So I walked into the office the other day to discover a glowering Carl seated at his desk. Now, usually, it takes him the better part of the morning to work his way up to a full glower but, on this particular day, Carl was already there the second I walked in. When I asked him what was up, he informed me that he might have to start boycotting my blog because, in his opinion, some of the fan comments had crossed the line. While he is all for constructive criticism, he apparently takes exception when fans start labeling characters “whores” or suggesting the producers should consider killing off certain characters, especially when its common knowledge that the actors playing said characters check out the blog. And not only the actors, but their immediate family as well.
Sadly, the negativity has also taken its toll on one-time regular Sherry, proud mother of actor Brian J. Smith, who, surprised and saddened by some of the hostility here, has elected to no longer read the blog. Also, after several months of connecting with fandom online, Brian is stepping away from his popular twitter account for much the same reason. Some of the very same fans who he was kind enough to open up a dialogue with in the run-up to the premiere started leaving him nasty comments as though he was responsible for the show’s creative direction. I imagine that if Robert Carlyle was on twitter, these same morons would be berating him for being mean to his fellow Destiny crew members.
I find myself in an awkward position. On the one hand, I want to keep this blog’s comment section open to differing opinions and allow fans to express their honest feelings about the show; on the other hand, I don’t want it to turn into a battleground where fans can feel free to insult the production, its personal, and each other. I have to walk a very fine line and, sometimes, I will let a comment through that may be deemed borderline in order to respond to a “distilled” representation of an oft-repeated opinion.
For the most part, I don’t think it’s gotten all that bad here (I’ve read worse on other forums and even moderated worse). Still, I’d suggest that anyone looking to post a critical comment consider their wording – not their opinion, but the way in which they express said opinion. Sometimes, you can be offensive without even meaning to. And, when this happens, rather making a good point, you risk alienating the very people you’re trying to convince.
For example, amidst all of the ongoing discussion about the Scott-James scene in the pilot, the Scott-Chloe scene in Light, and the burgeoning relationship between Scott and Chloe, someone here referred to Chloe as a whore. Now never mind the fact that we have only seen the Chloe character be intimate with all of one other character so far, and this only after bonding with him following the loss of her father and as both faced what seemed like certain death and thus took advantage of the only opportunity they would have to be together. So how do you think someone on the production would react to such a comment? Would they stop and consider the message at the heart of it? Unfortunately, no. They dismiss the poster and her opinion as extreme and move on.
Also realize – if it hasn’t become apparent by now – that we love our cast and are very protective of them. Trust me when I say that there’s no better way to guarantee a character’s long and fruitful stay on a show than to insist we get rid of them. Keep in mind that the simple fact others in your particular online niche share an opinion doesn’t make it the prevailing attitude among the show’s viewers.
In order to head off any potential frustration on the part of those who are unhappy with SGU’s direction, allow me to make a few points that may save you time and effort in any attempt to change some of the creative choices we’ve made.
SGU is NOT SG-1 or Atlantis. It’s a different show in terms of tone and characters. If you’re expecting flawless people, square-jawed heroes, and stories that set up and deliver all the answers over the course of a forty-five minute episode, you WILL be disappointed. And DON’T expect that to change. If you don’t like the character interactions, romance, and open-ended story elements introduced to date, you’re in for a looooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooong haul because that’s our show.
Unlike the more kid-friendly SG-1 and Atlantis with its wholesale slaughters of enemy combatants, tortures, stabbings, and occasional live burnings, Universe will touch on the heinous topic of physically intimacy. These “sex scenes”, which amounted to approximately 1 whole minute of the 270 minutes aired to date, engendered a fair amount of controversy. And that’s fine. I don’t mind continuing to read and approve your comments on the subject so long as you don’t mind knowing that nothing will change in this respect and that if you were offended by that broom closet scene in Air I, I guarantee you’ll be clawing your eyes out of your skull given what we have in store later this season. Also, while I can understand why some may have had a problem with that broom-closet scene in the premiere given that it did come as a surprise to many, I can’t muster up much empathy or understanding for those complaining about the Scott-Chloe scene in Light. Again, if it’s a matter of not enjoying shows that focus on the occasional romance between characters, then that’s unfortunate – because that’s the type of show you’re watching. If, on the other hand, it’s an innate response to the very notion of intimacy no matter how modest the scene, then I’d suggest a deep-rooted personal issue that would be best dealt with somewhere other than this blog.
Finally, some words of advice – words of advice not so much for those of you here but those leaving comments on other forums and websites (if you would be kind enough to pass the message along): STOP MAKING IDIOT COMMENTS. Note I didn’t say idiotic comments because that would imply that the lion’s share of the idiocy lies with the comment itself rather than the commentator. No, I mean: STOP MAKING IDIOT COMMENTS.
For example, say you have a problem with the James scene in Darkness in which she threatens Riley and Eli after they try spying on her with the kino. You can go ahead and make an argument for the scene being sexist (although I’d argue that there’s a difference between the scene being sexist and the characters in the scene acting inappropriately, especially given that a clearly disappointed Young admonishes both men), but if, in the body of your comment or any subsequent comment, you refer to the James character as Lieutenant Rack or McBoobs, then you’re a hypocrite who has successfully undermined their argument by demonstrating you can’t be taken seriously. Also, you’re an idiot.
If you want to express your opinion and argue why you feel that scene was sexist, then by all means do so. If, however, you dismiss anyone expressing a differing opinion, despite the fact that they go through the trouble of presenting a cogent counter- argument, simply on the basis of their sex (“Oh, look ! Another privilege man trying to tell us woman that something is not sexist ! Wow, what a surprise ! What a shock ! What a revelation !” – compliments of one grade school level narow-minded poster here: xxx), why bother posting on a public forum. Rather, pick a private sub-forum where everyone is guaranteed to agree with your opinion or, better yet, imagine you live in a wonderful world where everyone thinks you’re brilliant and sees eye to eye with you on everything.
Hmmm. A lot less ranty than I’d expected two days ago when I had originally planned to tackle this topic. Still, ranty enough to ensure some thin-skinned faction of fandom will be whining and stomping its feet in response.
Hey, while you‘re here, check out a behind-the-scenes vid from Water: