Culture

Why Is There So Much Gay Shipping in Fanfiction?

February 12, 2018 // 1 Comment

Sherlock and Watson. Dean and Cas. Derek and Stiles. There’s no denying it. There is a lot of gay (male) shipping in fanfiction. In fact, a 2013 survey by Destination Toast suggests that M/M slash pairings make up a whopping 42.6% of all ship categories on AO3 as compared to 21.3% for Gen and 15.4% for Het (F/M). M/M shipping is not a new phenomenon. Slash, and particularly male slash, is as old as contemporary media fandom itself, with Star Trek’s Kirk and Spock largely cited as the //

‘Hannibal’ Changed the Game for Women and Gender on Television

January 18, 2018 // 1 Comment

NBC’s Hannibal likes to play with, twist, and tear down sex and gender stereotypes. Hannibal is a serial killer — prim and proper and baking in an apron. Will Graham is sweet and gentle… and also an ex-cop swilling whisky in his lumberjack shirt. They both appear one way to outsiders. But inside they are almost inverses — both of each other and of what you might expect. This is before we even consider the way two male original characters in Thomas Harris’ novel Hannibal //

‘Once Upon a Time’ Has a Consent Problem

December 7, 2017 // 1 Comment

Red hand on city crosswalk sign
For seven seasons, Once Upon a Time has grouped together packs of fairytale characters and allowed us to catch a glimpse of how they interact, solve problems, and slay monsters (both real and internal ones). We have seen characters find love, experience heartbreak, deal with self-doubt, find and lose their magic, and literally kill dragons. And when dealing with magic, Once Upon a Time has showed us that some villains put on disguises to get something out of another character that they //

Star Trek’s Economic Model — Fantasy or Future?

October 17, 2017 // 2 Comments

A small model of the U.S.S. Enterprise starship from Star Trek
One of the most well-known facts about Star Trek is that human beings no longer collect paychecks, and they aren’t obsessed with the consumption of material things. Now, most people hear this statement and assume that everything in Star Trek is free and that you can have anything you want. While that is technically true, it’s not how things unfold in the future. But, why is that? Well, in the absence of a currency-centric economy, humans of the future are shown to be focused on //

Is There Such Thing as “Required Reading” for Shipping?

October 2, 2017 // 2 Comments

Fan art of Dean Winchester holding a hand-written letter from Castiel.
“Saving people, hunting things, the family business.” Dean Winchester’s tagline in “Wendigo” (1×02) is one of the most iconic and memorable lines from the CW’s Supernatural. It sets up the series for a wild ride of horror, heartbreak, and eventually, heavenly interference. Speaking of heavenly interference, Castiel’s revelation to Dean in “Lazarus Rising” (4×01) — “I’m the one who gripped you tight and raised you from //

The Hannibal Apple Doesn’t Fall Far from the Tree: When Fans and Creators Converge

September 1, 2017 // 0 Comments

It’s hard to put numbers on a fandom. Different social media platforms, inevitable overlap, and the fact that plenty of fans don’t participate, make it hard to say how many Fannibals (Hannibal fans) there are. Based on educated estimates, and the fact that NBC’s Hannibal was a fairly niche show, we know we are comparatively pretty small. That’s understandable for a ‘dead’ fandom, two years after cancellation. However, the obsession with the Will Graham and Hannibal Lecter //

A Parting of the Ways: Hogwarts Didn’t Always Teach Muggle Studies

August 25, 2017 // 0 Comments

Hands cupping magic smoke.
If you’re steeped in the lore of the Harry Potter universe, the dichotomies are familiar: quill and keyboard, owl and postal service, scroll and tablet, witch and Muggle. As a reader and writer of historical fiction, these paradoxes immediately invited me to look backward through time to where the differences between the Muggle and magical worlds were less stark. Before the Statute of Secrecy, wizards and Muggles mingled more. Their split would have been pushed along by three historical //

Finding Hope in the Impossible: How Star Trek Will Save the World

August 4, 2017 // 2 Comments

To save the world, Star Trek needs a reboot. When Star Trek: The Original Series debuted in 1966, fans were awed by the futuristic technology and equipment featured on the show. From the starship Enterprise to the tricorder, Trek established a yet unforeseen view into the future; one that was possible to attain. And now, 50 years later, we have seen exactly how much of a lasting effect Trek had on our development as a species. 3-D printing, the Internet, Wi-fi, Bluetooth, cell phones, //

All Was Well: How Popular Media Renders Mental Illness Invisible

July 27, 2017 // 10 Comments

Imagine with me for a moment. Let’s say you’re a 13 year old girl, a little awkward, a little lonely, trying to find yourself in the world, so you run to TV shows and books, taking every line, word, and letter to heart. You find yourself (and who you want to be) in these strange worlds, but not quite everything. Missing from these realities you find yourself lost in, is something that’s becoming a frightening and familiar part of teenagers’ lives. Mental illness. Anyone //

Fiction With a Telescope: The Harry Potter Universe Before the Statute of Secrecy

June 9, 2017 // 4 Comments

A beautiful witch holds a cup of wine in the dark woods
In the film adaptation of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, there’s some subtle yet telling character placement. Seraphina Picquery, the President of the Magical Congress of the United States of America (MACUSA), and Tina Goldstein, the disgraced but competent Auror, are women. So what? Big deal. As contemporary European or North American audiences, it’s easy to have a casual reaction to women in positions of power. It’s not so simple though when you put it into historical context. //