Benedict Cumberbatch and Sophie Hunter were in LA this week showing some affection. I’m glad. Because the timing works out well for me. We’ll get to that in a minute. For conspiracy theorists who don’t believe their marriage is legit though, this presents a problem. You’ll recall, these are the CumHards who think that Benedict is faking his relationship and his baby because… I’m not entirely sure we need to come up with a reason. Reason implies rationality.
Anyway, back to the reason I was happy to see these pictures – Duana sent me a Vox post last night about Social Justice, shipping and ideology: when fandom becomes a crusade, things get ugly. Duana’s exact words in describing the content of this piece to me were “this article is scandalous”. I’ve not had a chance yet to do a deep dive with her about the issue but I suspect that for Duana, who is a television writer, this increased fandom entitlement is violating one of her guiding principles and one I share often on this site is that as a writer, you “give the fans/readers what they NEED, not what they want”.
But more and more, fans are demanding that creators and showrunners shape stories that are consistent with what they want and what they have to see. And what the fans of Sherlock want to see is a romance between the title character and his best friend Watson. Sarah’s written about this before, about the death threats that have been sent to the actress playing Sherlock’s love interest. And they persist in their conviction that Sherlock and Watson will eventually end up together, insisting that despite protestations otherwise from the showrunners they will be satisfied in the end, or else. Or else?
The article is fascinating. Because the or else is…well…it’s kinda f-cked up. I mean, I’m a fan of a lot of things. And I’ve been a disgruntled fan about a lot of things. But never have I been so committed to my disappointment that I’ve harassed JK Rowling or whoever about writing things MY WAY, or else. Now I’m wondering if that means I’m not good enough of a fan.
Read the piece. Let me know your thoughts.