I originally wrote this post a couple of years ago. As I was looking over my previous posts this one jumped out at me. Not because it’s no longer true (trust me it is still very much true); but with the influx of more obsessed Star War fans, and my daughters’ own geeky obsessions, I thought that it’s a good time to share this again.
The obsessions I discuss haven’t really changed much (the British version of Top Gear has fallen off the list completely and Antiques Road Show has started making its way on). I haven’t had the chance to watch a lot of television over the last year, so some of the active obsession has fallen off a bit. But, that doesn’t mean it’s not there. Just like something we thought we outgrew as a kid and we fall in love with again when we discover it as an adult, the obsession doesn’t stop, it just waits for us to find out way back.
It’s difficult to admit. And every time I think I get one beat, I just end up slipping into another one. I can’t even remember where it started. Probably with Empire Strikes Back. But it’s included Star Trek (both the movies and the TV show), Star Trek: Next Generation, Star Trek: Enterprise (but surprisingly not the other shows in that universe), of course Star Wars (yes – I love both Trek and Wars!), NCIS, Bones, Top Gear (British Version on BBC America), Holmes on Homes, American Pickers, Bon Jovi (Not my fault, they stalked me first), Doctor Who, Sherlock (again the BBC version but the others are cool too), the list goes on and on, but my most recent and current obsession is the TV show Supernatural.
And I do mean….
obsession in the truest sense of the word. It usually starts with my husband or daughter introducing me to something and grows to the point where I’m annoying people in line at the amusement park with my theories on the impact of turning Demon!Dean back into just plain Dean (may or may not be a true example). It eventually gets to the point where my husband and daughter refuse to listen any more and basically just walk away when I start talking about the possible meaning behind the change in Sam’s hair length (may or may not have actually happened).
I follow members of the cast and crew on just about every form of social media (not necessarily under my own name, I don’t want to look crazy). I watch videos of panels at conventions YouTube . I try to schedule meetings around talk show appearances. Please note, not all of these apply to all subjects of obsessions…l mean Mike Holmes is from Canada and rarely makes US talk show appearances…that is to say I have enough control to not actually do all of these things. All the time. As far as most people are aware.
In the old days it was easier to keep under control. There was Entertainment Tonight and fan magazines. If there was big news it made my small town newspaper and I could clip the article. Living in Pennsylvania with no way to get anywhere close to anywhere that any of the shows were made meant hoping for a form letter response was about as close to anything as I was going to get.
Today it’s a 24 hours non-stop source of information for the mildly interested and a feeding frenzy of data for the obsessed. It’s all fandom, all the time. And it’s so easy to go down that rabbit hole to where the weird and wonderful lives…mostly on Tumblr…where there are “ships” and interpretations of character and episodes that even the writers would never have dreamed of in their worst drunken stupor.
It’s freeing to know you’re not the only one out there wondering who would win in a fight if two of your favorite characters, both known for their love of pie, somehow ended up in the same universe with the last piece of pecan. No, only me? Well alright. But you get the idea. With it being so much easier to find like-minded fans it’s easier to get even more wrapped up in a show. It’s like that big dark thing in the basement that starts feeding on it’s own darkness that no one wants to talk about and Sam and Dean will eventually have to come gank…still only me? Ok. Moving on.
I don’t think these obsessions are necessarily a bad thing. At the very core they are a means to escape every day life. They feel a void of some sort (need for excitement, need for creativity, need for control, need to be the hero, etc.) and give people something to look forward, something outside confines of their normal lives that is…special…exciting…supernatural (couldn’t resist).
I think as long as we’re not running around claiming to be someone’s spouse, or that we run a network, or sending death threats for killing off a character, it’s ok. When you start tweeting actors and calling them nasty names because of something their on-screen persona did or accuse them of harboring ill feelings towards groups of people because the show doesn’t support the relationship you want their character to be in…it is way past time to step back. Push away from the keyboard. Go meet talk to people the old fashioned way, on the phone.
My obsessions have never gone that far, thank goodness. Some have been much shorter than others. There are a few that are still there, they’re just in hiatus waiting for the next opportunity to drive me just a little bit crazy. Honestly it’s kind of fun. And, of all the kinds of things out there I could be obsessed with in the grand scheme of things, mine aren’t so bad. Actually, I can’t wait to see what I get obsessed with next (neither can my family, but probably for totally different reasons).
I want to hear from you! Let me know in the comments below what TV shows you’re obsessed with now, and what new shows this fall may be making your obsession list.