It is sometimes the case, when dealing with media that is aimed at a younger audience, that you may find that the creative team behind the media feel as though they do not need to try as hard with what it is they are creating. In many cases, this may lead to a lack-lustre plot, with twists anyone could see coming five miles off, or writing that feels as though it is somehow trying to insult the intelligence of the people it was created for. As you may have already gathered from our regular GUST feature, we here at FW do not believe in this type of thing. We have a very strong belief that whatever your intended audience is, the one thing that you must always do is give them reasonable credit for intelligence.
How does this tie into fandom, I hear you ask? Well, I guess technically it doesn’t. Except when it does. It just felt like it was something that had to be stated – for the however many time we’ve said it. There isn’t really one thing in particular that has brought on this comment, but rather two things, both of which are finales to shows that I had been watching that I felt cheated the audience. In a rather major way in one case, but I will do my best not to name names, but if you’ve been on any site where fans gather in their masses, you may have guessed at least one of them.
While there was rage – oh, was there rage – I felt that it gave way to more of a wondering of why it seems to be that there is this need, almost, to do something like that. To give your audience material that not only fails to live up to the expectations that the rest of your work has created, but also seems to serve as an example of, in short, really shoddy writing. It is especially confusing if, up until that moment in question, the writing had been really quite good on average. Seasonal decline is one thing, turning round and just betraying everything you spent seasons setting up for the sake of a cop-out ending is quite another.
This doesn’t mean I’m expecting every piece of media I look into to be a work of art, something that should be marvelled at and admired by all, but I don’t want to feel as though the people behind it just… couldn’t be bothered at the last, and threw something together to just get it out of the way and done with. As people who have done that for school work will tell you; it is a very rare happening that it works out as something brilliant. And when I say rare, I mean something other than have scraped an alright pass/just a pass. I mean… to have managed to come away with the best mark that you have ever received or ever will without having put a single bit of work into is rare.
But then we have the issue of the sense of entitlement. Is – for lack of a better term – demanding that creators put more effort into all aspects of their work being too much of a child demanding the thing that they want, even after their parents or guardians have said no? It’s a fine line in a grey area, but it is one that can possibly be said to be a little clearer on one side rather than another.
While, yes, technically it is a bit entitled of us as fans, it is also a great showing of faith in the creators of our media. We believe so much that they can do so better than what they are providing, that we become very impassioned when they do not do so. We want to see them giving 110% all the time, because it feels like that is the effort we put into the media as fans.
It isn’t an unreasonable thing, wanting creators to respect their audiences and treat them with a modicum of intelligence. There is the flip-side, of course, of audiences not judging too quickly, and giving the creators time to show us what it is they have managed to plan out, but the difference there is that fans will react instinctively; creators have had time to make their media, and work out any problems that they can see, making it the best they can be
So yes, you are well within your rights to expect something good
… Just don’t be overly spoiled in that very irritating manner about it.