Working for the Mandroid (moonshayde) wrote,
Working for the Mandroid
moonshayde

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My Evolution as a Fangirl

This is a long essay of sorts of how I've grown and evolved within the SG-1 fandom, the only fandom I've been completely active in.

Quick disclaimer. These are my opinions on how I've changed in the fandom. This does not imply that my way is the only way. This does not imply that I'm better than anyone else. You may have grown in different ways. You may believe I'm insane and regressed. So please feel free to add your own thoughts if you wish, but do not flame anyone or character-bash please.



I started with S4 reruns of SG-1 in 2003 when I was at a bad place in my life. Hated my job. Had just started with anxiety over said job. Feeling pretty low. SG-1 just happened to be the show that gave him the right distraction and since one of the characters was an archaeologist, that was enough to give me the nudge I needed to get back to school for my MA in anthropology/archaeology.

Needless to say, I was immediately drawn to Daniel. For me, Daniel was smart, cute, and had excellent taste in academics ;) But most importantly, he was a tragic angsty character and I like those.

I was immediately taken by the Jack/Daniel friendship I loved how they could argue, have different opinions, and yet still show much they cared for each other. Jack and Daniel sort of balanced each other out, yet I always felt they were similar at the core. And I've always had a soft spot for buddy relationships. (At this point, I didn't even know what slash was.)

At the same time, I also fell for Sam. Sam really represented the other side of me. I was always a science geek growing up and I nearly went into some form of science in college. (I had been trying to decide between geology and biology. Aced astronomy. Geology won, but then I transferred. Oh science, how I miss you.) So for me, Sam was cool. I could see the show was hinting at Sam/Jack which so did not please me, but at the time I was *not* in fandom so this did not influence my enjoyment of the show. I loved the team. I loved Daniel. I was a total Daniel fan. And the show rocked.

I happily devoured seasons 1-4, nearly in their entirety, and was catching up on the replays of the current season 7 before I jumped into fandom by early Nov. I discovered a couple of forums first and I settled in with people that could share my Daniel love. And I have to say, it was fantastic. I had a blast going through the episodes, chatting with people, and meeting great fans. And as time went on, I started my first fanfics.

This was a time where I read everything about Daniel and Daniel and Jack that I could get my hands on. Badfic. Clichefic. Smarm. Kidfic. I learned what slash was and started to poke into that as well. You name it, I read it. I read so much, in fact, my original perceptions of the characters started to change. I started to believe in fanon and lose my grasp on canon. My love for Sam also started to wane at this point. And I reached a point where I was fighting between trying to stand up for her and to just put her down. I would not go near Sam/Jack anything, including fans, with a ten-foot pole. Still, I enjoyed myself.

My glee did not last very long, though. I went to my first convention in the summer of 2004 and the experience did not endear me to the fandom. I met some great people. The guests were great. But without going into details, there were some aspects that left a bad taste in my mouth. In fanfic world, I began to tire of seeing the same kinds of fics over and over.

I wanted to give up on fandom. But then I met some nice Dan/Jan folks that opened me to some new perspectives on the characters. Conversing with fans that had a different spin on the characters let me reevaluate how I had come to see the characters. It came less about Daniel for me and more about the other characters. My view of Daniel, which had been skewed by fandom, started to develop into more.

By mid-Season 8 (2004-2005), I was still struggling with my Sam issues and now begun to write ship as both a thank you to my Dan/Jan friends and also to give me something different to write. I started experimenting with different ships like Sam/Teal'c and Sam/Daniel. As S8 of SG-1 started to wind down, I started to migrate towards Jack since I knew his time on the show was coming to an end and I decided to give up my inner war with Sam. I started to try to grasp onto that feeling I had when I first started when I loved all the characters and I could put fandom politics behind me. I could love Sam and Daniel, Jack and Teal'c, etc, without there being some conflict. This is when I wrote Echoes of Autumn, a fic that really reflects my state of mind at the time.

By the summer of 2005, I was pouting that there would be no Jack in S9. I was against Vala. And I started to support Sam. My love of Daniel had waned quite a bit, but he remained my favorite character. As S9 progressed, I became more supportive of Sam. Sam reclaimed status as one of my favorite characters. (She's been awesome in S9 and S10.) Cam got approval from me.

I created tealc_fic to promote Teal'c. (Which I need to get back to and liven up.)

In 2006, I had completely refashioned my fandom self. I scaled back, but I made it a point to try to reach out to different segments of the fandom. I added Sam/Jack friends to my flist. And despite my hatred of the Daniel/Vala gushing in the fandom, I wasn't about to let that come between me and some of my SG-1 friends. So I kept in contact with them. I continue to have Daniel/Vala fans on my flist and they are just as important as everyone else. I found myself giving up forums and lists, unfortunately, since I moved to becoming spoiler-free. So, as time passed, I became acquainted with fans of all types--Vala, Cam, Jack, Daniel, Janet, Sam and Teal'c. I started to finally watch S6 and realized that, darn, it was actually quite good. I branched out more and wrote other pairings.

It was sad to realize that my undying Daniel love had changed. But then I realized I hadn't given him up at all. I still love Daniel, especially the early Daniel, but I had grown to appreciate the other characters just as much. I realized that at least for me, I was most comfortable with fangirling Daniel, Jack, Sam, Teal'c along with other characters like Hammond and Janet and Cam. (Vala is a work in progress.) And I didn't hate characters like Jonas. And while the Jack and Daniel friendship will always be my cornerstone, I adore all the unique friendships between the characters. In the end, I've come closer to being the team fan I had always wanted to be.

I've now reached a point where I feel like I've reclaimed my roots. I remain staunchly gen for the show. But I've become way more relaxed in fandom. I laugh at the hypocrisy and the ship wars. I laugh at the character-bashing from different aspects of the fandom. Nothing is going to curb my enjoyment of the show and my fun in the fandom. I might not be as active I used to be but I'm still surrounded by vastly different views and great people. I'll ship whoever tickles my fancy at the moment. Maybe I'll ship a pairing that I'd never considered before. Maybe I'll read one, too. For me, the show and the fandom are two separate animals. I can remain true to my gen roots but have a little fun on the side. And you know what? It works for me and I happy this way :)

So maybe you're a fan who has had slash change their lives. Or maybe you grew from gen to Sam/Jack. Maybe you are gen and team fullstop. Maybe Daniel is the heart and soul of Stargate for you. Maybe you discovered your OTP or you ship everyone under the sun. Or maybe you just think everyone is nuts.

Whatever path you've chosen, it's right for you. And it makes the fandom all the more interesting :)
Tags: fandom, tv: sg-1/sga discussion/meta
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