Asta 2

Thoughts About the Latest Fandom Kerffufle

Since The Plan leaked last weekend, fandom has had kerfuffle #153. Normally I avoid the drama, but a couple of aspects of this kerfuffle bothered me. Some of the criticism of the film came from people who hadn't seen The Plan yet, a pet peeve of mine. And after reading several angry comments I was left wondering - my apologies for paraphrasing an overused and cliched expression - why we can't all just get along?



I’ve never understood ship wars, in any fandom, and find them exhausting even when I’m merely hanging out on the periphery of them. The Plan, inadvertently, triggered another round of fighting. There is some humor within the situation though because what has upset people isn't actually in the film.

I'm going to digress and provide a little personal backstory. Up until BSG, I always shipped what was considered THE couple on a show. Mulder and Scully. John and Aeryn. Buffy and Spike. Ok, sure, there are a equal number of Buffy and Angel shippers, but I didn't start watching Buffy until Season 4. I never look for a pairing to ship when I begin watching a series, but if it happens it’s usually the pairing the majority supports. Lee and Kara took off as a couple rather quickly, the consensus seems to be after Lee was presumed dead and they reunited on Galactica in the mini, but I could never warm to the idea of them as a couple. As friends and as siblings, yes, but I had no desire to see them in a romantic relationship.....even though I support Jamie taking his clothes off.

For reasons many do not understand, I ended up the in the small - yet determined and resilient - group known as Lee and Laura shippers. Was I disappointed that Ron never saw the brilliance of the pairing and didn’t go there? Sure, but, at the same time, I avoided a lot of wank and kerfuffles because I never shipped Lee and Kara. I’ll call it a win.

Even though I never shipped Lee and Kara, I won’t deny there was chemistry. I won’t argue it wasn't clear there was love and sexual tension between the two. But because of Zak, guilt, fear, insecurity, bad timing and probably a half a dozen other issues, the two were kept apart. If you shipped them, given their relationship in the first three seasons, I can see why you had an expectation the two might end up together, eventually. I say "might" because given how dark the show could be and given Ron's habit of killing off characters I really did conceive of an ending where both Lee and Kara died.

I’m not sure why the romantic relationship was dropped in Season 4. Depending on how you want to view the ending, Lee and Kara never got to be what they could have been and died alone or Kara and Sam met up in the afterlife and Lee climbed that mountain with Sonja to start populating the world with beautiful hybrid babies. Ok, that last part about Lee might just be me and beccatoria’s interpretation of Lee’s future. ;)

So, having said all that, let me get back to The Plan. The film was leaked and there were write ups and discussions of the implications of the film. Kara and Sam shippers were pleased. For many of them, the film reinforced the importance of the two, both separately and together. There was squeeing and there was, in my humble opinion, joking references made to their "epic" romance. This led to a backlash amongst some Lee and Kara shippers who felt it was their ship that was the epic ship.

None of the ship talk really mattered to me since I ship neither pairing and, as I mentioned before, kerfuffles exhaust me. But when I sat down to watch The Plan, I kept what I had read in mind to see who might be right and who might be wrong. I also wanted to see how so much shippiness could be worked into a film supposedly about Cavil's quest to annihilate humanity.

The Plan is not in any way a pro Kara/Sam film. If you ship Kara and Sam, I can see how you would likely be pleased by the film. I know it does my Lee/Laura heart good anytime those two are in a room together and I actually get to see it rather than have to imagine it. So I totally understand seeing what you want to see. For anyone not interested in Kara and Sam relationship, I'm perplexed by the ire at the inclusion of recycled footage of the two in the film. No new footage was shot and thus no new insights created.

The film is from the Cylon and mostly Cavil's perspective. It is through one Cavil that we see Sam and Kara interact and Sam's love for Kara. None of this is new information. You can even argue that Sam's feeling are completely one-sided since we get no hint of what Kara is thinking or feeling within the context of this specific story. What little footage of them together there is needs to be shown or otherwise there would be gaping holes in the overall plot (which already has some problems for other reasons). For the Kara and Lee shippers, be upset with Season 4, I can understand the disappointment, but The Plan shouldn't be lumped in with that. Lee and Kara, separately and together, are a non-issue in regards to the Cylon-centric material being covered.

Ultimately, I don't understand why we all can't squee over whatever we want to squee about. I know there are people who can't fathom how I can ship Lee with Laura. She's a surrogate mother to him! Accept I never saw her as such. I'm able to make a look, a gesture, a turn of phrase mean something more than Ron and Co. meant it to in regards to my OTP. And I've read interesting discussions about awesome Lee/Kara scenes in which one of them wasn't even present in the scene. We all see what we want to see. I didn't view The Plan as a love letter to Kara and Sam or a declaration that their romance was "epic", but the Sam/Kara folks should be allowed to view and enjoy the film as they choose to.

Besides, we all know that Ellen/Tigh was the epic romance of the series. They were together for 2,000 years. No one can beat that.


And I am DONE writing posts for the day. Phew!
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Apparently The Plan somehow proves Ron hates Jamie.

Yeah man. No, I don't know why us being happy put some other people in meltdown. I know reading my flist just ended up hurting.

As always I value your great commentary on everything.
I think Ron hates Mary. She's not even in it! ;) I won't even get involved in the Ron hates (insert name here) discussions. If he hated them, they would have been killed off/fired. Ron's statements about not knowing how to write the character of Lee are ridiculous to me, but I never saw it as a sign of hate, just his failure as a writer.

Don't let other people get you down. I saw plenty of posts after the finale stating Lee had a horrible, miserable ending and it's sooooo not true. :)
Hear, hear. I said this in I think queenofthorn's journal before the kerfluffle really kicked into high gear, but the whole thing was really about Cavil trying to figure out what made his parents tick, and understanding that they would never stop loving humanity even if he wiped it out. Obviously, if you ship the pairing then having their reunion be this pivotal moment for Cavil w.r.t. "love outlasts death" is going to make you happy. Quite happy. ;) But if you don't ship the pairing then it's just... neutral, because it's really about Sam's capacity for love, which is something we all already knew from watching the show.

But yeah, that was not one of the 'fun' kerfluffles, for me anyway. Bleh. It caught me off guard, because I kind of thought the shipping wank was... okay, not over, but. Because the story is over, and we know how it turned out, so it's not a zero-sum game anymore? And, to steal nicole_anell's hilarious image, unless they had shot 20 minutes of new footage of Kara and Sam skipping through a field together while Lee cried, nothing that happened in "The Plan" was going to have anything to do with K/L at all, good or bad.

Oh, and TOTAL WORD to all shipper groups being all about the reading into things and the all about the subtext. It's the name of the game! :P
(Heee, thank you for using my image.)

And yes, this came SO out of left field for me! I knew people were still bitter, but I just kind of... assumed it would be more diluted at this point. I honestly thought the negative reaction to The Plan would be more "lol, whatever" than "THIS ONE SCENE MADE ME JUST AS ANGRY AS THE FINALE DID."
and Lee climbed that mountain with Sonja to start populating the world with beautiful hybrid babies.
I WANT TO GO TO THERE. *wibble*

Good post, I like hearing your perspective as somebody not really affected by either ship. :)

I'll apologize to them if I'm wrong about this but -- I don't think any Kara/Sam shippers seriously thought this movie alone made them ~EPIC~ or reinforced their beautiful destiny love. We ("we" meaning "my K/S friends who I'm totally co-opting" because this all happened before I personally watched the movie) were just being frelling happy. Enjoying Sam, enjoying the recycled footage, enjoying the "she's beneath him" joke, enjoying the moment where Cavil doesn't shoot them. Like shippers do. The Sixes and Leoben were awesome too, which made some of us even more giddy than usual.

I'm not feeling very charitable right now toward people who took that squee so badly, without watching on entire second of the movie themselves. :-/ It's funny, I expected 'The Plan' to bring back pro-Cylon/anti-Cylon drama, but I didn't realize this ship war stuff would come back so strongly. The whole fight over who owns the word "epic"? OH, fandom.

They were together for 2,000 years. No one can beat that.
*cough* I submit that Baltar and Six beat them by 148,000 years. If you're gonna nitpick over who's the most epic. XD

(But I choose not to, because Ellen and Tiiiiigh! <3 <3 <3)

Edited at 2009-10-25 04:10 am (UTC)
Honestly, if they had included any scrap of footage of Lee and Laura I would have been giddy. So I totally understand where the Kara/Sam shippers are coming from. They're just happy to see their couple on screen and perhaps pleasantly surprised to get so much of their OTP on screen. I know I was thrilled to see so much of the Sixes since I was under the impression Tricia was busy with other projects and wouldn't be that available for filming.

I wonder if the situation were reversed and we had Galactica Cavil witnessing Lee's love for Kara, what would the reaction be? Eh, there would probably still be anger at what Ron failed to do in Season 4, but at least the Kara/Sam shippers would be spared. ;)

The whole fight over who owns the word "epic"? OH, fandom.

Heh. Have the Adama/Roslin people even chimed in yet?

I submit that Baltar and Six beat them by 148,000 years. If you're gonna nitpick over who's the most epic.

Ok, don't get me thinking about the time line. I WILL get a headache then. :p
I'll start off by saying I haven't watched The Plan, though that has nothing to do with 'ships or whatever. Even back when it was first announced, I didn't, er, plan to watch it. It's just not a storyline I'm interested in, particularly since my fannishness has been waning for a long time, to the point that now most of my old love for the show has shifted into nostalgia and ambivalence. (Though, okay, I'll admit that I might've tuned in if the whole thing were chock full of K/L shippiness!) For the same reason, I've skipped most of the meta, but I've got a fairly good idea what's been going on.

Obviously I can't speak for everyone, so take this with a grain of salt!

I think the reactions to the Kara/Sam in "The Plan" (however OTP/fate/whatever we perceive it to be) aren't so much about the pairing itself as a side effect of the anger about the finale. Whether or not K/L is your (the universal "your") preferred 'ship, I think it's fair to say that we had a reasonable expectation that their romantic relationship would be a stronger presence in the finale, instead of basically dismissed as a table-frak gone awry. We weren't entitled to anything, of course -- and I've always been frustrated by that sort of thing -- but seeing it shrugged off after the handful of scenes in S4 that seemed to reaffirm the romantic bond was really hard to take. (I'm speaking only for myself here; someone else might have a valid interpretation that the scenes were never meant to amount to anything, and that's totally fine. It's all subjective in the end! And for that matter, I say all this as someone who was disappointed but not furious about the finale.)

So, here comes "The Plan", with its K/S scenes. Like you said, the scenes themselves had nothing to do with Lee or K/L, if only just because of the timeline. Fine by me! But we shippers are already having to deal with the finale, and now here are these new scenes of K/S having a grand old time together. Of course they have nothing to do with K/L in that context, but it's kind of like digging the knife in even deeper. Like RDM is saying, "Not only did your ship not turn out the way you hoped, but here's new footage of her being happy with someone else!" Salt on an open wound, to pile on the cliches.

So. As I mentioned above, I haven't watched the episode and probably never will. Nor have I read most of the posts about it this week; I read yours because you're usually quite fair and rational about things! From what I've heard, it wasn't exactly one of fandom's shining moments, but I don't want to get into a big discussion of the ugliness itself. Just thought I'd offer my perspective on why many folks on my side of things were so upset.
I think the reactions to the Kara/Sam in "The Plan" (however OTP/fate/whatever we perceive it to be) aren't so much about the pairing itself as a side effect of the anger about the finale. Whether or not K/L is your (the universal "your") preferred 'ship, I think it's fair to say that we had a reasonable expectation that their romantic relationship would be a stronger presence in the finale, instead of basically dismissed as a table-frak gone awry.

I do understand why many K/L shippers had expectations about what would happen between the two in the finale and the resulting frustration and anger because what they expected to happen, on some level, never came to pass. I've never felt burned by a writer before. Maybe my OTPs didn't turn out as I had hoped, but I never felt rage either. Perhaps I prepared myself by expecting the worst. I guess my disconnect on the issue is the anger from Season 4 and the finale carrying over to The Plan where Lee and Kara, separately and together, are a non-issue. Then again, because I'm not angry at all about the finale - with the exception of the corpse bride thing and the way Tory died - maybe I'm not able to see how residual anger can carry over. I really try to put myself in the other fans shoes as much as possible, but I don't think there is a way to completely do it.

<>I'm speaking only for myself here; someone else might have a valid interpretation that the scenes were never meant to amount to anything, and that's totally fine. It's all subjective in the end!</i>

Heh. Yeah, I know my interpretation of Lee and Kara's scenes in season 4 are very much different from yours and other shippers. ;) Then again, you haven't analyzed what Lee and Laura did after they walked out of the room together after talking to Ellen in 'Deadlock'. :)

Like RDM is saying, "Not only did your ship not turn out the way you hoped, but here's new footage of her being happy with someone else!"

The "new" footage is something I am hung up on. Do you mean new as in newly shot or new as in using old footage in a new context? Because there was no new footage. I do think an extended cut of the scene where Kara and Helo first met Sam was used (there was some dialogue that seemed unfamiliar), but the rest of the footage I had seen previously. And other than the morning after scene on Caprica and Kara coming back to rescue Sam and the others, I can't recall seeing a happy Kara. Both scenes were pivotal to the story.

Believe me, I am not trying to convince you or anyone else to watch The Plan. I just want to try and make clear what is in the film. There seemed to be misinformation floating around as well as people making the Kara/Sam shippers happiness a bigger deal than it was because, from my shipper neutral POV, the Kara/Sam shippers were making it a bigger deal than it was. The shippiest scenes in the film, imho, involved Boomer and Tryol and Simon and Gianna.
Blargh. I guess I can see that some K/L shippers might feel it reopened old wounds even though there is absolutely no new footage at all just because the last piece of the show now DOES have a K/S presence because Sam's a major character and doesn't have a K/L presence because neither Kara nor Lee were major characters. And, you know, having gone off the deep end about narrative choices and stuff and what they mean for my bizarre little interpretation of the show is, sure, stuff can piss you off a surprising amount a long time after the fact.

Basically I want to own that had this movie managed to spend a lot of time on trying to paint the A/R relationship in the emotional context of 4.5, or tried to retroactively make Tory evil or had Simon go on a massive medical diatribe about how Hera is the only hybrid there will ever be, I might have been pissed too.

That said, I would like to hope I would:

a) not watch it if I knew it was going to be parts of the show I'd hate, and more importantly -

b) if what it actually amounted to was recycled footage, even if I might be irked at what the show had decided to focus on, I would be able to recognise, canon hadn't actually changed?

I mean ultimately, if, say, it was going to be about something I didn't like - like say it was gonna feature A/R in any way, I would NOT go and read all the A/R shippers squee and then decide that was an accurate representation of what I'd get out of it.

UM. SO THERE.

I mean, ultimately I'm in the fortunate position (in terms of this kerfuffle) that while I have vague preferences, I was long since convinced my favourite ship wouldn't happen so my investment in the show wasn't down to that.

But I confess I do not sort of want to go off on an EPIC rant about how RDM SCREWED US! HE SCREWED US, ASTA! There was no Lee/Laura OR Lee/Sonja! WTF, RON! WTF!
And, you know, having gone off the deep end about narrative choices and stuff and what they mean for my bizarre little interpretation of the show is, sure, stuff can piss you off a surprising amount a long time after the fact.

::cough:: Liam ::cough:: ;-)

Basically I want to own that had this movie managed to spend a lot of time on trying to paint the A/R relationship in the emotional context of 4.5, or tried to retroactively Tory evil or had Simon go on a massive medical diatribe about how Hera is the only hybrid there will ever be, I might have been pissed too.

Oh, hell, I might have been pissed too! But all of that would have involved shooting new scenes. And if they had the opportunity to bring Katee back and film new footage of Kara and Sam together discussing their relationship and how much they loved each other the, yes, I could get the outrage. But the Sam and Kara clips were old and only used to set up other plot points. For instance, if they didn't include Kara rescuing Sam and the others we would have had a moment of, "Whoa. Wait. Why is Sam suddenly on Galactica? Where are we in the timeline?"

canon hadn't actually changed?

Yes, exactly. It's clear Sam loves Kara, but we really have no clue at this point how Kara feels about Sam (or Lee) and no attempt is made to retcon the story to explicitly show she was in love with Sam and not Lee. Besides, as I mentioned above, while she was having sex with Sam she could have been thinking about Lee. We know how she is. ;)

I mean, ultimately I'm in the fortunate position (in terms of this kerfuffle) that while I have vague preferences, I was long since convinced my favourite ship wouldn't happen so my investment in the show wasn't down to that.

YES and ::weeps::. We did benefit from shipping a couple that while we may have held out a sliver of hope they would go there, at least briefly, we knew it was unlikely to happen. Not that I have ever watched a show just for a ship, but it does make it easier to watch when you don't have a ship. With Buffy I focused mostly on Buffy and Spike whereas with BSG I focused on almost the entire cast...with special emphasis on Lee. :)

Maybe when Eddie makes his Adama/Tigh buddy action flick where they kill Sabertooth tigers with their bare hands while drunk, they can stumble across Lee and Sonja pitching their tent, if you know what I mean.

People are crazy.

If not Ellen/Tigh, Six/Baltar was awesome!

I never did get shipping either. I liked Kara/Lee. I liked Kara/Sam. I liked where their relationships ended up... sort of. I believe that OTPs are bullshit because people don't work that way - Kara falls in love with Lee, then falls in love with Sam. This does no preclude her still being in love with Lee nor that she actually loves neither of them and she actually loathes herself too much to actually have a healthy relationship with anyone.

There are ships I'm not interested in, but personally I find focusing on one ship over all others to be ludicrous.
I ship couples, but I feel if that's the only reason you are watching a show you have at least a 50% chance of being burned. Of all the shows I've watched and obsessed over, only with Farscape did I feel confidant my ship would prevail and get a (sort of) happy ending.

I'm of the camp that Kara loved both Lee and Sam in different ways and for different reasons. Why Ron opted to have Kara end up with Sam (sort of), I don't know. I really don't think he had it in for the Lee/Kara shippers and I don't think Jamie and/or Katee did anything to piss him off. There was some overall sloppy storytelling during the course of the series and Lee/Kara was affected by that as mmuch as anything else that happened on the show. I wish Ron had made it clearer that Kara loved and married Sam and she was going to choose to stay with him, but he probably wanted to milk the quadrangle, then triangle for as long as he could. Though, personally, I felt after 'Six of One' L/K as a romantic pairing was over.
Only kerfuffle #153? I thought we were well over 200 at this point...

Yeah, I see what you mean. I was an awkward Lee/Kara shipper (I always enjoyed the will they/won't they more than the resolution... neither the canon nor fanon options did it for me). I'm also a rather strong Kara/Leoben shipper but I never expected that to become a main canon ship (though the way it was left hanging at the end with no plot resolution did piss me off).

The Plan really had no effect on these feelings. Mostly I was just frustrated that the majority of the "movie" seemed like re-edited clips and outtakes from the series, with random re-writing of some of the coolest "questionable" moments to force-feed the "Cavil Was the Mastermind, oh but look, shiny Love!" agenda.

So, basically, I'm very "meh" about it right now. Obviously I'm just a bad fangirl.
You're a Kara/Leoben shipper? That puts you in a whole other category of EVIL. ;) I never shipped them, though I found their relationship intriguing, and was disappointed when Leoben just ran off and had no further involvement with Kara and thus we had no resolution to their complicated relationship.

The Plan really didn't play well as a movie, but rather as what you described it as. I felt rather 'meh' about it after watching it. I'm still buying the DVD though. I'm hoping some of the extras are interesting.
Some of the criticism of the film came from people who hadn't seen The Plan yet, a pet peeve of mine.

I don't know who coined it, but there's an actual term for that phenomenon: "bull crit." Brilliant, huh?
What stunned me about the kerfuffle was I couldn't fathom shippers, any shippers, being upset with the film since it was about the Cylons. And even though there now have been numerous reviews, write-ups, critiques and analysis reinforcing it's ALL ABOUT THE CYLONS, still some choose to see the film as further proof that Ron hates Lee/Kara and the shippers. I realize there is no arguing when people are set in their views, but I can still be boggled by it.
Honestly having been around various fandoms for many years and surviving the shipper war that ate fandom I have learned to find most of this funny. I mean these are fictional characters getting that upset over who winds up with who is really silly when you think about it objectively. However people being assholes and bothering my friends and it starts to bug me which is why I stuck my nose in too some of it. I think its unfair of K/L to claim certain words as "theirs" and to act like any happiness from K/S is an affront to them. WE ARE ALLOWED TO BE HAPPY WITH THE SHOW. Honestly I think there are those in the K/L who seem determined to be bitter about this either because its the only way they know who to deal with not getting their way or because they want to keep stirring the pot.
I think its unfair of K/L to claim certain words as "theirs" and to act like any happiness from K/S is an affront to them. WE ARE ALLOWED TO BE HAPPY WITH THE SHOW.

I liked the finale. I didn't think it was perfect and there were elements I wish were different, but, overall, I found it satisfying. But I felt like I wasn't allowed to feel that way. I HAD to hate it and be angry and bitter or there was something wrong with me. I failed to understand why I couldn't have my feelings if they could have theirs. The same holds true for the K/S shippers. They're happy simply because the characters they love were on screen - that's it. So what's the problem?
I can offer a thought on why people discuss stuff they haven't seen. It's weird to me, because I generally like to have my own experience of a show before hearing anyone else's opinion. It's not just about spoiler information, but avoiding the opinion of the person sharing the information. I like my TV straight to me, no filter.

I wish I could have participated more in this discussion last week. Now I've rented the movie and watched it, but I feel the discussion has passed and I certainly don't want to stir anything up. I didn't know how to get it (I'm not really a torrenter, it scares me), so I waited until Blockbuster had it.

I was really tempted to discuss The Plan more while the conversation was really going on even though I hadn't seen it. Now that I have seen it, it seems a bit late and I totally understand why people may be past it and not have time to answer comments. (Not talking about you, just general LJ-ness.)

I still like to see shows and movies myself, but when you watch later, sometimes the conversation passes. Maybe that's why people participate when they do? I'm not saying whether it's good or bad to discuss something you haven't seen, just offering a possible reason and how I felt about it.

Edited at 2009-10-28 06:01 pm (UTC)
I try to avoid torrents. Someone I know shared a direct DL link. ;)

Film and TV discussion moves incredibly fast on the internet. I had planned to wait to watch The Plan, but after it seemed like everyone had watched it and was discussing it I needed to move up my viewing timetable.

I think there was less discussion about what they hadn't seen and more posting assumptions based on second and third hand information and (mis)judging people's, imho, humorous and intentionally over-dramatic reactions to the film. And a good portion of those posting their thoughts about a film they hadn't seen had no intention of ever watching. It all reminded me of an interview with Kevin Smith I read after Dogma was released. People were picketing outside of a theatre and decrying the film as anti-religion and anti-God and Kevin decided to talk to them. When he asked what specifically they found offensive about the film, every one of them said they had no idea since they hadn't actually seen it.