Can I truly call myself a fan anymore?
This is a question I have been pondering lately. I used to be a very big watcher of Doctor Who, Star Trek – and I suppose Star Wars, though more so of the Extended Universe and the Movies. I should be super thrilled, right, by having these franchises of my childhood/teenage years still existing, still being rewritten into new stories, retold, recrafted to continue living.
I mean, Terminator – a franchise I love – recently had a…a…*shutter* reboot. I hated it, by the way. Yeah. Um. I haven’t almost walked out of a movie theatre, EVER, until I watched Terminator: Dark Fate.
One of my all time favourite stories, Lost In Space, has had a reboot to on Netflix and I think – out of ALL the shows – it’s the only one I’ve managed to enjoy.
But I digress. I suppose my point is: I feel…rather confused...
I’m no longer enjoying the things that used to bring me enjoyment, and it’s been surprising, and fascinating to experience the transformation over time.
I really, really loved Doctor Who. Guys – I loved it. The entire concept captivated me. It wasn’t so much the show, corny and silly it could be at times, it was the concept, the story, the idea that I loved. That somewhere, out there, as an alien in a blue box protecting the world and he’d pick up a companion every so often to go on an adventure. This alien, this Time Lord, had an incredible history and if you were lucky enough, you’d learn a little about it. He was dangerous, this Time Lord, dangerous as he was marvellous, and going on an adventure with him would quite often change a companion’s life in both a positive and negative way. Being fascinated, and being of a writing mind, I once approached my parents when I was about sixteen, with a very serious question: “If you guys found out I had been travelling with the Doctor, what would you do?” Mum and Dad, knowing my quirks, replied just as seriously. “If you had only gone on one trip, we’d try to stop you from further adventures. But if you’d gone on multiple adventures for several years, then it wouldn’t be our place to interfere, it would be your life then, and your decision.” Yes, folks, I’ve had my head in the clouds since I was a little girl. Frankly, if the Doctor landed on my front door, I would have stepped into the TARDIS no matter the consequences. Now though, interestingly enough – I’d be less inclined to do so. I’m in a different place, I think differently, I feel like my feet are solidly glued to Earth. If an alien in a blue box landed at my door and offered me the glorious wonders of the universe, I’d hesitate. Perhaps that was the magic of Doctor Who. I used to be able to tell my own stories, and now I cannot. There is no escape within the Blue Box. Now, I haven’t watched any of Jodi’s Doctor, so, for all I know, she could be marvelously brilliant and the writing could be spectacular but I don't feel like I could get back into it. I stopped watching after Peter Capaldi’s first season, not because I didn’t like his Doctor, I appreciated his Doctor so very much, in fact, his Doctor was the first one I didn’t feel miserable about regeneration, but…then…I just…gave up….
I kept wondering – “Is it me? Have I grown out of Doctor Who? Have I changed as a person?”
But you see… I can go back and watch all the other seasons, even the oldie ones before 2005 rebirthed it, and I feel comfortable again.
The same thing happens with Star Trek. As much as I appreciated the new Star Trek shows, and thought them gorgeous (because they are) and felt they took the show in different and interesting directions and I LOVED the character of Terran Georgiou, played by one of my favourite actresses Michelle Yeoh (just to name one) I…actually…haven’t finished the 2nd season and I’m really scared of starting Picard. Guys…GUYS…I don’t want to start Picard because The Next Generation makes me happy when I watch it. Wesley was my favourite character because I was around his age when I watched the show, and I think its hilarious folks hate him and call him a Gary Stu. I still find myself laughing at my childhood crush. I just don’t feel…happy…when I watch the newer shows anymore. And these things I love are supposed to make me feel happy, they’re a distraction from my chronic pain.
Thankfully, the Mandalorian came along and I found myself feeling warm and comfortable again in the Star Wars universe. If I saw merch from the Mandalorian show, yes, I would most likely buy something cute and funny just to put on one of my shelves to make me smile on bad days.
Can you be a fan of what once was?
Or am I a bigot, a misogynist and all the other labels heaped on someone who isn’t interested in what’s being put out now. I’m not saying its bad. I’m a huge believer in stories being retold, repackaged for new generations. I’ll even defend the remakes of the oldie Disney movies for this same reason (also, Mulan is coming out so and it is THE retelling I have been waiting for…) Movies, television shows – those things – they’ve become our myths and legends, the stories we used to share around campfires and dinner tables. They change and grow as our society changes and grows.
But perhaps – I’m just getting left behind.