Do you know why I don’t spend as much time as commentators I follow discussing “them durn SJWs” and their “woke agenda”? I mean, I totally believe that’s happening because I can see it and they celebrate the fact that they’re putting tokenized stereotypes that make them look good to their fellow clueless morons who also don’t understand how human beings who aren’t as high on the societal ladder and media pecking order as they are and just see a bunch of skin colors and lifestyles without really understanding them and just want to look good for the praise and to win at the latest award show, as well as use the people they claim to be a voice for to hide their terrible writing and major changes to established and beloved characters and properties whether the “voiceless” agree with their perspective or not.

That was cathartic.

The reason is this is only challenging one problem, but it doesn’t solve HOW the political ideologues and “hacktivist” writers got into that position in the first place. These are the social climbing elite using the current cause du jour for their own ends, the same types who looked down on the geeks in school before realizing that with all the new technologies that a geek is exactly what you need, and of course ignores that “sports geek” is still a geek. If you know the RBI for every current and past player of your favorite baseball team…sorry, you’re a geek. Pick up your card at the desk, and some of us DO use hand sanitizer and bathe regularly. (I just got out of the shower a little while ago.)

So they hate the idea that science fiction, fantasy, and superhero stories–treated as “geek genre” by the more snobby social cliques, are now being seen as a viable market by the studio execs and almost seem to be on a mission to scuttle anything in those genres. This seems especially truly when they’re based on comics and video games, the lowest rungs of the media pecking order along with tabletop RPGs. At least anime, which they also hate because cartoons don’t feature the actors in person, gives card games a decent adaptation. I mean, you won’t learn how to play by watching most of them, and the idea of a world obsessed with one card game is kind of insane (looking at you, Yu-Gi-Oh), but at least it’s treated as something fun instead of mocked. Hollywood’s solution is to “make it better”. Make it live-action, make it more “mature” (even when the source material already is, Netflix), make it more grounded in their skewed version of reality, and if you disagree you’re a “hater” and a bigot. They ignore the rules of the fictional world previously established or the regions and periods that inspired them in order to make it more like their view of the “real world” because they don’t care about the source material, if not outright oppose it. As if “people in tights flying around punching each other” is in any form “realistic”. Let’s look at a few examples.

I don’t really follow the Witcher franchise. I haven’t read the book, I haven’t seen the show, and I haven’t played the game. Not that it matters if you watch the show if you’ve done the other two because I’ve heard from critical fans they don’t care about the source material, namely the novel series. Yes, it’s a book popular enough to have a bunch of baby books (I don’t know if they actually made a Witcher story for babies…or if Witcher Babies is coming to your favorite cartoon source anytime soon) and a popular video game series. However, one of the former show writers, Beau DeMayo, now set to be head writer on the relaunch of the Fox Kids’ X-Men cartoon (probably turning it into a show for Fox Adults…a rant for another time), recently stated that he wanted fans of the show in the writer’s room because of the experience he had working on the Netflix live-action The Witcher series, where he claims the other writers were outright hostile to the novel series by Andrzej Sapkowski.

This is something he wants to avoid with X-Men ’97, and some fans theorize that this is why Henry Cavill, reportedly having become a huge fan of the books while researching his role (something I’ve seen showrunners discourage adaptation performers and writers from doing whether it’s Transformers or Doctor Who), is leaving the series. While he has stated he wants the show to be faithful to Sapkowski’s books he hasn’t shown the same attention to another character he claims to love, Superman.

After all the trouble they went through to invent “Technicolor” you’d think we still made black & white movies with how dark colors are in movies now.

While Cavill has talked about playing “an enmormoursly joyful Superman” he still is nostalgically tied to the darker costume of the Snyderverse, which does not represent the upbeat, caring, and “joyful” Superman, and doesn’t seem to have had any real issue doing the Snyder DC movies. While DeMayo says he wants people who care about the source material to work on these shows, calling out the writer’s room at the Witcher by noting “It’s a recipe for disaster and bad morale. Fandom as a litmus test checks egos, and makes all the long nights worth it. You have to respect the work before you’re allowed to add to its legacy,” he appears to be alone in that point of view. You need only look at Netflix’s treatment of Cowboy BeBop…or Disney Plus’ She-Hulk: Attorney At Law. The actress playing Jennifer Walters pretty much admitted in Variety they’re joining Teen Titans Go! in attacking critics rather than making a good show that respects what came before.

In addition to breaking the fourth wall, the finale tackles some of the exact same trolling comments that Marvel fans have been making. How did it feel to watch that happen as the show aired, knowing how the finale would turn out?

Tatiana Maslany: Jessica Gao is a genius and knows about the culture we’re living in and her position in it when she’s writing these stories about a woman superhero. She knows what that response is going to be. As a cast, it was delightful sending each other these troll responses, like “Oh my god, give them a week and then they’re going to literally see this pop up verbatim in the show and become the villains of the show.” It was thrilling.

Were you expecting to face the trolls when you signed on for the show?

Reading the script, it was so true. There’s so much resistance to a woman just existing in that space of superheroes. There’s always going to be that. I sort of anticipated it. It’s why I also feel it’s important. There’s such an entitlement to space held by certain people, and to even exist as She-Hulk is like a @#$%-you, and I love that.

Kind of fits how Peter gets treated in the comics right now. Also, can’t “wait” to see how they eventually ruin Tigra.

They even went so far as to make an analog of the YouTube-hosted media critic Dicktor Von Doomcock the leader of the group opposing her just for having breasts…which is not even close to any complaint made by fans of the Marvel character that’s been around since 1980, nor Doomcock himself. This would include actual women, by the way, who honestly love superheroes and comic books and have since before they were taken over by political propagandists more interested in their message than their story. See, I can acknowledge they’re part of the problem, just not the only source. In fact, female fans of “Shulkie” in the comics have called out the show for failing to get the show right in favor of political pandering, quirky humor (admitting they know nothing about the law and didn’t even research that), and attacking critics of their warped view of superheroes.

Heck, I’ve been calling out a rejection and hatred of the source material before the political climate pushed so far into left-wing activism. Battlestar Galactica wasn’t about political pandering, but it sure did a number on Glen A. Larson’s original series. The characters are now just “callsigns” for new characters with more Earth-sounding names, the tone was darker for the former family show, the “spiritual journey” was replaced with some “man versus machine” exploration of humanity, and like it or hate it this was not the same show, which is why I sometimes call it Battlestar Namesake.

Then there’s the whole Jem debacle, what I call an outright scam by the producer of the movie to get his “generic young band’s lead singer has a falling out with the band because the producer just wants her” story made, and convinced fans of the “truly outrageous” 1980s cartoon to help support its making right down to making videos about why they love Jem and the Holograms…only to find a bunch of teens barely worthy of fitting their oversized 80s  rocker wigs. (Well, Jerrica used a hologram but you know what I mean.) There was zero politics involved in that trainwreck of a namesake. And need I mention…Super Mario Brothers? Yeah, I thought not to you folks. This isn’t anything new and has been going on since well before the current social climate. Heck, I’ll call out my favorite movie, The NeverEnding Story, as at most an incomplete adaptation of the book and the author was pissed, the same holding true for the authors of Charlie And The Chocolate Factory and Mary Poppins. Are we really that surprised, even with the necessary changes between genres, that Rings Of Power failed Tolkien’s legacy and hard work so badly?

What really sparked this commentary are the world of Kenobi writer Andrew Staton, who was annoyed that he had to adhere to canon (though I hear the show rarely did that anyway) when writing his episodes, despite supposedly being so excited about writing a scene with Darth Vader.

“That was the blessing and the curse of it,” Stanton told io9 when asked about being a part of two major episodes in the canon of Star Wars. “It’s like one, you’re geeking out that you get to type ‘Vader says’ this and ‘Kenobi says’ that. You pause and say ‘I can’t believe I’m actually getting paid to type this. I can’t believe these words may be said.’ But then another part of you, it has to go through such a rigorous like ‘Does that fit the canon?’ And I feel like it’s bittersweet. [The reason that happens is] because people care, but it also kind of doesn’t allow, sometimes, things to venture beyond where maybe they should to tell a better story. So it can sometimes really handicap what I think are better narrative options.”

“And so I was frustrated sometimes—not a lot— but I just felt it wasn’t as conducive to [the story],” Stanton continued. “So I love it when something like Andor is in a safe spot. And it can just do whatever the heck it wants. But I felt, you know, Joby [Harold, Obi-Wan Kenobi co-writer and executive producer], to his credit, kept the torch alive and kept trying to thread the needle so that the story wouldn’t suffer but it would please all the people that were trying to keep it in the canon. But I got some moments in there that I’m very happy with.”

“We have to stop meeting like this!”

It’s not that they care about, for example, Darth Vader or Obi-Wan Kenobi. They like the concept of the characters and the fact that they get to play with characters so iconic to culture and pop culture without understanding–or even caring–WHY those characters are iconic. They’re popular and now they get to write them for money. Looks good on the resume. And if the fans, who DO know why they’re iconic because their love of the original is what made them iconic and quotable, don’t see that in these new iterations, be they alleged continuations or a bunch of namesakes, they’re going to get upset. At least when Walt Disney changed the end of Mary Poppins or changes were made for Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory it was done with the intent of approaching a different audience, which isn’t as defensible as it sounds but that leads to a different commentary. These writers now are changing things that were popular before they were born into something “for them”, yelling that this new version “wasn’t made for you”, and showing surprise that this is the reason the fans of something not made for the new writers are upset.

Meanwhile I’ve chronicled the actors’ response many times, who just see a character they want to play or a director they always wanted to work with, and couldn’t give two wits about a “lesser medium” that doesn’t involve them.

Do we need more fans in the writer’s room? Not necessarily. That brings worries about pet characters and losing casual audiences as badly as these altered messes are losing the fans. It can be done, but follow my two examples of not needing to be fans. Harve Bennett wasn’t a fan of Star Trek but studied it because he wanted to make a movie that made both fans and casual watchers happy. Star Trek II: The Wrath Of Khan is considered by many fans and critics to be the best of the Star Trek movies, and I happen to be on that list. Mel Brooks made one of the best sci-fi parodies ever, Spaceballs, but isn’t a science fiction fan himself. I even maintain that if you took out as many jokes as possible you’d still have a solid sci-fi action story, if not a bit clichéd. All it takes is respecting the source material for the fans who made it popular enough for a remake or adaptation to be considered profitable by the studio while still making something that draws in new fans, perhaps even into checking out the source material.

But “they” don’t make the source material and so the elitist media snobbery continues.

About ShadowWing Tronix

A would be comic writer looking to organize his living space as well as his thoughts. So I have a blog for each goal. :)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s