You all can blame this particular post on our consummate costumer Terry Dresbach. She asked a question on Twitter, which prompted a discussion, which gave me that frustration of 140 characters. So here we go. (Just a note – I am generalizing what I have seen and experienced as I don’t want to point fingers directly at anyone. If the shoe fits………………)
Terry Dresbach @draiochta14: question. I was reading DG’s FB page this morning. Do most of you expect that reporters read any book they are doing an interview about or a show based on a book?
This prompted a good little discussion (though poor Terry seems to be fighting with Twitter again) about expectations and how to counter interviewers or reviewers that really have no clue. Many of the fans have worked to ‘correct’ misconceptions or flat out bad information in the comments sections of various articles or interviews. This is great – as long as it’s done right. That thought made me think of all the various articles, interviews, blogs and tweets I’ve seen and a huge frustration and honestly, big concern for me.
As Diana said in the conversation that ensued above, ANY publicity is an opportunity for us as fans/supporters to put a positive spin on things and get GOOD information out there for others to see. The better we come across and the more interesting we make the show, the more people will give it a try.
I have written other blogs about being nice to each other in the fandom and staying positive. That goes for the interviewers and critics/reviewers as well. The very best way we can keep the show strong and on the air is to have huge numbers of fans/viewers. The books, Diana’s awesome gift to us, will always be there. We won’t lose those no matter what happens which is very cool. We CAN lose the show by being stupid.
I am a huge proponent of people being able to voice their opinions of the show. I get that there are some disappointments and frustrations with how Ron and the team have chosen to portray certain things, what to put in and what to leave out. Voice that! But for the love of all that is holy DO IT RIGHT!
Diana and Terry both voiced disappointment with not being able to see the hot springs scene, but they did it with class and put a very positive spin on it. I’m paraphrasing here (hoping these two great ladies will forgive me). ‘I was disappointed that a favorite scene from the book couldn’t be included in the series. I understand it just wasn’t logistically possible and the story was still carried beautifully. It’s still there for me to enjoy in the books’. Or something like ‘someone can always find that particular scene in the books if they want to see it’. Disappointment but a positive spin/plug for the show. We NEED to do this.
I want true fans to ‘gently correct’ a misconception or bad information in an article, but if you get pissy with the writer, they may quit writing and the show needs the exposure. Any comments section is a way for us, as fans, to support the show and make sure we are putting out a good image that will attract people and new viewers – perhaps down the road new readers.
However, I have seen many comments over the last couple of months especially that just make me cringe. Many times I have seen comments that, if I were just trying to find out information on the show, I wouldn’t watch it. Comments about how Ron is doing it WRONG, too much violence, not enough of the romance, changing it too much….blah, blah blah, blah blah………………..Why would anyone want to try tuning in this show with those kind of comments out there!
If we as fans of the books or just fans of the show want to keep the series running, we have to be positive and supportive. That is not to say you can’t express an honest opinion – but do it in a positive way! This is absolutely vital for interviews/articles where comments can be made.
If all you can think of to say comes out as whiny, negative, nasty or bitchy, please do the fans and the series a favor and step away from the keyboard. Save it for private conversations or closed FB groups or something where it can’t get out and be negative for the series.
Twitter: see above. Twitter is so public and things spread so incredibly fast – and keep going for days sometimes! I understand wanting to express frustration and disappointment, but when done negatively that gets picked and turns off potential new viewers/fans. What you are disappointed with, someone else may love and you are robbing them of the opportunity by potentially turning them off before they can see for themselves.
I’ve also seen comments on articles like this: “I was thinking about watching this, but after seeing the comments here, I’ll pass”. How very sad that a book fan’s frustration at something not being done on the show exactly as they envisioned it from the book has turned someone off to watching the series; which means they will likely never read the books and miss this wonderful story completely.
I’m not big into FB so not sure how well things spread there, but I know there are ‘private’ groups where a person could whine and bitch and moan all they want without causing issues for the show or potential viewers. If other people can comment on Instagram or Vine or Reddit or whatever, please do as I don’t participate in ANY of these particular platforms so don’t know.
Even blog posts – I do this! I get that a blog is a person’s personal views and thoughts and opinions. I’m so glad we have this option and voice! I would never want to discourage people from voicing their opinions. Absolutely the same for comments made on such blogs. All I ask is, when you write – do think about what you are saying, the message you are putting out and the consequences of what you are writing. If you want to discourage people from even watching the show – I guess it doesn’t matter. If however you want to see the show succeed and continue, please word your criticisms and disappointments in such a way that it can still be a positive possibility.
Example……………………….let’s see……………………ok a complaint I’ve seen a LOT in the last week or so having to do with how much time was spent on Jamie’s rape vs his healing with Claire. (I personally was fine with how this went but it’s been a big issue so I’ll use it for my example.)
“It was hard to see so much abuse dished out by BJR on Jamie and not have more healing for him. While knowing how that scene could have been done differently on screen, I can also see how important it would be for people who haven’t read the book to really understand and see and experience just how broken Jamie is at the end of that torture and how badly BJR messed with is head. I’m sure the writers will address Jamie’s healing in the early episodes of S2. There is so much more to that bit that the series just didn’t have time for! I hope people will pick up the books and experience it in full.”
Basically – if we want to see the show keep going through all the books, we need to be positive and supportive of it, even if we (as book readers) might be a bit frustrated or disappointed with things. We simply must remember, while Ron is being very faithful to the spirit of the book and characters for the ‘book fans’ he is also making a television show with a very different sort of audience and has to create something that appeals to that kind of fan base if the series is to remain viable for Sony/STARZ.
One final little note. I am getting irritated with comments from people telling me (and others like me) that I am ‘kissing ass’ (Ron’s, Diana’s etc.) or shitting rainbows and butterflies or other similar snotty remarks because I support and am positive about the show. Deal with this people….I LIKE IT! I like what Ron and Terry and the writers are doing. It’s new, it’s fresh, and it is excellent television while staying true to the spirit of the book. Its drama that will draw people in and get them hooked – if they are smart and/or readers they will pick up the books (many have). Much as you don’t want to see this, if the show focused solely on J & C and their ‘great epic love’ – it wouldn’t do so well. Ron’s vision is a great balance and I trust him to continue that through the life of the series.