I pit "...who think he can do no wrong"

I am sick of people dismissing various popular entertaniment figures and their fans by dismissively saying “XXX, and his legion of fanboys who think he walks on water”, or “XXX, and his fans who think he can do no wrong”, or similar things which imply that the fans are not just fans, but brainless slobbering fans who automatically worship everything their idol does.

It’s frequently said about Joss Whedon (who I like a lot), and I just noticed it in this post about Kevin Smith (who I am indifferent to). It’s also been said repeatedly about Michael Moore and George Lucas.
Bluntly, it’s an idiotic thing to say. Sure, Joss Whedon like Joss Whedon a lot. That’s what makes them fans of his. And because they like him a LOT, that means that they tend to think he’d do a good job of a lot of things in a lot of situations.
That does NOT mean that they think he’s perfect. In fact, it’s absolutely trivial to demonstrate this: read any thread about Buffy, and notice that everyone likes some seasons more than others, and in fact a lot of people don’t think much of season 1. Heck, the very fact that people like some EPISODES better than others demonstrates that Joss Whedon fans don’t think that everything he does is perfect.
If you think someone is an idiot because they spend their entire life collecting Buffy memorabilia, then say that they’re an idiot for that reason. And if you disagree with them because they like Joss Whedon more than you do, then point out that disagreement. And if someone is a jerk while talking about him, then call them a jerk. But unless you actually can literally prove that they are incapable of offering or receiving any comment about Joss Whedon other than one which acknowledges his Christlike perfection, please do NOT so imply.

(Ok, fine, maybe you mean it as hyperbole, but it frequently comes off as condescending and divisive. You don’t like X? Fine. But why is there any need to insult those who do, or assume that they like it in an unintelligent cultish mooing fashion?)

(Oh, and on a related note, people who say “well, I might like Buffy, but I’m scared by all its rabid fans, so I’m not even going to watch it” are idiots.)

Well, I’m kinda with ya. I dislike it when people use little catch phrases to dismiss one opinion. It’s sloppy thinking.

That said, I like M Night Shyalaman. The past few movies he’s made I have despised. There seems to be a contingent of people who will like whatever he does, just because he does it. I hate them precisely because I liked his direction before. I feel like he is being betrayed by people who believe he can do no wrong, and who should expect more from him.

Just sayin’, by way of an example.

Oh, nonsense. People who like Signs and The Village, for the most part, actually did like those films. Is that so hard to accept?

Sometimes people do get swept up in the hype, or develop a personal loyalty to an artist, series, or character, but for the most part people like what they like.

Well I did avoided playing Vampire the RPG because most of the fans I ran into were just plain weird. Coming from someone who used to play RPGs that says a lot. I think the most annoying Wheedon fans I’ve run into are the Firefly/Serenity folks but that’s largely because I found myself alone and adrift in a sea of fandom amongst my friends. I enjoyed Buffy and I liked Firefly but I just don’t understand why some people hold Wheedon in such high esteem. That’s ok, different strokes and all that, but there does seem to be a pretty vocal lot who seem to think that Wheedon walks on water and can do no wrong.


My experiences with Vampire: The Masquerade players were very similar to this… the ones I met did all seem to be a bit… odd.

Similarly, the majority of Buffy and Firefly fans I’ve met seem to fall squarely into the “Near-Religiously Devout” category, holding Joss Wheedon up as an example of All That Is Right With Television.

To put it another way: I would be the least surprised person on Earth if it turned out there was a Church Of The Great Prophet Joss Whedon (May His Shows Never Be Cancelled) out there somewhere.

That’s not to say that ALL Joss Wheedon fans are like that- I imagine most of them enjoy his work for much the same reason any of us enjoy any show or movie- but I think it’s important that fans realise that it’s distinctly offputting to have legions of rabid fanboys and fangirls rallying around something that, at it’s heart, is just a TV show or movie, and seeing paranoid conspiracies to take the show off the air, dismissing non-fans as unworthy, and generally taking the whole thing just a little bit too seriously.

It’s certainly coloured my view of Wheedon’s work… I know it’s not necessarily a rational viewpoint, though.

I’m not saying they don’t; I just suspect that what they like is the reliability of someone who is making the movie they expect.

Ditto…I feel the same way. I know there are lots of nromal Joss Whedon fans, but lots of rabid ones, too. And I have been told, flat-out, that “Joss can do no wrong” and “Joss can do anything better than anyone else”

So you’re not saying they don’t, you just “suspect” they don’t. But based on what? Besides, where are these legions of defenders? Is not an apparent 90% of the viewing public agreeing with you enough? You actually have to HATE (your word, I assume hyperbole, but nevertheless) the few people who enjoy those films?

Look, I can’t imagine how anyone could like the last three Star Wars movies (yes, including the third). To me it seems an awful lot like those defending the hell out of these cinematic monstrosities are possibly a little blinded by their love of the series.

But then I think about how I really like the movie Mannequin. Seriously, I own that movie. (I once thought my love of Kim Cattrall therefore knew no bounds, but I’ve never been able to sit through even one episode of Sex In the City, so I was proven wrong). If pressed, I might defend it, not as a work of great art, but a much more watchable flick than it has any right to be. Obviously, this totally disqualifies me for ever sneering at another human being on the basis of taste. All they’d have to do is mutter “Mannequin” and I lose.

And I’m willing to bet every last person who sneers at a fan and pulls out tired old fan stereotypes has a closetful of guilty pleasures of their own. Everybody loves some crap beyond all reason, so if you’ve come to the conclusion that’s what your fellow human is doing, why not just let it go? Why actually come to the point of negative emotions about somebody else’s pleasure? Why go so far as to assume the reasons for their pleasure must be rooted in ignorance, apathy or complacency?

There are fans in the world who think their beloved artists can do no wrong. They are extremely rare, but they exist in every kind of fandom, from sports to spoon-bending. They embarass everybody else, and to be compared to one is highly offensive to most non-psycho fans, who love nothing so much as deconstructing their fandom. That’s the most important reason it’s silly to say someone just thinks “can do no wrong”. Fans love to nitpick and complain! They’re notorious for it! In fact, I think a much more legitimate complaint often directed their way is the attittude of entitlement some display when they become angry with their beloved artist for failing to pander to them.

Geez, calm down. It was an example. Feel free to disbelieve me if you’re having trouble with my point.

What do you mean? I don’t understand.

What’s the difference?

That strikes me as a very different thing from “thinking he can do no wrong”, or (even sillier) claiming that he can do anything better than anyone.

I think Joss Whedon’s shows ARE an example of all that is right with television. Not the only example. Not even necessarily the BEST example. But if people who are snooty and snobby and anti-pop-culture talk about how TV never has anything worthwhile, I would pick (among other things) Joss Whedon’s shows as a counterexample.

Why should they care what other people think? I’m not defending rude behavior, whatever the motivation. But if a bunch of people who love Buffy want to have a Big Buffy Party or start a Big Buffy Thread or talk a hell of a lot about how they love Buffy, why shouldn’t they?

So? If it’s something they love, something that meant a lot to them (as works of art of various sorts have meant to various people from time to time), why shouldn’t they rally around it? Unless you’re attacking the very concept of being a fan of ANYTHING, which is another discussion I suppose.

Some people are dumb and paranoid. Some people are Whedon fans. The overlap between those groups is dump paranoid Whedon fans. I’m not sure what their existence proves one way or the other. (Also, there’s a big difference between someone saying “Fox screwed over Firefly” and “a multinational cabal of the Illuminati and the Stonecutters screwed over Firefly because they feared the dawning of a new age of Whedon-inspired utopia”, or what have you. “Fox screwed over Firefly” is actually a statement that could probably be objectively evaluated one way or the other, if we got some data about marketing dollars, demographics of desired viewers vs. timeslot, etc. It might be wrong, but I don’t think it’s prima facie ridiculous (particularly if you interpret “screwed over” to mean “insufficiently supported”, which, in the context of a new TV show, is a fair interpretation).

THAT is cearly indefensible. On the other hand, point me towards somewhere where someone does that?

What does this really mean?

Please allow me to tell you, in a non-foaming non-paranoid non-asshole (I hope) fashion that Firefly is a fantastic and clever and extremely consistently fun show, Buffy is a show with amazing highs and some of the greatest moments in television history, but also a bit of filler, and Angel is really good also. I recommend them all highly. I hope you enjoy them. If you don’t, whatev.

I’ve defended Signs on the boards before, and admitted to having a largely undefendable like of The Village. I can only speak for myself, but the reason I liked those two movies is that, despite everything he did wrong in them, the stuff he did right was so right that it was worth watching the movies just for that. I’d never call Shyamalan reliable. Truth is, the quality of his work since The Sixth Sense has been steadily declining, and, barring some really good reviews, I might not even bother with Lady in the Water. People like stuff that speaks to them in some way. Back when he made The Sixth Sense, he was able to put a lot of stuff into the movie that appealed to a broad range of people, which is why that film was such a success. His films since then have lost a lot of the stuff that made him appealing to other people, but has managed to hold onto the stuff that appealed to me. He has not done this for you. His films don’t speak to you anymore. But that doesn’t mean that they don’t speak to anyone.

As for Joss Whedon, maybe it’s just me, but I’ve always interpreted comments like “Joss Whedon is my master,” and “Joss can do no wrong,” to be largely tongue-in-cheek hyperbole. I’m sure there are plenty of people out there who are fans of his to the point of dysfunction, but that can be said about literally any hobby or interest under the sun.

You just say that because you’re a Whedon apologist.

Fans who think their hero can do no wrong? Um, Michael Jackson, anybody? (There aren’t many of them anymore but their out there).


You’re not quite following me… I don’t mean “all that is right with television” in the sense of personal opinion that a particular show hits all the right spots for you, I mean “All That Is Right With Television”, with the undertone of* “and anyone who disagrees is a Communist or an Al-Quaeda supporter”*.

They don’t have to care if the “other people” are just messageboard/forum members or whatever. But when people at their work (for example) think they’re the “weird guy/girl obsessed with that TV show with vampires and shit in it”, that’s going to cause problems. I’ve worked with hardcore Buffy fans in previous jobs- not just people who liked the show, but would organise “Once More With Feeling” parties and call each other “Xander” and “Spike” at work, and have serious discussions on the best way to kill Vampires and who would make the best Vampire Slayer. Otherwise normal people, but widely regarded as a bit… odd, which put them last in line for payrises and the like.

There’s a difference between the “I really enjoy this show and would like to discuss it with others” fans, and the “BURN THE UNBELIEVERS!” fans. For some reason, Buffy/Angel/Firefly et al seem to have proportionately more of the latter than the former.

Hell, Star Wars and Star Trek have plenty of both kinds as well- and I think the Uber Trek Geeks and the people who get married dressed as Luke Skywalker and Princess Leia are just as bad as the Whedonites in some respects. The difference is, most Star Wars fans readily agree Lucas fucked up with the three movies whose names shall not be mentioned, and while Star Trek fans can be quite… involved, I’ve never met a Trekkie who really thought that anyone who didn’t like the series was an Infidel.

That would be extremely hypocritical of me, since I’m a fan of a number of TV shows and movies- but I don’t wish I lived in those shows/movies, and I don’t think less of people who don’t enjoy them.

Well, it’s a TV show. It’s supposed to be watched, enjoyed, and maybe provoke a little discussion (and generate some revenue for all involved). It’s not supposed to be treated as a Holy Scripture for a select group of fans/Acolytes to then start championing their cause, arguing over which depictions of events in said universe are canonical, and starting to see non-fans as somehow wishing to deprive them of their beloved show.

And I’m not for one moment attacking or deriding your right to enjoy whatever shows you like- please, don’t get that impression.

What I am deriding are people for whom TV shows become their life.

I’ve watched Buffy and Angel, and my opinions on the show wouldn’t be conducive to civilised debate here, but I see a totally different show to the one you do, and I don’t enjoy it. Unlike Reality TV, I don’t think Buffy or Angel should be taken off the air and all records of its existence expunged from the collective consciousness, but there’s nothing anyone can say or do that will convince me Whedon’s shows are any good. Of course, you’re entitled to feel otherwise- as is your right.

Well, (a) if you work somewhere where “odd” people are paid less, not because they do any less of a good job, but because they are “odd”, then you work at a stupid place, (b) if on the other hand, they spend so much time being odd Buffy fans that they do a less good job, then the problem is not that they’re Buffy fans, but that they aren’t good workers, and © it would be one thing if they were so busy being Buffy fans that they couldn’t hold down a job at all, and couldn’t relate to any other human being with anything other than Buffy quotes. As these people actually have jobs, that’s clearly not the case.

I’m not sure exactly what you are saying here, as I suspect that you are not literally suggesting that Whedonites literally propose death-by-fire for non-Whedonites. But I’m not sure whether it’s you being hyperbolic or them being hyperbolic. In any case, as I’ve said before, if they’re being jerks, they’re being jerks, and that’s not good. But then, that’s hardly saying anything…

If that’s how they want their wedding to be, how is that any skin off your back? How is that any business of anyone but the two of them? And if, 20 years later, they look back and say “what the f*** were we thinking?”, well, that’s still just their business. Until they’re telling you that you can’t get married the way YOU want, I just don’t see any validity to your complaint.

I’m being hyperbolic on this- I haven’t heard fans of Whedon actually, seriously suggest that non-fans be burnt at the stake for failing to love the same shows as them, but I bet you that there’s at least one of them out there who does think this, and probably lives in a room without any sharp objects or lighters in it. :wink:

Again, you miss my point- it’s not the physical act of getting married as Luke & Leia that bothers me (as you say, it’s their business)- I was using it as an example of the sort of people who eat, drink, live, and breathe Star Wars, to the pont where they can’t understand why anyone WOULDN’T want to get married as Luke & Leia, since Star Wars is just the greatest and best movie ever*.

*Tribute. :smiley:

I guess I just don’t see that in most hardcore fans. Maybe I don’t know the right (wrong?) fans? But I think there are plenty of people who really really love Star Wars/Joss Whedon/Renn Faires/Some Sports Team, enough to own merchandise and have lengthy discussions about minutiae with other fans and maybe have a themed wedding, but who perfectly well realize that other people have every right not to care.

I guess maybe one difference is that it’s easier for a Whedon fan to assume that someone who is not a Whedon fan has never been given the chance? I mean, at this point, if someone doesn’t like Star Trek, they probably at least know what Star Trek is, have been exposed to it, etc, and the same for Some Sports Team or Renn Faires. Whereas someone who isn’t a Whedon fan might well never have seen an episode of Firefly, or might make a variety of incorrect assumptions about a show called “Buffy the Vampire Slayer”. So it makes a bit of sense for Whedon fans to be a bit more Evangelistic than fans of, say, the Yankees. But still, there’s still a big difference between someone who says “you HAVE to try Firefly, OMG OMG OMG, you will SO LOVE IT OMG OMG OMG”, which is a tad annoying, and someone who, if you have tried Firefly and honestly didn’t like it, assumes that you’re (a) lying, or (b) stupid, or © unworthy and soulless, or (d) part of a conspiracy.

I mean, heck, I try to get I like people to watch Firefly, because I think it’s fantastic, and I want them to have the fun I had watching it, and it’s always fun to chat with people about something you both like. But if they watch it and honestly don’t like it, well, their loss.

(I guess the time I’d come closest to being annoying about it is if they didn’t like it, but described it in a glib and non-final-seeming fashion. For instance, if I lent someone the DVDs, and asked a few days later if they’d watched them, what they thought, etc., and got a response like “yeah, I watched a few miutes of the first episode while I was washing the dishes and helping my son do his homework, and it didn’t seem like my kind of show…”. I might then suggest that they give it another shot, which might, depending on some potential miscommunication, be something that seemed to them as if I were unable to let it drop, accept that they didn’t like it, etc.)