laila
07 December 2010 @ 10:09 pm
Remember to Use Gloves  
As you probably don't know if you're not one of the two people I have been boring silly about this, I recently cracked under the pressure and started watching CSI: NY.

As usual, my first real reaction to this - after boring said select audience of two to death - was to take a look at what the fandom was doing, and as usual what this meant was a quick trip to The Pit in the company of [livejournal.com profile] rokesmith. Stated objective? To find out if CSI: NY fans, or at least that portion of them as haunted the Pit, could possibly be as utterly insane as that portion of Weiss Kreuz fans who do the same.

Hey, it's scientific. I'm doing science. I'm totally sticking to the spirit of things here.

And that would be why I visited the CSI: NY Pit Archive. Of course, I wouldn't be me if I hadn't - based on my exhaustive observation of the Weiss Kreuz fandom - already had some idea of what I was going to find there. Only, perhaps, without the ridiculous amount of slash what with CSI: NY most likely not being One Of Those Fandoms. But, since live-action TV fandoms are supposedly considered in Fandom Snob circles to be way less ridiculous than anime and manga fandoms - the fanbase skews older, for a start - I was quite prepared to be at least a little surprised.

Form the existence of this LJ rant, you can probably already tell that I very definitely wasn't.

It's Been So Long ยป by LaUrIsHa-just me reviews
A woman from Flack's past returns. This turns both her and Flack's life upside down. Ch. 35: Revenge is a dish best served cold. F OC. R&R
Rated: T - English - Romance - Chapters: 36 - Words: 90,133 - Reviews: 58 - Updated: 12-7-10 - Published: 1-12-08 - Don F.

This would be one of the first things - not quite the first thing, it's currently the second fic in the list - that any newcomer to the fandom would see on visiting the CSI: NY archives. Some random girl nobody's ever heard of showing up, dumping all her emotional baggage at the feet of Detective Flack and then expecting that he'll know exactly what to do with it because he's a man - and, just in case that wasn't enough, pouring scorn all over any canon female who so much as shows an interest because He's Mine You Bitch. For ninety thousand words.

Besides, what the Hell kind of lame-ass title is It's Been So Long anyway? Or, for that matter, Find what were looking for, Upon The Midst or Say When And My Own Two Hands Will Comfort You? Looks like it's not only the Weiss Kreuz fandom has issues with deeply shitty fic titles...

In short? It's basically just like the Weiss Kreuz Pit archive, just with far less bad slash and - horrifyingly - rather more Mary Sues. I skimmed back through the listings for the first two hundred fics in the archive, which I think presents a fairly good representative sample of what the fandom's doing without actually having to sit down and read the damn things. As well as seeing absolutely nothing I actually thought I might have wanted to read, I've come to these preliminary conclusions about the basic fanon as regards the CSI: NY cast. They may, of course, not be entirely correct - but that's what you get when you take a fanficcer's own word for it as to what their story's actually about.

  • The Convenient Relative:
    Mac. This may well be because Mac is awesome but is also Gary Sinise, making him a little old and not conventionally attractive enough for the standard sexy-twentysomething Mary Sue. Far better to say he's your Mary Sue's long-lost [father/uncle/brother] and got her a job in the crime lab - never mind that if anybody in the show is definitely not going to be swayed by 'but I'm your niece gissa job' it's Mac Taylor.

  • The Awesome Character Who Gets Ignored For No Very Good Reason:
    Hawkes. I can count the number of summaries in the first eight pages that actually bothered to mention Hawkes on the fingers of both hands. This strikes me as odd since Hawkes was one of the first characters that I noticed and, aside from Mac and Stella, the first of the team I decided that I really liked to just watch work simply because it was him doing it. Looks to me like I've found the CSI: NY answer to Ken 'Hi, Just Checking In, You Can Get On With The Lame Romance Now' Hidaka and yet again he's one of my favorite characters. Fuck my luck.

  • The Walking Suebait:
    Flack. Flack, Flack, Flack. Flack has a rough time of it in canon and is played by a guy whose looks can best be described as 'a weak solution of Cillian Murphy', so I have to admit I saw this one coming a mile off. Flack is hot and angsty. The end result? He's the one who spends most of his time beating off new crime-lab technicians, randomly-appearing old flames and mysterious girls of mystery with criminal connections with a nightstick. Because the standard, fangirl-mandated cure for heartbreak, bereavement and damn near any other issue an attractive guy might have is 'apply this Mary Sue to the affected parts and wait'. And, on the subject of Mary Sues...

  • The Resident Possession Sue:
    Angell. She's dating Flack and dies tragically. Do I have to say any more? I seriously hope not because I'm only on Season Two (and started with the finale of Season One) and I have no idea who this girl is aside from that.

  • That One Pairing:
    Mac/Stella. (It has a stupid namesmushed pairing name, but I refuse to use it on principle because I hate namesmushes and pairing names.) I can't claim to be utterly immune to the charm of Mac and Stella as a pairing either, but I'm ultimately with [livejournal.com profile] rokesmith on this: I like it better that they're not a couple and seriously wish that fandom didn't have to turn every single close friendship out there into 'hey baby'. I hate the idea that a close friendship between a man and a woman can't ever be just that. Do we really have to sexualize everything, guys?

It's also quite possible that Lindsay is the resident Possession Sue as far as Danny is concerned - Danny himself just isn't anywhere near as popular a target as that poor bastard Flack is. He does occasionally get Mary Sues pitching up and hurling themselves at him, and sometimes this goes as far as having him ditch Lindsay because she's apparently less awesome than the Mary Sue (which I can already tell you now for nowt isn't going to happen) but fandom seems a lot more content to let him stick with his canonical partner. Lucky him, I guess.

Of course, that's just the team itself and not the end of my observations. I've noted another couple of distressing trends in the fandom as a whole, specifically:

  • But my friends call me...
    Just like Weiss Kreuz fandom, the CSI: NY fanbase doesn't quite seem to have gotten their heads round the fact that some characters are referred to by their family names by preference. The problem's particularly pronounced with Flack and Angell, frequently referred to in fanfic summaries as Don and Jess - or, to a newbie like me, as 'who the Hell are these characters anyway?'.

  • New Girls in Town:
    They're almost always new lab tachnicians who pitch up from nowhere claiming to be Mac's latest hire, complete with some Leet Skill chosen from the 'Forensic Science' pages on Wikipedia or some other police procedural about forensic scientists, never mind how much actual use the team might actually get out of this. Yes, forensic anthropology might look cool on Bones but has limited application in a show where most of the bodies are in one piece and have been dead for less than a day. Failing that, they're likely to be innocents targeted by criminals for whatever highly speshul reason - or Flack's high-school sweethearts.

  • Don't you guys have jobs?
    And this would be the CSI: NY answer to Weissfics which fail to let the assassins assassinate anyone. Stories where a team of people who are interesting at least partly because of the fact that they're forensic scientists don't seem even remotely interested in doing anything related to forensic science. Instead they stand around angsting about their love lives, go on vacations, sweep randomly-appearing shiny girls off their feet or end up at high school for no reason. Presumably all the murderers in New York decided to take a quick holiday or something?

You know, I think I may stay over here in the Weiss Kreuz fandom, where it's... well, if not exactly safe, at least where I expect things to be kind of samey. I don't honestly know if I could handle setting up camp somewhere else and seeing the exact same things as happened where I was before happening to a completely different group of characters because God forbid that a fandom actually did something original with its premise. Besides, Flack Sues were horrifying enough as a prospect. Actually reading them would hurt me, and I know damn well if I stayed there too long I'd start...

You know a fandom's got a problem when someone who's seen all of eight episodes is backing away slowly, but I guess fangirls are fangirls everywhere.
 
 
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