I love the idea of the House internet fandom. Every week, it is honestly fun to get together and compare notes on what we thought of the new episode. In the past few years in which I've been involved in this fandom, I've met the most amazing people from all over the world. Many of you have become part of my support system, and I know that I couldn't deal with the show and with life nearly as much as I do if I didn't have y'all around.

Except. Except, except, except. Fandom has gotten out of control. I more than understand that this show is not the exact same show as the one that premiered five years ago. Focuses have changed. Characters have become revealed, and new characters have been added. Relationships have emerged. It happens on every show, and that's one of the oddities of a television series versus movies or books or plays; it is constantly in flux. And... there's nothing fans can do about that. Absolutely nothing. Yet somehow, by virtue of this thing called the internet, we think we should have a say. We have become desktop quarterbacks.

Many fans have come to personalize the show. Nicknames like "my baby Wilson," "my Cammy," "my Cuddles," and so forth are common. Many posts to LJ comms and other message boards start with "I want" or "I don't want." And if a show runner or an actor hints that something one may want is possible for the future, and then doesn't follow through in canon, a fan may feel that he or she has been "lied to." Bitterness ensues.

ETA: And it's hard to have a discussion with the "I want" people. Because when you disagree with their views, it's taken personally when it's not meant to be. When someone disagrees with one's view of a ship or a character, it doesn't mean that he or she is being called less of a fan; it's just disagreeing. And so long as someone isn't personally attacking you (and so long as you're not personally attacking anyone else), it's. not. personal.

Shipping dominates this fandom. I'm just as guilty of it as anyone. Generally speaking, it's harmless. It's fun. It's even natural. But, we have factioned ourselves off into groups and generally refuse to interact. Then when we do interact, it's to put down the "competing" character for House's affections and ever so occasionally, those characters' fans. Well, I have news for everyone: HOUSE IS NEVER GOING TO HAVE A LONG-TERM ROMANTIC RELATIONSHIP. With anyone. Not Cuddy. Not Wilson. Not Cameron. No one. It doesn't matter how good the fanfiction is written; good fanfiction does not necessarily translate to good "canon." That's not to say House can't have romantic encounters with these characters. He's human, his potential partners are human, and sex is a part of television -- it happens. It's a part of exploring fictional relationships, but sex does not necessarily equal a permanent relationship. It certainly doesn't on House.

What should we expect and demand from the show? Good entertainment. What shouldn't we expect and demand from the show? That entertainment to fit our individual views of what the show should be like. I, personally, wouldn't mind demanding that Hugh Laurie wear those sexy reading glasses all show, every show, and making out with Cuddy AND Wilson during DDX sessions. Luckily for everyone here, I'm not in a position to demand anything that I personally want from "The Powers That Be." And neither are you.

Internet fandom exists for squee and criticism. But too often these days, in every segment of this crazy place, constructive criticism seems to be replaced by borderline if not full on temper tantrums, and squeeing looks more like the bashing of characters, actors, show runners, and fans. No wonder people are leaving.


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