‘Party Down’ Knew What Toxic Fandom Was Before Anyone Else

We all know the Game of Thrones ending sucked, but go back and look at some of the reactions out of context and you’d think people were responding to Pearl Harbor. Hell, people are still mad about it; here’s a recent thread of people hoping “fat f*ck” George R.R. Martin drops dead because he didn’t finish his books in time. 

That’s because fandom can feel like a contract, a promise that if a fan offers their time and money then a creator will offer them something worth spending that time and money on. If you’re a fan who’s invested more,  a lot of time—a lot of your life­—into a creation, only to find yourself less happy with the result than someone who just discovered your passion last week, you can feel like you got ripped off. 

Like the movie was made for the casuals, not the people who really love it. This is why if you so much as whisper the words “Last Jedi” angry nerds will tell you it was the greatest cultural atrocity since the Cultural Revolution. 

Walt Disney Studios

Yes they will.

But that contract doesn’t really exist, and believing otherwise only leads you to the bitterness of Roman, who was hardly an aspirational character. In an episode where he encounters his ex-writing partner, he discovers that the man he fired is now a huge success thanks to his adaptation of a novel Roman thought was unfilmable. The screenplay worked because his old partner thought about what would make the book function on-screen, not just what he thought would make fans like Roman happy. Admittedly, he’s also an a-hole, but that’s fictional Hollywood for you. 

If there’s any hope here, it’s that Roman occasionally sees through his own BS. There’s a sweet moment where he gives a pep talk to his struggling co-worker, and when he’s finally convinced to re-write some of his own work he realizes that stories don’t function unless you consider the people within them. And once you start remembering that people in stories always come first, well, maybe you’ll be more inclined to stop getting so irrationally, volcanically angry at the people who make the stories. 

Anyway, here’s a scene where Constance can't calculate how big a bird would have to be to terrify her. 

Mark is on Twitter and wrote a book.

Top image: Starz

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