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2018 Fandoms: A Retrospective

*some minor edits may have been made to this post in the 3 months between writing 90% of it and actually making it public in...May*

Disclaimer: I am filling out this entire survey largely by resorting to reviewing my Tumblr archive, sorted by photos. WHAT IS A WORKING HUMAN MEMORY.

Disclaimer 2: Lately I am real into 3-hour Survivor "Retrospective" podcasts, where a contestant talks through the whole season to date. Given my abysmal failing to talk about the ups and downs of my fannish life this year, I have apparently stored all of it up for this post. Hopefully it would take less than 3 hours to read aloud, but I can't promise anything.

1. Which TV shows did you start watching this year?
-The Good Cop
-Ellen's Game of Games, and Total Knock Out sometimes

2. Which TV shows did you let go of this year?
-Zoo, for real
-Kevin Can Wait (I'M FREE, JEFF. FREE.)
-The Brave, super against my will due to cancellation
-Scorpion, F U cancellation!!
-Seal Team, more or less (maybe I'll catch up someday? OR WILL I)
-S.W.A.T. (see above)
-NCIS, probably. It's been over a year since I watched it, aside from Abby's last episode which I do not have the emotional capacity to discuss here
-The Middle, sorta (which I did actually watch most of the rest of on DVD, even though here on The Idealistic Daydream we will officially pretend I have not seen past midway through S7 because I haven't written about it.)

And these aren't "let go" per se, but Madam Secretary and Hawaii Five-0 also abruptly dropped into the cryogenic storage abyss after one episode this fall because apparently I wasn't ready to go back to having that many enjoyable shows at once?? Apparently my limit now is 4 and Survivor counts as one of them.

3. Which TV shows did you mean to get into but didn’t this year? Why?
Rise, A.P. Bio, Haunting of Hill House, Good Girls and Instinct immediately proved themselves terrible in 1 episode or less. I gave up on trying Champions after it premiered late/got cancelled quick and I decided that kid grates on my nerves too much to deal with full time. Splitting Up Together premiered too late and I still haven't found time to get to it. I also still haven't gotten around to The Rookie (The Good Cop just seemed so immediately superior to it in so many ways), and I missed Jack Ryan because I never had the time to properly kick back and just Enjoy New TV in the way anything featuring John Krasinski deserves.

4. Which TV shows do you intend on checking out next year?
Jack Ryan, Proven Innocent, maybe The Rookie, and NEW NETFLIX SERIES BASED ON A LITERAL ROMANCE NOVEL STARRING MARTIN HENDERSON a.k.a. "Virgin River."

5. Which TV show impressed you the most this year? Why?
Survivor: David vs. Goliath is either the best or second best one they've ever done (it's hard to relinquish Tocantins' spot, but...). The Brave only had four episodes in 2018 but it was amazing. Criminal Minds also Brought It pretty hard in terms of sheer entertainment; it was probably the show I looked forward to the most as far as good characters + solid plots.

And obviously, I think The Good Cop was basically flawless, but whatever. Go ahead and have poor taste, Netflix users.

6. Which TV show impressed you least this year? Why?
The Haunting of Hill House dropped the shining promise ball pretty darn hard.

7. Which TV show do you think you might let go of next year unless things significantly improve?
None. I love everyone in this bar now that there is almost nobody left in it.

8. Which TV shows do you think you’ll never let go of no matter how crappy they get? Why?
Gonna say Survivor again, because it is the only thing that is safe! Also Criminal Minds, now that its end date is on the horizon. I may have shown up late but I will go with it to the ends of the earth, and probably would have as long as MGG was still part of the cast. Maybe even beyond!
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PART II: FANDOMS BY THE FAVORITES & STANDOUT EVENTS
Disclaimer 3: I probably gonna forget some important names in the first 3 categories.

1. Favorite female characters of the year
Jaz Khan
Nell Jones
Kensi Blye
Tani Rey
Happy Quinn
Revisited: Ryan Clark

2. Favorite male characters of the year
Junior Reign
Walter O'Brien (Past Me cannot even believe this)
Pete Wilder
Marty Deeks
Eric Beale
Nathan Riggs
Derek Shepherd
Revisited: Ben Keeton (technically the above 2 were not from current seasons either...but it was my first time seeing Riggs, and I hadn't seen Derek since season 8)

3. Favorite ships of the year
Jaz/Dalton (The Brave)
Deeks/Kensi (NCIS: LA)
Eric/Nell (NCIS: LA)
Henry/Elizabeth McCord (Madam Secretary)
Walter/Paige (Scorpion)
Newt Gingrich/Leta Lestrange
   (but also: Leta/Newt's brother that she was actually with, so it is Inconvenient to me that you killed the transferrable leg of the triangle)
Axl/Lexie (The Middle) (HOLY HELL)
Derek/Meredith (we missed so many things w/ my failure to talk about my brief plunge into a shipping catch-up tour on Grey's Anatomy)

4. Favorite shows of the year
I actually mocked up a top ten for Tumblr! So:

The Good Cop
The Brave
Criminal Minds
Survivor
NCIS: Los Angeles
Scorpion
The Middle
Madam Secretary
Hawaii Five-0
Mom

5. Favorite episodes of the year:
NCIS: Los Angeles: To Live and Die in Mexico; Pro Se
Criminal Minds: Ex Parte; 300; Luke
The Brave: Desperate Measures; Grounded
Hawaii Five-0: 8x18 and 8x20
The Good Cop: Who Killed the Guy on the Ski Lift?
Scorpion: The Bunker Games
The Middle: Mommapalooza

6. Best new fandom discovery of the year
THE GOOD COP

7. Biggest squee moment(s) of the year
Hold on, I got a lotta squee.

NCIS: LA: NELL AND ERIC KISSED THREE TIMES IN SEASON TEN AND TALKED ABOUT MOVING IN TOGETHER MORE THAN ONCE ALLAKSJDFLASD; I can't believe they managed to totally steamroll over season 9, where the top squee included (1) waking up in bed together like this happened all the time, and b) Nell getting a dreamy look on her face while Eric proposed vacations and leaned in to kiss her before being rudely interrupted.

And for Densi: the seemingly infinite number of squee moments in the S.10 premiere (the church! the hospital ending!). Also, DEEKS AND HIS FACE and all related actions while protecting Tiffany in Pro Se.

Criminal Minds: all the moments between Matt & his wife in Ex Parte (13x19); every Reid/Garcia scene in the S.14 premeire and every time someone hugged him in that same episode, and Luke breaking down crying in his girlfriend's arms in 14x06; like honestly, I think it could have been better acted on his part but I don't even care, I happily torched my own ships and accepted said girlfriend for that footage.

Hawaii Five-0:  that time this show wildly-as-hell indulged me by flashing back to Danny's romantic liason with a domestic abuse victim.

The Brave: Dalton's hands-on rescue of Jaz, them conveniently being the only two to share a hideaway crate, and him calmly talking her past her self-flagellation tears

Scorpion: the Walter/Paige reunion hug from 4x13 or the flirty/suggestive kissing from 4x14. Runner-ups, Walter's talk of wanting stay in and cuddle on Valentine's (WHICH DEFINITELY HAPPENED, AND NO NEWS STORIES OR CABE CALLS WILL CONVINCE ME OTHERWISE), and Walter's beaming smile at the dinner table and "he should know how great it all turns out to be" while referencing Toby's hope to start a family. Ugh, that still hits me so hard in the feels, finally being able to consider Paige & Ralph his family. Thank u for letting us have that, writers, even when it seemed premature in context.

Madam Secretary: this cuddly bed smooch between the Old Marrieds, and a boatload more things I can't remember right now.

The Good Cop: TJ'S STUPID SAD SMITTEN SMILE at Cora fast asleep at the other end of the bed. (I could also have chosen her straddling him and unbuttoning his pajama top, but there was a trouser snake in the way. and by trouser snake I mean a poisonous snake that crawled up the leg of his trousers while he was sleeping and ended up on his chest. duh.)

Power Rangers: Whatever rando incarnation the show is in now brings Catherine Sutherland a.k.a. KAT HILLARD back to set for an episode -- alongside Tommy -- to flood my brain with beautiful set photographs, faintly implies (and confirms off screen) those characters are married, and gives me one sentence of Tommy talking to said wife on the phone about their son before getting off one sentence in Dad Mode for said kid to put away his bicycle. So many small scraps, yet SO MUCH SQUEE.

Survivor: The truly ridiculous number of Christian/Gabby hugs, most of which involved tears (hers) and comforting; Christian bringing his girlfriend for the family visit (thank you GOD because my escalating shipper squee needed an appropriate direction)

Movie Edition
I normally limit my squee to things that actually happened this year, but I'm making an exception because I rarely watch movies the year they're released, and this level of flail needs to be remembered.

A Quiet Place: I literally can't even begin to count how many incredible husband & dad moments J.Kras Lee had in this movie, and I don't want to so that I can be surprised all over again when I rewatch.

The Hollars: John Krasinski's character spooning (pregnant) Anna Kendrick. I could look up character names, but is that really important.
(Runner-up: the squee from finding out Josh Groban randomly had a supporting role in this movie, which I did not know until I was watching it)

The Strangers: Prey at Night: Listen, I don't care if they died horribly later, I got Martin Henderson + Christina Hendricks being Romantic Married Parents and it made my month.

The Moment: arrrrgh, I had a draft saved somewhere where I attempted to count/catalog all the moments in this movie and I could not, so just know that this is entire movie is basically a showcase of Martin Henderson alternately being dreamy and sexy as hell. Like, to the point that there's a scene that really pushes my boundaries as far as comfort level (below the waist movement) and I was still like, "Nice."

Gifted: "I know you did not write an entire movie just to get footage of Chris Evans and an adorable quasi-daughter crying their eyes out over being separated and/or for the inevitable tearful apologies and reunion hugging, but damned if this script was not just a great excuse for exactly that."

Fantastic Beasts 2: Newt's expressions every time he looked at a woman for more than two seconds, basically, but also Leta's woefully unresolved feelings about him.

8. Biggest fandom disappointment of the year
-"Good After Bad" remains unreleased, as does Martin Henderson film "Hellbent."

-Finding out Mark Harmon and Pauley Perrette have had some kind of feud over the preceding year or so (evidently his fault), resulting in Abby's final episode not even coming close to the emotional powerhouse of a goodbye it earned over the course of 14 years, and disappointing me even without killing her

-Grey's Anatomy writes off April Just Because (my question is YOU SUCK, to use Survivor fandom parlance), and manages to be the second show this spring to simultaneously not kill my departing lady fave and STILL disappoint me, this time by locking her into a relationship endgame that manages not to be satisfying despite being literally ideal on paper.

-Madam Secretary hires Sara Ramirez, the woman I managed to escape from by leaving Grey's Anatomy, and throws her back in my face (now with atrocious hair).

-Scorpion blows everything to hell for its finale and then promptly gets canceled on a cliffhanger & breakup.

Speaking of: The Brave and The Good Cop are both canceled and Good Girls (the only one of these titles that is a lie) is renewed.

9. Favorite villain of the year
Do I like villains? I feel like I do not.

10. Favorite f/f couple of the year
¯\_(ツ)_/¯

11. Favorite m/m couple of the year
I had a brief but intense explosion of HEART-SHAPED WRECKAGE KLAINE FEELS when I popped the canister of S6 of Glee for like a week last summer. Then I wrestled it back into its tightly sealed tube because I wasn't fully prepared for it yet. But god, that brief blaze of hedonistic gorging on both old and new moments in the last two seasons really hit the spot.

12. Fandom that you never expected to get into
The Waige part of the Scorpion fandom. That was such a no-fly zone even after I got into the show last year, I can't even fathom how it eclipsed my original OTP on said show by a considerable margin.

13. Fandom that made an unexpected comeback
As I said on Tumblr, "2018 is all about having fandom renaissances for shows I used to watch, or taking casual viewership to a new level. Every month or two brings a new rediscovery."

Some lasted longer than others, but I toured back through Under the Dome (I saw some season 3 Barbie/Julia scenes I'd never seen before), Off The Map (someone even sent me their Ben/Ryan fic!! That kind of fic doesn't even exist on the public internet), Grey's Anatomy (an exclusively Meredith and/or Riggs-related shipping tour, ending when he left) and Private Practice; then Madam Secretary and Hawaii Five-0 hit new highs, Scorpion blew up from a real "back burner fandom" to a supernova, and I rounded it off with brief spurts of Power Rangers, Glee, and Josh Groban, because yes Josh Groban is his own fandom. He was my only fandom in 2004-2005, when I was (wisely, in retrospect) more concerned with my classmates than fictional characters, until CSI and Lost brought me back in that summer.

14. Fandom that inspired the most crack
Survivor served me up SO many hot new memes this fall that I can't believe none of you heathens will recognize. (Angelina got rice for the whole tribe, which you may not have heard of; "she's doing yoga?", #JACKETGATE, Hi Allison, and probably even more.)

15. Your main fandom throughout the year
I believe I spent the most time and creative/interactive energy with Scorpion. That went hard and almost exclusively for near 4 months, a record in this year of off-to-the-next-one ricocheting through rediscovered fandoms.

16. The most missed of your old fandoms
Ooh, tough call. I definitely felt some pangs about Glee, but Off The Map really sent my heart to the moon and back as hard as it did the first time around.

17. Fandom predictions for next year
-My fervor over the current Survivor cast will fade (SOMEHOW??) by the time next season premieres, if not before
-Proven Innocent either fails in the ratings, or does well but I can't stomach its sure-to-be-schmaltzy-ness even for Rachelle
-I FINALLY start writing about at least one scripted show again? Maybe that is more of a hopeful resolution lie than a good prediction.

For reference, last year I guessed: I will love Rise (through sheer force of will if needed), and find a way to center more than a few YA novels around its cast as a result?

(HA. HA HA HA HA. /What Makes You Beautiful "Ha Ha Ha" Version)

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