Fangasm: Teen Wolf and Fan Ficition

Fandom communities in web 2.0 have afforded fans the capabilities to create websites fan fiction to expand the television or filmic text to include fan influence. The television series Supernatural is perhaps one of the few television series to have a large and interactive fandom community. Fan sites created for fan fictions and wiki entries allow fans to take a part in creating a body of knowledge concerning the television series with a freedom of fan influence and direction.

The mass amount of attention that the Supernatural fan fiction got from the shows creators has led to a rise in the attention paid to how fans react to the narrative of the show. The creators and the actors engage fans passively by traversing through online fandoms and actively by including fandoms storylines in certain television storylines. Certainly the inclusion of the books in the 4.18 episode entitled “The Monster at the End of this Book,” belied the superiority of the writers and their knowledge that the storyline had some influence from fans or at least a greater power. This nod to the audience is further explored by the creators in future episodes where Dean and Sam run into fans who act out both brothers later turning out to be gay lovers. This storyline is an obvious response to the Wincest slash pairing online in fan fiction but in a way that doesn’t truly meet the wants of the fans. This is the question that need to be explored, and has been asked by fans, about when creators become aware of their fan’s intentions.

Teen Wolf features many athletically inclined guys as werewolves so obviously character shipping was of course the next step for fans of the show. Character shipping can be best described as pairing two characters that normally wouldn’t be paired. For Supernatural that would be Dean/Castiel and Dean/Sam to name a few. For Teen Wolf it would be Stiles and Derek, often known as Sterek. Fans “created” chemistry between the two and it became the main reason that some viewers kept watching. First lets break down both pairings in order to understand the differences between the two and how creators and fans could respond to content both cannon and not.

charlie

Charlie Bradbury

For Supernatural, the characters were created as brothers, so any pairing between the two not only had to deal with homosexuality but incest as well. Teen Wolf didn’t have this issue and was the show frontrunner was LGBT identifying. He was certainly expected to include LGBT characters and so did Supernatural with Charlie Bradbury. The main problem here is that the main shipping that is done between both shows is between characters that can never be paired with one another.

Stiles and Derek

Stiles and Derek

For Supernatural and Teen Wolf the characters identify as heterosexual and therefore the fandom pairings can never come to fruition. For fans of the shows, like me, these pairings are hinted at by creators and actors who have become aware of the fan fiction that exist. For Teen Wolf specifically, the shows creators were aware of the pairing between Stiles and Derek and played into this for the sake of the audience. In one scene of the series Stiles and Derek are paralyzed but fall on one another fully aware that they are touching. The characters joke about this even thought they are fully aware they are touching. The shows creators know of this and still play into the audience’s pairing of both by creating content such as Stiles and Derek lying on each other on a boat.

It is important to note is that some of these sites or locations in fandom provide non-heternormative fans spaces to create narratives to satisfy certain storylines that are lacking in commercial television only to then become reappropriated by the creators in order to keep fans watching. They even play into these fandoms in order to bait their fans into creating more slash fiction or watching shows in order to increase revenue. Some shows have been criticized liked Teen Wolf for how they bait fans and how actors question the motives of fans. Nod to fandoms in shows can be fun and creates a deeper sense of community but where is the line drawn?  Fans may begin expecting television shows to satisfy their fandoms wants.

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