When you get into the realm of fandom, and see what directions fans want a series and its characters to go in, I begin to wonder if some fans have a subconscious desire to make things less interesting. Let's take a look at "Gargoyles" for this entry, as it's the fandom I know best.
I used to read a lot of "Gargoyles" fanfiction, and I still mingle with a lot of the fans on various forums. But whenever we get into a serious discussion on what should happen next, I am honestly surprised whenever someone suggests something good, or even credible. Because almost all the time, fans throw up wish lists that would completely rob the series of its teeth.
Take Goliath and Elisa's love story, for example. It took them sixty-five episodes to even kiss, and almost as long for Elisa to acknowledge her feelings for him. When Elisa briefly got cold feet in "Invitation Only," a good portion of the fandom revolted. Weisman was accused of violating the integrity of the characters, people were angry, and accused Elisa of acting out of character. To which I ask, did any of you ever watch the sixty-five episodes of the series? Ever? This isn't just an interracial relationship, this is interspecies, and it has a lot of very real consequences.
What do most fans want? For Goliath and Elisa to quickly get married and have lots of babies together. As for the former, Weisman has said a commitment ceremony is coming eventually. As for the latter, gargoyles and humans cannot procreate together. May I add that the notion upsets a lot of fans?
And then these fans come up with these weird loopholes to try to get Goliath and Elisa to procreate, usually involving science or sorcery. The two names that get thrown out there the most are Puck and Dr. Anton Sevarius. You can tell that the fans who mention them don't stop at all to think. Puck is a trickster, not a genie. He'll do you no favors without something blowing up in your face for his own amusement. And as for Sevarius... um... he's only slightly less immoral than Joseph "Angel of Death" Mengele. Whenever someone suggests he help Goliath and Elisa, I want to smack them upside the head.
Goliath and Elisa are in love, but it shouldn't be easy. Why make it less interesting.
Next is Demona, who is probably the series' greatest villain. She has a lot of depth, she's very compelling, and you can understand why she is a genocidal bitch. She had a rough life, filled with tragedy. Of course, now she knows her daughter, Angela, exists. Does she love her daughter? Of course. And yes, she helped the clan defeat Thailog after he threatened to kill her. There is a large portion of the fandom who believe that Demona will reform and all it will take is a hug from Angela. Those people tend to forget that the very next time Demona and Angela saw each other, Demona tried to commit mass genocide on the human race, and that she risked Angela's own life to escape after her scheme was foiled.
Demona loves her daughter very much, which is why I scratch my head when people don't think that Angela will become Demona's newest excuse. Let's face it, Demona's entire life is one big rationalization. Nothing is ever her fault, it's either the humans' or Goliath's. If she can use protecting Angela as justification for future attempts at genocide, she will.
Demona is a tragic character, and while Weisman has said she will eventually have an epiphany, it shouldn't be a happy moment, it should be a tragic moment... when she realizes what she sacrificed because she is a fuck up. It won't happen until sometime during the "Gargoyles: 2198" spin-off, well after Angela is dead.
DEMONA - For over a thousand years, Demona has plotted against humanity, blaming them for crimes against the gargoyle race. Now that a greater threat, the Space-Spawn, has reared it's many ugly heads, Demona has reluctantly joined Samson's resistance cell. But no one, including Demona herself, is fully confident that she'll continue to fight on the side of the angels. This may be her last chance at redemption... or her final opportunity to annihilate the human race. Still, Samson felt it necessary to actively recruit her. It's hard to pass up the help of a warrior who's survived a millennium's worth of battles, a sorceress who knows how to combine ancient magic with modern technology. And then there's that bit about her turning into a human during the day. The only question is how she will use her talents. For now, she's siding with the resistance. But can that last?
I rest my case on this one. So, I think I'll pimp my friend, Rob's excellent Demona on Christmas Eve story that completely subverts what most fanfiction would do:
Check out "Tis the Season"
Then there are other examples, such as fans wanting to restore Coldstone and Coldfire to flesh and blood... without logically thinking of how. Puck and Sevarius get trotted out again for this one, and I need not repeat why that's just stupid. Not to mention, it would cheapen their original deaths.
There were even a few examples of people preferring David Xanatos's depiction in the non-canon "The Goliath Chronicles" to the in character depiction in the comic book. TGC emasculated him by turning him into "Mr. Sappy Good Guy" while the comic depicts it as an uneasy alliance, and Xanatos still willing to use the gargoyles to his own ends, even if he's learned he needs to give a little too.
Even the GargWiki engaged in this misconception at a time. The opening paragraph for David Xanatos' entry originally read:
David Xanatos - The founder, owner, and CEO of Xanatos Enterprises. Once the gargoyles' greatest enemy, but now their current protector.
Eventually, Greg Weisman himself edited this paragraph to read:
David Xanatos is the founder, owner, and CEO of Xanatos Enterprises. Once the gargoyles' greatest enemy, but now their... host.
Alas, many fans still don't get it. And to some, that means he's either a good guy or a bad guy, and some have trouble grasping nuances.
And finally, one of the big ones. A lot of fans hate the gargoyle species itself. Hate them. Okay, maybe not the species but the cultural identity. So many of them work very hard to strip gargoyles of everything that makes them culturally unique and turn them into little more than "humans with wings." Looking different is cool. Thinking fundamentally different is not. So, these fans are, well, little different than John Castaway and the Quarrymen in my mind, except instead of wanting to destroy them, they want to "civilize them." They're like Spanish Conquistadors. Wait, maybe that's a good name for the "Gargoyles" revisionists. Gargoyle Conquistadors.
There are plenty of other examples out there, and while I think it boils down to wanting to see your favorite characters happy, well, happy characters seldom lead to good drama. So, to all the fans out there who want to see the series continue, please don't wish to rob the series of its teeth, because if you had your way, it would be very dull. It would not be the series we fell in love with.
Hmm, I wonder if any "Transformers" fans want Optimus Prime and Megatron to be friends?