Well it appears that the insanity of online reactions waits for no man, as this post is kinda late due to the fact that I sat on today’s topic to gather my thoughts; as well as the fact that I was on holiday.
But yes, as you most likely would’ve heard, Jodie Whittaker (from the excellent Attack the Block and Boradchurch) is announced as the 13th Doctor in a rather underwhelming way. BBC, you made me watch ten minutes of tennis, a sport no one likes, to watch a woman stroll in the woods! Much like Sony’s Ghostbusters reboot, the fact that a typical male is replaced by a woman has split the fandom harder than Steven Moffat’s last few seasons. Some more over reactionary than others.
With many already proclaiming Whittaker to be the new Tom Baker despite only being the character for twenty seconds, with cosplays, fan art and custom figures already being made and hitting the web. And of course there would be some not so keen on this decision, and regardless of whether it’s people in satisfied with the particular woman chosen, or any other reason involved; but it doesn’t matter as they’re all dumped into the dumpster of negative views considered sexist because there’s a woman involved at the end of it.
In short, whether you love or hate the new cast choice, the reactions have been insane. This has become Ghostbusters (2016) again, in the sense that any disapproval is lumped with the actual sexism, while everyone showering praise is criticising others for being “reactionary” without a shred of irony. To the point that any comment disagreeing is labelled as sexist, and attempts to remove, mock and block said views are celebrated. But let’s talk about said negative reactions, particularly as I’ve said in my ‘Doctor Who: I Can Make A Woman Out of You‘ blog my thoughts on the possibility of such an occasion. And since I said I wasn’t fussed about the matter; when it comes to the anti-SJW commenters who’ve already hopped on this story. Let’s go.
Many people on the political right and critics of SJWs have been throwing around the “diversity is killing entertainment industry, no one wants these characters” line using Marvel Comics as an example of this. Specifically due to the recast of multiple heroes, scenes and dialogue made to reflect bs SJW talking points, all at the hands of writers who lash out against their critics and the fans they turned away due to their lack of skills. I’ll let appabend explain. However, can all that really be blamed on the sole fact the Thor is now a woman, the Hulk is an Asian dude bro, and Iron Man is replaced by a black teenage girl; no of course not. They’re just examples of characters who suck due to poor writing.
So yes the obsession with identity politics is clearly there, due to the writers in charge of the sinking ship. And even if we excuse the unsubtle ‘social commentary’ the fact of the matter is the stories characters like Ri Ri Williams, Lady Thor and the like are headlining WAY too numerous, with event comics crossing into every comic series currently out being announced and released every other weekend, and how multiple series get cancelled and relaunched under new titles for the same characters time after time. Just take Captian Marvel, X-Men and Rocket Raccoon for example. And yet it keeps failing for Marvel Comics because the stories they produce suck; despite the hollow lead characters made to replace the characters gaining Marvel money in cinemas. Just look a Captian America’s Hail Hydra moment as an example of fans forming lynch mobs over unpopular creative decisions.
At the time when DC’s New 52 was actually new in 2012, Marvel decided that ‘dark’ was a something to strive against as a response to negative feedback some of the stories were getting . So Marvel decided to be light and humours as a response; and by light, I mean turn every character into Deadpool; with every story being a world saving adventure one issue, and a cheesy sitcom the next issue.
As Professor Thorgi says in his admittedly bias video on the matter, Marvel’s comic side of the company has become frustrating for life long readers without a weekly pay check in the triple digits, especially when big events shake the status quo every other month. It was the people in charge of story’s who are turning away readers, writers definitely involved under this bus.
The key example being Daredevil under the creative control of Mark Waid, who embraced everything that Marvel Comics was looking to do with their writing: pop culture references and poor attempts to be funny and edgy, etc. With fans being driven away by Waids creative direction that can basiclly be descrbied as everything the Netflix series is not.
And any of my readers who are Doctor Who fans would’ve had one name come into their head at the mention of a fans turned away from their favourite franchise’s change, due to its new creative direction; that name being Steven Moffat. A reoccurring writer during the first four seasons of the revived Doctor Who, to which after being loved for writing some of the beloved episodes of those seasons, he was then promoted to show runner for season five onwards in 2010; “genius choice, this will be best season ever!” And while admittedly he did start with a strong first series; things then took a deep decline when everyone noticed the serious flaws in his writing when left to his own devices. Overly complicated stories trying to show how much of a clever writer he is, underwhelming story arc reveals, cringey dialogue that either explains motivations or bad jokes, giving non stop attention to characters that fans don’t care about (cough, Ashildar) etc. While not all of his writing past five series was bad, these actions have slowly turned a lot of fans against Moffat, turning him from golden boy to a meme.
Series nine being a straw that broke the camels back with its season finale, Hell Bent, bring one of the most detested episodes in the shows history; with it followed by a Christmas that also split the fandom upon release. You mean to tell that fans had to put up with this five years of inconsistency of talent, ending up with the as for mentioned Hell Bent; but it’s the fact that Moffat paid a black woman to kiss another woman was the reason his last season has reached a new low in terms of declined viewers?
Yeah when a popular, openly bisexual character like Captain Jack Harkness (played by the opening gay John Barrowman) gets his spin-off show revived by Big Finish; seems legit. As I’ve previously stated in the past: the Ghostbusters reboot (“oh god not again!”) didn’t flop due to the presence of the female cast; but as i explained, it was due to the fact Sony threw out their plans for Ghostbusters III just to please Paul Fieg and get him on board, because to hell with what fans wanted. And then once Sony released trailers for said reboot, and it was panned with every criticism and news from behind the scenes labelled as either sexist ramblings or a conspiracy theory.
Look I get the argument of how studios and creators recast popular/ well-known characters with different races/genders to give this new character a head start in the news by leaching of the originals success. But while celebrating a characters recasted gender solely because it’s a new gender is just as pointless as saying the show is dead for that same reason. Again check out Appabends excellent video on the matter. But until Chris Chibnall’s first episode as new show runner is released, then we can actually judge this new Doctor.
In short while changing a characters race and gender is an obvious marketing attempt for press coverage, no matter the result, but given what the audiences have put up with; the fact The Doctor or Thor now have boobs is the least of the fans problems if and when the inmates are running the asylum.
Thank you for your time.