While I loved finally forging ahead with my Fan Challenge – #O was a big winner, no wonder, with all those pretty pictures – I interrupt my challenge run for a little question. Encouraged by the vigorous commenting that has been going on on the blog over the last while, especially with a few newer members of our fan community, an idea has been lingering and slowly maturing at the back of my brain. I recently wrote somewhere that I find it really beneficial to have a handful of new members so vocal on the blog. Sure, there is an element of repetition for me there – they are still at the discovery stage while I (and many other established fans) are already fully versed in Armitage’s back catalogue. But the discourse in the comments made it clear that there is not only a need for discussion, but that it is actually quite invigorating and refreshing for me as an ‘old hand’, too, when projects of the past get discussed again. Maybe that is true for other established fans as well?
In any case, just to set the scene for my suggestion today: I joined the fandom in spring 2012 – pre-Hobbit but post-NS, Spooks, SB etc. I missed out on all the fun that was had when the community in the early days actually stayed up late together to watch new material appear live on TV and comment asap or even in real time as it was broadcast. (There was a little bit of that when BS aired in 2016 and 2017, but by that time many of the legacy fans and fan sites that I “grew up with” had already closed shop, and there was not a huge amount of discussion cross-fandom.) With the diversification of the entertainment platforms and the access issues that go along with that, similar parallel watching occasions seem to have vanished. Maybe that is also due to the dissemination of the fandom across so many different platforms. In any case, I was wondering whether there is any interest in staging a little “community watch” program ourselves. I do not want to re-invent the wheel here – I know that it has been done before, and that everything has been *said* before (and much of the latter can actually be read up on fan blogs of long standing such as me+richard). However, for those of us who did not add our *own* two cents’ worth to the discussion, is there any interest in creating our own programming and working our way through some of Richard’s back catalogue?
This is what I envisage: We choose a show/an episode of a show. Due to time zone differences, parallel watching may not be possible, but we can give ourselves a time frame (such as a week) during which participants watch the show/episode. Those who have a blog can then write about their impressions of the show and post on their blog. Discussion can take place in the comments, allowing non-bloggers to take part in this community re-watch. We can work out further details – such as: Should the “Re-watch Show” travel from blog to blog, i.e. should it be hosted by different blogs every time we do a re-watch – that would keep an ensuing discussion of the show in *one* place; or should all participating bloggers blog on their own – that might split the discussion but would widen the reach nevertheless. We could work from a predetermined schedule of shows/episodes that are on our list; or we could take turns picking individual episodes of different shows. In any case, it might be fun to get our teeth back into some of the earlier work. We can be as deep or as pithy as we like, and old hands can share their insights while benefitting from the fresh new perspectives of the “newbies”.
This is of course one of my half-baked ideas that I am throwing out there. (As you know, I like experimenting with baking… My latest supereasy no-knead wholemeal bread is a triumph *ha* 🍞 😉!) I have not concocted a proper plan yet, but I am keen to hear whether there is any demand for this. Preferably not only from our new community members, but also from established bloggers – I think this idea would be more interesting if it isn’t just happening on my blog but is spread to other blogs (and platforms), too.
Let me know. And before I go just a quick little shout-out to “newbie” Michele who has just established a blog of her own, entitled The M Files. Michele informs me that The M Files will *not* be a RA fan blog but a discussion blog for anything BUTT. Eh, no no no, anything *but*!