My DVR’s been pretty full as of late, between “The Borgias,” “Glee,” “Castle,” and “Game of Thrones.” I do still frequently check the On Demand section for MTV’s reality shows-and recently noticed a “True Life” episode called “I’m a Fanboy.”
“True Life” is a documentary-style reality TV show that follows multiple people (usually three) experiencing different aspects of a theme. The show examines the underlying reasons for the participants’ eccentricities or addictions.
This episode examined a budding horror film director, a “Power Rangers” fan, and a “World of Warcraft” addict. The first two subjects were male; the WoW addict Joy was female.
At first, I was skeptical of the episode. Some of the subjects conformed to certain nerd stereotypes but others didn’t. The title of the episode bothered me a bit, because the most extreme fan in the show appeared to be Joy, the female. Beyond “Warcraft” addiction, Joy is an avid collector of general geekery.
As a geek, I’d say this is the true mark of a fangirl (or fanboy). While you may focus on collecting one thing over another, a convention is almost sensory overload. Personally, I have to set a budget at conventions or limit myself to specific things before going.
It’s clear that fangirl Joy had no problem attracting men. Slim and attractive, Joy was in her element as a WoW elf at a convention. Her first boyfriend wasn’t interested in online MMOs; the second guy she dated in the episode was interested in the game-but Joy realized she’d rather spend time with him than time online (even if he was playing also).
“Power Rangers” fanboy Jason met a female “Power Rangers” fan named Gemma at a convention. The two remained friends and haven’t really started dating.
Travis, the horror film director, had a girlfriend throughout the show. The couple didn’t seem to have any major issues and they didn’t argue through the course of the documentary. His girlfriend worked on Travis’ films and remained supportive of him.
That’s the thing about geek dating: it’s really no easy or more difficult for geeks to date than for anyone else. Jason had the right idea-he was a bit awkward around girls and kept getting stuck in the ‘friend zone,’ so he went to a convention, met a girl with very similar interests, and announced his intentions.
Even though Gemma isn’t ready to date Jason, he at least put his feelings out there. If they do not date in the future, it will be easier for him to confess his affections for the next female “Power Rangers” fan out there.
Travis finished his horror film and Joy quit “World of Warcraft” after reaching level 80.
I’ve gone through levels of intense interests as a fangirl. I’ve definitely played online RPGs for 25 or more hours per week, but I feel like my interest and involvement is more accepted by non-geeks when they find out that I make a living writing about my interests.
I do what I love and make money at it-and that’s all-American, whether it’s geeky or not.
The most important thing I noticed about the geeks in this “True Life” episode was that they were always having fun. When trying to correct a problem or achieve a goal, it always involved having fun and getting friends involved. That’s a healthy way to solve things-and it’s great to see that fandom makes fans so happy.