MTVU Fandom Awards Might Just Be The Weirdest & Greatest Award Show Around
When I first discovered the mtvU Fandom Awards, a new competition honoring the most obsessed-over movies and TV, my first reaction was something along the lines of "really?!" Don't get me wrong, I love Game of Thrones and The Fault in Our Stars as much as the next person, but an awards show celebrating how long people are willing to wait in line or how detailed their fanfics are? No thanks. Yet once I took a closer look at the categories and nominees, including the just-announced contenders for the biggest race, "Fandom of the Year," my opinions began to change. Are the Fandom Awards silly and unnecessary? Sure. Are they also kind of brilliant? Oh, yes.
You see, while the idea of a fandom-based awards show is absurd, the actual result is pretty great. It's honoring the entertainment that people genuinely care about, regardless of things like ratings or campaigns. If a show or movie is adored by fans, its size doesn't matter; for every massive contender like Breaking Bad or Divergent, there's tiny, cult-loved options like Awkward or Supernatural. The "Fandom of the Year" nominees, especially, represent the best of pop culture —what other awards show has Community, Doctor Who, and and The Hunger Games duke it out in the same category? Only this one, and that's exactly why we love it — even if it is kind of ridiculous. Five reasons the Fandom Awards, airing July 27 on MTV/mtvU, might just be the awards show you didn't know you needed:
It Knows Its Audience
We've all seen award shows that've tried to appeal to a certain demographic, only to have their efforts backfire miserably; anyone remember Anne Hathaway and James Franco at the Oscars? Even the shows that are aimed at a specific audience, like the Teen Choice Awards, often end up catering to groups of people they didn't predict: 8-year-old Twilight diehards, 40-year-old moms with a thing for Zac Efron. Not the Fandom Awards, though. This show knows exactly who its audience is: Tumblr. Many of the fandoms nominated wouldn't even exist without the blogging site, and its users care strongly enough about Sherlock or Hannibal that they'll take pride, not embarrassment, in having an awards show honor their obsessiveness. The Tumblr connection goes so deep that the "Best Fandom Forever" category is only allowing votes that come through the site. That's commitment.
It Honors Smaller Shows and Movies
It wouldn't be a fandom awards show without mentioning juggernauts like Game of Thrones or The Hunger Games, of course, but that doesn't mean smaller movies and shows shouldn't get some attention, too. Thankfully, the Fandom Awards have taken care of that, nominating cult favorites like Orphan Black, Sleepy Hollow, and the Veronica Mars movie alongside their more popular peers. The diversity makes the competition harder, but it's great to see an awards show that honors movies and TV simply based upon their appeal to fans, not their weekly ratings or A-list cast members.
It Makes Our Craziness Seem Normal, or At Least Acceptable
Spend way too much time on Tumblr, reading fanfic for your favorite TV shows? Lose yourself in Reddit threads that debate casting announcements or upcoming plotlines that you have absolutely no control over? Have no fear: you're not alone! The Fandom Awards makes all that obsession seem totally normal, or at least, not completely crazy. Take the "'Ship of the Year" category, for instance: the contenders include "couples" named "Destiel" and "Johnlock." In other words, you are voting for which fake romance between two fake people that you created that you care about more. It's not weird, though, because everyone's doing it, right?
It Has a Category That Pits "The Purple Wedding" Against Batfleck
For the "OMG Moment of the Year" category, the contenders include the Star Wars cast photo, the series finales to Breaking Bad and How I Met Your Mother, Game of Thrones' Purple Wedding, and "Batfleck," otherwise known as the casting of Ben Affleck in Batman v. Superman. One would not normally think that these events have anything to do with one another, but who cares?! This is the best awards show category ever.
It Recognizes Shows and Movies That Never Got Enough Credit
Films like The Fault in Our Stars and X-Men may be lucky enough to get plenty of attention, but many more shows and movies, despite their appeal, are typically ignored by the mainstream public. Some of them spend their whole on-screen lives only receiving notice from their die-hard fans, with critics, awards shows, and the entertainment-watching public passing them by for more popular movies and TV series. The Fandom Awards is set on rectifying this, though, by honoring pieces of pop culture that are or were adored by fans, but forgotten by everyone else: Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Bates Motel, Adventure Time, Pretty Little Liars. Love a show, but don't understand why no one else knows it exists? The Fandom Awards, in all their weird, obsessive craziness, have got you covered.
Image: BBC; Lionsgate; The WB