All my White Collar Fic.
I will also re-visit some points I've previous expressed in this journey through my television past, including my preference for gay themes as subtext with a dirty, underground vibe, rather than spoon-fed slash and fanservice.
If I had to pick a single moment when the House MD Fandom became a bad thing for House MD the show, it would be that absolutely excruciating incident when the question was asked of Hugh Laurie on Inside The Actor's Studio by a nearly perfectly stereotypical slash fangirl that raised the issue of canon H/W along with H/Cameron and H/Cuddy. All I could think was STFU, YOU STUPID TWAT! Hugh was clearly embarrassed by the question, although he handled it as well and charmingly as he could. This was around the same time that it started getting leaked that certain writers on the House MD staff were "H/W shippers" who actively supported H/W and were somehow slipping the subtext into the scripts, apparently not truly understanding what subtext actually is.
Again, all I wanted to say to these morons was STFU. (Especially since House was a classic example where all the ship-teasing, fanservice and planted subtext was never going to amount to anything in the end but NO HOMO!)
Which brings us to White Collar...
I came to this show "pre-slashed" as it were. I'd seen the USA promos and heard the premise and my basic reaction was "Meh!" because it sounded like a rehash of It Takes A Thief, and who the hell could be cooler in that dynamic than Robert Wagner and Malachi Throne, so why bother?
Then of course there was the fandom SQUEEEEEEEE explosion and everyone being all OMG, YOU'VE GOT TO SEE THIS THING, IT'S SOOOOOOOO SLASHY. Not so good, mind you. Eventually, I was told it was witty, well-written and the acting was good, but in the initial flurry, no one really cared about any of that, did they? It was all white-cock (although I only picked up that SJW-ish phrase later on) and fanservicey, planted subtext.
Since House was already in its 6th and 7th seasons with their miserably vomitous death throes, the lovely hllangel, once again served as my enabler and provided the discs.
It was totally a rip off It Takes a Thief, but slick and well done. The boys were pretty. The acting was serviceable. It took me awhile to even realize that Tim DeKay had been on Carnivale, because he did a great job of being SUCH a different character. Yay for giving Diahann Carroll a good role. Yay for a strong female lead and a cute dog. Yay for the "We're the FBI, we don't ask, we don't care." line.
I just can't help thinking I would have like the show so much more if I'd come to it on my own, or at least less "OMG, THE SLASH!!!!!!" Because yeah, obviously it was kind of there....but it was also obviously too much there and too deliberately there and still never going to REALLY be there and this time around it wasn't just some fan-thing and a few leaks from the writing staff.
It was TPTB tweeting fan-service. It was the actors clearly being far too knowing in their interviews. It was the writing going places that were one step over what felt in character AND YET of course it's all just ship teasing. Cause you know what tin-hats? It ain't gonna happen.
I reallyreally hate being told what to ship BY THE FUCKING PRODUCERS, who KNOW they're playing the fandom. The longer this has gone on the sicker it's made me to the point that even while they were doing really good episodes with great stars like John Laroquette, I've been feeling more and more revolted by the whole phenomena. Hence I ship Neal/Mozzie (preferably with marginally non-con Fagin-esque back-story). Neal/Keller. Neal/Adler. Neal/Alex. Neal/Kate. Peter/Kate in that one LOOK when they were teasing us that Peter MIGHT be a baddie was the hottest thing ever. Peter/Kramer back-story to explain why Kramer is acting like a jealous bunny-boiler. Hell at this point, I'm tempted to write fic where Diana and Neal actually did have to do it to fake out the bad guys at the whore house. (If this has been written, point me there.)
Obviously I SEE the Peter/Neal, but I would have been so much happier if I'd been able to find it on my own. EVEN with the fannish squeeeee, there could have been some coyness on Jeff Eastin's part.
I genuinely blame Eastin and his minions for this, and obviously I'm conflicted. I like the show, at least when it's doing what it does best, rather than creating bogus conflict, and OH GOD if they really are going ahead with their woobiefication plans for poor, wittle, abused Neal then we have absolutely nothing to say to each other.
I just really hated the way the last few episodes played out...because by the time Peter is sending psychic messages to his boy-toy to keep him away from the old queen so that he can have him for himself and the boy-toy has to give in to his old queen to escape and the music is telling me it's the worst tragedy since the end of Wuthering Heights, we're no longer have a fun procedural with "characters welcome" and a smidge of sub-text.
Yes, I'm being crude and vulgar, but that's exactly how the last episode felt coded to me...even though it's still all a tease.
The one dynamic I do think they've subtexted the RIGHT way is NOT so much Neal/Peter but Neal's complete outsiderness in the Peter/El marriage. (And the Mozzie jealousy. That works as a purely angsty slash theme...naturally though that's NOT the one they're selling the fangirls, is it? Hmmmm, I wonder why not.)
Yes, I'm full of feelings and some of them are really ugly. Again, I blame Jeff Eastin 100% for this. All he had to do was STFU. Or answer the question the way the Great Bird used to when people would ask him about Kirk/Spock, which was NOT to use whatever technology was available at the time to say "wink wink nudge nudge, say no more, say no more."
Hahahahah....I was about to say that the new season was starting and I wasn't sure I wasn't going to watch...but apparently it has and I haven't. I guess they lost me. Too bad. There was so much potential.