Top 10 TV Shows Ruined by Fans

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Top 10 TV Shows Ruined by Fans

VOICE OVER: Ryan Wild WRITTEN BY: Mimi Kenny
These TV shows are great, but their fanbases can be a bit much. For this list, we'll be looking at shows with fans whose bad behavior became bigger news than the show itself. For the record, we're not putting whole fanbases on blast, just ones that on the whole could be a little more accountable. Our countdown includes "Steven Universe" (2013-19), "Lost" (2004-10), "Rick and Morty" (2013-), "Glee" (2009-15), and more!
Transcript
These TV shows are great, but their fanbases can be a bit much. For this list, we’ll be looking at shows with fans whose bad behavior became bigger news than the show itself. For the record, we’re not putting whole fanbases on blast, just ones that on the whole could be a little more accountable. Our countdown includes "Steven Universe" (2013-19), "Lost" (2004-10), "Rick and Morty" (2013-), "Glee" (2009-15), and more! What rules do you think fans should abide by? Share your thoughts - politely - in the comments!

#10: “Sherlock” (2010-17)


As a detective, Sherlock Holmes’s brilliance lies in his attention to detail, which helps him solve cases that leave others stumped. It seems fans of BBC’s “Sherlock” series took that message a little too much to heart. Many became so obsessed with how the show should play out, and any detour risked upsetting them. In an interview, actor Martin Freeman said making the show had become difficult due to fan demands, though he did later clarify his appreciation for the show and its fans. Some fans also seemed to have difficulty separating characters from the actors who played them, with Molly Hooper actor Louise Brealey speaking out against fan harassment on Twitter. Being a respectful fan? It should be elementary.

#9: “Steven Universe” (2013-19)


“Steven Universe” is a heartwarming show that promotes good values like love, acceptance, and musical numbers. So, it’s quite disheartening to see some fans ignore the show’s message. The “Steven Universe” fanbase has been described as “toxic” multiple times. Arguments were started about who was and wasn’t allowed to watch the show, rules about who can cosplay as purple aliens, and how fan art is supposed to look. One Tumblr user even received death threats over her fan art. Animator Ian Jones-Quartey spoke out against fan harassment, but some fans took umbrage with this as well. It just goes to show, wholesome shows don’t always equal wholesome fans.

#8: “Game of Thrones” (2011-19)


Throughout its run, “Game of Thrones” was a cultural phenomenon. Even during the weaker final seasons, everyone was talking about what was happening in Westeros. However, some fans tended to be more obsessed than others, and their enthusiasm could be hard to take sometimes. Since the property originated as a book series, some fans would flex their expertise to an obnoxious extent. Others would get too caught up in their theories about what they thought was going to happen to the point that any actual alternative be blasphemy. And like any obsessed fanbase, the nitpicking could reach a ridiculous extent. “Game of Thrones” might’ve been fantasy, but some fans needed a reality check.

#7: “Supernatural” (2005-20)


Brothers Sam and Dean Winchester encountered plenty of paranormal disturbances during “Supernatural’s” run, but one monster they might’ve been ill-prepared against is their own fanbase. “Supernatural” garnered a devoted following during its fifteen-season run. As with many cult TV shows, some of these fans got carried away with their adoration. This includes getting too caught up in their own headcanon and believing their shipping and character identity desires must be satisfied. There was also an issue of fans complaining about the show going downhill yet not being able to give any helpful suggestions for how to improve it. While “Supernatural” is a show that’s easy to get attached to, some fans took their appreciation in an unnatural direction.

#6: “Doctor Who” (1963-89; 2005-)


When a show’s fandom has its own Wikipedia page, you know it’s passionate. While many fans of the “Doctor Who” revival series are perfectly reasonable in their appreciation of the show, others have used their fandom as a way to be stuck-up and otherwise insufferable. Fans will complain about minor plot inconsistencies, new Doctors being introduced, and treat their vision of the show as gospel. Some are so wrapped in complaining, it’s questionable if they even liked the show in the first place. We’d rather face the Weeping Angels than deal with some of these Whovians.

#5: “Glee” (2009-15)


There are so many moments in “Glee” that are shockingly problematic. And we aren’t going to pin those on the fans. However, some “gleeks” turned their love for the show into something far more unsettling. A huge issue was getting overzealous about characters, with fans posting mad rants about their dislike for certain characters. Shipping obsession also went too far, with some fans expecting both characters and the actors who play them to be romantically involved. Since many fans were teenagers, it’s possible they let their youthful inexperience get the best of them. Hopefully, as they got older, they were able to move past these obsessions.

#4: “Rick and Morty” (2013-)


“Rick and Morty’ is an endlessly inventive and incredibly smart series. Unfortunately, some fans are under the impression that liking the show means they have some kind of intellectual superiority over others. And they’ve acted out in truly reprehensible ways. When McDonald’s brought back Szechuan sauce following a fan campaign, they were overrun by “Rick and Morty” fans who were outraged about their limited supply. This led to some physical altercations. Female staff writers have also been harassed and doxed. Even co-creator Dan Harmon has voiced his extreme displeasure with these types of fans. Being smart is great. But being kind and respectful is even more important.

#3: “My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic” (2010-19)


It’s not completely unusual for adults to enjoy entertainment targeted at children, but some “My Little Pony” fans take their appreciation to a disturbing extreme. Some grown-up fans of the show, commonly known as “bronies,” have created adult drawings featuring the show's characters and have used their fandom to promote racism and misogyny. It’s disgusting to think of such a wholesome show being exploited for such toxic purposes. While not all bronies are problematic, those that are end up making everyone else look bad by association. Friendship is magic. Being intolerant and abusive? Not so much.

#2: “Lost” (2004-10)


“Lost” revolutionized how fans consume and discuss TV series, with message boards and chat rooms being filled with new theories minutes after episodes finished airing. But while fandom helped make “Lost” a phenomenon, it also may have sabotaged the show. Fans’ obsession with breaking down episodes piece by piece and espousing convoluted theories made the show seem more like a science project than entertainment. “The Onion” even made a video making fun of these die-hard fans. “Lost” was a great show, but its fanbase showed the very fine line between liking something and obsessing over it.

#1: “Voltron: Legendary Defender” (2016-18)


Criticizing a show and some of the decisions of its creators isn’t inherently a problem and can even help fans remember to not hold shows to unreasonable ideals. However, some fans of the Netflix mecha series and ‘80s cartoon revival “Voltron: Legendary Defender” displayed their dissatisfaction in indefensible ways. Many fans were upset over how LGBTQ characters were portrayed, and some went as far as sending death threats to actors and showrunners as well as threatening to leak sensitive information about the series unless shipping demands were met. Here’s a good rule of thumb for being a good fan: if your fandom of a show is causing you to commit felonies, maybe you should take some time to reflect upon your relationship with it.
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