Oh god, I have some things I need to say about this episode.
- So, there’s this thing I wanted to talk about in a review, but I haven’t necessarily had the right space to do it. It’s not something you can force in easily, but re-watching “The Wish” finally gave me the chance to do it.
- Mark Does Stuff gives me the opportunity to be horribly wrong without the normal fandom pains that come with it.
- I love being in fandoms. I grew up as an X-Phile, and then spent most of my late teens and my early twenties in bandoms. (Oh god, bandoms. CAN WE HAVE A COMMENT THREAD JUST ABOUT BANDOMS.) But I think all of us can say we’ve had negative interactions with specific fandoms we’ve been a part of, even on this website. And that’s par for the course with any group. Except maybe the Tamora Pierce fandom??? Y’all are so goddamn nice, I swear. Anyway, I don’t think fandom in and of itself breeds hostility and terribleness. People are just gross? And there are a myriad of reasons why that is the case, and today is not the day to come up with those.
- Instead, I want to focus on how off-putting it can be coming into a new fandom. I think one of the things most of us have had to cope with is the elitist know-it-all. They exist in nearly every group of people, but when it comes to something like a television show, a band, or a book series, my god, they come out in droves.
- And that’s something I’ve had to contend with throughout my entire Mark Does Stuff career! People want me to have the right opinions, they want me to know everything there is to know about a franchise, they want me to interpret things in the accepted, canon way. That’s especially frustrating to deal with when you’re new, you’re ignorant, and you’re inexperienced.
- That’s one of the reasons I like watching television shows and reading books in the way that I do and with the rigid spoiler policy in place. As much as I can, I try to experience these things in a bubble free from the influence of others and free from any predisposition. That means I get to be wrong. Gloriously, horribly, unfortunately wrong. In most cases, it’s beautifully hilarious because I am forever unprepared for all time. My pain is your gain.
- Sometimes, this is not the case. And the point of this is not to put y’all on blast but I’m gonna do it anyway. Lord of the Rings fans were pretty awful about this. If I did not understand every nuance of the world they’d spend their whole lives studying, I was reading the book wrong, and my experience was flawed. (True story: I entertained calling Théoden by the wrong title and saying Éowyn was his daughter just to spite all the people who yelled at me in the comments and because 74 OF YOU SENT ME EMAILS ABOUT THIS.)
- And that brings me to “The Wish.” I was so wrong about my assessment of this episode, and I’m glad I was. I came to appreciate Willow, Anya, and Cordelia way more because of it. I saw how the episode came to matter a great deal in the grand spectrum of the series, and it’s easily one of my favorite episodes of the whole run. Odds bobs, I was so fucking wrong about it.
- And y’all didn’t freak out! You just let me sit there in my wrongness, cackling at the future, knowing I’d come back to “The Wish” with a different understanding.
- That’s awesome.