I’m just going to put some thoughts into the ether… and understand I mean everything I say respectfully and appreciate the thoughts that have been put into the OB tumblr space. I’m not singling anyone out, just responding to discussion.
First I just want to comment on the concept that it makes people lesser fans or fetishists or gross to only like certain parts of a show or certain characters. I draw the line at that. Everyone relates to something different.
When the criticism is leveled specifically at fans who like Delphine Cormier, I’m going to just talk about my own opinion as I can’t speak for everyone. But I am one of those fans who now only watches Orphan Black for a select few plots, mainly Delphine and Cophine. Why? Because I have found the writing to be disappointing. I feel mired in the exact same narratives again and again with little character progress or growth (except surprisingly in plots I have ceased caring about, like Allison or Rachel - there is actual interesting character development there, in my opinion). I was actually looking forward to Rachel’s turn as the big bad the most and so far it feels the same… meandering plots when it should be focused and tight and driving toward an end… not tiny moments of intense mortal danger that get resolved in one or two episodes. There’s no long-term tension or drive toward a climax and that’s a big reason why my interest has fizzled out.
One might ask why I cling to Cophine then when it’s basically the same thing over and over. Cosima doesn’t trust Delphine. Delphine doesn’t communicate with Cosima. As a fan of that relationship, I can say it’s written poorly and a lot of my interest in the plot has been shaped by fandom and fan speculation. At the same time, I am deeply invested in the characters that have been created and I want to see the plot come to a conclusion that makes sense. Either way, I am attached, even if tangentially, until the end.
I think we can all agree that the acting is fantastic and the show started amazingly and the premise is very interesting. But for me, it lost its way so I’m hanging on to what I can hang on to. I can’t force myself to like the whole thing anymore but I can try to enjoy what I can enjoy.
Now when it comes to the idea of fetishizing characters (not actors, mind), I have to ask… what does that mean? When did being a fan of a character or couple become fetishization, and on which side do we get to be self-righteous fans and on which side to we get the honour of being labelled gross? Delphine being someone’s favourite character isn’t gross. Clone-clone shipping isn’t gross. Unconventional ships aren’t gross. Shipping in general isn’t gross. So where is the line?
Is it the graphic fanfic? The gifs? The self-satirizing posts? Looking forward to seeing a character on-screen? All the elements that are present in *every* faction of the fandom?
How about that the majority of Delphine teases by OB this season have been Cophine kissing? Is that gross? Is that reductive? (That, I would argue, *is*, and contributes to this idea that Delphine fans are this gross part of the fandom that can’t enjoy anything outside Cophine… the truth is we can, or I can… when you give me something good or new or satisfying as a narrative.)
Not everyone likes everything about OB. But I personally don’t see anything pearl-clutchingly bad about Delphine fans.
What I do find gross or crossing the line is when people write idiotic posts about a group of *fans*, which I’ve been seeing off and on for the last few months. You can criticsize plots and characters and ideas without shaming or ostracizing the real people behind the fandom. That’s fucking gross behaviour, from any part of the fandom toward another part.
But I’m not going to sit by and be like “oh no no I’m not one of *those* Delphine fans”. *Which* Delphine fans, then? The ones that read raunchy fanfic and joke about Cophine sex and Delphine ships? The ones who also go ahead and ship other clones with other people? The ones who can relate to Delphine but not Donnie? That’s all of us. I’m not about to go and create a false division there, too. I’m not better than any of you. We’re all here to glean our own experiences and entertainment from the show.
I don’t know how anyone can spend much time on tumblr without feeling shamed on a regular basis. It is one of the most unforgiving communities I’ve been in. But for OB, it’s been the best source for me - a customized feed for my interests where I’ve had great discussions and enjoyed lots of great fan works.
But let’s just get real about some things. To keep singling out Delphine fans in eloquent posts squashed between gifs of women making out on Gypsy and OITNB and random jokes and politics and pictures and social justice and quotes… you’re just like us. We are all here to enjoy the show and to be ourselves in some way, especially if we can’t in “the real world”. So can we please move the fuck on from this need to feel better than another group in the fandom? Enjoy the show, enjoy the parts you like - because I guarantee that no one but a few vocal shits give even an iota of a fuck what you’re personally into or what you’re personally doing on your blog. Embrace it!