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Saturday, April 27, 2013

Please Don't Bring Merlin Back

I'm growing very impatient with the Bring Merlin Back groupie thing. I joined to watch what's going on partly out of morbid curiosity, because I have a sociology degree heavily anchored with anthropology and psychology. I've never observed a live cult group before, although I've seen a few from a distance. And I have to say, this one comes as close as any to weird obsession. I have bets on that if someone instructs them to drink the koolaid, a few of them just might.

In the real world, one fan does not hold the power to make a staff of hundreds of people do his or her bidding. The group leader ~seems~ to understand that millions more dollars would have to be dredged up and a number of lives would have to screech to a halt and go in reverse to get back to an intersect point where they could pick up where they left off. But the group leader also seems to epic fail to see that playing fan politics like this looks like a mental affliction gone wildly awry. To expect the world to behave this way because a very few people (compared to the entire fandom or world audience) 'work hard' to make it happen isn't much different from a toddler throwing a tantrum or a teenager manipulating relationships or an adult refusing to deal with reality.

I'm not wanting to be mean. I love Merlin so much that I spent good money procuring all 5 seasons, plus a calendar and a t-shirt. There are other fans out there spending much more than I have, buying collectible toys and apparel and traveling to film sites and conventions. IF these kinds of things are what keeps a show from ending, then Merlin would never have ended. Its international success exceeded so many expectations, and most of us feel so lucky to have seen it or been a part of it. But c'mon. Investing one's emotional belief system into remolding a television show via a fan army of swooning believers isn't how the rest of us want it to go. I do NOT want Merlin back if it means a handful of fans become the boss of everyone who ever created Merlin, and I especially do NOT want those fans to be the boss of Bradley and Colin.

I love the way Merlin ended. I bawled my eyes out, yes. I've seen a lot of Arthurs and Merlins come and go, and this creation was such beautifully crafted story about such a deep friendship, and how that friendship survived through thick and thin and eventually led to the United Kingdoms. We watched a core belief system rebirth through the seasons and in the end came down to a serving girl on a throne because of the utter kindness of her king. THAT is what Albion is all about. Albion is a dream that we are ALL equal, that we ALL matter, and that we treat each other with respect and courtesy, not drawing lines at status. Because Arthur had such good friends, he was a good king.

I do not want obsessive fans to change that. Arthur dies in all the legends, and I think this version of his death is fantastically beautiful and symbolic. Everything in the last two episodes is very symbolic- Merlin stuck in the dark cave while the battle begins in the dark, brother and sister both dying by swords forged in the dragons' breath, an actual dragon being Arthur Pendragon's pall bearer, and much more. I wept not just for the death of Arthur, but for how absolutely beautifully done that entire last stand was executed in film, how wonderfully uplifting the entire series was, how much it has actually helped me in my personal life to believe in good things during rough times.

I thank Bradley and Colin very much for being Arthur and Merlin. But I never want to see them do those roles again any other way. I vehemently do NOT want obsessed fans to change what is in MY head by bullying the market with faked email accounts and spamming. I'm sorry those fans need that to hang onto, and I do understand that sometimes we really do need something concrete when our lives need meaning. I don't want to make anyone feel like I am making fun of them, because I'm not. I have observed and not said anything for a long time. But as an American who has watched this 'international' group execute 'actions' to bring Merlin back before some of us have seen season 5 aired in our country (or even season 3 in some countries), I think they do the rest of us fans the discourtesy of not caring what WE want.

I want Arthur to rest in peace for awhile now. I want to make up my own fantasies about him rising out of Avalon again to join Merlin. I want that sparkling effervescence of 'maybe'. I want to move on and become the sort of person who would also be noble and patient and true like the rest of the supporting characters in Merlin.

I have been part of a number of fandoms, and while I appreciate that fan support can sometimes bring a show back long enough to bring a little closure, I also understand that sometimes a show really is simply over, at least in the real world. In my mind I carry on to my own amusement, as is should be. Stories give us something to occupy our thoughts while we get through mundane or difficult stuff, and stories can even help us with problem solving our own relationships and decision making. To turn a story into a production on demand taints the joy of those creating the story to begin with (after all, it WAS someone else's idea), and neglects the feeling of pride in their accomplishment.

I would invite the fans who demand a different sort of closure to create and publish their own stories. Instead of just demanding that everyone else drop whatever they're doing to please them, grow up and put the work into it yourselves. Invest your own money, dedicate your own hours of labor, form your own teams and produce something wonderful for the rest of the world to read or watch. The whole Merlin and Arthur field is wide open, anyone can interpret it any way they want. But don't think you can dare to turn our Colin and Bradley into puppets that you pull the strings on. Not cool. They have so much potential to go on and do so much more, and I want to see them continue to excel in other work. Please accept that they are actors, not dolls, not the real characters, not enamored of themselves as the fans are. They are simply men who get paid to fill roles. And we love them, that's ok.

I rarely cross post my stuff, but this one is going on multiple blogs I have strewn across the ethernet. Those of you wonderful lurkers who stalk all my stuff, sorry for the redundancy, but this feels important. Thank you for your time.