I have a brother on dA, and you should check out his page.
*There are no spoilers in this...speech...thing...whatever.*
I'm going to talk about how the last episode made me feel, why I always fall back to loving the fandom, and why I always fall back to loving the show that brought me here. Warning, I get sentimental and ramble on, which is the story of my life.
So... most of you have probably seen the last episode by now. I watched it last night without even knowing it was the last episode, which was the result of an unfortunate combination of scheduling confusion and my state of usually-not-being-in-the-know, but I did wonder why it was so heart-wrenching...I wish I’d known it was the last episode when watching it but needless to say despite my confusion it was a really good way to end the beloved series that meant a lot to me. It gave me a lot of strong feels. Don't worry, I won’t say anything about it that gives away the storyline, though I will talk about things that didn't happen. Such as how I appreciate that they didn’t have a last-episode theme; that would’ve been going overboard and then there would've been too many expectations to live up to as far as things to confirm or acknowledge regarding what us fans would be expecting to get from an episode that acknowledges itself as the big goodbye episode. They made all the right decisions when it came to handling the it, one of which was coming up with two new characters rather than starring one of the classic villains. They couldn't have starred one villain without it being unfair to all the other villains and fans who wanted to see their favorite in the much-anticipated series ending, and so creating two new ones instead was a choice made out of consideration and respect for us all. In addition to that, had it been an episode that featured two characters from a strong fanon pairing, especially one involving WordGirl with a villain, it might've been disappointing to have their non-canon-status confirmed by an episode that can't give the shippers any kind of nod to their otp. I'm sure we all wondered if they might hint at a pairing moving to a new level be it a canon or a fanon couple, but I don't believe that should've been the focus of the episode and it was appropriate to not include that angle at all (though I do personally think a little Sciolet is acceptable at any given moment), so I think everyone should be satisfied with the heartfelt plot they presented us with and be grateful that we can imagine the characters all living on much as we have been all these years, especially since the narrator himself mentioned the (nonexistent) next episode of WordGirl. That's something we can all agree we needed to hear straight from the mouth of Chris Parnell, amirite guys?
But...now it's over. No more new episodes for us fans to draw inspiration from in our creative endeavours. (But yes PBS, I will immediately pledge $200 to get the whole series in a boxed DVD set with a t-shirt and stuffed Captain Huggy Face plushie. Seriously just tell me what I have to do to get the DVDs though.) So I'm not gonna lie, now that it's all over, I feel a low, monotone kind of depression about the ending I once thought I'd already come to terms with back when I first heard the company doors were closing. I've been reading stuff I didn’t know before on tumblr about how Scholastic shut Soup2Nuts down, cutting the team down to just nine people in their last days, and even though there's a lot of uplifting things to be seen about entertaining staff antics, how amazing the team was, and how it was those people's dream job while it lasted, it's sad because I feel like towards the end I wasn't as much a part of it as I wish I'd been, what with everyone chatting with cool people like Liz and Alex on tumblr and me never having done so or knowing that was even a thing. And seeing conversations mention terms I'd coined or headcanons I mothered makes me wish I'd been the one talking about it all like I used to before I had jobs and stuff take over my life. In a silly nostalgic, and truly childish way I'm somewhat jealous of those who were very tumblr-involved and in-the-know on WordGirl and the creators. I feel like I've come back in the nick of time to be a part of the goodbye parade, you know? I see what everyone had been talking about in the months leading up to Soup2Nuts closing and it's like watching a friend you were once close to go through the hardships of life from a distance and thinking, "I should've been there."
Okay that might be a bit too intense. Or is it? I'll never have another fandom experience like WordGirl because this fandom was so unique, just like the show itself, and I got so heavily involved; so many fellow fans and close friends have made me feel like I was and still am a really big part of it, and it's had such a positive effect on me in so many aspects these past five years while I’ve been doing some of my most crucial growing up as a human being thus far. I can't help but think I'm not the only one who cares this much about the fandom. These people got me to share fanfics with them, when never in my life have I before or since been comfortable sharing anything I write with anybody, even when I think I do a good job. Or my fanart, for another example. I always felt like such a dork about fanart, especially because otps inspire a great deal of it, but I sure don't feel like a dork in the WordGirl fandom; I feel like one in a big happy family of people like me. They, or rather you, got me to try new things with confidence and share it with the certainty that I know there's SOMEONE who will appreciate it, and I’ve maintained that approach with most other aspects of my life as well, which has and will continue to help me in my pursuit of an art career. You gave me such a sense of being quite understood, and I feel there's nothing so accommodating as that. It's one thing to be liked, yet another to be understood. The WordGirl fandom is precious to me because you've made me feel both liked AND understood. That's rare. Sure I might be considered by some to be a fairly decent person and all, but I think anyone who has made me feel good about myself should get a lot of credit for sticking with me, because I am not a perfect person. I’ve learned some lessons along the way, and I still feel liked and understood by you nonetheless, and even when I'm absent I don't take it for granted that I can always come back to find that people remember me and wait for me to upload again, and still read and reply to my comments, no matter how petty whatever I'm saying is. (Like right now...I'll let you be the judge of that though.) Basically, you guys treat me like I'm special, and so that's exactly how I feel as a part of the WordGirl fandom. It's a happiness in my life. I won’t apologize for all my sentimentality regarding this because it totally means that much to me and even though I hope you all knew it already, I think now is a good time to make sure you definitely do.
What a great show for us all to have been brought together because of...the Soup2Nuts team really made us feel cared for as fans, and that’s why up until the end so many of us have remained this dedicated. Sure, the fandom hey days were a while ago, but that has more to do with our personal lives shifting how much a part of the fandom we could be than anything else. This last season of WordGirl has been SO GOOD; they have not let us down. The obvious heart and soul they poured into it is plain as day, and it was done for us. Soup2Nuts knew it was a sinking ship and yet they really outdid themselves; their dedication lasted to the end, like ours. And I’m so impressed with the show as a whole, complete thing, as I always have been. (MOUSE BRAIN TAKEOVER IS NOT CANON. JUST DON'T THINK ABOUT IT.) We got plotline progression and character development and they intentionally presented us with so many things that we can still make into whatever our imaginations want, and they personally encouraged that in us. We can all find something or someone to relate to in it, and I appreciate the care they put into making it accessible to all of us and our diversity, especially because when they first decided to make the animated shorts, I doubt they were thinking, “Our target audience will be teens and adults who have all these complicated, individual interpretations of everything we put in an episode.” Heck, I’m 22 now and I still pick up my old fanfics from time to time and go through obsessed phases, like right now actually. I go months without watching an episode, yet every time I do again, the show never fails to put an enormous smile on my face and make me laugh. In fact the fondness I have for it seems to grow the more time passes, even if I’m not as much of a crazy, obsessed fangirl as I once was.
I think WordGirl got it right because they wanted to be different from other shows in very important ways. Becky has an intentionally undeterminable ethnicity, and I've seen the appreciation that fans of many races have for that firsthand. They wanted to teach kids big words, and I always love to remember years ago when my three year old sister told my mom that laying in my bed looking at my Christmas lights on the ceiling was "so serene". They wanted to make kids laugh in a clever way that showed they were being taken seriously, and so me, my siblings and my parents would all laugh at the same moments and make WordGirl jokes later on. WordGirl presented the moral of each story in a subtle way that kept it from being all reminiscent of cliche character building cartoons of the past. I guess I could really go on and on about why WordGirl was a good show, but I should stop before I get started on Tobecky...
So I need to say thank you to the creators, because they are brilliant and deserve to go on to do more and more incredible things with their talent, and I'm so grateful they were able to share what they could do with us in such a personal way for so many years. WordGirl created the fandom that brought me into online communities and has made such an immense imact on me. I wonder what things about my life would be different if it weren't for that. I need to thank them personally when I get the chance. And then I want to thank the fandom for existing- from those of you who are some my favorite people to talk to of all time, to those of you who I don't know very well yet but hope to eventually. I didn't know you could have great relationships with people you've never met via internet and really KNOW them. I didn't know that logging onto my deviantART to read comments could make me feel so happy on bad days. I didn't know that the confidence boost you guys continually and supportively give me would make me a better artist, but I know it has, because it's given me a better idea of how I should see myself. Funny, it all started with WordGirl. So no matter what I do in life, I like to think I'll always watch the episodes again and get that familiar, happy nostalgia rush, and think of you guys, like I've been doing so much already and plan on continuing.
This is me trying to be thankful and positive about a bittersweet thing and remind everyone that the fandom still exists. So I'm just going to post this before I start rereading and reworking it again. Goodnight!