Hot on the heels of Syfy’s Heroes of Cosplay comes a new show titled Fangasm, which follows seven super fans who move to LA and intern for Stan Lee’s Comikaze Expo. One of the best things about the show is that it’s non-elimination, so these seven are here to stay (gods willing of course!).
I was hesitant to watch it, even though I adore Regina Carpinelli, one of the brains behind the convention, simply because I was worried it would be drama filled and exploitative of geek culture. Hell, it’s even marketed as “From the minds behind Jersey Shore,” and if that doesn’t scream trainwreck, well, I’m unsure what does. Anyway, the first episode brought in a staggering amount of opinions, but fan response seems to be fairly positive, with #Fangasm becoming the top trending topic on Twitter and fan response caused the Comikaze Expo website to completely crash for a few minutes!
The first episode, “Beam Me Up, Stan,” introduced us to the seven ridiculously geeky interns:
Molly McIsaac: Red-headed cosplayer with a husky voice
Paul Perkins: Adorable dude that lives in parent’s basement
Sal Fringo: Curly haired comic book enthusiast
Andrew Duvall: Tall, lanky guy who just wants to captain the Enterprise
Kristen Hackett: Blonde fashion designer from New York
Mike Reed: Relatively normal looking guy who digs everything
Dani Bullis: Petite red-head and special effects make-up artist
So who is the favorite intern? Regina says:
“They are all great kids, but Andrew has made me cry like 10 times already. However, I never play favorites; I abuse them all equally.”
Immediately, a conversation revolving around who publishes better comics, Marvel or DC, smashes geek myth that we’re quiet, timid creatures of old before Regina Skypes in a call from our Lord and Savior, Stan Lee. Each intern immediately squees and immediately sobers up with the first test from Regina for the following day: gather as many signatures as possible to establish an official holiday, Geek Pride Day. The interns retire to their swanky new digs, experience a challenge in lighting a grill, and start getting to know each other with relative ease. The next day, Dani locates a Geek Pride Party at a local bar and the group invites all their friends to the event in the hopes of snagging an ass ton of signatures. I felt my heart warm at the sight of my fellow geeks in full costume. Once the work was done and the group settled down at the bar for the cosplay show and dinner, the faces of the girls went from excited to complete disgust/disinterest as the cosplay show featured scantily clad woman dancing. Molly was particularly vocal about the performance not focusing on a celebration of geekiness, but instead exploitative of it. Andrew pointed out Molly was in a tight outfit, in essence doing the same thing, but missed the point of her frustration. Black Widow is drawn to have a skin-tight suit, so if she is to be cosplayed accurately, we’d have to don that same skin-tight suit. Iron Man doesn’t have his perfect ass cheeks hanging out, but I definitely felt that the girls got their point across effectively without sparking a huge debate or slut shaming as this is a big issue in the geek world at the moment.
I asked Regina what she thought about it and she had this to say:
“As a woman who is an executive in a male dominated world, I know a lot about being a tough chick. With that being said, there was NOTHING wrong with those dancers. Unless you can read minds, you can’t judge someones geekiness by looks and high kicks alone. That’s wrong. Anyone can be a fan, and even if those girls are not real fans, who cares. They were not saying they were some geek dance troupe, they were just girls dancing trying to make a living.”
Back at the apartment, Kristen suggest the group record a no holds barred podcast which devolved into a state of giggling and fun times, before they decide to try out the hot tub. The interns have another run in with technology as they struggle to get it working before calling it an early night. Regina is not thrilled with how the signatures are turned in but congratulated them on their effort before delegating several menial tasks for the group to complete, one of which brings them upon a flyer for a contest to meet George Takei (you guys, it’s pronounced Ta-kay). I found myself cheering for Andrew, possibly the geekiest of them all, as he fails the endurance test in order to meet one of his idols. In a surprise twist, George Takei asks to meet his roommates and I can honestly say this is the first time I’ve cried openly because of reality television. Andrew’s story was so honest and heart touching, and his reaction was so GENUINE…I wasn’t even jealous he got to meet him. I’m definitely glad this show is representing us pretty honestly so far and I don’t doubt there’ll be drama here and there, but I’m hopeful in its potential.
What did you think about the first episode? Tweet me your thoughts @ladyvader99 and you know what, you can tweet them to Regina herself @dialrforreggie AND at Comikaze too @stanleecomikaze.