Come on, Rushers. Don’t be that fandom.

This week it was announced that Big Time Rush will be touring the US with fellow Nickelodeon star Victoria Justice this summer. Good news, right? That’s what I thought at least, but the reaction of my fellow Rushers has been less than positive.

Now, there have been times when I’ve kind of shaken my head at this fandom, but the only time I’m truly disappointed in it is when a girl has anything to do with the boys. That’s when the unabashed hate comes out and I just have to plead with my fellow Rushers to stop insulting any woman who comes into contact with the members of the band.

[For the remainder of this article I will use the word “you” to address the fans to whom I must speak. If you, dear reader, are not a person who has ever insulted a woman who was linked with your favorite celebrity, then my use of the word isn’t actually directed to you, but if you are, then maybe you need to hear what I’m about to say, whether you’re a Rusher or not.] Continue reading

Fanfiction Fridays: A Fickle Heart

Usually when I suggest fics they are complete, but today I am instead offering one which has just begun. A Fickle Heart is the latest story by one of my favorite authors, Candid-Canoe, and it has everything I love: Kogan, Fate, Mystery, and Romance.

So far only the first chapter has been published. Logan Mitchell, a doctor, wakes up after his heart transplant with pain, confusion, and the nagging thought that something is, if not exactly wrong, then at least different. The new heart seems to be the obvious culprit, but Logan knows that the human heart is not the poetic store of emotion that artists make it; it is an organ which does a job and nothing flows through it but blood. The story is an AU and so far we know that Logan is a doctor who buries himself in his work, using it as an excuse to not take care of his personal life so that his friend Carlos is kept at arm’s distance and his mother only gets to see him when something’s wrong.

This kind of behavior is so typical of Logan’s canon personality in which he fears personal interaction and hides behind excuses or altered personas, and this is what I love about Candid-Canoe’s AU stories: even when the situations are changed to affect the characters we know and love from the show in new ways, there is an essence which remains true to who they are. However influenced it may be by the situation, it doesn’t feel like an unrecognizable character. I think that’s so important in any fanfiction but especially in AU’s where the author needs to get the reader to make the leap from the established world in which we fell in love with the characters originally and now follow them in a new and different set of circumstances.

The above link goes to Candid-Canoe’s tumblr, but the story is also hosted on fanfiction.net where it will probably be easier to follow updates, so check it out here as well.

Fanfiction Fridays: “Stupid” by disorient-me

Today I’m going to post something a little different from my usual fanfic fare. Oh it’s still Big Time Rush, of course, but for once it’s neither romance nor Kogan. “Stupid“, a oneshot written by disorient-me, is a story that was actually written for me, a fill to a request I had made on the now defunct BTR Fluff Meme on LiveJournal, and it’s wonderful.

One of the things I mentioned when discussing the characters on the show is how Carlos and Logan are often foils for each other, between Logan’s straight-laced and restrictive personality and Carlos’ wild inhibition and spontaneity the two make a great dynamic. They butt heads frequently on the show, probably more than anyone else in the band, so it’s important to see their more affectionate interactions which happen on the show, but not all that often.

I also love how much this fic applies to my headcanon of Carlos being this sensitive little boy who feels things much deeper than he lets anyone know because everyone thinks he’s just this wild ‘n’ crazy kid (TM) but he has shown he has the biggest heart and like most people with big hearts he’s very sensitive but his friends tend to forget about that fact because his main personality is so boisterous and he’s really just this delicate little flower and he needs to be taken care of sometimes and… and…

This fic establishes the closeness that’s hinted at between the two but not often fully realized on screen and I love it. All the relationships between the guys are so interesting on the show and I think the show does a pretty good job of presenting them, but of course fanfic fills that need to see those relationships expanded on beyond the constraints of the show.

Big Time Rush: The Show (Continued Some More)

Ah yes, like a bad penny, my series dedicated to Nickelodeon’s Big Time Rush turns up once again! Continuing from my last entry in the series (all the way back in November, can you believe it??) I will be talking about character development in the show, this time focusing on the secondary characters who richly populate this show.

The first secondary characters to whom the show introduces us are arguably the most important: record producer Gustavo Rocque and his personal assistant Kelly Wainwright. The pair have been across the United States looking for their new pop star and the journey has worn on them so what we first see is a stressed exaggeration of their personalities, but we get a feel for them. Kelly is a capable young woman who is good at her job and getting work done. Gustavo is a pompous producer with a short fuse who’s desperate to get back to his glory days. Both are focused on their business and doing all they can to make their trip a success, though Kelly is pretty clearly the more competent of the two in that regard, so there’s a cautious “woop woop” in order for the empowered woman; hopefully she won’t be a cold stereotype of the Strong Female Character variety.

When the pair meet Kendall and his friends they don’t really know how to react to them. Gustavo tries yelling and intimidation, even though it continues to fail in getting results. I believe it was Einstein who said “the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results” and by that definition Gustavo is definitely insane. His temper and futile attempts at control are often a source of comedy on the show, while Kelly tends to exhibit Only Sane Man qualities, especially in the early days of the show. I say “in the early days of the show” because this post is about character arcs and both Gustavo and Kelly have grown quite a bit from their introduction.

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Fanfiction Fridays: When the Music Stops

Hello readers, it’s me, Fiyero3305, bringing you another wonderful AU Big Time Rush fic. Today’s story comes from the very talented author candidcanoe and is titled “When the Music Stops“.

As I’ve mentioned in my reviews of the show, the boys of Big Time Rush started out as four friends growing up together in Minnesota before unexpectedly ending up with a trip to Los Angeles to become a boy band for a desperate record producer named Gustavo Rocque. This story is AU because it explores how things would be different if one of the four guys never moved to Minnesota, making for a completely different dynamic for the trio of friends as opposed to the quartet we know in the show.

In this story Logan suffers an accident as a child which leaves him deaf. Because his parents don’t want to uproot him in light of the situation they decide not to move to Minnesota as planned and Logan instead grows up in Texas, never knowing the three boys who would have been his best childhood friends had he gotten to meet them. Up north, James, Carlos, and Kendall grow up loving each other but never having the proper symmetry to their friendship. This is felt most keenly by Kendall, who has to deal with knowing James and Carlos share a closer bond with each other than they do with him while he has no one to call his own, to be his best friend.

Logan’s absence affects the group in another way: they never become Big Time Rush. Gustavo Rocque still comes to Shakopee, Minnesota on his talent search but instead of accepting Kendall’s terms of making his friends into a band in order for him to sign on with the producer’s label, he passes on the offer of a three-man boy band. The trio does feel the call to music, however, and try to make themselves a band and move to LA on their own.

Music also becomes very important to Logan in his adolescence. Growing up without his sense of hearing he has a unique appreciation for music in that he feels it rather than hearing it but it fills a need in his soul. Logan in this story grows up very differently than Logan in the show. He’s isolated and relies only on himself. He has trust issues and doesn’t express himself very well or put himself at risk of emotional pain but finding music gives him an artistic release. He pursues his dreams of being a drummer by attending school in LA.

From here, I’m sure you’ve guessed that he meets up with Kendall, James, and Carlos but things don’t go so smoothly. Read the story to find out all the twists and turns of how these four friends find each other and how differently they work together having grown up apart. It’s not so easy as one may assume and I love that candidcanoe keeps the story character-driven and doesn’t make things easy or clean when the four finally meet. There’s no magic moment of fitting in and understanding; it takes work and not everything is perfect harmony. I love it when authors don’t sacrifice characterization for a neat and pleasant story, so if you’re like me then you should definitely give this story a read.

Sexualized Saturdays: “Straight guys don’t do that!”

I’m sure our readers know that I am a big fan of Big Time Rush, but you may not know that I am also a fan of Supernatural. In fact, I was the one to tell Ladies Geek Girl and Saika about the show in the first place and encourage them to watch it, so…

I’m not very active in the SPN fandom anymore, though, because my work schedule makes it difficult to keep up with the show, which is why I don’t really post about it. (I am watching the anime version right now though, so expect a post or two about that once I finish the series) Back when the show started, however, I followed the fandom pretty closely through LiveJournal and forums (these were pre-tumblr days folks!) so I was very aware of the shipping and all that in the fandom. One of the things I noticed that irked me, which I’ve also noticed in the BTR fandom, was that any time Sam and Dean (or Jared and Jensen, for that matter) showed affection or concern for one another everyone jumped all over it as being proof that they were gay for each other.

 

Why does this bother me? Well, for one, I related strongly to the family dynamic in Supernatural. I saw myself in Sam so much and the relationships he had with Dean and John hit really close to home with my own relationships with my brother and father. It was wonderful to see them try, fail, try again, make headway, etc. in their relationships with one another and the strength of familial love between them reminded me of my own and gave me hope that no matter what troubles may exist in my own family we could get through them because we loved each other.

Then I went online and that love was turned from something purely familial into something lustful and I was made to feel uncomfortable and confused. Why did it seem no one could believe that these men loved each other as father and son, brother and brother? Why did any sign of affection have to be turned into something romantic or sexual? One of the phrases I saw thrown around a lot in the SPN fandom and even more so in the BTR fandom is “Straight guys don’t do that.”

And any time I see that phrase, or some variation thereof, I want to ask “Says who?”

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“In Defense of Big Time Rush”

One of the reasons I post so much about BTR is not because there’s so much to unpack in their show and music (though there IS and I’m not even halfway there) but because I want more people to appreciate these guys and what they do. The Age of the Boy Band has returned, but unfortunately Big Time Rush is very rarely included in anything celebrating this phenomenon, let alone given the credit they deserve for helping to bring it about.

This is why I am so in love with tumblr user keepingupwithnewmusic’s post “In Defense of Big Time Rush

The article rightly points out much of BTR’s influence, while analyzing some of the possible causes for the band’s lack of recognition. On Big Time Rush being styled after The Monkees:

The Monkees were consistently dismissed by critics and fans as being a “fake” band because they were on a TV show. It didn’t matter that The Beatles also made movies, because they were a band first. This, then, implies that the issue is that the group was not formed organically, but rather, through an audition process . . . Big Time Rush was also formed through an audition process, but in 2012, this shouldn’t be surprising. Most Boy Bands are assembled through an audition process, like *NSyncThe Backstreet BoysThe WantedO-Town (remember O-Town?!), etc. Everyone got to watch One Direction be put together into a Boy Band after they were competing against each other on The X Factor. So why should the pre-fab origin story hurt BTR?

The article also points out that, in contrast to most current “boy bands” trying to distance themselves from the term and its history, the guys of Big Time Rush have embraced it. Rather than denouncing the boy bands of the late ’90s and emphasising how different they are, BTR has consistently expressed admiration for those who came before them and been honored any time comparisons have been drawn between them and *NSync, Backstreet Boys, etc. They know that the music created by those bands was not exactly favored critically but have emphasized and emulated the hard work done by the performers rather than trying to belittle it in an attempt to make themselves look superior.

What I love most about this article (apart from the fact that the author managed to be fair and level-headed rather than sounding like a bitter fanboy as I know I probably do) is that it points out that BTR was the boy band that got this revival started. They were formed and began performing before there was any market for the boy band and despite being ahead of the game, they are consistently overlooked when websites, radio programs, or talk shows discuss the return of the boy band. Whether you love the boy band and are thrilled to bits that it’s seeing a revival or think it’s a blight on musical history that never should have happened in the first place let alone rear its ugly head again, you have to respect Big Time Rush and the producers behind it for having the guts to try something out that had no readily apparent audience.

That’s really what it comes down to for me, respect. I see and hear Big Time Rush either overlooked entirely or given a dismissive mention in so many media outlets and it kills me. It kills me that these hard-working, talented young men get so little recognition for their efforts and influence.