Seven super fans live out their ultimate dream: working for comic book legend Stan Lee at L.A.’s biggest fan convention, Comikaze, as an intern. The convention expects over 70,000 attendees. Seven interns have been recruited to be part of this reality show. Of the seven interns, three are several gamers, including card players and cosplayers. Curiously, only one is a Living Action Role-Player and none of them mentioned tabletop role-playing:
- Andrew Duvall: Star Trek fan and Magic: The Gathering card player.
- Dani Snow: Fan of Star Wars, Lord of the Rings, and Harry Potter. She is part of a comedy troupe that performs at Renaissance Festivals.
- Kristin Hackett: A cosplayer and comic book fangirl that Syfy insists on oversexualizing.
- Mike Reed: A comic book fan and cosplayer.
- Molly McIsaac: Another cosplayer and LARPer.
- Paul Perkins: A film buff, comic book fan, and Yu-Gi-Oh player.
- Sal Fringo: Teaches kids how to create superheroes while dressed as Iron Man. I have no idea what this means.
The first contest is about Geek Pride Day on May 25. It’s when Star Wars came out, among other milestones that Syfy failed to mention. The goal is to get over 100,000 signatures, take it to Congress, and “make it a real life holiday.”
It’s clear that Syfy has decided that there’s not enough dating drama between reality contestants of other geeky shows, which is why there’s a hot tub. It also seems that the interns don’t actually know how to get a grill to start. Then, they separate into two groups to celebrate Geek Pride Day…only to discover that both groups forgot their petition sheets.
Collectively, this makes the interns look like a bunch of complete morons. As a representation of nerd-dom, Fangasm is not off to a good start.
See the pictures for the rest of the offensive stereotypes Fangasm spits up on screen.
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After retrieving notebooks to get signatures, they manage to collect signatures (412 in total). They then “sit back, relax, and watch the geek festivities and the cosplay show” at the Saddle Ranch. The Saddle Ranch’s idea of a cosplay show featuring Superhero Angelz, which is essentially a burlesque show.
Molly looks annoyed, rightfully so:
It was the most exploitative thing I’ve ever seen in my life…Those girls were just exploiting geeks and just exploiting themselves for male pleasure and taking feminism back 20 years.
It’s women like that that make it so much more difficult for us, because people always question us because they think of girls like that. The stereotype that I actively fight against…I don’t see Iron Man on stage grabbing his butt cheeks. It just makes me uncomfortable…I’m kind of ashamed for inviting people even to attend.
Andrew points out that the other interns were wearing tight outfits, which implies that wearing a revealing outfit is somehow the same as a burlesque show.
Kristin decides to create a weekly podcast and interviews. Which turns into who will hook up with who:
- Mike “Bro” with Molly “Red”
- Sal “Fuzzy” with Dani “Short Round”
- Paul with Kristin “Blondie”
Later, they fail to use the hot tub and dump ice into it to cool it off (incompetent yet again!). Molly responds to Andrew’s implication that she is a hypocrite :
I have suffered with eating disorders my entire life, self-identity issues, self-esteem issues. I’ve hated my body entire life, I hate my body right now. The fact that I’m even out here in front of a bunch of people in a bikini is a big deal for me. I started cosplaying because I love the characters so much. it wasn’t for attention. The positive reaction everyone gave me, not because I was exploiting myself or showing off my body, made me feel more empowered than I’ve ever felt in my life. Cosplaying and being a geek has found my happiness and identity — I was adrift in the world for so long. Seriously, cosplay and being a geek, probably saved my life.
As if Fangasm wasn’t offensive enough to geeks, it’s also offensive to interns. Dani and Mike are told to buy sandwiches, a terrible example of the appropriate use of interns. Here are the six criteria according to the Department of Labor to qualify for legal unpaid internships.
- The internship must give the intern an educational experience.
- The internship should benefit the intern.
- The intern must learn under close supervision of a staff member and cannot perform the work of regular employees.
- The employer cannot receive immediate advantage from the intern’s performance.
- The intern is not promised a job at the end of the internship
- The intern and the employer must both understand that the intern is not entitled to wages for the time spent in the internship.
Getting lunch for someone? Doesn’t qualify. Working on the weekends? Doesn’t qualify. And competing for a job at the end of the internship? DOES NOT QUALIFY. Here’s hoping these contestants are paid to be there.
The interns participate in a competition to have dinner with George Takei. Everyone holds a ray gun over a piece of EPIC FAIL tape. Whoever can hold their arms over the tape the longest wins. Or to put it another way, a physical challenge to show how weak the geeks are.
- At 10 minutes in Mike drops out along with another female contestant.
- At 20 minutes more folks drop out.
- At 25 minutes even more drop out, with six contestants remaining. An attractive blonde with a blurred out Rocky Horror Picture Show shirt promises to take the other contestants to dinner if they bow out.
- At 45 minutes there are just five contestants left. Andrew drops out.
- At 1 hour and 15 minutes. Sal and Rocky Horror Picture girl decide to bow out and give the win to Paul. SURPRISE! Takei decides to visit the interns at home.
It’s clear that Fangasm wants to create controversy in the geek community by throwing up some of the most offensive stereotypes and then provide a counterargument that will presumably stir up Internet outrage. Instead, it just manages to embarrass everybody involved in what feels like a cynical ploy to sexualize, popularize, and commoditize geeks.