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[personal profile] bluefirebird
NCIS is the first and only fandom I've ever got involved in. I loved the original Star Trek and bought most of the (fan written) books that were published, but my interest was always alone.

Most of you already know that my life skidded to a halt 18 months ago when my partner died suddenly and unexpectedly. That is devastating loss. I lost my best friend, my lover, my cheerleader, my partner-in-crime and also all my fantasies, hopes, dreams and plans for the future in that one day. And that wasn't the least of it.

I am well aware that about the only bright spot - in a life that I do not want to be living - is what would, under normal circumstances, be an unhealthy obsession with NCIS and Mark Harmon. But this is just scene-setting.

So I have been considering how I would have likely reacted had the news this week been that Mark Harmon was leaving NCIS.

The me who still had a life would have been sad - and disappointed that there would be no new episodes with him in - and been grateful for my DVDs to re-watch and all the wonderful fanfiction. As well as enjoying the ability to keep better track on his future career/publicity work due to the wonder of the internet.

The current me would be immensely sad to lose the one crutch that I have been leaning on - and probably flirt with depression for a while. I imagine there would have been a number of online friends to commiserate with, but my reaction would have been NOTHING like the shitstorm I have been witnessing online the last couple of days.

I'm certainly not delighted that Cote de Pablo is leaving. Yes, I have issue with the writing of the show the last few seasons - in fact I think I have really only been watching for MH this last few years, which is sad because I loved most of the characters as soon as I met them. I have hated the pandering to the selfish minority of Tiva shippers, who have always seen something very different on their screens to what I have seen, and I think that there is plenty of room for improvement in the writing of the stories without the drag of needing to squeeze Tiva moments into the story. So, on balance, I am relieved - rather than pleased - that Ziva will be leaving. I think it will be better for the show and I really hope that the writers can get back to the wonderful team dynamic that drew me in initially and which has been sadly lacking in recent episodes.

Although I am intrigued as to how they could possibly redeem our team from the bunch of rogue vigilantes that Ziva's revenge mission turned them into in the finale. I mourn the lost opportunities of past years, the Rivkin arc was a hot mess, but Season 7 could have been such an opportunity for character growth and characterisation - Ziva, in particular, should have been shown as affected by her ordeal in Africa, after all it was months not days that she was supposedly held captive for. The aftermath of the bombing should have given us some great moments (the things that SB & GG live for) in season 10, but so, so much was glossed over in the haste to "get back to business as usual".

And finally the shitstorm online this week.

I am ashamed and embarassed to be in the slightest way associated with any of these people that have been wailing and gnashing online.

Speaking as someone who has lost pretty well everything that matters in my life, I cannot believe the grief of these poor people. They must live such pampered and sheltered lives if the loss of a selfish fantasy makes them that upset. And Tiva is a selfish fantasy (where it is not a private one), there is no way in hell that the viewers that actively wanted to see Tony and Ziva hook up and have babies and live the day to day relationship, on this show, amount to more than a few tens of thousands worldwide. This isn't a soap about relationships, it's a drama that contained realistic characters. The sort of 'happy ever after' that some of the fans are still calling for is incredibly boring television (although, come to think of it, maybe the show should have married Tony and Ziva off and then we could have had an arc with Tony being the battered husband at the hands of his undisciplined and emotional wife and Gibbs' reaction to all of that). This is quite apart from the fact that we started with a show that offered subtle hints and nods to all manner of main character pairings - and everyone else in the fandom were delighted with the tidbits they received and ran with them, but no, the Tiva fans needed to see every detail played out onscreen in excrutiating detail to fulfil their fantasy.

But the show was never going to fully go there because a good proportion of the viewers are male - most of whom run from that sort of TV - and there were always going to be far more people who didn't care for Tiva or who were totally against them having a relationship - either due to the assault in season 6, or the total lack of chemistry between Tony and Ziva. There is no possible way that those who wanted Tiva could be in the majority of the viewers, but yet someone had pushed their viewpoint far enough that the show has been prepared to deliberately tease the relationship for at least the last season and a half.

And now CdP's proclaimed fans are turning on her (as well as anyone else remotely connected with the show, that they can access). There are a limited number of reasons why she would have left and I am sure that we will never know the full story. I am quite happy with the idea that it was her decision to leave, although ultimately it might have been a slightly forced decision. She has given enough interviews in the last year hinting at being torn between wanting to stay with the job and the co-workers that she loves and wanting a family and wanting to do other work. Perhaps she used the negotiations to make a decision for her: ask for outrageous recompense to stay, if the demands are accepted she stays and does very nicely out of it; if the demands are rejected that is the decision to move on now. It is a tactic I have used in the past in decision making (with much lower stakes, admittedly).

I don't want to think ill of her, so this is a notion I am happy with. It is time for her to move on without NCIS and for NCIS to move on without her. And I wish her well for the future.

But it must be "CBS's fault for screwing her by only offering peanuts" because her fans, particularly the Tiva ones can't accept the betrayal that she might just want to move on to a different job and ruin their Tiva fantasy. I was horrified at the piling onto PP for using the word "friend" in a 140 character message in an effort to calm worried fans because what they thought she should have used was "one of my family". For Pete's sake, you all use twitter, do you not understand that it is all about minimal characters. She could have said "my family quit her job", but actually "my friend quit her job" was the truth and to use "family" would have been misleading.

But these people are not only inconsolable, they don't want to be consoled. Ziva is their role model and they want Ziva-style revenge on anyone perceived to be at fault or involved in this.

Many are begging the cast to get CdP to change her mind, but this isn't their fantasy world, this is real life and a young woman has made a decision to leave her job to pursue other things. This is just like when one of your co-workers hands in their notice: you are sorry to see them go, but it is none of your business; and their leaving might dump you in the shit as you have to cover their work until other arrangements are made - sound like any job you've had? And what was your reaction then? I know show-business is far more visible to the outside world and the stakes are higher both in cash and career impacts, but the principle remains. (And I am not suggesting that CdP deliberately dumped on her colleagues).

Finally, not only do I hope that NCIS will be rejuvenated without Ziva, but I also think that the fandom will be better for the loss of all these crazies who are proclaiming that they are so done with a show that they loved and fantasised about until mere days ago. Especially the incredibly stupid and selfish ones who all think that they are owed something because they have "invested 8 years of their lives" in a relationship that they had no right to call for. Many Tibbs, Tabby, Gabby shippers have invested more than 10 years in their relationship and I have yet to find one who believes they are owed anything by NCIS.

Oh, and I have had an education the last few days into who the NCIS insiders really are and who think they are something important when they are not...

Date: 2013-07-13 06:27 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] singer-s-lament.livejournal.com
It is very frustrating. And people like that make it so more actors/writers/etc will not want to be closer in touch with their fan-base.

Date: 2013-07-13 08:53 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ferneberga.livejournal.com
I never use to understand actors having bodyguards and being aloof with their fan base but in light of the recent debacle on internet I now do.
I find it frightening that people can behave the way we've seen on twitter and tumblr these last few days

Date: 2013-07-13 08:59 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] bluefirebird.livejournal.com
Yeah, that's the sad thing.

I think maybe MH and the crew were at a different hotel at OKC this year for that very reason.

Date: 2013-07-13 09:21 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ferneberga.livejournal.com
The reason for the lack of an NCIS Fan Fest these last few years has largely been due to bad fan behaviour :-(

Date: 2013-07-13 10:00 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] bluefirebird.livejournal.com
Yeah, I'd rather gathered that even though it wasn't spelled out.

Date: 2013-07-13 10:13 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ferneberga.livejournal.com
One of the organizers is a mod on the same site I mod, that's how I found out

Date: 2013-07-13 08:51 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ferneberga.livejournal.com
Totally agree with you. I feel very embarrassed right now to think that because I'm a fan of NCIS I might be associated with those gross uneducated crazies.
One of the sad things about those crazies is that they're not all young teens but there are "adults" among them at least in age. I know several well over the age of 25.
If they react like that over a tv series, how will they react if something really bad happens in their personal life as in your case.
The mind boggles to say the least

Date: 2013-07-13 09:03 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] bluefirebird.livejournal.com
Well I have been horrified at what I have seen of the mote shippers on twitter previously, but I really am aghast at what I have been reading the last few days.

And the turf-war on twitter over who has closer insider access was incredibly funny, but seriously disturbing - the usual situation of when you don't have a case resort to verbal abuse!
And then crow about such abyssmal behavior to your devotees.

Date: 2013-07-13 09:19 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ferneberga.livejournal.com
I didn't even know that mote shippers existed until the other day on twitter.

I think the whole has and is being highly disturbing. I feel terribly sorry for the actors having to deal with this muck, because in the end it reaches them even if they don't actually read the twitter stuff there'll always be some idiot saying have you read what the fans have been saying *sigh*

Date: 2013-07-14 09:49 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] xanthe.livejournal.com
What bugs me is that until this happened the show actively courted and encouraged these fans. They dropped every other subtext pairing in favour of pushing this ONE pairing, and we were called the haters for not liking that. The show wanted nothing to do with us - they wanted nothing to do with those that didn't like Tiva. They wanted nothing to do with those who enjoyed the subtle subtext pairings we used to get - the Tabby, the Tibbs, the Gabby etc. The show went after and pandered to those who felt entitled - and entitled people don't react well when they're told they can't have something.

Gary Glasberg has to take his portion of blame for this - anyone reading Cote's interviews in the last year and with knowledge of her last contract negotiation had to see something like this coming, but Gary pushed on with his Tiva season and his squeezing every last ounce of nothingness out of the Tiva tease while still having it go nowhere. WE all noticed the tone of her interviews, so Gary had to know this was a possibility, and yet he still gave his biggest storylines to Ziva, and placed even more focus than before on Tiva in S10. If he'd beefed up some of the others, and created some strong ongoing storylines for them, then this wouldn't have impacted her fans so much.

I think her leaving will be good for the show as it'll make them work creatively again when they'd become incredibly stale.


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