So, I was reflecting the other day on my relationship with The Twilight Saga, because that’s really what it’s been, a relationship, and pondering on the path of the Saga in the world and in the fandom over the course of the last three years (yup, it’s only been three years since this and this crazy, right?)
In terms of my relationship to Twilight, I think it’s gone through the ‘normal’ relationship phases.
1) there was the honeymoon phase. Everything was exciting. I had found this text about a girl with whom I could relate: awkward, bookish, and seriously crushing on a super cute guy. What teen girl didn’t feel that way? And then when it turned out that the cute boy loved her too, and he was a supernatural being—well that’s just awesome piled onto fabulous! I was giddy; I’ve been known to squeal in my early days of the Twilight relationship.
2) Then it progressed into a comfortable place. By this time I’d worked on the set, incorporated it into my PhD research, provided academic analysis on the film-aspects of it etc. I still enjoyed Twilight immensely, but I was over the “Oooo everything about this is perfect! I need to shriek and giggle every time I see a red apple!” phase. It was a part of my professional life, and I was lucky enough to have that thing I study also be something that I enjoyed. Not many PhD students can say that.
3) Then I reached the “do I want to continue this relationship?” phase. The breaking point of a relationship; do we go forward or do we break up? We’ll call this year three of my PhD. This is more about me and my PhD than Twilight (ask any grad student; at some point they hate their topic, no matter how awesome it is) and I’d spent two years tearing apart the novels, editing critical essays that examined the chauvinistic aspects of the novel, the apparent anti-feminism themes throughout, I spent a lot of time speaking on countless panels and numerous conferences about the film adaptation and it’s phenomenal success, and constantly analyzing things like costume, camera angle, music, shoot time, scene deletion, recasting, and how the Twilight Fandoms played into every single aspect. I was busy, analyzing, talking, working in and around Twilight… but did I love it anymore?
The overwhelming, giddy love had gone out of the relationship. It was mechanical. Routine.
4) But then I took a step back from the whole school thing, got my head back into filmmaking and script development, fan interaction and fan management—and low and behold I love it again and am once again trucking away at the academic side of popular culture! It’s a comfortable, secure relationship now. There’s no longer a need for the burning desire, since it wasn’t based on anything but superficial reactions, much like a teenage crush; I was in love with the excitement. Now that it’s just a part of life, I’m grateful for it, and I can still just enjoy it like a good partner: I recognize its faults (it doesn’t really have to recognize mine… that’s taking this metaphor a little too far) but I can still appreciate it for the fun piece of entertainment that it is, and for the ground-breaking and pioneering fan-management techniques it has introduced. And you better believe I'll be analyzing the filmic aspects of it ‘til the cows come home.
So we’re at a good place, me and Twilight J
Right… Breaking Dawn review/analysis coming this afternoon. Watch this space.