Joxer?!?! And Other Things I Don't Get

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Title: Joxer?!?! And Other Things I Don't Get
Creator: Lucy Gillam
Date(s): November 24, 1999
Medium: online
Fandom: Xena: Warrior Princess, Hercules: The Legendary Journeys, X-Files
Topic: fiction writing, Crossovers, RPS
External Links: Joxer?!?! And Other Things I Don't Get/WebCite
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Joxer?!?! And Other Things I Don't Get is an essay by Lucy Gillam.

It is part of the Fanfic Symposium series.

Some Response Essays


I want to emphasize here that I'm not talking about fic trends, etc., that bother me, disturb me, or that I think are particularly problematic. You won't see me ranting about domestic discipline stories, much as I loathe them, because I don't believe that's an issue of "taste," but one of ethics. You won't see me ranting about extreme smarm, even though I've made my feelings clear on it, because, well, I've already ranted about it, and because again I think there are issues that go beyond taste into characterization and genre definition. And I'm not getting into "bad" characterization, because that gets into how we define and judge fanfic. These are things I just don't understand.
Joxer?!?! I mean, Kevin Smith can stand in tight leather and read the phone book and I'll die happy, but Joxer?!?! Sure, Ted Raimi is cute, and can do dashing and sexy, but Joxer?!?! With Ares?!?! Let me explain why this is sick and wrong.
Do I see the UST between Mulder and Krycek? Whoo, boy, do I. Do I even believe it might to some degree, be intentional? I could believe it (mostly because I thing Chris Carter is a sadistic @#$% who loves messing with his viewers' heads, including those of the slash fans, but I could believe it). Could I ever see the two of them succumbing and boffing each others' brains out? Sure, assuming they could stop hitting each other long enough. It's when we get to the lovey-dovey life-partner thing that I start to squirm. Because it either requires that Krycek's history be massively re-written, or that Mulder be really, really messed up.
Same Actor Crossover Pairings:

I love crossovers. Really, deeply love them. When they're done well, they're the most enjoyable stories in the fanfic universe - heck, look how often tv does them during "sweeps."

At the same time, crossovers have the potential to be the absolute worst stories in fandom. Why? Because as countless sweeps stunts have demonstrated, it takes more to make a successful crossover than "combine ingredients and stir." Bringing two universes, two sets of characters, two styles of writing together is not an easy task. Someday, I'll write a column on crossover promises and perils, but for now, I'll just leave it at: not for the faint of heart.

Among the most perilous of these are crossovers between shows/movies/etc that share an actor. For example, Sentinel fandom had a spate of TS/One West Waikiki (a short-lived series also starring Richard Burgi) stories. These crossovers, in addition to facing all of the challenges other crossovers face, have to come up with a convincing explanation for two characters that, aside for possible differences in hair style and maybe age, look exactly alike. Some blithely put it down to "everyone has a double," while others create family connections. On one level, these crossovers can be among the most interesting I've ever read. On the other hand, when the slash element is introduced, I start to squirm again.

Why? Well, for one, many, many of these stories strike me as skating a fine line between character slash and actor slash. I should mention that this is a touchy subject for me. I've always had a very hard time losing myself in tv and movies the way I lose myself in a book, and part of that is never quite forgetting that what I'm seeing on-screen is an actor playing a part. Because of this, slash only really works for me in the written medium. There, I can keep the character a separate entity, one who just happens to look like that actor guy <g>. When a character played by the same actor is introduced, I get reminded of the connection and get twitchy.