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May 19 2016

Emma Caulfield's love letter to The 100. Here's why the 'Buffy' actress went all in on The CW post-apocalyptic show.

If you're not watching yet, you're missing out!

I'm with Emma - The 100 won me over too.
Great show with story that moves at breakneck speed. Love it!
I loved the show until they killed [name redacted because I don't want to spoiler anyone even though everyone probably knows]. Haven't even wanted to watch since then.

The finale may or may not have made up for that.
Ricky Whittle from this is playing Shadow in Starz' adaptation of Neil Gaiman's American Gods, so because I'm definitely gonna check that out (moreso for Bryan Fuller being the showrunner and Ian McShane being in it and because it's on Starz), I think it might be time to see where he got big, on The 100. Is it really one of The CW's best shows ? It seems to get slandered as often as it gets praised. I'm not expecting Breaking Bad or Game of Thrones, but it's a quality genre entry ?
(Didn't read the article due to potential spoilers.)

I watched the pilot a couple of years ago. It wasn't bad and I haven't crossed it off my list yet, but I never felt inspired to watch the second episode.
"Vikings" is another show like this.
The 100 is much much better than Vikings since The 100 gets better every year and the opposite trajectory happened with Vikings. S1 of Vikings is pretty good TV though.

The 100 is very much a quality genre show. Definitely better quality than anything Syfy has had on in the last 5-6 years since BSG except for maybe Expanse. If you have a problem with pretty young people then nothing on the CW will ever work for you but The 100 approaches BSG smart at times (exceeds it in action) and is very rewatchable.

There are consequences in this show though. People die. Brutally and often. No one is safe. You think they are and then they are super dead. Know that going in. I'm going to miss it terribly until next midseason. :(
I love this show, too. Haven't caught up on this season yet, but of course I'm totally spoiled for that one thing that happens. Not passing judgement on it because I haven't seen it yet.

I wasn't completely sold in the first few episodes--thought it might be too teenager-y (it is definitely well-stocked with lovely young people), but it gets good quickly and then just gets better.
I've never understood the "controversy", and honestly believe it's been blown out of all rational proportion. Alycia Debnam-Carey was working on The 100 and Fear the Walking Dead simultaneously. When FTWD moved its production to Mexico, Alycia chose to go with it. (The 100 is filmed in Canada.) Her character had to be written out. It's a simple matter of the actor choosing one gig over the other, and the writers dealt with it accordingly, in a way that was actually done quite well in terms of the show's mythos.
Dean, the outrage culture of twitter paired with over-invested shipper fangirls with no filter fed onto itself in a loop until it spewed nastiness and bile all over the place. In a nutshell. None of it made a lot of sense. Sucks when relationships like Clarke/Lexa are treated disrespectfully but that isn't what happened here. It's Willow/Tara all over again but at the speed of twitter, instagram and tumblr with 100 times the vitriol if that is even possible.
@Dean & IrrationaliTV a huge part of the controversy wasn't just to do with the death, but the writers/ producers actions leading up to and following the death.
Among the most controversial being when one of the 100's writing staff went on to a Lesbian fan forum and told them not to worry about Lexa/ have faith in the writers (at which point the episode in question had already been written.)
The writers also reblogging articles about how LGBT friendly the show, and encouraging fans to tell everyone how progressive it was before the episode aired...and then claiming to have never even heard of the 'Bury your gays' trope after the episode aired further added to the sense of anger and alienation.

(If fans were over invested in the ship, the writers and creators need to be held responsible for acitvley promoting fan investment in the ship, whilst simultaneously choosing to ignore the concerns about the ship fans voiced when it was announced Alycia Debnam-Carey was going to be starring in FTWD....while there would have always been some outrage at Lexa's death, having her die minutes after finally sleeping with Clarke, killed by a stray bullet shot by a patriarchal figure was just about the worst death they could have given her if they wanted to avoid outrage from the fandom and shippers they had so actively tried to bring into the show.)
Gotta say, I'm not as open towards characters dying as I was 10-15 years ago. Among other things it depends on who they are and what they represent to me. (No, I wouldn't complain on Twitter - I don't even have an account - but there are some themes and ideas I don't necessarily need to find myself confronted with these days.) In case they're "just" MVP-candidates I'm fine with it (if it's done well I may actually love it), as long as there are enough replacements running around. "Buffy" and "Angel" easily survived relinquishing so many great characters because they always had even more of them left on the table.

Quality-wise it almost doesn't matter. I watch enough shitty shows as it is (- many of them actually airing on The CW -) one more wouldn't make a difference. Still need a reason to watch, though. Plot is of secondary importance to me, but there have to be some entertaining characters.
Other than that, in regards to "open" shows where I haven't gone past the first episode, there are still a couple entries higher up on the list than "The 100". Namely "Glue", "Selfie", "Being Human" [UK] and "Barney Miller". But I'll keep this one in mind.


BTW, just checked the IMDb-Ratings. May I assume the drastic decline during the latest season (coinciding with a strong increase in voter numbers) is due to some fans taking offense at what has been discussed above?


Regarding writer's communications: I don't think anyone should trust the statements of writers - atleast not before the material in question actually airs. They don't want to spoil people, they want to keep things surprising. Maybe they even want some controversy. It's all PR and they are trying to sell their product. While it's debatable whether or not this worked here, telling people beforehand what was going to happen wasn't really an option.
As far as plotting goes, it can be argued that the writers have used their last opportunity of giving fans the service of two characters hooking up before having to kill one of them. The alternative to "sex->death" wouldn't have been "sex->life" but rather "no sex>death". Following up a hopeful relationship moment with utter heartbreak is a move straight out of Joss Whedon's playbook. I get it, the contrast is never greater, the pain probably never more intense. If people manage to feel hurt instead of offended, it can simultaneously be the best and the worst of viewing experiences.

(For what it's worth: I had never heard of 'bury your gays', either, before it was mentioned on this site a couple of weeks ago.)


Damn it, now I feel the need to watch this show. No time before (and especially during) the Euro 2016, though.
@Sahjan- agree that writers commmunications with fans should not be trusted 100%, but I feel there are certain lines they should attempt to avoid crossing as much as possible.
(I.e. A writer of the show going into an LGBT forum to interact with fans, and implying the character would live when the scripts for the characters death were already written was certainly a step too far, and is very different from responding to a fan on twitter as in this case they are actively seeking out the fan interaction/ interacting with a very specific group of fans.)

As for the bury your gays trope- some writers on the show have contradicted the official line and said they were aware of the trope and it was very actively discussed in the writers room- which further complicates the issue.
But my view would be, if you are writing for a program and attempting provide positive representations of minorities/ under-represented groups, it is your responisiblity as a writer to educate yourself to avoid the cliches that come with negative representation.

Ignorance shouldn't be an excuse in the age of the internet- and if the creators of the show want to be held out as examples of positive representation of television (which their reblogging of articles praising the representation on the 100 would suggest they would) then it is their responsibility to educate themselves on the problems with representation in earlier programs.
Do we actually want to believe that writers care about "positive representation"? Occassionally, sure, but in general? Again: It's all PR and reblogging articles means little more than: "Look, we got us some praise!".
Why do they specifically reblog pro-lesbian-articles (or whatever it was)? Easy enough: So-called diversity is currently a hot topic and you want to place on the winning side. Doesn't mean you actually care about the topic in question.

Apart from the writers being stupid should they not have realized beforehand how people were going to react, I find it problematic if fans or viewers project too much of their personality and traits and ideas and whatever onto a work or a character of fiction. Feeling under-represented in regards of certain aspects of your personality (i.e. your sexual orientation) makes it easy to over-identify with the existing examples of what you are hoping for, but it isn't necessarily their purpose to be "positive representations". Obviously this is easier to accept if there actually are some of those around - and much harder if there aren't - but of the biggest issues I have with "diversity demands" is that seemingly every work of fiction gets critized for the overall shortcoming that might exist in the world. But it isn't actually writer A's or story B's responsibility to provide positive representation. The responsibility lays upon society in its entirety - not upon individuals telling a story.
What "The 100" did wasn't wrong, it merely was perceived this way due to the general context. Assume there are another fifty great lesbian couples currently on tv - the outcry would've been minuscule. I disagree, however, with judging people and their decisions based on what third parties (i.e. other writers and executives) may or may not do.

I wonder, by the way, whether the person, who visited that message board, was a small staff writer acting on their own accord, or a leading producer, who undoubtly represents the production itself when he or she comments in a manner such as this.
Amber Benson weighed in on this, with the great irony being that she defended the writer, in part. Here is a link:
I decided to try watching the show on Netflix. I just started episode 3, but I'm not really feeling compelled to keep watching. I'll give it a little more, but I'm not sure I can keep going just in case it gets to be more than just a post-apocalyptic teen soap opera.
@Nebula1400, it does. Give it a few more episodes.
@Nebula1400, It takes a handful of episodes to really figure out what it wants to be, like Dollhouse did. Once it picks up, it doesn't stop.
I'm stuck here with two broken feet, so am marathoning it. It is getting better.
@Nebula1400, ouch - I'm so sorry!
C'est la vie!
If you aren't hooked by the end of the third episode (of Season 1) then you can give it a rest. That's when the OMG start to happen, and that continues through the rest of the series. I can't think of another series I've watched that had me anxious about how the episodes would end!
There was a little of Anya in that short, fan-soaked tribute. Kinda touching. The obliviousness, the humour. I can imagine Anya and Xander binge-watching this show, haha.

Anya appropriating Xander's show, her curiosity and suspicions quickly dying away, embracing the thing with an exhausting, guileless enthusiasm. Xander a bit bemused.

Emma Caulfield always seemed one of the cooler people in the Whedonverse; a bit of a roaming, free-floating spirit, looking for something worthwhile to pour her passions into.

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