Discover more from TeenDramaWhore
Am I a Hypocrite?
Over the last year, I’ve been asking myself this question a lot: Am I a hypocrite?
It was prompted by a few realizations.
I love “Beverly Hills, 90210” to its very end… and the majority of fans seem to disagree with me.
I do not love “One Tree Hill” to its very end… and the majority of fans seem to disagree with me.
My take on 1. and 2. seem to be in conflict with one another.
Let me explain…
“Beverly Hills, 90210” aired for 10 seasons and most fans seem to love the early seasons — like 1-3, or 1-4, or 1-7. I prefer seasons 3-10, but all in all, I love the entire series. I assumed that nearly all fans do too. But over the last year, as I’ve lurked in fan groups and seen fan comments through things like the “Beverly Hills 90210 Show” podcast, I’ve realized there’s a real dislike, perhaps even a hatred, of seasons 8-10, and especially the last two.
This has been a bit of shocker for me, because even though there were significant cast changes and some different showrunners, it never stopped feeling like “Beverly Hills, 90210” to me. I never felt the quality had changed. And there’s even a part of me that feels like “real” fans aren’t just fans of the seasons with Shannen Doherty (Brenda), aren’t just fans of the high school and college years, and aren’t just fans until Jason Priestley (Brandon) and Tiffani Thiessen (Valerie) exited in season 9. No, I want to say, real fans, true fans, are those who loved the series all the way through.
And yet my feelings about “One Tree Hill” are pretty much the opposite. Yes, this is where the hypocrisy comes in.
“One Tree Hill” aired for nine seasons and most fans seem to love them all. I prefer seasons 3-6, but all in all, I love seasons 1-6 and greatly dislike, perhaps even hate, seasons 7-9. But over the last year, as I’ve lurked in fan groups, I’ve realized how many fans really love those last few seasons. This, too, has been a bit of a shocker for me, because there were significant cast changes, and even though the series retained the same showrunner, it stopped feeling like “One Tree Hill” to me. I felt the quality changed significantly. Things just weren’t the same after Chad Michael Murray (Lucas) and Hilarie Burton (Peyton) exited.
But if I apply the same logic here as I did with “Beverly Hills, 90210,” then doesn’t this mean I’m not a “real” fan of “One Tree Hill”? Aren’t real fans, true fans, those who loved the series all the way through? Essentially, I’m invoking a double standard. I judge those who don’t love “Beverly Hills, 90210” in its entirety, but excuse myself for not loving “One Tree Hill” in its entirety. I think I’m a real fan of “Beverly Hills, 90210” because I love all 10 seasons, but don’t think I’m any less of a real fan of “One Tree Hill” because I only love the first six seasons.
It’s completely hypocritical — and some could even argue illogical — and I have no problem calling myself out for it.
I even made a big stink in 2009, after the season 6 finale of “One Tree Hill” served as Lucas and Peyton’s swan song. I wrote on the original TeenDramaWhore at the time:
“To continue next season without Chad Michael Murray and Hilarie Burton is a travesty. Yes, I understand they aren’t the only important cast members. But you take away them and you take away a part of what makes ‘One Tree Hill’ what it is. And you do a disservice to the remaining cast, because you break apart so many relationships: Nathan and Lucas, Haley and Lucas, Brooke and Peyton, just to name a few.”
I also pointed out that, beyond the Leyton factor, the episode presented “the most perfect ending to six seasons of an amazing show,” noting, “Not only did the episode wrap up storylines, but it also circled back to so many things that made ‘One Tree Hill’ what it was in the first place.” I went on to write:
“How do I continue to remain dedicated to ‘One Tree Hill’ when it isn’t ‘One Tree Hill’ anymore?
It’s really sad that I’m actually hoping The CW will change its mind and cancel the show. I truly think that’s the right way to go.
My only other hope is that next season, I fall in love with the show all over again, ‘One Tree Hill’ version 2.0.”
Spoiler alert: I didn’t. But I realize now that a “Beverly Hills, 90210” fan could easily have said the same things back in the day, whether following the season 3 or season 7 finales, both of which tied up loose ends, or after Doherty left in season 4.
So why do I think lesser of fans who dislike “Beverly Hills, 90210” (or at least like it less) after those points when I don’t think lesser of myself for disliking “One Tree Hill” (or at least liking it less) after season 6? Why do I judge fans for not recognizing that Doherty was only with “Beverly Hills, 90210” for less than half of its run and also judge fans for not recognizing Murray and Burton were with “One Tree Hill” for more than half of its run? Why do I view people as lesser fans for not supporting / endorsing all 10 seasons of “Beverly Hills, 90210” when I don’t support / endorse all 9 seasons of “One Tree Hill”?
Most importantly… WHY AM I JUDGING FANS AT ALL?!
I already made the case last October, in my first in-depth essay for the reincarnated TDW, that fans are allowed to be critical of the shows they love and one isn’t a lesser fan for not wanting their favorite show to continue. I’m not a lesser fan for wishing “One Tree Hill” didn’t continue past season 6 and others aren’t a lesser fan for wishing “Beverly Hill, 90210” didn’t continue as long as it did either. I’m not a lesser fan for disliking seasons 7-9 of “One Tree Hill” and others aren’t a lesser fan for disliking seasons 8-10 of “Beverly Hills, 90210.”
I even implored in that essay, “It is my hope going forward that we can all be more discerning fans, that we can voice constructive criticism without having our fandom questioned,” and I stressed, “You can be a fan and still be critical. You can be a fan without bowing in worship.”
Shouldn’t I take my own advice?
I’ve made a handful of goals for 2021 — lose 50 pounds, practice self-compassion and giving myself grace, set stronger boundaries, etc. But I realize now I need to set another one: Stop judging fellow fans… and if I am going to pass judgment, stop being so damn hypocritical about it.
Reminder: Your premium subscription to TeenDramaWhore includes perks like exclusive content (including essays like this), fan interviews, trivia parties, and Zoom chats with the genre’s key players. Pretty cool, right? Help TDW grow and spread the word!