The season finale was last night and many in the cosplay community are still divided on this show and what it gives them. This is as good of a time as any to say “Your Miles May Vary” as far as your expectations are concerned. I expressed many of my concerns in my initial review of the shows and rather than try and review each show, after the 2nd episode, I thought I would wait until the final episode aired and give my thoughts on the entire season and whether or not my stance on it has changed.
So looking at the overall first season, I think I have to say it was mercifully short. Six episodes were enough and if it comes back for a 2nd season, 6 show would still fine and 8 would be pushing it.
As far as last night’s episode went, it was a mixed bag. It was bad to see Becky and Rikki getting sick and that’s all a part of going to cons…it happens. But it was great to see them bounce back and push on also. It also was cool to see Jinyo propose to Victoria and I wish them a very happy life together! Classy moment! But then later on the conversation with everyone meeting up to smooth things over after last week’s episode with the drama of the team up was just…off. Again due to poor editing which I will get into later. The portion about who should cosplay and who shouldn’t almost smacks in the face what was said waaaaaay back in episode two and was almost hypocritical but it was Becky and Jessica, that saved the scene. And Yaya’s “I do not condone elitism in any way.” I’m sorry, What?
The contest itself was interesting and somehow the outcome was predictable but hey, that’s what makes “Good TV”. It’s not a good finale ending if the Heroes don’t win.
With that said, where do I stand with season one and how could they improve season two?
– The show could stand to have an equal balance of men and women cosplayers
– And of course more minorities because trust me, when you have different skin colors, the roles you cosplay CAN be limiting. If I don’t commend Yaya Han on anything else, she does pull off a lot of varied cosplaying roles that many would knock her for because she is Asian. Hey, it DOES happen!
– I am torn about some of the prep time that it has taken with some of the costumes. While I did appreciate that in the middle episodes there was some more focus on ideas and crafting of the costumes, I was really concerned that each show got into how the cosplayers were spending the literal last moments assembling costumes. Ok yes, it adds drama but as someone who knows and has been around cosplayers, you shouldn’t be spending up to the last minute right before a contest putting final touches on anything, especially if you call yourself a pro. My wife made not one but FOUR costumes for Baltimore Comic Con in less than 2 months and the most complex one of Avaline was completed and tested 2 days before the show.
The only thing we had to do when we got to the con was get into our costumes and just go in. If you have good work ethic and trying to build something to compete in just, like a term paper, don’t wait until last minute because other judging your costume will know a hack job when they see one. Case in point was last night’s show where some of the girls were complaining about judges not closely examining their costume (and then having the crown fall off later, now aren’t you happy they didn’t check?) because sometimes simply, judges have been there and done that. They may not care about what it is but WHO is in it and how well they pull it off. If you are really pressed about the quality of your work, you take the time, complete your work and then go back and fix what’s not right and if you do this right, all you should have to do is pack and go to the show. As it’s been drilled into me, “Prior Planning Prevents Poor Performance” and just once would I have liked to have seen one episode where one cosplay had their stuff ready and together prior to a con. How many times did we hear someone say, “I’ve learned my lesson from prepping late for this show.” only to turn around and do it again on the next episode…stop it.
– Cattiness – Again for reality terms, what would be a reality show if you don’t have people putting others down for what they do? What happened between Monika and Holly makes for another drama builder and I guess I am blessed to be around many cosplayers who haven’t gotten so full of themselves that they think they are better than others. I appreciated Holly, Chloe, Becky and Jessica kept making an emphasis that cosplay is all about fun and even though they work hard to put together some elaborate costumes, they still want to have fun going to the shows. And let’s all remember, a LOT of this is based on the editing. Ask yourselves, when watching some of the conversations, how would it be different if you saw the whole thing from start to finish? What did we not see or hear? A (faux) reality show isn’t a reality show if we get the whole thing…heck as far as I know, I could be totally off base about what happened, right? *wink*
– “I want to get a job for what I do” – Again another mixed bag on this. In just my humble opinion, some of the cosplay I saw on the show where people stated that they hope would get noticed so they can get a job has easily been overshadowed by some of the cosplay I have seen in real life. It’s not easy, it’s not a short term project and most of all, it’s not cheap. Not to mention, you may be competing with over 300 people of varying scales of complexity when it comes to costumes, so just like the NFL Draft, your chances of being chosen by a Hollywood agent is slightly worse than the snowball’s chance of surviving hell. And the whole “My reputation is at stake” phrase alone could be its own drinking game. Cosplaying just like anything in life should not be something that you put all into one basket because, you may be at the top one day and the next a new star can and will rise over top. More emphasis should be put into the show as far as crafting and it came out on later shows, because a lot of us do get assistance from others and it was also good to see people like Jinyo, who cosplays himself, step up to help Victoria. But back to my initial point, your costume is only as good in the time that you put into it and it shows. If you take the time to check it before you go and make sure it all works, then by the time you get to where you are going you should already know what’s ready and what’s not. You shouldn’t miss a convention because you are still trying to prep a costume in your hotel room.
At the end of all things, I know a lot of people who may not give this a chance but we have to remember that this is television and for better or worse, our hobby has gotten some attention and our job as those who represent it, is to let others know how to represent responsibly and have fun while doing so. Again, people, don’t go by everything you see on TV, it’s just a show and it’s up to you that if you see something that you think is inaccurate to clear it up for those that don’t know nor understand. A few positives that I did see coming out of the show is that one person I met at Baltimore’s comic con, was inspired to do so because her husband does it and she finally wanted to try. She watched the shows and voiced some concerns but seeing as how she identified with some of the cast she gave a shot at cosplaying and really enjoyed it. I will watch season two because if nothing else, it’s good to stay informed and to a point, like I stated earlier, it’s a show about a hobby I am into so why not? I still have some concerns about where it’s going and I think it’s possible that this show could have benefited from being presented in the same style of Face/off where more focus is on the crafting of costumes and not the drama.
Meanwhile, I am gearing up for Fangasm, which starts next week.
And before you go, if you are on facebook, check out my cosplay group and my comics podcast. Also follow me on twitter @dreddeddeuce.
And now enjoy some pictures from Baltimore Comic Con and some of the cosplayers.