At the end of each year we poll the Fandomania staff to bring you our favorite movies, TV shows, and video games from the year that’s concluding. Even though there’s always a lot of great stuff that excited us, there inevitably will be fan crushing disappointments as well. In the spirit of venting out all the negativity before launching into the greatness, we begin our traditional “favorites” posts with a rundown of what disappointed us the most from the past year. We always ask each staff member for one disappointing release from the year, but this time there was so much vehemence that some staff members ended up blowing right past that limit of one. Rather than having them prune the extras, we’re tossing all the disappointments out there for your shared scorn (or possibly for your disagreement!). Here you go, Fandomaniacs: The most disappointing occurrences in geekdom from 2013!
Jason’s Disappointment: SimCity
Picking between SimCity and the Dexter finale as my biggest disappointment of the year was tough, and I admittedly just went with SimCity because another staffer already covered my Dexter discontent. And oh man was SimCity a stinker. I anticipated that this would be my 2013 game of the year, but it ended up being such a mismanaged, poorly designed, and awfully implemented mess that I haven’t even touched it since the first couple of weeks after it released. SimCity sucked so badly that Amazon wouldn’t let me return it to them and gave me my money back anyway, and then EA gave me Battlefield 3 for free as an apology, without my even asking.
Celeste’s Disappointment: Sexism in the Geek Community
Rather than a specific title or property, the thing that disappointed me most in fandom this year has been the continued myth of the “Fake Geek Girl”, fandom policing, and sexism in general. Of course this has been a thing for a while now, but this year it seems to have blown up a little extra among a certain subset of (mostly male) geeks and studio execs. See: both Sony and Microsoft’s new console presentations; DC Comics; Penny Arcade (way too many instances by all the aforementioned offenders to link); backlash against Patricia Hernandez, Anita Sarkeesian, and Jennifer Hepler; Scott Lobdell sexually harassing MariNaomi; Lightning Returns; Mark Millar; Steven Moffat; Shin Megami Tensei; and Todd McFarlane, Len Wein and Gerry Conway, just to name a few (trigger warnings for lots and lots of terrible language, slurs, and rape culture in some of the previous links).
Thankfully, there’s also been some pushback against this toxic part of geek culture from great people like albinwonderland, Shawn Trautman, Rae Johnston, John Scalzi, The Doubleclicks (and friends), Jim Sterling , Paul Dini and Kevin Smith, Jennifer Landa, Mikko Rautalahti, Emily Finke, Doctor Nerdlove, the Girl Scouts of America, and lots more. Hopefully in 2014 we’ll see the death of this scourge of fandom.
Kendra’s Disappointments: Gravity and Dexter
[spoiler warnings!] Everyone loved Gravity and, yes, it was visually amazing BUT come on, the story was weak. I would’ve enjoyed it more if it had been a film devoid of lines, the action driven only by music and crashing sounds. I never grew to care about Sandra Bullock or George Clooney, and wasn’t satisfied by the ending. Where they hell was she? No, never mind, forget I asked. I don’t want a sequel to come from that.
As for Dexter‘s finale: Okay, first off, I was okay with it from a serial killer perspective. He was born with that mentality and Harry shaped it so Dex could live as normal a life as possible. He was always a killer, only suppressed, so I liked that he ended up alone because it showed that you can’t fight who you’re born to be. BUT, as far as the show goes — NO. The whole last season was rushed and eventually it fell flat and wasted fans’ time. While I liked the reality of a serial killer, I hated that it wasn’t true to the show we all came to know and love. Plus, NO ONE saw him take Deb? Okay, yeah…
Mandi’s Disappointment: Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
I am a huge fan of the Marvel universe and, like most fans, I had high hopes for the show. Sadly, I was disappointed by the high school antics of most of the cast, the boring plots, and the lack of Marvel heroes’ involvement. I made it eight episodes before I completely lost interest in the show.
Jess’s Disappointments: Oz the Great and Powerful, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, and Oblivion
What I expected from Oz the Great and Powerful: Disney’s answer to Wicked: The Musical. What I got: James Franco trying too hard and Zach Braff being Zach Braff. I went into The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug confident that this would be a beautiful movie and came out broken and hopeless. My heart is no longer capable of true joy. And the first hour of Oblivion fooled me in to thinking I was going to have a good time. It wasn’t fair.
Ann’s Disappointment: Ender’s Game
They did a good job with it visually, but the plot was so compressed — it annoyed me to see things happen so quickly that took years in book time. I know you have to shorten the story for a movie sometimes, but many things appeared to happen without sufficient explanation/lead up, and that bugged me. Not enough cause for the effects shown, in other words.
Kimberly’s Disappointment: Almost Human
I like Karl Urban, I like androids, so putting them together should have been a win-win. Not so much. Instead of focusing on the android/human relationship, this show is much more focused on the cop drama. Not necessarily bad, but just not what I was hoping for.
Ava’s Disappointment: The Wolverine, only not
I thought very hard about this, but I really haven’t been disappointed by any of the television shows I have watched on a regular basis this year or any of the movies I have seen. Probably my biggest disappointment of the year was not getting to see The Wolverine while it was out at theaters. I am a self-admitted fangirl at heart, and for me, it was all about seeing a beefed-up Hugh Jackman on the big screen.
In defense of Almost Human. I’m putting the blame on FOX wanting to catch people by action/sex/explosions rather than understanding that the show is done so that the characters can grow together; the back bone of this show is John and Dorian. That is what attracted me to it, the buddy aspect and that is rare for me to like. However, there is a slow growing demand for more arch episodes and that is understandable and it could be what will boost the ratings… but the skipping the horrible skipping.