Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Fangasm! That time I was on a Syfy reality series.

Syfy is a week away from premiering a new reality show called Fangasm, which features a group of geeks living in a house together as they get to know each other and intern for Stan Lee. 

I personally have a lot to say about this show because I was one of the seven geeks. I applied for the show online over a year and a half before filming even began, and it's been a long, exhausting, but truly rewarding ride. 
While my friends, family, and coworkers are all very excited for the show, I am not blind to the amount of online hate this show is getting.
  I have tried not to delve deeply into the barrage of premature criticism, but a quick visit to the Syfy page on Facebook is all you need to get the full effect.

Of the comments in negative favor of Fangasm, most of them reiterate the same thing over and over. 

1. That it's being called the "real" Big Bang Theory    

2.  That it's done by the same producers behind Jersey Shore.
3. That the cast of Fangasm are "fake nerds" 

Now, these are random stranger's comments on the internet, and I know, from years of putting content on YouTube, that stranger's internet comments on ANYTHING should not be taken too seriously. 
I'm not writing this article because I really took to heart anything negative said about Fangasm on facebook. A thing like that wouldn't deserve my time or worry.

I'm writing this for anyone who isn't happy with what they see of Fangasm so far. I can give a little insight into what the show was like, and why I think people should watch an episode or two before hating it. (Don't worry Syfy/495 Productions and Krista the magnificent, I won't be giving away any spoilers)

 First off, The Real Big Bang is what Fangasm's promos call it.
I for one, know that while the sitcom The Big Bang Theory is doing well in ratings, it's VERY NOT popular with a lot of real geeks and nerds. Most nerds, and nearly every nerd I know HATES that show. They have even referred to it as "nerd blackface". While a TV show's portrayal of stereotypical nerds is not NEARLY offensive as a white actor dressing and acting in racial slurs, it is an interesting term (even if not very PC).
 Fangasm is being called the 'reality' version of a show a lot of real geeks do not like so I understand the backlash here. I think once people watch our show, they'll see how very non-stereotypical we all are, and the fact that one of our shows themes is that anyone can be a nerd about anything.


  Secondly, I'd like to address the complaint that Fangasm is produced by the company who did Jersey Shore. 
 I can see how this might look promising to your average nerd. The lifestyle of the stars of Jersey Shore is not usually something that would interest people who like watching epic space battles in a galaxy far away or the fight to reclaim King's Landing. (Mom, that's a Game of Thrones reference.)
I too was wary of this when I was applying/auditioning for the show and almost didn't agree to do it once I was cast.

HOWEVER, 495 Productions has ALL my confidence and respect, now that I've worked with them. These producers and crew were all incredibly professional and good to work with. Yes, their number one priority was shooting an interesting show, but along the way they did a great job of taking care of myself and my fellow cast mates. 

The producers, those of them that weren't already familiar with comics, video games, and sci-fi classics, really did their research on geek/nerd-culture. They set out to celebrate uber-fans, not make fun of geeks, which is why I resent any geek-exploitation claims. 
At times, half the crew was walking around wearing superhero shirts, and when we visited a comic shop, one of our producers let us help him pick out some reading material.

495 productions, yes, the very company that brought you Jersey Shore, has it's own geeks working among the ranks and is run by people who really do give a damn about what they're trying to portray. What they didn't know about the things that were important to us, they were completely willing to learn about. You have to respect that.

The third thing I'm addressing is the claim that the cast of Fangasm is "a bunch of fake nerds"

It took 495 almost 2 years to cast for the show. They watched thousands of audition videos, narrowed their favorites down to hundreds, then flew MANY of us out to LA for the in-person auditions/interviews before they eliminated and eliminated until they got down to their favorite seven.

They weren't looking for perfect-looking eye-candy to visually please an audience; I saw a lot of REALLY good looking geeks on the casting day that didn't end up on the show. At the same time there were some stereotypical-nerd-looking guys and girls that weren't picked either. 

Yes, they picked kids that they thought would be entertaining and stir-up a bit of drama, but THEY PICKED HONEST TO GOD NERDS.

Kristin may just know more about comics than anyone I know, and that includes slews of men who've been reading comics since the 80's.
Sal, has played every video game ever and like me, crushes hard on anything Tolkien wrote. 
Paul owns every movie ever made and has his favorite comic issues framed on his wall.
Mike loves Superman more than anyone on Earth.
Molly cosplays at every convention she can get to and wants to marry Boba Fett.
As for me, I am not the leading fan in any category, I just love anything that is an escape from reality, so sci-fi and fantasy are my havens. 

I grew up watching Star Wars, obsessed over The Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter movies, and have the biggest Martian Manhunter collection of any comic fan I know, so I feel worthy to stand toe-to-toe with the biggest super-fans. Oh, and I also used to tour conventions across the US with a geek-comedy troupe called The Damsels of Dorkington. 

My intention here is not to brag about my nerd-cred, or try to convince you that we, the seven cast members of Fangasm are the only kids out there who know a thing or two.
But each cast member legitimately adores the things we say we love. The claim that any of us are 'fake nerds' is just not true.

If you've read this far, congrats! I can be long-winded and a little unorganized in my thoughts and my putting them into text.
If you were wary of Fangasm's intentions, hopefully I've cleared some things up.

I DO think that the haters may change their tunes once they see an episode of the show, but it's a fact that some people will simply not like it. 
I just know that I'm glad I took the leap and decided to go on the show, and I'm pretty proud of what we made. 

I'm Dani Snow, I'm a geek, and I hope you enjoy the six episodes of my journey there and back again :)


  1. Loved the first episode. Looking forward to next week. Very fun show.

  2. The most disappointing thing about this post was that there are only Six Episodes. I admit when I saw the commercials for Fangasm, I was like 'Whaaat?' and I feared it was another King of the Nerds type of show. My friend The Pop Culture Zealot Stephen told me to watch it and so I did. I think the moment I realized it wasn't the kind of show that I had thought was when Molly opened up at the hot tub about her insecurities and the exploitation that Geek Girls have to live with. This made me feel something, I understand, I have a geeky sister and I've seen how my friends reacted to her when we were growing up when she walked in the room and wanted to play Zelda with us or watch Heavy Metal on our recorded VHS. The George Takei moment on the show felt staged at first, the whole contest, and that's fine if it was because it ended up showing us a new side off 'The Real Bill Haverchuck' Andrew. His story about his great grandmother really got to me because I understand, I had a grandma that played Space Station with me, she totally catered to my silly ideas but when I asked her to be a Space Waitress when I came into the kitchen she did it and she watched SNL with me every saturday night and I still think of her even now when I watch it. But anyway, I digress. I was really impressed with Fangasm and I can't wait to see Dani open up, There's got to be some Height issue you are dealing with. I'M KIDDING! haha sorry I couldn't resist.

  3. Awesome! I love your show. Love seeing people talk about their passion. I will be watching the show.

  4. I love the show! I find all the cast members genuine and adorable! Being a fellow geek I can relate to y'all. There were definitely some heartfelt moments for me, especially with Andrew sharing his deep connection to Star Trek since his childhood. And oh boy does my heart go out to Sal, who clearly was crushing over you Dani, but has not quite discovered is own courage yet. You are a freakin ANGEL for being so sweet and gentle with him. I know plenty of witches that would tear him apart for showing an immature side! But Dani you are a sweetheart and easily my favorite cast member of the show! I hope this opportunity helps to propel you further and further into the life of your dreams! <3

  5. Love the show. I had my reservations, mostly because of the production company behind it is the same company behind Jersey Shore. But I decided to give it a shot and, as I said earlier, I love it. It just feels so honest.

  6. i love the show! i didnt feel like anyone on the show was disingenuous. it looked to like you guys had a really great time and that's all that matters. cheers!

  7. I was wary about the show as I am sure most others were. Even to the point that I didn't even bother watching it when the first episode aired. Nor the second and I even let the third go by. Then I saw a clip for it that wasn't the normal media blast about the "REAL" Big Bang Theory. And I saw that George Takei was on that episode and once I saw that. I sat down and watched all three episodes and look forward to the rest. I am much like Jastrom in the fact that I am sad there are only 6 episodes. When George walked into the loft and Andrew cupped his face like 6 times I was laughing and tearing up at the same time. I am not one to get emotional over TV shows or movies unless they have a very poignant moment. However that instant was just flooring on multiple levels. I am a fan of the show and look forward to the things you are working on and I would love to see you on a season of Faceoff. That would be fantabulious.

  8. (1) I admit I was worried when I read about the 'Jersey Shore' connection. Happily, the show has been better then I expected. (2) Nice to see one incredibly hot little red headed geek who is not afraid to enjoy the wonders of 'all things geeky'. (3) My personal "I think Dani is the cat's pajamas' just went into another grade scale with your mention of the Damsels of Dorkington! Saw them in 2012 and they are a hoot. Geeks have great taste in wackiness. :D

  9. I can't believe anyone watched this show and thought "these are fake nerds"

  10. The whole "fake nerd" thing is the most obnoxious thing in this subculture that people can whip out. Since when did they become the experts on how to nerd out properly? I wrote a diddy on this... just some geek girl pride nonsense anyway. http://leslieirl.com/2013/10/22/geek-girl-pride-is-contagious-stop-bullies-and-trolls-in-their-tracks-by-being-proud/