I did not want to like Fangasm, I didn’t even want to give it a chance. Even when I first heard about the show and having already followed some of the shows cast on twitter for sometime, I didn’t want to put any faith in it. When Heroes of Cosplay aired, I turned the show off after 5 minutes, so how could Fangasm be any better? Like Heroes of Cosplay, I decided to give it a chance after seeing some of the cast respond to questions about the show on Twitter. I was blown away by what I watched and I mean that in a good way. Fangasm does NOT attempt to change the people appearing on the show, it does NOT attempt to exploit them or make little of them or what they are passionate about. Even when the cast members butt heads at times about what they like and what they believe, that is not the nature of this show.
The cast generally gets along, are supportive of each other, and seem to really enjoy what they are doing. I know, sounds unbelievable for a reality show right? So when I spoke to cast member Molly McIsaac, I was relieved by a lot of her responses and glad to know that the production company behind Fangasm had no intentions of editing the show for a more “dramatic” factor. When the show’s premiere ended I was really happy, overly happy. A REALITY show had just accurately portrayed people like my friends and I. Andrew’s reaction to meeting George Takei and his explanation for why it meant so much to him was exactly how I’ve felt when I’ve been lucky enough to meet a few celebrities. Fangasm it seems was actually going to take my expectations and beat them to the ground! Haven’t had a chance to check the show out yet? Let my interview with cast member Molly fill you in on some of the details of the show and help put some of your fears at ease.
Reality show has become a broad term to describe various TV shows the past several years. How do you describe Fangasm to people who are interested in watching?
I think the EASIEST way to describe Fangasm is as “The Real World, except with geeks”. Basically, myself and six other amazing people lived in a geek palace in LA for the summer and interned for Stan Lee’s Comikaze Expo. We were followed around by cameras the entire time and our funny, weird, and sometimes emotional lives were recorded. However, people seem to have a worry that this show is going to be exploitative to geek culture, and I just need the record to show that it’s NOT. It’s a CELEBRATION, not a mockery, and I can say that with utmost confidence.
It’s definitely been a part of my identity for as long as I can remember. My dad was really into hard SciFi movies so showed me movies like “The Thing” and “Aliens” when I was probably way too young, but I REALLY started getting geeky when I discovered comics and anime when I was 8/9, which completely consumed my life from that point on. It’s just been a snowball effect since then.
Is there anything you really enjoy that might surprise people as they watch the show?
I think it’s pretty clear that I’m a massive geek. I love most things that fall into the geeky spectrum – comic books, anime, cosplay, dungeons and dragons, LARPing, etc. I think what MAY surprise people that don’t know my online identity very well is that I also have an intense interest in fashion, beauty, and other stereotypical “girly” things. I’m also really into weird Japanese games – especially hentai games. Yep, Japanese anime sex games. I’M NOT ASHAMED.
Did you know any of your cast mates before the show or was this your first time meeting your cast mates?
I knew Kristin pre-show, and while we were pretty good friends the show solidified our friendship to the point that I don’t think I could live without her now. Seriously, that girl is an anchor in my life and I love her more than anything. I knew OF a few of my other roommates because the geek world is so small, but I met all of the rest of them for the first time in the conference room for Comikaze.
Paul was able to have dinner with George Takei and then the whole cast got to meet him at the apartment and have your own fangasms. What other moments from the show can you tell us about that you got really excited over?
I think the biggest moment for me was that I got to pitch a comic book to my childhood hero, Stan Lee. It was such an intense moment for me that I actually have zero recollection of it. Seriously, it’s a black spot in my memory. So I’m going to be surprised when I see it on TV!
Have you had a chance to see any of the episodes yet or are you watching as they air like the rest of us?
No special privileges! I will be watching alongside everyone else, and tweeting furiously.
Even with the eruption of “geek culture” the past several years, do you think people are more open minded about people who enjoy science fiction, comics, and fantasy or do you believe it’s still a very stereotyped culture?
I think it’s become very “trendy” and much more socially acceptable with the big superhero movies, books like Harry Potter and the Hunger Games… basically things that used to be determined as “geeky” that have now come into the mainstream. There’s still a lot of stereotyping that goes on in pop culture and big media – geek guys are all awkward and can’t talk to girls, pretty girls can’t be geeks, etc – but I think that Fangasm is going to do a good job at dispelling a lot of those stereotypes. While my roommates and I are massively geeky, we’re all socially functioning and have unique skill sets and personalities that will exemplify that we’re not all “the comic book guy”.
In the previews it seems like the group really gets along. Was there any tense moments between the cast?
Oh, absolutely. I’m a very difficult person to get along with so I’d say most of the tension stemmed from me. I’m way too opinionated and stubborn at times, so there were a few blowouts. I got INTO IT more than once with Mike, straight up yelling and crying, so the viewers have that to look forward to. However, these were unique instances because for the most part if there was conflict in the house we had round table, calm discussions. Our producers were joking with us that a show about geeks is boring because we all have such intelligent mature discussions to work out our problems!
For the most part it was mostly camaraderie, and despite any clashes we had I consider my roommates friends for life. I know they will always be there for me and vice versa, because we shared a singularly unique experience together and that kind of bond just can’t be broken.
Like every reality show in history, there’s been some backlash against Heroes of Cosplay, saying it’s an inaccurate portrayal of geek culture. How do you think viewers will react to Fangasm?
I really agree with that sentiment, actually. While I’m trying to be supportive of that show because I know a lot of the awesome women involved, the post processing and the things they chose to focus on was absolutely ridiculous and felt like a cheap mockery of the cosplay scene that just painted us all as catty bitches.
I definitely think that Fangasm is a different beast entirely. The entire time we were filming, we were never prompted to do/say anything. We were left to our own devices and we created our own lives and entertaining scenarios. The crew was incredible, some of the most supportive and kind people I’ve ever met. The running theme throughout the entire production was that 495 Productions and SyFy wants to have an honest portrayal of what geek culture actually is, and myself and my roommates were the ambassadors for that.
So I really think that any naysayers or people who have trepidation about Fangasm should hold off until they view the show… you may be pleasantly surprised.
Where can the throng of new fans you’re about to have go to get their daily dose of Molly?
I tweet like a madwoman at @MollyMcIsaac, and my internet home is http://thegeekypeacock.com, where I blog about my life, fashion, cosplay, and whatever else I feel like. And if you’re the Facebook type, you can become my fan at facebook.com/MollyMcIsaac.
Heroes of Cosplay crashed and burned in the geek community. Heck, even when I watch the Trekkies documentaries from years ago I cringe at how fans are portrayed through editing and directing. Fangasm seems to have shed that stigma and is really showing people what fanboys and fangirls are really like. Regular people, with regular problems and issues, who are fans about things that you may consider nerdy or geeky. I think everyone should check out Fangasm and really give it a chance. I think that, like me, you will be really surprised and happy with how the show turns out and be really entertained by the cast!
Thanks to Molly for taking the time out to chat with us about the show! She really is one of the coolest people in the geek community and deserves your follow!
Fangasm airs on the Syfy channel on Tuesday nights at 10/9c! You can check out more clips and previews on the Fangasm page at Syfy.com/fangasm and make sure to follow Molly and the rest of the cast on Twitter to follow along with the show as it airs!!