Fanthropological

Exploring the weird and wonderful world of fandoms! Every week, we deliver fandom-related "fanalysis" complete with hard data, guests, and, of course, rampant speculation!

Latest Episodes

10

December 14, 2018 01:29:38
Pro Wrestling - It's All "Fake"

Pro Wrestling - It's All "Fake"

Why do people care so much about whether or not wrestling is fake? And what is it about pro wrestling that reels fans in? All this and more on this week's episode with our own resident expert, G! ## Episode Outline ## Fandom Facts ### [Last Episode's](https://fanthropological.com/earthbound) Famous Last Words What did we have to say before doing the preparation for this week's episode? **G:** < Abstained > **T:** Why do people enjoy watching bad wrestling? [// Seems partially nostalgia: period where it was cool. lack of competition or desire to find other sources.]: # **Z:** Wrestlers are pretty great show people, performing for the back of the room... have there been wrestlers that were not fans before they got into it (or ever during)? Is every pro-wrestler a fan? **Guest(s):** Statement ### Main Discussion **Topics covered in this episode:** TBD ### Famous Last Words Our chance (and yours, if you're watching on [twitch.tv/thenickscast](https://twitch.tv/thenickscast)) to have some (in)famous last words about next week's topic before we've done any prep work! Next week, we'll be talking about the fans and fandom of _M.A.S.H._! **T:** Is this another fandom that is going to die out? Is the fandom still alive? **G:** Would fans like to see M.A.S.H. rebooted? **Z:** When the show was running, how did fans get together? ## Where can you find us? Pretty much everything we do is `something/thenickscast`, but in specific... - If you're looking for this podcast (Fanthropological), you can find it at [Fanthropological.com](https://fanthropological.com) or on different podcatchers including [Spotify](https://open.spotify.com/show/2IVp8MBIUyCqlKyZn79iHn), [Apple Podcasts](https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/fanthropological/id1163621210?mt=2), [Google Podcasts](https://www.google.com/podcasts?feed=aHR0cDovL2ZlZWRzLnBvZGlhbnQuY28vZmFudGhyb3BvbG9naWNhbC9yc3MueG1s) and many others! - You can join us for the live recording of the podcasts and participate (or catch us when we're playing some games) at [twitch.tv/thenickscast](https://twitch.tv/thenickscast) - Keep up-to-date with our latest goings-on on [Facebook](https://facebook.com/thenickscast), [Twitter](https://twitter.com/thenickscast), or [Instagram](https://instagram.com/thenickscast), all `@thenickscast` - We ...

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9

December 07, 2018 01:12:33
Earthbound - Definitely Not A Cult!

Earthbound - Definitely Not A Cult!

How does such a small franchise maintain a strong fanbase almost thirty* years later? And just what is it about fuzzy pickles and odometers that reel people into the games in the first place? ## Episode Outline ### Fandom Facts **History and Origins:** > The Mother series ... consists of three role-playing video games: the 1989 Mother for the Famicom, the 1994 Mother 2, known as EarthBound outside of Japan, for the Super NES, and the 2006 Mother 3 for the Game Boy Advance. Written by Shigesato Itoi and published by Nintendo, and featuring game mechanics modeled on the Dragon Quest series, the Mother series is known for its sense of humor, originality, and parody. The player uses weapons and psychic powers to fight hostile, everyday objects, aliens and brainwashed people. Signature elements of the series include the lighthearted plots, the battle sequences with psychedelic backgrounds, and the "rolling HP meter": as player health ticks down like an odometer (damage doesn't instantly subtract HP), players can outrun the meter to heal before dying. While the franchise is popular in Japan, in the United States, it is best associated with the cult following behind EarthBound. > — [Wikipedia - EarthBound](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mother_(video_game_series)) **Names** Sometimes fandoms have a definitive name (e.g. "Whovians") other fandoms... struggle. Here are some of the names that [the community has come up with](https://earthboundcentral.com/2012/03/what-are-earthbound-fans/): - Starmen - Motherheads - Momma's Boys - Mother Lovers - EarthBounders - Boundies - Eagleandians **Search Data:** In a surprise twist, unlike most of the fandoms that we have covered on the show, [EarthBound fandom has been almost constant](https://trends.google.com/trends/explore?date=all&q=%2Fm%2F01282w,%2Fm%2F01s7_9) (it's only decreased a little bit since 2004). The most notable spike in interest occured in October 2008, which likely coincides with the release of the unofficial English fan translation ...

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8

November 30, 2018 01:16:35
The Simpsons - Worst Episode Ever

The Simpsons - Worst Episode Ever

The Nicks dive deep into personal nostalgia (that's good), the divide between fans (that's bad), the different shows that the Simpsons has been (that's good), and more for this long running (that's bad) media franchise! Can I go now? ## Episode Outline ### Fandom Facts **History and Origins:** > The Simpsons is a long running animated TV show, spanning 27 seasons over as many years, and counting (As of Dec 2016). It revolves around the lives of a supposedly average American middle class household; Homer, Marge, Bart, Lisa and Maggie. > > Over the years, The Simpsons' cast grew from the original five family members into over a hundred unique characters, along with numerous cameos. > — [Fanlore - The Simpsons](https://fanlore.org/wiki/The_Simpsons) Created by Matt Groening, _The Simpsons_ debuted as a series of shorts on the _Tracy Ullman Show_ in 1987 and since then has become a worldwide cultural phenomenon spanning hundreds of episodes and many comics, video games, and so much more. It is the longest running TV show in history and airs in over 180 countries. "The series is a satirical depiction of working-class life, epitomized by the Simpson family, which consists of Homer, Marge, Bart, Lisa, and Maggie. The show is set in the fictional town of Springfield and parodies American culture and society, television, and the human condition" (Wikipedia). **Search Data:** Using Google Trends data, there is about as much search data available as there is missing, since it starts back in 2004. That being said, search interest in the show [has been on a slow decline](https://trends.google.com/trends/explore?date=all&q=%2Fm%2F07c72) since approximately May 2010 (despite being relatively stable from 2004 - 2010). The show has had a particular spike in interest in July 2007 (_The Simpsons_ movie), ...

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7

November 23, 2018 01:10:00
Alien - Far Away From LV426

Alien - Far Away From LV426

How does the Alien cinematic universe fit together (and do fans care... about Predator)? How important is Ripley to the series? Is feminism an important part of the series? All this and more as Jaime of [Perfect Organism](https://www.perfectorganism.com/), an Alien Podcast, helps us to better understand the fandom around the Alien films! ## Episode Outline ### Fandom Facts **History and Origins:** > Alien is a science-fiction horror media franchise centered on the film series depicting Warrant Officer Ellen Ripley (played by Sigourney Weaver) and her battles with an extraterrestrial lifeform, commonly referred to as "the Alien". > > Produced and distributed by 20th Century Fox, the series began with Alien (1979), directed by Ridley Scott. It was followed by three sequels, Aliens (1986), Alien³ (1992), and Alien Resurrection (1997), directed by James Cameron, David Fincher, and Jean-Pierre Jeunet, respectively. Scott also directed a prequel series, composed of Prometheus (2012) and Alien: Covenant (2017). > > The series has led to numerous books, comics, and video game spin-offs. The Alien vs. Predator franchise combines the continuities of the Alien franchise with the Predator franchise, and consists of two films as well as varying series of comics, books and video games. A video game called Alien: Isolation was released in 2014 to generally positive reviews. > — [Wikipedia - Alien](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alien_(franchise)) **Search Data:** Interest in the Alien franchise is down a little bit since 2004, [but is relatively stable and oddly periodic](https://trends.google.com/trends/explore?date=all&q=%2Fm%2F095d5f). There have been outsized spikes in search volume starting August 2004 (_Alien vs. Predator_), December 2007 (_Alien vs. Predator: Requiem_), February 2010, February 2013 (_Aliens: Colonial Marines_), October 2014 (_Alien: Isolation_), and May 2017 (_Alien: Covenant_). The top ten countries, by search volume, are as follows: Chile, Argentina, Uruguay, Spain, ...

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6

November 16, 2018 01:31:30
Pinball - Tilting Into The Fandom

Pinball - Tilting Into The Fandom

Does Pinball really go back to the 1700s? Why the resurgence recently? And is it more about playing, collecting, or building? We've got special guest, Jessica, from the Pinball Podcast to help us out! ## Episode Outline ### Fandom Facts **History and Origins:** > Pinball is a type of arcade game, in which points are scored by a player manipulating one or more steel balls on a play field inside a glass-covered cabinet called a pinball table (or "pinball machine"). The primary objective of the game is to score as many points as possible. Many modern pinball machines include a story line where the player must complete certain objectives in a certain fashion to complete the story, usually earning high scores for different methods of completing the game. Points are earned when the ball strikes different targets on the play field. A drain is situated at the bottom of the play field, partially protected by player-controlled plastic bats called flippers. A game ends after all the balls fall into the drain a certain number of times. Secondary objectives are to maximize the time spent playing (by earning "extra balls" and keeping the ball in play as long as possible) and to earn bonus games (known as "replays"). > — [Wikipedia - Pinball](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pinball) **Search Data:** Interest in Pinball has been [on the decline since 2004](https://trends.google.com/trends/explore?date=all&q=%2Fm%2F0gfk5), but has been stable since around 2015. However, since pinball has existed in some form since arguable the 1700s or 1800s... this isn't a lot of data to work with. The top ten countries for pinball, by search volume, are as follows: Hungary, France, Chile, Belgium, Croatia, Netherlands, Australia, Serbia, Germany, Uruguay (Canada is 13th, United States is 16th). ### [Last Episode's](https://fanthropological.com/vampirechronicles) Famous ...

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5

November 09, 2018 01:16:03
The Vampire Chronicles - Petty AF

The Vampire Chronicles - Petty AF

What happens when you take strong subtext, immortal beings, and over forty years of writing? It's not fanfic, but it is a fascinating history of the Vampire Chronicles fandom! **History and Origins:** > The Vampire Chronicles is a series of novels by American writer Anne Rice that revolves around the fictional character Lestat de Lioncourt, a French nobleman turned into a vampire in the 18th century. > > — [Wikipedia - The Vampire Chronicles](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Vampire_Chronicles) The book series encompasses 16 separate novels (including crossovers) from 1976 to 2018, and has been adapted into films—Interview with the Vampire in 1994, starring Tom Cruise, Brad Pitt, Antonio Banderas, Christian Slater, and Kirsten Dunst; and The Queen of the Damned in 2002—and as of July 2018, it was announced that a TV series adaptation of the novels is in development by Hulu. **Search Data:** Interest in _The Vampire Chronicles_ [has been on a slow decline since 2004](https://trends.google.com/trends/explore?date=all&q=%2Fm%2F02f5gv,%2Fm%2F02p76f9,%2Fm%2F0mb0). The series enjoyed a small lift in interest around November 2009 which buoyed interest in the series for several years afterwards until July 2018 where interest spiked again (most likely due to the Hulu's announcement). The top ten countries differ slightly depending on whether or not you're looking at the entire series, or _Interview with the Vampire_: - _The Vampire Chronicles_: Spain, Romania, Hungary, Mexico, Chile, Philippines, Uruguay, United States, Poland, Venezuela (Canada is 13th). - _Interview with the Vampire_: Mexico, Russia, Moldova, Belarus, Ukraine, Hungary, Poland, Chile, China, Latvia (United States is 20th, Canada is 23rd). [//2005 Anne Rice Spike - Christ the Lord: Out of Egypt]: # **Fanac Fast Facts:** - Archive of our own has [almost 1000 works related to the Vampire Chronicles](https://archiveofourown.org/tags/Vampire%20Chronicles%20-%20All%20Media%20Types/works) - Top 3 Categories: M/M (657), Gen (215), ...

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