Friday, October 18, 2019

Finding a Middle Ground to Discuss CW's Nancy Drew

A few days ago, I wrote about last week's Nancy Drew Fan Meltdown.  I explained how I decided not to allow discussion of Nancy Drew's sex life in the Facebook group that I moderate.  I had already created a scheduled post for discussion of the second episode.

On Wednesday, I second-guessed myself on how to handle the situation.  This happened because of another post someone created on that day that then resulted in some argumentative and unfortunate comments made by group members.  I was very worried about how my scheduled discussion post was going to be perceived and was very worried about how negative some members might be.

I suggested that members refrain from being negative in the post, and that caused members to threaten to leave the group.  People don't realize that threatening to leave a group does not have any effect on the moderators.  If those people leave, then they take their unhappiness with them.  That's actually not a problem.

Aside from that, I was just trying to create an environment where members can calmly discuss the show.  I didn't wish to censor the opinions of others, but people do need to remain calm and rational.  And regardless, they cannot discuss the sex since that leads to a debate about morality which then leads to religion.  People of varying backgrounds simply cannot rationally discuss morality and religion.

After I realized that censoring negative comments would create a bad environment in the group, I next decided to create two posts, one for the show and one against the show.  Fortunately, I came to my senses before it was too late.  I didn't need to create two posts and double the impact on the group.  I decided to stick with the original plan of one post and hoped that the people who hate the show would let others discuss it calmly.

In the meantime, I was told more than once that the group is about books, so the television show is outside of the focus.  I was also told that the Nancy Drew television show discussion should be in the Nancy Drew group instead.  Let's consider both points.

The group is about books, so the television show is outside of the focus.

If the group is only about books, then all filmed versions of Nancy Drew are outside of the group's focus.  And what about the Nancy Drew lunchbox and the collectibles based on the Pamela Sue Martin television series?  If we start banning filmed versions of Nancy Drew, do we also ban the collectibles based on those versions?

We will either allow all filmed versions of Nancy Drew, or we will ban all of them.  We will ban all or none.  What these people really want is for me to disallow the 2019 CW show from being discussed while allowing all previous versions.

Did you know that I strongly dislike the Bonita Granville Nancy Drew movies?  That is, I strongly dislike the only one that I have seen.  I dislike it so much that I have never watched the other three.  Whenever those movies are discussed, I barely glance at the comments.  I am uninterested.  I don't think people would want me to ban discussion of that version simply because I don't like it.  However, they want me to ban discussion of the 2019 show because they don't like it.

A few of them might also argue, "But the 2019 CW Nancy Drew show is too much of a departure from the books."  Actually, it isn't.  The show is a combination of the Nancy Drew Files and Nancy Drew On Campus series.  In the On Campus series, George Fayne has sex.

The Nancy Drew television show discussion should be in the Nancy Drew group.

If we use this argument, then Nancy Drew books should not be discussed in the group, either.  After all, we have a separate forum for Nancy Drew.  We might as well kick out Judy Bolton, Trixie Belden, the Hardy Boys, and a few others while we are at it.  They all have separate groups.

Neither suggestion is viable since both use flawed logic.  The suggestions were made just to try to get the 2019 show out of the group.

We are not going to selectively ban discussion of any version of Nancy Drew.  People are trying to wear me down, but I am not giving in.  This is a Nancy Drew show.  We will allow discussion, like it or not.

So, I went with my one discussion post and hoped for the best.  A few complaints popped up immediately, but this has—to this point—worked out far better than I expected.  It could become a disaster at any time, but we are managing to get along so far.  The people who hate the show can't say why since they can't mention the sex.  This seems to be keeping them to a low level of complaints, since the sex seems to be the main issue.

The people who don't like the show because of the sex are very unhappy that they cannot discuss their grievances.  One of them referred to not being able to say why and that it "hardly seems fair."  In a moderated forum, rules have to be followed for the general good.  We learned last week that allowing the sexual content of the show to be discussed without limit caused arguments about morality and religion.  Some members openly announced how much the comments offended them.  We simply cannot maintain a calm environment with that in the groups; therefore, we cannot allow discussion of the sex.

The original guidelines on my discussion post were these.

1. You are not allowed to discuss Nancy Drew's sex life or that of any other characters in the show. Any comments mentioning sex or using a euphemism to refer to sex will be deleted.

2. You may discuss any aspect of the show other than the sex scenes.

3. You may not resort to insults or attempt to bully someone else into changing their opinion.

I found last night that the rule against mentioning the sex had an unintended consequence, so I had to add another guideline to the discussion.

4. Avoid being combative. Play nice. Don't criticize someone's opinion.

What happened was that a couple of people said that they didn't like the show.  One person called it "rubbish."  No reason was given.  Someone got combative and said that the other person should say why they didn't like the show.  It turned out that the person who called the show "rubbish" was following the first guideline and couldn't say why.  The second person was out of line for trying to force the first person to say why, when that would have caused a rule to be broken.

On the surface, we seem to be getting along okay.  However, we have lost some members.  Three members left because of what happened on Sunday, detailed in my previous post.  At least two members have left since Wednesday's discussion post appeared in the group.  I had to remove one member after he defied me and bleated at me like a sheep, "Baaaah!"  At least six people are now gone from the group.

By the way, I do understand that for some people, sex in the show is intolerable, and they cannot watch the show for that reason.  Each person has to make a decision on what is best for their own general well being.  I can ignore that aspect of the show, and I want to see how the story plays out.  I also strongly desire to read the opinions of like-minded fans, hence my desire to have a calm place to discuss the show.  Those who do not like having a discussion post about the show in the group should ignore it just as I ignore the discussions about the Bonita Granville movies.


Homefront TV Series Reviewed said...

I haven't watched it because I know what kind of shows are on the CW. It's the network for teen soap operas. I wish somebody would make a Nancy Drew TV series that's more like the books. I'd love it if they set it in the 1930s and 1940s. It would be good for young girls (and probably boys, too) to see a spunky girl who behaves like girls did in that era instead of a slut suffering from sort of angst or depression. It would also be nice to see Ned as he really was; a good looking, athletic, smart, boy-next-door type instead of an ex-con horndog. The women who produce this sort of stuff are shooting themselves in the foot.

Albert Alioto said...

"People of varying backgrounds simply cannot rationally discuss morality and religion." It may seem that way a great deal of the time, but I would hate to believe that that is always true. Aren't we as a society in big trouble if it is?

I have no desire to underestimate the difficulties of rationally discussing the questions raised by the CW series. But that doesn't make those questions less important. Edmund Burke once wrote:

The passion called love, has so general and powerful an influence; it makes so much of the entertainment, and
indeed so much the occupation of that part of life which decides the character forever, that the mode and
principles on which it engages the sympathy, and strikes the imagination, become of the utmost importance to
the morals and manners of every society.

Even if we are talking about Nancy Drew? Yes.

Jennifer White said...

It may seem that way a great deal of the time, but I would hate to believe that that is always true. Aren't we as a society in big trouble if it is?

I think sometimes people of different beliefs can discuss these kinds of topics, but not on Facebook.

Facebook groups are a cesspool of hostility as soon as anyone mentions a topic connected with religion, politics, or morality. It gets ugly fast, because there is always at least one person who makes it ugly. :(

That's why we have to keep those topics out of the hobby groups.

Albert Alioto said...

Jennifer, As I wrote, I wouldn't for a minute underestimate the difficulties of some of the things you've experienced. I appreciate that you have permitted as much of a discussion as you have here about this. It is that important. Thanks always.