I don’t follow a huge amount of TV. I have no idea what goes on in many of the latest shows on any platform. I admit it and do not apologize. Most of what I follow are either Japanese, animated, or both. I don’t have anything against shows that the geekier side of life is following. I made peace with that a long time ago.
But there is one show based here in the states I actually DO follow and have since the beginning, My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic. Now. before your mind starts racing in the usual direction people follow when someone my age or gender says that. No. I am not into any of the seedier sides of the fandom like the adult art of stories. I don’t try to “fix” things I have seen during the series. I’ve found that many of the cast, crew, and fans are wonderful, creative, normal people that I get along with.
I can also tell you exactly what got me into the series and why. I got into things between the first and second season by friends and one thing.
I first got into the series because of a character known by most as Derpy Hooves. She officially is called things like Bubbles or Muffins. But she is Derpy to me. She was given that name by fans, she was brought about largely by the fans, and carried on 8 years by fans. I was made aware of this odd eyed grey pony just after the first season wrapped, and when the show returned for its second season, I had to know the deal behind this fan created character. I read up on her origins, being a background artists joke that accidentally got into the show in the beginnings and how a fan on Reddit gave her the name “Derpy Hooves” that carried on around the world.
It wasn’t something created as a mean-spirited joke. The blond mare popped up quite a lot with a smile and a wave in the background.
Eventually, shock filled every fan when the “hide and seek” character that was given a voice and spoke words!
But that is where the trouble starts. First, the voice was redone almost immediately. Then word started getting out that people were offended by Derpy, saying the character represented a mean-spirited joke on people with developmental difficulties.
I didn’t think that was right. I wasn’t alone in that either.
So I did a little digging, something a lot of other people making these claims never did. The voice was redone for a very good reason, the voice actress Tabitha St. Germain, who also voices many others in the series, even to this day, Thought Derpy was a boy. It was fixed for that reason more than anything. And thanks to Derpy, I got to exchange emails with the writer behind much of what Derpy was about in Amy Keating Rodgers. Amy was one of the writers first brought into the series when it was given to creator Lauren Faust in the first place! She didn’t create her, but in that episode, Amy fleshed her out.
Amy is not mean, not spiteful, and she wasn’t making a joke. Quite the opposite really. Another character in the series named Soarin’ is actually based on her challenged son Soren.
I learned that Derpy was a gift to the fans and a way for the crew to acknowledge that we as fans matter. Some took the meaning of her name, her look, or some of her actions in a negative way. I wrote to Amy saying I did not agree and I did not think that about her or ANY of the characters she helped produce or create. Derpy didn’t say much after but was still used as a smile in the background no matter what version of MLP was made.
But thanks to that grey mare with the googly eyes, I made some friends and still have them today 6 years later, and that is kind of the point of the whole thing. Even with new jobs and better lives, I still chat with them.
So anyone who may be reading this who thinks their fandoms are things to be ashamed of, Don’t do that to yourself. Be proud of what you follow and are a fan of. You aren’t hurting anyone for what you like, no matter what is “popular” or not.
You never know what it can do for you!