The “Oh My Salvatore” Vlog as a Case of “Crazy” but Permissible Fan Behavior
by Kristen Warner — University of Alabama
June 16, 2010 – 00:48
**Spoiler alert: This clip concerns the season finale in graphic detail.** Today’s curated clip explores a fan’s video reaction to the season finale of the CW’s The Vampire Diaries (TVD). While I am not sure why the vlogger, Chloe elected to record herself in an automobile, I am quite sure she was excited, astonished, awed, and all-around giddy from the events of the episode. Indeed, a few wonderful pieces on the first season of TVD with regard to genre and narrative plotting (http://bit.ly/dAKG5F and http://bit.ly/9comjf) suggest the reasons that the poster was so elated. However fascinating (and funny) this young woman’s fan relationship is to TVD, what is more useful to this week’s theme is the clip’s connection to celebrity culture. The only reason that I knew about this video’s existence is Twitter, where the“Oh My Salvatore” vlog was tweeted by TVD actors and showrunners. Actor Ian Somerhalder (Damon) tweeted that she was “a genius”; actress Nina Dobrev (Elena) tweeted she was “brilliant. amazing. enthusiastic. You, lovely lady are pretty cool.” Further, both co-creators and executive producers Kevin Williamson and Julie Plec re-tweeted the video on their respective Twitters.*
What I want to suggest through this clip is not just that the supposed boundaries between celebrities and fans are being blurred through Twitter, but rather that a particular type of fan is necessary for these blurring relationships. Searching fan reactions to TVD on Youtube yields a variety of ages and races but the one characteristic that is most common is the freaky, excited, cheek-grabbing hysteria many posters perform. For celebrities, particularly those involved in these productions, giddy fandom is more accessible than the more thoughtful, reserved kind. I suppose that the tangibility of emotion relayed by these fans is easier to discern for the famous than the more cerebral “aca-fan” who may gush or squee (God knows I did throughout the season) about the characters but is still able to ask difficult questions and be critical when necessary.
This is not to say, however, that the “geeked out” responses are not intelligent. These fans demonstrate mastery of the narrative in ways very similar to fans of daytime soap operas and so-called narratively complex primetime dramas. However, it is the manner in which vloggers like Chole engage in these conversations that seems to endear them to the celebrities and not, for example, the kinds of acafan interactions mentioned above that try to legitimize TVD as a “quality” series. Indeed, it may also be true that the types of fans who post to Youtube are more “discoverable” to celebrities than acafans. Although I am quite doubtful that Williamson, Plec, Somerhalder or Dobrev would respond to the articles written above or retweet them—which only suggests that they are no more scholarly than the squeeish fans they adore.*In these recent Youtube vids, Chloe gives a slideshow of the Tweets that “made her life” and a thank you video to the celebs and her new public. Here (http://bit.ly/ckGurb) and here (http://bit.ly/aKGdPC).