Fangirls on TV
March 16, 2014 3:11 PM   Subscribe

For a research project, I need to find portrayals of female media fans on television shows. Any genre, and potentially any time period, will do, although I suspect this is more likely to be a relatively recent phenomenon.

Examples of what we're looking for: Becky Rosen, in Supernatural; Labia, Matt LeBlanc's fan/stalker in Episodes; the nameless fans in Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog. We know there are more, especially on TV shows we don't personally watch, so I'm hoping the hive mind can help us out with this. To clarify, these do not need to be recurring characters; one-offs are fine (especially if you can name the season and episode in which the fan appeared).

We are mostly interested in television fans--so, for instance, the fangirl in the Veronica Mars movie is less relevant--but at this stage all examples are welcome. Thanks for your help!
posted by Superplin to Media & Arts (28 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: Castle's season 5 episode "The Final Frontier" leaps to mind.
posted by Monsieur Caution at 3:22 PM on March 16, 2014 [3 favorites]

Best answer: The whole series, Cult, is built around rabid fans.
Entourage had a stalker subplot in season 6. but I'm not the character was ever seen.
posted by Ideefixe at 3:24 PM on March 16, 2014 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Marci Maven played by Sarah Silverman on Monk probably fits the bill.
posted by Diagonalize at 3:25 PM on March 16, 2014 [3 favorites]

Best answer: Castle, season 3, episode 18, One Life to Lose. Beckett & Castle interrogate a fangirl they suspect of murdering a soap opera writer because she didn't like the way the storylines were going.

And in Castle generally - Kate Beckett is a fangirl. That's something I've never actually seen before - where the fangirl is one of the lead characters. She's established as a huge fan of Castle's books (she subscribes to his website, pre-orders his books, stood in line to get his autograph, even said that his books were what kept her going after her mother died), and is also generally a media fan - in the episode mentioned above, she's established as a soap-opera fan, and her love of comic books is mentioned throughout the show. And season 5, episode 6, The Final Frontier is basically all about her love for a terrible sci-fi show that got cancelled after only a few episodes. She's such a fangirl for that show that she even cosplays for it.
posted by Joey Joe Joe Junior Shabadoo at 3:27 PM on March 16, 2014 [3 favorites]

Relevant clip for Castle here - Beckett talking about why she loved that show, and bonus points for Nathan Fillion's terrible Picard impression.
posted by Joey Joe Joe Junior Shabadoo at 3:29 PM on March 16, 2014 [1 favorite]

Kristen Schaal played Mel, the singular obsessed fan/stalker of Flight of the Conchords. Many episodes.
posted by O9scar at 3:38 PM on March 16, 2014 [12 favorites]

Best answer: On the not very good Super Fun Night, episode 1x05 portrays all three of the main female characters as fans of a fictional television series. One of them is the president of the local fan club, and all three are meant to attend a con, complete, iirc, with cosplay.
posted by MeghanC at 3:39 PM on March 16, 2014 [2 favorites]

And Rose, Charlie's fan/stalker on Two and a Half Men.
posted by Ideefixe at 3:40 PM on March 16, 2014

Best answer: Abby Sciuto -- NCIS
Mabel Pines -- Gravity Falls
Liz Lemon -- 30 Rock
posted by These Birds of a Feather at 3:45 PM on March 16, 2014 [1 favorite]

The Beverly Hills 90210 episode where Brenda, Donna, and Kelly go to look for Color Me Badd.
posted by SisterHavana at 3:50 PM on March 16, 2014 [1 favorite]

Doctor Who, "Love and Monsters" (I hate this episode, but still...)

Of course, anime TV shows are rife with this kind of thing (see "Princess Jellyfish," where all the main characters are fangirls and one, in particular, is obsessed with Korean dramas). That's probably outside of your scope though.

You've probably already seen the TVTropes entry on FanGirl.
posted by wintersweet at 3:55 PM on March 16, 2014 [1 favorite]

Rachel and Monica are big Days of Our Lives fans on Friends.
posted by pitrified at 4:00 PM on March 16, 2014 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Galaxy Quest might be too explicitly about fandom for what you need, but among the alien fans (who don't realize they're even fans - they don't understand the notion of fiction) is a female fan of the fictional show Galaxy Quest.

I have the distinct impression that either Rachel or Monica, on Friends, is a fan of Days of Our Lives, and helps Joey land the role as Dr. Drake Ramoray. (On preview, pitrified beat me to it.)
posted by gingerest at 4:01 PM on March 16, 2014 [2 favorites]

What about Anna, Seth's friend and potential love interest in season 1 of the O.C.? She and Seth bond over their shared love of comic books. There's also the meta episode "The L.A.," which I think establishes Summer to be a fangirl of the fake TV show that is based on the O.C.

"Mirror Ball," (Season 2, episode 14) is an episode of the TV show Life in which the victim is the lead singer of a cover band that impersonates a famous rock band. (I don't know if the band is based on Kiss, but their stage makeup definitely is.) One of the suspects is a woman whose potential motive is that she auditioned for the role of the lead singer in the cover band and the band mocked her for thinking she could play the role of a man. She eventually uses the band's fan network to help the detectives solve the case.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 4:33 PM on March 16, 2014 [2 favorites]

Lilo is a huge Elvis fan in Lilo and Stitch, which has a tv series spinoff.

There's also The Bimbettes from Beauty and the Beast, who are the three girls who swoon over Gaston. They're waitresses in the House of Mouse series.
posted by spunweb at 4:54 PM on March 16, 2014

Best answer: Charlie Bradbury (played by Felicia Day) would be a more recent example from Supernatural. She's portrayed as being a fangirl of numerous media franchises, most notably Harry Potter (she's a Hermione fan), Star Wars (she has a tattoo of Princess Leia on a 20 sided die), and Lord Of The Rings (to which she makes numerous allusions).
posted by katyggls at 4:56 PM on March 16, 2014 [1 favorite]

Oh and Rainbow Dash in My Little Ponies! She's a big sports can but I can't remember her chosen team, and she likes the author Derringdo
posted by spunweb at 4:59 PM on March 16, 2014

Would music fangirls be relevant? Back in the day a lot of sitcoms had teenage girl characters who were swoony fans of some Beatles or Elvis parody act. A quick Googling reminds me of Judy Jetson's obsession with "Jet Screamer", for instance, and then there was Marcia Brady's obsession with Davy Jones.

Sarah Silverman and her sister were obsessed with the show Cookie Party on The Sarah Silverman Program.

I'm bummed katyggls beat me to Charlie Bradbury.
posted by Ursula Hitler at 5:26 PM on March 16, 2014 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Tina in Bob's Burgers writes erotic fan fiction, including some Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter, but also Garfield and 60 minutes, among others.
posted by Jon Mitchell at 6:22 PM on March 16, 2014 [1 favorite]

Best answer: There's a really small plotline in an episode of The West Wing where Josh has a talking-to with a Star Trek fan who wears her pin to work.
posted by estherbester at 6:50 PM on March 16, 2014 [1 favorite]

Best answer: There is at least one girl in the Sherlock fangroup in Sherlock 3x01.
posted by Nickel at 9:21 PM on March 16, 2014 [2 favorites]

Laverne and Shirley were in the Fabian fan club, weren't they? I remember they snuck into his dressing room once and wouldn't let go of his legs.

On The Facts of Life, Tootie was the president of the Jermaine Jackson fan club.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 9:55 PM on March 16, 2014

And then there was the classic set of I Love Lucy episodes where Lucy stalked movie stars all over Hollywood while Ricky was doing a screen test. (Most famously wearing a fake nose so William Holden wouldn't recognize her as the woman who stalked him at the Brown Derby, and accidentally setting it on fire while lighting a cigarette.)
posted by The Underpants Monster at 9:58 PM on March 16, 2014 [1 favorite]

In The X-Files episode "Sunshine Days," the case broke because Scully and Agent Reyes were Brady Bunch fans and knew details about the show.

"Alone" and "Scary Monsters" featured a supremely irritating character named Leyla Harrison, a new agent who was a Mulder and Scully fangirl, and who could recite details of their investigations by heart. She was named after a real-life fanfic writer who passed away.

I'm unfamiliar with the shows in the original question, so I can only hope those fit the bill.
posted by heatvision at 7:36 AM on March 17, 2014 [2 favorites]

Best answer: The fan in the West Wing plotline that estherbester mentions was actually a thinly veiled parody of a real West Wing fan with whom Aaron Sorkin had recently had a run-in on the Mighty Big TV forums. (Better known these days as Television Without Pity.)
posted by the latin mouse at 8:27 AM on March 17, 2014 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: These are all great! Keep 'em coming. So many best answer candidates I can't start picking yet.

I hadn't even thought about the soap opera fan angle, which is (usually) explicitly gendered and is absolutely worth addressing in this project. So thanks so much for that.
posted by Superplin at 9:29 AM on March 17, 2014

Angela in My So Called Life is a huge grunge/post-grunge fan—Buffalo Tom, in particular. Of course, that's a kind of shorthand for developing sexuality. Rayanne, on the other hand, is a Deadhead, also shorthand for her status as that slightly dangerous older friend with links to a not-quite-dead-yet '60s counterculture.

There's a running gag in Felicity that the other characters can guess the state of Felicity's love life by how much Sarah McLachlan she's been listening to.
posted by Sonny Jim at 2:42 PM on March 18, 2014

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