"Heroes of Cosplay" review: fandom, cosplay and why Linda Stasi should suck it

I haven't been a huge fan of Syfy since, well, they changed their name to Syfy. What the serious hell? A network that simultaneously screens and appears to be put off by science fiction feels like an odd, self-loathing bird. Slowly but surely, they've been changing my mind.

Lately, at least to my eye, they've been making real overtures to bring fandom back into the fold. Their latest olive branch really sold me. "Sharknado" was the best decision they ever made. Flying land sharks and the beautiful disaster that is Tara Reid aside, that flick was B-movie genius.

"Face-off" is another Syfy offering that gives the fandom what it wants: All the reality show craziness without the cult of pointless personality. The makeup artist competition is definitely another point in their favor. After watching "Heroes of Cosplay," I'm thinking Tuesday night is a good night of geeky television and definite redemption song for Syfy.

I'm not a hardcore fan of cosplay, but the craftsmanship is undeniable. Cosplay is the mother of all costume parties. Okay, Chicago, lemme be your geek tour guide and break it all down for you. "Heroes of Cosplay" is essentially "American Idol" for costumers. Anyone who makes any effort to "kit up" for a convention is going to get attention and the occasional photograph from other fans, but if you're devoting a lot of time and a crapload of money to something, you want to know who's the best. After viewing the first episode, I feel like I know all I really need to know about cosplayer competitors and I'm definitely invested in the contest.

While I was watching the series, I was reminded of the Linda Stasi's New York Post review. When I first read it, I had no reason to disagree with her. Syfy's track record wasn't great and I had no reason to doubt that Syfy got it wrong. After watching the premiere, I see she didn't just get it wrong, she got it wrong because she half-assed it. It's not as if random, dismissive assessments of the subculture is anything new. Somewhere, some random clueless hipster is eyerolling through a blog post as you read mine.

Here's my beef with Linda Stasi: she clearly didn't watch the show. She straight-up made stuff up. She didn't have a clue. It's as if she put some key words into a review generator and came up with the same tired-ass "geeks are lame" review I've read a million times. This series has real potential to be a look into a billion-dollar industry and she was on some mean girl crap.

She resorted to the usual tropes of geek bashing: they don't have lives, they don't get laid, they're losers. At this stage in human evolution, it's not even mean anymore, It's just lazy. The sad thing is, none of it's true. The people on the show have partners and live and friends and all that stuff boring people do. They don't want to be their characters. They want to be people behind the camera that make the magic happen and show the fans who's got the best skills.

Sorry, Ms. Stasi, but you showed your lack of talent on the wrong people's watch. Squeamishness about your subject is not a "get out of sloppy ass journalism free" card. Stasi didn't get the information she was looking for because, frankly, she was too busy copping a damn attitude to see it. My personal peeve with people who don't like geeks, especially the journalists, is this one:

"If I'm so damn weird and off-putting, why the hell are you in my living room? It's not like I'm dying to know your ass either."

Holler at me New York Post. You're clearly not at all selective about who you hire. I could write a half-assed review about a subject I know nothing about for half that broad's salary.

In closing, I just want to say that Tuesday night on Syfy is pretty decent and Linda Stasi should suck it. A bag of it. Stay nerdy, my friends.

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  • Ooo Girl! Stasi then got my little nerd heart upset. That article was completely uncalled for. It was very much the "geeks are lame" talk you mentioned. What makes me upset is that was a perfect opportunity to educate the public as well as connect.

    I consider myself a functional nerd (I live for anime and manga as well as being almost obsessive about Legend of Zelda.) I have my moments where I geek out, usually at cons and other nerd events, but I also can function in mainstream culture. I hate the stigma that cosplay is weird. It's a different form of expression. And most people are into "nerd culture" is some way and don't even know it. Remember when everyone went batshit crazy for Harry Potter, Twilight, and Hunger Games?

    And I totally agree with you that cosplay and cons and nerd culture in general is a booming industry. I just went to Wizard World this past weekend and I don't even want to tell you my tab for food, parking, admission, autographs, and t-shirt. I says youse and me get ourselves some stock in this business and then when we're rich we'll boot Stasi out a job. Too much?

  • In reply to 4-Star Explorer:

    Someone needs to put her on the unemployment line. She clearly doesn't give a TOSS.

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