Everyone has an opinion, but is there a line between an appropriate opinion and just being mean?
Joseph Mallozzi, an executive producer with Syfy’s hit new series “Stargate: Universe,” says absolutely. And those who are flying over that line need to stop, because it’s ruining the chance for other fans to interact with the cast and crew.
“For the most part, I don’t think it’s gotten all that bad here,” Mallozzi wrote on his blog. “Still, I’d suggest that anyone looking to post a critical comment consider their wording. Not their opinion, but the way in which they express said opinion. Sometimes, you can be offensive without even meaning to. And when this happens, rather making a good point, you risk alienating the very people you’re trying to convince.”
The posts, especially from a Stargate fandom more used to lighter fare like “Stargate SG-1” and “Stargate: Atlantis,” have been very disturbing to the cast and crew of “Universe,” which Mallozzi makes clear is a far different show. Some fans have gone as far as personally attacking those involved in the show, and has chased away some people from the fan interactions they had established through areas like Twitter, including most recently star Brian J. Smith, who decided to step away from social networking based on some of the very extreme negativity expressed to him, Mallozzi said.
“It’s a different show in terms of tone and characters,” Mallozzi said. “If you’re expecting flawless people, square-jawed heroes, and stories that set up and deliver all the answers over the course of a 45-minute episodes, you will be disappointed. And don’t expect that to change. If you don’t like the character interactions, romance and open-ended story elements introduced to date, you’re in for a long haul, because that’s our show.”
Fan dissent is apparently not universal. “Universe” is drawing more than 2 million viewers each Friday night, sometimes even beating out network competition, and has recently held its own against Major League Baseball playoffs. In fact, “Universe” boosted Syfy to one of its best Octobers ever, and is averaging just under 2.9 million total viewers, including those who DVR the show and watch it later, according to GateWorld.
Some other complaints have been the amount of sex in “Universe,” which Mallozzi said so far has accounted for all of one minute of air time — not for each episode, but the entire series so far.
“While I can understand why some may have had a problem with that broom closet scene in the premiere given that it did come as a surprise to many, I can’t muster up much empathy or understanding for those complaining about the Scott-Chloe scene in ‘Light,'” Mallozzi said. “Again, if it’s a matter of not enjoying shows that focus on the occasional romance between characters, then that’s unfortunate, because that’s the type of show you’re watching. If, on the other hand, it’s an innate response to the very notion of intimacy no matter how modest the scene, then I’d suggest a deep-rooted personal issue that would be best dealt with somewhere other than this blog.”
“Stargate: Universe” airs Fridays at 9 p.m. ET on Syfy.