Twice a season, television executive sit and pitch ideas for new tv shows. Most of these will be reality competitions because they are cheap and easy to make. What is interesting about this year is another cosplay competition show is coming out. Airing on the SyFy channel (formerly SciFi), is Cosplay Melee. Yvette Nicole Brown from the NBC comedy Community is hosting this show, along with an all-star panel of judges.
On the surface, this looks to be a fun show but we were burned before. SciFi aired a reality show called Heroes of Cosplay in the summer of 2013. That did not end well with the cosplay community. When it first aired I was excited. I thought, “Finally”. Being represented as fans of the characters and passionate people who want to bring a smile on faces. As the season continued, we were grossly misrepresented as vindictive and cutthroat. That the cosplay community is backstabbing others for a competition about dressing up as silly comic character. That is not true.
I had friends that were in this show and when watching this together, they were astounded with the story that SciFi was trying to create. Yes, cosplay is time-consuming and difficult at times. You will be stressed for days to complete your costume that you will only wear for a maximum of three days. But that is no excuse for a reality show to paint the whole community in a bad light. I have been cosplaying for years and I have never felt others were envious of what I could do. They were always supportive and later became life-long friends. We are artists not just fans of a certain genre. Yes, we are nerds and geeks but we display our passions and empower others to be the best they can be.
From the looks and the trailer of this show, it seems to be fine. One of my friends is also in this show. According to her, it was filmed in a better way, a more positive light. Better for the community as a whole. Just like the tweet below states, we have been burned once and it is hard to get onboard for another show.
You see reality TV is manufactured. In this day and age, everyone knows that. You saw the Batchelor, Survivor, and The Amazing Race. There has to be a storyline, a constant enemy, and some goal that has to be reached. All of this can be achieved with camera angles, interviews, and manufactured drama. I am hoping this new competition will not be like past attempts and it might not be. This could focus on the talent of the individual cosplayers. Not the fleeting glory of winning a convention competition.