If you think back on any major plot twist, casting change, or shocking event that happened in your favorite TV series, chances are a Broken Base has arisen over it.
There are many flavors of civil war within the 24 fandom.
Jack Bauer is a card-carrying villain vs. Jack Bauer is the 13th Disciple of Christ vs. Jack Bauer, Tortured Soul Who Saves The World At The Expense Of Any Sort of Hope For a Normal Life.
President Palmer was unrealistic vs. President Palmer was the second best character in the show vs. the show Jumped the Shark when President Palmer was written out and killed off.
The Real Time gimmick is played out vs. The Real Time Format is a stroke of undiluted genius.
Fans are also split about which season is the best, with seasons two and five leading to massive nerd arguments over which season was the best.
Do not even start on female characters in the show. Not one single female character elicits a moderate reaction, they are either Amazon goddesses or straight bitches. No middle. Not ever.
The way Curtis died rubbed some fans the wrong way. Most think he was killed off because he was becoming a Ensemble Dark Horse.
Fans who think the ending of the show was an acceptable ending vs. those who want the much-talked about movie to finally happen in order to move the plot even further.
Renee's death brought the season down for many, who found it a lazy (and extremely predictable) attempt at shock value.
Tony's treatment in the seventh season is seen as either a natural evolution of his character considering the events he went through and a nice way of contrasting Jack and Tony's characters, or a giant middle finger to the Character Development he attained over the first five seasons.
LOST. See details of the criticism here. But then again this hardly scratches the surface in some people's opinion, as there are the people who will attack the detractors with unparalleled zeal. Not to mention what season did the show go off the rail, those who think the writers are making it all up as they go along, and of course those who love the Kate/Sawyer/Jack love triangle and those who HATE it and consider it to be the bane of the show.
Most Lost fans were a very cohesive unified base at one point. Particularly around season 1. Mostly due to sharing Wild Mass Guessing, in addition to all the alternate reality web stuff. But around season 2 strain was starting to show (some might even say during the last leg of season 1). People were unsatisfied with the snail pace, the over exposure of Kate/Jack/and yes even Sawyer at the expense of everyone else. What really caused the cracks was the aggressiveness and even condescending counter attacks from the defenders of the show. Usually accusing the dissenters of Complaining about Shows You Don't Watch over looking the fact that said dissenters DID watch the show. It got uglier, and more hostile every season.
The aforementioned internet tie-in stuff was seen as more interesting than the stuff that was in the actual show by some fans. Most was ignored by the show causing a What Happened to the Mouse? situation (for those that cared about it anyways).
The reveal about the Others. Some say it was ingenious, while others think it was anti-climactic and destroyed their creepiness.
The episode "Across the Sea" has definitely caused even further division.
Some people think the first 3 seasons are the only ones worth watching, some people think the good days ended after they moved from Vancouver to LA after season 5, some people think Duchovny's departure was what did it, and still others the fact that his bus kept coming back. The wank got uglier every time.
There were also groups of fans who felt that the stand alone monster of the week episodes were much more enjoyable than the convoluted UFO mythology. It didn't help that the big-release Movie rewrote most of what was established about the mytharc, and that by Season 7 it was obvious ChrisCarter and crew were making it up as they went along.
Were the humorous episodes refreshing and fun, or weird and completely out of place?
Buffy the Vampire Slayer, around season 4, and then again around season 6. There's a sizable contingent who think Buffy should've never left high school, as well as a (comparatively smaller) group who prefer the more realistic and emotionally nuanced later series.
Then there's the Buffy/Angel fans vs. the Buffy/Spike fans, and those who are Buffy/Riley fans.
... and the people who didn't like Tara hooking up with Willow (Suddenly Sexuality, Bi the Way, or plain ol' character development?). Or Tara dying in a gut-wrenching, not to mention highly improbable, manner and Willow delving into complete evil madness over it, some of whom don't even consider anything past that episode canon anymore, and make the oft-overused (and possibly malaproped) term "rabid fan" actually make perfect logical sense.
With regard to Tara and Willow, a lot of that was because of Tara being seen as a Replacement Scrappy for Oz, an extremely popular character. Over time, Tara ended up just as, if not more, popular, though, and Tara/Willow and Oz/Willow fans made peace in order to take out The Scrappy Kennedy when she became Willow's next girlfriend.
And then there's the whole Satsu thing in the Season Eight comics and... actually, you know what? Let's just say Buffy has a tendency to cause this every single arc, and often multiple times in the same arc, frequently with character deaths and/or pairings, and be done with it.
Faith is a strong base breaker as well, depending on whether her redemption took for some people, and whether you liked her before her Face-Heel Turn in the first place.
It is worth noting that, even at the frenzied height of the debate, very few fans actually disliked Joel or Mike. This was all about who was the best.
Interestingly, study of one of the most active boards during the switch (and, more importantly, one of the few to have archived their posts, Usenet group alt.tv.mst3k), reveals comparatively little flame warring over Joel/Mike. It seems that, for at least one board, much more anger and vitriol was spilled over whether certain elements of the show were sexist and if Jim Mallon had been instrumental in "forcing" Joel out.
Roswell: During seasons two and three, members of the fanbase increasingly grew divided between those who had preferred the original style (criticized by opponents as too soapy or melodramatic) versus those who preferred the newer style (criticized by opponents as too dark or convoluted).
Smallville have those fans who want Lana to be with Clark (at least in season 1), and those who want to see Lana eviscerated, mutilated, and ground to bits. There's a separate group who finds amusement in this, pointing out that it doesn't matter since Clark will just end up with Lois in the end.
In recent seasons the Lana division has worn off (the disdain for Lana is pretty much the majority consensus now) in favor of a vocal group of fans who still believe Chloe is "the real Lois", and want to see Erica Durance's Lois Lane die in a fire and for Chloe to assume her identity in order to get together with Clark. But arguably, the obvious squickishness and creepiness of someone assuming a deceased cousin's identity and living her life is something that doesn't seem to be addressed in this theory.
Then there are some disgruntled Chlarkers who actually think that even Clark, the future Superman, isn't good enough for the supposedly-saintly Chloe anymore, and that the only reason they should get together is because anyone else would be even less deserving of Chloe. Or that he could be a part of her superpowered harem.
Some fans think the show is just tired and stale now, while some others think the show has gotten better. As can be predicted, each season has both its fans and detractors.
In recent years, the Smallville fanbase has been divided between those who think that Chloe and Oliver are the best couple in the show's history and that they should stay romantically involved vs. those who point out that Ollie ends up with Black Canary in the comics. Even so, most of the mythos supporters generally didn't hate Chlollie. In fact, the Chlollie ship was so widely beloved (or at least received comparably less hate than most other ships) that even the showrunners seemed reluctant to break them up. Finally, the showrunners came up with a compromise in the final episode: Chloe is seen 7 years after the events of the series reading a story to a young boy who appears to almost definitely be her and Ollie's son. However, the show leaves it ambiguous and open-ended whether she and Oliver are actually still together romantically or not. This way, the Chlollie shippers are able to speculate that Chlollie are still married, while the mythos supporters can speculate that they are no longer married but that Oliver still helps Chloe to take care of their son.
As is probably inevitable among fans of a very Long Runner with a constant turnover of creators and wide variations in style from season to season, Doctor Who fandom is not so much Broken as splintered into a whole pile of glittering but sharp-edged pieces. Some debates have been running for decades but stil raise passions. The Third Doctor, charmingly anti-establishment gentleman hero or arrogant, bigoted, militaristic tool of the Man? Season 17, sparklingly intelligent highpoint of the show as comedy or unfunny, underwritten, overeducated tosh made with contempt for anyone who wasn't at Cambridge with Douglas Adams? John Nathan-Turner, producer who did his best under difficult circumstances or the Devil Incarnate Himself? Colin Baker, crap performance or good performance in crap scripts? Worst Season Ever, 22, 23, or 24? Seasons 25-6, the final nail in the show's coffin or brilliant comeback Screwed by the Network? The 1991-2005 spin-off novels, superb, thoughtfully Darker and Edgier exploration of the full potential of the universe and characters for grown-ups, or dull, pretentious, adolescently Darker and Edgier, Continuity Lockout-prone Wangst-fest? Do any of the non-TV spin-offs count as canon at all?
And the new series has just created a whole new minefield to navigate. There's the obvious conflicts between fans of the classic series who view the new series and pretty much everything about it as a betrayal as all they felt the show stood for, and the fans of the new series who view the classic series as a creaky, irrelevant old relic badly in need of being updated in the first place. But the new series has its own complications outside of this conflict, such as; Russell T Davies versus Steven Moffat; who's better? Ninth Doctor; fascinatingly tragic hero or borderline thug? Tenth Doctor; greatest Doctor ever or irritating git with an inconsistent and hypocritical moral code? Eleventh Doctor; worthy (or even superior) replacement to Ten or irritating git not fit to wear his sneakers? And as noted above, the increased emphasis on romance and character relations has brought with it an increased emphasis on Shipping, meaning that extremely brutalFlameWars can and have been fought over whether Rose Tyler / Martha Jones / Donna Noble / Amy Pond / River Song / Clara Oswald (delete as applicable) is the Doctor's One And Only True Love. Considering that Donna has absolutely no canon feelings towards the Doctor unlike the others, and Amy got over hers with—shock of shocks—minimal angsting over it (Amy's Choice was really the only episode to play it up) and chose Rory this fuels even further flames.
Every companion and Doctor in the show's 30+ season history comes down to this. Yes, even him.
Needless to say, contributing to an online Who fandom venue you aren't familiar with and expecting not to cause Internet Backdraft within thirty minutes is about as sensible as sitting down for a quiet drink with a guy with a Hair-Trigger Temper and expecting to walk away without bloody violence.
Love and Monsters was possibly the most divisive episode in the show's entire history, although the episode's Hatedom is much more vocal than its supporters. Being perhaps the only Bizarro Episode in the revived series' history (and the only one since the almost-as-controversial The Happiness Patrol from the Seventh Doctor era), this is somewhat unsurprising. Pretty much everything about it is divisive - Elton Pope; Adorkable and sweet Unreliable Narrator or irritating and pathetic tool? The Abzorbaloff; hilariously absurd villain or most shameful monster in Sci-Fi history?* Keep in mind that it was designed by an 8-year old for a contest hosted by the BBC The fellatio joke at the end; silly and harmless line of dialogue or Squicky and unnecessary? The entire episode; wonderfully absurd break from the action or a loathsome piece of filler?
Journey's End falls into this sometimes. Is it an epic and glorious celebration of everything Russell T Davies has done for Doctor Who, or a simperingly crowd-pleasing episode with a paper-thin plot dependant on Technobabble and resolved by a shameful Deus ex Machina? Was Rose Tyler's conclusion fitting or unsatisfactory?
A relatively subtle schism has emerged as of late over some of Steven Moffat's more recent episodes, particularly those from series 6 and 7. Some are unhappy with the constant revelations about the Doctor and Moffat's borderline rewriting of canon; others are thrilled by the big and bold directions he's taking the show in.
And then the aforementioned schism blew apart after "The Day of the Doctor", with the question of whether retconning out the destruction of the Time Lords was a brutal demolition of what had become an essential part of the show or getting back to the set-up and mood it always should have had. It got to the point where news outlets proclaimed Moffat betrayed the series.
Torchwood. The shipping wars between Jack/Ianto shippers and Jack/Gwen shippers split the fandom from series 1. Then in series 2 Gwen got married to someone else, Jack/Ianto was made unambiguous canon, and the two other main characters were killed at the end. Then Ianto died in series 3 (Children of Earth) and it got so much worse. Now... if you dare, go and look at any Torchwood forum that still allows discussion of Children of Earth and series 4.
A lot of aspects of the show get this, especially the ship wars. But mention Gwen or Miracle Day at all, and you should probably run for cover.
On the other hand, many casual watchers of the show preferred the later series, seeing the first two as lots of Monster of the Week that never managed to develop the kind of story arcs it needed, while the latter two ditched that in favour of series of self-contained plotlines.
Power Rangers: Generally, the fanbase divides itself into a four or five-tier format: people either generally like all seasons, don't like anything after Wild Force (season 10, the start of the Disney Era), don't like anything after In Space (season 6), or don't like anything after season 9 Time Force, or don't like anything past the original series (seasons 1-3). Occasionally, you will encounter holdouts who think it all sucks in comparison to the glory that is Tommy Oliver.
Whether or not to count the recut of Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers officially as season 18. Press releases from Nickelodeon and question responses from Saban Capital Group's official Power Rangers Twitter page indicate that they both consider Samurai to officially be year/season 19; which does suggest that they, in the very least, count the recut as season 18.
A battle is quickly brewing between fans of the Disney Era (Wild Force or Ninja Storm-RPM, with focus ontheKalishseasons Base Breaker season themselves) vs. fans of the second Saban-Era (Samurai/Super Samurai and Megaforce). Also the acting (the seasoned New Zealand pool vs. American newcomers) between the two eras are left to debate. Others say wait until Go-Buster's adaptation before jumping into things.
Speaking of Wild Force, one particular episode (Forever Red, the 10th anniversary teamup) is a battlezone to this day, with fans debating the merits of Ahmit Baumik inserting elements from his fan-fiction into the series as canon.
And then there's the topic what a prospective third movie should be about: MMPR remake or the current season? And like before, campy movie or Darker and Edgier?
Then there's the group that contest that Super Sentai is vastly superior and that the mere act of creating an American version of the show is both racist and disrespectful to the source material. (Let's not mention that a subtitled version of Super Sentai would never achieve mass commercial success in the West and that most of the people in this camp found out about Super Sentai through- you guessed it- Power Rangers.)
And while we're on the subject of Toku: the group that believes Kamen Rider is becoming a Merchandise-DrivenCast Full of Pretty Boys and a one-man version of Super Sentai (with — god forbid — Combining Mecha) versus the group that enjoys the newer series for their entertainment value and believes that the shift in style is just an effect of a naturally-changing culture versus the group that hates all New Generation Kamen Rider series and believes that the Old Generation stuff is vastly superior in every single way.
Kamen Rider Den-O has gotten this, mostly thanks to Toei turning it into a Franchise Zombie. This has lead some to hate the series, seeing it as the Creator's Pet of the franchise. Others still enjoy the show for its merits, even if they agree that it needs to be given a respectful Grand Finale and then put to rest. Pretty much everyone agrees that shoving The HeroOut of Focus in favor of the goofy sidekicks is stupid, though.
In the Supernatural fandom, there are battles between the Dean!Girls and Sam!Girls with the Bi!Bro fans getting completely sick of it because Dean can't live without Sam and vice versa, not to mention that the fandom is also divided between wanting more of the arc or more of a Season One/ Monster of the Week feel.
With the new developments of Season Four, the fandom has been broken into three parts. Some religious fans are offended by the possibility of not-so-good angels, some atheists are offended that God has been brought into it while others are saying that this has finally made the mytharc interesting.
Metamorphosis spawned a Broken Base in a matter of days. The Deanfen are defending Dean's actions to the death and are spitting molten hate at Sam, the Samfen are bending over backwards to defend Sam and are wanting Dean to be punished, there are others who are fandom the writer for her apparent OOC characterizations and then there is the sane minority who think that both Sam and Dean are on a whole new level of fucked up and while it doesn't excuse their behaviour, it certainly explains it.
This isn't even mentioning the violent shipping wars between Wincest (Sam/Dean) Dean/Cas, and more recently, Sassy (Sam/Cas).
Then there's the Wincestielshippers. And more recently, despite the female fanbase's general hatred of heterosexual relationships, you have a split between Dean/Cas shippers and (the surprisingly well received) Meg/Cas relationship. It helps that Meg is one of the few female characters that female fans don't tend to view as offensively stereotypical.
There is also great debates on which actor is better, whether or not the quality of the acting/writing/show in general has gone up/down over the seasons, whether or not the show should have ended at season 5, and the quality of season 6.
Every two or three series, the show completely fractures its fanbase. Many fans of the episodic (and arguably far scarier) horror-movie-monsters structure of the first two or three series lost interest when the show started shifting its emphasis towards series arcs and storylines about demon possession and preventing armaggedon; the season 4 & 5 angel/demon story arc broke the base yet again, when there was even more extended drama, arguably stronger focus on catering towards the female fanbase, and less traditional horror elements. Season 6 split the fanbase further with a less-structured series arc and the revelation that heaven's cuddliest angel was actually the series' big bad. Another split happened in season 7, as many found the Leviathan underwhelming compared to the earlier series' big bad, Bobby was killed off for real (which destroyed the sense of family which has always been the show's major draw), and the Monster of the Week episodes to be too predictable and far less intriguing than they had been in the earlier series. A lot of fans just miss the angel and demon politics.
While Cas tends to be a fan favorite, there's a subset of fans who can't stand how much attention he gets and the way he robs screentime from the brother's dramas. Some fans who dislike Castiel can't stand the newer series, and others will only watch Castiel episodes.
Stargate SG-1 is complicated, everyone puts their own marker for exactly where it went wrong somewhere different if they even believe it did. There are a few key events that tend to mark the large general shifts in the show dividing it into three compartments. Basically you have the age of Apophis making up the first few seasons, then the post Apophis period (the start of which is signified by his actual death in the prime timeline) which is known most for Anubis and everything related and finally the Ori arc which starts in season nine and sees the introduction of an entirely new set of badguys (the old ones now thoroughly defeated) and quite a few changes to the regular cast.
Not to mention, the fans who ostensibly stopped watching when Daniel died, but are still part of fandom versus those who thought his return negated the issue completely.
An obvious line of demarkation is when Richard Dean Anderson left from his starring role and the series became Fargate SG-1.
Stargate Universe has a divide between Young and Rush supporters. This is probably intentional.
The show also represented a schism between those who enjoyed the prior two series, some enjoying the more dramatic tone added to the stories, and some who hated what was perceived as a loss of comedic elements. The disgruntlement of the latter was cited by some the producers as a cause for the shows eventual cancelling. This was Serious Business to some fans on Gateworld who believed that they were being censored when they expressed their hatedom on the boards. In protest, they started their own website.
Also the fight between those who wanted Chloe thrown out the nearest airlock up against a (unusual, as they are diametrically opposed Shipping pairings) combined force of the Chloe/Eli and Chloe/Scott shippers who wanted her to stay.
Alternatively, there are those who think TOS was an overwrought, campy pile of crap with lousy production values and a terrible lead actor.
And now a schism is opening between people who are willing to give JJ Abrams' interpretation in the 2009 movie a chance, and others who have been adamant that anything less than slavish devotion to the original series is automatic grounds for Discontinuity.
Not necessarily just TOS, arguably more people ignore anything after the end of either Voyager orEnterprise. You get the same thing with the movies at various points, often after First Contact or Nemesis. A few fans ignore everything made after Gene Roddenberry died (a decent amount of The Next Generation plus everything after it).
Also: Kirk vs. Picard (see the page quote), were Voyager and Enterprise any good, some or all of the various movies etc...
The Enterprise episode "Regeneration" is especially divisive. Is it considered to be an interesting concept that picks up on a plot thread left over from Star Trek: First Contact, or does it utterly break the established lore of one of the series' most notable villains?
Are the BioCylons REAL cylons, or uppity Replicants who overthrew the REAL cylons.
The series finale of the new Battlestar Galactica, especially the last hour, and especially the last 5 minutes.
More/less battles, more/less character focus, more/less about relationships, more/less mythology.
Other points of contention for the new version were the Jitter Cam, Starbuck and Boomer being a girl, the Race Lift of Tigh and Boomer, recasting Baltar as an Handsome LechAnti-Hero, the new lead character of Laura Roslin, the fact that the writers were making it up as they went along despite putting at the start of just about every episode during seasons one through three that "They Have a Plan", and a third season finale where all of the MIA human Cylons turned out to be known characters.
Caprica: Thought-provoking, original science fiction series that creeps out from under the shadow of Battlestar to be its own story or mind-numbingly dull show overwrought with religious pretensions and teen angst?
Blood And Chrome: Only just announced but already severely divisive. What Caprica should be or the final nail in the coffin of a great show? Or, alternatively, getting back to what was fun about BSG in the first place or dumbing down the franchise?
Grey's Anatomy fans (even the cast and crew for that matter) are split over the departure of Isiah Washington. This has made many vicious Flame Wars. Some arguments going to places they don't need to go. Essentially becoming flame bait for both homophobic AND racist Jerk Asses.
Ironically Isiah's adversaries T.R. Knight, and Katherine Heigl are starting to split fans.
Heigl was actually always polarizing. (Like Washington) Her negative reputation preceded her, going as far back as Roswell.
The Heroes fandom seems to be suffering from this - many fans are very loud about the fact that they preferred the season one style/format over seasons two and three.
Much like with Mary in Silent Hill 2 it seems the fans can't decide whether the show they loved has been dead for three years, a few months or whether it still lives on.
There were those of us who thought that it became sick and had a shot at recovering until the WGA strike killed it. It was in a coma for half a season, and began to show signs of life before it outright died. Season 4 (for those who were still watching by this point) was like Season 1 resurrected and learning to be great again before being mistaken for a zombie by NBC and being shot down. This group was the very small minority who actually watched all the way to the end, and are hanging onto their seats for the rumoured wrap-up TV movie.
Speaking of Season 4 of Heroes, there was a massive divide during its production in regards to Claire Bennet's fanbase about the implications about her becoming a lesbian/bisexual, some seemed to praise the decision to have her "come out of the closet" while others claimed that there was absolutely no hint that she even had any attractions to the same sex in prior seasons, and in some cases, even in Season 4, and claimed that it was just a desperate marketing ploy and just overall bad writing.
Furthermore, Sinclair or Sheridan? Was Season 5 any good at all, or just a giant pile of suck? Was Crusade a good show killed too soon by a network, or did it bite? Marcus Cole: cool Gentleman Snarker or incredibly irritating Gary Stu, and should he have got killed off or not?
... and then there's Spinelli, who some regard as a refreshing change to a Soap Opera where everyone is perfect and pretty, and others decry as being the Scrappiest Scrappy who ever Scrapped. And then they tried to hook him up with Maxie, and the latter howled. Then they tried to hook him up with another geek... and everyone howled.
Whose Line Is It Anyway?: British version (presented by Clive Anderson) vs. American version (Drew Carey). Usually the debate revolves around whether or not Ryan, Colin, and Wayne deserved to be on every episode or whether the lineup should be mixed around more, or who is the better host. But fans will find ANYTHING to argue about, so the Britline vs. Drew's Line debates tend to get increasingly ridiculous—from whether or not (insert cast member here) is either a comedic genius or horrendously overrated, to which country's audience is better (either the British audience is too quiet or the American audience is too loud), to which musician is better at playing the Hoedown music, to which set is better, to which version has better fashion sense.
Keep in mind, the last one is talked about in part because the UK version began in the late 1980s. It's not that it isn't incredibly over the top and Fan Dumbish to complain about, but it's not that arbitrary or random either.
And speaking of the British version... John Sessions: Erudite, intellectual wordsmith with a dry, refined sense of humor or grandstanding, buffoonish snob whose showoffishness ruined the earliest seasons/series?
A Different World, after season 1, and whether or not the latter seasons are better than season 1. and of course the fandom wars of Denise and Dewayne, VS. Dewayne and Whitley.
Winifred 'Freddie' Brooks (who was also a hippie and a Soap Box Sadie). This was realistically (or cynically) toned down when she became a lawyer, getting her hair straightened and becoming more dispassionate and cynical as a person.
Dwayne Wayne went from being a nerd with a crush on Denise Huxtable, to a super hip and cool teacher other students looked up to within a short period of time.
Likewise with Whitley Gilbert, who was the stuck-up, snobbish, rich southern princess, and then turned into a compassionate teacher and love interest of Dwayne. This is likely due to the fact that Lisa Bonet left a huge hole in the show when she left (the show was originally built around her character), so the writers was forced to make Whitley do a arguable unconvincing Heel-Face Turn in a short amount of time.
Some argue that both Dwayne and Whitley's transformations took years to come about. And that this wasn't derailment it was two characters growing up over the years. A few other fans disagree and find the change unconvincing, and even jarring (more so Whitley though).
Some people quit watching NCIS after Kate converted to Hinduism was killed and Ziva and Jenny Shepard were added to the cast. The majority came back, but many didn't and some who did continue to watch still felt the early seasons were superior to the later. Ziva (who was always something of a bone of contention) became extremely polarizing in season six and is disliked or outright hated by a sizeable chunk of the audience.
Jenny Shepard as well. Some fans adored her, others loathed her, and all were vocal. There were also those that liked the character when she was first introduced and joined the hating side during the La Grenouille arc.
Because Glee can alternate rapidly between campy, screwball comedy ("Vitamin D") and more serious episodes ("Preggers," "Mattress") there is a bit of a schism in the fanbase between viewers who watch it for the zany, off-the-wall moments, and those who watch it for the deeper, more dramatic storylines. As the AV Club's Todd VanDerWerff (who is firmly of the latter camp) puts it: "There are times when I suspect that the reasons I like Glee are singularly unlike most of the reasons shared by the, sigh, Gleeks." It's not much of an issue yet, but could become one as the show goes on and decides where exactly in the Sliding Scale of Idealism vs. Cynicism it fits.
Van Der Werff himself tends to note inhisreviews that the three creators/writers tend to consistently present different approaches to the series: Ryan Murphy is interested in (somewhat purposely) ridiculous soap opera plotting based on old after-school specials; Ian Brennan in finding the small moments of happiness in a sad world full of failure (a la Freaks and Geeks); and Brad Falchuk serves as a compromise, attempting to fit ridiculous moments into a realistic world filled with deep characters (compared by Van Derwerff to Buffy). Though most fans don't tend to notice the specific differences between the writers, some have noted their preference for certain levels of realism in the show.
There's a divide forming based on whether fans prefer the first or second half of season 1. The first 13 episodes of the show were mostly produced prior to the series beginning to air, while the next 9 (four of which have aired as of this addition) followed a four-month broadcast hiatus. As a result, musical numbers have increased from as little as one or two large sequences per episode to usually one per act following the hiatus (at the arguable risk of time devoted to story); fan favorite, sometime-antagonist and fan-favorite Sue was pushed to the foreground and given her own songs, while characters like Artie, Tina, and Quinn had less screen-time; and an overall dark, satirical tone (the pilot, for instance, had a teacher plant weed on a student to blackmail him into joining glee, and characters regularly lied about pregnancies or had unhappy marriages) with small moments of happiness, replaced by a brighter, cheerier tone.
As the show has gone on into its second season, it's become so hard to find anything that fans won't fight to the death over that it's probably just best to regard Glee fandom as a base not so much broken as splintered beyond all hope of repair...
To emphasize that point, Glee has one of the longest YMMV pages of any series on this site.
And of course a mention must be given to the events at the end of 'Mash Off', where even attempts to remain neutral will be doomed to fiery failure.
While most fans of can agree that Seasons 2-4 was Seasonal Rot, fans are now split to whether Season 5 had finally shown an improvement, or was the worst season of the whole series so far.
Prison Break. It depends for every fan, since each of the four seasons are radically different from each other (including its tone and writing quality). Some fans enjoyed all four seasons, more or less. Others dismiss seasons three and four as unwatchable. A few viewers stopped watching after season one's long awaited jail break. But generally, season one is favored by the fanbase, while season three is widely disliked.
The first season had Kelly Wigglesworth, who (depending on the viewer) was either a dark-horse candidate who showed great spirit in winning a series of challenges, or a useless freeloader who was forced to win challenges to save herself.
Russell Hantz, of seasons 19 and 20, notably caused the first major rift between the show's non-internet and forum fanbases. Rupert of Pearl Islands caused a similar rift, but it wasn't nearly as pronounced. Due to the show's editing positioning him as a Villain Protagonist, Russell tended to be very popular with casual fans of the show (note his winning of two consecutive "America's Favorite Survivor" awards), however, he's absolutely reviled at forums such as "Survivor Sucks", where both of his losses in the final vote triggered huge celebrations. Note that the internet doesn't entirely hate Russell, it tends to be about 60-40 in favor of hating him, and mentioning him will likely cause a huge Internet Backdraft wherever you go.
Long before Russell Hantz (who's legacy is mostly manufactured anyway) was the fallout over the results of Survivor: All Stars. Fans to this day can't agree on whether the jury, particularly Lex, was justified in their unparalleled amount of bitterness towards Boston Rob, or whether they were bitter hypocrites since most of them were planning on using Rob to further their own selfish goals themselves.
The Amazing Race has two groups of fans, those who believe that This Is A Race (and prefer to intense competition between the teams), and the Call It Karma fans (who watch to see teams they like). They generally get along at the beginning of a season, until something sets them off and the flame wars carry on for the remainder of the season. Arguments about team selection and how the courses should be planned out can get pretty heated as well.
Ask the fans to rank the seasons. Seasons 5, 7, and 12 will generally be at the top, while 8 and 15 will be at the bottom, but no one will be able to agree on how everything else places in-between.
iCarly has the Seddie vs Creddie war. Whilst Shipping tends to do this anyway, this Sam/Freddie vs Carly/Freddie divide slowly built up during season 1, then went nuclear halfway through the 2nd season as of the "iKiss" episode which had Sam and Freddie share a First Kiss. Things go downhill from there. The 2 shipping factions have their own exclusive forums, the fandom as a complete 'whole' doesn't exist any more, as the size of the Seddie fandom swamps and over-runs any integrated community super quickly.
There are two types of Saturday Night Live fans: the ones who claim the show hasn't been good since [cast member of choice] left and who often only watch it to complain about how it isn't good anymore, and the ones who understand that the nature of the show inevitably lends itself to periods of ups and downs, and who watch anyway. The former group is something of an annoyance to the latter, since many of them claim that they "haven't watched SNL since the 70s/80s/90s" and will insult anyone who actually likes the current seasons.
Degrassi has a fandom divide between the 'original cast' (Seasons 1 to 7) and the 'new cast' (Seasons 7 to present). While the general rallying cry of the former is 'the Show should have ended when J.T. died', the issue has very little to do with the character. The former believes that the latter cast are poorly hidden copies, the latter believes that the new cast is a superior second attempt. Both sides do generally agree Seasons 7 and 8 sucked.
There have also been plenty of heated disputes about announcers, models, producers, sets, music, and so forth.
Fans of Roseanne almost unanimously hate the last season. The split comes from people hating it for different reasons. Some hate the fact the Conners won the lottery, changed their lifestyle and the show stopped being about a blue collar family (although this becomes a moot point when the Wham Episode aired that season). And the latter group hate the wham episode for that very reason, not really because it made the lottery win moot, but because it made the show end on a devastating Downer Ending implying that after Dan died, Rosie never realized her dream of becoming a writer. And the rest of the family is still stuck in a low income working class rut. Of course there are a few proponents whom found the "coping method" implemented by Rosie through her writing to be depressing Fridge Brilliance. As they believe there were subtle hints that their lives as rich lottery winners was fake all along.
Dark Angel is basically two completely different shows. Fans of the first season have one set of heroes, villains, central themes, and canon; fans of the second have quite a different set with shocking little overlap. Jensen Ackles is an especially polarising figure even in the tiny sect of the fanbase that enjoys both seasons.
Gossip Girl The Chair vs. Dair wars have officially come out into the open after episode 4x17. Before that, it was pretty much low level skirmishes, but with threats of Chair fans abandoning the show, it's going to be interesting what the fans of other ship bases, not just Dair, will do. With the Wordof God retracting earlier endgame pronouncements, it is an open field for war.
Actually Word of God has assured fans that the previously proclaimed endgame Chuck and Blair is still on, thought that might be a reaction to the Dan/Blair storyline causing the largest drop in ratings the show has ever had to the point where the show might not survive unless the Chair fans return.
Since the Dair and Chair shipping bases are roughly equal now, the writers have decided on the brilliant compromise of having Blair be (whinily and angstily) unable to choose between them, causing widespread hatred for her previously fan-favourite character and quite a few people from both ships to abandon the entire show, though the Chair shippers seem to be fleeing faster.
Unfortunately for the writers it turned out that the Dair fans were merely a loud minority and that the Dair arc caused so much damage to the show that it never recovered. By the time they abandoned (and more or less denounced) the Dan/Blair relationship most of the casual fans had left and the Dair shippers weren't exactly thrilled to keep on watching. Then they went into the last season with Chuck and Blair technically together but vowing not to physically be together in any form until the end of the season. Shockingly, this did not lure Chair supporters back in.
Season 4 of The CW/BET's The Game. The lack of the comedic characters Tee Tee, Tasha, Jason, And Kelly didn't help. The Flanderization of several characters was also a reason for concern.
The West Wing fandom can be divided into two groups: the people who refuse to consider seasons 5-7 canon on the basis that the changes were utterly ridiculous and crapped all over everything seasons 1-4 stood for, and the people who think the changes in season 5-7 were logical. Interestingly, the former group is not a militant purist fringe group, and may possibly represent a majority of fans (though probably not a majority of casual viewers). Also, there isn't much in-fighting between the two groups, since even the latter group agree that seasons 5-7 were subpar — they just aren't willing to eject them from canon.
Jericho fans have an interesting twist in who is responsible for the nuts campaign that saved the show. The two main groups involved both claim credit for running a successful campaign and for the idea of sending in Nuts something that happened in a chat room right after the show aired. Although which chat room is hotly debated with supporters of Shaun O'mac saying it started in his chat and the supporters of Schumi claiming it started in Jeritopia. Both sides accuse the other of using the campaign for their own gain or trying to control the fandom. This is what led to the second campaign failing(without an effective leader any attempts fell apart) and why much of the fandom simply drifted away after the second season ended. Also if you are ever asked your favourite couple from the show was Stanley/Mimi because stating you like either Jake/Emily or Jake/Heather is risky. Also there is some debate over whether the show improved in the darker later episodes or if the earlier more optimistic were better.
War of the Worlds is a interesting case. When season 2 arrived most hated it, especially after they killed off Drake and Ironhorse. Some thought the show actually Grew the Beard around season 2. Almost two decades later and people's opinions about season 2 has started to be a lot less critical (just short of being Vindicated by History). Some feel that the second season wasn't bad per se', but just felt that the show's changes was too abrupt. Some believe that the second season would have worked better if the show had a build up to the setting of season 2. Thus making the changes less jarring.
The infamous feud between Shannen Doherty and Alyssa Milano still causes heated debates among Charmed fans to this day, despite the fact that the two actresses seem to be at peace with one another now.
A lot of this stems from complaints about the show becoming Lighter and Softer after Pru's death.
Some fans want to see a Don Draper / Peggy Olson relationship, others emphatically do not.
Don/Megan were this as of Season 5. Viewers are pretty divided on whether they want their marriage to work or not.
A hilarious inversion in Merlin concerning the faithfulness of the show to the original Arthurian Legends. No one really gives a shit, but it's a valuable tool in the rampant Shipping Wars. Right from the start, the writers cherry-picked aspects of the mythology in order to create their own version of the story, whilst simultaneously toning down several of the darker aspects (unsurprisingly, there is no rape, incest or adultery). Purists stopped watching early on, but nobody else really cared until it started to have an effect on the shipping, which is broadly divided into Merlin/Arthur, Guinevere/Arthur, Lancelot/Guinevere, Merlin/Morgana and (somewhat irrelevantly) Arthur/Morgana. The tangled web of these five characters in the source material meant that any of them were a possibility, but eventually the writers whittled it down to Arthur/Guinevere as the Official Couple. This led to outrage in all other quarters, to whom the sanctity of the legends suddenly became of utmost importance. Arthur/Guinevere shippers would point out that the writers were simply following the legends when the two abruptly hooked up in the second series, using it as a defense for the ship whilst ignoring the fact that Guinevere's infidelity to Lancelot was also a distinct possibility. Meanwhile, Merlin/Arthur shippers were outraged when Guinevere didn't cheat on Arthur, despite having no problem with Merlin being played by an actor in his twenties instead of a bearded old man (because who wants to ship a young prince with an ancient grandpa?) Conversely, the Arthur/Morgana shippers were perfectly happy when the show veered away from its source material by establishing the two were non-related, but livid when it was revealed that they were actually secret half-siblings, as per the legendary account. Basically, the writers' fidelity to the legends is tantamount only when it supports one's own ship. You can thus come across fans who have used this excuse to defend some story choices, whilst simultaneously using it to deride others. At the same time.
Nine little words uttered by Merlin in episode 5 of series 5: "There can be no place for magic in Camelot." For some it was an inevitable and heart-rending decision; for others it was the ultimate Jump the Shark moment.
The show's portrayal Mordred in general, but particularly in Season 5. Side effect of making one of the most infamous villains of all time into a young, Adorkable fangirl magnet.
The Walking Dead has always shown small cracks in the base, for many different reasons:
Which is better/worse: the short action-filled first season or the longer, drawn-out second season?
Some believe the third season started strong, but screeched to a halt during the second half of the season, others just flat out hate it.
Frank Darabont's departure from the series: did the show get better or worse after he left?
Was the first half of Season Two good because it gave much-needed Character Development to many of the survivors, or did it drag way too long with the "Sophia's missing" arc?
Is T-Dog a good original character, or is he just a stand-in for Tyreese?, or alternatively just a token black they never really had intentions of developing. The former argument was later rendered moot when T-Dog was killed by walkers and Tyreese appeared in the third season.
This started a hilarious meme regarding T-Dog where fans liked hims just because of the absurdity in how underdeveloped he was. Basically he got a fan base in spite of how he was treated. Another meme was created about how you can only have a certain amount of black characters before another black character had to die to make room.
Was Andrea a tragic Iron Woobie who was only trying to do the right thing, or an arrogant Jerkass who sold out her friends for a brief bit of peace?
By extension the portrayal of Andrea compared to the beloved comic counterpart. The fact that the Tv version's badly executed death was met with indifference or in some cases happiness says A LOT about that character.
The Governor's attack on the prison in the third-season finale: was it the culmination of a half-season's worth of buildup, or a rushed, anticlimactic and near-pointless fight?
Subsequently, the Governor-centric episodes in mid-season four, which fragmented fans into several camps. Was The Governor a tragic villain who was only trying to do the right thing in protecting Lilly, Tara and Meghan, or is he still an unredeemable bastard who was manipulating everyone around him? Were the Governor-centric episodes good character-building exercises, or pointless padding on the part of AMC? Was The Governor's second attack on the prison a great way to shake up the series and hew closer to the comic, or was it a case of "too little, too late" after the underwhelming third-season finale?
CSI: Crime Scene Investigation suffered this after Grissom and Sara became an Official Couple. It settled down for a while after Grissom left, then flared up again after trouble popped up in the ship. Half the fandom wants immediate reconciliation and is yelling Ruined Forever, the other half just never wants to hear of the ship again.
The post-Grissom era did it to an extent as well, dividing the Langston fans from the Langston dislikers. Things have smoothed out somewhat now, though there are still arguments from time to time over whether or not D.B.'s family is hogging too much screentime and liking or hating Finn.
CSI NY has gotten into the picture as well with the pairing up of Danny and Lindsay. There are plenty of Tweets and TV magazine questions, plus a DL forum that show it's popular, but the other half of the fandom totally hates it, complaining about character development, screen time with other characters, whether or not it's believable, ect.
There's a multi-way break over Mac's girlfriends because there are so many Mac/Stella and Mac/Jo shippers around. Peyton was disliked quite a bit anyway, but Aubrey and now Christine have gotten some complaints since then. And there's also apparently a handful that think there can't be another Claire and Mac should stay alone.
CSI: Miami in general. Half the CSI Verse fans enjoy it and the other half can't stand David Caruso.
Virtually most, if not all British shows that get "exported" to other countries suffers from this trope.
Case in point: Top Gear UK is loved in general by (mostly) everyone, but there is a strong divide with fans of Top Gear US. The divides range from the hosts (Tanner Faust is too wooden and stiff, Rutledge Wood's NASCAR background and his annoying fratboy attitude, to Adam Ferrara's "lack of creditable car credentials") to the format changes (News is generally extremely brief to accommodate commercials, the renaming of Star in a Reasonably Priced Car to "Big Star, Little Car, Season 2.1 seemed to have turned into weekly "Cheap Car Challenges" which would dominate the program time, etc.) to the fears that due to the advertising dollars that fund such shows, fair and honest criticism would be squashed in order to "please the advertisers." Prominent car guy and comedian Jay Leno remarked that such a show would never flourish in the United States in it's original form.
Downton Abbey has the sisters Mary and Edith, both of whom are passionate contenders in The Glorious War of Sisterly Rivalry. Mary is a rather cold woman who nevertheless is thoughtful and generous towards those she deems "her favourites" (Anna, Carson, Sybil), whilst Edith is the well-meaning but overlooked middle child who is bitterly jealous of her older sister. In other words, both of them are three-dimensional characters who bring out the absolute worst in each other, though they are much nicer individuals when they're separated. And yet rather than just concede that both of them have done terrible things to each other, much of the fan-base will take the side of one and refuse to consider her as anything but a long-suffering saint whilst giving the other the Ron the Death Eater treatment.
JAG: Some fans argue passionately about who was the best female lead: Andrea Parker, Tracey Needham or Catherine Bell. Sine Bell starred in 9 out of 10 seasons some people see this debate as moot. Parker was hired for the Pilot episode but NBC did not want her for the series so Donald P. Bellisario was forced to hire Needham. When the show moved to CBS for the second season, Bellisario didn't want to keep Needham, but Parker had already been cast in a lead role in The Pretender and was thus unavailible. Bellisario took a gambit and hired an unknown actress (Bell) who'd had a small role in the last season 1 episode, and the rest is history...
Opinions obviously varied when the comic relief characters Bud and Harriett suffered the tragedy of Harriett giving birth to a stillborn child. Some viewed it as an unnecessarily cruel hand dealt to two undeserving characters while others saw it as a well executed dramatic twist that kicked off dialog on an issue many people are reluctant to talk about in real life.
The sudden retirement of Admiral Chegwidden following season 9.
Game of Thrones started to show signs of this in the second season. The show is basically low fantasy, but when actual magic and similar things showed up people started to complain. Especially when the shadow creature was born. Keep in mind the series fanbase isn't all made up of fans of the books. "The Rains of Castamere" episodes definitely broke the non-book reading fanbase in half. If not out right put them all off.
There are a few viewers who claim the show is moving too slow, or is going nowhere fast.
Community: Did the show quality nosedive after Dan Harmon left as showrunner? Was it already starting to fall apart even when Harmon was still working on it thanks to several behind-the-scences trouble (such as his infamous feud with Chevy Chase) and the fourth season is just carrying on the mediocrity? Or alternatively, did it start to improve after Harmon left?
Jeff/Annie vs Britta/Jeff shipping wars were bad.
Winnie Cooper from The Wonder Years, Mostly because people thought she was a whiny bitch who treated Kevin like trash, and was more or less just stringing him along. While others felt that she was being nice to Kevin out of pity, and never really liked him "in that way".
Likewise with Kevin during the later seasons. Especially over the fact he turned down arguably better girlfriends (E.g. Madeline, and Cara) to chase down Winnie Cooper.
Dexter is divided between people who were saddened by Rita's murder and those who thought the character was incredibly annoying.
Ever since * Steve Carell left * The Office, fans have been divided on its quality. The same could go for the finale season.
There are presently ten series of Red Dwarf. The significant changes to cast and format, plus the breakup of the writing partnership behind the show, mean that you can pick almost any of them and find fans who regard that as the last good one, for a variety of reasons.
There is a broken base between fans of the original TV series and fans who only know or like the films in the franchise. Fans in the first category enjoy the TV series more, because the comedy is more complex, experimental and sometimes less accessible than the films. To this day you will encounter people who claim to be Monty Python fans, but actually mean that they just like Monty Python and the Holy Grail or the film franchise. In some cases they may even have never heard that it was derived from a groundbreaking TV series. Naturally fans of the entire franchise will scorn these people tremendously.
Even between fans of the films there's a clear divide between people who only enjoy Monty Python and the Holy Grail and fans who like all the films. Holy Grail is generally enjoyed by most audiences, even people who are not huge Python fans, because it is a fun adventure story without too much shocking subject matter and mostly silly jokes. The amount of people that like the other films equally much is a lot lower. Partly because: 1) And Now For Something Completely Different and Monty Python Live At The Hollywood Bowl are mostly a compilation of sketches from the TV show, which is already a lot less easy to comprehend for a general audience. 2) Monty Python's Life of Brian relies less on visual silliness than Holy Grail and devout believers can feel offended by the often blasphemous and heretical jokes. 3) Monty Python's The Meaning of Life has no real "story" and too much shocking and disgusting scenes for the general audience to appreciate.
While it seems that many fans of Two and a Half Men think Season 11 is bringing back the quality of Seasons 1-8, there are also a bunch of people who think that Season 10 is a major improvement over Season 9. However, there are a lot of people who think that Season 10 is just as bad as Season 9 and showed no improvement.
While Season 5 of Breaking Bad isn't even considered bad, fans can't decide if it continued the tradition of the series getting better every season and was the best season of the whole series, or was the weakest season of the whole series and was kinda boring.
Note that this only applies to the first half of Season 5, 5A. Season 5B on the other hand has been almost universally hailed by fans and critics alike as possibly the best season of the series, and one of the greatest final seasons ever broadcast.
The entire Ross/Rachel relationship. Some love it for being a great Will They or Won't They?, Opposites Attract plot and believe its an epic love story. Others think it's an unrealistic and unrewarding Masochism Tango of two unsuited people who treat each other horribly. The split is probably highlighted by the younger, newer fans who, thanks to Seinfeld Is Unfunny, find Will They or Won't They? plots over-used in TV and the Give Geeks a Chance mantra cliche. The relationships also draws ire from Monica/Chandler fans, who find the 'Lobsters' reputation as the 'greatest couple ever' undeserving when the Mondler relationship lasted six times as long, worked better together and had a greater impact on the group dynamic.
Also some hated the 90's, but not because they were the 90's, but because it never fully embraced the 90's. The 90's era never really embraced Hip Hop (neither did the 80's for that matter). It did marginally better with other urban genres like New Jack Swing. But over all the 90's was not a huge pop culture reference pool like the eighties, and seventies eras were. Essentially alienating the black MTV generation. Because of this people think this is what led to the show's down fall.
The tv series Unsung is starting to show signs of this for almost similar reasons to Soul Train. The show is a kinda "Behind The Music" type of show for unsung artists. For the most part it covered artists from the 70's and early 80's. But when they started adding rappers, and Hip-Hop groups... well.
Person of Interest: it looks like Carter's death has caused this in the fandom. Proclamations that people are quitting the show abound. More generally, the character of Root seems to be a Base Breaker as well. Saying that you like or dislike her is basically inviting a full-on flame war.
Frasier: Having Niles and Daphne get together is a source of debate for the fans. Some think it didn't work; not because it was a bad idea, merely because the plots written for them were not as entertaining or amusing as the earlier Unresolved Sexual Tension ones.
Others think them finally getting together marked a sharp upturn in quality and dimensionality in the already-great series.
The fan community is often characterized by two distinct camps - those that prefer "Classic Vice" (the first two seasons, characterized by the pastel colors, goofy interludes from Zito and Switek and writing from Michael Mann) and those that prefer the "Moscow to Midnight/New Vice" era (the rise of the Testarossa, darker plots, more violence, darker clothing and writing from Dick Wolf). There usually isn't much middle ground on this.
Crockett's Easy Amnesia arc - a great way to shake up the series and throw the lead character into an interesting narrative arc, or the sign of a show severely past its prime?
The Wire is highly lauded by the fans and critically-praised, but even it has its share of disagreements. The fifth season is either slightly weaker than the fourth (but still great television) or a rushed exercise in trying to tie up all the loose plot threads, at the expense of killing off a large number of supporting characters for shock value. Within that, there's disagreement over whether or not the newspaper arc was as interesting as the drug trade/docks/school themes of previous seasons, and whether or not the "fake serial killer" storyline fit in with the show's previously-established grounded nature.