Fandoms of the world, I’m so disappointed in you. You have let a marvelous web series called OTP, about the tribulations of two kindred-spirit fanfic writers, go under-watched and without full backing for its season 2. Luckily, you have seven days to rectify the latter oversight. As for the former, stop what you are doing right now and go watch it. Seriously, stop reading this article, click on this link, and behold the meta-fandom Youtube glory you never knew you always needed. Please don’t let your present ire at Joss Whedon over Age of Ultron distract you from partaking. It’s too important. This series needs you, and you need it.
Still not convinced? Well, let me give you the low-down. Sheila is a newly single mom in the midst of a contentious divorce, who is just starting to get back on her feet. In an effort to escape the travails of her daily life, and retain the modicum of sanity she still possesses, she writes sexy Bagginshield fanfic in her spare time. She is aided in this enterprise by her co-author and fellow fan, the newly liberated Jeremy, a recent high-school grad who has just decided to end his child acting career and forgo college in an effort to blaze his own path. He’s also gay, in case that needed stating.
Serendipitous dwellers of the same city, Sheila invites Jeremy to become her new housemate, and the two use their fandom-forged bond, sealed in the thick of smut-fic editing, to become each other’s much needed shoulders to lean on. Without casting any aspersions, these two lovable characters seem to quintessentially embody that most familiar of fan figures – people who don’t quite have their lives together, but whose need to see two characters make-out always supersedes cooking a well-balanced meal or getting to bed at a reasonable hour. (I’m talking about myself, in case you couldn’t tell. But if you happen to identify as well, we appear to be in very good company)
The writing is solid, quippy and funny, and it is brought to life with a great deal of giggle-inducing panache. Lead actress and head writer for the series, Laura Jordon, is a Broadway vet who has fleshed out her pet project with a range of names familiar to the Broadway and Off-Broadway scene, including a guest appearance by Jonathan Groff!
As per how the project got started, the season 2 Kickstarter page tells a tale we all know too well: “Two years ago I fell down the rabbit hole of Hobbit fanfiction and have barely come up for air.” After trying her hand at fic writing, at which she was, in her own words, “epic fail,” Jordon states: “I soon realized that my talent lay in a different direction. Namely, creating a world that showcased people who loved fan fiction in an honest and respectful light.” And that’s the series in a nutshell.
As I watched these characters debate earnestly but with good humor the virtues and vices of the modern AU, and commiserate over the ridiculousness of magical lube substitutes in much LotR fic, I felt that incredible, deep-seated resonance that comes only when someone has captured the true essence of a familiar subcultural experience. Jordon is a fangirl through and through, and this webseries is an unadulterated gift to all of us who belong to this world.
Fanfiction writers (and readers), we don’t get no respect. There is something inordinately refreshing about any piece of media that can humorously but reverently represent the struggle of not being too repetitive with your penis synonyms when you are trying to write a slash sex scene. This is the series opening salvo, and you’ll know the minute you see it, you are safe here and at home.
So go forth fan people of the world! Watch, subscribe, follow, donate. Do the thing. We should be all over this thing like Dean on Castiel, like Steve on Bucky, like John on Sherlock, like Emma on Regina, like Bilbo on Thorin. The tagline says it all: It’s a web series about friendship…and smutty fan fiction. What else do you need?
Aside, perhaps, from a canon OTP. But while you are waiting for that ship to sail, give this wonderful web series half an hour of your time. You will not be sorry. I promise.