it’s wild to me how there is literally ZERO correlation between what a piece of media is like and what its fanworks are like. 2014 captain america fans were out there writing poetry and full-on academic papers inside of their fics. sonic the hedgehog and my little pony fandoms are both famous for drawing fetishes you’ve never even heard of. les miserables fans spent most of their energy on college aus. there is literally no consistency or observable pattern and it’s incredible
It’s actually pretty easy. The fanworks we make are things that the source material makes us think about but doesn’t include.
Captain America’s movies glazed over a lot of really intense subject material and never addressed some of the really important changes a WWII hero popping up in the modern day would cause, and also some of the emotions a WWII hero popping up in the modern day would have.
The furry community has drawn its borders a lot further out than most communities have on the things people can portray without being ostracized. So shows that provide an opportunity to explore those things in the context of their interests is going to be welcomed.
Les Mis had source material that was powerful, emotionally harrowing, and from the POV of your average Millenial terribly relatable. (Look around, seriously.) So people want the things they connected to but with at least the remote possibility of a happy ending.
Shadowhunters wanted to see domesticity. Buffyverse wanted to see the normal humans given a chance to be badass. Supernatural wanted the brothers and their angel to a) have a nice goddamn day occasionally and b) actually maybe think things all the way through just. one time. Sherlock wanted the titular character to actually treat Watson with some respect and affection. Comics fandoms want the storylines to make sense. NCIS wants realistic consequences for the things that happen. Crossover writers want Cool Character From Fandom A to interact with That Other One From Fandom B because oh ye gods that will be hilarious.
And everybody wants to see their favorite pairing get together. Everybody wants to see the character they loved that got a shit ending get a good one. Everyone wants to see the storyline that got ignored fleshed out. Everyone wants their favorite side character to get more attention. Everyone wants to see the one that got stepped on get their revenge. Everyone wants the one that got rejected to be so awesome that the one who rejected them regrets it.
Fans don’t want more-of-what-they-got. They want things they didn’t get, things the source material left us hungry for. And that’s why fandom is amazing.