We in fandom used to say that Jeff Davis is a gift, but that appellation has faded somewhat in the recent days, through no fault of Jeff’s.
See, we came to put all of our hopes and expectations on him, everything that was wrong with the world of media we thought he could - and should - fix for us in his little werewolf show. That’s an impossible task and for every perceived failure we thought he was failing us. Personally, on all counts.
And I’m sorry to say that sometimes I may come across as similarly demanding, although I do try to rein that in as much as I possibly can. I have a lot of my heart tied up in this show, but I trust him to do what he thinks is best.
I think I and some other people need to take a step back and really look at the human behind the twitter handle. Because Jeff is just a guy, he’s not a god or a demon. He tries to do good things, entertaining things, things that will make people feel stuff. He’s a guy who loves populist horror novelists (Stephen King buddies *high five*), who struggled with depression once, who has a twin brother and an adorable nephew, and an interest in 80s rom-coms.
Jeff created Criminal Minds and at its inception, with Jeff and Mandy Patinkin still on the team, it was a smart, character-driven procedural that was solidly grounded in acutal psychology, a show that treated its women and victims with dignity and had, in one of its earliest episodes, one of my favorite gay character moments of any crime drama ever.
Jeff’s the guy who came to tumblr to try and engage us about the racism allegations, even though that backfired somewhat spectacularly. Because Jeff is someone who will take all our rage to heart and that’s not healthy for anyone. See, there is valid criticism in that and I’m absolutely certain Jeff reads all that stuff and tries to integrate it into his work. But it’s impossible to play to blind rage. Because blind rage doesn’t have any goals or hopes.
Like the queerbaiting talk. Seriously, that’s something that has to stop. Jeff is not the guy you need to talk to about queerbaiting. He wouldn’t do that. He cares so much about our feelings on this subject that he’s afraid to talk about it - not because of death threats (even though we need to stop using the over-the-top tumblr language when all we mean is “jeff, dude, I have feels okay”) but because he doesn’t want to hurt anyone. That’s the last thing he wants to do.
Jeff Davis has taken a silly idea for a 80s movie remake and turned it into something special. He didn’t need to try and make it a world less oppressive than ours, but he wanted to. He wanted to give himself and us a world where it’s a little easier to breathe, and even though he may fail at the execution in some ways, fall short of the perfection we were hoping for, that doesn’t make his original aspiration any less good.
We call Jeff a gift because faced with the jaded yet excitable masses of fandom, the people who often know ridicule both for their involvement in fandom and assorted minority memberships, he tried so very hard to understand us. He still does. And he’s in many ways one of us, a fanboy trying to tell a story that the rest of us will like.
Jeff Davis is a gift because he’s trying to be good and working to be better. He loves happy endings. He takes his actors’ feelings and littel fears and hopes into account and doesn’t play god on set. He puts himself right there with them, whenever another hand is needed.
Jeff is a good man. Anyone who can’t see that needs to take a second look. Really listen and not just react to sound bites or quotes out of context.
Whatever will happen on the show, I know one thing: that Jeff tried his best to make it something amazing. That is not to say that criticism should cease, not at all. But I wish we could all remember that he’s human, too, and a freaking nicer one than most. (Imagine that last in Scott’s outraged voice from 1x04)
I trust Jeff Davis and if you find yourself doubting, come and talk to me. I have a lot of fluffy feelings about this guy that I’m eager to share.