I did something this past three months that really has no good reasoning behind it after a while. I saw a gif set of two guys who were squishy, and seemingly lustful, and when I followed the tags on the set, got into the Zankie tag, and I was pleased. I thought it was real, and if you look at clips on youtube, you will believe it’s real. Took me a few weeks to realise it wasn’t the case.
Zach, and Frankie are contestant on the US Big Brother S16. They were very touchy feely, and sexual-like for most of the show; and they sold it very well when they were together. Their pairing managed to gain a very strong, near-rabid following for the usual reasons most men on TV are shipped by fans. They are white; one of them is gay, and the other is ambiguous at best, straight at most; and they are close. Unless it’s sterek, in which case, it’s only because they are white, and look like the kind of people the fans want together.
I bought what they were selling because what I got to see was edited by fans. When I went on daily motion and saw clips centreing on the pair. Then, I noted something off with the pairing. They were only into portraying their pairing as possibly romantic/lustful when they were together; but when they were apart, they couldn’t have cared less. Set aside the bad-mouthing, back-stabbing, completely unnecessary character assassinations; they couldn’t have cared. They flirted heavily with other people, and acted as if their time together didn’t happen. They gave off a vibe that they weren’t organically into each other in an eros manner. It didn’t take more than a week to figure out that they had probably set up the pairing since they are both net savvy, and probably know of how easily some of the US netizens can make a movement out of two men looking like them remotely sharing space, and saying things like “If I did, I would.”
It’s not the hardest thing in the world to see. US netizens have fetishized gay pairings so extensively, that people whose success hinges on public viewership will use it to extend their run as far as possible. Unfortunately for Zach, and Frankie, keeping up appearances 24/7 isn’t something amateurs can do easily. They should have taken some training beforehand, maybe had some sticky notes around the house to remind them about it. Maybe then they’d have sold a huge majority on their pairing being genuine. The most I give their partnership is a friendship; and a tentative one at that, cause if Zach, at most doesn’t get to know about the manipulation he faced from Frankie, or doesn’t care, then it goes far. If Frankie doesn’t care for the nasty things so-called friends of Zach’s have said about him, then it goes far. Either way, both of them leave the ‘reality’ TV show with a fanbase.
Zach has gotten a reputation amongst most fans of the show as a cool, cute, funny guy. These fans may recognise his shitty, abusive actions but they rarely take them into consideration enough. Zach has disparaged women for no good reason, accused a woman for refusing to acquiesce to a bigoted man’s whims when she made it clear she has no interest in said bigoted man, and lies. A lot of people say the lying is part of the game; however, it doesn’t excuse his behaviour. He’s shitty. He also has a great, inviting personality, for most people.
Frankie is a self-involved, attention-seeking, egoistical, boundary-crossing bigot. He says nasty things, attacks people’s characters for no good reason, and insists that he knows how things are, when he doesn’t. He rarely, if ever, takes responsibility for his actions, but certainly feels betrayed when others make moves against him. And he has stans.
Stans are fans on steroids.
Frankie has them in droves, and they are annoying as hell. They defend every bad thing he does, and says, and dwell on the few good things in between to such an extent that it wouldn’t be a long shot to imagine they would do well as publicists for the US government.
They prove that villains get a fanbase, and it doesn’t mean they are right; it means they are on one side.