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My earliest fandoms and pop culture obsessions




I've been pop-culture obsessed as far back as I can remember. As much as society, teachers, and parents tried to present tv watching as The Lazy Child's hobby there was no keeping me from new films or spending my pocket money on every magazine ever.

When I say tv watching and magazine reading, I'm not referring to the typical adolescent behaviour that most people aged 12-16 exhibit; I devoured the pop culture that surrounded me. While I wouldn't identify as a geek until my early 20s it's safe to say that I already was.  

Saying that, I didn't grow up in a pop culture obsessed house. My parents aren't particularly big television watchers so we never had Sky with my mum even stating that if we were multi-millionaires she still wouldn't sign up for anything other than Freeview (though my parent's do now have Netflix...which only my dad uses). So there were some late 90s and 00s fandoms that I didn't have access to. 

But like every teenager ever, I found a way around everything.

I also have a crazy good memory.

As you'll find out. 

The Babysitters Club

I wasn't a massive bookworm as a child and even as an adult I gravitate towards non-fiction, but my earliest fandom ever was The Babysitters Club. I remember randomly picking up Claudia and the Great Mystery as my library book and it ended up being love at first page.

After speed-reading that first book, I would pick out another book in the series until I had read everything that was on offer in the school library (which I think was a measly six books; I grew up in a village so, naturally, our school library wasn't all that brag-worthy). Then whenever we had those school jumble sales it was copies of The Babysitters Club that I would scout out.

As an adult I have even purchased a few of the books to help fill in the gaps. The Babysitters Club has become a book series that I appreciate more as an adult. The characters are diverse, each with their own personalities and quirks. Plus, they weren't all white and there was a boy babysitter too. I also first heard about diabetes from The Babysitters Club and several diabetics around my age have confessed that Stacey was a character who helped them through their diagnosis

Hollyoaks

I want to pretend I'm joking here, but I'm not: I was full-on obsessed with Hollyoaks as an early teenager and would consider it a major fandom of my adolescent years. Every weeknight at 6:30pm I would purposefully sit down to watch it, and would even tell my friends they weren't allowed to come in for me until 7pm! I don't watch it these days as all my favourite characters have left, including the only real celebrity/fictional crush I've ever had: Craig Dean aka Guy Burnett! 

Scream

I've blogged about my love for the Scream franchise before, including the new television show (they can re-boot the premise as many times as they want and I'll still be its numero uno fan). I explicitly remember flicking through the channels one night in my mid-teens and Courtney Cox appeared on screen pacing through the college corridors. Thankfully I don't mind spoilers, including watching things in the wrong order, so starting on Scream 2 didn't prevent me from falling in love with its clever genre-bending horror-comedy storyline. 

Friends

I think everyone was obsessed with Friends - but did you spend New Year's Eve inside by yourself watching a programme on its effect on western culture? No? Step aside. 

Buffy the Vampire Slayer

I was in two minds about including this. I do indeed love Buffy and believe it is one of the greatest television shows ever made (did you catch my 20th-anniversary blog?). However, my lack of access to digital channels did mean that my viewing was patchy, and I didn't watch it episode-to-episode until my early twenties. Either way, I will never tire of dissecting Buffy. 

Veronica Mars

We all remember our first attempt at illegal online streaming, and this was mine. I caught the first season of Veronica Mars on E4 then.....nothing. So sneaking around online it was. But in all seriousness, this show was smart, had a sassy female lead (with a funky name) and a brilliant soundtrack. What's not to love? 

The Powerpuff Girls

I told a white lie earlier; we actually did have ITV Digital for one year when my dad managed to blag a year's free subscription. Much to my parent's dismay, I glued myself to the Cartoon Network with The Powerpuff Girls being my programme of choice. I was a tomboy for a bit and fancied myself as a bit of a Buttercup even though I could barely throw a punch. I ended up with the nickname Mojojojo (naturally) for the last bit of primary school (I've never quite forgiven my childhood best friend for that one). 

Bliss Magazine

Do magazines count as a fandom? Because I bought them religiously and even marked the release of the upcoming issue in my diary. Girl Talk was my natural introduction to magazines, before a brief fling with Shout during the summer between primary and high school, then finally settling on the monthly Bliss and weekly Sneak as my magazine subscriptions of choice.

I know neither could be described as 'geeky' per se, but when you're growing up in a non-geeky household and your friends also don't fit the geek mould, that was the best pop culture literature I had access to. Saying that, teenage magazines were amazing and I still firmly believe they were largely a good thing. 

Harry Potter 


I actually didn't get into Harry Potter until my late teens...and I started by watching 5th film in 2007 because why the hell not? The final two films were the only ones where I had read the book beforehand. 

Can you remember your earliest fandoms?

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