Fangasm’s Andrew Duvall Discusses His Upcoming Web Series, The Apartment, and the Negativity Surrounding Fangasm

Alright, Nerdy Minds. Let’s talk about Fangasm! I intended to approach this article with a review about the series and a look into how the final episode wrapped things up; however, this morning I have seen more than a few articles pop up criticizing the show and its “exploitation of geek culture”. So, in the end, what I have put together is not only a response to all the negativity but also a kick@$$ interview with Andrew Duvall himself! Read on, Nerdy Minds… This is going to be fun!

SyFy's Fangasm Tues 10/9c
SyFy’s Fangasm Tues 10/9c

The fact that it is produced by the same person who brought us Jersey Shore seems to be feeding the negativity. Many want to pin Fangasm as a Jersey Shore spin-off, which I think begs the question: Are we watching the same show? The show’s “haters”, as you could say, go on to pull apart the show with mind-numbing detail, reading far too much into every little thing.

Folks, let me be real here. I did not watch this show because I thought it was going to be this amazing insight into geek culture! I did not expect it to be this groundbreaking exposé on the real life workings of a huge comic convention! I watched this show because

1) I like Stan Lee

2) I like comic cons

3) I am a geek

The honest truth is… I enjoyed it. I thought it was funny. I will agree that some of the tasks they were given seemed a little out there, yes, and were probably more for the show’s benefit than being true to the intern experience. Having them create viral videos at home advertising Comikaze with only a day’s notice seemed a little outrageous. That didn’t take away from the fact that I still enjoyed watching them make the videos! I thought seeing a Stan Lee puppet burst out of a chest was amusing and clever! Who cares that it probably isn’t the sort of thing you would find interns being asked to do spur of the moment. The point is the interns rose to the challenge (although a couple did fail a bit in the most awkward and hilarious way) and completed the task!

Do I think Stan Lee often takes pitches for comic books from interns? No, I don’t. That was also probably more for the show’s benefit and to actually give the interns some face time with the man himself. Still, I loved the pitches! I enjoyed the thought each intern put into their separate characters, and a few of the ideas weren’t bad at all. Again, it’s fellow geeks receiving an opportunity to do something most have only dreamed of!

Andrew meets Stan Lee
Andrew meets Stan Lee

Some of the moments with the guest stars were endearing. The episode with that special moment for Andrew and meeting George Takei comes to mind. Seeing the interns being able to work with major makeup artists and prop masters and basically getting to do all of the things I myself would love to do was lots of fun for me. Let’s also not forget how poor Paul Perkins’ questions for Cassandra Peterson were just so awkward and tragic that it had me both laughing and cringing simultaneously. Her facial expression was priceless!

Meeting George Takei
Meeting George Takei

Reality television is rarely ever true to life. I do not think this show was staged with scripts or what have you, but let’s be honest: This was probably not true to most internship experiences, which is why most internships do not get their own TV shows! Some thought the geeks in this house were “posers”. I, for one, do not know them personally, and still, that is irrelevant. Geeks come in all shapes, sizes, and fandoms. Who are we to say whether or not they are “real geeks”? I have heard this quoted before, and I love it:

Being a nerd… It’s not about what you love, it’s about how you love it… The defining characteristic that ties us all together is that we love things. Find the things that you love, and love them the most that you can.

-Wil Wheaton

To me, there is no real life version of the perfect geek/nerd. We are all different. That is what makes geek culture so excellent. It’s not that we are all the same and love the exact same things. It is, in fact, quite the opposite sometimes. It is, in fact, that we are all different and love so many different things, and it’s how we love them that brings geek culture together. I thought this show did a good job of representing that. Let’s not sit and pick this show apart. Perhaps it didn’t meet up to some sort of real life hardcore documentary. I don’t know why you would tune into Syfy for that type of thing. It was a wonderful and fun 6 episodes with very likable people. It brought awareness to Comikaze and even a few other things I didn’t know about before, like harassment against cosplayers (I have never cosplayed, so I never realized what an issue it was). I hope more people give the show and the interns a chance. Maybe go back and watch an episode to see what you think. I, for one, am sad to not have this show on my Tuesday lineup anymore.

s01_e0103_fangasm

And now the moment you have all been waiting for… An Interview with Andrew Duvall! Fangasm‘s resident Trekkie took the time to answer some questions about the show, as well as his upcoming project, for us! Enjoy!

Andrew Duvall
Andrew Duvall

Fangasm season finale just aired this past Tuesday. Can you tell us your favorite moment on the show?

My favorite part of Fangasm was meeting George Takei. It was above and beyond anything I could have hoped for. That could have been the finale as far as I was concerned. That moment will always be one of the coolest moments in my life.

My favorite moment was when you met George Takei! It was obvious that was a special moment for you. Did you ever expect, coming into this internship, that something like that would happen?

I never expected to have met George Takei. And when we had the chance to have dinner with him and I failed to win, I was so sad. And then he came to the house, and every emotion I was holding in just came out in full force.

What was it like pitching a comic book idea to Stan Lee?

I was nervous, but not as much as the rest of the cast ’cause to me I already had the biggest moment of my life by meeting George Takei. So I treated the pitch as if I was on stage doing comedy and Stan Lee was just another person. I thought the pitch went great; Stan Lee was really into it. I found out a couple days after the pitch that there was already a superhero called “The Falcon” created by none other than Stan Lee. So in his mind I was pitching a hero that already was created. I felt really stupid.

Since you were the only one with a girlfriend (who we loved by the way), did you have any advice for the other guys on how to interact with the ladies?

I told them to be themselves. If a girl rejects you for being you, then you don’t want to be with her anyways. Can’t go wrong with being yourself. I got lucky when I met Lisa. She is the best person in the world, and she likes me for me.

Are you all still doing appearances for Fangasm or planning to be a part of any panels?

I will be at Comikaze November 1-3. I will also be doing a comedy show on the 2nd at 7pm at Comikaze.

What did you learn from your internship, and how have you applied it to other things?

I think the thing I learned–it’s something I already knew, but it just reaffirmed it–was just be yourself. To me, that’s the best advice I can give anyone for anything. Be yourself. I live, I keep coming back every day with that motto. Be yourself.

On the show, you did some stand-up and talked about how it helped you become more outgoing. What advice would you give to others who are shy and trying to be more social?

I keep coming back to “be yourself”, but to me that’s what you need to do. Some people are not going to like you; you’ll get rejected; it will be hard, but in the long run, if you’re true to yourself, as Dr. Malcolm would say, “Life finds a way.” Sooner or later, you’ll find people that like the things you like. There is always someone out there that has the same likes as you. Keep trying; don’t give up.

I know you are going to have your own web series out soon. What can you tell us about The Apartment and starting this new project?

The Apartment is a mockumentary style show. Nine episode run. Each episode being five to ten minutes long. It’s about five roommates living in a house together and their awkward adventures together. It’s shot in the style of The Office meets Its Always Sunny in Philadelphia.

Being that you are a fellow Trekkie, we would love your thoughts on the new Star Trek: Renegades project! What do you think about this endeavor?

 I think it’s great. It sounds awesome. I hope it gets sold. Star Trek needs to be back on TV. Movies are great, but you can do so much with a television show. And it’s about time Star Trek gets its moment back on TV.

And finally, would you like to address some of the criticism out there regarding Fangasm and some bloggers referring to it as “fake” and “staged”?

As a cast member, I can guarantee the show was not staged. They had things planned for us, but then it was up to us to do it. So everything that happened was because we did it. Not staged, not faked.

Having the opportunity to interview Andrew is something I will not soon forget. It is amazing to me that I was just sitting on the couch yesterday laughing at Andrew’s jokes, and today I was able to correspond with him! If you are interested in checking out Andrew’s new show, take a look at this promo video and make sure you subscribe! I know I am looking forward to The Apartment.

So there you have it, Nerdy Minds! What did you think about Syfy’s Fangasm? Let us know in the comments!

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2 thoughts on “Fangasm’s Andrew Duvall Discusses His Upcoming Web Series, The Apartment, and the Negativity Surrounding Fangasm

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  1. I loved Fangasm! I really wish that there were more episodes or that they would do a second season. Watching the show made me proud to be a nerd! Hopefully one day I’ll be able to attend Comikaze and meet everyone who was on the show and tell them what an inspiration they’ve been to me.
    Also, I can’t wait to see Andrews web series!

    Like

  2. Such a great interview! I thoroughly enjoyed it! I can’t wait to read more Nerdy Minds 😀 Thinking on Fangasm, I fear I may grow long winded here. None-the-less, here I go! 😀

    I think one of the first things that grabbed me about Fangasm was the genuine good will between all of the interns. There wasn’t a feeling of competition. It was just “good sportsmanship”, Nerd style. For instance, without saying a word until the very end,…Sal had a plan to help one of his buddies win the phaser contest for dinner with George Takei. Not until the very end of the contest does he reveal his intentions to the blonde girl, thereby giving Paul that extra little “oomph” to keep his arm up. See what I mean? No competition, just camaraderie. Sal could have EASILY won that contest for himself, but he stepped aside so that Paul could have the dinner. I believe he would have done the same for Andrew had it been him that was one of the last three standing instead of Paul.

    I felt for Andrew that WHOLE time. Having a dream come true possibility right in the palm of your hand, and not being able to complete that one task that will give it to you. As I watched his arm shaking, I could almost feel his heart sinking as mine sunk with him. I wanted him to win so badly. I was beyond impressed with his attitude toward Paul and his graciousness in the face of losing out on seeing his hero. The cameras didn’t show us what must have been a deep and personal sorrow (given what we later found out about his great-grandmother).

    It was a genuine pleasure seeing Paul meeting George Takei. He was as nervous and fidgety as any of us would have probably been. Struggling to pay attention to each and every detail and word spoken was a hoot! LOL! *thought bubble* “Oh my gosh I’m sitting here with SULU!!! AAAAAHHHH! *slap!* pay attention, pay attention!” LOL!

    I thought I was going to come out of my skin when George asked if he could meet Paul’s roommates. Oh my gosh! I just wanted so badly to see Andrew’s face! Well,…..it was more than I think any of us could have imagined and one of THE best moments in reality television hands down. Andrew’s reaction was priceless! However, seeing the “afterglow” when George left, was the unexpected treasure.

    Hearing Andrew’s story of being isolated and alone as a child, but having that special bond with his grandmother took us to a whole other level. You could almost see the little boy sitting crossed legged on the floor in front of a vintage TV, neck craned out, hanging on every Star Trek moment while his grandmother sat behind him on the sofa watching both him and the television. I like to imagine that she most likely daydreamed in those moments of what future Andrew would have, and probably silently laid wishes into the air for something special for him where people would finally see him for the special and unique person he is, like she did.

    Now here we are…being blessed this way. Feeling a kinship with her grandson and seeing him being propelled into quite a nice little corner of fame and fandom. Is that a GREAT story or what??!!! I STILL cry when I watch the rerun of that episode. It can’t be helped. It just polarized all of us who KNOW what it’s like to grow up feeling like fantasy was where we belonged best.

    Thank you SyFy for choosing this particular cast. You may not have meant to, but you have started something that will be hard fought to put down for quite a long time. Fangasm did it’s job for those who can truly appreciate it. Like the Bat Signal it drew those meant to be drawn. For those who don’t “get it”, that’s just fine with us.

    Like

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