For Bruce Miller, the executive producer of Syfy’s hit series Eureka, fans easy access to him hasn’t always been the string of continuous complements and fanatical praise that many would think. With social media providing direct access for fans to get in touch with the creative forces behind the series they love, it can quickly become a double-edge sword.
When something controversial occurs on their favorite television series, fans are now able to direct their ire towards those directly involved with production. While many may think that the flurry of messages combined with the faceless senders, hiding behind Internet avatars, may quell any type of negative impact to the recipients, that’s not the case – not by any means.
Speaking with Miller following the Eureka panel at Comic-Con, the famed producer expressed the joy of finally working on a television series that has “the most loyal, but also the nicest, fans.” Continuing, Miller explains: “I’ve been on lots of shows; I was on 'ER' for a while, I was on 'Medium', I was on 'Everwood' – and you work on shows that have tons of fans, but everything you do, they hate. They get so mad at you for everything.”
Explaining how Eureka is different, Miller says, “Here, they love you, and they love what we’re doing.”
When we asked Miller to further explain how negative comments from fans on Twitter and other social media avenues impact him and everyone else working on a show, Miller conveys a wonderfully honest sentiment that many angry, fanatical Twitterers (you know who you are) should keep in mind:
We have such affection for the show when we’re writing it. To have people come and beat up on it, or to beat up on the characters as people – or the actors as people – you feel very protective over a show.
The actors who are on our show - and the writers - we are incredibly close. Those actors are incredibly close - we’ve worked together for a long time. They’re a great group of people and a great group of actors – and when people are piling up on them, it’s like they’re piling up on your family.
Don't even think about messing with Fargo.
And, also, you often want to say, 'If we would have done the other thing, you would have been mad, as well – you wanted them together; you didn’t want them together.'
I love television; I’m a huge fan of television – and, so, I just write stuff that I think is cool, and what I’d want to see. Beyond that, it’s hard to… Only when you’re here [at Comic-Con] can they actually hit you with a stick. Beyond that, they just write mean emails. But they [Eureka fans] don’t, and that’s the great thing about them.
You can view Bruce Miller's feelings in their entirety below (I encourage you to do so, as Miller's inflections further convey what he's saying):
Even though Bruce Miller’s statement pertains to his past and present experience with certain series, this notion can certainly be applied throughout the television world. Bones creator Hart Hanson and House executive producer Greg Yaitanes are just a few of the many faces behind popular television series that are continuously confronted with what Miller so happily escaped from.
While there’s something to be said about being able present the people behind your favorite television show with both praise and criticism, one should keep in mind the manners that everyone employs (hopefully) when going to a restaurant: if you’re not enjoying your food, you politely tell the waiter. It’s uncouth to barge into the kitchen and yell at the chef - especially if it’s your favorite restaurant.
Even if the proverbial kitchen door is open in this television metaphor, perhaps one should take pause and decide how to best present their feelings before entering.
Eureka airs Mondays @8pm on Syfy
Follow Anthony on Twitter @anthonyocasio