((I had a moment of FAIL and accidentally clicked the block button instead of the reply button on this message, and now I can’t figure out how to unblock this anon, so that’s why I’m doing this as a photo post instead of an inbox reply. Because I suck at stuff and can’t do things.))
Oh my gosh you guys, it’s my very first anon hate (and not even on my SJ blog)! I FEEL SO SPECIAL. And you should feel special too, anon, because I’ve been looking for a reason to rant about this for a LONG time.
Anyway, my dear Anon, I’m glad you love Moffat. I wish I could too. I’m glad for you that he brings you joy, and honestly I don’t really enjoy raining shit down on your happy fan parade. But the fact is I DO think Moffat is a bad writer and a raging sexist queerbaiting dickbag, and here’s why:
Let’s start with the easy stuff.
Moffat is NOT a completely talentless hack. I want to give credit where credit is due. I happen to think that Moffat is one of the best Monster of the Week writers there is, period. Blink and Girl in the Fireplace are goddamn brilliant. Silence in the Library/Forest of the Dead is what got me into Doctor Who, and it still blows my mind. The Empty Child/The Doctor Dances and The Beast Below make me cry. Every time. He has single-handedly created several of Doctor Who’s most terrifying monsters.*
It was when they handed him the reins that shit started to go downhill. Everybody kept telling him he was soooooo clever, and his stories were sooooooo clever, and then he got bumped up to main show writer, and it all seems to have gone to his head. Unfortunately, all that cleverness doesn’t seem to translate well onto the larger scale, because his season arc episodes fucking suck. They’re bloated, hyperactive, incoherent, and so full of loose ends and plotholes you could slice them and put them on a Reuben. It’s like he exists in such an echo chamber of fawning adoration that he’s become convinced that there’s no story too convoluted! No plot too labyrinthine! No season-long tangled web of hints and clues and time paradoxes that his gigantic sexy brain cannot unravel in a single fangasm-inducing stroke of pure brilliance! Except, of course, that isn’t true, and the result is appallingly nonsensical explosions of frenetic action and torturous plot twists with baffling and unfulfilling conclusions.
Frankly, I’m getting pretty tired of coming out of every one of his arc episodes feeling like I’ve just spent forty-five minutes watching Moffat wank himself.**
And then there’s his wildly inconsistent characterization of the Doctor, including the fact that the Doctor is now apparently totally cool with murder and genocide. Because if there’s anything our beloved Doctor is known for, it’s his… homicidal sociopathy…?***
I could go on, but that’s really the basics of why Moffat pisses me off from a purely literary (cinematic?) standpoint, and I’d like to move on to the meat of the issue, or the aforementioned “Moffat being a raging sexist queerbaiting dickbag.”
Basically, Moffat’s treatment of his women characters is rife with stupid and outdated stereotypes, heteronormativity, and gender essentialism, and his treatment of queers, though not too shoddy when compared to the cultural average, still has an unfortunate tendency towards tokenization and mockery.
Most infuriatingly, he seems convinced that he is a paragon of progressiveness and political correctness, and refuses to let anyone tell him otherwise. He throws a hissy-fit every time anyone calls him out on his shit, and he shows absolutely no willingness to recognize his own mistakes or work on changing them.
But you don’t have to take my word for it!
Here is an interesting analysis of the gender dynamics in many of his standalone episodes, and here is a fantastic and scathing critique of Moffat’s writing of Amy. And while we’re on the subject of him writing outrageously sexist plots for female characters, let’s hop over to Sherlock and talk a little bit about Irene Adler.
If you’re looking for critiques of specific episodes instead, this post does a nice job of illustrating how shitty writing and shitty gender politics combined in the total clusterfuck of shittery that was Asylum of the Daleks.
But that’s only the beginning. Someone runs an entire blog dedicated to Moffat’s fuck-ups. And, of course, his dickery isn’t limited to his writing: there’s plenty of examples of him saying awful stuff in interviews, on twitter, and in person. Another blogger has compiled a handy masterlist of some of his more egregious acts of douchebaggery.
He has demonstrated several times that he views queer representation mostly as a way to boost his own status as an Enlightened Progressive, and doesn’t take the real social issues seriously. In fact, he gets downright angry when anyone tries to suggest that he maybe, just maybe, ought to do more than pay us the occasional cute lip service. Actually, getting irrationally angry and defensive when faced with criticism is pretty much the norm with Moffat.
This isn’t the most comprehensive or the most eloquent treatise on Being Pissed Off at Moffat, but I hope this has helped clarify for you why I and many others are no longer Moffat fans.
And just some general fandom advice for you, anon: in your life, you will like stuff. Other people will sometimes not like the same stuff you like, and a lot of times they will have good reasons for that. Because a lot of the stuff you like will be problematic in ways that those other people find hurtful and offensive. But you are still allowed to like that stuff! Really! You just have to remember that you can recognize a thing’s flaws and still like it, and that other people criticizing something you are a fan of is not a personal attack on you.
In fact, criticism is not incompatible with fandom—it is vital to it. Of course people will say nasty stuff about things they don’t like, but it is often the greatest fans of something who are its harshest judges. They don’t criticize it because they hate it, they criticize it because they care deeply about it and want it to be better (Seriously, read those links above. Who other than hardcore Doctor Who fans have the knowledge base and commitment to write multiple-thousand word feminist deconstructions of single episodes or single companions?).
Furthermore, ignoring something’s flaws will not make those flaws go away. Staunchly maintaining that something is 100% perfect and infallible will not magically make it so. It will only mean that you are not participating in the ongoing cultural dialogue that shapes the media we consume and echoes into society at large.
“How to be a fan of problematic things” is an excellent guide on this subject, and I urge you to read it.
EDIT: and a similar blog post, “So, Someone You Admire Has Done Something Disappointing”, is perhaps even more relevant to your situation.
(Also, FYI, being gay does not make you totally immune from ever doing anything or supporting anything oppressive ever, nor does it make you the automatic final authority on all things social justice-y. So, no, I’m sorry, “I like x and I’m gay so therefore x cannot be homophobic/sexist/transphobic/heteronormative/queerphobic/etc.” is not a valid argument.)
*Award for MOST terrifying monster must go to RTD for the Toclafane, which basically make me shit myself in existential horror every time I think about them.
**Actually it’s like having sex with Moffat, but before you’ve even gotten half way through foreplay he gets distracted by his own dick and spends the next five minutes wanking himself, and finishes by blowing his load all over your clean sheets. Then afterwards he walks away to go raid your fridge, and as you sit there alone in your bed, confused, irritated, and still horny, you realize that he never even took off his fucking socks.
***I haven’t actually done the math to see how 11’s body count compares to the other Doctors, so I can’t say for certain that he kills more living beings under Moffat than anyone else. But it’s less the actual numbers than how fucking gleeful he is about it. UGH.