Let me start by fessing up that I have been known to watch the Disney Channel. I am an adult, I don't have any kids, no plausible cover story for doing so. I could lie and say it is to keep up with what my niece and nephew like to watch, but why bother. I absolutely love Phineas & Ferb, and Gravity Falls rocks my socks.
When it has been a really long day, you cannot beat the teen movies. Generally they are set in a high school environment that is much nicer than I remember school being, everyone from opposing cliques gets together by the end, and love conquers all. It's like Lifetime-lite, without anyone murdering a cheerleader, or an ex-wife or something. It will all come to a happy ending by the end of the two-hour time slot.
That's what I thought, at least, until I tried to watch the movie Starstruck the other night. In fairness to the writers and the good people at Disney, I need to say that I did not watch the whole thing. I got so creeped out and side-tracked by one tiny part of the storyline in the beginning that I just stopped watching.
Yeah, that's right. I got freaked out by a teen movie, during prime time, on the Disney Channel. It's not even a movie that is supposed to be scary!
Here is a recap of what I saw of the movie:
Two sisters live in a small town in Michigan. (I might have the state wrong.) The older sister and her BFF have massive crushes on a rock star/teen celebrity who is constantly in the tabloids, on the entertainment television shows -- basically the Justin Bieber of this movie's universe. Well, Bieber before the drugs, eggs, hookers era. The younger sister has zero interest in the guy or his music, and finds her sister's obsession with him annoying and ridiculous.
Nothing creepy so far, right?
The sisters and their family are going to go visit Grandma, who lives in California. That's sweet. Guess who else lives in California? That's right, Rock Star!
There's something about a school dance -- I think the older sister and her BFF were selling tickets or something. They give younger sister a hard time about "Why would you be going? You're like so not cool!". Then comes the Big Reveal, or at least it was to me since I stopped watching right after this part.
Older sister and her BFF are obviously SuperFans when it comes to Rock Star. You get that immediately in the movie. Now you find out that these two have maybe crossed the line from SuperFans into Creepy Stalker Land. They show the younger sister that they have been mapping everything about Rock Star from his own online updates, the tabloids, tv, etc. They know where Rock Star parties, eats, which beach he likes to surf at -- you name it, they know it. As if that wasn't a little creepy to begin with, they built a pop-up book/map thing of everywhere he goes and when he is usually there. Older sister is planning to use this to track down and meet Rock Star when they go to California to visit Grandma.
WTF. That is when I turned off the movie.
I'm going to assume, since this is after all a Disney flick, that it never goes beyond the realm of SuperFan. They know everything about Rock Star: where he goes, his favorite color, his birthday -- all the stuff every teen magazine reports religiously. Maybe Older Sis meets him, maybe she doesn't, but I'm guessing there won't be violence or restraining orders involved in the plot. Maybe one of these days I will feel curious enough to watch the entire movie and find out.
In my opinion there is a very fine line between harmless SuperFan and Creepy Stalker Land. A SuperFan, when they meet the celebrity of their dreams, is going to either become completely tongue-tied and unable to believe said moment is finally upon them, or they are going to become a crying mess of happiness. I base this on two things: I know I personally would probably freeze up completely if I ever met a celebrity, and anyone who has ever watched television or YouTube has seen footage of people (generally teenage girls) crying and losing their minds in such situations. Creepy Stalker Land winds up with your SuperFan being like Kathy Bates in the movie Misery.
It's got to be hard to be a celebrity, especially now. Now your fans can follow you on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and find out so much information! SuperFans can keep in contact with other SuperFans to compare info and keep up with whatever happens anywhere in the world involving their fave celebrity. On top of that, there is paparazzi and sites like TMZ. There is an entire E! network reporting on celebrities. It has got to be next to impossible to have much privacy if you are a celebrity.
I find it kind of amazing that there are celebrities that actually do Meet & Greets/ autograph signings with their fans. I'm aware that there is probably an insane amount of security at these events, but still. The celebrity doesn't know what that next person in line is going to do. Are they super-excited to take a picture with you? Are they going to assume that since they know everything about you that you will somehow recognize them as a long-lost soul mate and freak the hell out when you don't?
Case in point:
I like the band R5. I think they are great, they are a regular fixture on my workout playlist. I follow them on Twitter and Instagram because they are awesome at posting photos from all of their tour stops all over the world. (Also, I really do not care whether you like them or not, or don't even know who they are. That is not the point.)
New Year's Eve 2013. I did my thing, had some people over, had some drinks, Happy New Year!, and went to bed.
I check Twitter the next morning-ish (Probably closer to afternoon. Shush.). Some people had posted some questionable sentiments in their not-entirely-sober state the night before. Nothing crazy. R5 had played a concert that night, so there were a couple of pictures that they posted. Each had thousands of comments. I'm thinking it is going to be fans wishing them a Happy New Year, or saying they were at the concert. Normal stuff is what I am getting at.
Oh no. Furthest thing from it.
Apparently shit went down at that concert. I had no idea what happened, but there were girls (well, fans that I am assuming are mostly girls) losing their damn minds in comments on Instagram and on Twitter. They were were saying things like: they were crying hysterically, their world had been destroyed, Ross had broken their hearts. I kid not you not. WTF. Did they just announce this was their final show or something? Did Ross sacrifice a puppy on stage at midnight?
No. Apparently he kissed a fan in the audience at midnight. Not a girlfriend he had managed to keep secret from the fangirls, just a chick in the audience. That was all it took for these ladies to snap.
So to try to bring this all around and back to having a point, SuperFans like the older sister in the movie exist. They are online finding out every last detail about their favorite celebrities. Privacy seems incredibly hard to maintain. News travels insanely fast. I'm sure there were already SuperFans out there doing the very same thing Older Sister and her BFF were doing in the movie. I find it incredibly creepy to think that people would try to use that information to stalk their favorite celebrity, and a little disturbing to think that Disney might have unintentionally given some SuperFans a new idea.
Like I said, to me it is a fine line between SuperFan and Creepy Stalker Land. You can like a band/celebrity and get your fangirl on over them. It is another thing entirely to amass information on them and make it your mission in life to meet them, to make your world revolve around them.
**I'm aware that I am probably the only person who saw even part this movie and had this reaction to it. My brain took one tiny part of the story and ran to a scary place with it. If you actually read all the way through this, thanks.**