It’s a fan thing — you wouldn’t understand. TV Guide Magazine’s Fan Favorites panel debuted Friday evening at SDCC 2020, with moderator Damian Holbrook at the helm. The “fan favorites” included Robbie Amell, Ashleigh Murray, Jeri Ryan, Harvey Guillen, Hale Appleman, Kennedy McMann, Richard Harmon, Alex Newell, Chris Chalk, and Lindsey Morgan. Talk about a packed house!
Now, Holbrook kicked off the panel by asking our panelists what they’ve been doing while in quarantine. There was some napping, cooking, writing, and some merely waiting for the lockdown to end. Murray has been chipping away at her music venture. Appleman has also been working on music — in fact, he hopes by early fall there will be “a song or two.” Good news for The Magicians fans!
Next, the actors were asked about their favorite fan interactions. For Guillen, it was the time a delivery driver asked him if he was “the vampire hunter.” Chalk recalled a moment in LA when a man simply shouted at him from across the way. Amell chimed in that his friend’s security guard granted him access to an apartment complex because said guard recognized him from The Tomorrow People. Morgan reminisced about the multiple marriage proposals that have come her way over the years. “I’ve only ever had loving, warm, sweet exchanges with fans…it’s all very heart-centered…fans have found community through the show,” Appleman said regarding his tenure on The Magicians.
“The fans are so loving, so supportive, and so enthusiastic,” Ryan added. She also described Stark Trek fans as being incredibly knowledgeable and passionate.
Then, Holbrook posed a fan question specifically to Appleman. What was Eliot like as a dad in “A Life in the Day?” Appleman delved into the challenges Eliot would’ve faced, especially since he wasn’t particularly close to his family. “I think when he was sequestered in that alternate timeline it became real…a family that he never had…I think he was able to let go of old belief systems,” he explained.
Later, the panel shifted to representation in media. “Katy Keene is the first show I’ve worked on where there was space for everyone,” Murray said. Chalk proffered his two cents. He stated that since media is slowly diversifying, audiences that are less diverse are exposed to more representation. “It’s like really tearing down things in a way that’s really necessary,” he said. Morgan chimed in that she’s relished playing a multifaceted, badass character on The 100. “Growing up, I didn’t see characters like me…I thought that wasn’t an option for me,” Guillen revealed. Now, he’s happy to serve as representation in media to inspire hope in others.
McMann also mentioned Nancy Drew and how the writers reinvented the character. In addition, she talked about how angry people were that Nancy was a brash, emboldened character as opposed to meek and mild. Ryan pitched in to say that Star Trek has a vibrant history regarding diverse characters. “It was groundbreaking for its time, and it still is,” she said. Harmon delved into portraying a wholly unlikable character after Holbrook teased him for playing a “d-bag” on The 100. “It’s incredible to me that a large portion of the fans have come around to liking him,” he stated.
“I grew up loving fantasy…I never thought I’d play a queer king. I saw a character with a lot of layers and a lot of depth…I could expand the perception of what this character could mean,” Appleman added. Newell gave an impassioned speech on the importance of representation and how silence is truly complicity. Preach it!
Lastly, the panelists weighed in on other characters they’d play in their respective shows. Most of the actors would proudly play their own characters. A handful had different responses. “It would be a toss up between Jughead and Josie,” Murray said. “I would like it to be me having a lovechild with Octavia,” Morgan stated. “I think my favorite character to watch is Margo. Summer Bishil shout out,” Appleman answered.
And that’s a wrap for TV Guide Magazine’s Fan Favorites at SDCC 2020!
Check out the full panel here.