#SaveInTheFlesh with Social Media Sundays

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At 10PM London time, fans of the BBC series In The Flesh took to their social media streams to tell anyone and everyone (but especially the BBC) why they want this show to return for a third season. Using the hashtag #SaveInTheFlesh, fans tweeted up a storm about their favourite Partially Deceased Syndrome suffering characters.

#SaveInTheFlesh Social Media Sunday is an event that takes place on the last Sunday of every month and the aim, according to Tumblr user redeemed-from-the-earth, is “to demonstrate how much love for the show is out there and make sure the BBC knows it.” The last event was noticed by many of those involved in the production of In The Flesh and the fandom has grown a lot since then, after an active campaign to recruit fans.

This Sunday I sat down to watch as fans from all over the world explained why they fell in love with In The Flesh and why new episodes are so important to them. If I wasn’t already sold by this show and the fandom, this even would have been enough to convert me. Not only has In The Flesh inspired a vibrant and creative community, it’s also had significant emotional impact on a lot of viewers.

The voices varied; some gushed about the show in general like, hp-and-fellowship-of-the-ring who said In The Flesh “was brilliantly written, directed, acted and I just couldn’t bare it to go” and my-wayward-wolf  who said “I think all tv shows could take a page out of the beautiful book that is ‘In The Flesh’”. Others admired the performances like @LavLavSP – “#SaveInTheFlesh Because @lukenewberry is one of the most talented actors of our days and talent must be supported. @bbcthree @BBCAMERICA“. 

Many fans are desperate for more episodes just so they can get some answers. “It would be inhuman to leave us with all those un-answered plotlines” tweeted @iamguida. “What happened to Amy? Why did the Rising occur? What happens to Kieren & Simon?! What happens next!?!” tweeted @ajayco.

On Tumblr there were gifsets, playlists and even some fan art.

sintf2Source: keiren-walker

Most of the discussion focused on In The Flesh‘s depiction of queer relationships and mental illness, which are definitely noteworthy. “The way In The Flesh handles delicate topics — such as suicide, mental illness, and just general otherness that a lot of shows either shy away from completely or never really make the effort to get right — is amazing” said Tumblr user simonroewalker. “#SaveInTheFlesh because it is incredibly important to have queer characters in the media, especially ones who aren’t caricatures” tweeted @SuperSmashHoe.

There was a lot of talk about tears. Fans tears: “#SaveInTheFlesh or you’ll make people cry. do u want that, ah? AH?” – @iamguida. Character tears: “Kieren Walker will cry. Nobody wants Ren crying, right?” – @RoadNotSoDark. And BBC tears, if the fans follow through on any of their joking zombie themed threats:

#SaveInTheFlesh @bbcthree @BBCAMERICA or I will take Blue Oblivion in front of you.” – @IrishRotter

“If we don’t get a third series I’ll down some blue oblivion and go rabid on you. But seriously, I need this show! #SaveInTheFlesh @bbcthree” – @eblovesdb

bbcthree bbcamerica IF YOU DON’T RENEW IN THE FLESH FOR A SERIES THREE I WILL WALK UP TO YOUR OFFICES MYSELF AND EAT YOUR EMPLOYEES BRAINS OUT THIS IS A SERIOUS THREAT S  E  R  I  O  U  S” – rottersofroarton

If the BBC do decide to avoid a zombie attack, they could get something out of it. @catrionabux offered to work for free and @MadAuntieKeith will enthusiastically bake you a cake. Also there were a large number of people that seemed to be very upset and/or excited about Simon’s jumpers.

sitf7Source: ruvillie

“Because a show with an character who manages to look dashing and adorable in terrible grandpa jumpers is something to be cherished.” – firecracker452

“Because we need to see some new Simon’s jumpers #SaveInTheFlesh @bbcthree @BBCAMERICA” – @CornaSIP

@bbcthree #SaveInTheFlesh Because we need to see more of Simon’s grandpa-knitted sweaters” – @Catelyn__Tully

@Catelyn__Tully @bbcthree @bbcamerica His sweaters are the real reason to watch the show… they’re awful and wonderful #Saveintheflesh” – @Kedreeva

@bbcthree #SaveInTheFlesh you have to tell us why does Simon wear those horrible jumpers all the time @EmmettScanlan” – @NoSoyBethOB

#SaveInTheFlesh because I need to see more of Simon’s jumpers!” – @Last_Thoughts

“Give us jumpers and zombies #SaveInTheFlesh” @poodarok

But for me it was the heartfelt personal anecdotes about how In The Flesh has touched individual fans that really got to me. How this show helped them to talk about their mental health issues with family and friends in a way they had never been able to before. How it allowed them to come to terms with their sexuality. How it literally saved their life. I’m not ashamed to say that I got quite emotional reading about the positive effect this show has had on so many lives, even if it was just by introducing them to fellow fans like @katzenpopcorn “I’ve met so many beautiful people and made such amazing friends through #InTheFlesh – I’m so grateful.”

This month’s #SaveInTheFlesh Social Media Sunday made a decent splash. According to a screencap by Tumblr user ronsalon the tag trended and a map posted by redeemed-from-the-earth shows the global reach of the show’s fandom. Actor Emmett J. Scanlan who plays Simon Monroe – yes the jumper guy – joined the fun, tweeting the hashtag. Writer Dominic Mitchell was overwhelmed by the influx of support:

As you can see, fans are pretty determined to get see more In The Flesh and I can’t really blame them, it’s a brilliant show but I have to say that the fandom might be even more amazing. I definitely want them to be my best dead friends forever. For more information about how to watch and help save In The Flesh checkout kedreeva’s Tumblr post.

Author: Undie Girl

Undie Girl (aka Von) has a BA (Hons) Major in Cultural Studies. The title of her honours thesis was “It’s just gay and porn”: Power, Identity and the Fangirl’s Gaze. She’s currently pursuing a Masters of Media Practice at University of Sydney. Von’s a former contributor The Backlot’s column The Shipping News and a current co-host of The Geekiary’s monthly webcast FEELINGS… with The Geekiary.


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About the author

Undie Girl (aka Von) has a BA (Hons) Major in Cultural Studies. The title of her honours thesis was “It’s just gay and porn”: Power, Identity and the Fangirl’s Gaze. She’s currently pursuing a Masters of Media Practice at University of Sydney. Von’s a former contributor The Backlot’s column The Shipping News and a current co-host of The Geekiary’s monthly webcast FEELINGS… with The Geekiary.

Comments

  1. It’s so exciting to see our efforts being written about! We’ll keep tweeting and posting on tumblr and doing everything we can think of because this show is too important to lose! Thank you for taking the time to write about ITF and what it means to us!

  2. I didn’t realize that the campaign to save In The Flesh was quite so zealous – this is amazing news! I discovered the show very recently (tumblr of course) and immediately fell in love with everything about it. Fingers crossed for a third season, because I need more time with these characters!

  3. Thank you for finding the time to writing about this, especially in the middle of all the Comic Con madness ^^ This show has come to mean so much to so many people and it’d really be a waste to watch it go so soon.

  4. In the Flesh has to be one of the best TV shows out there right now…It has amazing LGBT portrayal..i mean, Kieren and Simon being in a relationship is handled just the same as any straight relationship..there are no big coming out stories…i don’t remember the word ‘he’s gay’ being said in all the episodes ive seen…and that’s what TV needs right now….and it also handles a lot of topics in a very delicate fashion

    I also get that the show might not be for everybody…my family doesn’t want it cos it’s too slow and depressing for them…it also doesn’t have cool fight sequences or actors and actresses wearing very revealing clothes and sexualizing themselves, or in-your-face makeout sessions that pop out of no where…we all know there are viewers that tune in every week just for the beefcake, regardless of the story

    However, In the Flesh feels more ‘human’ than a lot of of supernatural tv shows out there…it allows the characters to grieve and express their emotions..it’s a story about ‘real’ people and how they feel repressed in the society we live in

    I’m surprised that a show like In The Flesh requires it’s amazing fandom to fight for it, cos the show deserves to be on the TV screen! Heck give me three episodes a year like S1 if not six like S2, but at least give me something every year cos there are people in this world who need a show like In The Flesh that actually mirrors reality and is not all about the six-packs the actor has or whose going to make out with whom this week.

  5. Hello, I run the redeemed-from-the-earth tumblr with psmith73. We are constantly amazed by how supportive this fandom is, how creative it is, and how it has got behind the #SaveInTheFlesh campaign (of which Social Media Sundays are just one part). We’re so grateful to everyone who took part, and thank you so much for taking the time to write about the show and the fandom.

  6. Thanks for featuring In The Flesh and its fandom in this article! Great read, I really enjoyed seeing the results of the event up in one place! Hopefully we see an article about Season 3 being announced, eh?

  7. Never realised our campaign was having such an effect, but so so so glad it is – I will keep on fighting until a series three is confirmed because this show deserves all of the appreciation it has and much, much more!!

  8. I’m so excited and grateful that the event has been recognized! It’s also great to hear how wonderful the fandom is and is seen as. This show just has a way of uniting everyone. In The Flesh deserves every ounce of recognition and praise it receives.

  9. Thanks for writing about In the Flesh! and also talking about the way it inspired such an awesome fandom! 🙂

  10. In the flesh is the best TV series I have ever seen, and I could not love the performance of the heroins more!

  11. Thanks so much for writing about in the flesh, this article has given me new hope that we can save this amazing show. which is good because i find my self in a downward spiral every time i think i might have to live without Kierens sad bambi eyes. #SAVE IN THE FLESH

  12. thank you for writing about this. this is one of the best shows I have seen in my life and it needs a third season.

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