As cosplayer we live in a world where the devil is in the details and you live or die by the whims of a cruel god, aka the sewing machine. All for the purpose of bringing a favorite character to life so that we can share our love with other fans.
For a long time, cosplayers felt like they were the lost fans. We didn’t get hit TV shows written about us like comic book collectors or even joked about like gamers and LARPers. Cosplayers were always the fans that were to be seen but never heard.
So you can imagine our excitement when we got our first glimpse of Syfy’s newest series ‘Heroes of Cosplay’. It was what we had all been waiting for. A chance for the world to better understand why we do what we do.
But man did we get more than we bargained for. Immediately the show came off like a cross between ‘Project Runway’ and ‘
Toddlers in Tiara’ with the cast bitching and witching as they tried to finish cosplays on time for their contest debuts.
So why don’t you sit back and try to relax as I delve into the first ever episode of ‘Heroes of Coplay’ (yay me).
Basic Plot of Episode
So the show starts off by trying to introduce cosplay, they choose to describe it as the ‘artistic, sexy and cut throat’. What the hell? Is the thing I have been doing for the past 8 years the same ‘cosplay’ as what they are describing? To me and everyone I know the three words to describe cosplay would be ‘artistic, fun and expensive’ (at least SyFy got ONE word right).
Anyway so after this baffling opening we are introduced to the location of the first competition (and episode: Wizard World Portland. Now I am just going to put it out there, this con looks awesome.
So the first ‘Hero’ we meet is Victoria (@ScruffyRebel) and right away she puts a sour taste in my mouth by telling her boyfriend, Jinyo, “Are you really just trying to screw with me right now?”. Anyway, Victoria is a cosplay perfectionist who has given herself little time to create Lulu from ‘Final Fantasy X’ which is a VERY detailed costume.
Next up we meet Yaya Han (@YayaHan), who considers herself to be the ‘Ambassador of Cosplay’ and therefore feels like she has an obligation to always created bigger and better costumes. Unlike the rest of the cast she will NOT be competing but instead she will be judging while cosplaying as Fiora from ‘League of Legends’.
The next competitor, or should I say competitors, are Holly (@HollyConrad) and Jessica (@JessicaMerizan) who make up ‘CrabCat Industries’. These two ladies are well known in the cosplay community for their scrappy natures as well as their amazing work in fabrication (mainly Mass Effect). The comrades have decided to create their ‘Dungeons and Dragons’ characters complete with hand crafted horns for Jessica’s Tiefling.
We then meet Jesse (@MidnightArmor) the lone male on the show (the producer decided that male cosplays are boring compared to female ones – sexist much?) who has dreams of making it big in the prop making business and leaving his 9 to 5 job. For the contest Jesse has decided to make a large Vault Dweller armor from ‘Fallout 3’ complete with a gatling gun prop.
The last cosplayer introduced is Becky, who comes off as sweet but spends most of the episode whining about her non-existent weight issue while also showing off her. Becky ends up deciding to cosplay as Merida because “she has a little bit of a thin waist but she’s got a little bit of a ba donk a donk”. Yes that is her ONLY reason. She says nothing about personality or that she likes the movie just that she has a similar figure.
Once introduced the female cast members (sans Yaya) get together to go bowling and in the most scripted moment of Television ever they begin to panic over knowing that Yaya is a judge. This leads into the rest of the episodes drama which includes a broken sewing machine (leading to Victoria’s cosplay being unfinished), a head stuck in a cast and more weight whining from Becky
Victoria never DOES finish her costume. HOWEVER you can find pics of her completed outfit online and truthfully I think the cosplay is too light a gray for Lulu.
There was a lot of drama surrounding Yaya’s Fiora cosplay (which does look great) due to the fact that it had actually been made BEFORE this convention thus revealing a major error in the shows ‘story’ – the cosplays are NOT made for the cons they say they are.
Jessica and Holly actually do quite well in the contest, despite technical issues both on and off stage, and leave the contest as the ‘Best Team’.
Jesse sadly leaves the contest empty handed. Which I am actually not that surprised about because he DID simply edit football armor to make the chest piece.
Becky as Merida receives an honorable mention which, while I don’t believe her costume deserved it, it does sort of push forward the ‘be confident in yourself’ idea.
First place actually went to a Galactus cosplayer.
I would give the show 2.5 out of 5. It is okay to watch but it really doesn’t express what cosplay is about – at least for most people. The scripted parts are INCREDIBLY obvious, half the cast whines about petty things, and the costumes themselves are put on the back burner.
The episode did have ONE really adorable part though when Becky runs into a little girl dressed as Belle who gets ridiculously excited after seeing ‘Merida’. This is honestly one of the best parts of cosplay, which I have experienced when I felt a tug on my Stocking gown only to turn around to see a wide eyed girl asking if I was a ‘Princess’. It’s pretty great.
To be honest I have no intention on continuing to watch the show. I guess all of the online reviews were right – the show really is an epic embarrassment for our community.