When I started watching New Amsterdam, it was because I was worn out from the medical system in New York. As a person with a chronic illness, I have spent way too much time in hospitals, subject to pokes and prods; doctors who were kind and doctors who were mean. Nurses who kept me alive and also ones that broke my spirit.
And I wanted hope.
I’d heard from a lot of people that New Amsterdam was that show. So I turned it on and watched.
One of the best things about television is the way that shows portray relationships. It doesn’t matter what the relationship is – it is what draws the viewer in and keeps them invested. It doesn’t have to be a romantic relationship, it can be a friendship or a familial relationship. The list goes on and on.
But the reality is that relationships are important in real life and on the screen. And when it comes to social media one of the most important relationships is the “ship.”
A ship is defined as, “the desire by followers of a fandom for two or more people, either real-life people or fictional characters (in film, literature, television series, etc.) to be in a romantic or sexual relationship.”
It’s a valid thing to say that sometimes a fandom’s desire for a ship can become toxic. But when it comes to New Amsterdam, it has never been toxic. It isn’t toxic. Instead it’s been just about seeing two actors with unbelievable chemistry on screen. It’s been about performers who have been able to convey to people that they are not alone and that no matter how broken you feel, no matter how hard you push someone away to guard yourself, no matter how alone you feel – there is someone out there that has never given up hope for you.
Sharpwin’s relationship isn’t perfect. It’s not even close, because no relationship is or can be. But it’s an escape. No one has ever said that New Amsterdam is only about romance – it’s the furthest thing from it. And in reality, until Tyler Labine’s live, I had never even thought about it that way. What I had thought was that New Amsterdam offered me a rounded out show. It wasn’t just about what happened in the hospital, it was also about what happened outside.
It was about people living their lives while saving others. And yes, it was about the fact that there was a light at the end of the tunnel for two deeply damaged people who were looking to piece together their lives.
sharpwin literally just went canon what the fuck else did you think we’d talk about pic.twitter.com/FXKV3vMv2Q— mar (@helcnsharpe) August 18, 2021
“I am a fan of the idea of Sharpwin. I am getting a little bit sick of the fact that this show is only known for the whole Sharpwin thing. Everyone seems to only want to talk about Sharpwin and I didn’t think I was on that kinda show. If I’m being honest, I didn’t think I was on the show that had the big will they won’t they in the center of it. Turns out I am and I am a sucker for that stuff too, but sometimes when you’re on a show like this, a big ensemble and then the only thing that anyone ever talks about is Sharpwin it makes you feel a little bit resentful. Just a little bit. You’re kinda like man, what about us. But I get it, I totally get it. Like I said I am a voracious TV viewer myself and I get it, it sucks you in. I’m just being honest. Just being honest.” he said in the live.
And if we’re being honest, if he had stopped there – there was a chance for redemption. It wasn’t great, but there was a chance. But here’s the thing – Labine doubled down and insulted the fandom. He also let us all know that he doesn’t know how to use social media, because he doesn’t realize that people talk about things beyond Sharpwin.
But l have to wonder if he understands what he said comes across as petty jealousy? I have to wonder if he realizes that what he said comes across as a slap in the face to a fandom that loves the show wholeheartedly.
“I don’t have a problem with Sharpwin. This fandom is being toxic. Jessh. Watch the video. I bet you haven’t even hear what I actually said in the first place. Just piling on. I was simply stating that the show has a lot of depth beyond a romance.” Tyler Labine wrote in a comment after the fandom exploded over his Instagram live.
Ummm… talk about doubling down on bullshit. But one also has to wonder if he realizes that he just insulted the millions of people that watch this show? And he also dismissed the many people who are online talking about the importance of Iggy’s storyline, how much it has touched them, or how much they appreciate his relationship with Martin – with its ups and downs (and honestly, that’s been much more of a rollercoaster than Sharpwin has, remember when Iggy adopted a kid without telling Martin?)
And he should also be understanding the world we live in. There is a pandemic. Life is fucking depressing. So are we supposed to talk about all the depressing stuff all the time? Should we be online talking about how Iggy has a lot of issues? Should we be online talking about how Reynolds has no true storyline? Should we be online talking about how Bloom really needs to be seeing a therapist because she’s definitely not worked through her issues?
We do talk about it. As a fandom, everyone examines all of the moments. Personally, I spent most of last season talking about Iggy and his storyline and how it helped me come to terms with my own eating issues. But, it seems that what Tyler wants is for the mainstream media to pick up more about the other characters and give them equal attention all the time.
Ships are the anchor of any show. It is what it is, and we don’t make the rules. Ships are what draw people in and keep them invested in the show. We are all looking for connections. But it doesn’t mean that we’re neglecting other characters.
And yet, for Tyler it seems that isn’t okay. Which, if we’re being honest, he needs to realize that ships help bring that sweet syndication money, so he should be thanking Sharpwin for giving the fans something to hold onto, something that makes them watch the show repeatedly.
Instead, he’s taking a stance that makes PR teams cringe. Don’t read the comments. Don’t reply to the negative comments.
He’s right. People should be able to express their love and dislike for a ship. But who shouldn’t? Anyone involved with the show. He doesn’t need to be replying to comments, particularly comments that start with attacking a character, not even the ship. I’d imagine that he’s looking for a lifeline, someone to agree with him, since basically a large portion of the fandom told him off.
He even went on to like tweets that supported his position. And he chose to remain silent when it came to the things that insulted his cast members.
But hey, again, he made sure to defend people that took his position.
this man is never coming back from letting someone call helen a “know it all bitch” in the comments without deleting/replying. that’s not even about #sharpwin anymore and it’s not an opinion that anyone HAS to platform. insane. pic.twitter.com/YvO8TyReqU— sharpwin angst agenda (@3quifinal) August 18, 2021
Unfortunately, the way that he acted, the things that he said, the way he chose to insult the fandom, his comments, have personally tainted my love for his character. I don’t know if I will ever be able to look at Iggy the same way.
I certainly won’t look at Tyler the same way.
Tyler Labine is a human being and entitled to his opinion. However, he doesn’t get to insult a fandom that is devoted to New Amsterdam and still have us follow and celebrate his every word, or his character’s.
He owes the fandom an apology. Maybe then we can go back to investing in Iggy.