I've put off watching it because I hate this kind of show, and because I'm dreading how I'll be portrayed and frankly, how the contestants will be portrayed. Although the producers that I worked with were very professional and doing the best they could, the story editors are there to create drama. And I hate drama. I may write it, but in my life I like things peaceful.
But I watched it, finally. It's been covered and reviewed, elsewhere, so I won't do that. I'll only add my personal reactions:
1. I know they only did five conventions for six episodes, and I can tell from the montage shots. I've already seen myself twice.
2. I don't believe the contestants' lines are scripted, but I do think these interviewees either planned ahead what they were going to say, or had to repeat their speeches so many times that it comes off sounding fake.
3. I knew Yaya Han made a business out of her cosplay, but I had no idea it paid her mortgage. I have to really wonder, now, why they asked her & Riki & Monika to be one of the group competitors when Yaya was a judge at the other events--and especially after she made a statement about not competing anymore. That really does seem--I don't know if unfair is the right word, but certainly suspicious.
4. I'm really glad I wasn't asked to be one of the competitors on this show. For all their talk about it being fun, only the dude, Jesse, seems to be having a good time. I wonder how much advance notice they had about being invited to the show. (Judging by the amount of advance notice *I* had, not much!). These girls are not doing anything to buck the stereotypes of cosplayers being insecure, needy, and backstabbing.
5. Of course, I can stand back and be detatched from it because it's not my chosen vocation. I wonder if they'll include that bit of my interview. I shall be sorely disappointed if they cut the part where I mention my book deal.
6. I don't think any of these people is really as bitchy or vapid or stupid as the editors make them appear. The producers were giving us, the judges, questions to put the contestants on the spot, which I thought was supremely tacky.
7. I'm relieved to know that even Yaya is throwing things together at the last minute. But she's got a helluva lot of nerve making snide remarks about Victoria not being prepared. The little forced huggy bits on the con floor are annoying. I am oh-so-glad they didn't make me do that.
8. I guess it's nice that they're trying to voice the message that "personifying the character is more important than having the perfect body type" but Becky just comes off sounding really insecure.
9. One thing you don't get from watching this is how the judges have to make decisions based on the category divisions. So sometimes you have, say, seven great costumes in one category, and maybe three mediocre ones in another category, but because of the way it breaks down, you are forced to choose from among the mediocre costumes and some better work goes unacknowledged. But it's that way in every kind of competition. As a martial artist, when I've gone to major events, I know ahead of time that there are certain categories that will be more difficult to win, because of the number of competitors and the judges' biases. If you know the game ahead of time, you can sometimes stack the deck. I don't think any of the competitors here had that advantage.