What the efff happened to The Collective?

Dear Collectors,

Since March 2020, we, like so many others, have struggled during the COVID-19 pandemic. Professionally, personally, emotionally, creatively…the struggle has been real. So real, in fact, that it superseded our attention to this blog, this creative space that we have nurtured for nearly ten years.

One day not so long ago, we looked at each other and asked, “When was the last time we wrote or posted anything?” Neither of us could remember; it was as though the “real” world had crept in like the incoming tide, invading our creative space, until all the time we had for the Collective had been washed away and replaced by other commitments—jobs, family, friends, and hell, let’s be honest: bad television.

Somewhere between March 2020 and now, we became so burned out, so exhausted by the “real” world, that instead of sitting down and writing about a movie or a book, we binge-watched every episode of “Forensic Files” instead (after that, “Are You The One?” or “Ink Master” or “The Amazing Race” or any number of pop culture potato chips that are addicting and maybe not the best source of blog content). This website that had been such a huge part of our lives felt more like a chore than fun, and it was easy to prioritise other responsibilities when you didn’t really want to do it anyway.

So, just like that, in mid-2021, we saw how small the Collective had become in our lives, and we wondered, “What the efff happened to us?”

Where do we efffing start?

When we began this blog back in 2013, we were different people and—it seems shallow to admit it now—we started this site because we wanted to get into San Diego Comic Con, and press badges seemed like the surest way to get there. But the world has changed so much in the past eight years, and so have we. We have different jobs, more life experiences, and even more fandoms (bet y’all didn’t think that was possible!). With change must come evolution, and since one co-owner left and another stepped in, the Collective has not been able to be the same as it once was, no matter how hard we tried to make it so. We feel that it is time, and appropriate given the state of the world, to be reborn.

Instead of giving up and moving on, we came together and decided that we needed to be new and renew our love for this website. New focus. New purpose. New identity.

So, we would formally like to introduce to the world What the efff by the Collective. Same domain name, same social media handles, but a new core set of values behind everything we write. We are embracing our tagline of “Fangirling | Feelings | Feminism” (get it? the efffs) and making that the heart of everything we write. Don’t worry; we’re still going to write about television and movies and all things nerdy, but now we’re really going to put our feminist fangirl souls into it and make content that is (hopefully) unique to us.

So who the efff are we?

Along with a new blog identity and purpose, we decided to shed a part of our old selves. We won’t be using our previous pseudonyms of The Collectress and The Collected Mutineer any longer—we haven’t been those people for a while, and it’s time to not only accept that fact but go boldly toward the future. The Collectress is K, and The Collected Mutineer is Nina—it’s nice to meet you (again)!

Our online personas might have changed, but we still love a lot of the same things that drove our little corner of the internet for so many years. When we enjoy a show, we want to share it with you. When the patriarchy reflected in a movie makes us upset, we want to look at the reasons why. And when we just feel like squeeing over our favorite ship, we know there are readers out there who feel the same way.

What the efff are we doing?

At this point, you’re probably wondering what to expect from “What the efff”…especially if you’ve been a long-time reader or Twitter follower. Here’s a brief rundown of what we’re hoping to bring you.

  • Fandom Friday: This new regular feature encompasses everything we adore about being fangirls. From fanfic recommendations to interviews with fanart creators to carefully deconstructed looks at our favorite ships, this weekly post is for fangirls (and bois) everywhere.
  • This is not a review: As it turns out, we quite like writing reviews…but not like other people. We don’t care about what the critics have to say, especially when they are white men who don’t want to see diversity in media. These posts will be a look at television, film, and literature through our efffing eyes (fangirling, feelings, and yes, feminism).
  • Web Oddity: There’s a lot of weird (read: cool) stuff on the internet and social media, and we live for it. We dig analyses of the sea shanty TikTok phenomenon. We enjoy learning about the dark academia aesthetic movement. And we want to tell you all about it.
  • Fake it til you make it: Confession time! We’re cosplayers who still don’t really know what we’re doing after more than five years of dressing up. Or rather, we’ve learned how to convincinginly fake it til we make it. So we’re upping our cosplay tutorial post count to share our “secrets” with you all.
  • You may also see random academically-minded content. After all, we both have more colleges degrees than we know what to do with, and every now and then we like to use our educations for close readings, editorials, and whatever else we feel like writing.

We’re so grateful for everyone who has stuck with us for so long, especially when we ourselves had lost our creative way. We’re excited to be back in the game, and can’t wait to keep on on efffing around with you. Dear reader: we thank you.

We’re here to efff around and find out,

K and Nina