Media & Entertainment Podcasts

Fansplaining is a podcast about by, for, and about fandom. It’s hosted by Flourish Klink and Elizabeth Minkel. New episodes come out every two weeks. If you want to call us and leave a message for us to read on air, our number is 1-401-526-FANS!


United States


Fansplaining is a podcast about by, for, and about fandom. It’s hosted by Flourish Klink and Elizabeth Minkel. New episodes come out every two weeks. If you want to call us and leave a message for us to read on air, our number is 1-401-526-FANS!






Episode 206: Bad Fans Revisited

Woobies, poor little meow meows, anti-heroes, and problematic faves: in Episode 206, “Bad Fans Revisited,” Flourish and Elizabeth use a listener voicemail on investment in morally dubious fictional characters to revisit a perennial hot topic in fandom. Specifics discussed include the heightened language of performative tags, blurred lines between fiction and reality, what a dark AU can offer that a dark original story might not, and yes, Lestat de Lioncourt. Plus: Flourish lets you know how you, too, can become a Certified Villain Fucker (there’s a test!).


Episode 205: Fanfluencers

In Episode 205, “Fanfluencers,” Flourish and Elizabeth use a listener voicemail on fan screenings for Red, White & Royal Blue to dive into a broader conversation about influencers, fandom, and the Hollywood strikes. Marketers today know more about fans than they ever have before, and more types of properties are both targeting and featuring fans in their promotional campaigns. How does that sit within the broader entertainment ecosystem—and what does it mean for fan communities?


Episode 204: Happy Anniversary #8

Flourish and Elizabeth celebrate their eighth (!) anniversary with eight (!) guest responses to their traditional query: What changes and trends have you observed in fandom over the past year, on a broad level and/or on a personal level? Topics discussed include accessibility on fandom platforms, rethinking “canon” in an era of franchise oversaturation, finding fandom at scale vs. deeper individual connections, and the effects of the Hollywood strikes on fan conversations today—and the entertainment industry in the future.


Episode 203: Solidarity and SDCC

In Episode 203, “Solidarity and SDCC,” Elizabeth debriefs Flourish on a very unusual San Diego Comic-Con: one held during the parallel WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikes. Building off of Elizabeth’s coverage of the topic for WIRED, they talk about how the strikes affected the convention, how fans responded, and how conversations about labor and the entertainment industry there reflected broader concerns about the future for both creators and fans.


Episode 202: Dylan Marron

In Episode 202, “Dylan Marron,” Elizabeth and Flourish talk to the creator and host of the new (and very fandomy!) podcast, The Redemption of Jar Jar Binks. They discuss the threads of his career that influenced the project—including his early encounters with fandom as part of the Welcome to Night Vale cast and his viral video series on racism in film, Every Single Word—and talk through the many layers of Jar Jar, which details what happened when some Star Wars fans on the early internet declared war on Jar Jar Binks—and destroyed the life of the man who played him.


Episode 201: Artificial Fandom Intelligence 2: Rise of the Grifters

Following closely on the heels of last December’s “Artificial Fandom Intelligence” episode, Elizabeth and Flourish bring you the extremely depressing sequel, “Artificial Fandom Intelligence 2: Rise of the Grifters.” Spurred by recent comments from a Silicon Valley VC about the potential “market” for AI-fueled chatbots amongst fanfiction fans, they take a deep dive into the state of fandom and AI in recent months. Spoiler: it’s bleak. They also read to a trio of letters responding to the “Reflecting Reality?” episode, on placelessness in fic, and the centering of U.S. experiences in stories written by and for people in other parts of the world.


Episode 200: Maia Kobabe

For their 200th!!!! episode, Elizabeth and Flourish are joined by artist, author, and longtime Fansplaining collaborator (and fan!) Maia Kobabe to celebrate the occasion. Topics discussed include the fandom elements of eir graphic memoir, Gender Queer, the pleasure of creating fanart while working as a professional artist, eir experiences in K-pop fandom, and the secret to making friends, whether fellow fans or a pair of podcast hosts (spoiler: make art for them!) (like the cover of this episode—thank you, Maia!).


Episode 199: Reflecting Reality?

In Episode 199, “Reflecting Reality?” Flourish and Elizabeth tackle a trio of listener questions on the ways fanfiction does—and doesn’t—mirror our own lives. Topics discussed include changes in how queerness has been depicted over the past few decades, whether longer-running fandoms tend to produce more generic modern AUs, and the ways English as a global language of fandom shapes fic setting choices—and creates a sense of placelessness, no matter where an author lives.


Episode 198: Strikesplaining

In Episode 198, “Strikesplaining,” Elizabeth and Flourish are joined by screenwriter, executive producer, and longtime friend of the podcast Javier Grillo-Marxuach to talk about the Writers Guild of America strike. Javi breaks down how television writing, production, and compensation have changed drastically in his three decades in the industry, and how this action is connected to broader labor struggles facing workers today. They also talk about the specific ways this strike touches fandom, including how streamers’ exploitative practices affect everyone from the people making the shows to the people who want to watch them.


Episode 197: Stitch

In Episode 197, Flourish and Elizabeth welcome back Stitch, the media critic and fandom journalist who was one of their original “Race and Fandom” guests way back in 2016! Stitch discusses their career trajectory from omnivorous fan to independent blogger to writing the “Fan Service” column for Teen Vogue, where they’ve tackled everything from escapism to boys’ love fic to racism—and especially anti-Blackness—in fandom. They also talk about the specific dangers they and other Black commentators face in being vocal about these topics—and how the threats they’ve received will likely make their work unsustainable in the long term.


Episode 196: Ask Fansplaining Anything: Part 16

In yet another (the sixteenth!) installment of “Ask Fansplaining Anything,” Flourish and Elizabeth discuss a fresh batch of listener questions and comments. Topics include portmanteau ship names, permissive fanart attitudes amongst video game developers, fic self-promotion etiquette, and a pair of letters about big name fans, and what exactly that term means in fandom right now.


Episode 195: Fandom Life Cycles

In Episode 195, “Fandom Life Cycles,” Elizabeth and Flourish respond to a voicemail from listener Gin/myrmidryad about their appreciation of a “closed canon”—in this case, a show ending—when it comes to fanwork creation. Some fans love this relatively stable ground; others complain that with no new material on the horizon, a fandom is “dead” or close to it. They also read a response to the previous episode on whump, and talk about idfic more broadly.


Episode 194: The Pain Fandom

In Episode 194, “The Pain Fandom,” Flourish and Elizabeth are joined by journalist Maria Temming to discuss her recent article on whump, hurt/comfort, and fandom communities centered around fictional characters in pain. Topics discussed include the history of whump and its place in modern fandom, the overlap (and divergence) between broader fandom interest in h/c and self-declared whumpers, and why the lack of “comfort” in much of our violent media means some see whump as an inherently anti-violent subgenre.


Episode 193: Ask Me About My Fanart

In Episode 193, “As Me About My Fanart,” Flourish and Elizabeth talk to longtime fanartist Fox Estacado about the business and the pleasure of fanart. Topics discussed include changes she’s observed in the practice over time, the way platforms like Etsy handle legal issues, meeting fellow fans in artists’ alleys at cons, and her mixed feelings about monetization versus the fandom gift economy.


Episode 192: Death, Mourning, and Fandom

In Episode 192, “Death, Mourning, and Fandom,” Elizabeth and Flourish talk about the complicated dynamics around death within fandom, where our connections to each other can be deep but transient. Jumping off an article Elizabeth recently wrote for WIRED on the AO3’s Fannish Next-of-Kin feature—which lets you leave your fanworks to a fellow fan if you die—they talk about the failings of other digital death policies, disconnects between peoples’ fandom personas and regular lives, the differences between losing a fandom friend and a favorite fanwork creator, and how rarely the subject of death is talked about—in fandom or more broadly.


Episode 191: Femstats February

In Episode 191, “Femstats February,” Flourish and Elizabeth welcome back Destination Toast—the Steve Martin of Fansplaining—to talk through their massive stats analysis comparing the F/F, M/F, and M/M categories on the AO3. Length, rating, frequency of certain tags and warnings: What results matched their expectations, and what results were surprising? And what do the differences between them suggest about fandom? (Prepare yourself: armchair theorizing and hot takes abound!!)


Episode 190: Ask Fansplaining Anything: Part 15

In the latest (fifteenth!) installment of “Ask Fansplaining Anything,” Flourish and Elizabeth tackle a new collection of listener letters. Topics discussed include defining “canon” in RPF fandoms, the sad fate of fandoms on Twitter, and what to do about non-fandom friends who judge your fannish activities. Plus: a query about the hypothetical legality of physically printed fanfiction in libraries, with an answer from *actual lawyer* and copyright expert Earlgreytea68.


Episode 189: “No Cultural Impact”

In Episode 189, “No Cultural Impact,” Flourish and Elizabeth look at the entertainment industry’s “fan-first” strategy for franchise-building, and the already-massive box-office success of Avatar 2: The Way of Water, part of a property that, as people continue to say on social media, no one remembers or cares about. Are fan activities, memes, or online chatter necessarily good indicators of franchise success? And when Hollywood privileges a certain idea of “fandom” in their strategic plans, does that actually serve fans—or viewers in general?


Episode 188: The Year in Fandom 2022

Continuing an end-of-year tradition, Flourish and Elizabeth review five big fandom-related trends they followed in 2022. Topics discussed include clashing norms between fans on different platforms, the increasing precariousness of the streaming space, brands doubling down on fandom—and anti-fandom—in high-profile celebrity stories, and yes, of course, the collapse of Twitter. Plus: they read a letter from an artist in response to the previous episode on AI and fanworks.


Episode 187: Artificial Fandom Intelligence

In Episode 187, “Artificial Fandom Intelligence,” Elizabeth and Flourish respond to a listener's letter about AI tools like ChatGPT and Lensa, which are currently sparking anxiety in fandom and across the broader web. What are the realities of this technology, now and in the coming months and years? Are we looking at a future where any fan can plug in a few terms and receive a halfway-decent computer-generated piece of fanfic or fanart?