Documentary review: 'Fanboy Confessional'
With six television episodes examining steampunk, LARPers, zombie fans, furry, real-life superheroes and cosplay, this documentary mini-series doesn't try to present each fandom's inner complications. Instead it focuses on individuals, exploring personal meaning, enjoyment and creativity. Each show interviews unabashed yet functional fans, all of whom obviously love their fandoms and are having a grand old time.
The furry episode talks to fans in Ontario, primarily Kitty (costumer and fursuit-maker of Fun-Fur-All), and Pyat (RPG writer and all-around really nice guy!1), but also Frostscar, Roxicat and footage from furry convention Condition. All together, a wonderful job is done of talking about the fandom, how it appeals to the interviewees and to others.
The adult aspects of the fandom are acknowledged without dominating or embarrassing the discussion. There's a concerted effort made to break the CSI mold and show that the fandom is much more diverse than its stereotypes. (Though with sexual orientation, a 2007 survey indicates that indeed, the majority of furry fans aren't straight.)
Although the people being interviewed all explain how most furries aren't fursuiters, the show largely targets them anyway. This is nothing new; if you watch the other five episodes of the series, there's a similar focus on people who like to dress up and/or make things. Furry is shown to provide a very strong sense of fandom community and social engagement.
Two things I wish I could change would be that (A) the role of artists and artwork in the fandom is severely under-represented; and (B) there isn't really much animosity between anime and furry fandoms, aside from juvenile snarking. Otherwise it does a great job of presenting the basics of and enthusiasm within furry in 22 minutes.
All six episodes of Fanboy Confessional can be watched online at Spacecast — however, it may only work in Canada. If you're worrying how to explain furry to your family, this documentary might be exactly what you need.