Not any specific incident or anything, no. Just the fact that they concoct some pretty random romances and “love triangles” that don’t seem to have much actual basis in canon, just for the sake of whipping fans into a frenzy and getting people into “camps” that they’ll defend (and that will keep people talking about the show, which presumably leads to more viewers).
Like if you look at Stiles / Lydia / Malia as a love triangle, Malia is somebody Stiles really only just met, despite their sort of shared history from earlier in the season. Her motives are suspect and she’s recently been a coyote, he’s losing his mind and actively fighting a possessing spirit that’s trying to destroy his entire world, but they find time for sex or makeouts or whatever that was supposed to be and suddenly she’s a love interest? Then you look at the Lydia side of that triangle, and signs point to LYDIA NOT EVEN BEING AWARE SHE’S PART OF A LOVE TRIANGLE. She hasn’t been depicted as having any kind of romantic potential with Stiles since season 1 really (when we got to see some great character growth with him seeming to recognize that she’s just not into him) and lately a lot of us have been excited to see them apparently developing a real friendship and him putting his childish infatuation down. But on the marketing side they’re playing this like Malia and Lydia are somehow in competition for Stiles’ affections when one of them is oblivious to the entire situation, the other one is who knows what, and Stiles is no longer even Stiles. Like you literally cannot be involved in a love triangle when you have functionally ceased to exist and a dark spirit is controlling your body okay MTV?
I call it a cynical ploy because to me it’s a lot like the Team Jacob vs Team Edward thing. I’m not a Twilight fan and never have been so I might be off base with this, but to me that always seemed entirely manufactured and from the outside it looked like the fans were just being played. It seems like the people reading those books probably had favorite characters or a preferred romance that they wanted to see “win” and get what they want in the story. That’s normal. The fact that it was marketed as people being on “Team Edward” and then setting them in opposition to “Team Jacob” means that each camp not only develops a rivalry, but also tries to outdo each other in terms of fervor, they get more engaged with the material to defend their “team” and in so doing they engage more of their friends. The entire thing always struck me as a marketing ploy, that they essentially constructed a shipping wars narrative to help them sell their product, get into magazines, stay in the public consciousness, get people to buy “Team”-specific merchandising, etc etc etc. (I just googled it wondering if there was any info out there on when the “Team” thing started and if it was in fact marketing, and discovered that it absolutely was.) And you see this carried forward by studios who recognize that it’s a winning thing and also just lazy-ass entertainment journalists, like when you see people asking the Hunger Games cast whether they’re “Team Peeta or Team Gale.” (Most of them seem to like to answer that they’re “Team Katniss” because they actually understand their characters and material, blessings be upon them.) It’s a cheap way to get a headline, basically, and it’s an easy and oversimplified narrative to offer, so media outlets just keep it up.
So I see this and Teen Wolf’s use of love triangles at all as an attempt to create that same sort of marketing narrative that was so successful for Summit when they turned Twilight into the phenomenon that it was. I think in this specific case it’s also a way of rejecting the very popular fan narrative of Stiles and Derek as potential love interests, and we see that with the Remote Control blog and their just complete focus on the “Malia vs Lydia” narrative and “summing up” the results of that poll in a way that completely ignores the ACTUAL results of that poll. So that to me is pretty clear evidence that it’s a conscious strategy they’re employing and that blog post is the result of them staying on-message. They’ve decided that their preferred audience — probably teens and pre-teens and girls mostly? idek — like this sort of engagement and they feel like it’s a winning way to go. I think that’s another symptom of their constant underestimation of their audience, personally, and I think the results of that poll (even with it being on Facebook, which as some folks pointed out it is smart to market on FB differently than you would on tumbr) are just another indication that the younger audience they keep pandering to are not the idiots they seem to take them for. (And I’m not saying here that if you ship Stiles x Malia or Stiles x Lydia that you’re an idiot, I’m saying that the way they’re selling it is manipulative as fuck and everybody’s seeing right through it.)
This is some seriously fucking excellent commentary.