The Teriah Fandom Talks About Their Pairing, Plane Banners and More! Learn More Here >>>
Photo Credit: CBS
As long as there have been television dramas there have been ‘shippers’, passionate fans of a specific romantic pairing. Shippers are known for their dedication to their ‘ship’ and for some, that dedication has spanned decades. Soap opera couple ‘shippers’ are especially passionate. Even Princess Diana herself famously sent a bottle of champagne to the General Hospital set to congratulate Genie Francis and Tony Geary when their characters, Luke and Laura, got married on General Hospital in 1981, only months after her real-life fairytale wedding to Prince Charles. It could be argued that while neither couple are still together, Luke and Laura remain much more popular.
One of the newer couple fandoms to come out of a soap opera is the Teriah fandom. Teriah is Tessa (Cait Fairbanks) and Mariah (Camryn Grimes) from The Young and the Restless and even though the duo didn’t even meet onscreen until 2017, they already have a deeply passionate fanbase behind them. Few soap couples achieve success like Luke and Laura had but Teriah is one of those few. Their fans span the globe, even in places where The Young and The Restless doesn’t air. Their fans are so devoted they keep up through streaming and clips posted to YouTube if the show is not available to them on TV. Last month many members of that fanbase came together to pay to fly a banner supporting their couple over the studio where The Young and the Restless films. We recently got to sit down with Teriah fans, Andrea, Emma and Karen, and the conversation we had with them about their fandom and what their couple means to them was both enlightening and moving.
Karen, who lives in Canada, shared with us, “We’re a worldwide fandom nation, we truly are, and the girls know that too.”
Emma lives in Ireland, and she told us how they all came together. It started with Emma helping another fan prepare for a Teriah event they were both going to be attending and that led to Emma starting a group chat with other Teriah fans, “It feels like we’ve known each other all our lives.” Emma told us, “It was an instant connection. It was amazing.”
For all of them, their shared interest in Teriah has led to real-life friendships that have spread beyond just that common interest, “We're personally involved with each other now. It's not just the chat, it's personal real-life stuff that we talk to each other about, not just Teriah. We have become, in my eyes anyway, like a family unit, we’ve become that close.”
Andrea is from England, and she shared with us about the diversity of their group, “We’re a huge range of different people, different sexualities as well because we're all different. All different ages and different things. And we're all finding out stuff too because if I don't know something, I go and ask them, that's how you learn.”
Karen has watched The Young and the Restless since the beginning, 50 years ago, “I started watching when I was just a young kid at my mother's knee, since the very first day, I remember that very first episode. During the first year of the pandemic, they actually aired that original episode. I remembered every scene. It means a great deal to me with them celebrating 50 years.”
Andrea started watching in 1997 on a visit to America which was right around when Camryn Grimes joined the show as Cassie Newman. Emma discovered Teriah online in 2017, “It was before they even had their first kiss, and I just became engrossed in their storyline.”
The plane banner was originally proposed by another member of their group, Gloria, who goes by Glo online. Emma told us that the fandom wanted to do something, “in support of Cait and Camryn and send a message to CBS as well about showing them equality on the show.” Glo suggested the banner, and everyone was immediately on board with the idea. Glo organized everything, from finding the company to handling the fundraising for it and dealing with all of the scheduling.
On November 30th, the plane flew a banner that read ‘Equality Matters We 💖 U Cam & Cait #Teriah’ over the CBS studios. It had been planned for that date because Cait had told a fan involved that they would both be filming that day. Unfortunately, Cait was not able to see the plane in person because she was ill but Camryn, who was not scheduled to film that day because Cait was out, came into the studio to see it firsthand. The showrunners sent a cameraman to record it for Cait who posted about it on her Instagram and thanked the fans who had put it together for them. Camryn recorded a personal thank you for them as well.
Photo Credit: Michael Maloney
The fanbase is working on another top-secret project that they hope will show their continued support for their favorite pairing as well as send their message to the showrunners that they want more.
The Teriah wedding earlier this year was a love letter to their fans but the follow-up has left a lot to be desired. Unlike so many other newlywed soap couples, there were no honeymoon scenes and no real focus on their lives as a couple at home. The fanbase was dismayed when a line in which Tess refers to Mariah as her wife was cut out of the US airing of the soap but appeared in the Canadian airing and on the streaming version on Paramount+.
Karen told us, “As much as we love CBS for having a same-sex couple, because it's the first one that show's ever done, besides them doing that, since May when the wedding happened, there hasn't been much of them on screen. When they did the Kyle and Summer vow renewal, they showed Kyle and Summer on honeymoon. They didn't show Teriah on honeymoon. The first part of our banner was 'equality matters', that’s kind of the equality that we're referring to. The screen time and how they're portrayed on screen.”
Karen further shared with us about having the opportunity to speak to Camryn via a fan event, “One of the things that I did tell her was I wouldn't have come out, as bi, if it hadn't been for that storyline. They've really affected people's lives and living in truth and authenticity is a big thing. She (Camryn Grimes) came out during that storyline too, that's huge. And the support that the LGBTQ plus community has thrown behind them is just, is massive.”
Andrea added, “It isn’t just in America, it’s everywhere. People from all over the world are just seeing little, tiny snippets of them on YouTube and places where they can find them, and those few seconds mean a lot to a lot of people. But if you're going to do them, then you've got to do it properly. You can't just have them on sometimes and then give us a lovely wedding, which we've waited five years for, and then they just disappear again.”
Their frustrations are not a bash on CBS Karen told us, “We don’t want to come across as bashing CBS, because that's not what we're here to do. We're just asking for, equal representation. They're not depicted the same way the straight couples are depicted.”
Emma added her concerns as well, “We’ve had scenes where Tessa and Mariah are watching Noah make out with his girlfriend and it seems like they’re not even able to touch onscreen.”
“They made such a big deal them always mentioning adoption and starting a family and ever since the wedding everything has been happening off-screen, we've seen none of it. When Tessa and Mariah are onscreen and they say, ‘we had to meet the adoption lawyer’, or ‘we had to file paperwork’, or we're hearing it secondhand from other characters, but we've seen none of it on screen. And then during the Thanksgiving episode, we got a line that said, ‘the adoption fell through. It just wasn't meant to be this time.’ And they were very upset and that's all we got. It hadn't really been addressed properly at all.”
“It’s been a long time since they’ve actually had just private scenes with the two of them. They're always surrounded by other characters and other people.”
Karen added, “We hadn’t seen their apartment after the wedding and then all of a sudden Sharon has a line about them moving out of the apartment and into the tack house and no one knows where that even came from.”
The Teriah fanbase is dedicated to their pairing. They have thousands of fan fic stories that fans, including Andrea, have written and countless fan-made YouTube tribute videos. They make and share Teriah-themed merchandise like t-shirts and stickers to raise money for the Trevor Project. Some fans, like Emma, even have Teriah tattoos to show love for the pairing that means so much to them. Emma shared with us, a beautiful piece of Teriah art she commissioned from the artist eva.
We concluded our chat by asking Andrea and Emma to also share what Teriah means to them and here is what they each told us:
Andrea said, “Everything really. I'm bi as well, but I've been married to my husband for the last 34 years. I just like the fact that I have met all these lovely people through them. So that's given me the link. And they all, you know, support me in what I do, which is the fan fiction.”
Emma told us, “When I found Teriah, I think queer representation in TV was at a very, very low point and I think I was at a point where I had become disillusioned with watching shows had queer rep because I was afraid it'd be taken away from me. I’m a lesbian and I was tired of seeing people like me being killed on the screen over and over and over again. I just couldn't do it. It was just that random day on Twitter that I came across Teriah, and I just felt something, and I gravitated towards them. It was such an experience like that I had never felt before in any other fandom. And now I'm at a stage where I'm like, ‘these people actually care about me, and they care about my opinions on things’. And we talk to each other about things. And I wouldn't have found these people if it hadn’t been for Camryn and Cait and I'm at such a stage in my life now where I have so many friends that I'm so grateful for.”
Soap operas and their characters have always had a way of touching fans in ways that other shows do not. Perhaps it is their longevity, or the sheer number of episodes they produce every year but no matter the reason, fans feel a special kinship to their favorite soap characters and pairings. The Teriah pairing has touched fans in a way few pairings have, and the showrunners at The Young and the Restless would be wise to listen to this fandom and expand on the beautiful pairing they have created and feature them more.
Teriah were the focus of The Young and the Restless Christmas episode. It was fun and emotional and hopefully a good sign for the future of the Teriah journey and the focus the show will give them going forward.
Thank you, Andrea, Emma, and Karen, for talking to us and sharing your incredible insight into the passionate devotion Teriah inspires in their fans. Your love for them is infectious and we are definitely fellow passengers on your ship! We here at Soap Opera News love both Teriah and their amazing fanbase and can’t wait to see what’s next!