Tuesday, October 12, 2010

'Creative consumption' and fan culture

The readings were great insights the scholarly take on fan fiction and fan cults. Watching the two TV episodes of Xena and Supernatural helped immensely in see how it was carried out in each respective television show. My view on what fan culture is perceived as is that of nerdy or lonely people watching weird (horror, sci-fi, or cartoon) shows. However, I think that fan cult's are more linked to Felschow's vision, a fan with a "...deep personal and emotional involvement." It is this involvement however, that really determines the social norms for what a fan is. As what I explained the perception of a cult fan matches with Felschow's however, how there is more to the cult fan. The need to as Rowett would put it, "consume" the material by digesting it and using this energy to produce something. This produce I believe is what creates the cult fan; Rowett describes one mode of the cult fan, fan-fic. Here we see Felschow's version of the cult fan elaborated on, because to him many people would be considered cult fan's however if you asked them if they were one, they would probably say no. For example, I watched every season of Lost and the last three with my friends at Middlebury, we would discuss and be either upset or happy for a few hours after an episode. Are we cult fans of Lost? I would say no, however Felschow may say yes and I feel that Rowett would say, no. I think that it is that extra-textual engagement that makes the cult fan, that gets into that larger community of cult fans and adds to the world of their television show or film by digesting the material they are being fed by producers, taking ownership in it, and then participating with in however creative or passive means they see fit. It is this commitment that Felschow says is shown through their, "strong viewer loyalty and involvement." When the fan cult and culture around a show gets to be so grand that it, "altered, reconceived, or entirely axed..." because of cult fans is an amazing feat. I think that as a cult fan it would be rewarding, however, I can understand how many of the dedicated fans would not want such a blatant appeasement of the producers to one satisfy select viewers and sacrifice story or plot lines. It is understand the different ways in which viewers can get involved with the shows that they love and can have a significant effect on how the future of its content.

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