The Wow Climax: Tracing the Emotional Impact of Popular Culture

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Mass media -- Social aspects -- United States. Mass media -- United States -- Psychological aspects. United States -- Social conditions -- United States -- Social conditions -- Summary Whether highlighting the sentimentality at the heart of the Lassie franchise, examining the emotional experiences created by horror filmmakers such as Wes Craven, or discussing the emerging aesthetics of video games, these essays get to the heart of what gives popular culture its emotional impact. Contents Games, the new lively art Monstrous beauty and mutant aesthetics : rethinking Matthew Barney's relation to the horror genre Death-defying heroes Never trust a snake : WWF wrestling as masculine melodrama Exploiting feminism in Stephanie Rothman's Terminal Island "You don't say that in English!

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Tags What are tags? Add a tag. Public Private login e. Lists What are lists? Login to add to list. Be the first to add this to a list. Good entertainment, I think, also starts to become good art.

Materiality and Popular Culture: The Popular Life of Things - Google Buku

The problem for me is that art becomes reified so quickly; it becomes about what it excludes rather than what it includes. I'm interested in helping see what's aesthetically valuable in the broadest range of human expression rather than trying to carve out an elite canon of stuff that goes on a pedestal, separate from everything else.

HJ: Always as a fan first.

If I watch a TV show, I watch every episode. I mean, I'll try some new shows at the beginning of every season; but I'm not someone who dips in randomly and watches TV, I'm not a channel surfer. When I watch a TV show, I watch it as a large-form narrative experience.

Q&A: Transmedia guru Henry Jenkins on 'Lost,' negative capability and that 'Sopranos' ending

I love buying box sets of DVDs and just marathoning for that exhaustive experience. And that comes out of being a fan, even if I'm applying it to works that are not traditionally fannish -- that sense of wanting to hold the whole in my mind. HJ: Often. I have less time for that than I'd like. There's a tension between my desire to study all of that and engage with it as a fan and the realities of a high-level academic position which pulls me all over the world. But my impulse is to do it when I'm able to. I find it rewarding to varying degrees, because some of it is not well done yet.

But some of it does explore new dimensions of what a story can be. If we think about a television show as a long-form mode of fiction that can extend longer than a novel or a film series is ever going to, this side stuff has a potential to further enrich that experience, and it can do it in at least three ways. It can take a secondary character and flesh out their point of view and make them more central to the story than they would be otherwise. It can take the timeline and extend it forward and backward, so that you can write beyond the ending, go before the beginning.

And third, it can flesh out the world of the story. There's also promotion, of course, but I'm talking just within the artistic realm that shape our experience of the narrative. RL: What about canonicity, the idea that some parts of the story are more authentic than others? HJ: This is an area that advanced media theory is really struggling with right now.

One version is to ask whether it's authorized -- has it been declared part of the canon by the producers?

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  • So when Joss Whedon said the comic books were the eighth season of "Buffy, the Vampire Slayer," one takes him at his word. Another is that the that fans are often better policers of a long-form drama than the writers are, because writers come and go and fans are there from the beginning.

    For example, I've written about "Beauty and the Beast" -- the fans, the female fans, really hated the last season, which they felt committed a lot of character rape, damaged the story; many will say it doesn't have a fourth season, and even though the official episodes are there, for the fans that's not canon. The third dimension is what I call multiplicity, which is is the possibility that the secondary materials might give us new ways of thinking about these characters precisely because they're not canonical. This is what fan fiction does very well; there's not just a single version of "Harry Potter" for each "Harry Potter" fan-writer; many fan-writers write multiple versions, because they're interested in exploring different ways that story could play itself out, different versions of the characters.

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    Think about the "Star Trek" movie -- they spent the whole re-launch just to say something very simple, that this is still "Star Trek" but there are different actors playing Kirk and Spock; and because they were locked into continuity they had to bend and warp time and space to prepare us for that acceptance. Whereas if they simply said, "This is an alternative version," fans of fan fiction would get it. There are lots of models right now for thinking about this question of continuity, and the relation of canon and fanon -- fanon being what fans create -- is a complex space.

    RL: Sort of on that subject, watching "Lost" the last couple seasons, it seems to me they're working hard to account for things they invented in earlier seasons without much thought of what they actually might mean or where they might lead. HJ: They say not. I've got to see the final form before I can even have much of a judgment about that.

    On that point, I was intrigued when I read some stuff about Dickens as a publisher of serials. There was a lot of discourse in the 19th century about "Is Dickens making this up as he goes along? Dickens' works are now seen as really well-structured novels because we read them in a bounded form, but it's really hard in the middle to know. Now, from a fan point of view, the middle is the most productive space, because fans generate alternative versions of the narrative as they theorize about what's going on, versions which are very generative, very rich and interesting.