Television Cultures – Blog Post #5 (Reflection)


Having taken a weekly note of my television viewing habits, it becomes evident that I am not a heavy television viewer. Despite my efforts to attempt a ‘binge-watch’ once or twice throughout the semester, I was often left unsuccessful as I felt I had better things to do with my time.

However, I did find that 90% of the time, I was always watching TV in the evening, in the Kitchen/Living Room space. This is the most communal place in my home as this is where my family eat dinner and watch television. The television for my family, has always been a tool enabling us to spend more time together. It is always on in the evening as my parents watch the news and then flick over to watch whatever else is on free-to-air or Foxtel for ‘background noise’. I noted that I often watched television for a few hours on several evenings just because it was on. This is the case with The Living Room, a show I often watched on Friday evenings purely for the ‘Hot or Not’ segment, because it has become a family favourite. The segment only goes for around 5 minutes, but I would always end up watching the whole show, as it allowed for family time that I may not otherwise have. It has become a family favourite as my mum often enjoys finding new television shows that we can watch as a family and this show has become the best thing on at this time (7:30pm). This is also the case with The Bachelorette where I only watched the show because my family had it switched on. I ended up thoroughly enjoying the show and it became a weekly show my family loved to sit down and watch.

In Week Four of Television Cultures, we discussed concepts that are very relevant to my television viewing habits. I think that the idea of a ‘shared experience’ and ‘social rituals’ are really important to me because I enjoy feeling like I am part of a community. I watch a lot of live broadcasts such as when Collingwood plays in the AFL as I love going to the games where am a part of a crowd. However, it is often easier just to watch the games at home especially as I am always busy. When watching it on television, there is a sense of a crowd watching with me considering that underneath the commentary, you can hear the crowd booing and cheering. It enables me to feel like I am at the game and makes it more enjoyable. The idea of ‘social rituals’, again falls back to the idea that I often watch shows purely because my family members or friends watch them. It enables for conversation to be sparked about for example, the topics within the show or ideas about storylines. Neighbours is a television program that airs every night during the week. At times, I was not at home for the 6:30pm start for the show, and often relied on my family members to tell me what had happened. This show is almost like a ‘ritual’ show for my family, as we have all enjoyed watching it over the years.

When watching television, I am also quite into the interactivity and second screens. Whenever I watch The Bachelorette or the AFL, I am on my personal Twitter account looking at hashtags made for the particular show (i.e. #TheBacheloretteAU or #AFLPiesvCats). This allows me to see what other audience members are saying about the show or the game and enables me to be part of a wider community that I may not necessarily be otherwise interacting with.

In saying that I watch a lot of TV in my family room, I must also note the occasional use of YouTube and Netflix. I watch a particular show on YouTube called Carmilla, a web series that I began watching, purely because of it’s hype. I am a part of a few artist fan bases, and found that watching the show enabled me to connect with and make new friends in these fan bases. I also love watching Netflix in my spare time, but use the service purely because it is so easy nowadays to access popular TV shows like Orange is the New Black that Australia doesn’t necessarily get straight away.

Overall I have found that I mostly watch Television due to its social factor. I tend to watch popular shows like The Bachelorette, as I am able to connect with family members and friends through conversations about these shows. It enables me to have a sense of community and makes television feel less lonely.

Television Cultures – Blog Post #4

For years, researchers have studied television audiences and viewing preferences. Advertisers, commercial broadcasters and even government policy makers care about audiences as they are the individuals who will bring profit to the industry. These ‘commodity audiences’ are reflected via ratings as they “reflect neither mass taste nor the taste of an intellectual elite” (Jenkins, 2013). Ratings give a small representation of the actual audience, making them only an indicator for companies using television as a way to make money.

But what about Fandoms?

Many television culture researchers have attempted to trace the emergence of an organized media fan culture, to the late 1960s efforts “to pressure NBC in returning Star Trek to the air” (Jenkins, 2013). In 1969, the show was cancelled after a lack of popularity shown in the ratings. The ratings only give a small representation of the actual audience, and perhaps this meant that the fans were excluded. However, reruns were then aired in over 150 domestic and 60 international markets, helping Star Trek develop a fan base greater than its popularity in the original run. As a result of large fan gatherings and conventions in support of the series between 1967 and 1972, the franchise was revived and is still thriving today.

Fandoms are stereotyped as cultural others – “as obsessive, freakish, hysterical, infantile & regressive social subjects” (Hill, 2007). Fans are often seen as ‘textual poachers’ who find pleasure in aspects of the text that are not necessarily valued by producers or those with institutional training. Pop cultures take on fandom has typically been one of distaste and critique, with fans’ emotional attachments to media texts and celebrities being viewed as “irrational” (Jenkins, 2013).

Yet despite all of this, fandoms have become an incredibly important tool for many television programs. Many producers have “employed fans as a base of support in their own power struggles with network executives” (Hill, 2007), in order to keep their programs on the air. Other producers have gone down the path of transmedia storytelling, providing extra content for fans, such as trailers, behind-the-scenes footage or webisodes in order to gain a larger fan following and to keep fans interested. At the end of the day, the fans enable programs to continue running as they are the ones that bring in capital for producers.

First being aired on May 31, 2000 on CBS, Survivor is an example of a “TV Phenomenon that sparked a multilayered convergence of media-based fan activity” (Taddeo and Dvorak, 2010). The reality television program follows a group of strangers, or celebrities, in an isolated location where they must provide food, water, fire and shelter for themselves, whilst also competing in challenges to stay on the island, in order to win the million-dollar prize. Viewers clamored to be part of the “Survivor experience through fan sites, discussion boards, mediated videos posted on YouTube, and a host of other online participatory” (ibid.). Survivor also has behind-the-scenes footage and other exclusive content, that fans are able to access via a website, promoting the concept of transmedia storytelling. It is also important to note that Survivor produced two seasons of ‘Survivor – Fans vs. Favourites’, created for fans who believed they could out-survive original contestants of the show. This suggests that producers took note of the conversations being had by fans stating that they could ‘do it better’, and thus created the program as a way of saying ‘prove it’.

It could be said that fandoms are a problem for so called ‘legitimate culture’, as they perhaps, muddy the boundaries of mass culture texts that otherwise wouldn’t be considered so highly. However, fandoms also enable important theory and criticism surrounding texts. Often their interpretations and evaluations go unheard despite the fact that they provide legitimate, negotiated ideas that may not necessarily be commonly represented. They also allow for an understanding of their own relationships to texts.

Whilst some people view fandoms to be full of individuals who are “obsessive” or “freakish”, we must consider the fact that they allow for a revival of particular popular culture texts, especially in the case of Star Trek. They enable texts to be interpreted in a deeper, more meaningful way and often become a tool for more enriching studies into the cultures surrounding television productions.


Jenkins, H. (2013). Textual Poachers: Television Fans and Participatory Culture. New York: Routledge. (p. 28-33)

Taddeo, J. and Dvorak, K. (2010). The tube has spoken. Lexington: University Press of Kentucky. (p. i-v)

Hill, A. (2005). Reality TV. London: Routledge. (p. 3-37).

Wikipedia, (2015). Survivor: Caramoan. [online] Available at: [Accessed 22 Oct. 2015].

Wikipedia, (2015). Star Trek. [online] Available at: [Accessed 22 Oct. 2015].

Wikipedia, (2015). Star Trek fandom. [online] Available at: [Accessed 22 Oct. 2015].


Television Cultures – Blog Post #3

What do you get when you cross a group of mid-twenties, female New Yorkers and Lena Dunham’s real life experiences? That’s right, the comedy-drama Girls, starring Lena Dunham, herself, as the main character, Hannah Horvath.

Girls is an American television series created by Lena Dunham, that premiered on HBO on April 15, 2012. The show centres around an aspiring writer, Hannah, and her three friends, Jessa, Shoshanna and Marnie, “who are as messed up as [Hannah] is” (Sheffield, 2012 pg. 32). Hannah gets a shock when her parents visit Brooklyn from Michigan to announce that they will no longer financially support her. She is left to her own devices where she must navigate her twenties alongside her closest friends. 

Classed under ‘comedy-drama’, Girls provides audiences with just that, comedy and drama. Lena Dunham, a comedian herself, takes the audience on a comedic journey showing us the typical humiliations, disasters and rare triumphs of the four women. The show has been heralded as “frank and fearless” for it’s “gritty and straightforward approach to taboo topics like abortion, its naturalistic and frank take on sex scenes and the importance of female friendship the show celebrates” (Daalmans 2013, pg. 359). This ‘up-front’ approach is typical of HBO quality drama, known for seeking “discomfort” (Fuller and Driscoll 2015, pg. 258) and exploring “contemporary anxieties” (Johnson 2005, pg. 61).


However, the show adopts an interesting approach on women by suggesting that the girls are all “self-evolved, self-entitled and… unable to define themselves without male influence” (Daalmans 2013, pg. 359). There is a “notion that these women’s sense of self-definition only comes through their relationships with a man”. This provokes a sense of disconnect for women, especially as the show attempts to represent women aged in their 20’s. What is also surprising is that Lena Dunham herself is extremely successful, yet she is portrayed as a character who lacks self-direction. Overall, the show is deficient of the millennial, successful and multi-cultural women, especially in a time period when society is pushing for equality and a positive representation of women.

In saying this, HBO’s Sex and the City is quite similar, in that it explores “sexual content… and the importance of sexual expression to its females” (Fuller and Driscoll 2015, pg. 259) so it is no different to Girls. Evidently, Girls follows a similar storyline to Sex and the City featuring four central female characters who are concerned with their sex lives. Girls has been critiqued for its similarity with Sex and the City, albeit the obvious shift in time periods where the show encompasses ideas that are relevant to the time in which it was created.

However, “Girls includes in depth sexual stories that Sex and the City would “never canvass, entwined with different stories about aspiration and identity, including the looming possibility of complete life failure” (ibid.). Whereas in Sex and the City, the women were not as concerned about complete life failure. Girls seems to make a clear comment on the way women approach their sex lives within today’s society and suggests that women are more open to talking about it. It also makes a comment on the fact that there is potentially more pressure today, to be a ‘successful woman’, signified by the women in Girls feeling as if they will fail, compared to the time of Sex and the City.


Girls has also caused a lot of controversy due to its lack of racial diversity. The show’s characters are all white, middle-class females living in the highly multiracial New York City. Hadley Freeman (2014) states that “when it transpired that there were almost no people of colour in the first series of the show, critics cried racism in a way that no one ever did about the similarly New York-based and Sex and the City” (ibid.). This leads to the fact that “New York is much more segregated” than people think; Dunham is making a comment on what needs to change. It is also impossible for Dunham to “represent all life experiences of everyone in her generation”, as she doesn’t have an everyman’s “view of the world” (ibid.).


But despite the criticisms that come with the show, we must herald this “fresh” and “ground-breaking” (Daalmans 2013, pg. 359) programme that seems to be a part of the revival of successful female-lead shows. The show provides a reflection for many women in their 20-somethings especially within today’s society.




Sheffield, R. (2012), Girls! Girls! Girls!. Rolling Stone, p.32.


Daalmans, S. (2013). ‘I’m Busy Trying to Become Who I Am: Self-entitlement and the city in HBO’s Girls’, Feminist Media Studies, 13(2), pp. 359-362.


Fuller, S. and Driscoll, C. (2015). ‘HBO’s Girls: gender, generation, and quality television’, Continuum, 29(2), pp. 253-262.


Johnson, C. (2005). ‘Quality/Cult Television: The X-Files and Television History’, The Contemporary Television Series, pp. 57–71.


Dunham, L., Dunham, L., Williams, A. and Kirke, J. (2015). Girls (TV Series 2012– ). [online] IMDb. Available at: [Accessed 22 Oct. 2015].


Freeman, H. (2014). Not That Kind of Girl review – Lena Dunham exposes all, again. [online] the Guardian. Available at: [Accessed 22 Oct. 2015].



Television Cultures – Blog Post #2 (Scheduling and Masterchef)

We often tend to overlook the power of scheduling even though the concept of it is right in front of us every evening, when we sit down to watch television at dinnertime.

“The television schedule is a form of media temporality that simultaneously disciples and is disciple to the conventions of western ‘human time’ as they take place through standardised patterns of work, sleep, eating and family life” (Cover, 2005, pg. 14).

Schedules are important as they break down patterned audience behaviour (it is important to note that audience behaviour is relevant, as the aim for commercial television is to ‘sell’ mass audiences to advertisers in order to gain a profit from their programs). Firstly schedules include the inscribed assumptions about everyday life regarding working hours or meal times. This means that the evening television schedules often mimic evening schedules for households as this provides more relevant television and brings in viewers (therefore higher ratings, more profit). Secondly they cater to the annual pattern of seasons, events and special occasions. Thirdly, traditional slots tend to be more habitual i.e. news programs scheduled between 5-7pm (catered for the 9-5pm working day model), as this reaches a wider and larger audience range. And lastly are the assumptions about what the competition does and might do. Schedulers take into account patterns of behaviour from other networks or look at what is coming up on other networks, in order to provide the same sort of programming to compete.

The first point is relevant in regards to Masterchef as the program is broadcast around the time when individuals are preparing/eating dinner (7:30pm). Advertisers can market products relevant to Masterchef, i.e. Coles (a major sponsor of the show). For example, they may advertise half-price chicken which leads audiences to consider buying that chicken for a future meal.

Schedulers attempt to find the ‘best slot’ for particular programs especially when they are successful. This leads me to think about many popular cooking game shows that are manipulating ratings at the moment across quite a few networks including Channel 7, 9 and 10.

Channel 10 is definitely catering to my tastes with its hit television program ‘Masterchef’, an Australian reality television game show. The show features three main judges, Gary Mehigan, George Calombaris and Matt Preston who are all highly regarded within the food industry. The first episode of season one aired on the 27th of April 2009 at 7pm, with the following seasons airing half an hour later (at 7:30pm). The first episode of season one attracted an average of 1.42 million viewers (cited in Wikipedia 2015), making Masterchef Australia the most watched show in the 7pm time slot. Six years on after moving to the 7:30pm time slot, the 2015 series averaged 1.168 million viewers each episode maintaining its spot as the number one program on television at its timeslot from May-July.

According to Paul Venzo (2009), “Masterchef was successful for a number of reasons. It coincided with the media’s focus on the global financial crisis… as it taught Australian’s how to prepare food that many of us could no longer afford to eat out.” Julie Goodwin (winner of season one) “embodied a key convention of reality television… a journey followed by a transformation into the more ‘ideal-self’.”

By playing on the stereotypical conventions of the family schedule, the producers of Masterchef are able to maximise viewing statistics and revenue through scheduling themselves around the typical family timetable.



Ellis, J 2000, ‘Scheduling: the last creative act in television?’, Media, Culture & Society, no. 22, vol. 1, pg. 25-38.

Wikipedia, 2015, MasterChef Australia. [online] Available at: [Accessed 12 Aug. 2015].

Venzo, P 2009, ‘Reality Really Does Bite: ‘Dead Set’ and the Development of Reality TV’, Metro Magazine: Media & Education Magazine, no. 163, pg. 92-97.


Television Cultures – Blog Post #1 (Deadset)

When reality television and zombies combine, the British television show ‘Deadset’ comes into play. The show is essentially a spoof on reality TV set both on the inside and outside world of the UK version of ‘Big Brother’. A zombie apocalypse rocks Britain and the last people standing happen to be the participants of Big Brother.

The show was premiered on October 27, 2008 on E4 and was shown consecutively for the five days leading up to Halloween. The ‘scary hype’ that surrounds Halloween, perhaps suggests the reason for this “flesh-eating genre for the smallscreen” (Clarke, 2008, pg. 30) raking in E4’s biggest audience since 2002 with 1.4 million viewers for the 10pm premiere. According to E4, the show had an average audience share of 5.8% compared with an average of 1.8% at the time slot. And perhaps the fact that this show was approached like a “feature film” according to Charlie Booker and featured the real host of the U.K. version of Big Brother, Davina McCall (which is interesting considering the real meanings behind the show), is the reason it was a success.

Deadset encompasses everything that falls under the horror genre with the use of “rapid edits and a range of shots that cut back and forth between the ‘threat at a distance’ and the abstracted close-up of the bloody attacks” (Venzo, 2009, pg. 95) providing the audience with a “gore-fest” (Venzo, 2009, pg. 95). But the show delves further than a typical horror drama, where it begins to explore the idea of audience consumption (represented by the zombie apocalypse).

Charlie Booker has called the audience to question the concept of reality TV and to consider the “capacity of humankind to consume itself, via the media’s obsession with representing back to us the (supposedly) everyday experiences of the Western middle classes” (Venzo, 2009, pg. 93). This is shown through the reality television genre where we see the use of stereotypical and highly constructed characters that express their common human emotions and are faced with ‘un-scripted’ situations which are often relatable to audiences. Therefore, these characters and situations can teach us important things about the society in which we live.

The use of zombies, which can be seen in a typical fantasy and/or horror genre production as well as the combination of the already built-up reality television drama ‘Big Brother’ (made out to be based on real life events), prompts the audience to begin questioning the difference between what is imagined and what is real life. We are essentially faced with an entertaining yet typical and familiar story, whilst also being shown something incredibly different to what we have ever seen before, leading us to question whether the consumption of hyper reality has been taken too far.

But I also think beyond this, the use of zombies in this television program leads us to consider what audiences see as their own ‘threats’ within the real world. It is not just their own consumption of reality TV and whether what we are shown is real or not, but the threats we are faced with every day on our news whether it be to do with terrorism or natural disasters. I think it is also important to consider the fact that within Deadset, it is not only the audience who become the zombies, but the producers of this spoof version of Big Brother, which perhaps suggests that the threats we are faced with are often home-grown and the people we believe give us reliable information, are perhaps also ‘threats’ to audiences. It becomes a question again, linking back to the idea within Deadset, of what is real and what is imagined and can we truly believe everything that we see on television?



Clarke, S 2008, ‘Television: Brit Auds Eat Up E4 Zombies’, Variety, vol. 413, no. 3, pp. 30.

Venzo, P 2009, ‘Reality Really Does Bite: ‘Dead Set’ and the Development of Reality TV’, Metro Magazine: Media & Education Magazine, no. 163, pg. 92-97.

/ Final Post for Semester 1 /

Well the semester has come to a close and what can I say, it’s been a busy but insightful 12/13 weeks. I feel blessed to have been accepted into this course, it has been my dream since I was in primary school.

This semester I have learnt quite a lot within my elective and contextual study for this course, Popular Culture and Cinema Studies respectively. However I have to admit, Media has definitely been the basis for the things I have learnt.

I found the individual work more challenging than group work which I think was more a function of the fact that we had to do a lot of filming, something that is definitely not my forté at all. Whilst the group work was hard at times because often it was impossible to get everyone to do their work at the same time and to catch up due to various other commitments, I think have more than one brain doing research really enabled our Project Brief 4 to give a very deep insight into what we discovered about media ‘Texts’. Here is a blog post I wrote during this time to outline the task and to reflect:

Within my own creative practice, I think that looking and reflecting on the things around me has been really important as it allows me to have something to work up to or outdo. An example of this is the post I made reflecting on Sound Design within film. I have always loved film and seek to hopefully further my knowledge in the area in the near future. When reflecting on others work, I often make myself more inspired to create something quite similar but completely unique to my tastes. Here is the blog post I made about Sound Design in cinema:

To follow on from the theme of me loving sound, I thoroughly enjoyed the Week 7 Lectorial which gave the Media 1 students an insight into the world of sound in which I had no idea about. These lectorials have been important in providing a basis for what us media students have been learning this semester whilst also relating these things to the world beyond Level 11, Building 80. Here is a post reflecting on the lecture:

This semester, I have also become quite aware of the media that surrounds us and the way in which it is presented to us as an audience. It is amazing when I walk down Swanston Street and I feel quite ‘bombarded’ by the media texts that surround me almost as if there is no way out (which is a little scary at times). However there is a good side. I watched the Logies during the semester and something that stood out for me was the way in which Carrie Bickmore wore a beanie to raise awareness for Brain Cancer. I love the way in which celebrities use their power and fame to not just promote themselves and their product, but to raise awareness for charities and give information about these diseases. Here is a blog post I wrote after the Logies where I discuss the night and my reflection of Carrie’s wonderful gesture:

I have also loved doing the readings this semester and tried to realise how important they are for not only myself as a media practitioner but also to gain knowledge and to become more open-minded within my creations and also the creations of others. Here is a blog post reflection on a reading we were given in the first week of classes seeking the difference between a selfie and a self-portrait:

And finally, here is a Learning Curve for showing progress in Semester 1 for Media 1:



/ Completion of Project Brief Four /

So whilst this semester has been an incredibly difficult uphill battle in terms of life, I am really happy with the final product in which Jenny, Annie and myself have created 🙂

We had to include (which can be found on google drive):

A Production Dossier:

  • Collaborative Contract
  • Annotated Bibliography
  • Blog posts
  • Release forms
  • Minutes from group meetings
  • Bibliography and any key references consulted
  • Final Product

We have created an eBook which can be found here – Media Texts eBook

I have thoroughly enjoyed the project and have definitely learnt a lot about the way in which media texts bombard people in their everyday lives. I have also learnt a lot about collaboration in which will be vital for my life as a media practitioner.


/ 800 Word Reflection – Brief 4 Group Project /

For Project Brief 4, I was teamed with Annie Goldring and Jenny Pham Vo to undergo an analysis on media ‘texts’. At first we found the project brief a little difficult to tackle as the area of media texts is one that is quite large. We had to narrow it down and look at a particular area (and one that intrigued us all). From this, we chose that looking at advertisements was the best choice as we are bombarded with these texts every single day whether it be on social media or whilst waiting for a tram at the tram stop. We originally set out to create a bombardment video along with a short mock youtube clip at the beginning and pop up ads, however as a group, decided that our assignment needed to be more analytical to fit in with the task description. From this we decided to create an eBook where we could explore the three different media advertising platforms in which we were most interested in (print publication, radio and video/television). However the idea that “media is everywhere” remained a key point when creating our own case studies and at this point, this is when we decided to look deeper into the formulas of these advertisements.


Needless to say, I thoroughly enjoyed the group work as it enabled me to gather a deeper understanding of media texts, with the use of three minds. Our annotated bibliographies were incredibly vital to the project as we all went away and did research that gathered theories and case studies from past researchers who were interested in the study of media texts. Moreover, the case studies often mentioned audiences and the ways in which advertisers attempt to persuade an audience. From this, we decided to consider the formulas in which are used to advertise a particular product. These annotated bibliographies created a basis for the idea of the eBook, in which we have included many case studies looking at a handful of advertisements that we are bombarded with in our everyday lives. The idea of the eBook enabled our group to show in depth, each of our case studies as well as inform readers with a general overview of what we believed media ‘texts’ were.


Unfortunately at times I found the idea of group work difficult. Whilst also having other assignments, we all have busy lives and it is very hard to come together outside of class time (however we did manage to catch up at least 4 times outside of class which resulted in quite productive work where we were sharing ideas and helping each other out with our own case studies). This project has definitely taught me to in future create some sort of schedule that enables the group to come together at the beginning to decide when we were all free and to save dates. Another problem we faced was the numerous last minute meetings that often had to be cut short because of other distractions.


In terms of being a media practitioner, this project has taught me that it is important to stay on top of the work and to communicate with your group members as often as possible. Communication within the group is something I would like to work on in the next media group project as without it, it is impossible to understand where your team members are at and what work they are doing. I would also like to stick to the group rules set out at the beginning (do work when required etc.) as within the group, we had lost track of each other’s work and I became concerned that perhaps we were all at different stages within the project. Although, I am incredibly happy with the work we are submitting as I believe it provides a deep insight and shows the depth we went into, to fully understand media texts.


After completing the work, I feel I have gathered a sound understanding of media texts. It was interesting to note the similarities between many of the advertisements we compared within our case studies. The use of formulas like slogans, colours and even monotone voices in advertisements, enables each advertisement to target a specific audience (sometimes even a wide demographic), to ‘sell’ an idea or product. The process of research and analysing specific advertisements allowed me to form a deeper understanding of the way in which the media attempts to bombard us with messages. Overall, the project has made me more aware of the bombardment of texts within our everyday lives which almost makes me feel as if I am not just another ‘audience member’ to these advertisers as I now understand the ways in which advertisers try and sell me a product or idea.

/ Annotated Bibliography from Popular Culture /

So here is a post relating to the elective I am doing at the moment (Popular Culture).

I wrote this Annotated Bibliography to submit for the final assessment piece (we had to write 3 bibliographies).

I want to know what people think of the idea between Fan-Celebrity interaction. It was previously discussed in a lecture for Media 1 and I myself am definitely apart of this fan-celebrity culture which is why I am so interested in it.

Here it is below.. enjoy!

Ferris, K 2001, ‘Through a Glass, Darkly: The Dynamics of Fan-Celebrity Encounters’, Symbolic Interaction, vol. 24, no. 1, pp. 25-47.


In this article, Kerry O Ferris examines the interaction between celebrities and their fans, further suggesting that perhaps there could be a theory developed for fan-celebrity interaction. The article explores the dynamic relationship between fans and celebrities, and the ways in which some “fans make and take advantage of opportunities for prestige encounters at public events” (Ferris 2001, pg. 25). However some fans actively pursue celebrities to create fan-staged encounters often blurring the line of being an, ‘active fan’ and showing similarities to ‘celebrity stalkers’. Whilst Ferris acknowledges the face-to-face contact between celebrities and their fans, she also brings attention to the interaction between fans and celebrities via mass media and the way in which it “can incorporate the fictional and the extraordinary into their real, ordinary, everyday lives” (Ferris 2001, pg. 25).


To form a deeper understanding of fan-celebrity relationships, Ferris collected observational and interview data over a two-year period from ‘active’ Star Trek and ABC soap opera fans. She describes active fans as “pursuing beyond interest, consumption and enjoyment of the television show”, whilst also “forming social bonds with other fans and participating in activities” (Ferris 2001, pg. 28). Collected were a series of twenty in-depth interviews with active fans (fifteen women and five males), who discussed their “television viewing habits and practices, personal histories of fan ship and fan-celebrity contact” (Ferris 2001, pg. 29).


The article provides a deep insight into the developing theory of fan-celebrity relationships, recognising that not all fans blur the line between ‘active fans’ and ‘celebrity stalkers’. Whilst also having collected subjective data from interviews, Ferris gathered notes whilst attending “conventions, autograph signings, and personal appearances at store openings” (Ferris 2001, pg. 29) in which fans can interact face-to-face with celebrities, providing an ‘in the field’ perspective. This enabled her research to have a multi-faceted approach supporting the theory of fan-celebrity relationships.


Whilst the article provides a range of data to suggest that there is a potential for a theory of fan-celebrity relationships, there are some limitations which include the fact that Ferris has used an unbalanced male to female ratio (15 females and 5 males) potentially giving an inaccurate result, as the results could be gender-affected. However, this ratio could perhaps suggest that there are in fact more female ‘active fans’ than there are male ‘active fans’, implying that further research within this area is suggested. Ferris also states that the data is focused primarily on fans, as it is “solely from the fans perspective” (Ferris 2001, pg. 30), giving no other outlook (that of the celebrity/celebrities involved). Nevertheless, this could also be seen as a strength of the data, as it is purely “naturalistic data” (Ferris 2001, pg. 30) which enables for the examination of “indigenous perspectives and meanings” (Ferris 2001, pg. 30) of these active fans.


The article is useful for individuals looking into the fan-celebrity interaction as it provides a multi-faceted approach to the developing theory of the contact between these two groups. Potential research into different fan-celebrity groups is however required as this article only looks at Star Trek and ABC soap opera viewers. In addition, it may also be necessary to gain a perspective from the celebrity’s viewpoint.

/ There is something wrong with Teddy /

The above is a YouTube video posted by user ZeFrank1.

This little video is something my brother showed me the other day. I was a little confused at first because I didn’t understand the reason for it, but as it went on, I became more interested in it and I wanted to know what happened next.

The video is classified as a ‘dark-humour’, which explores the notion of a stuffed Teddy Bear having a medical procedure to remove ‘bad things’ from his body. Some of the contents within him include gangrene kidney crayons as well as cigarette butt filled bon-bons (which made me feel sick lol).

The whole video surrounds this teddy and we question how it got so sick. We find out that, “Teddy loved a bad boy. What did the bad boy do, Teddy? Oh Teddy, the bad boy broke Teddy’s heart’s heart.

This made me feel a little emotional because I always used to think (and still kind of do) that toys have hearts and they get hurt too. Growing up, I used to take care of my toys as if they were my babies because I had a genuine care for them. It is interesting to think about this as they obviously do not have an actual alive heart and they cannot breathe. But this video basically says that they do and this teddy has been affected by a bad little boy who was his owner.

I don’t know, maybe it sounds silly but this definitely grabbed me because of the content surrounding what we see. Maybe I am just a very emotional person. I don’t know… I loved the video though.

I definitely recommend you have a watch. 🙂