Introduction to Popular Culture Studies

The Total Engagement Experience

Posted by marylennoxhalf on March 1, 2017

This section of the book definitely had my attention. From the second I saw the words Friday Night Lights, I knew I was interested. Friday Night Lights has always been one of my favorite shows, since it aired in 2006. When I was 11, my older brother was playing football for our town’s high school. Because my family was in similar shoes as the characters on the show, we were completely invested. We would watch each week to keep up with the exciting and always dramatic plots.

When the series was cancelled, I remember we were devastated. But somehow, we were not super surprised. The summer before my senior year, I decided to re-watch the show. When I was younger, I did not remember many people talking about the show while it was airing. Like it had gained more popularity years after it was cancelled. When I decided to re-watch the show, a lot of my friends were discovering it for the first time. I was shocked that they had not even heard of it.

After reading this article about the “franchise” that the show was not interested in becoming, it became more apparent to me the show’s lack of a huge fan base. While it was airing, I think many people had not been interested in it. Maybe it is a show that is more enjoyed after it was cancelled rather than before. The lack of franchise, could have made an impact on the premature cancelation of the show. While it is still my favorite show no matter what, I wonder what would have happened had they decided to make it a more franchised show. Would they have more fans? Would the show have more seasons? If the show came out now, instead of years ago, would it have more success?

All of these questions could be asked, but honestly there is no telling of the answers. I had not given much thought to the lack of popularity from the show. This article was very interesting to see the “what could have been?” questions that each show can face.

One Response to “The Total Engagement Experience”

  1. nathanpowers22 said

    I never watched Friday Night Lights, personally, but my brother and parents were big fans as well. One problem that may have led to the show’s decline, which I saw Jasen mention in his own post on this subject, is that since the show centers on a high school team, characters would often have to be written out of the show once they were set to graduate (a problem Glee probably experienced too). The fact that you re-watched the show while finding out that other people were discovering it for the first time brings up another point though. I’m willing to bet that you watched it again through Netflix, which I feel has introduced a lot of residual media texts to younger audiences since the service’s rise to popularity. There are so many shows that didn’t last very long during their initial runs, yet gained cult followings through Netflix (Freaks and Geeks being the first example that comes to my mind).

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