Introduction to Popular Culture Studies

Meaningful Participation part 1

Posted by Kimberlea Ferrell on March 29, 2017

Out of the essays we were to read for tonight, one stood out to me in particular, “Television’s Invitation to Participate.” Online content for television shows is nothing new, but something I haven’t thought that deep into. As I read, I was reminded of a thing AMC does for The Walking Dead called storysync. You can go online as an episode airs to participate in the storysync, which includes things from predictions to polls to trivia. There is even something similar done with the talk show The Talking Dead where they discuss that night’s episode. There is an online sight for viewers at home to answer polls and take a trivia quiz there as well.

The Supernatural episodes were nice examples, and they reminded me of some similar scenarios with Steven Universe. There were some animated shorts made, and one in particular seemed to be poking fun at the fandom. In this short, Steven records his reaction to an episode of his favorite show “Crying Breakfast Friends.” Steven jokes about getting the episode spoiled from the internet, and the name of this show itself is even a joke about how much crying there is in Steven Universe, as Crying Breakfast Friends is meant to parallel and parody the show to a degree. During the episode, Steven yells about his theories being confirmed, and then at the end, makes a joke about the hiatus between episodes, while winking at the camera. The odd scheduling of Steven Universe and the several hiatuses have been a constant complaint of the fandom, as well as several theories circulating from the show’s beginnings.


2 Responses to “Meaningful Participation part 1”

  1. katemilner9 said

    There’s definitely potential for shows to get fans engaged in more creative ways than a hashtag in the corner of the screen, and The Walking Dead example is a testament to that. Awareness of the fandom can often be enriching to a series, why is it that there aren’t more content creators cashing in on that?

  2. emilyfalicaa said

    Things like what The Walking Dead has done when it comes to interaction is what encourages me to actually watch the show as it happens. If I have the opportunity to talk to fans and get hype about the show with others, I will hands down give up my time to give AMC my live viewer count

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