Introduction to Popular Culture Studies

Courting Supporters P1

Posted by katemilner9 on April 13, 2017

As much as I have a love/hate relationship with Josh Whedon, he knows how to play the game. For most of this class, when it comes to thinking of examples of fandom and media interaction, and creators interacting with the fanbase, things that Whedon’s had a hand in come to mind, just because he’s that good at doing what this essay laid out: he knows how to make fans care and fight for what he puts out there. His content is known for provoking this kind of support (if anything, Firefly is more famous for getting cancelled, and causing a huge fuss, than it is for its merit as a series,) and his success with this is a testament to his dedication to providing with his fanbase in mind. The essay describes it as valuing the “quality of audience engagement” over “quantity of impressions,” which almost feels counter-intuitive based on some of the other models we’ve looked at.

Valuing quantity over quality seems like it wouldn’t work. You rely on the quantity of people engaging and spreading your media to keep it alive. But cult followings go against that. Though they’re smaller, their voices grow louder, they’re good at making a scene, and convincing people to join their ranks. The Serenity story was one of the first of its kind, and I feel like we’re a little desensitized to it now, with all the reboots and revivals being thrown at us, because before popular 90s sitcoms jumped on the bandwagon, the biggest campaigns for continuations of series were from the small but mighty cult followings. Interesting to think that they set the trend, but in the grand scheme of things, they aren’t seen as valuable by many media creators.


2 Responses to “Courting Supporters P1”

  1. I agree with you when you say that Firefly is more famous for getting cancelled than the show itself. You also make a great point when you say that Whedon knows how to make his fans care about his stuff. I found it interesting when you said, “Valuing quantity over quality seems like it wouldn’t work,” because I feel that most people do care about quantity because they want it to have higher numbers.

  2. vene131 said

    Sometimes I think Whedon just cancels things so people cause a riot and he makes so much more money off bringing it back/doing sequels.

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