Wednesday, November 12, 2008

TV, Internet, and Flow

First of all, Ang briefly mentions the identity crisis within other media that the development of television provoked. I would love to know more of what exactly she means by this.

Today in lecture, Professor Chun mentioned the idea that perhaps cynicism is built into the text of reality shows like the Hills. I was very interested in this concept. It seems to reverse the very premise of spectatorship that we usually associate with such reality shows. Given youtube videos like the one we watched in class, in which two girls did a mock impersonation of LC and Audrina, it appears as though the viewer is in control and empowered to cast jokes at the television program's expense. And many of the readings from this week touch upon the idea that the viewer is indeed empowered. Yet Professor Chun's words made me think as though the producers of shows like the Hills take our own cynicism into account; their anticipation of our cynicism is integrated into such shows, almost reversing the nature of power that we see exhibited in youtube parodies. In one article, the discussion of programming flow vs. viewing flow seemed to posit a contradictory relationship between programmers and viewers. I'm wondering what the effect of over-the-top reality shows is upon the power of the viewer. It almost seems to subvert it.

Another thing that came up with this week's readings was the fluid relationship betwee television and internet. Lately, the internet seems to take over the work of television; the boundaries between the two have been blurred. I am wondering whether or not there is a continuous flow between television and internet or if the internet has its own unique flow, in and of itself. It seems as though the act of watching a television show online, then frequenting fansites, blogging, and creating youtube parodies could very much be categorized as flow. The structure of this internet flow mirrors the power of the viewer's flow due to remote controls and VCRs.

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