I really enjoyed reading Benjamin Brojakowski’s chapter, “Spoiler Alert: Understanding Television Enjoyment in the Social Media Era.” Except for the part where he argued that flow theory can been expanded to include daily activities like watching TV…
I’m not sure if I can get on board with that.
But all in all, it had me reminiscing on the romanticized days of my youth. All the kids in my neighborhood, Murdoch Farms (s/o to Gus for just getting into the Pitt PhD program!), were obsessed with the show Survivor. When 8pm rolled around on Thursday nights, we would be glued to our TVs, cheering on our favorite contestants. At the end of any given season, someone would host a Finale Party.
Each family brought a dish or two that they couldn’t live without, and we all voted for who we thought should win. I even think we had buffs like the ones they wore on the show.
These were totally the days of appointment-viewing practices. Unless of course, our parents decided we couldn’t watch ‘live’ and that Thursday’s show had to be TiVoed for later. This happened often, as I had an early bedtime and lots of activities that little kids do. But the consequences weren’t so tragic.
I didn’t have to avoid blogs or co-workers who “might ruin [my] enjoyment of the episode” because those things didn’t exist in my world. We weren’t on social media. Platforms like Twitter had yet to be invented.
However I did just learn that a site called Survivor🔥Fandom exists, and they offer spoilers. But that’s a pretty recent development, as in they only have archives from seasons 31, 32, and 33. The 34th season, Survivor: Game Changers — Mamanuca Islands, just started airing on March 8. Sadly I can’t say that I still tune in on Thursdays.
I will always have fond memories of the days when I did watch Survivor. A lot of this can be credited to the people with whom I shared this enjoying entertainment. I remember getting really absorbed or “transported” into the show with my little brother during the challenges, and talking about my favorite contestants with friends Lily and Audrey.
Brojakowski offers up the idea that “communal viewing of a program may enhance the enjoyment.” I can certainly get on board with this.