What are the primary affects around and through TV consumption? How has the pandemic (and the protests following the murder of George Floyd) affected the ways in which we consume and critique television? What are our embodied viewing experiences as audiences trapped at home, and how might these experiences speak to new ways of perceiving and understanding TV? What can we learn from existing fan cultures about spectatorial engagement in this time? How has the pandemic affected our collective notions of comfort and discomfort, and how does this shake out across modes of distribution, genre, and style?
Guest Scholars: Hollis Griffin, Suzanne Scott, Karen Tongson, Kristen Warner; Host: Hunter Hargraves
NOTE: Some episodes of this series were recorded before the murder of George Floyd on May 25, 2020—when a white police officer pressed his knee to Floyd's neck for 8 minutes and 46 seconds while Floyd struggled for his life—and before the protests that broke out around the country and the world condemning that despicable murder and, more broadly, police brutality and systemic racial injustice. Racism too is a pandemic—one that intersects with the COVID-19 pandemic, with African Americans at higher risk of the Coronavirus because of centuries of health, employment, and social disparities. The horrific inequalities in the economic and criminal "justice" systems—and, of course, in the media—highlight how racism itself poses an ongoing public health crisis. In the wake of this murder—along with the murders of Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and so many others—we have thus broadened the podcast conversations to include discussion of television's relation to racism, injustice, oppressive policing and policies (and the protests against these) together with discussion of television's relation to COVID-19, as considering these pandemics together is, we believe, critical to understanding the state of our world and the media today.