Connecting to stories and characters

Connecting to stories and characters

We are genuinely invested in the outcome of a story and the state of the various characters.

These connections to fictional stories and characters are why many people share their opinions about the plots and characters’ actions. People feel so connected, and in some cases, they feel like they have ownership over something.

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Grieving  the ending of a series

There are varying degrees of grief (the end of a movie or show is obviously not the same as the death of a person), but many people do experience feelings of loss around different forms of media, such as the ending of a favorite show.

TV series as a form of detachment

For many people, watching a show regularly can be a form of temporarily checking out of what’s going on in the real world.

It’s a way we detach from our own issues, our own problems. And the thought of giving that up and coming back to our own world is a little frightening for people.

A form to look back at life
The length of the series is a way of looking back on our life: It reminds us of the passage of time and where we were and who we watched it with.
A collective experience
The actual experience of watching a show ― whether it involves the same group of people, centers around a certain meal, or focuses on another viewing party tradition ― can also add to those feelings of loss once that series ends.

It becomes a ritual for people. And it's a form of shared collective experience.

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RELATED IDEAS

From a purely technical point-of-view, a subtext is good.
From a moral point-of-view, it depends on what that subtext is.

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IDEAS

  • The Laud family on "An American Family" loudly complained after reviewers cast the Lauds' as hollow and problematic.
  • Viewers experienced the shock of recognition. Some viewers wrote how much they appreciated a "real" family on TV that made them feel "not alone".
  • The Lauds accused the producer of being manipulative and staging events, even though the Lauds reviewed the footage with him before each episode was aired.

While the program attracted millions of viewers, the criticism from critics and condemnation from the Lauds served to discredit producer Gilbert's work.

Niccolò Machiavelli's Prince

Machiavelli ends his treatise The Prince invoking a "redeemer" who shall save enslaved Italy from the domination of foreign powers that have left her gravely wounded and "almost without life". If we consider The Prince through the optic of its concluding chapter, it becomes evident that the scope of Machiavelli's project regards "issues of redemption and foundation", the "love of country and of glory," more than it does the banality of evil.

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