Black Mirror as a Netflix Original: Program Brand 'Overflow' and the Multi-Discursive Forms of Transatlantic TV Fandom

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

    Abstract

    This chapter explores a “Netflix discourse” of fandom where it is claimed that Netflix can “unveil” fandom even when audiences do not self-identify as fans. This creates tensions between lived experiences of fandom and the data-driven targeting of multi-niche fan audiences. Rather than arguing that Netflix displaces national (US/UK) mainstreams, the chapter considers how national/transnational fan identities remain relationally in play. It focuses on Black Mirror as a case study, with this Channel 4 show having become a Netflix production from 2016 onward. The program’s creator, Charlie Brooker, mocked fears of “Americanization,” with the program’s fandom on Reddit following his lead and tending to read Netflix-produced seasons in terms of an “extended universe” rather than via US/UK-oriented meanings. However, fans have also carried out “coded” readings of “authentic” (British / Channel 4) Black Mirror by suggesting a “secret downer ending” to a Netflix episode that appeared to have an unusually happy ending.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationTransatlantic Television Drama
    Subtitle of host publication Industries, Programs, and Fans
    EditorsMatt Hills, Michele Hilmes, Roberta Pearson
    Place of PublicationNew York
    PublisherOxford University Press
    Chapter10
    Pages213-238
    Number of pages26
    ISBN (Electronic)9780190663155
    ISBN (Print)9780190663131, 9780190663124
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 24 Jan 2019

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