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By Sara Gwenllian-Jones, Roberta E. Pearson

A tv sequence is tagged with the label "cult" via the media, advertisers, and community executives whilst it really is thought of edgy or offbeat, while it appeals to nostalgia, or whilst it's thought of emblematic of a specific tradition. through those standards, virtually any sequence should be defined as cult. but yes courses exert an uncanny strength over their fanatics, encouraging them to immerse themselves inside of a fictional global. In Cult tv best students research such exhibits because the X-Files; The Avengers; medical professional Who, Babylon 5; big name Trek; Xena, Warrior Princess; and Buffy the Vampire Slayer to figure out the defining features of cult tv and map the contours of this phenomenon in the higher scope of pop culture.

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Assigning Value A common debate between fan cultures concerns the relative merits of fi lm versus television. 18 Films such as Scream and I Know What You Did Last Summer and shows such as Buffy the Vampire Slayer are attacked because of their stars’ associations with television. For these horror fans, television, the home of safe, sanitized programming, is opposed to “real” horror—low budget, dangerous, and distinguished by its handling of taboo material. 19 Science fiction fans, on the other hand, tend to prefer television to fi lms.

21. Gérard Mauger and Claude F. Poliak, “Les usages sociaux de la lecture,” Actes de la recherche en sciences sociales 123 (June 1998), 22. 22. A simple comparison of the numbers of works relating to television programs and their audiences produced in France on the one hand, and the AngloSaxon countries on the other, is all that is needed to measure the gulf that exists between these two traditions of research. 23. Good starting points for the reader interested in becoming familiar with this area of study in France are the works of Dominique Pasquier and Sabine Chalvon- Demersay.

Les saints et les stars, 17, 19. 17. The term “cult” is frequently used in the “Télévision” section of Le Monde. See, for example, the edition of 4–10 November 1996, devoted to cult TV series, or that of 12–18 June 2000 on the marketing of videocassettes of the series Ally McBeal. See also “Soupçons sur la série- culte,” Télérama, 14–20 December 1996; and “Touche pas à mon culte,” Marianne, 28 December 1998–3 January 1999. 18. Dominique Pasquier, Les scénaristes et la télévision: Approche sociologique (Paris: Nathan Université, 1995), 101.

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