A few months ago, I posted about my complete immersion into the fandom of HBO’s True Blood, which, alas, has a 12 week season, leaving fans to pine and groan for the remaining 9 months of the year.
Luckily, I stumbled on to another show that makes me laugh, tear up, that fills me with angsty teenage longing, tap my feet and is related to something I can do with my toddler son: dance around to the fabulous (and some NOT so fabulous) covers performed by the cast of the show: yes, it’s Fox’s Glee, the first show I’ve ever watched on the Fox network.
I thought that True Blood’s world of fandom was crazy. I was mistaken. Glee’s online community of fans, particularly named “Gleeks”, has exploded and makes True Blood’s look like small potatoes. Examples:
- fanfiction.net: Glee has the 6th highest number of entries contributed by community members: 23, 792 stories written and posted by fans. (I had to join the community to bookmark my favorite stories, to await the next installment of some of the multi-chaptered epics featuring characters from the show)
- tumblr: I can’t even count how many tumblr blogs there are about Glee, but there is no end of gossip, spoilers, pictures, recaps and commentary about the show to be found on this platform. Some of the titles of the Glee-crazy tumblogs include:
- Glee forum: This fan forum where people discuss favorite moments, music, show spoilers, gifs and screen captures, has had 53 million views. 53 MILLION. I’ve never been on a forum with that many hits before. It blows my mind.
Lucky for me, in between episodes, I can peruse any one of thousands of alternative options to get my Glee fix until the next one airs. I felt really guilty at first, thinking I was the oldest person lurking and following these sites, but then I read a few late 30-something, 40-something aged commentators and was relieved.
In the meantime, I have downloaded the songs I liked from the 2 seasons (45 songs, according to my iTunes count) and created a playlist which I have put on endless replay, until my partner comes in the room and turns it off, that is. He was surprised, though, to hear me blasting The Doors, music normally not my taste, in our living room the other day. Only when he came to investigate did he realize it was a Glee cover version.
The point is that there is a wide range of digital media pieces that goes along with any show, and now, most films, albums, even books, that have agents or PR companies behind them. This seems to be the norm, although on a much smaller scale than that of Glee which is an unusually explosive case, for garnering followers and supporters of any entertainment product. Glee is the most obvious example of horizontal diversification of an entertainment product in my personal life and I’m still reeling from it.