Ruining Quality TV?

“Spoilers are a form of conspicuous consumption. They’re a way of showing the world, ‘Look what I watch.’ The underlying message is, of course, ‘Don’t I have great taste?’ A hundred years ago, going to the symphony differentiated you from the masses who filled the vaudeville halls. Now, ‘quality television’ occupies that high-class cultural space. The refined DOWNTON ABBEY watchers get to float above the riff-raff who’d rather watch the brutish spectacle of SUNDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL. As for those people whose three minimum wage jobs don’t leave them much time for TV or Twitter, well they’re not even on the cultural map. Just like the aristocrats and domestic laborers on DOWNTON, the details of our everyday lives and the conversations in which we can participate are still powerfully shaped by our economic circumstances.”

Laura Portwood-Stacer, “MAD MEN Spoilers as Class Warfare?”


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