Thinking about superfans

As a slogan, “must-see TV” gave a network brilliant focus, from the planning of shows to their execution and viewing.

The goal wasn’t just to get ratings numbers for advertising sales but rather hook those active viewers who were passionate about the series and wouldn’t miss the next show for anything. And afterward, they just had to talk about it with somebody or everybody.

As an author, I can be envious. The fact is, we writers need something more than passive readers, not that we don’t value them, too. We want to connect with those hanging on every breath. Even just one. It really does come down to passion.

What really excites you these days? 

A lingering insight on marital splits

The Divorce Culture, by Barbara Dafoe Whitehead (New York, Alfred A. Knopf, 1997, 224 pages, $24) – reviewed by Jean E. Milofsky, The Colorado Review, fall 1997:

“Whatever else divorce is, it is fundamentally a loss. As a writer friend of mine once said, ‘It’s like death except no one says nice things about you.’ In divorce one loses not only the relationship with one’s spouse, but also one’s location in the social fabric. Friends fade away, and families are thrown into turmoil. Then there are the inevitable economic losses, which Barbara Dafoe Whitehead rightly claims fall disproportionately on women. Nowhere in her polemic against divorce, however, does Whitehead conceptualize divorce as a loss. Rather, with increasing insistence as the book goes on, she views it as an expression of individual freedom in a highly libertarian age.” …

“Whitehead’s concept of divorce as an expression of unfettered liberty ignores what every divorcing individual realizes – no choice is without consequence, no decision is without obligation or work, and adult freedom never really comes from throwing off chains.”

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Counter with James Dobson’s insistence that “love at first sight” is really just infatuation and therefore selfish, while love is other-focused.