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Open Access This Show Was Religious?!: Online Reactions to Religion in Lost and Battlestar Galactica Finales

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This Show Was Religious?!: Online Reactions to Religion in Lost and Battlestar Galactica Finales

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As the American populace is increasingly identifying as non-religious, religious representation is surprisingly also increasing on television, leading many to discuss the limits and boundaries of acceptable representations of religion through the cultural forum of television. The series finales of Lost and Battlestar Galactica serve as a particular pair of case studies I place in discussion with each other about religious-representational and generic concerns. Online reactions in discussion forums or comment sections to the religious elements in these finales generally occur in one of two ways: negative reactions that set the religious endings in opposition to the genre expectations viewers had for the shows or generally positive reactions that focus on the religious themes as successful affective tools that provided adequate or at least justified narrative closure. In both discursive strains, the tone was overwhelmingly respectful and occasionally aware that those entering into the discussions were engaging in larger cultural debates, providing one site of exploring the changing role of religion in popular television through a study of expectations of science fiction narratives and their conclusions.

Affiliations: 1: Boston University, USA Contact: cehowell@bu.edu

10.1163/21659214-90000083
/content/journals/10.1163/21659214-90000083
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As the American populace is increasingly identifying as non-religious, religious representation is surprisingly also increasing on television, leading many to discuss the limits and boundaries of acceptable representations of religion through the cultural forum of television. The series finales of Lost and Battlestar Galactica serve as a particular pair of case studies I place in discussion with each other about religious-representational and generic concerns. Online reactions in discussion forums or comment sections to the religious elements in these finales generally occur in one of two ways: negative reactions that set the religious endings in opposition to the genre expectations viewers had for the shows or generally positive reactions that focus on the religious themes as successful affective tools that provided adequate or at least justified narrative closure. In both discursive strains, the tone was overwhelmingly respectful and occasionally aware that those entering into the discussions were engaging in larger cultural debates, providing one site of exploring the changing role of religion in popular television through a study of expectations of science fiction narratives and their conclusions.

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/content/journals/10.1163/21659214-90000083
2016-12-06
2018-06-25

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