Complex TV

p. 193-194: THE SOPRANOS

An interesting trend emerged in 2007 with the popular YouTube video “The Seven Minute Sopranos.” A high-speed recap of the previous five and a half seasons in advance of the final episodes airing, the humorous but affectionate fan-created video garnered over a million views and successfully promoted the final season. The television industry took note of the success and created similarly glib online recaps, such as “Lost in 8:15” and “What the frak is going on?” for Battlestar Galactica. These humorous recaps are designed for long-term fans as affectionate parodies, but they also function to effectively remind viewers of key events and to highlight patterns and repetitions across the series, such as the numerous times that Carmela Soprano “gets pissed” at her husband, Tony, captured by the repeated visual of her throwing his luggage at him down the stairs. In addition to recap videos, viewers’ memory can be refreshed via many of the orienting paratexts discussed in chapter 8, yielding an array of media extensions that allows nearly any question a fan might have about a serialized television series to be answered by a quick Google search or by perusing the program’s most active fan sites, making these complex long-form storyworlds effectively searchable and highly documented.

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