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Netflix at the Nexus

Content, Practice, and Production in the Age of Streaming Television

Edited By Theo Plothe and Amber M. Buck

Netflix’s meteoric rise as an online content provider has been well documented and much debated in the popular press and in academic circles as an industry disrupter, while also blamed for ending TV’s "Golden Age." For academic researchers, Netflix exists at the nexus of multiple fields: internet research, information studies, media studies, and television and has an impact on the creation of culture and how individuals relate to the media they consume. Netflix at the Nexus examines Netflix’s broad impact on technology and television from multiple perspectives, including the interface, the content, and user experiences. Chapters by leading international scholars in television and internet studies provide a transnational perspective on Netflix’s changing role in the media landscape. As a whole, this collection provides a comprehensive consideration of the impact of streaming television.

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Chapter 9. From ViKi to Netflix: Crossing Borders and Meshing Cultures (Oranit Klein Shagrir)

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· 9 ·

FROM VIKI TO NETFLIX

Crossing Borders and Meshing Cultures

Oranit Klein Shagrir

Broadcast TV is an essentially national activity.

—Ellis (2002, p. 5)

Ellis’s assertion is still valid as far as broadcast TV goes. Nowadays, however, consuming televisual content can also be a global activity thanks to online fandom communities and international content streaming services (Lee, 2017), such as Netflix or ViKi, which cross national and cultural borders. At the same time, they transform TV viewing into an individualized activity as well.

This chapter considers the series Dramaworld (2016) as a case study of a “streaming televisual form” and its analysis will make it possible to examine the transformations in the production, distribution, and consumption of televisual content as video streaming becomes globally and commercially prevalent. The discussion will reveal the crossing of cultural, national, lingual, and medial borders; the meshing of cultures and professional practices; and the changing role of the viewer in the digital age.

Dramaworld is a comedy-drama set in Los Angeles and Seoul. It tells the story of Claire, an American student and avid fan of Korean dramas, who gets “transported” into her favorite show. The series was directed by Chris Martin and produced and streamed by the video-streaming provider ViKi, and ← 147 | 148 → later distributed internationally by Netflix. Although very popular in Asia, ViKi is less familiar to American and European audiences. It is owned...

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