Post from Student Kelly Oliver:
Everyone has their own favorite actors or actresses. Whether its because you believe Julia Roberts can transition into any character flawlessly, or because you have a secret crush on Channing Tatum’s six pack we all have our own favorite that we love to watch. These relationships we form with our favorite actors/actresses become a parasocial relationship. We get to known their personality, their emotions, their background and everything in between from all the media coverage that surrounds these celebrities.
I see a strong possibility that people begin to media marathon beginning on wanting to see more of their favorite actor/actress. It could be said that one desperately wants to watch as much as possible of the program because they can’t get enough out of the actors. I am embarrassed to say that this started my obsession with marathoning One Tree Hill. My celebrity crush with James Lafferty intrigued me to begin watching the first season of One Tree Hill, and once I realized how much I fell in-love with James and his character, I couldn’t stop watching.
We don’t only form these parasocial relationships with the actors/actresses, but with the characters they are portraying in these media programs. We feel as though we have a strong connection to them, like we can personally relate to them, and it keeps us wanting more and more out of watching the program.
A strong example of this is the famous fan base of McSteamy and McDreamy from ABC’s Grey’s Anatomy. This is a blog where hard core “McSteamy” fans bost pictures, their feelings, or whatever weekly about their parasocial relationship McSteamy. Many of these fans have marathoned the show, which could have potential to lead to bigger parasocial relationships. You are learning more and more about the characters in a closer time span.