Why Would Anyone Re-Run a (Media) Marathon?

From Amanda Davis Gatchet:

As I work through the interviews with our marathoning participants, it strikes me that people who marathon often “re-marathon,” returning to much loved characters and storylines again and again. This resonates with my own marathoning experiences—at least with the marathons I do for me, not for research. I don’t even want to admit how many times I have read the Harry Potter series or watched the movies.

Many of the re-marathons seem to be set in motion by the media companies and their attempts to stage special media “events.” Several interviewees have noted that they marathon or re-marathon a book series just before the release of a film translation of the book. For example, Vera wanted to “do her homework” before seeing a film from the Twilight saga: “I knew we were going to go see the movie so I just started with [the books] just so I could be caught up again.” Alicia’s marathon was also inspired by a media company, this time by HBO, which played one of her favorite film series: “I watched the latest (Half Blood Prince) on HBO to get caught up on the series and realized I needed to re-watch some of the previous movies.” This idea of “catching up” emerged in multiple interviews. Why do we feel compelled to “be prepared” before seeing a new movie or reading a new book? Does the re-marathon enhance our enjoyment of the new text?

Perhaps re-marathoning is what Paramount has in mind with their Blu Ray release of the Indiana Jones set (available Tuesday, September 18th). Check out the list of bonus features, as well as the trailer to consider if you’ll be inspired to re-marathon Indy. (Special Note: The trailer wisely leaves out reference to the aliens in Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.)

Reading through the discussions that have been posted to the blog over the last few weeks, I note that Lisa’s students have made some excellent points about motivations to marathon. I am curious about other re-marathoning motivations. Why do you re-marathon? Are these motivations similar to our original impulse to marathon something? Or, does our relationship with our “text” change with re-immersion?

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2 thoughts on “Why Would Anyone Re-Run a (Media) Marathon?

  1. Interesting points here! It seems there is a connection between marketing and re-marathoning that may be more prevalent, or more persuasive, than it is the first time one decides to marathon.

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