The Power of Representation: Rethinking Sexuality and Challenging Heteronormativity in Rizzoli & Isles Fan Videos
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Fan vidding is a fan practice in which fans poach existing materials from popular culture, which they then transform into a new original text. Fan videos in which gender and sexuality play an important part can then be seen and used as a bridge between fan studies and queer theory. These fan videos can be queer, when commenting on images of heteronormativity and/or slash when centering on a relationship between two same sex characters. Central to this research is the question: how do fans of the television series Rizzoli & Isles represent the main character's relationship in their fan videos? Three fan videos, representing the three main fan vidding genres, have been selected and analyzed by looking at the stylistic elements of sound and editing. This research is then structured by the following three sub-questions: how are editing and sound used for the representation of the main character's relationship in a San Francisco School fan video?; how are editing and sound used for the representation of the main character's relationship in a MediaWest fan video?; how are editing and sound used for the representation of the main character's relationship in a Mary van Deusen fan video? Based on the findings of the analyses, it is concluded that all three fan videos, representing the different genres, have offered different ways of using sound and editing when transforming material, poached from popular culture, into a new context. The fans have then represented the relationship between Jane and Maura through their language, the sound and editing, bringing together fan studies and queer theory in the discussion of sexuality and heteronormativity. The three fan videos represented the relationship between Jane and Maura as a flirtatious relationship, a friendship and work relationship, and an intimate romantic relationship.