This all raises the question: are there right and wrong ways to watch a television series? I am reminded of Immanuel Kant’s belief, outlined in his Critique of Judgment (1790), that when we consume art, we do so under the assumption that others ought to agree with our interpretation of it. This is a common, basic principle of how taste functions in a cultural society. For Kant, there exists a universal community of taste that we all subscribe to, and art is the means by which we can communicate our common experiences. When viewers watch Twin Peaks: The Return or The Leftovers, they can’t help but understand it in their own way, and can’t help but believe that others should be of the same mind. In this sense, the liberatory entitlement felt by queer or POC spectators to take control of mainstream art is a political byproduct of the fundamental entitlement felt by the oppressor class to have control over all texts, even ones that insist on their inherent alternativism.
Pitre, Jake. 2018. “Fan Reactions to The Leftovers and Twin Peaks: The Return.” In “Social TV Fandom and the Media Industries,” edited by Myles McNutt, special issue, Transformative Works and Cultures, no. 26. http://dx.doi.org/10.3983/twc.2018.1300.