This article critically situates My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic (2010-19) and the 'brony' following it has attracted in terms of age and fandom, discourses of quality television, cult media and interactions between fandoms and cultural producers. Far from unprecedented, the show's unexpected male audience reflects adults' historic appreciation of media for children, the increased mainstreaming of animation, and the already infantilized persona of media fans. Aspects of the reimagined series reproduce characteristics of 'quality television' concerning characterization, genre, authorship and political intentionality. Simultaneously the show corresponds with overlapping aspects of cult television and cult cinema, crucially affording both cultural and subcultural value. Finally, examples of the series deliberately courting adult fan audiences are presented as reflecting reciprocal relationships between show producers and its mature viewers. The brony following consequently reflects changes in contemporary fandom dynamics, and the increasing mobility of twenty-first-century television viewing.
|Number of pages||18|
|Journal||Journal of Popular Television|
|Publication status||Published - 1 Mar 2020|
- cult media
- cultural capital
- My Little Pony
- quality television
- Cult media
- Cultural capital
- Quality television
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- School of Art and Media - Principal Lecturer
- Centre for Transforming Sexuality and Gender
- Screen Studies Research and Enterprise Group