Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

From ‘Star Trek’ to ‘The Office,’ film and streaming produce superfans


Entertainment fandom can range from non-existent to obsessive. Before certain series or characters are created or discovered, many are unaware as to the lengths their interests can go.

McDonald’s recently released a small amount of limited edition Szechuan nugget sauces, to the delight of thousands of “Rick and Morty” fans across the country. Fans were excited to try the sauce that’s been raved about on their favorite show, despite whether they truly remember the sauce from its 1998 release. However, when McDonald’s stores explained the shortage of the sauce, fans all over the country reacted angrily and ultimately forced McDonald’s to make more. 

Superfans come in different degrees, whether they’ve binge-watched a series over and over, or they’ve constructed their own items from their favorite series’ universe. The UA campus is home to a sprinkling of superfans. 

Miranda Cornelius, a senior nursing major, preaches all things Disney. From TV shows and Disney Channel Original Movies, to Walt Disney World, Cornelius is all-around a Disney superfan.

“I could talk about Disney all day and never get tired of it,” Cornelius said. “I will shout it to everyone I know. I am currently wearing my Disney ring. I also collect Disney collectibles.”

Cornelius explained that her love for Disney began in childhood when her mom and her grandmother ensured that she was showered with Disney’s magic. Early visits to Walt Disney World and seeing the characters and princesses from the world of Disney, captured Cornelius’ attention from a young age.

“When I was seven, my mom gave me an exact replica of the Sleeping Beauty storybook they show at the beginning of the movie,” said Cornelius. “[I am] literally obsessed with it because my mom and grandmother made me this way.”

Peter Fitzgibbons, a sophomore majoring in finance, considers himself a superfan of “The Office,” a show that has been off television for a while, but has experienced continued life due to streaming services like Netflix. Fitzgibbons is currently on his sixth time binge-watching the series, watching it a little bit each day.

“I think the reason it is the greatest show to air on television is because it has the humor of a comedy show, but it also has superb character development that keeps you interested,” Fitzgibbons said. “I also really like how you can start on any episode and know what’s going on. You don’t have to watch the previous ten episodes for it make sense and be funny.”

Many millenials are perhaps influenced by their parents’ love for “Star Trek,” which has experienced a new fanbase since the movie remakes. Jackson Dean, a sophomore majoring in marketing, is a superfan – from an early age, Dean has been following “Star Trek” because of his father’s love for the series. Dean and his brother became Trekkies as reflections of their dad, and have grown their passion for the series together as they’ve aged.

“My brother Collin and I would discuss our opinions on the episode, fight about who was right, which was our favorite character, what we would have done if we were on the bridge of the Enterprise, all the classic conversations that brothers tend to have,” Dean said. “I honestly cannot talk about being a fan of Star Trek without talking about Collin.”

Dean’s passion for “Star Trek” has bled over into his educational career and his personal life. Being a Trekkie, Dean loves taking the opportunity to talk with other Trekkies about the show and to insert his knowledge of the universe into his everyday life.

“I have built my own phaser and communicator,” he said. “I have quoted Spock in papers and speeches given to my high school. I have done many things as a result of being a fan and I feel like if you know me, at some point I have probably told you to live long and prosper as a parting phrase.”

As Dean expressed, Star Trek to him is more than just a series of stories, but represents more to its fans and all that watch it. For Dean, the world created within the Star Trek universe is one that represents an ideal community and expression of the human experience.

“I love Star Trek because it is an exploration of human nature from an outside perspective,” Dean said. “We often don’t understand what is to be human based just off of our own experience. Star Trek also takes all of the good qualities of man and puts them on the forefront. In Star Trek there is no poverty, the Earth is green and lush, the efforts of man have turned to exploration and learning instead of conquest and wealth. The people have abandoned racism, sexism and most of the major problems we have today.”

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