The Nina Effect: Offspring and the commodification of fan affect
Offspring is a long-form dramedy series that premiered on Australia's Network Ten in 2010. Since its debut, Offspring has worn its heart and location on its sleeve, with its Melbourne location prominent as an additional "character." Here I demonstrate how the affective engagement of Offspring fans, in addition to the "aesthetics of affect" (Simon O'Sullivan 2001) aroused by Melbourne, can be framed in terms of authenticity. The work of Stanfill and Condis (2014) and Hills (2015c) is vital when considering the contradictions inherent in affective fan labor. Although the affective engagement prompted by the audience (the online outpouring of grief over the death of the character of Patrick, the sadness at the perceived end of the show) can be framed as authentic; the aesthetics of affect elicited by the Melbourne setting (walking tours of locations; the "Nina effect" on real estate and fashion) has been commodified. The commodification of affect by the program's network can be interpreted as the inauthentic appropriation of fan labor, as many network promotions were drawn directly from online fan communities, such as websites documenting "Nina style."