Watching Dallas again 1: Doing retro audience research

Amanda Gilroy


This essay and the audience reception projects it introduces alleviate the desperation of seeking the television audience by recourse to Ien Ang's influential book, Watching Dallas ([1982] 1985). Within the context of a unit on audience research in a master's-level course on media, two groups of students explored the possibilities of remixing Ang in the present digital media landscape via informants' comments on the first season of the new series of Dallas (2012–14). Discourses of nostalgia circulate within and around the text, as well as the project itself. Retro audience research generates not only data about the affective memories and critical reflections of informants but also insights into research methods and the production of new nostalgic subjects.


Ien Ang; Nostalgia; TV studies

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