It’s difficult to define what a meme is these days. Like viral videos before it, memes hope to become self-perpetuating, as in: If I call this a viral video, then it will go viral, right? Can you call it a meme before it’s transmitted from one person to another? Just because it looks like a meme doesn’t necessarily means it’s a meme.
Moreover, it feels strange when corporate entities and marketing departments co-opt memes, as at one point it seemed more like an organic process, something that was developed on tumblr or by fans or by a person that wasn’t paid to spread them. That’s why it feels a little squicky to me that Showtime is promoting Dexter and Homeland though self-created memes, which are being developed for Comic Con. Don’t even get me started on the appropriateness of whether “Dexter” and “Homeland” should be featured at a convention built around comic books. Not that we should surprised: The main rooms at Comic Con so rarely have anything to do with comics or even geek culture anymore. The day they let in Twilight was the day that Comic-Con stopped being about the comic book culture are started being about corporate whoredom.
Of course, when you hire a corporate marketing department to create Internet memes, you get what you overpaid for, which is to say: Memes parents would post on their kids’ Facebook walls to demonstrate how “with it” they are. What I’m saying is, these “memes” — via EW and THR — are cheesy as hell. It’s a good thing I already watch both shows because this is exactly the sort of thing that would discourage me from starting.