We all have opinions about the television shows we watch, but television criticism is about much more than simply evaluating the merits of a particular show and deeming it 'good' or 'bad.' Rather, criticism uses the close examination of a television program to explore that program's cultural significance, creative strategies, and its place in a broader social context. How to Watch Television brings together forty original essays from today's leading scholars on television culture, writing about the programs they care (and think) the most about. Each essay focuses on a particular television show, demonstrating one way to read the program and, through it, our media culture. The essays model how to practice media criticism in accessible language, providing critical insights through analysis-suggesting a way of looking at TV that students and interested viewers might emulate. The contributors discuss a wide range of television programs past and present, covering many formats and genres, spanning fiction and non-fiction, broadcast and cable, providing a broad representation of the programs that are likely to be covered in a media studies course.
While the book primarily focuses on American television, important programs with international origins and transnational circulation are also covered. Addressing television series from the medium's earliest days to contemporary online transformations of television, How to Watch Television is designed to engender classroom discussion among television critics of all backgrounds. Read: Introduction / Table of Contents / Sample Essays Online View: Clips from the Essays Visit the Facebook page.
Ethan Thompson is Associate Professor at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi. He is the author of Parody and Taste in Postwar American Television Culture, and co-editor of Satire TV: Politics and Comedy in the Post-Network Era. Jason Mittell is a Professor of Film & Media Culture and American Studies at Middlebury College. He is the author of Genre & Television: From Cop Shows to Cartoons in American Culture, Television & American Culture, and co-editor of How to Watch Television (NYU Press, 2013).
Acknowledgments Introduction 1 Homicide 2 House 3 Life on Mars 4 Mad Men 5 Nip/Tuck 6 Phineas & Ferb 7 The Sopranos 8 Tim and Eric's Awesome Show, Great Job! 9 24 10 The Amazing Race 11 The Cosby Show 12 The Dick Van Dyke Show 13 Eva Luna 14 Glee / House Hunters International 15 Grey's Anatomy 16 Jersey Shore 17 30 Days 18 America's Next Top Model 19 Family Guy 20 Fox & Friends 21 M*A*S*H 22 Parks and Recreation 23 Star Trek 24 The Wonder Years 25 Entertainment Tonight 26 I Love Lucy 27 Modern Family 28 Monday Night Football 29 NYPD Blue 30 Onion News Network 31 The Prisoner 32 The Twilight Zone 33 Auto-Tune the News 34 Battlestar Galactica 35 Everyday Italian 36 Gossip Girl 37 It's Fun to Eat 38 One Life to Live 39 Samurai Champloo 40 The Walking Dead Contributors Index
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