Review: How to Watch Television

How to Watch Television edited by Ethan Thompson and Jason Mittell

thompsonmittellhowtowatchtelevision

While I tell people that I didn’t start watching television “properly” until I was fifteen, it’s a bit of shorthand. It’s not that we didn’t watch television in my house growing up. My mother, a committed Anglophile of a Frenchwoman, watched (and continues to watch) Masterpiece Theater on a regular basis, and I, obviously, had both the time and access to watch I Love the 80s and imprint upon eighties pop culture like a duckling. Otherwise, my parents just didn’t watch primetime television shows, which meant that I was simply never exposed to even the concept. By the time Heroes rolled around and my pop culture junkie destiny was realized, all of my critical background, both taught and absorbed, was in literature. Since then, I’ve been working to expand my critical eye into other mediums. I’ve been paying specific attention to film (hello, Story of Film!) and comics (hello, Understanding Comics!), but seeing How to Watch Television on NetGalley reminded me that it was high time to officially tackle television.

Especially with the five shows I’ll be juggling this season.

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Review: Fans, Bloggers, and Gamers

Fans, Bloggers, and Gamers by Henry Jenkins

(This is one of my “lost reviews”—reviews I wrote and finished but, somehow, never posted to the blog! I read this last May. Enjoy!)

Let me just say this upfront—this book made me want to be a better fan, to the extent that I finally joined TheOneRing.Net’s forums and decided to actually make a conscious effort to get through Buffy the Vampire Slayer. (I like it just fine, but it’s just… it’s just not clicking like Doctor Who does, you know?) I stumbled across Henry Jenkins through his discussions on the implications of fanvids and was blown away by the fact that Media Studies actually studies fandom and takes it seriously in an academic context. You can imagine the sense of immense validation I felt. Alas, because his work is academic, his books are harder to find through public libraries—but PINES did kick up Fans, Bloggers, and Gamers, which I gleefully put on hold.

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