I like to watch Arguing my way through the TV revolution

Emily Nussbaum, 1966-

Book - 2019

"From her creation of the first 'Approval Matrix' in New York magazine in 2004 to her Pulitzer Prize-winning columns for The New Yorker, Emily Nussbaum has known all along that what we watch is who we are. In this collection, including several substantive, never-before-published essays, Nussbaum writes about her passion for television beginning with Buffy--as she writes, a show that was so much more than its critical assessment--the evolution of female protagonists over the last d...ecade, the complex role of sexual violence on TV, and what to do about art when the artist is revealed to be a monster. And, she also explores the links between the television antihero and the rise of Trump. The book is an argument, not a collection of reviews. Through it all, Nussbaum recounts her fervent search, over fifteen years, for a new kind of criticism that resists the false hierarchy that places one kind of culture over another. It traces her own development as she has struggled to punch through stifling notions of 'prestige television,' searching for a wilder and freer and more varied idea of artistic ambition--one that acknowledges many types of beauty and complexity, and that opens to more varied voices. It's a book that celebrates television as television, even as each year warps the definition of just what that might mean"--

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Subjects
Published
New York : Random House [2019]
Edition
First edition
Language
English
Item Description
Includes index.
Physical Description
ix, 366 pages ; 25 cm
ISBN
9780525508960
0525508961
Main Author
Emily Nussbaum, 1966- (author)
  • The big picture : how Buffy the vampire slayer turned me into a TV critic
  • The long con ("The Sopranos")
  • The great divide : Norman Lear, Archie Bunker, and the rise of the bad fan
  • Difficult women ("Sex and the city")
  • Cool story, bro ("True detective," "Top of the lake" and "The fall")
  • Last girl in Larchmont : the legacy of Joan Rivers
  • Girls girls girls : "Girls," "Vanderpump rules," "House of cards and Scandal," "The Amy Schumer show," "Transparent"
  • Confessions of the human shield
  • How jokes won the election
  • In praise of sex and violence : "Hannibal," "Law & order : SVU," "Jessica Jones,"
  • "The jinx," "The Americans"
  • The price is right : what advertising does to TV
  • In living color : Kenya Barris'
  • Breaking the box : "Jane the virgin," "The comeback," "The good wife," "The newsroom," "Adventure time," "The leftovers," "High maintenance."
  • Riot girl : Jenji Kohan's hot provocations
  • A disappointed fan is still a fan ("Lost")
  • Mr. big : how Ryan Murphy became the most powerful man in television.
Review by Library Journal Reviews

A Pulitzer Prize-winning cultural critic for The New Yorker who focuses on television, Nussbaum clicks on the set to investigate how female protagonists have evolved, how sexual violence plays out on the small screen, and how the TV antihero mirrors Donald Trump. Her aim: criticism that doesn't get caught up in high-, low-, and middle-brow, making us rethink TV—and art itself. Including three all-new essays. Copyright 2018 Library Journal.

Review by Publisher Summary 1

"From her creation of the first 'Approval Matrix' in New York magazine in 2004 to her Pulitzer Prize-winning columns for The New Yorker, Emily Nussbaum has known all along that what we watch is who we are. In this collection, including several substantive, never-before-published essays, Nussbaum writes about her passion for television beginning with Buffy--as she writes, a show that was so much more than its critical assessment--the evolution of female protagonists over the last decade, the complex role of sexual violence on TV, and what to do about art when the artist is revealed to be a monster. And, she also explores the links between the television antihero and the rise of Trump. The book is an argument, not a collection of reviews. Through it all, Nussbaum recounts her fervent search, over fifteen years, for a new kind of criticism that resists the false hierarchy that places one kind of culture over another. It traces her own development as she has struggled to punch through stifling notions of 'prestige television,' searching for a wilder and freer and more varied idea of artistic ambition--one that acknowledges many types of beauty and complexity, and that opens to more varied voices. It's a book that celebrates television as television, even as each year warps the definition of just what that might mean"--

Review by Publisher Summary 2

Celebrating television as television, a Pulitzer Prize-winning cultural critic presents a thought-provoking collection of new and previously published essays evangelizing for a wider, wilder view of television.

Review by Publisher Summary 3

From The New Yorker’s fiercely original, Pulitzer Prize-winning culture critic, a provocative collection of new and previously published essays arguing that we are what we watch.“Emily Nussbaum is the perfect critic—smart, engaging, funny, generous, and insightful.”—David Grann, author of Killers of the Flower MoonNAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY NPR • Chicago Tribune • Esquire • Library Journal • Kirkus Reviews From her creation of the “Approval Matrix” in New York magazine in 2004 to her Pulitzer Prize–winning columns for The New Yorker, Emily Nussbaum has argued for a new way of looking at TV. In this collection, including two never-before-published essays, Nussbaum writes about her passion for television, beginning with Buffy the Vampire Slayer, the show that set her on a fresh intellectual path. She explores the rise of the female screw-up, how fans warp the shows they love, the messy power of sexual violence on TV, and the year that jokes helped elect a reality-television president. There are three big profiles of television showrunners—Kenya Barris, Jenji Kohan, and Ryan Murphy—as well as examinations of the legacies of Norman Lear and Joan Rivers. The book also includes a major new essay written during the year of #MeToo, wrestling with the question of what to do when the artist you love is a monster.More than a collection of reviews, the book makes a case for toppling the status anxiety that has long haunted the “idiot box,” even as it transformed. Through it all, Nussbaum recounts her fervent search, over fifteen years, for a new kind of criticism, one that resists the false hierarchy that elevates one kind of culture (violent, dramatic, gritty) over another (joyful, funny, stylized). I Like to Watch traces her own struggle to punch through stifling notions of “prestige television,” searching for a more expansive, more embracing vision of artistic ambition—one that acknowledges many types of beauty and complexity and opens to more varied voices. It’s a book that celebrates television as television, even as each year warps the definition of just what that might mean.FINALIST FOR THE PEN/DIAMONSTEIN-SPIELVOGEL AWARD FOR THE ART OF THE ESSAY“This collection, including some powerful new work, proves once and for all that there’s no better American critic of anything than Emily Nussbaum. But I Like to Watch turns out to be even greater than the sum of its brilliant parts—it’s the most incisive, intimate, entertaining, authoritative guide to the shows of this golden television age.”—Kurt Andersen, author of Fantasyland“Reading Emily Nussbaum makes us smarter not just about what we watch, but about how we live, what we love, and who we are. I Like to Watch is a joy.”—Rebecca Traister