I Like to Watch: Arguing My Way Through the TV Revolution

I Like to Watch: Arguing My Way Through the TV Revolution Book Summary

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.

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 two never-before-published essays, Nussbaum writes about her passion for television that began with stumbling upon "Buffy the Vampire Slayer"—a show that was so much more than it appeared—while she was a graduate student studying Victorian literature. What followed was a love affair with television, an education, and a fierce debate about whose work gets to be called “great” that led Nussbaum to a trailblazing career as a critic whose reviews said so much more about our culture than just what’s good on television. Through these pieces, she traces 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 explores the links between the television antihero and the rise of Donald Trump.

The book is more than a collection of essays. With each piece, Nussbaum recounts her fervent search, over fifteen years, for a new kind of criticism that resists the false hierarchy that elevates one form of culture over another. It traces her own struggle 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.

Title:I Like to Watch: Arguing My Way Through the TV Revolution



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    I Like to Watch: Arguing My Way Through the TV Revolution Reviews

  • Michael

    Witty and conversational, I Like to Watch charts American television’s rise to cultural prestige and power over the past three decades. Exploring the intersection of the medium and race, class, and ...

  • Carole

    I Like to Watch: Arguing My Way Through the TV Revolution by Emily Nussbaum has opened my eyes about television and shown this medium to be much more than I expected. I must admit that I do not watch ...

  • Perry

    The Tao of TellyWhat a collection of perfection in perceptive criticism and thought from the incredible Emily Nussbaum, culture critic for The New Yorker. In it, she considers the high evolution of te...

  • Diane S ?

    Do you consider television show art form. Does what you watch define is some way who you are? In this book of essays the author takes us through several popular shows, and explains why they were succe...

  • Glen

    I won this book in a goodreads drawing.Back in college, I took a class on popular culture. It was pretty interesting. We read a lot of stuff about television. For some reason, I remember an article wr...

  • Sonya

    Even if you've already read Nussbaum's New Yorker columns faithfully, the new essay, Confessions of a Human Shield, is worth the price of the book. In it, Nussbaum examines her own journey from liking...

  • Andrew Barnes

    I Like to Watch is a culmination of 20+ years of revelatory television writing from Emily Nussbaum. The essays elevate the shows I’ve watched and love to greater heights. It makes me feel like an id...

  • Lee

    So good I almost wanted to go back and watch Sex and the City how Emily Nussbaum did....

  • Woman Reading

    I began to think of my job, with a grandiosity that was motivational but frankly a little nuts, as a mission. Television deserved a critical stance less hobbled by shame - a language that trea...

  • Mari

    Rating this was difficult because there are several competing things here: 1- This was thoughtful and Nussbaum lays out her ideas and criticisms clearly. It made me think about my own views on TV as a...