What if there was an instruction manual for television? Not just for the casual consumer, but for college students interested in learning about the culture of television, written by some of the field's top scholars?
In How to Watch Television (New York University Press, 2013), editors Ethan Thompson and Jason Mittell have put together a collection of 40 original essays from some of today's top scholars on television culture. Each essay focuses on a single television show, and each is an example of how to practice media criticism on an academic level. Thompson, Associate Professor at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi, and Mittell, professor at Middlebury College, also contributed essays to the collection. As the authors explain: "This book, the essays inside it, and the critical methods the authors employ, all seek to expand the ways you think about television."