Lucy opens the wardrobe

Media Marathoning Book Announcement

I’m delighted to announce that I signed a Lexington Books contract for Media Marathoning: Immersions and Morality. I’m currently revising in response to peer feedback. The book may even be in print by the end of this year. I look forward to kicking off a scholarly conversation about media marathoning. In 2013, the popular press exploded with…

Cord Cutting

The End of Paternalistic TV is Nigh

I rarely turn on the TV to watch TV any more. If not for upstate New York’s fickle weather, it is possible I would never watch “live TV.” When I’m not trying to figure out how to dress my kids for the day, streaming services, DVDs, and downloads, are my go-to content sources. Because of…

Michonne

Post-Apocalyptic is Not Post-Racial

CNN’s “The Post-Racial Revolution Will Be Televised” was low-hanging fruit–but I had to pick it. In Media Ethics last week, my students and I discussed how we can enjoy a media text but not approve of all of its messages. The Walking Dead is one such dissonant text for me. I find it to be…

ambiguous morality 2

How Do You Judge Ambiguously Moral Characters?

We are fascinated by murderers, drug dealers, and other criminals—or at least that is what the media landscape and my interviewees’ marathoning behaviors suggest.
I just finished drafting the final media marathoning content chapter, which focuses on moral ambiguity. My analysis is framed by the conscious or unconscious criteria we use to evaluate such characters. Here is my current iteration of the “test” of morality:

1. What circumstances does the character find her or himself in?
2. Is there a way out that avoids violence?
3. What is the impact of one’s violent or illegal actions on collective society?
4. What of the character’s history evokes viewer sympathies?

bluth

Will You Get the Reference?

The recent ice storm that crippled Atlanta had me thinking about The Walking Dead. The lines of stranded cars do evoke scenes from the zombie apocalypse, but my mind drifted to one small line from the show. In “18 Miles Out,” Rick recalls that when his cousin got stuck on I-85 for a whole day,…

Hobbits

Binge on Love This Holiday Season

Holidays are a time to indulge–in decadent desserts, bacon-wrapped appetizers, mulled wines, and media. Articles in Slate and The New York Times have chastised those who over-indulge in media, giving these people the derisive label “binge viewers.” We know that the substance of those sugar cookies and pork bellies isn’t healthy, but what about the…

March Madness

Binge-Watch: Almost the Word of the Year

According to Time, “binge-watch” just missed out on being the Oxford English Dictionary’s word of the year. “Selfie” is the champion. (Is it worse to see a selfie or to lose to “selfie” in the lexicon contest?) Here’s how the OED defines binge-watch: binge-watch: (v.) to watch multiple episodes of a television program in rapid succession,…