Seeing Things: Television in the Age of Uncertainty
Television, John Ellis argues, responds to two powerful desires of our age: it makes us witnesses to often traumatic events and it tries--and fails--to provide us with narratives that make sense of the world. In Seeing Things, Ellis makes sense of modern television, both by exploring its processes and in terms of its dynamic relationships with the cultures that provide it with raw material. Television, he proposes, gives us many different ways to understand the world but does not arbitrate between them. He explores this process as one of ""working through,"" whereby television news takes in the chaos and conflict of the world and subsequent programs offer diverse ways of unraveling its confusions, from the psycho-babble of talk shows to the open narratives of soaps, documentaries and dramas. By means of this working through, problems are exhausted rather than resolved.