I Like to Watch by Emily Nussbaum

I Like to Watch

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 ...

Details I Like to Watch

TitleI Like to Watch
Release DateJun 25th, 2019
PublisherRandom House
GenreNonfiction, Writing, Essays, Culture, Pop Culture

Reviews I Like to Watch

  • 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 gender, Nussbaum touches upon everything from the aesthetics of feminist television shows to the murky ethics of product placement in broadcast programming. Through close examination of landmark shows (All in the Family, The Cosby Show, Buffy, The So...
  • 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 television in the past 20 years; its influence on culture; the revolutions of its ascendancy from simply entertainment into, at times, transcendent original art in which we can simultaneously find ourselves in its truths and lose ourselves. She also of...
  • 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 written about the show, The Days and Nights of Molly Dodd. It was written, I think before 1990. I remember thinking it was an awful lot of effort for a show that most people didn't watch.Here we are in 2019. I open this book, and the whole thing is wri...
  • 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 idiot for having missed others. Even when panning shows I love, I came away with a richer view of the show. Beautiful ruminations on why we watch and why television is enriching art and not the brain draining waste some dullards try and make it out to ...
  • Lee
    So good I almost wanted to go back and watch Sex and the City how Emily Nussbaum did.
  • Trevor Groce
    Emily Nussbaum is the reason I flip to the back when I get my hands on The New Yorker. Each page offers insight and honest appraisals of many of the most important shows over the past two decades. Her love for television imbues every review with a sense of affection, even for the shows deemed a disappointment. Reading these reviews in proximity, along with some extended profiles and essays, reveals the depth of her genius and brings the reader up...
  • Tess
    I LIKE TO WATCH, Emily Nussbaum's collection of essays on television, is a revelation. I worked through the book much faster than anticipated. I thought I would go to each essay individually, and would take my time, but her amazing writing, insights, and interesting stories about some of my favorite television shows made the book a page-turner for me. Each essay is about a certain television show, yes, but it usually delves into so much more - po...
  • 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 and defending the work of difficult men to understanding how they fit into our current cultural morass. Particularly blistering is her discussion of the fate of Louis CK. It's an essay of and for our time.
  • Hannah Garden
    I think Emily Nussbaum is one of the sharpest, most illuminating thinkers I’ve ever read. There’s something so calm and level and yet deeply felt about her critiques, I find myself nodding along and yelling, “Yes!” as she makes cogent, generous, precise point after point, like I’m watching her jump hurdles, which she is! The sticky sticky hurdles of emotion, bias, and agenda that so much of my own responses to art get mired in. I feel l...
  • Mehrsa
    Honestly, I don't even watch TV. But these essays are so freaking good. They are about culture and feminism and art and me too. I didn't want to watch the shows necessarily, but I did want to hear Nussbaum watch them and tell me what to think about what these shows are trying and succeeding/failing to do. I did appreciate the LOST essay because I did watch that one back in the day and I was so annoyed at the ending so that essay was satisfying.
  • Liz
    Via my book blog at https://cavebookreviews.blogspot.com/I follow Emily Nussbaum's column in The New Yorker and her Twitter feed. The Twitter feed gives me AHA moments in her short bursts of comments on television programs that are hot in today's market. The longer New Yorker pieces are much more informative and give me things to chew over at a slower pace.EN's new book is a collection of published essays with two new ones and a great introductio...
  • Johannes
    Up until I read I Like to Watch, my favorite book on contemporary TV was Brett Martin’s Difficult Men, a study on the TV revolution that happened in roughly the first decade of the 2000s (Sopranos through Breaking Bad). Emily Nussbaum’s new collection is an excellent continuation, and at times correction, to the history of modern American television.Nussbaum is an observant critic who’s a lot of fun to spend time with. She can bring the sna...
  • Prince William Public Library System
    Emily Nussbaum likes to watch TV, and she’s not apologetic about it either. In I Like to Watch, which collects new and previously published essays from New York magazine and the New Yorker, she raves about her favorite shows—Buffy the Vampire Slayer, The Sopranos, Scandal, Jane the Virgin, Orange is the New Black, and Black-ish, to name a few—with a contagious enthusiasm that makes you want to binge watch them all from start to finish. Her ...
  • Julia
    3.5 stars. I think the strength of this book are the shorter critiques of specific shows- there were several that made me consider shows differently when shown in the context of what tv came before and after it. The longer profiles of creators and the essay in the middle about separating the art from the artist dragged and slowed momentum. The profiles meandered through interviews with the creators, and while I realize that profiles don't necessa...
  • Haley Hope Gillilan
    Emily is an OG TV critic. I loved reading all her essays all in one place, even if I hadn’t seen the show before. TV criticism is a pretty unique craft, and so I love seeing one of the best being able to create something like this. It’ll definitely serve as a cultural artifact, because in some of these Emily grapples with TV shows in real time, and others as they’ve aged in unexpected ways. Hopefully this is not the last of her essay anthol...
  • Steve Sanders
    Maybe the most important work of pop-cultural criticism since Pauline Kael’s 5001 Nights At the Movies. With wit and precision, Nussbaum chronicles television’s evolution into the defining art form of the 21st century.
  • Beck
    "I Like to Watch" is a collection of lyrical, well argued essays written by The New Yorker’ s TV critic (and, as the cover notes, Pulitzer Prize winner), Emily Nussbaum. Like Nussbaum, I prefer TV to movies. i like how a story - and characters - can develop over multiple seasons, can change and morph into something new. That being said, I’m not a super fan - I don’t watch a whole lot of it. That didn’t hinder my enjoyment of this book, th...
  • Neville Longbottom
    I Like to Watch is an interesting take on a book about television criticism. Emily Nussbaum wrote that she didn’t set out to create a book about her favorite shows or what she thinks are the most “important,” but rather to have a collection of articles and essays that support her thoughts about TV as a whole. You won’t find any top 10 lists here, but you will find ponderings about why The Sopranos is more highly regarded than Buffy the Va...
  • Ayuko
    It's hard to critique the critique but I have been one of those people who considered TV as the lower media to films, but I think it was since I started reading her critiques on the New Yorker I started to spend more time streaming. The only show I had ever watched among the shows written in the book was Sex and The City, and the critique reignited a fervor in me. Even the shows I have never watched intrigued me so much that I started watching Th...
  • Marilena Rizou
    Very interesting analysis of many shows and themes. I even liked the part about the shows I haven't watched (most of them). It made me wanting to watch a few of them. It's deep, philosophically and factually.I think the book could be followed by one exploring an even greater variety of shows. I am personally interested very much in non-english language ones.
  • Dan Gibson
    I didn’t realize this is largely an anthology of older work, but hey, it’s Emily Nussbaum on television. She makes you care about shows you didn’t think you might, has great insight on shows you already love and has a great perspective on the creative process.
  • Melissa
    I’m not really much of a television watcher these days - for some reason multi-episode stuff isn’t doing it for me - but I do love criticism. I’d read about a third of Nussbaum’s essays previously so I already knew that I would enjoy this book immensely. Some are more reviews of a show’s season or finale, some are more of a critical look back. Two essays are completely new - which in my opinion was too few. I would have loved a better b...
  • Raquel
    This book is a powerful piece of feminist writing that guides readers through the “golden age of television.” Each review is more thought-provoking than the next and I was frequently, and pleasantly, pushed out of my comfort zone. The book isn’t stuffy film theory. Nussbaum makes room for the critical favorites like The Sopranos while also discussing the importance of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Jane the Virgin. All while weaving in poetry...
  • Talia
    I (unsurprisingly) loved this! I obviously enjoyed the essays about TV shows I've seen, but I also felt like I got a lot out of the essays about shows I don't watch. (I will say I had to skip the essay about Hannibal because I'm too squeamish to even read about it, but I'm sure the essay was great.) She did a great job pulling together pieces from many different points in her career and arranging them to make a consistent argument. Both of the ne...
  • Donna
    Essays on television and television cultureI was unfamiliar with the author prior to reading this book but have a favorable opinion of her after finishing. I found that I liked her essays focused on television shows more than her interviews or her overview of the Me Too movement. For those shows that I had also watched, I really enjoyed hearing her point of view (Buffy, Lost, among others).
  • Erin
    Nussbaum's critiques are thoughtful, funny, and game-changing when it comes to understanding television as a medium: especially in the so-called "Golden Age." The new material she wrote specifically for this collection is magnificent, but revisiting essays I've already read and discovering other works of hers was also GREAT. I'm now a huge dorky fan of hers.
  • Penny Poppleton
    I found this collection of essays both compelling reading and deeply essential criticism. I too feel like I have to defend tv as being a valid part of cultural storytelling, and this takes several examples of shows (as well as personal profiles) doing so. It was great for any story addict and small screen fiend.
  • Ben Izzo
    This book is essential reading, for even the casual TV viewer. It will make you think differently about how you watch television and makes a persuasive argument for the ways in which television's rise in prominence has both harmed and hurt us as a culture. Emily Nussbaum is a seer and I will continue go to her any time I need to have my TV tarot cards read.
  • Frederico
    Emily Nussbaum has been my favorite critic for years. I don't watch that much tv (I'm trying to keep up with my reading challenge), but I love reading her tv criticism. This is a great collection, mostly about shows I didn't watch, yet I loved it. She has that NYC voice that I miss so much. And Nussbaum's profile of Ryan Murphy, that closes the book, is anthological.