At its best television can be an amazingly powerful medium. Through the magic of television, we can experience the whole drama of human life. Witness history unfolding. And be transported to the far reaches of the imagination. And our goal in this episode of Philosophy Talk is to honor and encourage the better angels of television, by shining the klieg lights on TV programs past and present, that make us think.
What is it
Speaking to the National Association of Broadcasters in May 1961, FCC Chairman Newton Minow famously introduced the characterization of television as a “vast wasteland.” And that wasteland has only become vaster – though occasionally a flower will bloom, from “The Twilight Zone” and “Star Trek” to “South Park” and “Lost.” With help from listeners, critics, and past guests, John and Ken try to tease out the thoughtful from the mindless for a thinking person's guide to TV, past and present.