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Shows about Nothing: Nihilism in Popular Culture from the Exorcist to Seinfeld
The glamorous portrayal of evil in film and television, frequently denounced as an attack on family values and an incitement to real-life violence, is more complicated and more disturbing than we realize. Exploring the themes and artistry of landmark films and television shows, Thomas Hibbs argues that the demonic antiheroes and seductive comic evil of popular culture are ...more
Paperback, 192 pages
Published December 1st 2000 by Spence Publishing Company
(first published December 1999)
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Very engaging read on nihilism in popular culture as it comes through the big and small screen. This is an updated version of his 1999 work. The new one includes commentary and reflection on more recent shows like Mad Men as well as movies such as Avatar, Harry Potter and the Lord of the Rings series.
This was a good book. Not exactly what I was hoping for. It provided a great explanation of nihilism and how it's displayed in many types of shows. I would have enjoyed a more movie centric analysis, but it's good to understand some of the major philosophical influences on our society (Nietzsche, Descartes, etc.) I've probably only ever seen a handful of Seinfeld episodes and never had imagined how nihilistic it was. The other complaint I have is that the movies it did discuss, I've never seen ( ...more
Jul 16, 2017 Iris marked it as set-aside · review of another edition
Shows about Nothing does an excellent job of pointing out how an American form of nihilism is present in many popular movies and t.v. shows. I found the first chapter ("Nihilism, American Style") especially interesting. The subsequent chapters look at how that American form of nihilism plays out in a wide variety of movies.