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TV School: How College Students are Studying the Television Canon

Very Good Television Podcast: IndieWire interns explains what really goes into examining film and TV as a major, in this current media-oriented climate.

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From getting to watch “Broad City” in class, to examining the same first episode of “The Prisoner” over and over again, studying TV as part of a college curriculum is a mixture of bizarre and relatively run-of-the-mill. To learn more about it for this episode of “Very Good TV,” TV editor Liz Shannon Miller and TV Critic Ben Travers spoke with IndieWire interns Maya, Michael, and Juan about studying TV and how much things have changed since Ben and Liz were at school.

In a climate where TV is more valued than ever before, academia has started to catch up — but dated philosophies on where TV fits into a film studies curriculum have managed to survive. With limited class options and the continued view that TV is just an extension of film (and doesn’t exist on its own), do TV studies lag behind?

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Naturally, studying TV has made watching television a whole new affair. It’s impossible to just simply dislike a show like “Iron Fist” without any reason, instead TV studies seeps its way into the day-to-day regardless. And there’s also been an uptick in focusing on diversity and the treatment of marginalized characters, within a TV realm, which means that when looked at from an academic viewpoint, Dave Chappelle’s notorious blind Klansman character on “The Chappelle Show” and the feminist issues of “Marvel’s Jessica Jones” gain new meaning.

Listen to IndieWire TV Editor Liz Shannon Miller and TV Critic Ben Travers discuss the subject with Maya, Michael and Juan in this week’s Very Good TV Podcast (above). Don’t forget to subscribe via Soundcloud or iTunes, and follow IndieWire on Twitter and Facebook for all your pertinent TV news. Check out Liz and Ben’s Twitter feeds for more, more, more. Plus, don’t forget to listen to IndieWire’s other podcastsScreen Talk with Eric Kohn and Anne Thompson, as well as Michael Schneider’s new podcast, Turn It On, which spotlights the most important TV of each week.

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