The Age of Static: Can we really understand a country by its TV?

Book review: Phil Harrison’s zippy analysis needs to make a more robust argument about Britain

“Harrison, like other commentators, sees a reality television aesthetic at work in the personae of Nigel Farage, Boris Johnson and Donald Trump . . . Johnson thrived on Have I Got News for You.”

“Harrison, like other commentators, sees a reality television aesthetic at work in the personae of Nigel Farage, Boris Johnson and Donald Trump . . . Johnson thrived on Have I Got News for You.”

“Via television it is possible to construct an illuminating alternative history of the last two decades,” promises Phil Harrison in his introduction to The Age of Static. “How did we get here?”

The idea that modern Britain is rendered explicable by its television programming makes a certain amount of sense to people in Ireland. We’ve always felt we know more about the British than they know about us, all because we have “the channels”.

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