"An extraordinary book which makes a vital contribution to our understanding of the potential power for healing and goodness in 'television entertainment'." Arlie Hochschild, author of The Time Bind (2001) "Despite the light title, this is a serious book about the healing possibilities of television. ! Provocative and enlightening." Beth Montemurro, Penn State University Can television be a positive force in society? Can socially conscious entertainment change the world? Two Aspirins and Comedy arrives at surprising and unconventional answers to these questions. Metta Spencer delves deep into the significance and power of entertainment as a means to influence society. She finds current examples of socially constructive television and demonstrates how mass entertainment can better use its power to positively influence society. In a climate where television is often a culprit for society's woes, Spencer casts a redemptive eye on the medium. She asserts that television, like other fictional landscapes, offers invaluable lessons, emotional bonding and catharsis for a modern society whose members are increasingly isolated.
“Two Aspirins and a Comedy is best evaluated, perhaps, as sociologically informed social criticism. As such, it has a lot to offer. … Sociologists trying to understand popular religious discourses in the media will certainly benefit by reading this provocative and insightful book.”
—Stephen Harold Riggins, Memorial University of Newfoundland, in Canadian Journal of Sociology
“An extraordinary book which makes a vital contribution to our understanding of the potential power for healing and goodness in 'television entertainment.' Personally I hate the ads, the violence, the speed, the escapism of American television, but I’ve learned a very great deal from this book about 'the other side' of TV.”
—Arlie Hochschild, author of The Time Bind: When Work Becomes Home and Home Becomes Work (Owl Books, 2001)