“I really love this book. Szalay digs deep under the skin of recent television. Second Lives is compellingly argued, impeccably reasoned, and a pleasure to read. And it unearths the hidden allegories that are at the core of contemporary television. This is an important book, recommended to all who would grapple with TV’s complexities.”
— Will Scheffer, cocreator of HBO’s 'Big Love' and 'Getting On'
“Second Lives proves that a deep account of the broadest of socioeconomic realities, the total economic order, is necessary to adequately grasp our cultural present. A future classic of TV studies, and easily among the best books on culture and deindustrialization.”
— Sarah Brouillette, Carleton College
“If television about white family life has often been nostalgic, Szalay chronicles what happens when that triumphalism encounters today’s uncertainties around gender and sexuality, ethnicity and race, and labor and economic precarity. A rich, resonant book that informs equally about US politics and television today.”
— Dana Polan, New York University
"The shrewd analysis excels at distilling implicit themes in the entertainment landscape. Media scholars will want to check this out."
— Publishers Weekly