1. By including a scene in a Woody Allen movie, Johnson succeeds in supporting and reinforcing his argument. Woody Allen is a smart, witty writer who actually follows Johnson’s point. By using one form of popular culture to examine another form, Johnson greatly benefits his argument.
2. The charts accompanying the essay illustrate Johnson’s point about the number and type of “threads” in various television programs and how they serve to better us, not hurt us. It’s important to know the television programs to which the charts refer because it gives the reader a better sense of what exactly the author is referring to and what exactly his point is. The illustrations could not stand on their own. They wouldn’t provide as much of an impact.
3. The intellectual demands of television do not directly match up with those of reading. However, they do have some things in common. For instance, because of multiple-threading and other such devices used in television, the audience member needs to have some amount of patience and retention skills to keep up with the plot and all that is occurring. Without these skills, they could fall behind and not grasp all that is taking place. Also, it takes some degree of attention to watch television and to read. While one’s mind may wander while watching a program or reading some material, it does take effort and focus. The demands of television are somewhat less than the demands of reading though. For one thing, on a show the characters are likely to bring up something several times, so the audience member has multiple times to catch on. However, while reading, details can flash right by that are crucial to the central plot.
4. Johnson provides counterarguments by bringing up past TV shows from earlier decades, such as The Mary Tyler Moore Show (I LOVE this show by the way =D), and how some might argue that those types of shows are better for us intellectually. But he always works the refutations back into his argument by comparing and contrasting with TV shows made nowadays and what benefits they provide.
5. Johnson explains that television has become more intellectually demanding because of economic situations and profit making. He reasons that with technology like DVD’s, people are able to view television programs over and over again, so the programs need to be challenging and intelligent enough for people to still find them entertaining. He also brings up the point about the internet and how people have the opportunity to make comments and create websites about things on TV.