Emily Nussbaum: A Critical Mass Of Good TV

Emily Nussbaum's critique on Lena Dunham's HBO show, Girls, for The New Yorker: "Like any groundbreaking TV, it shows the audience something new, then dares it to look away." i i

Emily Nussbaum's critique on Lena Dunham's HBO show, Girls, for The New Yorker: "Like any groundbreaking TV, it shows the audience something new, then dares it to look away." Neilson Barnard/Getty Images for The New Yorker hide caption

itoggle caption Neilson Barnard/Getty Images for The New Yorker
Emily Nussbaum's critique on Lena Dunham's HBO show, Girls, for The New Yorker: "Like any groundbreaking TV, it shows the audience something new, then dares it to look away."

Emily Nussbaum's critique on Lena Dunham's HBO show, Girls, for The New Yorker: "Like any groundbreaking TV, it shows the audience something new, then dares it to look away."

Neilson Barnard/Getty Images for The New Yorker

Emily Nussbaum — the New Yorker critic — has a keen eye out for TV shows that tend to go off the beaten path. "Sometimes those are the shows that feel off-putting and disorienting, like Louie, or shows that do things that haven't been done previously, so people don't know how to watch them," says the writer who's unafraid of a small screen challenge. "I try to find those kinds of shows. But I've changed my mind about things a million times."

(So what should you be watching? The Good Wife, Broad City and Adventure Time, says Nussbaum.)

Nussbaum — the instigator — favors Twitter as a means to discuss, argue and debate this ever-evolving medium with 50,000 others. "It makes TV into a social experience in a different way," she told Ask Me Another host Ophira Eisenberg. "It's like hooting in a movie theater ... not that I hoot in movie theaters."

Plus, Nussbaum — the fan — will gleefully defend the show that started it all for her: Buffy the Vampire Slayer. So in an Ask Me Another Challenge called "If the Apocalypse Comes, Beep Me," we brought on actor Tom Lenk, who played the "evil" nerd Andrew on Buffy's later seasons, to be Nussbaum's lifeline in a trivia round of vampiric proportions.

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