The new cultural criticism is crowdsourced and in real time.
It's a Sunday night, and you've got a holiday party to attend. Which means you can't watch Dexter. So you make a date with Showtime On Demand the next evening. On Monday morning, you cover your ears at the water cooler. You ignore the headlines on your favorite recap sites. But then you see it out of the corner of your eye as you scroll through last night's tweets, adorned with a #Dexter hashtag: "OMG Nick killed Brother Sam!!!"
DVR and Hulu may have made it easier to watch on your own schedule, but the new cultural criticism is crowdsourced and in real time. No need to rely on arrogant TV recappers creating a hierarchy of mighty critic and lowly commenter. Your friends, your coworkers, and your favorite Twitter personalities have just as many theories. So go ahead—livetweet that season premiere. Join the masses deriding Don Draper's marriage proposal. Follow the feeds of exclamation marks after Modern Family's Emmy sweep. Spout your own theories about whether Nancy really dies in the final episode of Weeds. Just don't forget your #spoiler hashtag.