“It’s going to take a while, but I’m going to prove to you that the nexus where television and fiction converse and consort is self-conscious irony. Irony is, of course, a turf fictionists have long worked with zeal. And irony is important for understanding TV because “T.V.,” now that it’s gotten powerful enough to move from acronym to way of life, revolves off just the sorts of absurd contradictions irony’s all about exposing. It is ironic that television is a syncresis that celebrates diversity. That an extremely unattractive self-consciousness is necessary to create TV performers’ illusion of unconscious appeal. That products presented as helping you express individuality can afford to be advertised on television only because they sell to huge hordes. And so on.”

– David Foster Wallace, from page 11 of “E Unibus Pluram: Television and U.S. Fiction