How Did TV Lose Its Promise?

“Television is no longer an experience we share with the neighbours, except on such dire occasions. When we gather to drink and mourn and shout idiotically at the screen, it is part of a wider life. At other times in public places, it is merely part of the furniture, a familiar but unobserved accessory, while in the home it has become a utility as plentiful as tap water. All this seems a long way from a working-class Stirlingshire village in June 1953, when there was a sense that the box of tricks had been invented for the purpose of giving ordinary people an access to extraordinary events.”