Critics of television tend to regard viewing as an anti-social pastime which has ‘killed the art of conversation’. Yet in fact television viewing is predominantly a social activity, which usually takes place in the company of others. Viewers do not, by and large, sit passively absorbing what they watch: they talk to each other, and may even talk back to the screen. Even when we actually watch alone, we will often talk about what we watch with others. Talk about television is a vital element o f our everyday social lives.