While it's easy to criticize the level at which some television shows operate, is it worth condemning the medium as a whole? "That the average American spends 20 percent of his or her day watching television can seem alarming, but television's ever-present existence in our lives is a fact. And it can no longer be ignored. 'It's the lens through which many Americans see the world,' said Lynne Joyrich, an associate professor in Brown University's department of Modern Culture and Media. 'It's incumbent upon us to understand it.'"