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Read after watching: How episode recaps became part of our TV experience

Pile of retro televisions.
Pituk Loonhong
Getty Images

The Nose is off this week. In its place: Why do we have so much trouble remembering all the TV we watch?

This hour, a look at why episode recaps are so popular, what makes them so useful, and what their prevalence can tell us about the current TV landscape.

Plus: the evolution of the “previously on” television recap sequence.


  • Wilma Bainbridge: Assistant professor in the Department of Psychology at The University of Chicago
  • Alison Herman: Television critic for The Ringer
  • Genevieve Koski: Senior TV editor for New York magazine
  • Jason Mittell: Professor of film and media culture at Middlebury College

The Colin McEnroe Show is available as a podcast on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, Amazon Music, TuneIn, Listen Notes, or wherever you get your podcasts. Subscribe and never miss an episode!

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Colin McEnroe, Jonathan McNicol, and Cat Pastor contributed to this show, which originally aired January 5, 2023.

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Lily is the senior producer for The Colin McEnroe Show. She first worked at Connecticut Public as an intern in 2014. She has previously worked for WBUR, KUNC and as a producer for the New England News Collaborative's weekly show Next. Lily can be reached at ltyson@ctpublic.org.
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