Thomas S. Hibbs‘ Shows about Nothing: Nihilism in Popular Culture makes for an interesting confluence of genres. The examination of philosophy in pop culture is nothing new, of course – Open Court Books’ Popular Culture and Philosophy series covers any number of TV shows and movies, including The Simpsons and Star Wars.
However, Hibbs’ book weaves a discussion of nihilism with Cape Fear, Nip/Tuck, and a slew of diverse and seemingly unrelated films and programs. Granted, the subtitle is a trifle over-reaching. Hibbs sticks primarily to film and television, with a brief digression into Shakespeare in the early chapters. Music is left wholly untouched – a smart move, as it could easily be a series of books unto itself – but those hoping to see how video games tie into all of this will be left wanting.