I have done a few media interviews in connection with my book on entertainment, and at times I have been pressed to offer a judgment on whether the entertainment that is prominent in our culture is a good or a bad thing. I resist making such judgments, in part because that's not my job. As a social scientist, my task is to study entertainment, not to pass moral judgments. In addition, it seems to me that the category of entertainment is too broad to be judged good or bad. Entertainment is like the weather-sometimes good, sometimes bad. But nobody makes a global judgment of weather like "weather is bad." I don't think global judgments of entertainment make much sense either.
That doesn't mean that it's impossible to generalize about the effects of entertainment on our lives. For example, we should be aware that participating in any sort of entertainment is a form of discipline. It seems odd to say this-watching TV doesn't seem like discipline at all. That's because we usually use discipline to refer to rigorous training, and sitting in front of a television does not seem like training at all, much less rigorous training. But our word discipline is derived from disciple, which as you may know means "follower." To participate in entertainment like novels or movies or TV, you have to follow what is going on. You must become a disciple, a follower of the entertainment.