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What does it mean to be 'critical' as a television viewer? How does it influence what we learn and how we learn from television? Although analytical and critical media literacy skills are necessary in order to learn from the media, audience studies suggest that being critical can hinder learning, especially when it involves cynicism, scepticism and distrust of the content. In this article, I explore this contradiction to determine whether being critical facilitates or impedes televisualfatcat:c5owixeqm5coxgeabp7o4nu7cm