Being a representative track for the concept of the third album released by Daft Punk, “Television Rules the Nation” doesn’t differ greatly from the other songs that appear on “Human After All”.
There are rumors that this song was intended to have an official release, but the plan was ultimately canceled. However, the impact of the entire album wasn’t so good, with only two songs that managed to gain international success. On the “Human After All” album, the song also has an intro called “On/Off”, which has only 20 seconds and contain sounds from different unknown TV programs. “Human After All” was nominated in 2006 for a Grammy Award at the category Best Dance/Electronic Album, but eventually lost in favour of “Push the Button” by The Chemical Brothers.
There is a music video for this song that was never released, but it was leaked on the internet. Like the previous music video for “Robot Rock”, this unreleased material consists of Daft Punk members playing a double neck guitar and a single set of drums, which means that it’s more likely that the video for “Television Rules the Nation” was filmed at same time as “Robot Rock”.
The song and why not, the album in general, received mixed reviews, especially because the album was made in only six weeks and the fact that it’s too repetitive.
BBC: This anti-technology theme is carried over to the plodding “Television Rules The Nation” which offers little more than a filtered loop of the song’s title over a loping beat. With Michael Franti having nailed the idiots lantern so firmly to the post on the 1992 Disposable Heroes of Hiphoprisy album you do wonder why they have attempted to enlighten us of this self evidentfact in the most un-engaging way.
Pitchfork: Ultimately, it’s the phoned-in “Television Rules the Nation” that confirms Daft Punk’s slackening standards; they give us nine proper songs after four years and this is one of them?
Sputnikmusic: The other very robotic tracks on the album, Technologic, Steam Machine, Television Rules the Nation and The Brainwasher all contain their ups and downs. To say they’re not repetitive would be a lie, to dismiss this repetitiveness as something insignificant would be absurd. The overly-repetitive nature does take a lot of the enjoyment out of the songs, not so much on the first few listens. But further down the road, can cause a fair bit of annoyance. These tracks however feature a number of catchy and addictive features. Television Rules the Nation with its droning voice and sweeping Synth sounds is one highlight on the album. The vocals repeating ‘Television Rules the Nation’ may not be very creative, but they help create a very gloomy vibe, and reflect very well on the lyrics and their meaning. Once again pushing the message that we are slowly becoming more routine in our nature, more demanding of ourselves, less human. All of the songs mentioned in this paragraph have their faults, all of them far too repetitive. Only Technologic and Television Rules the Nation avoid becoming too repetitive, but only just.
The Harvard Crimson: The album does have a pair of highlights, though. “Television Rules the Nation” has a beat cool enough to keep the song interesting.
“Television Rules the Nation” was used for the Alive 2006/2007 concert tour, in a mixed track along with “Crescendolls” and vocal from “Around the World” and appeared on the live album “Alive 2007”.
The a cappella group Pentatonix released in 2013 a medley of Daft Punk songs, which includes “Television Rules the Nation”. The medley won at the category of Best Arrangement, Instrumental or A Cappella at the 57th Grammy Awards. “Daft Punk” by Pentatonix peaked number 105 in France and the official music video from YouTube has more than 170 million views.