Author Archives: Phil Maciak

Girls Natalia

Your Urine-Soaked Life

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Dear Television, DEAR TV superfans may remember that I really liked the Natalia arc from last season. I liked the actress — Shiri Appleby — who played Natalia. I liked the challenge this apparently “together” character posed to the group, and I liked that this challenge felt organic and real. (Given the show’s aspiration to some kind […]


Dear Television, The Music Video Love

3 Ways of Looking at Arcade Fire

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Dear Television, EVERYBODY HATED “Bound 2.” I don’t mean the song. In fact, if you ask Yeezy purists, probably too many people liked the song (the lone example of Kanye West’s more mainstream chipmunk soul on an uncommonly aggressive album). No, everybody hated Kanye West’s video for “Bound 2.” (My favorite description of the background […]


Dear Television, Homeland, Week 7 jpeg

Trust Fumes: Staying With Homeland

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SPOILERS AHEAD FOR ALL SORTS OF STUFF… Dear Television, THIS WEEK, AHP and I will be talking about the virtues and drawbacks of sticking with series that go off the rails. Loosely, I’ll be advocating the position of The Stayer, while AHP will advocate that of The Ditcher tomorrow. But first, a memory: I will […]


Dear Television, The Good Wife, Week 6 GoodWife

The Fastest Show on TV: On The Good Wife

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A COUPLE WEEKS AGO, in this very column, I made an off-hand claim that The Good Wife is “the best show on television.” I’m certainly not alone in this belief, and the veritable Chumhum Army that came out of the twittersphere to co-sign it is proof. If I wanted to voice a controversial belief, I would […]


Dear Television, Horror, Week 4 Maicak_Sleepy

Greetings from Hellmouth, U.S.A.

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Dear Television, THE THING ABOUT American Horror Story is not just its insanity or its abjection or its politics or its provocations — it’s how much of it there is!  As such, the list becomes a common feature of essays about the show, including our own. We don’t write about the monsters; we write about the […]

Dear Television, The New Sitcom, Week 3 Maciak_sitcomimage

The Good Bros of Fox

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Dear Television, HEY, REMEMBER WHEN Fox Tuesdays were the next best hope for a full-on televisual Ladies Night? An evening of television created by female showrunners and structured around Zooey Deschanel and Mindy Kaling? Fox had harvested the fruit of a decade of Tina Fey pioneering and invited us all to sip upon the delicious, […]


Dear Television, Netflix, Week 2 office_image

Streaming Pam Beesly

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Dear Television, It is the strangest thing to have a long-term fictional love interest. It’s a type of relationship that is very intimate, and very powerful, but it’s fictional. I mean, there is a part of me that is Pam, and a part of him that is Jim, and that part of me is in […]


Dear Television, Masters of Sex, Week 1 caplanmasters

Exposing Yourself on Television

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MASTERS OF SEX, “PILOT” Dear Television, FIRST OF ALL, it’s great to be back at the LARB. I’m also excited to be back covering an early sixties period drama about sex, ambition, and women in the workplace with all of you. (And no, I’m not talking about ABC’s Pan Am.) I’m talking, of course, about […]