Category Archives: Dear Television

Dear Television is Jane Hu, Lili Loofbourow, Phillip Maciak, and Anne Helen Petersen. They write epistolary criticism about TV. Each week, the gang will select a different series, issue, or pet peeve, and their correspondence about it will appear here on the LARB blog, Monday through Wednesday.

If you’re looking for blog posts prior to September 2013, you can visit Dear Television’s page on LARB.

Follow us on Twitter (@Dear_Television) and Like us on Facebook for announcements and updates or to suggest possible topics. We like Television Series With Strong Female Leads.

Dear Television is edited by Michael Goetzman.

Dear Television, The Music Video MusicVid

How to Make a Music Video About Nothing: Ke$ha, Pitbull, & “Timber”

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Dear Television, WE WATCH MUSIC VIDEOS for three overarching and often related reasons: hotness, dancing, and story. You might not like to admit to the first one, but the amount of hotness in videos can only suggest that we like it. Whether the video is for Drake or Tim McGraw, Miley Cyrus or Celine Dion, […]


Dear Television, SNL SNL-CEO-baby

Saturday Night Live’s Alumni Problem

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Dear TV, WE’RE TALKING SNL this week, and I’m … excited. Which isn’t a feeling I’ve gotten from SNL in quite awhile. I wasn’t even aware of how much my enthusiasm for the show had waned until I legitimately guffawed at Noël Wells’s Hannah Horvath and Kate McKinnon’s Jessa in the Girls sketch during Tina […]


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Dear Television, SNL hutcherson

Good, Giving, and Game: Towards a Theory of SNL Hosting

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Dear Television, WHEN PHIL FIRST emailed to ask if we wanted to cover this week’s Saturday Night Live, he was not optimistic: “It’s a new one, but it’s with WhoGivesAShitJoshHutcherson.” (It was also with HAIM, whose employment of “bass face” merits a column unto itself.) But people do care about Josh Hutcherson — the Youngs […]

Dear Television, Week 7 AHPimage

In Praise of Quitting

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Dear Television, I’VE QUIT ONE JOB, I’ve quit two sports, I quit one (very ill-advised) diet. I finish all my books and once I start an article, I can’t stop reading it. But I quit television shows all the time — and more to this week’s point, I quit Homeland before Season Three even started. […]


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 PetersenDearTV.cached

There Will Be Peplum: On the Television Uniform

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Dear Television, WHEN I WAS YOUNG, my favorite show was Star Trek: The Next Generation. There are many reasons for this love, but chief among them was the uniforms. I loved how legible they were: how you saw a color, and a number of pips on the collar, and you immediately knew what that person did […]

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, Masters of Sex, Week 5 Snake

You Won’t Read This Review of “Masters of Sex”: The Problem of Episodic Criticism

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I WANT TO TALK with you about Masters of Sex. I want to talk about Michael Sheen’s acting, Lizzy Caplan’s costuming, and the friction between its serial and series elements. I want to tell you that the weepy, one-dimensional wife got, at least temporarily, less weepy, and that the show, for its initial resistance to […]


Dear Television, Masters of Sex, Week 5 Loofbourow_DTV_Masters_MG_Orig

Sex and the Slightly Unreliable Narrator

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Dear TV, I’D HOPED Masters of Sex would resist following Mad Men down the sepia brick road to the land of overburdened flashbacks, and so far so good; five episodes in, it seems to have a comparatively sane relationship to its past. So far we’ve met Mr. Johnson and the original Mrs. Masters. Mather Zickel’s George Johnson […]


Dear Television, Horror, Week 4 Hitch

Ambivalent about Horror

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Dear Television, TO LOVE HORROR is to love genre. As Annie’s piece on abjection and Phil’s on “Hellmouth” (new meme, anymore?) have both pointed out, discussions of horror very often lead to categorization. Whether in defining the psychoanalytical underpinnings of horror’s affective range or in noting the types of tropes that converge in horror narratives, […]