ENTERTAINMENT

Mary McNamara

Columnist

Mary McNamara is a television critic for the Los Angeles Times. A Pulitzer Prize winner in 2015 and finalist for criticism in 2013 and 2014, she has won various awards for criticism and feature writing. She is the author of the Hollywood mysteries “Oscar Season” and “The Starlet.” She lives in La Crescenta with her husband, three children, two dogs and a hamster.

Recent Articles

  • TV Picks: 'UnReal,' 'Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll,' 'Treehouse Masters'

    TV Picks: 'UnReal,' 'Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll,' 'Treehouse Masters'

    “UnReal”—The summer’s most talked-about show came from a surprising source — please welcome Lifetime to the televised revolution. More super-smart satire than spoof, “UnReal” goes behind the scenes of a “Bachelor” ike romance reality show to expose the naked ambition, near-criminal manipulation...

  • 'I Am Cait' engenders genuine illumination and thought

    'I Am Cait' engenders genuine illumination and thought

    In one of my more twisted yet comforting interpretations of the universe, President Nixon flagrantly violated our Constitution so Gerald Ford could become president, bringing with him his amazing wife, Betty, who, by going public with her breast cancer and alcoholism, helped save millions of lives...

  • 'White People' explores gray areas in privilege and stereotypes

    'White People' explores gray areas in privilege and stereotypes

    In an episode of "The Middle" last season, Sue Heck (played by Eden Sher) couldn't figure out why the guide on her college tour kept steering her to the school's Native American programs. Turned out, when asked for her race, Sue had checked the wrong box. "I'm a native of America," she earnestly...

  • 'Tut' miniseries brings us fun with a pharaoh

    'Tut' miniseries brings us fun with a pharaoh

    Ben Kingsley is the selling point of "Tut," Spike's three-part miniseries about the pharaoh formerly known as Tutankhamen, which premieres Sunday. He is something to see, Sir Ben, with his shaven pate and Egyptian-drag eyeliner, peering through the undulating bodies of dancing girls with conniving...

  • TV picks: 'Tig,' 'Rectify,' 'Catastrophe'

    TV picks: 'Tig,' 'Rectify,' 'Catastrophe'

    “Tig”—Though a longtime notable on the stand-up comedy circuit, Tig Notaro became famous in 2012 after she gave a performance at Largo in Los Angeles in which she discussed an epic series of misfortunes: a month after Notaro contracted a life-threatening intestinal disease, her mother died; a month...

  • Tig Notaro is frank and unadorned, a hero for our time, in Netflix documentary 'Tig'

    Tig Notaro is frank and unadorned, a hero for our time, in Netflix documentary 'Tig'

    If the Bill Cosby scandal has caused many to reexamine the dangers of fame and fandom, the documentary "Tig," which begins streaming Friday on Netflix, offers most welcome proof that not every revelation by or about a famous person need be scandalous. Quite the opposite, in fact. Though a longtime...

  • Emmys 2015: The praise and outrage are signs of TV's good health

    Emmys 2015: The praise and outrage are signs of TV's good health

    Scrambling to accommodate the Great Screen Sprawl of the 21st century and the growing influence of TV fandom, the Television Academy recently made all manner of adjustments to its awards rules and regs. An extra nomination slot was added to the comedy and drama series categories. And, in a nod...

  • At Comic-Con, managing 'Game of Thrones' cast is an epic in itself

    At Comic-Con, managing 'Game of Thrones' cast is an epic in itself

    Winter came to Comic-Con in the form of 15 black Escalades with a police escort. Heralded by wailing sirens and stretching for blocks, the entourage sliced through the streets of San Diego like a motorcade for visiting royalty. Which of course it was. Behind the tinted windows sat a queen, a witch,...

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