Mary McNamara

Columnist

Mary McNamara is a television critic for the Los Angeles Times. A Pulitzer Prize 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

  • NBC's 'Marry Me' may have a delayed honeymoon
    NBC's 'Marry Me' may have a delayed honeymoon

    When ABC canceled the struggling comedy "Happy Endings" after its third season last year, there was a lot of high talk in certain quarters. Sure, the ratings were dismal, some argued, but the fans were dedicated, making the cancellation a Terrible Decision, indicative of broadcast networks'...

  • A taut, gripping inquiry into 'The Affair'
    A taut, gripping inquiry into 'The Affair'

    Infidelity, a clever construct and a terrific cast are what sell Showtime's new drama "The Affair," which premieres Sunday and stars Ruth Wilson and Dominic West. What makes it intriguing, and potentially important, is memory.

  • 'Cristela' aims to bust stereotypes with laughs, but ...
    'Cristela' aims to bust stereotypes with laughs, but ...

    Debuting a couple of weeks after ABC's hyper-marketed "black-ish," "Cristela" has been nudged by many critics (myself included) into a tidy trinity of new shows from the network that deal directly with race. The third is "Fresh Off the Boat," scheduled to launch early next year.

  • Football, as a cultural force, is off its game
    Football, as a cultural force, is off its game

    Two years ago, I began to suspect football was losing its grip on America. My son had just joined his high school team and many of my friends acted as if I were launching him on a solo attempt to circumnavigate the globe. In a canoe. "You're letting him do what?"

  • TV Picks: 'The Affair,' 'Vampire Diaries,' 'Walking Dead'
    TV Picks: 'The Affair,' 'Vampire Diaries,' 'Walking Dead'

    "The Affair"—As the title suggests, the Showtime drama chronicles the extramarital liaison between Alison (Ruth Wilson), a waitress in Montauk, N.Y., and Noah (Dominic West), a teacher/writer summering there with his family and his wife’s wealthy parents. 

  • In a 'Flash,' there's more fun in TV's comic-book land
    In a 'Flash,' there's more fun in TV's comic-book land

    Let Fox go noir ("Gotham") and ABC get tense ("Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.") with their prequels and superhero-adjacency; the CW is sticking with more straightforward costumed heroics. Having found success with their brooding "Arrow," creators Greg Berlanti, Andrew Kreisberg and Geoff Johns...

  • 'Homeland' and Carrie still fighting the good fight
    'Homeland' and Carrie still fighting the good fight

    "Mad Men" may have been first, "Scandal" the most surprising, but no other non-sci-fi show exemplifies the new age of OCD TV more than Showtime's "Homeland," which returns for its fourth season Sunday night.

  • TV Picks: 'The Flash,' 'Homeland,' 'Transparent'
    TV Picks: 'The Flash,' 'Homeland,' 'Transparent'

    "The Flash" -- Let Fox go noir ("Gotham") and ABC get tense ("Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D") with their super-hero adjacent series; after experimenting with both tones in "Arrow," the CW just wants to spin off and have a little fun.

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