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I wrote about “The Forecast,” the first great episode of the back end of Mad Men‘s final season, for Dear Television at the LARB. Specifically, I wrote about the amazing director Jennifer Getzinger and why maybe repetition isn’t a bad thing:

“Bert Cooper was on this show for so long as a reminder, not of death but of irrelevance. Don’s having so much trouble figuring out what’s next for the agency because he’s asking the question the wrong way. “We know where we’ve been, we know where we are,” he says, and that’s true, but it shouldn’t be in first-person. He can’t tell where he’s going because he isn’t going anywhere. He’s achieved what he will achieve at SC&P — he’s no longer a metonym for the agency. The future is other people. Isn’t that sad? Isn’t that beautiful? Take off your shoes.”

“Space Station Getzinger”

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Dear Television is back on the Mad Men beat at The Los Angeles Review of Books for the final episodes of the series. I enjoy writing about this show more than any other, and I’m particularly pleased that we’ll be documenting Don Draper’s Decline and Fall at LARB. I wrote about the premiere episode and the ghostly return of one of Mad Mens greatest characters: Rachel Menken:

“We wanted Rachel to come back, but she is not who she is. Something else, something deeper is troubling Don Draper. Time travel isn’t easy even when it’s possible. You can’t see Rachel Menken again; she doesn’t exist anymore.”

“Deep Cuts: Rachel in Furs”

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NBC’s Parenthood finally ended last week, thus taking off the air a great ensemble of child actors. In the wake of this, I wrote, for “Dear Television” at The Los Angeles Review of Books, about the state of kid acting on TV right now:

“Imagine if every year, for eight years, we shot 13 episodes of television about the same kid! It’s not to denigrate the massive and moving achievement of Richard Linklater’s film — or the gut-wrenching experience of seeing such a long period of time condensed in one sitting — to say that serial television has been watching kids grow up since before Ellar Coltrane was a glimmer in his Earth-parents’ eyes.”

Parenthood‘s End: On Television’s Children”

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I wrote about week four of Broad City for “Dear Television” at Talking Points Memo. This episode was one of the most joyful television experiences I’ve had in a while, and here’s why:

“The broads aren’t idealists or utopians. There is no actually existing ideal of New York life for them to either occupy or come up against. They’re pragmatists, riding that nitrous wave with Billy James. They find the possibility of joy in every nook and cranny of this preposterous world they’ve created whether it’s a prix fixe shellfish dinner or a sewer sale on Birkin bags. Broad City is a cartoon, but sometimes in its ecstatically dumb pastiche of high and low it finds something that feels joyfully, thoughtlessly real.”

“Girls, Hit Your Hallelujah!”

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This Spring, “Dear Television” will be covering Broad City every week for Talking Points Memo‘s brand-new culture vertical, The Slice! Lili Loofbourow and I took the first shift, writing about the baffling treatment of “rape culture” in the season two premiere:

“Gray areas aside, the question in this episode is less about what Abbi does or doesn’t do than it is about how we read Ilana’s initially scandalized reaction. Is the show endorsing Ilana’s feminism, or is the show making fun of feminist killjoys who talk about rape culture at dinner parties?”

“Silly Feminists!”

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