Los Angeles Times

Performances we love: Mary McCormack's smart, subversive mom in 'The Kids Are Alright'

Television is an actor's medium. Over the last couple of decades it has become nicer to look at, certainly, shipping out atmospheric pretty pictures to fill your wall-sized super-high-definition flat screen. But its roots are in a relatively low-fi medium, whose small, squarish frame was dominated by performers. As visually sophisticated as television has become, it still depends mainly on faces, bodies and voices.

TV actors have - and have to have - a special quality. They need to feel familiar and original, not to seem like people on television. Great TV characters transcend their stories to become ...

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