January 08, 1999 at 05:00 AM EST

This week was a strange one in the world of Mail, as most of the letters we got were not for our huge TV Winners and Losers cover story, but for two of the smallest items in the issue. The first set concerned the casting hubbub surrounding the Phantom of the Opera film: ”Nothing against Antonio Banderas — he’s just not the man for the part of the Phantom,” says Joella Knapp of Woodville, Tex. ”This role belongs to Michael Crawford.” Adds Dori Bruns of Fallbrook, Calif., ”The Hunk of the Month is just no substitute.” The other set was about our C- review of Depeche Mode’s singles album. ”Depeche Mode only gets better as they get older, something that your reviewer missed the boat on,” says Doug Simpson of Voorhees, N.J.

Keri, Oh So Very
Your cover of Felicity‘s Keri Russell was absolutely out of this world. (Talk about a beautiful face!) I have been watching Felicity every Tuesday since it started, and I can’t tell you how much I thoroughly enjoy the show. I truly believe that it is the breakout smash of 1998. Keri Russell is a joy to watch, and the show keeps me coming back for more. Any chance you could fix me up on a blind date with Keri?
Micky A. Gutier

I was thrilled EW realized that Felicity deserved to be in the editorial spotlight. There have been a lot of questions as to whether the show lives up to all the hype, but modest Nielsen ratings are hardly an indication of the quality of this program. Every aspect of Felicity is superb: the writing, the directing, the acting; it should not be overlooked as simply another teen drama.
Andy Chang
Toronto, Ontario

We are ecstatically grateful for the mention of the CSFWS. It’s not that we hate Felicity; we’re just eager to fundamentally disregard our affection for the show, and feel obligated to share our immoderate viewpoints with anyone who stumbles into our clutches.
Karyn Singer
The Contemptuous Sardonic Felicity Watchers Society
Palmdale, Calif.

Corps Audience
JAG isn’t ”TV’s deepest, darkest secret” to anyone but the editors of EW. The rare mention you ever make of it is in the Top 30 ratings list. The fact that it was No. 9 the week of Nov. 23-29 should tell you that there’s something other than Buffy the Vampire Slayer and King of the Hill on Tuesday nights.
Laurie Hermance-Moore
Powell, Ohio

Joe Flint’s piece on the networks’ most desired demographics was both surprising and informative. I must, however, point out a major semantic error: When referring to an advertising issue concerning JAG, Don Bellisario is said to have ”spoken like a true ex-Marine.” Out of respect for the few and the proud, you must be made aware that the correct term is ”former Marine.” There is no such thing as an ”ex-Marine”; once a Marine, always a Marine. Semper fi!
Jason Ohl
Las Vegas

Tube Ties
I have been a loyal subscriber for three years now, and occasionally I have thought about writing in and agreeing with something you’ve said. But I never have. Until now. Two weeks in a row you have spotlighted my favorite new shows of the season. Last week, it was Sports Night, the show that even my friends who don’t watch television watch. This week, The King of Queens, which has me in stitches every time I see it. Keep spotting the good ones and inadvertently validating my sense of humor.
Shawna E. Leonard
Canfield, Ohio

Mike Flaherty made an excellent point in his Remote Patrol article about the casting of black actors as police characters with authority but little screen time. But how could he neglect to mention Homicide: Life on the Street‘s Andre Braugher?
Amy Asch New York City

My Antonio
I don’t see the problem [with Antonio Banderas’ casting on Phantom]. This is one movie that is big enough for the both of them. Michael Crawford is and forever will be the quintessential Phantom of the Opera, and Banderas is the perfect Raoul. Charming, romantic, handsome; no covering that face with a mask. Well, that problem’s solved. Now, should we discuss Christine?
Cheryl Andersen
Lodi, N.J.

CORRECTIONS: Dan Wilson is the lead singer of Semisonic (News &amp Notes). Bone Thugs-N-Harmony are from Cleveland (Music).

You May Like