Tag Archives: Mad Men

Christina Hendricks is Swinging on a Pole in DARK PLACES

Fans of the fiery redhead Christina Hendricks will not be disappointed with one of her newest acting choices. This buxom beauty will be playing the role of Krissi Cates in Dark Places. In the novel that this film will be adapted from, Krissi is a stripper who is down on her luck.

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Mad Men Season 6 – New Trailer and A Whole Lot of Pictures…

April 7th marks the return of the one of television’s greatest shows of all time, and the move from the awesomely classic aesthetic of the early 1960s to the gaudy and unpleasant aesthetic of the late 60s and early 70s. That change will be evident in some of the photos below. Before we get to that though, let’s talk about what we’ve got to expect story wise coming up…

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Jon Hamm and Adam Scott star in “The Greatest Event in Television History”

If you have watched Adult Swim at all recently, you probably saw an incredibly vague promo for “The Greatest Even in Television History”, much like this one:

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The Griz Bin: Gotham MadMen, Burton’s Avengers, Stan Lee is Iron Man and Batman’s Still a Dick

Today sees the return of The Griz Bin – a look of at the more random side to comics that has nothing (or at least not much) to do with films, TV or comic books themselves. And I’ve been given the keys! So hold tight as we look at toys, art, cosplay and general weirdness.

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Mad Men’s Summer Blues

AMC does a good job of spreading out its popular shows throughout the TV viewing seasons. That means that right now is a great time for those Breaking Bad lovers out there as the fifth season rolls along, but it’s the summer blues for Mad Men viewers and Dish subscribers. Recently though, there was some good news from the notoriously tight-lipped helmsman of the Mad Men experience, as Matthew Weiner admitted that Elisabeth Moss’s ‘Peggy Olson’ will still be a regular character on the show.

Weiner was quoted in that recent interview as saying:

“When people leave Sterling Cooper, sometimes it is the end for [the character],” Weiner allows. “But I will spoil that one tiny piece of anticipation and tell people that Elisabeth will be showing up to work.”

This is certainly great news for fans of the show, as Peggy has consistently been one of the most interesting characters on Mad Men from the word go. It really comes as no big surprise however, probably why Weiner was OK spilling the news, and having Peggy work for one of SCDP’s biggest rivals should only add to the intrigue of the storylines.

Speaking of storylines and Mad Men‘s love of the nostalgic reference, I went onto Wikipedia 1967 to see what interesting historical tidbits might make it into season six’s episodes. The Civil Rights Movement has already been embedded into season 5, but in 1967 there were numerous race riots across the country so we should expect a lot more of this topic along with a nod to Thurgood Marshall; the first African-American elected to the Supreme Court. The Vietnam War and protests at home were still a big news item so it will be interesting to see whether or nor we see a reappearance of Dr. Greg, or hopefully Dr. Greg’s corpse. The worst of the Vietnam years is still to come so I don’t think it will be a major presence, but if there is any major nod this season I would guess it to be Muhammad Ali’s refusal to serve in the Military after being drafted.

Richard Speck, who was the guy who killed the nurses and was featured in the “Mystery Date” episode, was sentenced to the electric chair in 1967 so that would be a nice opportunity to put a bow on that storyline, and possibly comment on the moral dilemmas of corporal punishment. The very first Superbowl was in 1967 between the Green Bay Packers and Kansas City Chiefs, but Mad Men doesn’t make a lot of sports references so it would be a long shot for show material. The space race is still somewhat prevalent in the 1960’s so you might see the mention of the ‘Apollo 1’ disaster that killed three American astronauts. There are some other long-shots for episode material including the capture of Che Guevera, jokes about Allen Ginsberg and character Michael Ginsberg, but my favorite if I could put money on it is when John McCain was shot down and captured by the Viet Cong.

Mad Men as a cultural reference machine has always done a great job of incorporating and referencing relevant music and 1967 provides a lot of great candidates. The Beatles of course start to explode and diversify their sound, and the other side of the rock and roll coin – The Rolling Stones make their first appearance on the Ed Sullivan Show to be the next big thing. Dark Horse candidates include the debuts of Velvet Underground and Pink Floyd, but you would probably be safer betting on references to The Doors and Ed Sullivan as well as Monterey Pop, the first famous major outdoor music festival.

Any way you shake it out there is plenty of material out there for the Mad Men writing staff to flesh out some more interesting plot lines, and after stepping up the actual drama last season I expect nothing but a more exciting season 6. For those of you who still haven’t gotten into Mad Men, or who are still catching up, there’s nothing like 7-8 straight hours of the show to get you hooked and take a break from snarky American swimmers. Any chance Ryan Lochte can make an appearance next season so he can get punched in the face like Pete Campbell?

2012 Emmy Nominations Are Out, Who Got Snubbed?

It is that time of the year again where dreams get crushed, and the elite throw a party for themselves to give the obligatory ‘pat on the back’. The 2012 Emmy Nominations are in, and it’s time to fight for the snubbed and decry the undeserving. I have the list down there courtesy of EW, but let’s talk about what I think were great nominations and of course, the snubs.

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Breaking Bad/AMC Being Dropped By Dish Network!

Breaking Bad is arguably the best show on television right now, and along with its stellar cast, directing, writing and acting, it’s one of the most engaging stories I’ve ever seen. So engaging, that it’s only a week and change away from debuting its new season, and that still feels like an incredibly long time. Unfortunately, the wait could be even longer for Dish Network subscribers, who are SOL when it comes to getting AMC this year.  Dish is another satellite TV provider that has at one point or another, failed to make a deal with a popular cable network, and the drama spills out into the public, and fans of that channel have to get involved themselves.

“Dish has not discussed rates with us at all,” AMC said in today’s statement. Dish customers have lost some of their favorite shows because of an unrelated lawsuit which has nothing at all to do with our programming.”  [Ad Age]

Basically, Dish says that AMC is charging too much for its channel with its shows with low ratings, (Walking Dead, Mad Men, ) and AMC says that Dish is dropping them because of an unspecified 2008 lawsuit that would lose Dish money, to the amount of $ 2.5 billion. A similar thing happened with FX/DirecTV a year or so ago, and years before that DirecTV and G4, only G4 is such a terrible channel DirecTV decided to not accept their deal and now DirecTV is G4-less. That’s ok though, because G4 has never had anything close in quality to the worst show on FX or AMC combined, and that includes reruns of Two & A Half Men. How this keeps happening, I don’t understand. Perhaps there’s just a constant cycle of lawsuits that are on hold indefinitely to stymie cable and satellite providers, and some great TV Pope declares who will get what network approval every 10 years.

So the Great TV Pope has declared that unless Dish and AMC can come to some agreement, AMC, IFC and We TV will be dropped from Dish. How will they get their dose of Zombies, Meth Drama, Men in Suits, Experimental Indie Cinema and Women’s Programming now?

On an interesting side note, FX was originally going to pick up Breaking Bad, until the president of FX thought that Walter White would make one male anti-hero too many for their channel.

We had three dramas with male antiheroes and we looked at that script and said, ‘Okay, so here’s a fourth male antihero,’” Landgraf recalled. “The question was: ‘Are we defining FX as the male antihero network and is that a big enough tent?” [EW]

I suppose this means that no matter what, at some point every Satellite TV customer, would have to have worried about not getting their fix of Breaking Bad. What with FX’s fans’ main rallying cry being to save It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia, in some alternate universe somewhere it very well may have been “Save Breaking Bad! Tell FX you love meth!” Mostly, I’m just glad I have DirecTV right now…

Mad Med Episode 513: “The Phantom” Finale

Considering that in the past two weeks the notoriously slow-paced Mad Men had one of its oldest and most popular characters leave the firm followed by one of the partners killing themselves I was expecting, as probably was the fan base at large, some sort of momentous season finale cliff hanger. That clearly was not in the cards. While the season finale, by regular episode standards, did have a couple of surprises, as a season-ender it fell a bit short as far as drama goes.

The episode was titled “The Phantom” and we are treated with phantoms both literally and figuratively. Don, feeling the stress and guilt of Lane’s suicide, is habitually visited throughout the episode by his brother, whom was also a suicide victim and receiver of Don’s tough love. We also get a Peggy Olson appearance this week, and hopefully this will quell the rumors that Elisabeth Moss is done with Mad Men, and she is more than a Phantom. Peggy has her own storyline in fact as she is handed a new account for women’s cigarettes that will, as we know, eventually become Virginia Slims and a major marketing success in its own time. We are witness to a nice conciliatory meeting between Don and Peggy at the movie theater, sans handy I would assume, and the puzzling image of dogs humping outside of Peggy’s Virginia hotel room. It looks like Peggy is here to stay and thank goodness for that.

The other major phantom of the episode comes in the form of Pete’s on-again off-again affair partner whom we learn is the frequent victim/consumer of electroshock therapy. After an uncomfortable encounter on the train, Pete gets a booty call from Beth Dawes and skips out on the Partners meeting for the liaison. Here he learns about her treatment and her desire to have one last fling before her memory is erased and all memories of Pete Campbell are gone. I’m sure there are some people out there who would jump at the chance to have all memories of Pete Campbell erased from their mind, but he does such a good job of being a dick you just shouldn’t do that to yourself. As an added bonus we also get to see Pete punched in the face two more times this episode! He really is a despicable character when as soon as you start to feel for the guy after he opens his heart to the post trauma Beth and confronts her scumbag husband, he acts like a total prick to the good-natured train cop and you are once again cheering as Pete takes another shot to the kisser. Whomever came up with this gem will have to update it with the new footage.

The cliff-hanger for the season finale hinges upon Don and Megan’s relationship. Megan’s acting career has continued to flounder and in this episode she gets desperate and stabs her friend in the back by asking Don to consider her for a commercial that SCDP will be producing instead of her considering her friend who had asked the favor. Megan’s mother is in town, rekindling her romance with Roger Sterling, and Megan’s depressive ways lead to a confrontation between her and Don which may have been the key to changing Don and Megan’s relationship as a whole. Megan’s mom describes her as someone with an artist’s sensibility without the artists talent. Don, after watching Megan’s test reel, acquiesces to her desires and gets her the commercial gig. The big question though, the one we are left with as the woman down the bar hits on Don asking “if he is alone”, is whether or not Don has lost respect for Megan. Did he give in and get her the gig because he really thinks she deserves it and just hasn’t gotten her break, or is he secretly disgusted at her lack of gumption and willingness to work hard at her art and gave her the job because it’s proof to her callous need to be spoiled. Fortunately the wait for season 6 will be significantly shorter than the wait for season 5 was, but still is too long if you ask me.

Two other things from the finale. SCDP is apparently making money hand over fist and will be moving into a larger space and Roger Sterling is doing LSD again… see gratuitous man ass.

AMC’s Mad Men: Episode 512 “Commisions and Fees”

The other shoe finally dropped. That is the inevitable matter of Lane Pryce’s embezzlement came to the attention of one Donald Draper this week, and though the initial confrontation played out as one might expect, the conclusion was shocking. Bert Cooper, thinking Don was trying to assuage Lane’s constant griping about the bonus, brings the canceled check to his attention which leads Don to bring Lane in for proper questioning. The true tragedy of Lane’s transgression is that if pride didn’t get the better of him, and he simply went to Don to borrow the money that he didn’t even wind up stealing everything would have been fine. Through embezzlement and forgery however he has lost the trust of SCDP’s lead man and Don will have nothing other than his resignation and in fact thinks he is doing Lane a favor by giving him a clean new start, and the opportunity to resign without any black marks on his resume. Unfortunately, as is often the case when you get embedded in a nest  of deceit, Lane can’t come clean with his wife who has made matter even worse by purchasing a new Jaguar as a reward to her husband “who never treats himself”. Here is where the brilliance of Mad Men‘s writing comes in. The Jaguar is the perfect symbol for all of Lane’s problems. It is not only a literal symbol of the firm’s success with the client he failed with despite his best efforts, but is also symbolic of the nouveau riche who can afford an impractical luxury car like Jaguar, and the lie he is representing to his wife. If it wasn’t abundantly clear that AMC would never get Jaguar as one of their advertising clients, last night’s episode sealed the deal. In a moment of true black comedy we find Lane trying to kill himself by using the Jaguar to asphyxiate himself, but the car is such a lemon that he can’t even get it to start up and do the job.

It’s too early in the Mad Men era for a Nixon reference, but if Lane Pryce had an exit speech I think it might be somewhat similar to tricky Dick’s exit; “You won’t have {Lane Pryce} to kick around anymore gentlemen, because this is my last {episode}”. Lane’s suicide is the second Mad Men death when characters face off against Don’s tough love and you’ve got to imagine this is going to weigh heavily on Don’s conscience, and it will be interesting to see what happens when word eventually slips out about the true circumstances of Lane’s “resignation”. I’m not sure if this was the case of Jared Harris getting to big for the show or not, but either way it was an expertly crafted character arc, and despite it all you didn’t want to believe that Lane had killed himself until you literally saw the bloated corpse that Don and company cut down from the ceiling.

The other big developments of the week revolved around Don lighting a fire under his own ass and Sally Draper becoming a woman. Don isn’t happy with the direction that SCDP has taken on and wants bigger fish to fry. As he says, “I don’t want Jaguar I want Chevy!” which leads Roger to set up a meeting with Ken Cosgrove’s father-in-law, the Devil incarnate, aka Ray Wise aka the chairman of Dow Chemical. Ken has long been against SCDP getting involved in his family business, but he concedes on two main factors. That he has been “dragged” on board, and that in no way can Pete Campbell be involved in their business, chalking up Cosgrove as yet another of Pete’s inter-office enemies. We won’t find out until next week whether or not his tactics were sound but Don’s approach to winning Dow Chemical was to literally yell at them and berate them for being happy with 50% market success, and it’s as much of a speech for himself and SCDP as it is for the client.

Roger, for his part, is happy to see the feisty old Don Draper as his LSD induced free thinking has begun to fade. We also get to experience another typical Don and Megan squabble when Don forgets to inform her that Betty is dropping Sally off at the apartment:

  • Don: (Demeaning comment)
  • Megan: (Bitchy response)
  • Don: (Some serious shit happened)
  • Megan: (Let’s kiss and make up)

That’s pretty much how Don and Megan interaction go these days as she feels defensive and marginalized, and he feels defensive and overly stressed. It’s always hard to tell what’s going to happen in the Mad Men teasers, but it seems like there might be some new wedge between Don and Megan coming and you wonder if the loss of Lane might push Don back into his self-destructive ways.

Meanwhile we get a fun little aside with Sally and her weirdzo boyfriend Glen this week as when she realizes she will have the apartment to herself Sally convinces Glen to come to the big city for a visit on the sly. These two characters both have been subject to creepy sexual undertones over seasons past so it was a relief that when Glen arrives at Sally’s apartment his greatest desire is to go to the Museum of Natural History.

There we are treated to the awkwardly sweet interactions of Glen’s dry jokes about the exhibits, and the exploration of what their relationship actually is. All of this is interrupted when Sally, feeling ill, makes a startling discovery in the bathroom and then freaks out and takes a cab back to the suburbs and her mom, leaving Glen in the lurch. This whole sequence is yet another fine example of the quality of writing in this show as the awkwardness of youth is naturally captured. Having Glen be as concerned over completing his book report as he is about finding Sally just feels so natural to their ages. Sally freaking out and providing her mother with another bitch chip to play against Megan also feels very natural as despite young Sally’s mistrust of Betty when important things happen it’s still her mother’s arms in which she seeks comfort.

Next week, regrettably is the season finale of Mad Men, and it should be a good one. In the past two weeks of what is normally a pretty even keeled show as far as dramatic changes are concerned they have had Peggy Olson leave SCDP and Lane Pryce kill himself. What kind of bombshell did they leave for the last week?