Posts tagged Mad Men

’09 In Review: The most entertaining/enticing characters on TV

image source: amctv.com

…I’m throwing in one more year in review listicle before I move on to 2010 and new business…for all you TV junkies out there, here’s my pick of the best TV characters of 2009 (in random order):

  • Joan Holloway/Mad Men (Christina Hendricks)–she had fewer appearances this season than the previous two, which had us wanting her more. She is stunning, fierce and endearing, and the most compelling female character on the show.
  • Charlie Kelly/It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia (Charlie Day)–he’s more than Paddy’s handyman, Dennis and Mac’s sidekick, and Frank’s roommate—sometimes, believe it or not, he’s the smartest one in the bar.
  • Abed/Community (Danny Pudi)–he had me at The Breakfast Club quotes…Abed provides the contrasting slapstick to Jeff’s (Joel McHale) smug and smart-ass remarks, and also, a plethora of pop culture references (awesome!).
  • Sue Sylvester/Glee (Jane Lynch)–at first she simply enchanted us with her tough-talking ruthlessness, only to be revealed as one of the most complex characters on TV, with some of the most whip-smart memorable lines ever.
  • Gemma Teller Morrow/Sons of Anarchy (Katey Sagal)–she’s more than just Clay’s (Ron Perlman) ‘old lady,’ she’s the most bad-ass mom currently on television, and she’s the heart and soul of this show.
  • Phil Dunphy/Modern Family (Ty Burrell)– the fun-loving pushover father/husband steals the scene every time, with his antics, excuses and young-at-heart energy which keeps us laughing and always rooting for him to finally get it right.
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Sunday Night ‘Mad’ness Returns

madmen_3

Quote from last episode of last season of Mad Men (“Meditations in an Emergency”):

Don Draper: I know you want everything the minute you want it–sometimes it’s better to wait until you are ready.

Pete Campbell: So, you think I’m ready?

OH YOU BET I’M READY!! I’ve been ready for the new season since last season! The award-winning, critically-acclaimed, down-right-sexy Mad Men returns this Sunday @ 10 PM on AMC, with Season 3, and just where did the kids leave us last fall?

********************SPOILER ALERT/please do not read past this point if you don’t want to know what happened in Season 2*********************

  • Betty Draper found out she’s pregnant
  • Pete Campbell confessed his love to Peggy Olson
  • Peggy confessed to Pete that she had given birth to his baby, and then gave it away
  • Sterling Cooper merged with the British based firm Putnam, Powell and Lowe
  • Don Draper returned from his trip to California/his three-week hiatus from life
  • Don’s future with Sterling Cooper/Putnam, Powell and Lowe is uncertain
  • The world’s fate hung in the balance in what would later be known as the Cuban Missile Crisis

****************************************************************

Well, we all know what happened with the Cuban Missile Crisis…but as far as the Mad Men world, here are my thoughts/predictions on what’s to come:

Despite Betty expressing her concerns with having a baby, she’s told Don and now they are committed. They go through with the pregnancy and since this show is often about distancing, I imagine this baby will drive a wedge between Don and Betty rather than make them closer. That said, we did see some genuine efforts in Betty’s mothering at the end of last season (she bought Sally the riding gear, insinuating that she’s ready to put her fullest attention to her children and not spend all her time pining over her often absent husband), so I think we may see her take more pride in her children,  not just her role as a corporate wife.

Finally, Peggy has the upper hand in her relationship with Pete. I think he and Trudy will divorce and he’ll spend some time enjoying his bachelorhood again, but all the while hoping Peggy will come back to him.  Peggy will find love with someone other than Pete, and we’ll see her juggle  a relationship with her career aspirations.

Due to the merge, there will be “redundancies” as switchboard operator Lois informed us last season. Who will be let go? Well, Duck Phillips is an easy one, he had that alcohol-fueled outburst in the conference room. I think it’s a good guess that Paul Kinsey will move on, maybe his trip to Mississippi jolted a calling in civil justice, or maybe journalism, since he is definitely a writer at heart.

I also wonder if Ken mentioning last season that he would like to go to California, so he can buy a convertible, was foreshadowing…I could see one of his short stories getting sold to a movie studio/or he has a screenplay in his back pocket, and he heads to L.A. to work in the movies.

And of course, it’s likely that new characters will be introduced… maybe some people from the London office and/or they will simply bring in new talent.  New love interests for Peggy or Joan? Someone younger and brilliant to keep Draper on his toes?  Will the firm be open to a more diverse staff?

Don becomes president of the newly merged company, and now he has even more responsibility to behave, so to speak. This also jeopardizes his concealed identity as he becomes more vulnerable to discovery or his rivals in the business are compelled to dig up dirt.

Regardless what happens,  I’m sure this season will prove to be as compelling and insightful as the previous seasons. And I’m sure all my predictions will be wiped away with character developments, arcs and twists that I haven’t considered.

One last thing, a major part of the show is it’s historic backdrop, and right now its the swinging 60’s. Last season ended in the fall of 1962, so I imagine we’ll start out the spring of 1963, and here are some events worth noting  from that year that may pop up in the new season (courtesy of wikipedia, in date order by month):

  • The publication of Betty Friedan’s The Feminine Mystique kicks off the Women’s Movement in the United States (February)
  • Coca-Cola launches its first diet drink, TaB cola (May)
  • Dr. No, the first James Bond film, premieres in the U.S. (May)
  • Martin Luther King, Jr. gives his  I Have A Dream speech (August)
  • John F. Kennedy assassination (November)
  • Vietnam War: New U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson shows  continued support for  South Vietnam (November)

So…is it obvious how much I love this show?  That I’ve been spending the last week watching Seasons 1 & 2 on DVD, over and over again? What can I say, I’m a sucker for great television, and Mad Men is television at its absolute best: smart, emotional, sexy, stylish and always makes the viewer want more.

Here are three entertaining promos for Mad Men/the new season…enjoy, and WATCH ON SUNDAY NIGHT!

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What TV show has this woman NOT been on?

Maggie "The Chameleon" Siff

Maggie "The Chameleon" Siff

She first caught my attention during the first season of Mad Men, as Rachel Menken, the fiery department store heiress who showed Draper that ladies who are demanding and all business-y are sexy. After a few romps, things didn’t work out so much so then she ran into the arms of bad boy biker, Jax Teller on FX’s Sons of Anarchy. She played Tara Knowles, a doctor who had fled for the big city only to return to her dusty small town in Northern California, where she reunited with Jax (who looks/acts a lot like Heath Ledger, IMHO), her high school sweetheart. But then the season ended, and obviously Tara became bored with helping patients and riding around on motorcycles so then she went back in time, to 1973, to Life on Mars, where she became Maria, daughter of a police detective and voila, she happens to be sleeping with the the show’s protagonist, who’s name escapes me at the moment because Life on Mars is all kinds of confusing. All I do know is Michael Imperioli’s handle-bar mustache deserves an Emmy of it’s own.

Whatever, the point is this woman, who apparently goes by the name of Maggie Siff, is everywhere, and due to my exhaustive research, I have learned that she was also on Nip/Tuck. Oh, and Law & Order…but let’s be honest, who hasn’t been on that show (cue: “the town bicycle, everyone’s had a ride”). Anyway, I just want her to know somebody is on to her morphing ways. I’ll keep you updated on the next Siff spotting…stay tuned.

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Well, Sunday nights are back to sucking again now that Mad Men’s second season is over…

I swear it was just yesterday I was toasting the premiere of the new season of Mad Men, and then just like Dick Whitman’s identity, *poof*  it was gone. 

 

 

***SPOILER ALERT***

 

Last night’s season finale left us with the Cuban Missile Crisis, Betty pregnant, Peggy confessing to Pete about having his baby/giving it away and Sterling Cooper merging with a British firm.   This season proved to be just as riveting as the first, and delved further into the complexity of the characters and the world around them. Here is what I loved about Season 2, and what I hope to see with Season 3…

  • Peggy Olson & Betty Draper–first season we had these two as damsels in distress; this season they came back with a vengeance and forced the men around them to sit up and take notice.  Now that Peggy has put the Pete Campbell thing to bed and has been working her way steadily up the ladder I think it would be a great twist to have her fall for someone and see what that does to her psyche since she spent this whole season closed off from her emotions.  As far as Betty…she has become wiser to the world, and gained some seriously needed independence . I think she will probably keep the baby, but by making that choice will now view her role in the household as the one who calls the shots, not the other way around.
  • Peggy & Don’s alliance–it’s an unusual and highly complicated dynamic…he’s her mentor, she’s his reality check.  She needed him last season; he  helped her with her career, and he helped her get through the baby saga.  But i think the tide is turning a bit, and this next season he will need her.
  • Pete & Trudy Campbell–this marriage was doomed at the start, yet they both continue to play along.  This season we’ve been able to see more into what makes Campbell tick, and it’s so hard to not be drawn to his character, good or bad.  I think because Roger Sterling is getting divorced we won’t see that happen with the Campbells, at least not in season 3.  Instead we’ll watch as things get uglier and uglier.
  • The Sterling Cooper kids–it’s common to introduce a bunch of supporting characters in a show’s first season and then just let them fade into the background.  But not this show; we are still following Salvatore, Paul, Ken, Harry and Joan. I’d like to see Joan call off her wedding with her future rapist husband, maybe get together with Paul.  Their opposites attract dilemma is so believable.  I’m totally pulling for Harry with his work-in-progress TV department.   Things could get interesting if Sal takes on a double-life.  And Ken will probably end up writing a screenplay and leave Sterling Cooper for Hollywood (he mentions he’d like to move to LA in the finale).

Ok, so here is the real cliffhanger: Mad Men has been renewed for a third season, but the show’s creator, Matthew Weiner, is still in negotiations with Lionsgate, the show’s production company…so there is a possibility that Mad Men could return without Weiner, which pretty much means the show would lose its heart and soul.  I will of course be watching this story closely and updating as things develop.

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Mad Men, Everyone is Buying It!

HECK YEAH!  On July 27, the “it” show of the summer will be back for its second season (on AMC, www.amctv.com) and I can hardly wait.  The first season was smoking (literally) with top-notch writing, acting and art-direction.  And it delivered one of the most poignant and thrilling images I’ve ever seen on TV!  See below…you go girl!

Betty Draper (beautifully portrayed by January Jones) takes matters into her own hands.  In a silk nightgown, no less.  I was really hoping to have this clip for you all to enjoy, but sadly because the glorious scene (from episode 8, “Shoot”) has a song playing in the background, “My Special Angel” (Bobby Helms, 1957) it is rights-protected from the big bad Internets and all the scoundrels that use it (bravo, Matt Weiner).

But since I don’t like to leave the party empty-handed, here is a mouth-watering, flesh-tingling promo to get you consumers revved for the upcoming season, RAWRR!

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