How strange, and yet right, that the defining event of week 1 of the network-TV season happened on cable. Last Sunday, we bid Breaking Bad farewell after six years and 62 episodes of some of the best television ever made. Like The Sopranos, Mad Men, and other cable series that have defined the new golden age of TV drama, Breaking Bad distinguished itself with a large, grand arc of moral complexity and a protagonist inside of whom a man and a monster were at war. We were riveted, and so were the people who program network shows. They were also annoyed (about the media attention), envious (of the awards), and curious (about how to get in on the action). READ FULL STORY
Tag: Mad Men (1-10 of 241)
The silver lining to being rejected by the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences? Simple: You get an automatic invite to the official Losers Lounge party, sponsored by nine-time Emmy loser Amy Poehler and 11-time loser Jon Hamm.
It’s hard to say goodbye to a great television show. It’s even harder for a television network to let go of one. So perhaps it’s not all that surprising that AMC — in a move announced on Tuesday — has decided to divide the forthcoming final season of Mad Men into two parts. The first set of seven episodes will air in the spring of 2014, and the second set of seven will air in the spring of 2015. The cable network did the same thing with the fifth and last season of Breaking Bad, which will wrap its acclaimed run on Sept. 29. It also uses a split-season structure with The Walking Dead. It’s a strategy that works well for AMC — but is it a strategy that will work well for fans of Mad Men?
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Spin-off! Is there any word more thrilling to the human soul? AMC clearly hopes not. The network just greenlit a Breaking Bad spin-off focusing on comic-relief lawyer Saul Goodman. Hopes are high for the show — currently untitled, although everyone on Twitter has made an executive decision to call it Better Call Saul. Executive producer Vince Gilligan and star Bob Odenkirk are trustworthy, eccentric creative types who will guarantee this isn’t just Breaking Bad‘s version of Joey. The worst-case scenario is that it turns out like Gilligan’s last spin-off, The Lone Gunmen, a gonzo-goofball misadventure that is also the kind of show that — in our postmodern post-television TV era — could probably earn a devoted fanbase and run for five seasons on a cable network.
But for AMC, greenlighting a Breaking Bad spin-off probably just makes good financial sense. This final season of Breaking Bad has gotten series-high ratings and has dominated late-summer social media chat. The network — which is losing Bad in three weeks and Mad Men next year — wants that fanbase to stick around. It’s nothing new for a network that already pioneered the after-show spin-off concept with The Talking Dead, the Walking Dead talk show shot in Chris Hardwick’s basement, which gets more ratings than at least one major broadcast network. If Better Call Saul works — And it will, won’t it? Oh do please say it will, Mary Poppins! I do believe in fairies! — maybe the network should start thinking about some other spin-off possibilities. Forthwith, some suggestions:
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Another fall, another TV season… another year of people telling me that I just have to start watching New Girl.
“It’s gotten so much better since the pilot!” they’ll say. “Everyone is funny now, not just Schmidt — and it handles the will they/won’t they romance better than any other sitcom — and Zooey Deschanel’s wardrobe is adorable!“
All that may be true. But every time I give New Girl another chance — and at this point, I’ve watched at least three or four episodes — I’m left totally cold by it.
Objectively, I should love this show: It’s a fast-paced, goofy comedy aimed squarely at my demographic. (I’m a 20-something female city dweller who enjoys wordplay and sleeveless A-line dresses.) It’s also one of the few comedies on TV created and run by a woman, which wins it automatic points in my book. Yet whenever I fire up an episode of New Girl, the show fails to resonate with me. I don’t laugh at its jokes; I don’t identify with its characters; I don’t swoon when Nick and Jess make goo-goo eyes at each other. It’s not that I think the series is bad, per se — I just think it’s not for me.
Which got me thinking: In the back of everyone’s mind, there must be some extremely popular, critically acclaimed TV show, movie, musical artist, etc. that they know they should like — but can’t seem to get into. EW’s staff has more examples:
Wish 'Mad Men' kid Kiernan Shipka was your shrink? Check out Funny or Die's 'Child Star Psychologist' -- VIDEO
Let’s face it: Being a child star is not easy. Luckily, with the guidance and advice of pint-size psychologist Kiernan Shipka, the job can be handled with ease.
In this sequel to Funny or Die’s first installment of “Child Star Psychologist,” the Mad Men starlet — looking all grown up in a pink silk blouse — uses what she learned from her early days as Sally Draper to council kid actors including Looper‘s Pierce Gagnon, Modern Family‘s Aubrey Anderson-Emmons, and Moonrise Kingdom‘s Jared Gilman. And don‘t let her cuteness fool you: Kiernan — er, Dr. Shipka — is clearly a fan of the tough-love approach.
Before you contemplate checking in with Dr. Shipka for your next session, check out the clip below.
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TV’s favorite silver fox (though he loathes the term) turns a suave 51 today.
Though Slattery has cemented his place in TV drama history with his portrayal of the adman on the AMC show, he was already a prolific TV-series presence with small roles pre-Mad on shows like Party of Five, Will and Grace, and Law & Order. With that perma-white hair and undeniable charisma, it’s no wonder he’s been typecast in roles of power and prestige, armed with a stiff drink and a rotating bevy of younger women — who could complain? To celebrate, here’s are some of our five favorite Silver Fox moments:
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Welcome to the ESPYs! You know, that awards show that happens on a Wednesday on ESPN? Yeah, they give out awards to athletes who are like “Thanks, but I totally have an actual championship ring back at home.”
I’ve personally never felt the need to watch the awards show, or as host Jon Hamm calls it “the world’s largest gathering of people wearing sunglasses indoors,” but the idea of missing the Mad Men star hosting was too risky to pass up. Those of you who’ve seen Hamm guest on 30 Rock or make a cameo in Bridesmaids knows that the man with immeasurable beauty can crack a joke or two, and tonight’s awards were no different. Showing no mercy, Hamm poked fun at Dwight Howard, the city of Detroit, and swimmer Ryan Lochte. Some examples of his killer lines: “Honestly, I’ve always been a little wary of the BCS system. I just feel like you can’t completely trust something just because a computer says it.” and “Manti Te’o — fake internet girlfriend or a real girlfriend who goes to Notre Dame? Pretty much the same amount of sex.” Boom. (Check out Hamm’s full monologue.)
We were off to a good start, and thankfully, the show very rarely lost its steam, thanks to some on-point sketches shown in between the awards. Here are the top 10 things that I took away from it:
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Since the very beginning of Mad Men, Don Draper has seemed doomed. From the show’s opening-credit sequence, with a silhouetted suit falling helplessly from the Madison Avenue skyline, to this year’s season premiere, which featured Don delving into a copy of Dante’s Inferno, the future always seemed bleak for our dapper anti-hero.
Oblivious to the fact that he’s always on the wrong side of history, Don began to wither. What seemed cool about him in the beginning — his afternoon drinks and serial womanizing — has devolved to pathetic.
So where will it end? And more importantly, when? Will the year be 1969 when Mad Men returns for its seventh and final season? Or 1970? 1973…? Or might Matthew Weiner throw a curve and leap into the future — say 1980 — before flashing-back to the beginning of the previous decade.
Let’s discuss… READ FULL STORY
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