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Entries in Mad Men (79)

Thursday
Jul162015

Emmy Noms 2015 ~ Drama/MiniSeries, First Impressions

Emmy Awards will be held on Sept 20th this yearYou've surely already read Team Experience Dream Drama Ballots so you'll know that for many of us Emmy Nomination morning can be a Waking Nightmare. For all the talk of "The Golden Age" of television, there's precious little evidence of that in what is essentially the official industry record each year. "But these are high quality shows!" You protest. Well, yes but...

Even if you accept as the gospel truth that all of the Emmy nominees are of high quality, a true golden wouldn't support a great deal of repetition. A true golden age would suggest such a high level of quality in the competitive pool that the nomination shortlists in each category would be quite volatile from year to year with slight or major dips or rises in quality for entire shows and individual characters reflected in dozens of different names and titles in the Emmy categories causing a revolving door effect rather than a copy and paste effect with some people popping up sporadically, others once and never again, etcetera. This is rarely if ever the case with Emmy. Once you're in the list you tend to stay in, screw the merits of individual episodes, character arcs or seasons that are officially in play. Hence no Golden Age... at least not according to Emmy. Maybe they'll catch up sometime? Yet with their darling Breaking Bad off the air, last year's disruptive force True Detective ineligible (no new episodes during the eligibility period), and Orange is the New Black forced to switch from comedy to this category by the Academy itself, changes were practically forced upon the Emmy voting body.

Did it free up their thinking? Let's find out. The nominee list with first impression commentary after the jump...

Click to read more ...

Monday
Jun292015

Somewhere That's Link

Defamer Elizabeth Berkley finally coming to terms with the love out there for Showgirls -- like Faye Dunaway with Mommie Dearest this has been difficult for her
Towleroad ...and there's video of the event, too!
Theater Mania to say that I am excited to see Ellen Green reprise her Audrey Little Shop of Horrors role this week (I bought tickets the day they went on sale, long before Jake Gyllenhaal nabbed the Seymour part) would be the understatement of the summer. I'm more excited for it than any upcoming movie. Yes, even Magic Mike XXL. She talks about returning to the role.
Awards Daily Kathryn Bigelow (our filmmaker of the month for Anne Marie's "Women's Pictures" series, every Thursday) pens an op-ed on endangered elephants

Birth.Movies.Death New Spider-Man movie will have a "John Hughes Vibe" and they're not going back to the Goblin again for a villain. Wow... you mean they realized that three times as villain in 12 years was enough?
Hayley Atwell continues to ace her social media game 
VF Meryl Streep asking Congress to revive the Equal Rights Amendment 
EW why Inside Out kept "Bing Bong" a secret (would that more films would keep em)
Nicole Kidman just celebrated 9 years with Keith Urban 
Interview Kyle Maclachlan talks about returning to Agent Dale Cooper for Twin Peaks
Dissolve upcoming movies for EuropaCorp including a sequel to Lucy... even though Scarlett Johansson morphed into an entirely digital entity by the end? well, ok!
The Movie Scene on all this talk of gender equality in "objectification" for the cinema which is usually lusting after only women
Ant-Man gets a "meet the crew" tv spot so finally David Dastmalchian, T.I., and especially the always wonderful Michael Peña show up in the promotional material

Oscar Talk
Hot Blog setting the Best Picture field -is Carol the only possibility thus far that's been seen
THR on the more inclusive more foreign Academy invites 

Must Read
Vulture's TV Awards series has been fairly cool, including entries from actual TV artists, but they ended incredibly strong with this piece by Matt Zoller Seitz on Mad Men as TV's Best Show overall. Frankly, it might well be the best essay on Matthew Weiner's masterful achievement that I've ever read and I've read a lot of them! Love this 'graph near the opening:

All of the episodes, even the ones I don’t especially like, are inexhaustibly detailed: packed with comic and dramatic moments; period-accurate clothing and hairstyles and music; imaginative, hilarious, and often deeply moving performances; and screenwriting that depicts the complexities and contradictions of the human personality with more insight and empathy than any American series in recent memory. It’s a historical drama about how individuals are and are not affected by the local, national, and international history that’s constantly unfolding around them. It’s a psychodrama about how our personalities are shaped by our parents, our lovers, our friends, our bosses, and everyone else we know, as well as by people we’ve never met but feel as though we know: the politicians, civil-rights leaders, athletes, movie stars, musicians, and other icons who inspire, entertain, confound, and sometimes anger us as we muddle through our daily lives. It’s also a series with an unusually strong affinity for mythology, spirituality, religion, psychoanalysis, pop psychology, literature, poetry, cinema, and all the other means by which human experience is transformed into narrative. And at every level — the scene, the episode, the season, and in total — it is a masterpiece of construction, filled with major and minor bits of foreshadowing and recollection, lines and images that seem to answer each other across time.

Read it! And hope along with us that it pulls off a historic fifth win at the Emmys in September. Mad Men (2008-2011 wins) is currently tied with Hill Street Blues (1981-1984 wins), LA Law (1987,1989-1991 wins), and The West Wing (2000-2003 wins) for the most Drama Series wins (4 each). The leader for nominations is Law & Order which was nominated 11 times, far outdistancing its nearest rivals (The Sopranos, Mad Men, ER, Studio One, and The West Wing)

P.S. on the TV Front:  I just watched my first episode of Fresh Off the Boat since y'all were complaining about Constance Wu not making our Best Actress list. It's really funny. They won "best couple" at Vulture 

PRIDE WEEKEND - SHOWTUNE TO GO...
I was feeling so much love for heroes of the past (and present -- it used to be that only Broadway had multiple out stars but now every medium does) but I was especially pleased that I wasn't the only one singing Madonna's praises... she supported the LGBT community long before it was par for the course with celebrities but gays can be fickle and though her iconic status will never be undone, sometimes people are assholes about her what with all the ageism and so on. 

All in all it was a good weekend. And all the marriage equality will eventually lead us into a less homophobic world as there are endless examples of people being less prejudiced once they are familiar with the "other" (any kind of prejudice applies). On this note, Variety is wondering when film is going to catch up with TV when it comes to comfort with the gays?  

Sirs Ian McKellen and Derek Jacobi were the Grand Marshalls of the NYC parade. And anyway, gay geniuses of the past and out talents of the present should both be celebrated. And not only on Pride Weekend. So how about some Cole Porter via John Barrowman in the movie De-Lovely as we move into a new week. (That movie is kind of a mess -- anyone remember it? -- but this seen is lovely) 

Wednesday
Jun242015

Team Experience: Collective Emmy Ballot, Drama 

Part 1 of 2... DRAMA!
Part 2 -- Comedy 

Eleven members of our team* turned in full Emmy ballots. I've compiled the results for you here. This is a very limited pool versus the thousands from the Television Academy who will vote on the actual Emmys but I thought it might be interesting for readers who are invested in this 'new golden age' of television. 

REMINDER: THESE ARE NOT PREDICTIONS

What follows is what we communally hope for when the nominations are announced. Voting on the nominations for the real Emmys ends this Friday, June 26th. The nominations will be announced on July 16th (what takes them so long to tally it?) and the ceremony happens on September 20th. It's a ridiculously wide spread of time -- nearly double the Oscar voting spread.

OUTSTANDING DRAMA SERIES

  • The Americans (FX)
  • Empire (FOX)
  • Game of Thrones (HBO)
  • The Leftovers (HBO)
  • Mad Men (AMC)
  • Masters of Sex (SHO)
  • Orange is the New Black (NETFLIX)

Twenty-two different series received at least one vote but there were no votes at all for two Emmy regulars in this category (Downton Abbey & House of Cards). No series made every ballot though Mad Men and Masters of Sex were out front together in that regard. I forgot to hold a tiebreaker vote between The Leftovers and The Fall for the final slot so I made the choice myself, and erred on the side of way more ambition though The Fall was arguably more consistent. The nearest misses were The Affair and Agent Carter. The Agent Carter contingency surprised me even though I adore the show but then we're friendlier to non-prestige genre shows here (The Flash, Orphan Black and Daredevil also received votes). We shouldn't bring up the painful years of snubs for Battlestar Galactica and Buffy the Vampire Slayer, two of the finest shows TV ever produced. Neither of which could get arrested by Emmy voters in major categories. (sigh)

Acting Categories after the jump...

Click to read more ...

Wednesday
Jun172015

Emmy Balloting Obsessiveness

As you're no doubt aware, given our ongoing Emmy FYCs, the Television Academy is voting this week on the nominations for the 67th annual Primetime Emmy Awards (Sept 20th, 2015). Apologies to the small screen averse among you but as the lines blur between all the performing arts, so must we! We'll be back to a heavier movie focus in July but you know how June is: Tony Season climaxes and then Emmy voting happens. Consider Elisabeth Moss your new bridge mascot since she was just a nominee at the Tonys and she's in an Oscar-hopeful movies this year (Truth with Robert Redford and Cate Blanchett) and could be up for a final Emmy for her signature role Peggy Olson (Mad Men).

Ack!

It's so easy to get distracted when awards of any kind are the topic. Here are a few observations about the ballots after the jump but first...  please to enjoy this NEW CATEGORY PROPOSAL (We need 2 more nominees for this category so that's your job in the comments)

Click to read more ...

Friday
Jun052015

FYC: Jon Hamm for Best Lead Actor in a Drama

Team Experience share their personal Emmy dream picks daily at Noon. Here's Deborah on everyone's favorite ad man...

Emmy voters, you assholes, now is your chance to make it right! 

You have nominated Jon Hamm seven times for his work on Mad Men. Seven times. It’s like you’ve got the hiccups and then, when the actual award-giving comes around, you’re all holding your breath. Stop it!

Okay, so, irritation out of the way, let’s talk about the work this extraordinary actor has done on this show. 

First of all, Mad Men is not an ensemble show. There’s an amazing cast doing supporting work, yes. Kiernan Shipka, January Jones, Vincent Kartheiser, Christina Hendricks, John Slattery, and especially Elisabeth Moss all deserve acknowledgement. Nonetheless, its Hamm’s Don Draper who carries the show, and the nuance of his performance is what delivers the show to greatness, matching the lofty ambitions of its writing with flawless execution. 

There are moments when the writers of Mad Men have simply stripped out the dialogue, and allowed Hamm’s face to do all the heavy lifting—to go from serene to angry to defeated in a few seconds. To break down and then build back up. There are times when no words are spoken, because words are for lesser actors. (That's especially true in the series' finale which should be fresh in your memory.)

Now, listen, Emmys. You’ve denied Hamm the award when he delivered the Season 3's The Gypsy and the Hobo, the complete breakdown of his façade, as Betty Draper confronted her husband with the evidence that he was another man. You’ve denied it to him when he delivered The Suitcase, the season 4 episode widely considered Mad Men’s finest hour, a two-hander in which Don falls apart, bit-by-bit, as he and Peggy Olson (Moss) tear apart their complex relationship in one long, grueling, drunken night. 

But how about now? How about an award for the series finale, Person to Person, when he learns that Betty has cancer, and silently, eloquently, lets her know he loves her? How about an award for Field Trip, as Don waits to hear about getting his job back, starting with absolute confidence, believing he is already hired, and bit-by-bit, hour by hour, becomes more nervous and more humble, all without any dialogue directly addressing the fact. Or just, you know, give it to him for kissing Peggy on top of her head as they dance in Season The Strategy.

There are many great actors on television today. I’m not saying other people aren’t worthy. I’m saying no one can do what Jon Hamm does. No one is more complex, more plastic, more impressive. Maybe someone out there is equally good, but no one is better, and seven years is too damn long to wait.
 

Thursday
May212015

They a-link, damnit! It's a miracle.

The Wrap Maggie Gyllenhaal is "too old" at 37 to play onscreen love of a 55 year old actor? Gross!
Empire Juno's mom and daughter Janney & Page reuniting for the comedy Tallulah
Antagony & Ecstasy shares a killer review of one of my fav Best Picture winners Grand Hotel - loved every sentence of this
Nick's Flick Picks revisits Georgia (1995) as part of its Cannes retrospective. Have you ever seen it?  It's a goodie. Mare Winningham, guys
Nick's Flick Picks and the terribly underseen Angels & Insects - amazing costumes
Awards Daily handicaps Oscar chances of Cannes players with Carol and Youth getting top marks for AMPAS likelihood 
The Film Stage looks at Lucretia Martel's next one, Zama, as it begins filming
Salon compares the first seasons of Daredevil & The Flash. Which show wins?


Towleroad plans are afoot to make a stage musical of the Elton John biopic starring Tom Hardy called Rocket Man. Um... shouldn't they actually make the movie first before worrying about adapting it? 
Variety in case you hadn't heard: Roger Deakins will shoot the Bladerunner sequel (so at least it will look pretty and get one Oscar nomination)
CHUD has an index of photo glimpses of Suicide Squad from Harley getting wet to the Joker at gunpoint 

Mad Mania
Gothamist the last scene of every Mad Men season. Matthew Weiner approached each season with its last visual in mind 
Slate 10 great images from Mad Men over the years - the show that always looked more like a great movie than "television" 
Film School Rejects where to see the Mad Men cast members next - new projects! 
AV Club an illustrated guide to Mad Max warlords from the Toecutter to Immortan Joe 
Jezebel offers up hilarious mocking of vulnerable masculinity in the face of Mad Max Fury Road

Charlize Theron menstruated all over my masculinity! 

....and finally the Imperator Furiosa tribute fans of both Mad Max Fury Road and The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt didn't know they wanted but now can't live with out. 

They alive, damnit!