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Entries in Mad Men (87)

Monday
Apr132015

Mad Men @ the Movies: Ali + Brigitte = Megan?

Julia Ormond returns to her Emmy-nominated role as Megan's motherLynn Lee, back again to discuss Mad Men at the Movies.  

The title of this week’s episode was “New Business,” which may or may not be meant ironically. The episode felt contrived to strike certain thematic chords at the expense of developing the characters believably.  Diana the waitress feels more like a construct than a person, designed to appeal to Don’s hang-ups (the lover to be saved, the mother who abandoned her child); even their awkward elevator encounter with Sylvia Rosen just reminded me of how bored I was with that affair.  Megan does a 180 from the regretful wife bidding Don a tearful goodbye to the bitter ex-wife who accuses him of stealing her youth.  And her bickering French Canadian family shows up for no discernible purpose other than to bring back Julia Ormond and leave Don with a literally empty home.

That said, it’s Megan who brings Mad Men as close to the movies as it can get in an episode without any specific movie mentions. Megan’s film career has stalled, to the point that she’s subsisting on handouts from Don while their lawyers fight about divorce terms. She’s apparently desperate enough to seek help from Harry Crane, of all people - Harry, the noob who's been lusting after her since her show-stopping performance of “Zou Bisou Bisou.”

After seeking permission (sort of) from Don, Harry meets Megan for lunch and loses no time buttering her up.  He can’t believe she hasn’t gotten bigger parts!  He compares her to movie stars, both foreign and domestic...

Click to read more ...

Thursday
Apr092015

Mad Men @ The Movies "Hey, Mildred Pierce!"

Please welcome new member of Team Experience, Lynn Lee (who you may remember from the Reader Spotlight and Furlough Guest Blog) here to continue our unofficial Joan Crawford week - Editor 

Lynn here, filling in for Nathaniel as Mad Men – and with it, Mad Men at the Movies – returns for the final seven episodes.  The show has had a good run but from a filmgoing perspective I'm sorry we won't get to see what Don would make of the weird and wonderful cornucopia of movies in the ’70s, from gritty crime sagas to paranoid conspiracy thrillers to, well, “Star Wars.” 

Curiously, the only obvious movie reference that popped up in tonight’s episode was to a movie from decades earlier – Mildred Pierce (1945), the half-soap, half-noir blockbuster that revived Joan Crawford’s flagging career and won her the only Oscar of her career.  Fittingly, the shout-out comes from Roger Sterling, our most senior character now that Bert Cooper is gone.  Even more fittingly, it’s delivered as slightly derisive banter wrapped around an order to an underling: Roger’s in a diner with Don and three ladies, all decked out in evening wear, and he wants the waitress to bring him the bill.

Hey, Mildred Pierce, can I get the check?”

It's not exactly a flattering sobriquet...

Click to read more ...

Sunday
Apr052015

Link-a-round

Cinemascope Ari Folman (Waltz With Bashir) is working on a stop motion animated film about Anne Frank. Yes, that Anne Frank
The Stake has a great piece on Tina Fey's firestarter comedy, especially its willingness to constantly poke at our racial discomforts
Playbill has fun making Stephen King's books into stage musicals
Pajiba has seen (well the first ten minutes) of a porn parody of Guardians of the Galaxy with characters named Star Load, and Bonin
EW shares the 20 best episodes of Mad Men. Great choices overall - I'll be furious forever that Jon Hamm and Elisabeth Moss didn't win Emmys for "The Suitcase"
MNPP I missed Matthew Goode's birthday but this is the perfect gif set with which to celebrate


Women and Hollywood the annual Crystal Awards for women in film are here and this year's honorees are Nicole Kidman and Ava DuVernay
Boy Culture celebrates the one and only Buster Crabbe with some pre-code footage
Deep Dish celebrates Bette Davis on her birthday with lots of clips from TV & film
The Guardian raves about Carey Mulligan's career and artistry. She is currently playing Bill Nighy's ex-lover on Broadway at the moment in Skylight. Yes, Nighy. He is 36 years older.
Theater Mania yes, it's true. Cats will be revived on Broadway
Salon Michelangelo Signorile writes about the bleak state of gay characters on TV, usually sexless even in shows where their straight counterparts have plenty of physical intimacy (this is especially sad to read after Looking's cancellation though the article doesn't mention that)
Comics Alliance the superhero craze has officially jumped shark? an Avengers inspired menswear line is upon us. No, not a boys underoos line, a menswear line. Kind of brings us back to that gender doublestandard discussion again, right?
Huff Post Comedy speaking of double standards read this great piece on the headlines that would follow Madonna if she did the same things celebrity men her age or older did
Maria Shriver's Blog also has a piece on ageism and sexism via the prism of Madonna
i09 proof that awards are always political -- and it isn't just Oscar that's perpetually under attack -- in this investigative piece about a very weird two years for sci-fi's "Hugo" Awards
TV Line "The Muppet Show" will be returning to ABC at some point. Let this serve as your reminder that they tried to revive it one other time in the 1990s and Michelle Pfeiffer was a guest! Here is video proof. (Yes, I was very excited that night)

Unfortunately, as in The Muppets (2011) they thought it wise to invent a new Muppet character that wasn't even a tenth as good as any of the originals. Why does this keep happening? I'm all for shaking things up lest one be fossilized in nostalgia but if you can't come up with a good character DO NOT steal screen time from the good ones!

Friday
Apr032015

Winnie The Tweets

It's our semi-weekly collection of Most Awesome Tweets if you don't have twitter or you can't possibly catch everything. The topic of the week was the bizarre news about a live action redo of Winnie the Pooh (after the jump)...

Mad Men's return is also reigniting Mad Men mania and you should expect the next seven weeks online to be Mad Men Manic. Question: can AMC's awards campaign PR team keep the heat on for an Emmy Farewell/Comeback?

Let's start with some real creative fan commitment -- a full manicure set! 

 

 

Tweets on Winnie the Pooh and more after the jump... 

Click to read more ...

Thursday
Apr022015

Finger-Linking Good


No Screen
Indie Wire Patricia Arquette will pen a memoir on her career and single motherhood  
EW A chocolate sculpture of Benedict Cumberbatch. eek.
Tony Awards what's eligible? We'll be revving up more theater posts for Tony Season (everything is about to open... April being the theater's December if you will)
NY Times profiles the "Hand to God" playwright Robert Askins. ("Hand to God" is the latest risque puppet comedy post Avenue Q -- though not really like it otherwise -- and it's very funny)

Big Screen
IndieWire Manoel de Oliveira RIP (1908-2015)

Small Screen
Buzzfeed the greatest article ever written about the Starz series Outlander Season 1
Melanie Lynskey teases a second season of Togetherness. Did you watch it? So funny-sad and endearing
AV Club the 7 defining pitches of Mad Men

Computer Screen
Dartboard Patton Oswalt goes on an epic twitter rant about comedy and our delicate sensibilities in 2015
Variety thinks Marvel & Netflix have nothing to worry about with the impending launch Daredevil though correct me if I'm wrong... this review of 5 episodes (no spoilers) doesn't really say if it's any good or not, does it? 

Today's Must Watch
MISSI PYLE WANTS TO F*** YOU UP. Watch this amusing commercial and then help Missi raise funds to shoot her music video (multiple celebrity cameos promised) for her awesome revenge anthem "I Wanna Fuck You Up" -- Consider your donation a thank you for her awesomely generous guest blogging day right here at TFE. Yes, I am donating. Although I haven't decided who I want to fuck up the most. You can name your target in her video!

Saturday
Mar282015

Attending the Mad Men "Black and Red Ball"

Margaret reporting from Los Angeles. On Wednesday night, television phenomenon Mad Men screened its final premiere, and I had the pleasure of attending to represent The Film Experience. This premiere leads off the second half of Mad Men's seventh and final season. While introducing the episode, AMC President Charlie Collier spoke to the legacy of the show, claiming that:

in the history of television, there will be a permanent line of demarcation: Before Mad Men, and After Mad Men.''

It's a strong claim, but it's true. 

 

Compare the television landscape of today to the television landscape of a decade ago, and the influence of Mad Men's success is evident. Certainly without that show AMC would not have taken off and there would be no Breaking Bad, nor The Walking Dead. The Americans, Downton Abbey, and Netflix's entire original programming arm also owe Mad Men a sizable debt.

The Event
In celebration of their achievement, the cast and crew gathered in the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion in downtown Los Angeles which housed the Oscars for many year. The Pavilion isn't new to Mad Men either, the foyer having played the lobby of a Rome hotel in season three. 

Margaret and Jordan attending for The Film Experience

 

Nearly the entire cast was present except for Elisabeth Moss (currently on Broadway) and Jessica Pare. When Robert Morse was called on stage he practically held court, and all but did a soft-shoe. Jon Hamm was, understandably, like the class president, high-fiving everyone and adorably rough-housing with little Bobby Draper when he seemed to get restless. And finally, Kiernan Shipka who we watched grow up on the show, is now unnervingly tall and very poised. 

The mutual respect and love among the team was evident, and the program reserved special (and richly deserved) praise for the visual artists who gave Mad Men so much of its richness: cinematographer Chris Manley, production designer Dan Bishop, art director Christopher Brown, set decorator Claudette Didul, props master Ellen Freund, and the genius costume designer Janie Bryant whose work on the show is so long overdue for an Emmy. Christina Hendricks clearly adores them giving enormous hugs to everyone.

Coming up on seven full seasons, Mad Men has pulled down four Emmys for Best Drama Series, traced the decade of shifting cultural history between 1960 and 1970, and has inspired more spiraling fan theories than its cast has smoked cigarettes.

 

Keirnan Shipka, Jon Hamm, and January Jones at the event on Wednesday

So how does it end? The first of the final episodes, true to the series spirit, plays it close to the vest. It riffs on the show's established intertwining themes (sex, business, identity) but it's a little looser, a little more relaxed. (As if they knew that the TFE readership would be on the look out for a "Mad Men at the Movies" reference, they toss off an aces Mildred Pierce joke midway through.) The pace is unhurried, as ever, and where the slow burn will flame out is still anyone's guess. TV has changed so much since Mad Men arrived. How will it change once it's gone?

Mad Men returns to AMC for its final episodes on Sunday April 5th, 10/9c

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