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Re: 2014 tv shows new and continuing

Posted: September 29th, 2014, 12:00 pm
by knitwit45
KR, the "endless night" isn't quite as good as last weeks double header..lots of characters thrown at you in a hurry...but even a second rate Miss Marple beats most of the stuff being shown!

Re: 2014 tv shows new and continuing

Posted: September 29th, 2014, 12:52 pm
by RedRiver
I swear, I didn't think ENDLESS NIGHT was a Miss Marple story. I haven't read it, but there was a film version some years back. I don't remember "Aunt Jane" being in it!

Re: 2014 tv shows new and continuing

Posted: September 29th, 2014, 12:57 pm
by mrsl

In case you didn't see the movie Endless Night yet, I won't say anything. But if you did DVR it, I hope you also DVR'd the show that followed with David Suchet examining Ms. Christie's life. I think they showed back to back movies in order to get this one in as well. In the Suchet show, is a clue regarding the writing of Endless Nights that might help you understand.

I love Unforgettable and also Madam Secretary. MS reminds me of a Sorken script because it is so tightly written yet gives so much information as the story goes along.

Next week is my marathon for The Leftovers.


Re: 2014 tv shows new and continuing

Posted: September 29th, 2014, 5:15 pm
by kingrat
The most disappointing new show has been Manhattan, which has the fabulous premise of life at Los Alamos during the Manhattan Project. It has been successful in showing the frustration that the wives felt in their limited existence there, with their husbands unable to talk about their work. However, the writers have decided to ignore the famous European scientists at work there and the fascinating story of the Communist spies like Klaus Fuchs, Lona Cohen, and "the boy who stole the bomb."

Instead, they did a Wen Ho Lee storyline--why?--and sometimes have veered wildly out of period. For instance, the visit to Oak Ridge had more impossibilities than I would have believed possible. The director of the Oak Ridge project was portrayed as a Southern redneck; actually, the demographic importance of Oak Ridge was that it brought many Northerners to Tennessee. A woman scientist was shown as having an executive role; although there were a few women scientists, they would not have held high executive rank. Even more than this, an African-American man in a suit was shown as having a position of importance. This simply would not have happened. The Girls of Atomic City is an interesting and entertaining book about the work done at Oak Ridge and the creation of the town from the ground up.

Re: 2014 tv shows new and continuing

Posted: December 29th, 2014, 4:07 pm
by kingrat
"The worst season finale of any show I have ever watched." That's a quote from an imdb reviewer, but my sentiments exactly about the last episode of Season 4 of Homeland. The current overall viewer rating, out of a possible 10, is 5.1, and if you ever look at imdb, you know how incredibly low that is.

On the plus side, the show paid tribute to the late James Rebhorn, a fine actor, who played Carrie's father, by having the character die and be mourned by his family and friends. On the minus side, everything else about the episode. Minimal follow-up to anything that had happened the entire season, lots of uninteresting backstory about Carrie. She's united with her baby daughter! But giving her a daughter is the worst idea the series ever had. She has a long-estranged mother! I don't care. She has a 15-year-old half-brother she didn't know about! I don't wanna know about him. Carrie decides that if mom left dad because mom liked to sleep around and not because of her dad's bipolar disorder, then Carrie can pursue a romantic relationship with Quinn. But Claire Danes and Rupert Friend have minimal romantic chemistry. He's like a little brother to her. He's two years younger than she is in real life, but that wouldn't matter if they had chemistry. They don't.

Actually, I think Rupert Friend, a good actor, is miscast if Quinn is supposed to be a hard-drinking seen-and-done-it-all kind of guy. Friend is a rather lightweight good-looking guy who'd be effectively cast in romantic comedy. If the story made Quinn a lightweight who's trying to force himself to be as tough as Dad and/or Big Brother, the casting would make sense, but that's not the conception. It's kind of like casting Farley Granger instead of Marlon Brando as Terry Malone in On the Waterfront.

Homeland was so uneven this season that it seemed to have been written by different teams of writers each week, all of them frantic to make a deadline. They decided to kill off Damien Lewis at the end of Season 3, then couldn't figure out what to do next. After floundering for two or three episodes, they began a compelling story of tracking a terrorist who has help from the Pakistani government. The story eventually became too dark and dystopian for my taste, but to throw all this away in the final episode for the equivalent of a Hallmark movie with lots of f-bombs makes absolutely no sense at all. Homeland has been renewed for another season, but this may have been my last.

Re: 2014 tv shows new and continuing

Posted: December 31st, 2014, 6:50 pm
by Lzcutter

I agree almost totally with you on this season of Homeland. There were a handful of very strong episodes that raised many people and critics' hopes that show had regained its footing but they managed to plunder that away in the season finale. I could have done without Carrie's road trip to Missouri and hope we do not get more of her estranged mother or half-family. I am also not a fan of Carrie being a doting mother.

The two characters I do care about are Saul and Quinn. That said, I do not believe that Saul has gone to the dark side with Dar and believe that Saul is playing a long con on Dar. And like you, I could do without Quinn and Carrie ever hooking up. The two actors have little to no chemistry together and both Jon and I think Quinn is a way more interesting character on his own than as an appendage of Carrie.

Not sure where next season is going to go though I still want to see the Ambassador's hubby (Duck Phillips from Mad Men and the treacherous woman behind the coup get their comeuppance. So hopefully, that story line won't be completely abandoned.

On a completely different note, I very much enjoyed the winter season of Major Crimes (still have the last eppy to watch).

Re: 2014 tv shows new and continuing

Posted: January 1st, 2015, 6:24 pm
by mrsl

Luckily I caught the pilot show and have watched each week except the one where he was tortured. I see enough of that in real life without having it part of my entertainment time. Anyway, I also love the fact that he has raised Judd Hirsch. I only with they would have Hirsch call him "Dad". But that could be troublesome if he did it in front of customers. Also, the antique store is a great cover isn't it? I haven't had much luck in the shows I've liked in the past couple of years, so I hope my jinx doesn't carry into this one or Madam Secretary.

Re: 2014 tv shows new and continuing

Posted: January 5th, 2015, 12:31 pm
by kingrat
Lynn, we are also enjoying this season of Major Crimes. Who would have thought they could do such a good job of re-working The Closer without Kyra Sedgwick? I always prefer their lighter episodes, and the Santa flashmob robbery showed what they can do superlatively.

By far the best thing about this season's (and last season's) Homeland was the opportunity to see Mandy Patinkin dig into some really good scenes. And I'm a big fan of Mark Moses, who played the ambassador's husband. We didn't watch Mad Men, so we know him best from Desperate Housewives. Apparently he's a sweet gentle man who happens to excel at playing killers, traitors, weaklings, bad men in suits etc.

Re: 2014 tv shows new and continuing

Posted: May 18th, 2015, 6:05 pm
by Lzcutter
There be SPOILERS AHEAD if you haven't seen the finale of Mad Men:

After seven zeitgeist changing years, Mad Men came to end last night. From the beginning, the show had been less about the fashions, the mid-century modern trappings, the smoking, the boozing and all that comes with the boozing, and more concerned with Don’s existential crisis. He was a man who had stolen a dead man’s identity, tried to outrun his past and could never be comfortable with the two halves of himself (Don Draper and Dick Whitman) that made him who he was.

Until last night.

Last night, Don Draper who tried for so long to out-run his demons finally found at the Esalen Institute of 1970 at the edge of the continental U.S. the opportunity to come to grips with his crisis and to finally accept the two halves and find resolution in that acceptance. In one of the best scenes of the finale, Don is part of an encounter group and one of the men, Leonard tells companions about a dream in which he was inside an ice-cold refrigerator; the door would open, revealing happy people, only to close, again and again, leaving him in darkness. As Leonard broke down, Don embraced him, weeping. And finally, Don Draper seemed to be able to find peace within himself.

He began the show creating the ad for Kodak’s Carousel. At the end of Season 1, Don successfully pitched an ad to Kodak for Carousel slide projectors by describing it to company execs as a “time machine” that goes backward and forward. To prove his point, he loaded the machine with images of his own life: young Sally sitting on his shoulders; eating a hot dog with Betty; carrying Betty in his arms on their wedding day. “Nostalgia . . . it’s a twinge in your heart, far more powerful than memory alone,” he says.

Six years later he ended the series creating the iconic Teach the World to Sing Coca-Cola ad that debuted in 1971.

As Don sat on the bluff overlooking the Pacific as he entoned “ooohhhhmmm” with the others who were also searching for enlightenment, a light bulb went off, a smile broke across his face and another iconic ad was born.

The show ends there but it’s not hard to imagine Don returning home to New York, as Peggy had begged him in their final phone conversation, returning to McCann-Erickson to remain the reigning top of the pyramid of advertising and more importantly having more of a role in children’s lives.

That last part is of importance given that in the penultimate episode we discovered that Betty, like her mother before her, was dying of lung cancer. The burden of dealing with the fall-out fell as it so often has over the last seven years, to the Draper’s oldest child- Sally. Betty gave instructions to Sally for how to handle her affairs after she was dead. She also made Sally promise not to tell Don, a promise that Sally, thankfully, was unable to keep. Keep in mind, Sally is only 18. She had planned to go to Madrid as part of a college-exchange program but with Betty illness looming large over the family, Sally knew the burden being the adult in Betty’s final months would fall to her.

I don’t believe Don would let his daughter forsake her dreams to take care of her brothers and deal by herself with the responsibilities that go with all that Betty was expecting her to do.
The Don Draper who sat on that bluff and thought up an iconic ad may still be a slick Madison Avenue ad man, but Don has always tried to be a good father despite some of his more questionable behavior and his relationship with his daughter has always been a touchstone for him.

Roger Sterling finally seems comfortable in his own skin as well. There were more than a few times I seriously thought if anyone was going to take a header out the big glass windows of Sterling Cooper it would be Roger. Unmoored from his comfortable life with wife Sheila early in the series due to his philandering ways and falling in love with his much younger secretary, Roger for long time has seemed like a character adrift. He saw himself as the father figure of Sterling Cooper once Bert Cooper shuffled off this mortal coil and watched powerlessly as McCann-Erickson dismantled and absorbed his own company. But, Roger has always known himself better than he got credit for. He seems to have found a lasting love with Megan Draper’s mother, Marie. And in a bold move for Roger, set Kevin Holloway Harris, his son with his former secretary Joan, up for life by including him in his will. Bravo, Roger Sterling.

Joan Holloway Harris began the series as Roger’s secretary, the de-facto office manager who was having a fling with her boss. Through the years, she listened and learned. She knew men didn’t take her seriously because of her looks but she parlayed herself into a partnership with Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce and ultimately, Sterling Cooper and Associates. When McCann bought the business, she was reminded in a series of derogatory meetings, just how little the men of McCann thought of her. But Joanie was never one to be defeated. She could have had a cushy life with sugar daddy, Bruce Greenwood, but instead opted to become her own boss in her new business of producing short business films and commercials. I suspect that in the afterlife of Mad Men Joan Holloway Harris fared very well indeed.

Pete Campbell who began the series as a snarky, egotistical worm of a guy using everything and everyone to get ahead finally found his happy ending. He came to finally understand Don Draper and that he could be like Don but he could never be Don. He reconciled with wife Trudy and headed to Wichita to head the Lear Jet campaign. Before he left, he and Peggy had one final scene where he realized that she would get the brass ring that always eluded him business wise.

Peggy Olsen was always the character who knew Don better than himself even though she didn’t know all the details of the Dick Whitman story. Some of the best scenes in the show were the ones between these two characters. Don was there when Peggy gave up her baby (from a bad affair with Pete Campbell) and helped guide her career from secretary to copywriter to potentially being the first female creative director.

So, it was fitting as Don had his emotional breakdown that it was Peggy he called. She told him that there was the Coke account to think of, that she knew he liked to run away when things got to much too handle but that it was time to come to home. Their phone conversation left her rattled, thinking Don might commit suicide. So, she called the one person who would understand, Stan Rizzo. And in that phone conversation across five seasons, Stan who saw Peggy naked shortly after first meeting her, who put up with her attitudes and her put-downs and who was never too busy to not stay on the phone with her just so she would know he was there, finally confessed his love for her. And Peggy who has been searching for Mr. Right and usually came up with the wrong guy and had probably decided that she was going to live a life alone, realized that when it was all said and done, she loved Stan as well. It’s been a relationship that the writers put in motion years ago and that paid off big time in the finale.

So, as the characters continue with their lives (just not on tv screens) we are left knowing that with the exception of Betty, they will all be okay. There will be detours, there will be changes, there will be ups and downs, but they will go on if only in our imaginations.

Thanks to all who worked on Mad Men for a great series!

Re: 2014 tv shows new and continuing

Posted: May 19th, 2015, 11:43 am
by RedRiver
I'm sad that this complex story has ended. As often happens with well written characters, I miss them. It doesn't mater if they're happy, sad or dead. They're gone. It's been a fantastic seven seasons.

Re: 2014 tv shows new and continuing

Posted: May 26th, 2015, 12:23 pm
by RedRiver
***************MAD MEN SPOILERS OUT THE WAZOO******************

I liked the finale OK. It was VERY intriguing. But that's too much Happily Ever After for such a dark and brooding drama. Five out of six characters get everything they want. Pete could have gotten the job of a lifetime, but left his family behind. Peggy and Stan? They looked like Ross and Rachel! I like Joan's story. A pioneer of women's rights, she chose career over love. And good riddance to any man who demands the choice!

Your observations of the final moment were much more perceptive than mine. I saw the Coke ad as Peggy's work; the next Don Draper! I attributed the smile on Don's tired face to the peace he'd finally found. Your reading is much better!