Tuesday, 15 December 2009

Golden Globe nominations

For a full list of the TV nominations head to:
For a full list of the film nominations head to:

Updated to include the nominations announcements:

What no Lost?! After such a good season it is surprising to see it absent from the Best Drama category, though I'm glad to see Michael Emerson nominated in the Best Supporting category as he really does deserve the many plaudits he has received for his work on this show. This best supporting actor category is a tough one, pitting drama against comedy with other favourites like John Lithgow and William Hurt also vying for this award. I'm also glad to see Neil Patrick Harris in this company as he really is terrific in How I Met Your Mother(and everything else).
I am glad to see Mad Men and Dexter in the best drama category and that Jon Hamm, January Jones and Michael C. Hall are also all nominated.  Other nominees that I'm happy with are both Glenn Close and Rose Byrne for Damages, even if the second season was not as great as the first both performed superbly and I'm looking forward to the third season next month.
Comedy wise it is good (and obvious) that 30 Rock and The Office have been shown some love, but other than these two shows I don't really watch any of the other nominees (though I plan on starting to watch Glee whilst it is on hiatus as I have many good things said about this).

The film nominations also include some favourites of mine, including:
-Joseph Gordon-Levitt for best actor in a comedy/musical for (500) Days of Summer
-(500) Days of Summer and The Hangover in the comedy/musical category
-Meryl Streep getting her annual nomination (twice this year for It's Complicated and Julie and Julia
-The movie I am most looking forward to getting many nominations (Up in the Air)
-Another female director getting nominated for an excellent film (Kathryn Bigelow: The Hurt Locker)
-Where the Wild Things Are being up for best score
-Matt Damon with double nominations for Invictus and The Informant! 
-Emily Blunt getting nominated for The Young Victoria and for Justin Timberlake who announced this inappropriately suggesting that John Krasinski (also presenting) would be getting lucky tonight
One reason why I like to watch the Golden Globes is for both TV/film getting honoured as even though my passion lies in television, I do also love the counter part of film. This award show is also helped by the free flowing booze at the tables which could lead to some funny speeches. It will interesting to see how host Ricky Gervais will do this year as he is often the highlight of most award shows, how will he go down when he is hosting the whole schebang and not just one award?

New Chuck promo

NBC have released another promo for Chuck season 3 (which starts in under a month, woot) with some more new footage, very excited and am glad to have this show back very soon:

Dexter- The Getaway and the season finale shocker

Major spoilers for Dexter 'The Getaway' season 4 episode 12

Dexter Season Finale Recap: Sliced of Life

Holy wow, I did not see that ending of this season coming, it was one that I really didn't expect and is a ballsy move that will definitely change the show.
First off though a quick round up of the first 45 minutes of the episode. So as expected Dexter finally got to the Trinity killer and did what he has been wanting to all season, kill him and then let the ocean take care of the rest. However as this season has shown us the path to this was filled with many obstacles and this time it was a little time in jail that got in his way from doing the deed when he wanted to. The consequences of this were much graver than Dexter expected them to be but more on that in a bit. Trinity is then identified by the four walls symbol on his van that Scott (the boy he kidnapped- the homicide team link missing 10 year old boys before a bath tub kill and therefore to Trinity) draws and the police storm Arthur Mitchell's house with Dexter (as Kyle ) inside. Through some quick thinking he hides in the coffin in the garage, though due to his lack of police flak jacket Debs is confused as to why he was in the house so quick and without the correct protection on. Lucky for Dexter though her mind is far too occupied with the information that she has on Dexter's biological mother, this has led her in identifying the 'Ice Truck' killer as his brother, though he pulls off a convincing performance to suggest he didn't know any of this already.
Now to the real crux of the episode, the conversation between Trinity and Dexter before he kills him revolves around fate and free will, Arthur stating that it is all God's will and that it is all over now any way. Dexter does not agree with Arthur and this fate positioning and we see him muse that he will get rid of his dark passenger for the sake of his family he really does love, he looks at the moon as he is disposing of the body and thinks of Rita. When he arrives home to pick up his holiday stuff he has a voice mail from Rita saying that she has heard that the moon will be beautiful tonight and that she has to pop home to pick up her ID as she forgot it, it is at this point that I realised something bad might have happened. Dexter rings her phone which he hears inside the house, and then hears Harrison crying. The discovery is one that mirrors his early life, Harrison is sitting in a pool of  his mothers blood who is lying dead in the bath tub and it is at this point that Dexter thinks that Arthur was right about fate, it is also at this point that I have my hand over my mouth in shock as I can't believe they are ending the season this way.
I for one am sad to see Rita go, though as a story function this is an exciting one and will lead to many possibilities like how will Dexter cope as a single Dad? The dark passenger will I imagine be coming out of early retirement in full force and will this bring Dexter's secret to the surface. How will he explain the Trinity killer picking him and his family as a target?
Over at Entertainment Weekly they have an interview with executive producer Clive Phillips who clears up any confusion regarding this season ender.

More Lost promos and the start of season 2

So ABC have released yet another really cool non-spoilery promo for season 6 that is a longer version of the Amazing Grace promo that has already aired. It is a good song choice and I like that they have gone for the Willie Nelson version as it sounds more raw than the usual choir type renditions:

There is also a rumour that has been more or less confirmed over at Doc Jensen's new column (which contains many other great musings) that the Spanish Cuarto trailer that has been getting a lot of buzz is getting an American make over in the form of Terry O'Quinn narrating which I am totally on board with, as it makes perfect sense for him to be reading this poem. I'm also glad that the ABC promo department will be acknowledging what a great trailer this is.
In further Lost related postings I finished season 1 last night and jumped straight in to season 2 (and the hatch). The finale of season 1 is satisfying and well executed, apart from the lack of hatch secrets, yes they get in to it yet all we see is a very long tunnel. This shot does look awesome and being able to go straight from this to season 2 means that I didn't get that moment of 'what they're not going to show us what's in there?!'. However I do think the pay off in the season 2 opener is well done and makes up for the lack of hatch time in the finale. I also think that with the other stories in the finale (Charlie/Sayid going after Rousseau and the raft crew) that this was perhaps the best decision and with the climatic moment perhaps being when Walt is taken and the raft is destroyed. Also no matter how times I see it, it really is impressive how long Harold Perrineau can stretch the word Walt.
The first episode of season 2 entitled 'Man of Science, Man of Faith' is where we get to see the major divide that has opened between Locke and Jack and how each positions themselves regarding events on the island and what might cause them. This position is one that really does start in the pilot episode and continues throughout the seasons however it is at this point when these opinions divide the characters and cause a rift that is not really ever healed sufficiently as when Jack realises that there an element of the mystic to the island after all  it is too late.
"See you in another life brother"

And with these words this episode also introduces one of my favourite Lost characters, he does not appear that much in this episode, just in the opening when you don't know who it is, at the end when he has a gun to Locke's head and in Jack's flashback (Jack has some pretty bad hair issues occurring as in the spirit to make him look younger they have given him a not so fetching wig to wear). It is in this flashback (that we get to see again later in the season from Desmond's perspective) that we learn that he is entering a round the world race so our confusion is Jack's confusion when he sees him in the hatch, how did he get from there to being in an underground bunker on an island? All this and more will be answered over the course of the season as will the introduction of Ben (or Henry Gale as he was known then).
Coming up I have the tailies to look forward to, it will be good to see them again seeing as all but Bernard are now gone.

Friday, 11 December 2009

The Goop on the Girl- A Very Bones Christmas

Spoilers ahead for Bones episode 5.10

As far as Christmas episodes go Bones has produced two previous excellent ones: the first season quarantine episode was the first Bones I watched and is particularly special, whereas the season three venture had it's high moments and allowed Bones to have her first family Christmas since her parents disappeared, even though it was in a jail trailer used for conjugal visits it was still a rather touching affair. This years episode also promised to be special with the first appearance of Zooey Deschanel, Emily Deschanels real life sister playing her second cousin Margaret. It didn't disappoint.
First off with the crime, seemingly a man dressed as Santa in an attempt to rob a bank straps a bomb to himself only to blow up as Booth is about to arrest him (what is it will this show and killing Santa?). There was obviously more to this crime than meets the eye but this set up covered Booth in body bits making him and his clothes evidence. This led to the Christmas treat that all Booth and Bones shippers were looking forward to- Bones having to strip Booth of his clothes down to his underwear, most significantly and suggestively was her removing his Cocky belt buckle (at this point Booth decides he should start reciting Saints, which gave me a chuckle). Now as far as the Booth/Bones relationship goes I am not one who desires seeing them get together, in fact I'm quite happy as they are but I do enjoy these somewhat sexual moments between the two, especially when they are interrupted by those like Cam (also it is odd to think that they ever had a romantic relationship). One couple who I would like to see back together is Hodgins and Angela and it was good to see them have a 'moment' in the final scenes of the episode.
Now back to the crime it appears that a lonely man, who only has his mother in his life may have taken the advice of an anti-capitalist, anti-government radio station and wanted to blow a bank up, it was after the frequency of the radio station that set the bomb off. It turned out to be much more heart breaking (or heart crushing if you are Bones) than that, Holden Chevaleer had answered a work call (he was an exterminator) and instead he had the bomb strapped to him by the real criminals (who both happened to be outside the bank when the explosion happened), he was an innocent man used to rob the bank by force.
The victims mother decided to bury him on Christmas day, this is because she has no one else but him and it is when Booth and Brennan are discussing this that I got all misty eyed and this was a complete surprise to me as I was not expecting to be emotionally connected to this story. This might be because this scene comes after Angela feels bad for joking about Santa ruining Christmas and she states that sometimes they forget that there are people behind the bones- this I think is sometimes what the comedic factor of Bones as a show sometimes does to. Don't get me wrong, I love the comedic element and it is partly because of this that sets it apart from the other crime procedurals, but I also like in this case that the emotion is highlighted because it is definitely one of the more tragic cases that the Bones team have had to deal with. I also really like it when Bones is emotional about a case, the last time I recall her reacting like this was in 'The finger in the nest' when Ripley the dog is put down for having been used to kill, it is good that they reinforce the fact that she is growing as a character and that some of her emotional walls are being broken down.
The emotional barriers is perhaps a trait in the family as her second cousin Margaret (Zooey Deschanel) also seems to push people away, with her it is through Benjamin Franklin quotations rather than science. This leads to some particularly funny conversations between the two of them, and I loved when Max tells Margaret to stick to the science stuff. The problem with having Zooey Deschanel in this episode was that it felt a bit crowded and I would have liked to have seen more of her, though hopefully this means that she will be back in future episodes as it would be good to see their relationship develop.
The Christmas element of the episode focused on family, and not just the ones that you are related to. I found this to be a thoroughly enjoyable episode and it definitely struck an emotional chord that I was not expecting. Prior to this episode Jamie Frevele over at the Huffington Post wrote a great piece on the improvements made in season 5 including being more emotionally attached to the stories is mentioned.
Also as a treat Fox released a mini making of which is quite fun:

Thursday, 10 December 2009

Lost season 6 character promo pictures and my season 1 progress


ABC have released the regular character promo photos for season 6 and whilst I am sad to see no Desmond it is pretty cool having these two guys thrown in the mix. Other new regular Ilana (Zuleikha Robinson) is also featured (to see all the pictures head over to Doc Arzt). There is not much to be garnered from these pictures and it I for one am glad that the promo material is staying spoiler free as it means that I am not tempted to see something that I would like to be surprised about.

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I'm really ploughing through season 1, just watched episode 16, Outlaws which has one of my favourite flashback character crossovers in the form of Sawyer and Christian (this is the first of several Christian/non Jack crossovers). This meeting leads to the really great scene at the end of season 1 when Sawyer informs Jack that he had met this Doctor who was proud of his son, Jack infers correctly that his father felt no ill feeling toward him, allowing him to get past his guilt over getting Christian fired. Other than this, Claire has been taken and returned, it was good to know that when they were speculating how Claire escaped I now know that it was Alex that helped her out. Boone has now distanced himself from his sister in his quest to aid Locke, and knowing as I did when I first saw it (I had been spoiled) that he was going to die in this first season it makes me kind of sad (I know there are many that dislike both Shannon and Boone but I am really getting attached to Boone). Alternatively I am finding Michael a lot more irritating this time round, as a character he always seems to be complaining about what a shit hand he has drawn and how everyone else seems to be either asked to do things or are just better at them than he is. Now I haven't got to the central raft story, and I was touched when Walt finally got to see all the cards he had sent him, so maybe my irritation will die down, that is until the cry of Waaaaaaaaaaaallllllllltttttttttttt is heard in the finale.
One criticism I have knowing how many episodes I have left and which character flashbacks are left is that it is maybe a bit excessive that both Kate and Jack have three episodes each when someone like Hurley only has one, and that characters like Shannon and Boone have to share one episode. That minor gripe aside I am looking forward to watching the rest of the season and getting to season two, as season two is the one I have seen the least and I will get to watch to meet these two guys all over again:

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Tuesday, 8 December 2009

My favourite discovery this year: Friday Night Lights

Friday Night Lights may have begun back in 2006, yet it was not until this year that I started watching the Dillon Panthers which is why I am naming it my favourite new show of 2009. I quickly consumed the first 3 seasons on DVD and have been enjoying the forth season as it is airing (with last weeks episode being one of the best yet). Even with the dip in decent storylines during the writers strike affected second season this is one of the best shows on TV at the moment and it is a big shame that it doesn't get higher ratings. I'm indicative of the fact that a show about a sport that I have little interest in can become one of my favourite shows, and it shows that this FNL is about way more that just high school football. It is about the people in the town, both the adults and the school kids and it because it is so well produced that as an audience we care greatly for what happens to them both on and off the field. The parts that are about the games always make me anxious because I know that this show isn't just about showing this team winning but also getting defeated when it really matters. I also think that my grasp of American football is much better and I even understand what different plays mean.
The strength in FNL though is not just about how good the football sequences look but that the interactions between characters come across as being real and this is partly down to the organic filming style, everything is in motion and the conversations regarding issues such as sex and religion do not seem forced or prejudicial. It is also really great to see a TV show with a married couple who fight and laugh like real people, Tami and Eric are by far my favourite TV parents and this is definitely to do with this dynamic as well as the excellent performances and chemistry between Connie Britton and Kyle Chandler.
Elsewhere character wise even though some of the high schoolers are clearly in their twenties, the depictions of these characters who live in a town that has little to offer beyond high school football are excellent. From Tyra who is desperate not to turn in to her mother with a bad string of relationships, to Smash also desperate to get in to college so he can get in to the NFL to Riggins who doesn't see much beyond drinking, women and football each character is well formed and believable. Julie is however the perfect portrayal of a teenager, from her bratty behaviour to her confusion regarding new relationships and sex, to her both disrespecting but also needing her parents she really does have the whole teenage angle down.
My favourite character though is Matt Saracen, QB2 who became QB1 after Jason Street became paralysed.  Matt is a character who is modest and works hard, at both football and his relationships especially looking after his Grandmother who has dementia. It is this storyline that is particularly heartbreaking, they are a family of little means but you can tell that he really does love and want to care for his Grandmother, it was the season 1 episode when Matt is out on his first date with Julie that gets interrupted by his Grandmother having a moment of confusion when he has to sing 'Mr Sandman' to calm her down that sealed my love for this character.
Overall this show really is terrific and I am so glad that even if I was a little late to the FNL party that I started watching this year. Also, whilst I have just said that Lost has my favourite pilot, this show is a close runner up for that title, everything about it sums up why this show really is exceptional. Other than the great acting and writing the other important factor that makes this show as good as it is, is that it is filmed on location in Texas, using real Texans in many of the background parts (I especially loved the jewellery sales woman in season 1), this gives a much more authentic feel than if it was shot in some back lot in LA. It is for all of these reasons that this is my favourite 'new' show of 2009.

"Clear Eyes. Full Hearts. Can't Lose"

Rewatching Lost season 1

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Last week I decided that it might be a good idea to try and watch as much of the five seasons of Lost that have aired so far before the start of season 6, I'm intending specifically to watch season 1 and season 5 (when my super amazing version arrives) and then as much as everything inbetween. It has been speculated that season 6 will mirror the first series and I figured it would be good to have a refresher of the events that happened on and off the island all that time ago.
I'm up to episode 11 and having watched 'Raised by Another' last night in bed I forgot how creepy the episode was and was actually a bit scared after (this might have something also to do with having seen Paranormal Activities last week which also sufficiently creeped me out). This episode had several questions that have yet to be answered, specifically why Aaron could not be raised by an other, why is it that the psychic was adamant that Claire must raise the baby herself? The fact that Kate was raising Aaron off the island and that Desmond saw Claire getting on to a rescue helicopter in a vision are two potential stories that need to be rectified by the detonation of Jughead at the end of last season. Also regarding the psychic we know later that he is a fraud and that this might be his only real true psychic reading so did he know that the plane would crash?
I'm really enjoying rewatching these episodes as it has been a considerable time since I last saw them, it is also nice to see Jack and Locke getting along, though with the discovery of the hatch in the next episode by Locke and Boone that will soon be over. I'm looking forward to the Sun and Jin becoming more central to the storyline- on a sidenote I would say that these two characters/actors appearance has changed the most since the start of the show, others like Jack and Kate look pretty similar.
I have particularly enjoyed seeing Walkabout again as that episode really is well written and acted, though every time I have seen it since I can't believe that I missed all the clues that Locke had been in a wheelchair. These episodes make me miss Charlie in the later seasons but make me glad that he is going to be in season 6, his relationship with Claire was always one of my favourites and probably one of the more natural pairings, it is also good to see him and Hurley together in both fishing disasters and golfing triumphs.
This first season really is a charm and I can quite easily say that the pilot is one of the greatest episodes of television that has been produced. Also I recently posted some season 6 promos for Lost, here is the UK promo for the first season that aired in cinemas and on TV that is probably my favourite promo ever:

Tuesday, 1 December 2009

New Lost season 6 promos

The promos for season 6 of Lost much to my delight have been showing only old footage, building up hype for this final season focusing on the phenomenon that is the show. There has also been a promo that has been airing at cinemas also focusing on what a huge success the show has been globally, this actually had the hairs on my arms standing on end and shows the vast scale that the show has attempted and achieved in the past five seasons:

However, the most imaginative Lost season 6 promo comes from the Spanish TV Network Cuatro who have used old footage plus the continuing theme of black and white and produced a trailer that uses the idea of the characters been part of a chess game. Not only does it look great but the idea stays close to Lost ideas of ideas of destiny and free will. The use of music which is Radiohead's 'Everything in it's right place' is also an inspired choice. I'm going to go a bit symbolic with these promos but I would suggest that the US promo is the Jack whilst the Spanish one is the Locke. The US promo is big and promotes what a success the show is, whereas the Spanish one is more reflective and philosophical much like Jack and Locke in the show. Maybe I'm reading too much in to this, but that is what this show makes you do.

Wednesday, 25 November 2009

First look at Zooey Deschanel in Bones

The first promo shots of Zooey Deschanel in Bones have been released which has got me very excited for this December 10th Christmas episode, The Goop in the Girl:

The episode will also see the return of Bones' Dad Max (Ryan O'Neal) which means that there will a considerable focus on Brennan and her relationship to her Dad, I always find these ones to be particularly strong, including the season three Christmas episode 'The Santa in the Slush'.

Fox have also released an interview with the Deschanel sisters discussing this episode and working together for the first time:

Friday, 20 November 2009

Bones and Avatar

Spoilers ahead for the next Bones 'The Gamer in the Grease':

My reason for writing about this unaired episode is due to the somewhat weird crossover between the world of Bones and the real world. As the promo shows (you can see this at the end of the post) one part of the episode involves Sweets, Hodgins and Fisher queuing for tickets for the new film Avatar. First of all, Avatar the film is being released by 20th Century Fox and Bones airs on the Fox network, there is an obvious synergy that can be exposed here to promote the film to Bones fans and maybe even those who are looking forward to the movie to the show Bones. Where it becomes a little more interesting is that Joel David Moore (in the photograph above) also stars in the movie Avatar. I'm intrigued whether they will allude to this as the film looks like it will feature in a significant part of the episode. I also bring this up as some of the Star Trek advertising that was used in both Lost and Fringe this year was seen as being a cheap play by the makers to promote their movie further. I for one in those cases didn't mind the referencing to Star Trek, but I guess it is a  little different when the star of the movie is also in the TV show. I will however reserve judgement until I see the episode, as from the promo I think it looks like it could be quite funny and I enjoy the Bones episodes where the characters get to really use their pop culture knowledge to assist the investigation (especially as Bones is normally oblivious to this- unless it is about the Smurfs). Mr Fisher is also one of my favourites out of the rotating interns (my other favourite being Mr Nigel-Murray) and this is his first appearance this season, so I'm looking forward to that at least.
Here is the promo:

Lost Season 6 return date

Now whilst I am super happy to have a return date for Chuck, the major TV announcement yesterday belongs to Lost with ABC announcing that it will return with a two hour premiere on Tuesday February 2nd (this is Groundhog Day- coinkydink?). They have also said that there will be no break for the Winter Olympics which is a good move as it will be good to have a season that has no breaks, especially when it is the final one. I am attempting to stay as spoiler free for this series as I can, I'm going to attempt to not see any promo clips as I want to remain as surprised by the events in the series as I can and I find that promo clips always have me anticipating moments that will occur. This proves very irritating if the moments that they show in the promos don't occur till the final scenes of the episodes (this has happened recently with episodes of FlashForward and Friday Night Lights) so this is why I am abstaining from all Lost promo videos. Role on February 2nd, I really am super excited and I'm looking forward to watching Lost with the same people that I have done for the past five seasons as it is always a pleasure to watch with friends (and yes I sound like some Kodak ad).

Chuck return date and a special preview

It seems like Christmas has come early with the TV news that was announced yesterday, Chuck has a return date which makes me want to cheer especially as they will be airing two episodes back to back on Sunday 10th of January, followed by a third episode on Monday 11th of January (Monday will be the regular day it airs on again). Over at Alan Sepinwall's blog he has an interview with Chuck co-creator Chris Fedak that is worth checking out for reactions to this exciting Chuck news as well as some hints as to what they have been doing regarding Chuck production (though he is pretty elusive so no spoiler warning really needed).
As if this news wasn't enough to please the Chuck fan in me a preview clip has also been released by NBC, this features a very happy Zachary Levi thanking the fans for saving the show, a few clips of the new series as well as a full scene from a new episode. The whole thing has put a big smile on my face and here it is:

Wednesday, 18 November 2009

Tuesday, 10 November 2009

Mad Men- Shut the Door. Have a Seat

Spoilers for the Mad Men season 3 finale ahead:

Mad Men Season 3 Episode Photos

First off I want to say what an enjoyable and thoroughly satisfying season finale that was especially after the last few melancholic episodes that seemed to suggest that all our characters were doomed to ending the series in a much worse position to where they started the year. Instead a rebirth was offered, with loss of a personal and professional means being acknowledged and then the hope of something new and better being attainable. There was varying degrees of this, with Don having the most upheaval in his professional and personal life, finally succumbing to the end of his marriage but also being revived with his career in advertising. Relationships were both severed and repaired in this final hour of season 3.
The end definitely seems nigh on the Draper marriage, Betty demanding a divorce which at first is something that Don won't even acknowledge as a possible option especially when he finds out about Henry. This news causes him to have a drunken and violent outburst, calling Betty a whore and an awful mother, it is in this moment that he can either continue this path and become like his father who was a violent drunk or that he can realise that this really is the end. Luckily he opts to let Betty go and in a heartbreaking scene Betty and Don break the news to the kids that Don will be moving out, this scene is all the more painful when Bobby thinks it is because he lost his Dads cuff links and Sally (the wonderful Kiernan Shipka) blames her mother. These children really have been through some tough times this season and it will be interesting to see how they will react next season to their parents divorce and to the introduction of Henry will go. It was quite telling that the final scene that we saw them in they were watching TV with Carla, the only two stable influences in their lives.  
Business wise, Don is informed by Conrad Hilton that Sterling Cooper is being sold off again which becomes the catalyst to the start the company anew, with this piece of news he then had to go to all those he wanted to be in business with and sell not only his idea but himself as a commodity as well as pitching to each person why he also needed them. With Bert he reinforced the idea that with his age he would be seen as being nothing but dead weight to a new buyer, Roger was a harder sell after a year of practically ignoring him he was told that "You're no good at relationships because you don't value them." This sentiment seemed to be the case but when Don has to fight for his colleagues it appears that this is not true. Though with Peggy it is a lesson that he has to learn after he barks at her and them expects her to follow him "like a poodle", she rejects him which seems to be a perfectly reasonable reaction considering how he has treated her all season. Next up is Pete who is pretending that he is sick from work as he has an interview, he too after feeling rejected from the company that he has worked so hard for needs validation from Don who he has been trying to impress since season 1. Lance Pryce is another person they must win over, which seems at first to be a non-event until he finds out that PPL are also being sold and his hard work has been completely ignored. Possibly the best scene in the episode (this is a tough proclamation in an episode of many fantastic scenes) though is when Don goes to Peggy's apartment and lays it all out, why he has been harsh to her, why this is unfair and why he needs her. Scenes between these characters are always pretty charged and this just demonstrates why Don and Peggy are so intertwined as characters and ends with the line that affirms Peggy's worth to Don when he states "I will spend the rest of my life trying to hire you."
The moment in this caper that actually had me cheering at the screen was the moment I, like many viewers realised that Joan would be joining the team as she is the only one who knows the Sterling Cooper system inside out. It was really quite fantastic to see all the pieces fall in to place, the only omission being Sal, though with Lucky Strike being their biggest client it will be hard to get him back as part of the team. Also what will become of the members of Sterling Cooper that were left behind? If there is no place for them it will be a shame but I guess you can't take everyone with you. It will be interesting to see what happens between Joan and Roger, and with Pete and Peggy having to work in such close quarters, though I have really started to like  the marriage dynamic between Pete and Trudy, and she does bring sandwiches and cake which is a good point scorer.

Mad Men Season 3 Episode Photos

With this new family having been created it will be interesting what will happen next season, to get rid of the central location of a show can be tricky (after SD-6 got destroyed in Alias it was seen as both a blessing and a curse) however it will give the show an exciting edge as they further progress in to the 1960s. I for one can't wait until season 4 and knowing that it is so far off is tough, I will probably have to binge on seasons 1 and 2 again and watch Revolutionary Road again.
For an excellent interview with Matthew Weiner about the season finale head over to The Daily Beast  for what will be the only information we will get about the series for a while I would imagine.

Thursday, 5 November 2009

Mad Men-The Grown Ups

"What is going on?!" (Betty Draper)

Spoilers for episode 3.12

Mad Men Season 3 Episode Photos

Instead of leaving the Kennedy assassination to the final episode it occurred in this penultimate episode of the season, by doing this it means that next week will be all about character and with the fallout of the events in The Grown Ups which showed many of the characters at a cross roads in their personal and professional lives.
What I wanted to concentrate on regarding this episode is how despite a vast change in technology since 1963; mobile phones, the internet, digital cameras, the actions of people when an historical event like this occurs is still pretty much the same. Everyone gathers together, phone networks can't handle all the calls and so they crash, people have photographs of events happening and live cameras will capture moments that you don't expect that will played over and over even years after the fact. The parallel between this and 9/11 are overt in the sense that no-one was expecting either and how people try and take in as much information as to why something like this occurred  by watching television. It also seems that the Kennedy assassination was probably the first major news event that occurred when most people had a television making the use of the TV reports in this episode even more relevant.
Where this episode will lead us for the finale is anybody's guess as every week surprises me and after both the final episodes of seasons 1 and 2 I have no idea in what direction Matthew Weiner will take us; will Betty leave Don for Henry? Will Pete leave Sterling Cooper and join Duck? Is Sterling Cooper going to be sold again and if so where does this leave our ad men and women? Will we see Joan and Sal (I really hope so)?

Wednesday, 4 November 2009

James Franco's return to TV on General Hospital and 30 Rock

James Franco is an actor who's resume is a complete mix bag, from biopics to superhero movies to stoner flicks, he can not be easily categorised. With TV being the arena in which he had his first major role in Freaks and Geeks (a show with many of the ensemble cast doing pretty well since its first and only season) it is good to see him return to this medium in two very different programmes. First up is the soap opera General Hospital which had many people wondering why he has chosen to be in this, especially as it is for a two month stint. Though he is not the first film actor to want to star in soap opera despite their movie star, Oscar nominated status; Ian McKellen stared in 10 episodes of Coronation Street in 2005 as it was always an ambition to do so. There have been little details of what Franco's role will entail on the soap but a promo shot of him looking particularly soap sinister has been released:

James Franco, General Hospital

His other TV appearance this season will be on 30 Rock as exclusively reported by Michael Ausiello, the scoop is that:
Franco (playing himself) will be involved in a faux romance with Jane Krakowski’s Jenna — a relationship engineered by their respective agents.
This sounds like it will be awesome, especially as Franco has demonstrated that he is pretty darn good at doing comedy in his film and funnyordie contributions (watch at the end of this post) and this story line with Jenna sounds like it will work to his strengths in this genre. Franco is becoming somewhat of a favourite actor of mine and I think that these two appearances will add to my appreciation of him. 

Friday, 30 October 2009

Subtle Sexuality

Subtle Sexuality is the girl group that Kelly (Mindy Kaling) and Erin (Ellie Kemper) from the Office have formed, which is another brilliant webisode series that the creative greats at the Office have devised. The group appears to be part Beyonce, part Lady Gaga and have done a music video to their song 'Male Prima Donna' which is about Ryan. The video also features perhaps my favourite Office character Andy as the 'Nard Dog and Ryan who does a spectacular rap as Mr Understood. I've really liked the addition of Erin to the Office team and it is good that Kelly has a fellow pop culture/celebrity junkie to spare with and this video really is the culmination of this. This is also Mindy Kaling's first time directing and she has done a terrific job, as it takes from other music videos of right now and adds a great comedic twist. Not that the song is not actually a good pop song as I have had it stuck in my head all day.

Here is the video:


More Chuck updates and White Collar

The good Chuck news is that it has been reported that NBC have ordered 6 more episodes on top of the 13 that are already being produced. This is means that with 19 episodes that this is almost a complete season and that the show will be coming back sooner than the March original due date. Over on What's Alan Watching Alan  Sepinwell ponders what this will mean to the show as a whole as they have just finished filming episode 8 meaning that most of the series has been filmed or is in some early stages of pre production. The two options he suggests are that they continue from where they are or that they do a completely separate six episode arc. Both have issues and could end up making the season feel disjointed and this was one of the issues when shows did or did not return after the writers strike. Whatever option they go for I'm just glad that Chuck will be back sooner and that there will be more episodes.

In a tenuous Chuck link, I just finished watching the first episode of White Collar staring the lovely Matthew Bomer (Bryce Larkin from Chuck), who I think is a great actor and not just because he is easy on the eye. In the pilot for the series White Collar he demonstrates that why, even though he posed complications to the Chuck/Sarah relationship I was always glad to see him pop up in episodes and which is why I was sad to see him get killed in the season 2 finale. White Collar tells the story of a master fraudster and his relationship with the FBI agent who was tasked to catch him and who put him in prison; much like a modern day 'Catch Me if You Can'. It was nicely paced and I enjoyed the dynamic and chemistry between Tim DeKay as FBI agent Peter Burke and Bomer's Neal Caffrey. I'm looking forward to the next episode and what this series will bring.  

Wednesday, 28 October 2009

Top 5 Halloween TV episodes

1) Buffy the Vampire Slayer: 'Halloween'

In this second season episode the Scooby gang become what they have dressed for Halloween due to a spell that Ethan Rayne (with his first of several appearances) has put on all the costumes from his shop. As Halloween is normally a day that demons have off this would normally not be an issue, however Spike uses the opportunity to try and take down the Slayer who unfortunately dressed as an eighteenth century lady, losing all of her slayer knowledge and fainting at the sight of a monster. Willow becomes a ghost, having the power to walk through walls but not touch anything and Xander becomes a soldier, which will prove useful for later episodes when he retains all his soldier training and codes for military buildings. What makes this episode great is to see Buffy vulnerable in this role reversal 'come as you aren't' theme for Halloween. It is also the first time we get to here the name Ripper in relation to Giles, realising that he is much darker than his library man exterior suggests.

2) Bones: 'The Mummy in the Maze'
What makes this a great Halloween episode is that all of the characters end up trying to solve the murder and mummification of two girls as well as attempting to stop the death of another girl whilst dressed up for the Jeffersonian Halloween party. The costumes are varied as seen in the picture above, Angela is Cher, Hodgins the captain of the Titanic, Zack is the end of a cow (miss you Zack), Cam is Cat Woman, Brennan is Wonder Woman and perhaps funniest of all is Booth dressed as one of the squints and he attempts to be a nerdy as possible (though none of them dress as badly as his interpretation). Debates about who is better between Wonder Woman and Cat Woman (Wonder Woman is the consensus) and Brennan spinning around are some of the highlights. Though I think Booth and Brennan tracking down the killer in full costume and saving the girl is the highlight as well as the continuing joke of Brennan wanting a gun and then accidentally shooting Booth with a ricochet.

3) Chuck: 'Chuck versus the Sandworm'
The Halloween element of this episode is relegated to the subplot however it deserves a mention for several reasons, the nerd element is pretty high with Chuck and Morgan's costume being the Sandworm from Dune and Sarah comes as slave Princess Leia which is enough to drive any fan boy crazy. Awesome and Ellie in a continuing joke about how perfect they are goes as Adam and Eve with leaves covering the bikini suit areas. The highlight for me as a fan of Josh Schwartz though is the moment where they recreate the moment from the New Years episode of the OC where Ryan rushes to get to Marissa before midnight strikes and Dice by Finley Quaye (featuring Beth Orton) is playing, instead it is Chuck rushing to get to Morgan so they can do their Halloween costume together.

4) The Office: 'Halloween' and 'The Employee Transfer'
The above pictures are from the season 5 episode 'The Employee Transfer' in which it is only the opening that concentrates on Halloween but it is definitely worth noting and is perhaps one of my favourite starts to an Office episode. The Joker was probably one of the most popular costumes last year and it was brilliant to see Kevin, Dwight and Creed all as the Joker with varying degrees of scary with Creed being particularly frightening. It was also great to see Dwight have his pencil disappearing trick ruined by the lift door closing on him. The costume nightmare that Pam had in the Dunder Mifflin branch in New York also made me chuckle as she was the only person who had dressed up, her Charlie Chaplin costume would become Hiltleresque if she removed her hat.

Three hole punch Jim is from the season 2 episode 'Halloween' and demonstrates the extreme effort that can go in to a costume, or rather a lack of effort and it also shows how opposite Jim and Dwight are with Dwight spending over a hundred dollars on his Sith Lord suit. Though Jim's costume does give Dwight the excuse to punch. Also from seeing promo from this years Halloween episode it looks like it will be another humdinger.

5) Ugly Betty: 'The Lyin', the Watch and the Wardrobe'
Recently I haven't been enjoying Ugly Betty as much as I use to but I picked this episode mainly for Marc dressed as Betty (which Wilhelmina says is so cruel that he deserves a raise). Betty has also been fooled in to thinking that everyone in the office will be dressing for Halloween, which is not the case, but I do like he butterfly costume very much.

I know there are many other great Halloween episodes (Angel, My So Called Life and Friends to mention a few) but I thought I would go with five. Are there any show that you would like to see do a Halloween episode? Are there any shows that should have done a Halloween episode? The X-Files springs to mind as a show that could have done a great one but never did.

Happy Halloween everybody, I have to go and make some birds for my costume.

Tuesday, 27 October 2009

Bones 100th episode news

Rumours from Ausiello over at Entertainment Weekly last month suggested that the 100th episode of Bones was going to flashback to the first case that Brennan and Booth worked together where everything did not run exactly very smoothly, well Ausiello has now confirmed that this has been given the green light. In the pilot of Bones it was made clear that something had occurred in this first case that made Brennan not want to work with Booth again and it will be great to see what the writers will come up with as to what created this apparent early dislike of one another. Stephen Nathan, an executive producer on the show also revealed that:
“We’ll also see the introduction of Angela and the genesis of her friendship with Brennan. And we’ll try and work in a Smurf reference, of course. They certainly have been absent from season 5 so far.”
It has previously been mentioned that David Boreanaz will direct the episode, so I think it will be a pretty special affair, I can't wait.

Mad Men- The Gypsy and the Hobo

Holy wow, what an episode, spoilers ahead for season 3 episode 11

Mad Men Season 3 Episode Photos

This season of Mad Men has really kicked in to hyper drive and it is hard to anticipate what is going to happen in the final two episodes of the series after this humdinger. I was really expecting the confrontation between Betty and Don regarding what she had discovered in his desk drawer to not occur so soon, so it was a shock when it did happen, but the fact that it did happen so soon did not take away from the tension of the scenes, from when Don walked in to a seemingly empty house until Miss Farrell slinked away in to the night I was on the edge of my seat. And the fact that Miss Farrell was sat in the car just a few feet away from the Draper house made these scenes even more on edge, would she come to the house wondering where Don was? In the end she waited for who knows how long before going home, painfully aware that whatever had occurred in the house meant the end for their tryst, no romantic getaways for them. Although somewhat to my annoyance when Don did ring her to explain his absence he only said that it was over for now, suggesting that the door could still be open for their affair.

Prior to Betty confronting Don we saw her at her fathers house, sitting at his desk taking command of her situation, asking the family lawyer for some advice regarding the situation she is now in with Don after finding his secret box and to her dismay (and mine) all he offered her was a reason to stay with Don, he is a good provider and divorce is hard to get if you are a woman in the 1960s unless adultery can be proven so she should just try and make do with staying married to Don. This answer thankfully does not stop Betty from confronting Don with what she knows and thankfully she does not give up or give in as we might have expected her to, Betty Draper is strong willed, and though there have been many moments where I have wanted to shake her to stop being so passive it was wonderful to see her take control with Don.

The role reversal that occurred from when Betty thrust the desk keys on to the table and Don realised that she knew the truth was wonderful to watch, with Don being reduced to a figure who looks like he is about to lose everything (much like he did last season when we saw Anna Draper call him out on he was at the car dealership). Jon Hamm is a joy to watch normally but in these scenes he really surpassed himself, from stumbling in to the kitchen realising that his 'perfect' life is over, when he dropped his cigarette on the floor and struggled to pick it up it became apparent that his cool exterior had really been shattered by Betty and what she had found out. Betty was definitely the commander in this conversation, knowing that her husband is good at selling anything she called him out on this, also noting that he has been lying to her every day. When baby Gene started crying and Betty went to attend I really thought that Don might do a runner, with so many doors to escape in to, however we see him pick up the box of evidence of his previous life and go in to the hallway.

Mad Men Season 3 Episode Photos

Don takes the box to the bedroom, this is where he spills the secrets from his past life that he has tried so hard to conceal from everyone in his new life (though as Betty notes if he had really wanted to keep it secret then why would he leave it in their house). I was half expecting him to fudge some of these details with the only lie he really tells is saying that the army made a mistake about who he was, when in fact he was the one who enabled this mistake by switching dog tags, though this is a lie I can let him tell, would Betty really want to know that about him. Although he also says that he asked for a divorce from Anna when he first met Betty, this she calls him out on as the divorce decree was only three months before they were married, I guess he said this to make the whole thing appear to be romantic. He reveals everything else though, why he helped Anna, where he came from, that he is the son of a prostitute and that he was from a family that was very poor. He finally cracks emotionally when Betty asks her about Adam, and he even reveals that Adam killed himself and he contributed to this by sending him away so not to ruin his Don Draper life, this break in Don endears him to Betty and to me as recently his actions have seemed more deplorable than normal and it is good to see his emotional side rather than his charm and arrogance. As I have said already Hamm is amazing in these scenes but props must also be given once again to January Jones who in these scenes also goes through a transformation of emotions and performs incredibly with her co-star.

I hope that after this reveal that the Draper marriage will get stronger, now that Betty knows the real Don can they make a success of what they have beyond the exterior which seems to be perfect whereas it is actually deeply flawed. Though with Miss Farrell around the corner will she rear her head before the season is out?

The other stories in this episode of Roger and his former (first?) love Annabelle and of Joan and her not so hot doctor husband Greg were also pretty fabulous. First it was nice to see both Joan and Roger with plenty of screen time, even with the two of them reconnecting over the phone with Joan asking Roger to help her find a job that is not back at Sterling Cooper (boo, I really miss her round the office), the chemistry between these two even crackles on scenes on the phone and I hope that this isn't the last we see of these two together this season.

Joan in this episode was being the supportive wife that Dr Rapey really does not deserve, she helped prep him for his interview, giving him great advice and support that he neither listened too nor used in his interview that he says he crashed and burned in (though would you really want someone so introspective as your psychiatrist?). Though what followed this whining had me cheering at the screen, with Joan picking up a vase of flowers and smashing it over his head (the gif for this can be found here). Greg after this buys Joan flowers to apologise for how he has been and then reveals that he has joined the army, will this be how we get rid of Greg when he hopefully gets sent to Vietnam?

The Roger and Annabelle story revealed that Roger was once a man that had been ditched in favour of another and that this event was an important one in the making of who he has become and it was interesting to see him turn down is former lover because he is married. I don't really take this to be the reason though I do think that in this early stage of his marriage to Jane he does not want to return to his usual adulterous ways but he also does it out of some place of revenge, revenge for having his heart broken over twenty years ago. Annabelle declares that Roger was the one, he states that she isn't but is Jane really the one for him? I would like to think not, that his perfect match is Joan, a woman who really is his equal, but is she too strong willed for him, would he just like a continuing flow of Janes until his ad man lifestyle gets the better of him?

The funniest line of the episode came from Peggy during the focus group regarding the dog food that Annabelle's company was trying to re-market, when the group started complaining that the food was made of horse meat Annabelle demanded that it was turned off, Peggy responded to this with: "I can't turn it off. It's actually happening." I wonder how many of these characters wish they could turn off what is actually happening to them?

Thursday, 22 October 2009

Zooey Deschanel in Bones

So finally after several mentions that Emily Deschanel's sister Zooey would star in an episode of Bones, it has been confirmed that she will appear in the Christmas episode which will air December 10th. Zooey will be playing Brennan's previously mentioned cousin from Minnesota and I am really looking forward to how they will work this in to the show. I am a huge Zooey Deschanel fan (I think Emily is pretty great too) and have liked her  since way back when Almost Famous came out and have followed her career since. I hope that this will be a great Christmas episode as the first episode of Bones I saw was the season 1 Christmas episode and it got me hooked.

Monday, 19 October 2009

Mad Men- 'The colour blue'. What do you see?

Spoilers for episode 3.10 'The Colour Blue':

Mad Men Season 3 Episode Photos

Wow, this episode has opened up many possibilities for what could happen at the end of the season and the central theme appeared to be have things actually are versus how people perceive things to be. This topic is first broached with Don in bed with Miss Farrell (a story line that bothers me but seems important in the overall nature with Don and how he behaves with women), she recounts how one of her students asked whether the blue that he saw was the same blue that everybody saw. Don waxes lyrical stating "The truth is people see things differently, but they don't really want to." This sentiment applies to much of the programme with the whole nature of advertising being about creating something that is something that everyone is wanting, desire is key to selling to the masses. This sentiment also applies to many of the characters, you could really pick any one of them to reveal how they see things differently but don't want to state this, it could also be a sentiment for how characters feel that they should be perceived even if that perception is false.

This leads to the central point of action in this episode, where an act of carelessness leads Betty to discover what Don really keeps in his desk drawer and how this will blow her perception of who he is out of the water. The moments preceding her finding the key and as the audience and Betty both waited for Don to come home were some of the most tense that I have seen this show produce, what would she do when he got home? Well he never did come home, so Betty defeated returned the key to the dressing gown pocket and put the box back in the drawer and retired to bed. Now the scenes between these two will be fuelled by more than just the audience knowledge of who Don is but also with the bits of information Betty has learned from his Dick/ Don box. The final scene at the Sterling Cooper party was one where most of the room perceive Don as a man with everything; a great job, a beautiful and loving wife, and a boss who really likes and respects him, the truth of this is obviously completely different, he is a man who despite 'having it all' is still not satisfied and still does not know who he really is.

I must say also after my previous piece on January Jones that once again her performance as Betty Draper was fantastic, from before her finding the key to pretending that she was only feeling unwell to the anxiety that she demonstrated whilst preparing her self in the bathroom before the party, to her look of resolve yet disdain at the Sterling Cooper party toward Don and the wonderful words that were used to describe him.
Other actions that got set in motion, Sterling Cooper is up for sale and only Lane Pryce is aware of this, will he reveal this information to Roger or Bert so he can stay in New York (despite his wife longing to return to London) as he has done such a good job there or will he remain silent. Will this sale mean that Joan and Sal will both come back? I do really hope so as both have been missed (even though Sal has only be gone for this episode).

The Paul and Peggy scenes were also a treat and it was great to see that Paul finally 'got' Peggy and that she is talented, hopefully we will get to see them working together in a more positive way in future episodes.Also on the point of Peggy it will be great to see if she has had any further contact with Duck and what this might mean for her future, though I really want to see some more scenes with her and Pete and whether there will be any more fall out from her baby revelation at the end of last season.

Overall that was a brilliant episode and I'm really excited as to where this season is heading.

Wednesday, 14 October 2009

January Jones in GQ

Photos have just been released from January Jones' November GQ cover shoot which seem to be mixing in the 60s background with a modern twist (as well as a severe lack of clothing):

However one of the highlights of the interview is that she was highly motivated in becoming an actress due to negative comments made by her boyfriend at the time (said boyfriend being a certain Ashton Kutcher):
“The guy I was dating when I first got to L.A. was not supportive of my acting,” she says. “He was like,I don’t think you’re going to be good at this. So—fuck you! He only has nice things to say now—if anything, I should thank him. Because the minute you tell me I can’t do something, that’s when I’m most motivated.”
I like that she has certainly proven him wrong, she is a good actress and despite Betty not being one of my favourite characters on the show, I can certainly appreciate how Jones portrays the bored and melancholic housewife. Last weeks episode (The Souvenir) demonstrated the dichotomy of the character, how in Rome she is so happy at being able to live a life of glamour, but on returning home the facade drops and she returns to being the apathetic person that she was before, the mother and housewife who is not equipped emotionally to deal with household issues such as Sally and her temper. This is further reiterated in this weeks episode (Wee Small Hours) when the affair that she thinks will bring her some kind of happiness brings nothing but bad feeling, it is not the romantic entanglement that she expected, it is just 'tawdry'. I'm definitely looking forward to what the rest of the season will bring for Betty and I am glad that January Jones has had this success and proven bad ex boyfriends wrong.

Tuesday, 13 October 2009

Chuck returning early?

So on the back of getting my Chuck season 2 DVD yesterday, there is the good news that Chuck may be returning sooner than expected, from Ausiello Files blog:

“How much sooner” you ask?
As early as late October, my moles tell me. And while it remains unclear whether the little show that could (and has andshall again) would return to its Monday timeslot or find itself a new perch, NBC insiders who’ve seen the first four episodes are calling this season the best yet."
This is very good news and as NBC has had some under performing shows (and some shows that they cancelled before the new season got a chance to start- see Southland) hopefully Chuck will get a order beyond the 13 episodes that it already has. Chuck is a definite favourite of mine and I would welcome as many episodes as they can get and hopefully this season there won't be the fear of cancellation, just got to hope that NBC market the show right and give it a decent timeslot on a decent night.

Thursday, 8 October 2009

Don Draper vs Jim Halpert

So in light of Don Draper topping the poll of AskMen.com 49 most influential men of 2009 I stumbled upon a Newsweek blog from August entitled 'Why the Ladies Love Jon Hamm of Mad Men' which upon reading raised an interesting topic that woman would rather fantasise about Don Draper from Mad Men than Jim Halpert from The Office. The article states that:

"Why are we so wild for Draper? By any measure, the character's a cad. He constantly cheats on his wife. He skips town for weeks and won't write or call. [...]  And yet he excites an attraction among women—particularly ones my age, women in their late '20s and '30s who were born after the era that Mad Men portrays—that seems unmatched by any leading man on television today, with the possible exception of Lost's con artist, Saywer (another strapping scoundrel with a deeply troubled soul)."


"After all, we don't believe in that evolutionary "me Tarzan, you Jane" nonsense anymore. We're supposed to want men who are sensitive and respectful; men who emote and help around the house, and talk openly about their feelings. And we do want these things. Don't we? So then why are we fantasizing about Draper rather than Jim from The Office?"

So where do I stand on these thoughts and why should they matter any way. Well firstly, yes Don Draper is a desirable character despite all of his many flaws, which is why it does matter that women are attracted to him in spite of these flaws and why it matters that he has been voted by men as the most influential man of 2009.  Does this in turn make the actions and behaviour of Don Draper considered acceptable by both men and women? I think the majority would still say what he does is deplorable and he is just a figure of fantasy, he is the kind of man that you would have an affair with rather than a relationship (the Newsweek article concludes with this summation as well "So we lay it out very clearly: we don't want to wed Don Draper. We know madness that way lies."). They also lay this out so men don't think that that is what women actually want, who wants a generation of men who think that it is ok to cheat your way through everything. 
So then comes the point as to why Jim from The Office would not be considered a figure of fantasy because he is what is considered to be an ideal modern man, someone who cares about his fiance (wife by tonight- hopefully) and is not ashamed to show these feelings, but this is one area of the article that I disagree with and it might be because in most TV shows it is always the slightly dorky characters that are my favourites, not the leading brooding man. Characters like Charlie in Lost, Dr Reid in Criminal Minds, I prefer Sylar when he is Gabriel glasses included, Will Tippin in Alias, Hodgins in Bones, Greg in CSI, I even have a weird thing for Andy 'the 'Nard Dog' in The Office and don't even get me started on Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert. Now I know that these guys could be considered good looking in one manner or another but they are on programmes generally where there is an alpha male, who broods and gets the girl. So it would seem that I would definitely choose Jim over Don. Oh and in the debate of which Chuck I would choose between Chuck Bartowski (Chuck) and Chuck Bass (Gossip Girl) it would be Bartowski every time.
Even with Mad Men, I think Don Draper is great (but terrible at the same time) but I am actually a huge Pete Campbell fan (though not in the same way I think of Don), I just find his character so compelling because most of the time he can be a major douchebag but also because there is the conflicted side of him where he just doesn't know who he and how he should act. Although after last weeks episode I hope that we see some positive action from him, as he stepped way beyond the line of what is morally acceptable, but such is the power of the writing in Mad Men that there are no black and white characters.
At first when reading the article I was thinking 'Of course I would choose Jim over Don' but after writing this and thinking about it my answer becomes less certain, I know which one I would want a relationship with, that's easy but who would I choose (and the feminist in me is not happy that I am even asking that question)? 

Wednesday, 7 October 2009

Don Draper voted the most influential man of 2009

Now this title would not seem so odd if it was a list of fictional characters, however Don Draper has landed the top spot on the AskMen.com annual list of the top 49 influential men in the world, the rest of the list comprising solely of real people and with Barack Obama claiming top spot in 2008. James Bassil (Editor-in-Chief of AskMen.com) attributes Don Draper securing top spot for these reasons:
"In a turbulent 2009, men are seeking the tradition in masculine qualities that they imagine their fathers and grandfathers to have had. The character Don Draper brings all these traits together, and in doing so speaks directly to the modern man. He's a man whose time has come."

This position in the pole show how Mad Men has permeated popular culture far more than just for the fashion that features in show, but it strikes me as odd that a character who has cheated and deceived for most of the three seasons so far would be held in such a high regard as a traditional figure of positivity. These factors have helped him in to a position of success, he is in the business of selling and manipulating that these are seen as positive traits. However, the character is clearly not happy with everything in his life, this was highlighted when Peggy wistfully said she wanted everything he had, and that he had so much of it, but his response was less than thrilled.
I may be reading too much into a poll like this but it is interesting that men have voted for a fictional character, a character who I too really love despite his many, many flaws which can then lead on to another debate regarding the female reaction to Don Draper (more on that tomorrow).
I also think that this has a lot to with the brilliant work on Mad Men from all departments including writing, design and acting, as some of this has to be attributed to Jon Hamm whose performance in every episode makes a character who does some deplorable things so likeable and turns him in to a genuine anti-hero.
Matthew Weiner in a comment to Parade Magazine stated in reaction to this poll "It's interesting how drinking, smoking and carousing wins the race today. No offence to President Obama and Mr Bolt."

Tuesday, 6 October 2009

Date Night

So technically this is a film related post rather than a TV one, however this first look at the new Tina Fey and Steve Carell comedy has me very excited because they are two of the funniest actors on TV at the moment:


The supporting cast includes SNL star Kristen Wiig, Mark Ruffalo, James Franco, Mark Wahlburg, Mila Kunis and Leighton Meester, all of whom I have liked in one role or another. I look forward to the trailer being released, and I hope that it is as good as the 40 Year Old Virgin and Baby Mama.

I also have a weird crush on Steve Carell when he is anyone but Michael Scott and my boyfriend has a not so weird crush on Tina Fey so hopefully we will have an awesome date night watching Date Night (sorry that was a tad on the cheesy side). Any one else excited for this film? Or any other movie which features fantastic TV stars?

Wednesday, 23 September 2009

Emmy Awards

Highlights of the awards:

-Neil Patrick Harris: After last years hosts were awful it was a welcome relief to have NPH at the reigns and he proved what a good host he was, as many of the stars (including Ricky Gervais and Jon Stewart) of the evening stated. Wish there had been more of him though, they certainly could have cut out the dance number. And even though I don’t watch How I Met Your Mother I thought it was a shame that he didn’t win.

-Michael Emerson winning: As he hadn’t won in previous years I foolishly thought he wouldn’t win this time, but he did and then gave a wonderfully understated acceptance speech.

-The guys who wrote the opening number were as funny accepting awards as they are writing opening number with Community creator Dan Harmon stating that it was ‘just the dumbest, dumbest, ugliest, least-televiseable people you could give an award to.

-John Hodgman and his made up statements about the winners, my two favourites being:

1. When The Daily Show won best Variety Show: ‘The Daily Show with Jon Stewart is celebrating its 76th year on air. It began on Comedy Central Radio as Stewart-Brand Chicken-Fat All-Star Fake News Half Hour. This is their 900th Emmy and frankly that is too much.’

2. When Michael Emerson won best supporting actor: If Michael Emerson weren't on television right now, he would be in New York City, having a fancy cocktail with me. That is, until S. Epatha Merkerson walked into the room, then he'd blow me off. That's a true story.’

-Ricky Gervais being as funny as ever at these awards though I would’ve loved to have seen a Rainn Wilson reaction shot when he called him odd.

-Tina Fey burning her own network in her acceptance speech for best comedy: ‘Thank you for keeping us on air, even though we are so much more expensive than a chat show.’

-The writers of the variety/talk show category listing all the names is always amusing and inventive with Conan’s facebook rejections being my favourite this year.

-The Daily Show winning as it has had a really strong year with the election stuff and the battle with Jim Cramer.

-Mad Men winning: now I was undecided as to which show I wanted to win between Mad Men and Lost as I think both have had very strong years, but I guess they might heap the awards on Lost if the final season is as awesome as season 5. And after seeing Sunday nights episode of Mad Men it really did show what a tremendous programme it is.

Also this years Emmys made me really want to finally get around to watching Breaking Bad and Dr Horrible's Sing Along Blog and to actually finish watching season 7 of 24.