Monday, March 26, 2012

"Mad Men": "A Little Kiss": The Great Return


After being away for 17 months, "Mad Men" returned with a vengeance last night. We had the two part Season 5 debut, "A Little Kiss", last night. I was reminded why I love this show so much. I can't give an honest evaluation of an episode of "Mad Men" for a few hours after the show ends. That's because as I think about it, all the subtle connections come to my mind.

For instance, the connection that ties the start of the first of the episode to the end of the second episode. At the start of "A Little Kiss" we see civil rights protestors. They are underneath the offices of Young and Rubicon, a competitor to SCDP. The employees of "Young And Rubicon" are getting agitated by the loud chanting. They decide to take action and throw bags of water at the protestors.

SCDP publishes a mock ad tweaking Y&R stating that SCDP is an equal opportunity employer. At the end of the second episode we see the SCDP waiting room filled up with several black people looking for an opportunity. Roger Sterling has one of his classic Sterlingisms: "Is it just me, or is that lobby full of Negroes." Of course it was Lane, the most adult of the senior partners that took care of the problem. He excused all the gentlemen saying SCDP was only hiring secretaries. (Yep it's definitely the 60s.) He then actually took resumes, but does he have any intention of hiring anyone? Will we see a black secretary in the next episode of "Mad Men"? Previously one of the most visible black characters I can think of is the elevator operator in the early seasons of the show. Also there was Betty Draper's poor put up on maid, Carla. She had a mini "The Help" like defiance of her domestic mistress. I wonder if Betty let Carla use the bathroom at the Draper's residence.

I love how the whole civil rights story line permeated, but never dominated, the first two episodes of this season. Showing the Civil Rights movement made me realize how lilly white this show is. Will that story line be explained or changed this season?

I also enjoyed when Don dropped his kids off at the Francis', Sally asked him if he was coming in. Don replied with the hilarious "Give my love to Morticia and Lurch". The Francis' house sitting back a ways from the street does appear spooky and forlorn. Speaking of the gorgeous January Jones I'm sad to hear that she won't be on Season 5 very much due to her real life pregnancy.

Other excellent scenes: Even though, or is it especially since Pete Campbell is a wienie and acts like a spoiled brat, he does still has his moments. I love how he responded when he found out that Roger was trying to poach his clients. He spitefully had his secretary write a fake appointment for Pete to meet with Coca Cola at 6:00am in Staten Island. Later in the same episode, we see Roger dressing for the day in the early morning. I'm sure Roger hasn't been up that early in the morning on purpose for a long time. Moments like that is what makes this show so great. Actually Roger and Pete remind me quite a bit of each other. They are both very spoiled, neither one seems to be thrilled with their wives or their lives, both had too much given to them. Roger has a sense-of-humor, but sometimes one can forget with his humongous sense of entitlement. One thing in favor of Pete is that he has a much higher work ethic.

What was up with Megan's sex kittenish dance. I'm sort of surprised that Don and Megan actually got married. It seemed an impetuous decision by both. My guess would be  that the relationship would end before marriage. I also wonder should Don ever get married? He seems not the type that is happy in a marriage or with one woman? I have to admit when I first heard someone say that Mr. and Mrs. Draper wasn't in the office yet, I was expecting Don and Betty to show up. When Don and Megan showed up together, I was reminded that Betty is now Mrs. Francis. It's interesting Megan knows about his Dick Whitman past though. Betty has no clue and they were married a long time. Did Don tell her before or after they were married? What about her or him made him want to tell Megan? Does he regret telling Megan? If he doesn't will he eventually regret telling Megan? Will their marriage survive this season?

I think this song would have been much more effective at the end of the first episode where the lovely Megan was looking out over Manhattan.

What should I watch tonight? Since I watched the two hour premiere of "Mad Men" last night, I didn't have time to watch last night's "The Good Wife". Tonight there's also new episodes of "Castle", "Smash" and the two hour finale of "Alcatraz". I'll probably be putting off "Alcatraz" until another night. Two hours of a mediocre show can be too much on one night, that's why I'm a little uncertain if I'm going to watch all of the two hour premiere of "The Killing" Sunday. Actually I wonder how many episodes of that show I'll be watching before I completely give up on it. Yes you can say I have very mixed feelings about "The Killing".

One thing I won't be watching is any of the Final Four games, what an absolutely boring assortment of teams. I have no rooting interest in Kansas, Kentucky, Louisville or Ohio State. I don't care enough about any of those teams to even hate them. I'm glad Duke was eliminated in the first round, but if they would have made the Final Four at least I would have had something to cheer against. This is the third straight major sports championship I could care less about. First, the World Series which featured the awful St. Louis-Texas matchup. I had no interest in that. Then there was that absolutely boring matchup in the Super Bowl of the Giants-Patriots rematch that very few people wanted to see.

To me the last interesting major sports championship was the NBA Finals. The Heat-Mavericks series was very compelling. The so called Dream Team against the team that had never won the NBA title. Probably the games most talented player vs. perhaps the best shooter in NBA history. Who would win the NBA Championship first: Lebron or Dirk? Now that was a compelling sports story and TV event.

In the NCAA Tourney my last team I was interested in, North Carolina, was knocked out when Kansas went on their game closing 12-0 run. North Carolina didn't have an answer and say goodbye to the Tar Heels. It was obvious North Carolina really missed Kendall Marshall especially at the end of the game.

Trailers are suppose to make one excited for a show, however these trailers make me realize how stupid "The Killing" had become by the end of Season 1.

Things I dread about season 2 of "The Killing". I hate the whole potential conspiracy angle. It's like they are admitting they can't make this show interesting with just a small story. So they need to have this conspiracy to make the story exciting. If Rosie was part of something bigger, wouldn't they have found more clues? Or is that what Holder is hiding? I hate that Holder is part of the conspiracy, maybe. But hell who knows with this show? Also in this preview we are reminded that Belko was intent on assassinating Darren Richmond. It's because he thinks Richmond killed Rosie, which he probably didn't. Too bad Belko is so incompetent that he'll probably miss. I'm dreading to see how that whole thing will go down. I also predict the first two hours will raise more questions than provide answers. It's too bad Veena Sud et al weren't better at providing resolution, rather than leading us on yet another wild goose chase. least it seems there will be less rain in Season 2. That was just another stupid thing about the first thing of the season.

I love the minions. It's time for them to have their own movie. If you are wondering this is their twisted version of The Beach Boys "Barbara Ann".

Yet another great Black Stone Cherry song "Rollin On"

In honor of Madonna releasing her new CD, "MDNA", tomorrow and because she'll never be able to go back to the greatness of her 80's music "Like A Prayer":

Of Madonna's "MDNA" I listened to the 30 second snippets of this CD on In my limited listening, nothing really ground breaking. Also a bunch of euro funk songs that reminds me of her last few CDs. It seems she can no longer just make a pop album.

But that's not as bad as what Lionel Richie has done to most of his and The Commodores great 70's and 80's songs. He has countryfied them. He has taken some of the greatest songs of all-time and made them sound country. Nothing wrong with country music, but there's a lot with these great songs being countryfied. Here's a couple of Lionel Richie songs to get that bad memory out of my head.

This is a sample of how bad these songs sound when put too country music, "Say You, Say Me" particularly takes a hit. In this video watch the bad things Jason Aldean does to that amazing song. That should be illegal.

Now this is how "Say You, Say Me" originally sounded:

A couple other classic songs that I wish Lionel would have never messed with, "Sail On":


A couple more great songs, one that I have featured on my blog a lot and a song I don't recall ever having on my blog. First of all Bon Jovi's "On The Edge Of A Broken Heart":

This may be the wimpiest named band ever, well except for Coldplay and Ambrosia, this is The Poodles. They couldn't have been The Killer Poodles? In spite of their wussy name, this song kicks butt. It's called "Flesh and Blood":


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