Tag Archives: TV

At Last, Season Five!

It’s finally here: season five of Mad Men starts on Sunday, March 25, with a two-hour season premiere. As we anticipate the return of our favorite series, Mad Men fans on Basket of Kisses are revisiting the moments that resonated with us most in she show’s first four seasons.

I joined other Basketwriters in writing a post on these moments for the video blog Press Play. Find the post here, and our Basketcase countdown of the top five Mad Men moments here.

And for goodness sake, don’t forget to watch on Sunday night, as our 17-month wait finally ends!

Lazy, Self-Indulgent Little Girls

Real and troubled: Claire Danes as Carrie on "Homeland"

I’m about halfway through catching up on a program, Homeland, that wrapped its first season some months ago. It could not be much better: a Federal agent (Claire Danes, as Carrie Mathison) tries to exorcise her guilt over the botched intelligence of 9/11 by preventing the next big instance of domestic terrorism from occurring. She becomes convinced that a former Iraq POW, Nicholas Brody (Damian Lewis), now returned and trying to adjust to American life, is working on carrying out such an attack. Once convinced, Carrie is not the kind of person who’s likely to change her mind.

One of the best things about Homeland is Carrie herself: an intense workaholic who is both an asset and a liability at work. Early on, we see her struggling with a medical issue, then we learn that it’s a mental issue, next that it runs in the family. Throughout, this woman is persuasive. She has a knack for convincing her colleagues that the things she believes are really happening.

Hell, she convinces us.

But Carrie’s lows are dramatic. She cusses, rants. Has alcohol-fueled impulses, sleep disturbances, crying jags. Declares that I just can’t do this anymore (never mind this is her life, her passion, all she seems to want to do). Naturally she does these things. I’m not sure you can depict a mental patient in fiction without showing them. Continue reading

Get Your Dose of ‘Mad Men’ Right Here

PBS is broadcasting a four-week series on classic TV characters. On Sunday the 13th we will encounter “The Misfit”, but we have already met “Independent Woman” and “The Man Of The House”. (Rarely seen in the same place, but a great team, I find.)

I discuss “The Man Of The House” here. If you like sharp analysis, loving recollections by smart people, and lingering close-ups of Jon Hamm, you should watch it.

I’m down to once-a-day viewings, myself.

Not The Worst Part

Depression hurts? Yeah, it does.

For me, it’s not even the experience of not wanting to do stuff. It’s not my poor, overworked couch. It’s not the interrupted sleep, the loss of appetite and friends, the tendency to forget the word that’s on the tip of my … GOD.

Screw it.

The side effects are awesome. Eating and gambling while asleep really liven things up. I have a bookie I’ve never met, Haagen-Dazs ice cream bar wrappers under the bed. I don’t have to do yoga to sweat; I can get there from my couch, just flipping through the channels. Intestinal bleeding is always fun.

But the worst part is probably this:

It’s just really hard dealing with a giant hand crank on your back, you know?

What Not To Drink Now

Ladies, countrywomen, friends. The Skinnygirl Margarita probably won’t make us “skinny”. Even if it could, it doesn’t taste good. If it did, the boys would tell us.

Found, on page 38 of the February Esquire Magazine (helpfully headlined We Try It So You Don’t Have To):

WHAT IT TASTES LIKE …

Say the cute little four-year-old down the block made a bowl of lemonade but instead of sugar used Splenda and instead of lemons used lemon flavoring and put it in a big bowl filled with ice and set it in the sun so all the ice melted and the “lemonade” got kind of hot and she got bored and went inside and a Labrador retriever came along and lapped some up and then stuck his head in the bowl and got the stuff all up his nose and sneezed uncontrollably into the bowl for a while. That’s what it tastes like. On ice.

Ladies, fruit is good. In 2011, let us make a pledge to one another, to life, to fruit: we will let ourselves have the real thing, not fake doggy-sneeze mixes like this.

Limes don’t cost much. Sugar and salt aren’t that bad.

Let’s live a little.

The Night of Tarnished Gold

Ladies and gentles, Emmy Night has arrived.  Cocktail up:

Where Von Schramm will park his man business and wait, tonight.

I will not be live-blogging, or probably even watching, the event.  For live-blogging, go to your one true source for all things Mad Men, the Basket of Kisses.  (I said I’m not watching; not that I do not have an agenda.)

Even in the best years I don’t watch the Emmys.  And this is not the best year:  I have jury duty next week, and a new job as well.  (For which I already have homework.)  So, needless to say, I will be cooking.

And after 10 p.m., I have a standing appointment with circa-1965 Manhattan.  As you damn well know.

But all of this aside, I have Hopes:

  • I hope that this is the last year that Vincent (Pete “Christ-on-a-cracker!” Campbell) Kartheiser gets left off the list of nominees.
  • I hope the Academy of Television Arts and Flyswatters is seating Jon Hamm that close to the stage for something more than the obvious decorative purpose.
  • … And it better not be for the one scene he played, wearing hooks for hands, in 30 Rock this year.
  • I hope that Christina Hendricks wins her category.  (There, I said it; she is not even the favorite from the show on the supporting-actress short list.)
  • I hope that, should Julianna Margulies win (as I expect), she says something wonderful about January Jones.
  • I hope, against every legitimate hope in the world, that January Jones wins.
  • Finally, I hope a chandelier or something falls near the Lost people, so that their fans and I can argue for years about whether it was rigged.

Best of luck to the best damn bunch of TV-watchers in the world:  scripted television fans.  You.  Thank you for taking arms against a sea of troubles (and by “troubles”, I mean:  White-House-party-crashing, debt-addled anorexics; equally debt-addled table-flippers; and young men who are very unkind to young women).  By opposing, I — perhaps you? — seek to end them.

Go bravely, my friends, into that gold night.  Hydrate, take breaks, don’t throw your drinks at the screen, and remember … there’s always Twitter.

(Agenda-free live-blogging:  start with The Fug Girls.)

On Managing Your Brand

Ever just have one of those days?

July 22-23, 2010:  one of those days.  I feel I need to apologize to the world.

I apologize to the entire Internet.

I apologize for going all Bush-doctrine in my approach to celebrities.  (Mock them or suck up to them?  I prefer to mock.)  I apologize further for applying this strategy without regard to friends’ relationships with said celebrities, or to degrees of celebrity hotness.

I apologize for using the same handle on several websites.

I apologize to everyone sitting to my right at the communal table (hell, the entire room) at Lafitte last night, between 10:30 (when dinner started) and 1 a.m. this morning (when it ended), for what happened each time I had to swing my legs over the bench to sit. Continue reading