AMC

Walking Wednesday: The Same Boat

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“You’re not the good guys.  You should know that.”

Last week, we were left worrying about what would happen to Carol and Maggie.  If you think Carol’s been acting weird for the past couple of weeks, you ain’t seen nothing yet.  This episode had a Carol like we’ve never seen before.

I frequently marvel at Carol’s transformation from scared housewife to complete and total badass.  Watching her regain her humanity is almost hard for me.  When you watch a show called The Walking Dead, you expect it to be pretty violent.  What I love about The Walking Dead is the depths of emotions it portrays.  Melissa McBride did a bang-up job in this episode!  It is taking some time for me, though, to mourn that killer Carol.  Her behavior at the beginning of the episode– the crucifix, the panic attack– didn’t feel warranted to me.  By the time I saw flashes of that killer Carol I figured she must have been playing them.  Was she?  By the end of the episode, when that Daryl/Carol connection is highlighted and we hear that she is not okay, I think maybe this is a union of old Carol and new… a newer Carol with that survival instinct plus humanity.  Like I said, it is going to take some getting used to.

Maggie and Glenn serve as a contrast in these last two episodes– watching Glenn struggle to kill vs. watching Maggie want to eradicate that whole compound.  When the door opened and they came gun to gun, the relief was there on Glenn’s face.  It seemed like Maggie only felt shock.  I love these two, and I’m kind of worried about Maggie.

So, Negan.  Is there a Negan?  I listened when that chick said we’re all Negan.  I could buy that there’s no leader.  One thing I’m pretty sure of: that dude Rick shot in the head was not Negan, despite his claims.  Thoughts?!

Walking Wednesday: Not Tomorrow Yet

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Night falls on Alexandria, but Carol can’t get to sleep…

Okay, who else was PSYCHED to finally see Carol?  She is such an interesting character, you guys.  I loved watching her become badass, and harden into something scary.  In this show, that’s cool and useful.  What we’re seeing of Carol now is something that we barely remember, and she barely remembers either– I hate how she says she was a mom!  Carol bakes cookies; Carol kisses Tobin on the porch.  I think Carol doesn’t want to kill.

While one couple forms, another falters– it’s not like Abraham and Rosita were ever compelling. ( Side note: I couldn’t tell if Abraham was leaving just Rosita or Alexandria in general… I guess to be revealed.)  Regardless, Abraham’s words were unbelievably harsh.  He only was with Rosita because when he met her, he thought she was the last woman in the world and now he knows she’s not.  If I were Rosita, I’d have plenty of tears.

The raid on Negan’s compound was somewhat impressive.  It’s neat to see the group work together with ninja-like stealth.  It’s not nice to see the pain in Glenn’s eyes as he knifes his sleeping victims.  This group is hard, yo.  As evidenced by the comments as he punches the decapitated head of a walker, Rick is what is to be feared these days.  While flashes of humanity seem to return to the others, it’s been a while since we’ve really seen that in Rick.

AND HONESTLY THAT ENDING.  Terrifying, in a way.  Thoughts?!

Walking Wednesday: Knots Untie

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If I recall correctly, I complained about a lack of Glenn and Maggie last week.  This week, those two were awesome.  Maggie was a total boss and I think I’ve developed an uncontrollable crush on Glenn.  They’re both great, but Maggie this week!

Jesus proposed that his community trade with Rick Grimes & co. and reveals that his community, Hilltop, has other trade partners.  This basically blows the minds of the core group now headquartered in Alexandria, and you know what?  It blew my mind too.  Perhaps it’s a good thing that I’m so into this storyline that I too don’t consider what else might be out there and thriving.  This opens up a whole new world of possibility.

Of course, things weren’t that easy.  It was totally fun seeing Glenn, Daryl, and Abraham go basically through a haunted house of zombies when they spotted the car crash because, duh, there’s already a problem.  Seeing the community for the first time was pretty inspiring, and that music was perfectly paired!  The leader of the Hilltop group, Gregory, immediately comes across as super sleazy.  I totally thought he was going to die and that would be that.  Oh well, second chances are a thing, I guess.

Of course, Rick Grimes & co. bring violence with them.  Rick is like, not so scary of a guy just looking at him, but he can become scary really quickly, and it’s always interesting seeing people react.  However, I am floored by the fact that he, Maggie, the whole group really think that they are the strongest; invincible.  They’re ready to go in, guns blazing, and take on Negan & the Savoirs?  Michonne is right: this is going to be a fight.

Walking Wednesday: The Next World

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Better late than never?  Sorry to post this so late in the day, guys; it’s been a busy week and today I’m playing a little bit of catch up!  So, having just watched “The Next World,” here are my thoughts:

Rick and Daryl‘s little adventure was so much fun.  Y’all know I don’t love anyone on this show as much as I love Daryl, so to have him in the action with Rick was nice.  I don’t know what to make of Paul/Jesus.  He seems likable enough, then immediately is AWFUL and like Daryl said, why would you trust someone who calls himself Jesus?

This episode lacked any Glenn/Maggie moments.

Carl needs a cooler eye patch.  I don’t what to make of him or Enid at all.  The whole zombie Deanna thing was weird, and telling Michonne he’d stab her in the brain because he loves her was weirder.  Enid, I’ve never understood.  We’ll hear more from her soon, I guess.

RICK AND MICHONNE, YOU GUYS.  Does anyone else love this as much as I do?!

Walking Wednesday: No Way Out

Welcome to Walking (Dead) Wednesday, kids!  I haven’t blogged Walking Dead regularly in the past, but I liked the alliterative quality and, let’s be real, I need to get myself back on a schedule.  I’m working on it.  And my weekend vlog is up, by the way.  It’ll be here tomorrow, but you should go subscribe so you don’t miss anything.

ANYWAY- Midseason premiere, eh?  I must be honest, I had a really hard time getting into this episode.

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What I Cared About:

Daryl who started the episode literally with a bang with that rocket launcher, and saved the whole freaking day (and, dare I say, episode!) with it again by the end.  I was so eager to see him reunited with the group.  I hated the initial interaction with Negan’s motorcycle gang, so the rocket launcher is only fair to make that worth it.  Sasha and Abraham were total badasses with the machine guns too, and I feel like they sufficiently saved the day.

Glenn and Maggie were also at the top of my mind and I was SO MAD that I had to wait until the very end to see Maggie again.  After things were touch and go with Glenn in the beginning of the season, I might never recover from one of my favorite characters almost biting the dust.  When Maggie yelled for Glenn, so did I.  Enid also sucked less thanks to Glenn.

Surprisingly, Carl losing an eye did not phase me.  I think he’ll be badass with an eyepatch.  This brings me to…

What I Didn’t Care About:

The Andersons were an absolute waste of my time.  Sam bothered me from the get-go and I know people are bothered to see a child eaten by zombies, but you guys– he was such a bad character.  Jessie may have brought a ray of hope into Rick’s dim heart but she wasn’t so great either, and just like that, she was gone.  Also, Michonne running her sword through Ron should be in the above section ’cause I freaking love her.

Does anyone else think The Alexandrians v. All the Walkers was ridiculous?  Rick rages blackouts and fights and everyone decides it’s a good idea to join him?  I get it shows that they can work together, but there were so. many. walkers.  And literally no one died?  Except the Wolf who I didn’t care about at all.

What Surprised Me:

I’ve hated Gabriel since we met him– I have never trusted him.  This episode was a major turning point for him, though, and I think I can maybe trust him now.

What did you guys think?!

2016 To Watch

It’s officially 2016, we’ve sufficiently celebrated and then retreated to the comfort of our couches.  Let’s get to what’s important here: what we can watch in 2016!  Here’s the TV I cannot wait for in the immediate future:

January 10th, Shameless (Showtime) | Originally, this was set for January 17th (which I remember because it’s my birthday!) but I can’t complain that we’re getting season 6 a week early!

January 15th, Hell’s Kitchen (Fox) | This is always a favorite of mine, as big of a Gordon Ramsay fan as I am.  I’ll likely be keeping up with this one on Hulu, though it’s made appearances on the blog before.

January 24th, The X-Files (Fox) | There are literally no words for how I feel about this show’s return.  I should honestly be setting my DVR now, but this show will have a Monday night time slot which means I should be home to watch each week.

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No words.  [Via]

February 2nd, American Crime Story (FX) | As obsessed as I am with AHS, I always figured I would watch this show.  I’ve seen a preview here and there for the The People v. OJ Simpson and I literally cannot wait.  I was super young when this happened, but I still remember it on the news.  Should be interesting!

February 14th, The Walking Dead (AMC) | Happy Valentine’s Day to me!  I love The Walking Dead and I’ve missed it so.  February seems like a while to wait for this mid-season return, but things could be worse.

February 21, Girls (HBO) | My Sunday night ritual!  Doesn’t Girls usually return in January?  The wait for this one has definitely been long, but I’ll be tuning in and definitely recapping for the blog!

What’s missing?  Oh, just a few shows I can’t live without!  Game of Thrones, obviously, which is set for April 2016.  Also, Orphan Black which is set to have season 4 pop up this year too.  Finally, probably my favorite show of 2015, The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, should be coming back to Netflix for season two this year!

What shows are you looking forward to?!

Mid-Week Mad Men: Person to Person

I watched the Mad Men series finale as it aired on Sunday night, and I’ve been thinking about this post since then. I just have so much to say. I’ve read so many other recaps and thought pieces on this episode because I’m just not ready for this all to be done. Once we got to the moments leading up to the end, I was really nervous about Don’s storyline and even at the reveal, I had a moment of panic at the ambiguity. Then, relief. I’m choosing to believe what the ending has implied, and all and all, I’m really happy with this one. Let’s jump into it.

First, Joan! You’ll know Joan is my favorite character is you’ve read any of my posts. A friend convinced me that Joan’s storyline was done and her sad exit from McCann was the last we’d see of her. I knew that couldn’t be true. We got a lot of Joan this time around and finally got the answer to this crappy relationship situation!

We open on Joan with Richard, happily vacationing. Things seem to be going really well for the two of them– they talk of possibly getting married, buying homes. All along, things have been portrayed as going well but I can’t figure out why Joan likes him. I can’t figure out why she had that panic moment and said she’d give up her son for him. We know she didn’t mean it, but what is so great about this guy? Anyway, when they return Joan meets with Ken Cosgrove, who has a business proposition for her. This spurs her meeting with Peggy, making some money, and then the idea to start her own production company. She meets with Peggy to discuss a partnership, as two names sound more legit (Harris-Olson). Peggy is flattered, but has other plans… more on that later. Richard, it seems, hasn’t changed his stripes in wanting Joan all to himself. He walks out on her when she chooses to start her business. I literally flip him off as he walks off screen– good riddance! We knew he was no good, guys! In Joan’s last moment, we see her manning Harris-Holloway (she already has two last names!) from her home. Joan’s got it made, guys. What a freaking boss.

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Let’s touch on Roger while we’re here. I wasn’t sure if he was going to get a wrap-up. He’s convinced himself he’s in the last chapter of his life and he’s chosen to marry Marie. The last we see him, he’s ordering champagne “for him mother” in French. Never change, Roger. We get the closure with him and Joan that I desperately wanting– his estate is to be split between his grandchild and Kevin.

Okay, now Peggy. Peggy’s decided to stay with McCann after a night of heavy drinking and considering Joan’s offer. She gets a little belligerent with Stan, and calls him apologetically the next day. This moment was pure magic. Stan’s feelings start pouring out, met with Peggy’s shock and constant “What?! What did you say?” Elisabeth Moss, you are wonderful. Stan tells Peggy he loves her and Peggy puzzles out that she loves him too, but the line is silent. Stan appears at her door and they kiss. Peggy finally finds love!

Pete’s an easy one. We don’t see much of him, save for saying goodbye to Peggy. His final moment is pretty glorious as he, a fabulous Trudy, and adorable Tammi step out of a car and into a jet. I’m assuming Trudy will have no regrets moving forward.

Betty’s the saddest story, and it’s woven into Sally’s and Don’s. Sally and Don speak via phone again, and Sally tells him about Betty’s terminal cancer. Don calls Betty– both are tearful, obstinate. Don wants to come home. Betty says no. I can’t understand why Don doesn’t go home. Sally does, though, finding Bobby and burnt grilled cheeses in the kitchen. Bobby, who we’ve not heard from in years, isn’t a baby anymore either. He knows what’s going on. Sally steps into a mothering role for her two little brothers; they need her now. The last we see of Betty and Sally is Sally washing the dishes and Betty smoking a cigarette at the kitchen table.

The news of Betty has affected Don. He doesn’t go home, but to California where he visits Stephanie. Stephanie seems like a random person for him to spend the last episode with, but I see it as him desperately trying to cling to someone, to connect with someone. Stephanie ends up taking him and leaving him at a yoga/spiritual healing retreat… thing. She takes his car. Don is stuck. Don is alone. He places a call to Peggy. She has relieved to hear from him, but worried. He laments that his life is a lie, he’s never made anything of himself and he’s ruined everything. Peggy tells him to come home. “Don’t you want to work on Coke?” she says.

Apparently Don can’t find a way to leave this retreat early. He ends up in another seminar, where he hugs a stranger with a heart-breaking feeling of loneliness. We see Don last in lotus position, chanting ohm. I’m about to lose it, as I can’t see Don finding enlightenment here or with yoga. The scene shifts, and we see it’s not enlightenment that Don has found– it’s inspiration!

Don't think I didn't notice this detail right away!

Don’t think I didn’t notice this detail right away!

So Don does work on Coca Cola. This whole weird trip has led him here, to this idea for a sensational ad.

And that’s how I chose to remember it. You know, there are two ways to end a show: either the set of circumstances you’ve watched for x-amount of years will never occur again, or everything goes on as it always has. For Don, it seems that things go on. Yes, things changed and people do new things. Sterling Cooper is no more. Don, though, finally achieves the advertising fame he was looking for. Twitter thinks Peggy wrote this jingle, and maybe she did. Maybe this is Don & Peggy’s work together. Now that’s an ending.

It wasn’t perfect, but I’m happy.  What did you think?!

Mid-Week Mad Men: The Milk & Honey Route

What a lovely name for this episode, huh? Well, my sadness is real that there is only ONE episode left of this amazing show. For the first time in forever, I watched this episode as it aired, up way past my bedtime on a Sunday night. I’m glad I did. This episode focuses on two families– Pete Campbell’s and Don Draper’s.

For Pete, opportunity knocks. He is pretty much the only SC&P guy doing well at McCann. He’s poised to be a player on Coca Cola. On the personal side of things, we’ve been seeing a lot more of his ex-wife Trudy and their adorable daughter Tammi. We’ve seen some very successful co-parenting, and Pete at least is sure their relationship has healed. We get sparks of remembrance of the bad times from Trudy, but only when her nosy friend reminds her of such. Duck Phillips basically tricks Pete into a job interview with Learjet. At first, Pete is insulted. Over dinner with his philandering brother, who also took the example from his father, he thinks of why they’re always searching for something better. It’s the Learjet offer, though, that inspires him. Maybe it’s too good to turn down, but maybe it’s just the right move. He drives straight to Trudy and tells her all the things she wanted him to years before. He wants to be a family again and he wants Trudy and Tammi to move to Wichita with him. As Trudy accepts, I can’t help but think Pete is going to have a happy ending. He’s come such a long way!

Betty Draper Francis is not going to have a happy ending. She collapses on the steps at Fairfield and learns that she has aggressive lung cancer and probably less than a year to live. Henry wants her to fight in her last year of life, but Betty’s not having it. Against her wishes, Henry drives out to Sally’s school and tells her the news. She covers her ears as he breaks it to her. “It’s okay to cry,” he tells Sally before breaking down into tears. He brings Sally home to convince her mother to get treatment. This infuriates Betty.

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“He doesn’t know you won’t get treatment because you love the tragedy,” says Sally. Though I agree with this assessment of Betty, I think she’s right in her response that it’s a gift to know when to give up. She’s not going to win this fight. She gives Sally a letter for her to read when she dies. I’m glad Sally read it ahead of time because I wanted to know what it said! “Sally, I always worried about you, because you march to the beat of your own drum,” Sally reads, “But know that’s good. I know your life will be an adventure.” Sally cries and I cry too.

And finally, Don, who is far away with no idea what it going on in the home in which he once resided– Don does speak with Sally at the beginning of the episode before the news, talking of his road trip across America. Yeah he’s not going back. For me, this is not the compelling storyline. There are small town folks eager to abuse Don’s big city deep pockets. A young con man steals money and everyone blames it on Don, the stranger. At the end, Don recovers the money and gives the young con a new opportunity– he leaves him his car and waits for the next bus in Oklahoma.

How will this all end? The unfinished tales are really Peggy’s and Don’s, unless we have more to hear from our other beloved characters. What are you all thinking?!

Mid-Week Mad Men: Lost Horizon

I watched the latest episode of Mad Men, “Lost Horizon,” on Monday night. This is the antepenultimate episode of the series– the third to last; the one before the one before the last one. Though I’ve been aware that there were a mere seven episodes in the half season, I haven’t felt the finality coming on until this episode. SC&P has closed up shop.

I was discussing this episode with a friend last night– a friend who is aware of, but can’t quite comprehend my undying love for Joan. Joan, for me, had the most compelling and most final storyline of the episode, so that’s where I’ll be focusing this post. We’ll of course talk about how fabulous Peggy was, and even add a dash of Don, but mostly we’re going to talk about Joan. Buckle up.

Why do I love Joan so much? Joan was empowered before anyone knew what empowered was. We open on her as the queen bee of the secretaries. Is she kind of a bitch? Yes. She calls Peggy out for the way she dresses and if I can be perfectly honest, Peggy’s bangs and ponytail were killing me that first season! It took me a long time to take Peggy seriously, too. Anyway, Joan played within the parameters to rise to power. She used what she had, and yes, that was the way she looked. What she did, though, was real, and when it came to forming a new agency, Joan was recognized as an integral part of the operation.

Let’s talk about her decision to get her hands on that role as partner. I remember watching this and wanting her to make that awful decision. Is that any way to conduct business? No, it’s disgusting. But this was her big opportunity and I wanted to see her as partner. I wanted her to prosper. And for a while, she did.

Joan made sense as a partner. Joan flourished as an account manager. But at McCann Erickson, chronic sexism finally got the better of Joan. She’s not the same woman we met at the start of the series. She takes herself seriously now and it’s not too much to ask to have others do the same. Brass Dennis, creepy Ferg, and infuriating Jim Hobart cannot offer her any respect. Dennis is outright not willing to work under a woman. Ferg just wants to sleep with her. Jim Hobart just doesn’t want her. She doesn’t hold the status she did before, and though he owes her half a million dollars, her offers her 50 cents on the dollar to get out of his face.

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The real heart-breaker comes when Roger is waiting in her office. Roger (who I loved her with but has ended up being the biggest disappointment to both Joan and me) tells her to take the deal. Contrary to what Roger says, it’s not about the money. It’s about respect, which Joan never got. Joan lost. If this is the last I see of her in Mad Men, I don’t know how I’ll recover.

IMG_7447Peggy faces sexism too. It’s clear from the circumstances that Peggy will not hold the status at McCann that she did at SC&P. It takes them days to get her an office and they send her flowers thinking she’s a secretary. She hangs out at SC&P waiting for them to get things in order where she encounters a mourning Roger.  (I’m not scary; organ music is.)

He makes her drink with him, and things basically get hilarious.

Peggy steps into her first day at McCann in style.

Don was welcomed into McCann Erickson, but finds himself uncomfortable in a Miller Beer meeting with a table full of creative directors. As he listens to a familiar sounding pitch, he simply walks out. He hallucinates the ghost of Cooper on a long drive to Racine, Wisconsin in search of Diana. We end on him picking up a hitchhiker and heading to Minnesota– the opposite way from home. I don’t think Don’s coming back.

Before we go, I just want to say that I’m still really enjoying Meredith! It’s been nice to see her get a little character development.

Okay guys, I’ve said a lot. Let me know what you guys thought of “Lost Horizon” in the comments!!

Mid-Week Mad Men: Time & Life

It’s not quite mid-week, but my Mad Men post is coming at you a bit early!  This week’s episode, “Time & Life,” was honestly such a pleasure to watch.

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The main storyline of the episode was the sudden (but almost obviously eventual) announcement than McCann Erickson would be fully absorbing, aka swallowing, Sterling Cooper.  There’s a fantastic classic rallying of the partners– Roger, Don, Joan, Pete, and Ted– with a grand plan to move to SC&P West to keep their independence alive.  McCann, though, is not having any of it.  They see this as SC&P passing the test; “they’ve died and gone to advertising heaven.”  Account names are dropped to entice each partner (Ted already wanted to go) with the exception of… Joan.

Joan has been a presence since this show began, but she’s risen from secretary to partner and account manager.  McCann’s already treated her atrociously.  She seems to take it the hardest, even though Don has now lost his home, his family, and the job he’s had since this show began.  Meanwhile, Joan’s love connection seems to be going well.

But whatever, I still live for this moment.

But whatever, I still live for this moment.

Peggy had a brilliant storyline as well.  She was charged with casting some kids and Stan notes how uncomfortable she seems around them. A stage mom leaves her little girl at the audition and plays in Peggy’s office while Peggy & Stan work.  The girl promptly staples her finger just in time for her mother to arrive.  Things escalate between Peggy and the mom, and later, as Peggy fumes to Stan further, she ends up telling him of the baby she once had, and how she can’t think about it so she can move on with her life.  Is this like the first person Peggy’s ever told?  Powerful.  She ultimately decides to go to McCann, and tells Stan he can come too.

Pete had a little more air time than he has had recently.  It was quite nice to see Turdy again, and she and Pete were very civil.  I actually liked him in this episode.  He was the one who told Peggy of the upcoming merge, which felt kind coming from Pete.

Finally, shout out to Don’s girl Meredith.  I’ve started loving her in this season 7 part 2.  She’s not very sharp, but listening to her tell Don she would not get him alka selzter was pure joy.

Did you guys like this episode as much as I did?