Jon Hamm

Unbreakable Season 2

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Tina Fey gets me, and I just finished Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt season 2 and loved it so much.  I think season 2 started a little slowly, but each and every member of this cast makes this show worth watching.  Every character was so engaging, so here are your reasons to watch Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt’s second season:

(Warning: spoilers!) (more…)

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?

Midweek Mad Men: The Forecast

This week’s episode gave me the two things I wanted most: Kiernan Shipka as Sally Draper all-grown-up, and more Christina Hendricks as the always amazing Joan.  That’s where my focus is this time around.

As a wearer of big earrings, I appreciate that Joan takes one off to answer the phone.

As a wearer of big earrings, I appreciate that Joan takes one off to answer the phone.

Joan’s storyline starts out in LA, as she basks in the life of a fabulous account executive and partner.  She’s loving her job and things take a romantic turn when she meets a mysterious stranger, Richard.  They enjoy a night together, he speaks of his grown children and his divorce, and asks if she is married.  She says no, but admits to once having been.  She returns to New York.  He flies in to surprise her for dinner, where probing questions sour his interests.  Joan assures him that she is not married, but does have a four-year-old son, Kevin.  This stops the tryst in its tracks later on, as he’s free as a bird and doesn’t want to raise kids anymore.  This leads Joan to yell at her babysitter that she’s ruining her life.  Her sweet son’s voice softens her slightly.

Richard thinks better of himself and brings her flowers.  Joan admits she lives with her mother and has been married twice… and there’s still the kid.  Richard has made a 180 and says he’d like to meet Kevin and her mother.  What I found weird is Joan saying she’d chose him over her son… that doesn’t sound right, or like Joan.  I’m actually a huge Roger/Joan shipper, so although I love seeing Joan happy, I don’t have hopes in this relationship.

Sally Draper has grown to be so smart, and resents the way both her parents act.  Glen, who admittedly has grown up a lot too, visits inciting more odd behavior between him and Betty.  He’s 18 and shipping off to Vietnam.  He makes a move on Betty, who I literally give credit to for stopping it… but only because I have no faith in Betty.  Sally’s reaction to Glen’s enlisting stops her from enjoying a day with him and leaves her in tears on the phone trying to wish him goodbye.  Sally’s going away too, though– 12 states in 12 days.  Don takes her and a few friends out to dinner.  One friend gets flirty with Don, and Sally calls him out on it.  I actually thought Don was better behaved than usual… I guess I don’t have much faith in Don either.

Let’s talk about Don, because it’s kind of his show.  I mean, everyone sort of thinks he’s a mess like his penthouse.  Against all odds, his wine-stained and empty place sells!  It looks like Don is going to have to move on… physically and otherwise.  I don’t want Don to lose his magic.  Maybe a new environment will reinvigorate him.

And before we close, let’s talk about how badass Peggy was saying to Pete, “you can’t fire one of my men!”  You chase that dream of being the first female creative director, Peggy!

What did you guys think of Sunday’s episode?!