Kiernan Shipka

Project Runway: Fashion Flip

Did anyone else think last week’s Project Runway had like, a lot of themes?  It was the Mary Kay Challenge, meaning the winner gets $5000 care of Mary Kay Cosmetics.  The challenge was to update a classic garment (think: the wrap dress, the pencil skirt) by adding your own twist.  Also, the designers were to use the New York City skyline as inspiration.  See what I mean?  There are a lot of things.

Anyway, I can’t help but find this a very daunting task.  The designers take their very first trip to Mood after sketching to pick out fabrics.  They only get one day for this challenge as well.  In that one-day, they fit in some model fittings and hair and make-up consultations.  At the end of it all, here’s what they put on the runway: (more…)

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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?!

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?!