Email Roundtable #48 – The End of Mad Men

This week, we attempt to discuss the series finale of Mad Men.

Kerri: First off, I’d like to gloat. I long ago stopped making public predictions about Mad Men (I kept making predictions in secret) because I never, ever, ever got anything right ever. Well, it’s been 7 seasons and finally, in the last episode, FINALLY I got something right. I almost got two things right, so maybe we can score me a plus 1.5 (and minus, like 3 thousand, but that’s beside the point). First, I declared that Peggy and Stan should get together. And they did. Beautiful, wonderful, perfectly banter-y Peggy and Stan realized what we’ve known for a long time and professed their love for each other. And, I mean, ok, sure, as far as things being telegraphed from miles away, this relationship was a straight ahead lazer beam. So I got the obvious thing right. Way to go, me. (At one point I had also said that Peggy and Joan should start their own firm. I was this close, too, dammit). But here I am speaking in “shoulds”. And if Mad Men railed against anything, just like the hippie retreat in the last episode, it was these “shoulds”, these things that we expect to happen in our TV shows, with our favourite characters. Because I do know as an audience member I deserve nothing. What I want to happen won’t always happen and what I think should happen is meaningless. Just like in life. Continue reading

After All These Long Years: The Last Words of Justified

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Two men sit across from each other, glass separating them, talking on telephones – one a lawman and one a long sought-after criminal. The lawman, Raylan, has just informed the criminal, Boyd, that a woman that they once both loved died in a car accident. This is a lie and Raylan tells it to protect this woman, Ava, knowing that if Boyd ever gets out of prison, he’ll go after her because she double-crossed him – to murder her, or to reunite with her, we don’t know for sure. Likely the former but probably the latter. And then we get the words that end Justified, a very good if inconsistent show about, among other things, two men pitted against each other since, seemingly, time began or at least before they were born. We get some fine words for us to ponder as the show goes off into the sunset. Not the shoot-out between Raylan and Boyd that so many wanted and that the show had been teasing. No, instead, we get these words. Two men talking.

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TV’s Greatest Dumpster Fires

I find myself way outside of the mainstream in my current televisions gorging. I’m on the Mad Men express but we’ve tackled that pretty thoroughly. Other than that I don’t watch any of the endless bounty of the high brow televisions. I do love delving deep in my cable package for the awesome and awful. Shows I watch not because they are all that good – but because they strike my particular fancy. They may even be terrible. I find such shows like these odd TV rubix cubes. I can’t figure them out – they are frustrating, yet I find myself coming back. One such show was cancelled. The bastards who took it away from me shall be on my enemies list along with the girl who “tried” to “teach” me improv in Grade 11. Or for our American readers, 11th grade. The show is Texas Hardtails, on The Speed Channel. Continue reading

Finales and Live TV

I have a standing appointment with AMC. For the next six Sundays, I’ll find someone who subscribes to AMC, show up at their door at 8:45pm sharp, and we’ll watch Mad Men. We’ll be watching along with 2 million other people, if Mad Men’s viewership statistics stay predictable. And come finale night, maybe a few million more will join us. Here at Golden Age of Television, we write about Mad Men a lot, but today’s entry isn’t about Mad Men so much as it is about watching shows live. A while back, Kerri wrote about communal TV watching and how watching TV has never really been a solitary activity for her. I think about communal TV watching a lot when it comes time for a series finale. Continue reading

When Being Neat Gets Messy

I know the whole point of this blog is to celebrate TV. I will always prefer television to movies. To me its a matter of running-time. Art should be like church, you have an hour to prove your point. I understand if it’s something like the Pope having high Mass at the Budokan or the last episode of M*A*S*H – you can go over but, for the most part, you get an hour. Oh, I will watch several hours of Mad Men, Community, Top Chef, etc. in one sitting but that is not one continuous narrative.

That’s why it pains me to knock television. It really does. TV is my friend, mentor, drinkin’ buddy, teacher, and mental masseuse. I was very excited to hear of the new The Odd Couple reboot. When I was a youngster, Tony Randall was an ironic celebrity, past his prime to be used for anything other than being Tony Randall. He’d just show up on SNL as Tom Hanks’ celebrity friend on a game show and would be on Letterman sporadically, often needlessly but hilariously dressed up as Batman. I later discovered him on late night re-airings of The Odd Couple TV show with Quincy. They were just darling. You can have your Lemon and Matthau but my Felix and Oscar will always be Randall & Klugman. TV, yay!!! Movies, booo!!!!

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