Archive for the 'upcoming' Category

Things I forgot about Mad Men

I recently re-watched the first four seasons of Mad Men in preparation for its long-awaited return. As is often the case with re-watching things after years, there was some shit I totally did not remember. Just to name a few examples, I had forgotten:

*…that Ken Cosgrove was just as sleazy as the other guys at first. He might be the worst of the lot in season one, actually! He improves somewhat by season three, but not that impressively. Perhaps getting abandoned by the gang when they slink away to form Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce humbled him and made him a new man, because by the time he re-joins everyone partway through season four, he’s become the nice, respectful guy I remembered.

*…just how fucking awful Pete Campbell’s family is—which explains a lot about that mean, manipulative side of him that sometimes comes out. Pete’s father was downright cruel to him, and the episode where he dies is fascinating because of it. Also, I’d blocked out the level of Pete’s lameness to Trudy at first. Their relationship seems to have grown stronger as each of them has matured into adulthood, and I hope we see more of them together in season five.

*…about the scene in season one where Pete punches Ken for making jokes about Peggy gaining weight! Someone make me gif of just the moment right when Pete throws the sucker punch and the moment when they sheepishly shake hands after the tussle. Please. I’ll love you forever.

*…that Betty wasn’t such a bad mom at first. She didn’t know how to be a “good mom” by our contemporary standards, but to start out she was hardly the monster she’d become known as by the end of season four. Her coldness and anger increases slowly as her naïveté fades and frustration builds about the life she’s trapped in and who her husband is. We start out feeling sorry for her, like one might a naïve child, and as she grows into a petulant teen, that turns to dislike. Will we see her mature from here?

*…that Paul and Joan had a thing! How did he pull that off? Oh my, that woman needs a man who is worthy of her. (Also, I don’t miss Paul.)

*…about some of the awful things Don does to Betty even outside of the neverending philandering. Leaving to pick up Sally’s birthday cake and never coming back, thus humiliating Betty with their friends? Blaming and slut-shaming her for nothing when Roger was drunk and hit on her? Ugh, Don. Even the 1960s aren’t an excuse for that sort of behavior. (And these moments represent more reasons why I’m usually on Team Defending Betty.)

*…that LEE GARNER, JR.—so critical to SCDP proceedings in season four—was the client who hit on Sal and got him fired for rejecting the advances! Why in my head did I think it had been some throwaway character? Crazy. (I do miss Sal. Going through his demise again was tough.)

*…that Peggy’s gratingly sassy Manhattan-working-girl roommate was played by Carla Gallo! I love her. She needs a sitcom deal, for something truly funny and weird, immediately. Maybe I will write something and send it to her…

Anyway, more thoughts about Mad Men: The Journey So Far can be heard in the first episode of the new podcast from Damsels in Discussion, Mad Femmes. Please give it a listen; it’s very funny. (Also NSFW, unless your office doesn’t mind chatter about blowjobs. Le scandale!)

Happy season five premiere this Sunday!

August 13th, 2010: a day for awesomeness.

Two years ago, I wrote a crazed post about how excited I was to hear that Edgar Wright would be adapting the indie comic series Scott Pilgrim, and that Michael Cera was in talks to star. Then, despite my bout of all-caps hysteria, I went on with my life and never bothered to check how the production was going.

Imagine my epic delight, then, to see the trailer for Scott Pilgrim vs. The World crashing forth onto the internet today! The movie happened even without my scrutiny! Huzzah! And it looks extremely promising. Preserving the sly-yet-over-the-top tone of the comics was a job only for a man like Edgar Wright, and he seems not to have let us down.

Watch the trailer over at Apple!

And for god’s sake, read the comics if you haven’t already! Friends, borrow from me!

TONIGHT

Big Love has high expectations to meet. Of all the currently airing shows I’m devoted to, only two belong to the club of shows that have only grown and gotten better with each successive season, Big Love being one of them (the other: Supernatural). Season three was such a thing of beauty, every member of the cast so perfect (the big four pictured, yes, but especially my girl Amanda Seyfried as eldest daughter Sarah, and Shawn Doyle as Bill’s brother Joey), that I’m actively trying to temper my anticipatory glee for season four. It’s not working very well. 6 PM can’t come fast enough. (Have I mentioned how much I love getting cable channels on Eastern time? DirecTV, you are my one true love.)

Eight reasons it’s an epic time to be a horror fan

It’s almost that time of year…so many horror movies to look forward to in the coming months.

1. Thirst, July 31
Chan-Wook Park made a vampire movie!! Oh it’s gonna be sooooo bloody. Can’t wait can’t wait.

2. Grace, August 14 (maybe later for us poor, unfortunate souls who don’t live in NYC or LA)
Two words: evil baby.

3. Halloween II, August 28
(Roman numerals courtesy of the filmmakers, not me. Also used in the title for original Halloween II!) Because even though Rob Zombie’s first trip down Michael Meyers lane was just aiite for me, you can’t not be excited about seeing that mask.
 
4. The Final Destination, August 28
In 3-D! Which I am still not tired of! I’ll be seeing this before the aforementioned H2. (Who decided opening those two on the same weekend was a good idea?)

5. Jennifer’s Body, September 18
Trailer is promising, very promising. Definitely feeding my insane girl crush on Amanda Seyfried. Go, Diablo, go!

6. Zombieland,  October 9
Woody Harrelson fights zombies! With Emma Stone! Who I also have a girl crush on! (last sentence = bad grammar…on whom I also have a girl crush?)

7. The Vampire’s Assistant, October 23
John C. Reilly, Willem Dafoe, Salma Hayek, Patrick Fugit, Ken Watanabe, Jane Krakowski, directed by Paul Weitz…this is not gonna be your tween’s vampire movie. Just throwing out a guess that none of the vamps will sparkle.

8. The Wolf Man, November 6
Benicio del Toro, I feel like I haven’t seen you in anything in forever…please be as awesome in this as I suspect you’ll be.

Missing from my list: Saw VI. They’re just gonna keep making these, huh? Strangely, the more of them that come out, the more I sort of actually want to watch one of them. Never even saw the first one, but I do love me some ridiculous sequels…oh, a sudden urge to watch Jason Takes Manhattan

Woo, horror film season!

Good idea? Bad idea?

Apparently they’re making a third Bridget Jones movie.

Is this gonna be like Ocean’s 13, where the decent third movie felt like an apology of fans of the excellent first movie for the dreadful second movie?

Can we also expect Men in Black 3 at some point? Legally Blonde 3? Grandson of The Mask? Speed 3: Limo of Death? Blue Brothers 3000? Blair Witch, the Next, Next Generation? I could go on, but I’ll stop now.

An important reminder!

True Blood season two starts this Sunday!

If you haven’t seen season one, you still have time! RENT IT. Two episodes a day today through Sunday and you’ll be ready by Sunday night for the new episode. We shall definitely be watching at my house. So get with it!

Yay for non-sparkly vampires!

Toppest Chef?

We’re in the home stretch of this year’s regular TV season (Lost finale one week from tomorrow, oh I don’t know if I’m ready yet to go months upon months without new episodes…), which means that it’s not too early to start pondering what new shows we’ll be offered to fill the gaps this summer. So far I’m most intrigued by Top Chef spin-off Top Chef Masters. Instead of featuring up-and-comers, the contestants will be already “world-renowned” chefs, many of whom have served as guest judges on Top Chef before (including that one guy with the dumb long hair and sideburns that I always mock). Intriguing, eh?

Apparently, this is how it will work: for the first six episodes, four chefs per episode will compete, with one winner. Then the winners of those six episodes will carry out the remainder of the competition the traditional way with one person eliminated each week. And, the chefs will all be playing for charity, which is always neat.

Over at Bravo’s site you can read more about it and see bios of the 24 contestants, the new judges, and the new host (whose eye makeup kind of scares me). Unfortunately, Tom Colicchio is nowhere in sight. Can any sort of Top Chef work without his awesomeness? We shall see on June 10.

As a side note, if you’re wondering what’s up with some of the former contestants of Top Chef, this New York Times piece from a few days ago is quite interesting.


Other projects:


Downton Gabby: podcasting about Downton Abbey from a funny, foul-mouthed, feminist perspective

Quick Lit: reading one short story a day in 2015

Grand Dames: collecting sundry achievements of admirable women

The MacGuffin: archive of my days as a film critic

I love Twitter.

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