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5 posts categorized "Television"


James Gandolfini 1961-2013

Chris Miksanek, The Med City Movie Guy

twitter: @MedCityMovieGuy



Mad about Mad Men

Mad about the 60s, cigarettes, Old Fashioneds and Mad Men

Today I am the Med City Media Guy as I branch out to opine about quality television.

Readers of my movie reviews know that they are frequently peppered with references to what I consider the best of the little screen: The Honeymooners, The Sopranos, the early seasons of e.r., and Matthew Weiner's magnificent period drama Mad Men.

Mad Men premiered in 2007 and follows the exploits of a Madison Avenue advertising firm's creative director Don Draper played by Jon Hamm. (In the lingo of the time, advertising execs, those men of Madison Avenue, were apparently called “Mad Men” though I don’t recall Darrin Stephens from the old TV show Bewitched assuming that moniker.)

As the series evolved his secretary Peggy Olson (Elisabeth Moss) worked her way up the male-dominated org chart to creative director of another agency and when season 5 ended she was struggling with a slogan for the new lady’s cigarette from Phillip Morris. If her own journey (she's come along way, baby) is any indication, we pretty much know what she'll come up with.

Weiner wrote a dozen Sopranos episodes before creating Mad Men and admits he subscribes to the David Chase style of production which means popular characters are not spared the axe (coincidentally, in both The Sopranos and in Mad Men a popular character who abruptly left the show was named Sal) and not every question is answered. It’s smart writing that doesn’t underestimate the audience.

Like Chase, Weiner treats every episode as a film in itself though they all contribute to the arcs of the entire season. Its characters are meticulously chiseled and the best of the supporting players include mainstays Pete Campbell (Vincent Kartheiser), Joan Harris (Christina Hendricks), Roger Sterling (John Slattery) and Bert Cooper (veteran Robert Morse of How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying fame).

Chris Miksanek -- The Med City Movie Guy and The Med City Media Guy -- Mad MenThe series started slow and purposeful (season 1, for example, gained traction only with episode 9 when Betty shoots the neighbor’s pigeons) but that solid groundwork has consistently paid off in subsequent seasons.

Mad Men begins its 6th season Sunday on AMC.

Chris Miksanek, The Med City Movie Guy

twitter: @MedCityMovieGuy


Right. From Season 2, "A Night to Remember." Betty Draper (January Jones) in the famous polka dot dress, hands-down her best episode. Unfortunately, Betty has fallen to irrelevancy since remarrying at the onset of season 4.


Join the Med City Movie Guy on the Red Carpet Sunday

OK, it’s not exactly a red carpet. It’s kind of mauve with a big brown planter hiding the stain from a dropped grilled cheese sandwich a few years ago. That’s right, I’ll be blogging live from my living room throughout the Academy Awards. Join me for some catty remarks about what the stars are wearing (e.g., “can you believe the socks “Descendants” gaffer Josh Swisek is wearing?”) and for commentary on the awards themselves. It’s interactive, too, so you’ll have a chance to out-quip Billy Crystal (which I am guessing won’t be too difficult). More details here:
-- Chris Miksanek
-- The Med City Movie Guy

Chris Miksanek - The Med City Movie Guy



"The Altos," just like 'The Sopranos,' but lower

Pine Area People for the Arts is presenting “The Altos,” a spoof interactive play tomorrow at 3:30 and at 7:30 at Olde Pine Theatre in Pine Island. For more information: (507) 356-4900.
 The Altos - Pine Island People for the Arts 


And the winner is ... the viewer?

Rochester: do you watch awards shows like the Golden Globes or the Academy Awards? If so, why? If not, why not? Let me know what you think and read more in Thursday's Post-Bulletin.

 -- Chris Miksanek

-- The Med City Movie Guy

Chris Miksanek - The Med City Movie Guy -- 2011 Critics' Choice Movie Awards (with Warren Beatty)