Monday, September 27, 2010

Quick Thoughts on Sunday 9/26 Shows: Dexter, Mad Men, Boardwalk Empire

Hello TV Addicts. Yikes, can Sunday get any more packed with awesome television? It's a shame that one of the 3 shows mentioned does not start at 8:00 so I can go to bed at a reasonable hour. Alas, I stayed up to watch another excellent Boardwalk Empire after devouring 2 awesome hours of Dexter and Mad Men as well. Since this is a QUICK THOUGHTS post, I'm just going to get right into it. As usual, one big SPOILER ALERT before we begin. If you haven't watched one of the shows just skip ahead to the comments on the next one. My thoughts after the jump.

Dexter - "My Bad"
"I'm sorry for your loss." What a painfully satisfying episode to kick off season 5! Watching Dexter break the news to the kids and parents of Rita's brutal murder was so awkwardly perfect! Dexter's inability to express emotions was really put to the test but inevitably he did break down after clearing his head in the open waters and getting another kill under his belt. Lowlife bathroom dweller didn't look like he had much to live for but I'm surprised Harry almost commended Dexter instead of chastising him for not "following the code". Dexter didn't know much about that guy except that he was a giant TOOL, but I guess that was enough and it got him to express his emotions at the loss of his wife. Some other obervations of the episode:
  • The episode was still hysterical. Masuka was cracking jokes at times when you'd least expect it and we couldn't help but laugh (beside the bloody pool with Rita still inside it.
  • Looks like Quinn will be the new Doakes this year. (I miss Doakes!) He was already getting suspicious of Dexter last year, but now it's at an all time high. The big question will be if it will all end in the same way as last time with Quinn losing his life in pursuit of the truth?
  • And woaaa...QUINN and Debra? I guess I should have seen it coming, but in Dexter and Rita's HOUSE on the kitchen floor? Yikes. Classy.
  • The flashback scenes with Rita showing how they met were nice touches. Dexter picked a location where he could keep an eye on his next target. Debra set up the 2 of them. Dex ditched Rita at the restaurant, but not before Rita got in the classic "I paid him to say that" about the waiter and his comments to Dexter waiting so long. I was wondering how they were going to show Rita even considering giving Dex another shot after bailing for "stomach problems" but it all made sense when Dex said he was cool with the kids and the abusive JACOB..errrr ex-husband.
  • Dexter finally came clean to Rita with the TRUTH. Of course he was talking to the corpse but better late than never, right?
I'm excited about the possibilities of this season. It seems very season 2-like with Dexter right at the center of an investigation, but this time he is innocent yet still involved. I heard there won't be a BIG killer that Dexter will be following all season. It makes sense that they should distance themselves from Trinity. How can you top John Lithgow's amazing performance? But I am already invested in the premise of the new season and cannot wait for more. If anyone needs a Julie Benz fix, check out No Ordinary Family this Tuesday!

Mad Men - "Hands and Knees"
This season has just been excelleng from start to finish. Of course, we still have 3 more episodes before the finish but usually the show heats up near the end. Don was having a major crisis this episode. And it is my opinion that Matthew Weiner and crew are trying to give Jon Hamm every chance he can get to win that Emmy next year. Is it me or are we seeing the many sides of Don Draper this season? Don't get me wrong, it's all great and Hamm definitely deserves the Emmy. It just seems like they're blatantly pulling out all the stops to ensure it happens, especially with Bryan Cranston out of the eligibility running for the next Emmy's. (Don't get me started how upset I am that I caught up on Breaking Bad all summer and it's not coming back until NEXT summer!) Anyway, here's a few observations from the episode that took us right in the middle of Beatlemania!

  • That's right, we're close to August 15th 1965, when the Beatles craze in America and they were going to open up their US tour at Shea Stadium. Don, who isn't on Sally's "favorite people" list right now after forcing her to go back to Mama last episode, is now in the running for "Father of the Year" when he told Sally that he was taking her to the Beatles concert. How great was it that Don said he was going to wear ear plugs? All that Rock n' Roll "noise" was for them kiddies back then! Not that I would know first hand or anything!
  • Don had a major scare when Pete was advancing his pursuit of an account with the Department of Defense. It was nice to see Betty help out Don and not tell them anything about his False Identity. I loved when both of them thought that the phone line might be bugged so they started talking all discreet. "My husband works for the government!" Good times. I also loved that Don came clean to New Girl (yeah, can't remember her name) after he had a panic attack. That was so Sopranos-esque, which Matthew Weiner is no stranger to...being a descendent from the writer's team and all.
  • Pete dismissing the Defense account for Don comes at a critical time for SCDP as we learn that Roger is losing Lucky Strike! (not that he told anyone about it) This all is building up to what seems like it will be an awesome season conclusion. 4 months left of 1965, 3 episodes left. Anyone know what major historical events might be coming up in these final episodes to be a backdrop to whatever they're cooking up?
  • So did Joanie get the abortion or not? It seemed very ambiguous as she lied to the other mother about having a 15 year old child to save face. Was she rethinking things? She told Roger that she took care of it, but she also said "we avoided a tragedy" I just don't know!
  • How about Lane's new girlfriend? How about Lane getting smacked on the head and his hand almost crushed by his father to get his affairs in order? I guess he's going to go rekindle his relationship with the wife in England? We'll see!
  • No Peggy in this episode, but after her getting much spotlight this season, I guess we'll let them slide!
Can't wait for more Mad Men next week!

Boardwalk Empire - "The Ivory Tower"
2 weeks in and still loving this show! Granted, I was also half asleep when watching it. It was about 11:15 when I started. After a full day of Football, Modern Family season 1 marathon on Blu-Ray, Dexter and Mad Men it may have been too much to take in. But I still watched it and am still loving this show! I still don't really know the characters well enough to be commenting too much yet but I'll give it a shot.  Here are some quick observations:
  • Lots of fallout from the shootings last week. Jimmy has lots of money to burn, Nucky is asking for more money from Jimmy. Loved Nucky putting Jimmy through the ringer and then just gambling it all away on Roulette!
  • Loved seeing Capone beat in a press reporter's face. Signs of what he will become!
  • So does Jimmy have a girl on the side? After being "unsatisfied" by the wife he seemed to go and visit his girl. He got them both gifts, and the necklace he bought the girlfriend seemed to be a little more expensive. They were talking about Jimmy's Dad too, so at one point I was thinking she might be a sister, but I don't know a sister that would jump up on a dude and kiss them like that so I think this was just a point where I was falling asleep!
  • So there's a guy alive from the shootout in Hammonton that seems to be a setup for some upcoming drama. So crazy to see all of these locations in the 1920's. I used to live in Medford, New Jersey and would drive THROUGH Hammonton to get to Atlantic City. Gotta love HBO shows set in New Jersey, right!?
Anyway, it's pretty clear to see I have spent more time with the characters from Dexter and Mad Men and am much more invested in the show. I have a feeling my quick thoughts on Boardwalk will probably evolve as the show goes on. Right now I'm just enjoying the show!
That's all I have for now! Would love to hear everyone else's thoughts on any of the shows I mentioned. Make sure you specify the show you're talking about in the comments so people can skip if they haven't seen one of them yet! Don't forget to check for my recaps of THE EVENT and FRINGE this week and every week! Hope you enjoyed my ramblings and see you after THE EVENT!


Anonymous said...

Thanks for doing this for Madmen. Given how concerned Don was about getting the tickets,I am thinking he won't.

When I see episodes like this and I think about the man falling during the shows intro it makes me wonder if the show is about Don's falling more than metaphorically, maybe committing suicide.

I loved it when the Lucky Strike guy told Roger that he inheireted the account. Now Roger has to go to work. His world isn't looking great either.

In a strange way, I am pulling for Betty and Don to get back together. Maybe they will grow from their experiences/trials/

I really like this show.


Mike V. said...

No problem Richard! When I have the time, I LOVE talking about any and all TV so I will try my best to do this as often as I can. As for Don getting the tickets...he DID get them at the end of the episode. His new secretary made sure she got them after feeling like she messed up with having Don sign those Dept. of Defense documents.

So you think the opening credits are a bit of foreshadowing to his ultimate fate? Don definitely hit rock bottom this season, but he seems to be on a comeback. He has a new girl, he is being totally honest with her (even about his dual identity)....he seems to be putting the past behind him. But it wouldn't be Mad Men without a tortured and faulted lead character!

Yeah, it should be interesting to see if Roger can make something happen.

As for Betty and Don, Michael Weiner told us that they try to reflect real life as much as possible. Sal was fired for being gay and not accepting Lucky Strike Guy's advances. Don and Betty got divorced. In typical hollywood fashion, they WOULD get back together. But I think they're more interested in exploring life after divorce for Don and well as their kids. (just look at the meaty stuff Sally has gotten to do this season!) But yeah...there are hints of them still having feelings for each other so we'll see!

Mad Men is a spectacular show and very deserving of all of its awards! (unfortunately for other spectacular shows)

Anonymous said...

I posted a comment earlier from my new Droid but I don't see it here so apparently I don't knw what I'm doing yet!

I watched both Ep. 1 & 2 of Event, and most current Dexter and Mad Men all in one night. What a great night of TV!

I agree with the poster who made the comment about Don falling on Mad Men. I have thought that ever since we found out about his mysterious past, that one day his world was going to come crumbling down around him. But I don't think is signifies that he will commit suicide -- I just think it's saying he's losing control. Actually I'm beginning to think he is a wimp - the thought of getting caught and maybe going to prison, and he has an anxiety attack and throws up? Great acting, but you would think at this point in his life he'd be "well, it was good while it lasted but I guess I need to pay the price" and not be so pathetic. Why do we want to like this guy? He has no good qualities, and yet I keep pulling for him! But I like Dexter even better and he's a SERIAL KILLER!!!!

I've been watching a lot of Dexter (season 1 and part of 2 this weekend) as well as the current episodes that have been showing over the last month or so on Showtime. GREAT SHOW! I am hooked!!!

As far as The Event -- too early to tell, but I feel like they are trying too hard. I am intrigued by the story but there were a lot of "WTF!!" in it that made me think it was not very believable. Is the president supposed to be Black or Cuban? Did I misunderstand that he came over from Cuba as a child? How can he even be president, and why didn't they hire someone to play the role that was hispanic or make the president really black? I don't get it. And I agree the motorcade would not have just sat there with the plane heading towards them. Definitely some stretches that they need to tighen up if they expect us to stick with it.

Thanks again, Mike, for setting up these blogs and giving us all an opportunity to nitpik, vent, theorize, criticize, and just have fun!

Cajun QT

Mike V. said...

Cajun, sorry you lost your comment earlier but glad decided to write up something again!

Mad Men - I still think this season has been showing Don's collapse and now his rebuilding. I'm sure something will happen down the road to give him more troubles but I think he is definitely acknowledging some of the awful stuff he has done and trying to become a better person. We'll see how long it lasts!

Dexter - Wait a haven't watched all of the prior seasons but you watched the season 5 premiere? Ouch....I'm sure you know that you missed a major reveal and received a major spoiler by doing so! lol Ohhh wait, i re-read you watched season 1, some of 2....and then it sounds like you watched season 4 so maybe you're okay. Season 3 wasn't the greatest anyway lol but i'd definitely finish season 2 if you get the chance. Great show!

The Event - Yeah, I wasn't going to touch the "Martinez/Underwood" thing going on lol I'm sure he's American though...just may have an interesting ancestry! I just don't think The Event is going to be a show that takes LOGISTICS as a priority (for example: the motorcade). 24 did just fine with some of the unrealistic stuff they pulled off. (as in getting from point a to point b in Los Angeles during a 3 minute commercial break lol) I'm liking the show but it already looks like it might be in trouble with their first big ratings drop. Hopefully it was just the one hit they'll take and now will be consistent. We'll see!

No problem on providing the blog! I enjoy doing this as much as you guys so it's WIN/WIN for all! Thanks for your comments!

Anonymous said...

SCDP has Honda motorcycles at a good time and a bunch of other good accounts. Losing Luckhy Strike may actually help them get a head start on what is coming for all ad agencies re no tobacco ads. So maybe SCDP will be stronger as a result.

As a businessman, Don needs to keep his eye consistently more on his new business. Otherwise he may not have much for the new trust.

Given how all the guys were grabbing their chests, I wonder if the season will end with a death of a main character, like Roger or Sterling or Lane???


Mike V. said...

Richard - Really good point on advertising tobacco and on having Honda Motorcycles. I have to do some research on when health concerns were discovered with smoking. I guess that could have been in the mid 60's. Hmmmm

Yeah...I was thinking like you that someone might be biting the bullet this season. Roger has already had a scare in season 1. I can't imagine the show without him. I think you meant Cooper instead of "Sterling" (since Sterling IS Roger lol) but I could see Bert kicking the bucket one of these days.

We'll see!

Anonymous said...

You're right, I meant Cooper.

How about Betty's new husband dieing off? That would open up some issues. But, in reality, I think it will likely be someone like Cooper. Especially since we haven't seen him much this season. What does he do for SCDP anyway? I thought he was the money man in a way.


Mike V. said...

Yeah, has never been in the forefront of the show. He is one of the founding members of Sterling Cooper so I think it was a matter of respect to keep him involved in the forming of the new firm.

But yeah...Henry is a waste of would be great to see him ousted from the show! lol

Mike V. said...

Hey guys, I enjoyed Sunday night TV this week but I'm not really inspired to write any quick thoughts about it. They all were kinda just moving the plot along a bit.

I will say that I caught up on Rubicon yesterday (with the exception of last night's episode which I heard was stellar)....I think digesting Rubicon in chunks of episodes is the best way to watch that one. If you watch from one hour to the won't get much out of it and may get bored real quick...but I watched like 5 eps yesterday and I think I'm hooked. Can't wait to watch last night's ep!

Anonymous said...

I have now made it through Season 2 of Dexter and can't wait to see more! What a complicated character -- still keeping up with the current season at the same time so I'm confusing myself a little! Awesome show -- going to be one of my all-time favorites!

I think Dexter is really starting to become a human being -- I love seeing him try to hide his emotions for the kids, and he went nuts when he thought the babysitter ran off with Harrison! Funny how you can feel bad for a serial killer - must be something wrong with me!

Cajun QT

Anonymous said...

Dexter TV Show is one of my favorite show. I have seen all five seasons online. And I am waiting for season 6.