Wanted to post this BEFORE the penultimate episode of Mad Men airs on Sunday, May 10th (which of course I’ll be recapping for HNTP).
Mad Men is the biggest tease on television. It frustrates us by throwing out hints about where things are going, and then not going there. This constant business of creating expectation and then subverting it is at the same time awesome. It’s sweet and sour. It’s slap and tickle. It’s like the entire series is one long Pine Barrens episode. Hell, many of us are still waiting for the return of Salvatore Romano. There’s no question that the showrunner, Matt Wiener, is aware of the various theories and enjoys misdirecting us and/or acknowledging our speculations.
The Draper icon falling through the air in the opening credits has led to speculation that sooner or later someone – most likely Don though for a while it looked like it would be Pete – was going to go out a window or fall off a terrace. But now Don works in an office where the windows don’t open, and he’s sold the apartment with the terrace. It’s not going to happen. We can also pretty much rule out Megan’s either being Sharon Tate or being killed in a Sharon Tate like manor. It’s 1970 and the Manson family has been mentioned, so Megan’s Tate-identical tee-shirt, and comments about her isolated Valley home were all part of an elaborate con. We know that Don is not Read the rest of this entry »
As we near our end (Can you say antepenultimate?) episodes are becoming increasingly self-referencing and movie/style references are getting louder. My recap of this week’s episode is finally up at Happy Nice Time People. It was delayed due to travel and indirectly because apparently a lot of hotel cable packages don’t include AMC. Who knew?
Don is on the move west. Where will he stop? My money is on San Francisco. Why there as opposed to LA? Mostly because San Francisco, per Oscar Wilde, is where people who disappear are said to show up and that would be perfect for Don or Dick or Bill or whatever identity he takes next. I’m hoping he falls out of no window, no terrace or bridge. For god’s sake, he’s an ad man, not a broken bad meth manufacturer or a mafia kingpin. But perhaps I’ll give you more ending speculation another time.
Meantime, catch my full recap when it’s up. Really, am I the ONLY recapper to notice the very specific North by Northwest references in the last episode? I’m talking about da plane da plane, and the cornfield he’s driving through at the end, and of course the fact that from Racine Wisconsin to St Paul, Minnesota the direction is uh north by northwest.
We made it to the first performance this season of Verdi’s Un Ballo In Maschera. It will probably be the last opera we see live till the fall, and what a great way to end our Met year.
As those of you who have followed “idiots at the opera” know, the better-half and I are musical ignoramuses who came late to opera (but NEVER come late to the opera.) So don’t expect any fancy-dancy (or technically correct) descriptions of the music.
First, we were unfamiliar with the opera – musically, the story, the history, etc. But we mostly love Italian opera and we love Verdi. The main reason why we actually got tickets in advance and shelled out for good seats was because of the singers. I went to hear Dmitri Hvorostvsky – my favorite baritone, and tenor Piotr Beczala, who is so good that even when the production is misconceived (Atomic Faust, Rat Pack Rigoletto) or just plain drab (Eugene Onegin, Iolanta) he makes it worth going. He also seems to get character nuances that other “singing actors” miss – body language, posture, gestures etc. He never seems stiff on stage, and manages to differentiate his characters. As for Sondra Radvanovsky, I am such an ignoramus I hadn’t heard her before and had barely heard of her. What a complete treat it was to be introduced to her in role she seemed born to sing.
My much too detailed snarky recap of The Americans S3 – E13 is now live at HNTP. I know you’ve been waiting patiently for many hours to relive the moment and get my take, OR just to read it so you don’t have to watch yourself.
Spoiler alert: Were you shocked by Paige’s betrayal? Or did you see it coming? This pretty much makes the Russians 0 for 2 in their next generation program, but at least she hasn’t slaughtered her family — yet. No wonder they lost the Cold War. Wouldn’t it be a kick in the head if it turned out Pastor Tim was also KGB or maybe working for the Chinese? Next season just got a whole lot more interesting. Also, now that the mujahdin have been discredited thanks to some good work by Philip and Elizabeth, does this mean we can please drop the need to bug Kimmi’s house and thus drop the icky subplot — which the writers seemed to have dropped already.
Anyway, happy nice time people!