Aug 022015
Leonard Cohen

(courtesy The Guardian)

“Nevermind” by Leonard Cohen (2014)

Your victory was so complete
That some among you thought to keep
A record of our little lives,
The clothes we wore,
Our spoons, our knives.

The games of luck our soldiers played,
The stones we cut,
The songs we made…


(courtesy The Guardian)

Film noir is depressing. There’s no avoiding that.

“It is often described as essentially pessimistic,” says Wikipedia. “The noir stories that are regarded as most characteristic tell of people trapped in unwanted situations (which, in general, they did not cause but are responsible for exacerbating), striving against random, uncaring fate and frequently doomed. The films are seen as depicting a world that is inherently corrupt. Classic film noir has been associated by many critics with the American social landscape of the era—in particular, with a sense of heightened anxiety and alienation that is said to have followed World War II. In author Nicholas Christopher’s opinion, ‘it is as if the war, and the social eruptions in its aftermath, unleashed demons that had been bottled up in the national psyche.'”

In Nic Pizzolatto’s universes, everyone is corrupt—and if they’re not really corrupt, they seem to be. His worlds are certainly pessimistic, filled with people “trapped in unwanted situations.” And his characters are absolutely alienated,  with “demons bottled up in the psyche.”

It’s classic film noir. And that’s why many viewers gave up on this season long ago. It’s just too damn depressing.

But the viewers who love this genre—people who think deep thoughts, who are interested in complexity—are also usually the most secretly hopeful people around. Because those who can see the darks and lights of the world with sobering clarity are also usually the most appreciative of the light. They need it a little bit more.

The end of the first season of True Detective was ultimately positive. This was also true of many of the classics: “Film Noir is often said to be defined by ‘moral ambiguity,’ yet the Production Code obliged almost all classic noirs to see that steadfast virtue was ultimately rewarded and vice, in the absence of shame and redemption, severely punished (however dramatically incredible the final rendering of mandatory justice might be).”

And so the payoff is just around the corner. Only two episodes left.

Continue reading »


Basket of News, July 31, 2015

 Posted by on July 31, 2015 at 7:22 am  Media-Web-News  5 Responses »
Jul 312015

Ellie Kemper talks about having Jon Hamm as a teacher in high school and having him guest star on her show Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt.

Elisabeth Moss stars in the indie movie Queen of Earth, which opens in August.

Moss will also return for Season 2 of Jane Campion’s acclaimed Top of the Lake.

John Slattery will co-star in Spotlight, about the investigation into the Boston Archdiocese and allegations of child abuse. He also appears in Wet Hot American Summer.

Homeland Season 4 will begin on October 4. Continue reading »

Jul 302015
Hell on Wheels: A. Zhou as Mei Fong and Anson Mount as Cullen Bohannon - Hell on Wheels _ Season 5, Episode 2

Photo Credit: Michelle Faye/AMC

Hell on Wheels has started its final season in rollicking style, giving us an adventurous opening. So far, we’ve had big fight scenes and now, in Mei Mei, a falling-down-a-mountain scene so thrilling they showed it to us twice! I’m going to be a big ol’ meanie and say that the special effects looked a little weak to me in HD, but I do love the wild ride. Continue reading »


Mad Men Haiku!

 Posted by on July 30, 2015 at 4:00 am  Characters, Mad Men, Season 6, Season 7, Slideshow  6 Responses »
Jul 302015

Dawn Chambers

The most qualified.

Dawn, not Don.  Hello Shirley.

“You all drink a lot.”

Dawn Shirley

Jul 292015

benson-306v-1368197474Because of the intense mystery and interest surrounding Bob Benson in Season 6 of Mad Men, I put together this chronicle. Here is everything we know about Bob Benson, based on his appearances in Season 6 and 7 of Mad Men.

Bob does not appear in episodes 6.05 (The Flood) or 6.08 (The Crash).

6.01:  The Doorway Part 1
He enters the elevator with two coffee cups and starts schmoozing Don. He says he went to Beloit College, has a Wharton MBA, and is from Pennsylvania. He nakedly tries to butter up Don, and offers to give him Cotton Bowl tickets.

Later, Pete takes the second coffee cup from Bob’s hand. About the coffee, Bob says “I always get two. I don’t wanna to share.” But he gave Don one and Pete knew without asking that the other was for him.

6.02:  The Doorway Part 2
Bob sends food to Mrs. Sterling’s funeral. When Ken confronts Bob about this, Bob references when “My father died.”

6.03:  The Collaborators:
Bob says he was with Brown Brothers Harriman for a year, and his family had been there for three generations.

6.04:  To Have and To Hold
He’s hanging around the creative lounge, drinking his own coffee.

6.06:  For Immediate Release
He appears four times. First, Pete sends him for ice. Next, Pete celebrates in a brothel. We see Bob loitering in the hall (not with a girl) and asking if he can pay for Pete. The next day he has two coffees, and offers Pete one. Finally, when Pete starts screaming at Don, everyone comes to gawk, including Bob on the stairs. When Joan ushers the partners into the conference room, Bob leans in to see if he can continue to listen.  Continue reading »


We haven’t forgotten you

Jul 28, 2015

I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking, where’s my Masters of Sex? Where’s Hell on Wheels? ANYTHING? ANYBODY? Roberta and I have been working very long hours on a very short deadline for a thrilling writing project, which we will tell you about really soon. Unfortunately, and temporarily, it has taken us away from the […]

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Mad Men Prop Auction!

Mad Men Prop Auction!

Jul 28, 2015

    On July 31st the bidding will begin on “…over 1500 production-used props, wardrobe items, set decorations and other memorabilia from the Lionsgate-produced series.”  Included in the auction: Don Draper’s 1965 Cadillac Coupe de Ville Don Draper’s Brooks Brothers suits, sunglasses and business cards Wardrobe, office accessories and personal effects for every major character […]

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Blog Note

Blog Note

Jul 25, 2015

I’m going away for the weekend. BEACH! BEACH! Either Hell on Wheels or Masters of Sex, or possibly both, will be a little late. photo by:

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True Detective Season Two's "The King in Yellow," or What You Need to Know About Carlos Casteneda

True Detective Season Two’s “The King in Yellow,” or What You Need to Know About Carlos Casteneda

Jul 24, 2015

“Never Mind” by Leonard Cohen (2014; keep in mind, various parts of this song are being excerpted each week on True Detective, which is why it seems the theme song’s lyrics are changing.) The war was lost, The treaty signed, I was not caught, I crossed the line. I was not caught, Though many tried, […]

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Basket of News, July 24, 2015

Jul 24, 2015

Jon Hamm will co-star with Rosamund Pike (Gone Girl, Die Another Day) in High Wire Act, an espionage thriller. Kiernan Shipka is interviewed about her first post-Mad Men project, One & Two. The trailer is interesting, and Elisabeth Reaser plays her mom. (Thanks, Polly Draper!) Quotes from happy Emmy nominees, including Mad Men‘s Matthew Weiner […]

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Mad Men Haiku!

Mad Men Haiku!

Jul 23, 2015

  Don and Megan split He gave her a cool million Zou Bisou Bisou      

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Accutron: It's Not a Time Piece, It's a Conversation Piece

Accutron: It’s Not a Time Piece, It’s a Conversation Piece

Jul 22, 2015

Ebay has a guide to buying Accutron watches for collectors. This is a guide for buying and collecting Bulova Accutron watches – the world’s first tuning fork watch. Created in the 1960’s and 1970’s, they are now highly prized world-wide by watch collectors. There’s something about the voice in this commercial that really reminds me […]

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True Detective: Goddesses of Death and Transformation on "Down Will Come"

True Detective: Goddesses of Death and Transformation on “Down Will Come”

Jul 20, 2015

This season of True Detective is laden with symbolism and complexity, and Down Will Come is no exception. “Can’t Find My Way Home” by Steve Winwood (1969) Come down off your throne and leave your body alone. Somebody must change. You are the reason that I’ve been waiting so long. Somebody holds the key. Well, […]

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