Monday, April 30, 2012

What April 30th Means To Me: Recapping Sunday Night TV

I punted The Killing this weekend because I had actual shit to do (kinda), but that didn't stop me from having a 4 hour television marathon! 

Mad Men - Things have gone a little too easy lately in our encapsulized 1960's moment that generally manages to even make tragedy sexy.  We've spent the entire season with the new, easy-going Don and, at least, a version of Megan that he appeared to whittle until she became a perfect reflection of himself.  Megan has been everything Betty is not.  She's young, sexy, fashionable, quick-witted and now has followed in his footsteps as an expert copywriter that not only designs great advertising campaigns from real life moments, but manages to sell them to clients like she's been doing it her entire life. A prodigy of sorts.  Not only that, she's adored by Sally, somehow won the affections of her catty co-workers, all while holding on to just enough free will to make her a subject of envy to all around her. 

But what's that old cliche about women wanting to marry their fathers? 

Megan's seemingly iron-sided battleship took its first blow at the hands of her own father, Emile, who questions her seemingly perfect lifestyle, all the while excluding her from the family by not addressing her in French.  Megan is a free spirit; anyone with a memory can recall the season premiere and this performance.   She has the ability to command a room. She's cunning; yet graceful. There's something rare about her. And this is why it pains Emile to see his daughter, the true love of his life, waste those talents on creating ad campaigns for an entire industry he finds petty and worthless. And is he wrong?  After Megan's virtuoso performance at the Heinz dinner, Peggy is surprised that Megan isn't jumping for joy the next day.  After all, securing an account like Heinz is about as good as the job gets, or so Peggy says.  But is that enough for Megan?   I tend to doubt it.  It's easy for her to get lost in her new life, but it appears something rebellious has been awakened. 

By the way, the last few moments of the episode had similar a effect to the lawnmower incident from a couple of seasons ago.  Methinks we just shifted into high gear. 

The Amazing Race - Generally, this show can do no wrong, and while I've often referred to it as dessert, I never like my viewer intelligence to be insulted.  I've watched nearly every season of the Amazing Race, and one of the coolest aspects of the transglobal insanity is the Fast Forward challenge  Sometimes these challenges are slightly life altering, for example, there was once a Fast Forward that required contestants to get a tattoo.  Last night, it involved head shaving, which, if I was a girl who had long hair, would give me pause.  Since the Fast Forward gives any team a huge leg up, it's generally assumed that the first team to have a shot at it takes it.  The last place team would never DREAM of taking the Fast Forward because it would generally be a waste of time.  But to build drama, last night's episode not only featured the last place team trying the Fast Forward (because no team ahead of them completed it), but the teams in front were legitimately scared for a deviation from the norm. I often wonder how many times teams are pointed in directions or told what to do for the sake of good television, but this one was a bit too obvious.

Game Of Thrones - One of the drawbacks of staying true to source material is the relinquishing of a good thing for the sake of the story.  And, last night, unfortunately, we had to say goodbye to Renly at the expense of the ginger sorceress's black vagina creature (good to know the smoke monster from Lost continues to get work).  While the show is not short on great characters, there aren't a ton that have quick wit and are instantly likeable.  Renly had that quality, and even when the smoke monster slayed him, I wasn't convinced he was actually dead because I couldn't figure why they'd off such a solid storyline.  But then I remembered that this is Game Of Thrones and that's what they do.  Oh well, upward and onward. 

Speaking of great characters, who else thinks a Khaleesi/Deebo union would be a hell of a force to be reckon with?  If it's her true intention to regain the iron throne, the marriage proposal that would earn her vast armies and ships should be a hard one to reject, regardless of whether or not victory would be earned with the help of mercenaries, which in the eyes of her counsel, Jorah, seems less noble.  But since when is war fair?  It would behoove the Khaleesi to wait for her dragons to grow (and now the lil buggers can cook their own food) before engaging in war, and there seems to be worse places to kill time than in Qarth.  The visual oasis, filled with pretty costumes and cocktail parties, seems like the ultimate vacation destination in the seven kingdoms!  Oh well, it's not to be, but I have little doubt that her alternative, just one ship with a good captain, will somehow suffice.  Also, on a personal note, I'd just like to see Joffrey try to boss around the Khaleesi much like he does Sansa.  I'd love to see her tell him, "the next time you lay your hands on me will be the last time you have hands!"  I hope this happens, though I doubt they will even cross paths until around 3 seasons from now, and I expect Joffrey to be long dead by the time The Khaleesi and her dragons storm King's Landing. 

VEEP - Nothing to really add, but it's a good show.  Quick half hour.  If you haven't checked it out, I recommend it.

Girls - This is rapidly becoming one of my new favorites.  I'm technically not part of the generation it features, but I'm not far off, and often feel as wayward as our main characters feel.  Though the show has settled into great character interaction without making grand statements, the subtext of this new lost generation remains strong.  It's a generation that not only thinks they are special and invincible, but was told it by eager parents since birth.  Now, jobless, yet still inspired, they're navigating their lives while trying to reconcile why things aren't happening as planned.  But questions and observation occur more than whining, and aimlessness is the order of the day, as they full well know their generation's aspirations and modus operandi are different from their parents, whose lives were probably pushed into overdrive in their early 20's.  It's all uncharted waters for these characters, and it's entertaining to watch them swim.  Girls is a sexy show, and one with a lot of laughs, but it also does actually have something to say, and in a much subtler way than the pilot originally suggested.

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