Tag Archives: Matthew Weiner

“Mad Men” back, with Don sober and faithful? 4 babies, all laughing at their father. And a man exonerated after 25 years in prison.

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There are certain things you can count on whenever a new “Mad Men” season begins, as the final one did on Sunday: (SPOILER ALERT. STOP READING AND SCROLL DOWN TO THE NEXT VIDEO IF YOU HAVEN’T SEEN IT YET)
— Roger Sterling will be entertaining. His very-1969 forays into group orgies in the season premiere certainly was very much in character, and delightful.

– Pete Campbell will give me reasons to hate him. Although Pete seemed like a new man out in California when the show begins, his obnoxiousness came out quick once his realtor girlfriend showed up.
— Peggy Olson will be aggrieved, and Joan will be disrespected. Check, check.

– And Don Draper will engage in some self-destructive behavior and generally bring misery down upon himself.
But actually, that last one didn’t happen, which made Sunday’s premiere pretty interesting to me. Given a chance to once again cheat on his wife Megan (who I really thought we were done with after last season, but nope, Matthew Weiner continues to inflict her on us), Don turns down the mysterious woman on his flight (Neve Campbell! And where the hell has she been?) and goes back home to his bachelor pad he’s now sharing with Freddy Rumsen, improbably.

Is this a new chapter for Don? Might he actually be giving up alcohol? He’s still kind of a cad; his interactions with Megan were stilted and he seemed like he’d rather be anywhere else, but it feels like the show is going to try to redeem Don after 6 seasons of awful behavior by him. That would definitely be an interesting turn.
The other characters also seem to be in a lot of flux; Joan is finally getting a chance to be taken seriously by clients, poor Ken is overwhelmed by his new job, and I can’t wait to see what little Sally Draper has been up to.

Only about a dozen “Mad Men” episodes left, and it’s all happening in 1969. Should be a really fun ride.

**Next up today, this video is a few years old but I’d never seen it: A father entertains his quadruplet children by making them laugh hysterically. The table is genius, by the way.

Nothing sweeter than babies laughing.

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**And finally today, another story that angers those of us who believe our criminal justice system is so very flawed. A man who spent 25 years in prison for a crime he didn’t commit was just released, as it turns out his original alibi, that he was at Disney World at the time and not in New York City where the murder happened, was finally verified.

Jonathan Fleming, now 51 (hugging his lawyer, above), was convicted for a 1989 slaying where the key witness was a crack addict who later recanted his testimony.

Yet Fleming sat in prison for a quarter-century until his lawyer urged New York’s new district attorney to look into the case, and phone records showed that Fleming was indeed in Orlando when the crime happened in NYC.

It’s amazing how many innocent people are sitting in our prisons. Truly amazing.

“Mad Men” is back, and I am happy. A 2-year-old cuts a rug on the dance floor. And glorious pictures of spring

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After being off the air for what seems like a hundred years, one of my favorite shows is back on TV this Sunday.

The men and women of Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce are back! I am talking, of course, about “Mad Men,” the totally awesome AMC show about an ad agency from the 1960s.
I have no idea why they took 17 months between episodes, but I’ve gotten over that. This show’s brilliant acting and writing will quickly make us loyal fans forget about the hiatus.
I wish I could tell you what may happen Sunday: if Don Draper really did marry his secretary; if Joan had her baby, and what’s going on with Peggy these days. But the show’s creator, Matthew Weiner, is ridiculously paranoid about details of the show leaking, so even critics have no idea what will happen.

I only hope the show picks up where it left off last season, which was very strong. Don’s proposal came totally out of left field, so methinks that, if the show follows its pattern and skips ahead two years between seasons, Donnie boy is divorced and sleeping with everything that moves again.

And I’m sure I’ll have new reasons to hate Pete Campbell this year.

“Mad Men” is back. Two hour season premiere Sunday at 9. I am happy.

**And now, what’s becoming a weekly staple of Good News Friday here on the blog: Cute kids, dancing like crazy.  Seriously, how good is this kid (whose name is William Stokkebroe) at channeling Elvis? His parents should hire him out for weddings and bar mitzvahs.

**I thought I left 80 degree days in March behind when I moved back to New York from Florida last year, but apparently not. Man oh man has it been warm in NYC this week, almost like it’s late May or something.
As it’s been warm across the country, the good folks at Boston.com’s The Big Picture photo site have had plenty of gorgeous spring photos to choose from. They put together this fantastic gallery that I think will put a smile on your face. My favorites are No. 3 (above), No. 10 and No. 15.

My first-ever book giveaway contest! A “Mad Men” thought (not a spoiler). And Week 1 in the Niffle (NFL)

Big day here at Wide World of Stuff, and no, not because the rain-delayed U.S. Open final starts at 4 p.m.

It’s because I’m doing my first prize giveaway! I’ve never felt more like Wink Martindale in my life. You may remember a few weeks ago I wrote a post about a brilliant idea of a book, called “P.S. I Hate it Here: Kids Letters from Camp.”

It’s basically a compilation of the best letters the author, Diane Falanga, collected; horror stories from kids who desperately hated camp and wanted to be picked up immediately.

I read the book, and it’s brilliant and hilarious. And now, thanks to the publisher sending me a copy, it can be yours for free.

All you need to do to win it is tell me a story of your worst camp nightmare. The hives that lasted for weeks. The bully who tried to drown you in the lake. The camp counselor who made you their personal whipping boy (or girl).

Whoever sends me the funniest, smartest or most interesting tale will win this brand-new copy of the book.

Judging will be based on wit, originality, and being a Jets fan (kidding. Though I’m very nervous about tonight’s game.)

Good luck to all, and send me stories!

**It was a weird episode of “Mad Men,” last night, but don’t worry, I’m not going to give anything away here.
I did come to one discovery, though: Every single man on that show is an ass.

I hate all of them. Don’t give me “it was 1965″ when excusing the behavior of these schmucks. You’re telling me there’s not ONE redeeming man at this advertising firm, or in the lives of these people, Matthew  Weiner?

Just saying.

**Spent the first glorious Sunday of the NFL season watching as many of the early 1 p.m. games as possible, then caught most of the Cowboys-Redskins game. Man am I glad NFL football is back.

A few scattered thoughts:
— Is there a bigger baby in the world than Albert Haynesworth of the Redskins? I mean, really, anywhere in the world? He pouted his way through training camp, bitched to the media about his role on the team, then threw a hissy fit on the sideline after one series Sunday. What an absolute schmuck.

– Huge win for the Texans. Good for them to finally beat Indy. Colts will still go 12-4, though.
— Miami did everything possible to blow that game to Buffalo. Everything. But the Bills refused to take it.
— Wes Welker, you are an amazing man. Nine months after shredding his knee, he comes back with 2 TDs for the Pats, who looked awfully good.

– Finally, a word about my old friend Eric Mangini. The former Jets coach burned every bridge and angered everyone possible last year while head coach of the Browns, yet amazingly, he kept his job.
Then Sunday, with his new boss, Mike Holmgren, watching, the Brownies go out and lose to the worst team in the NFL, the Tampa Bay Bucs. Ah, Mangini, how we (don’t) miss you in NY.