Tag Archives: ” Pete Campbell

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

mad-men-season-7-premiere-ratings

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.

fleming.released

**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.

Some TV talk: A really good new HBO show, “Girls,” and some “Mad Men” thoughts. And a car crash video you must see (if you can bear it)

Time for one of my semi-regular “here’s some good TV I’m watching that I want to tell you about” posts.

First, the new HBO show “Girls” received a ton of hype before its debut last Sunday. There were billboards all over NYC, the critics couldn’t stop gushing over it, and the show was basically hailed as the next great HBO show.

Got a chance to watch it Tuesday, and while it may not be the greatest thing since overtime hockey was invented (or sliced bread, depending on your frame of reference), it was pretty darn good.

“Girls” is about four young women in their 20’s living in New York, and the trials and tribulations they endure. But if you think this is “Sex and the City, the Next Generation,” you’d be wrong. The star, Lena Dunham, is no Carrie Bradshaw. She’s 24, depends totally on her parents for money, and does at least five stupid things in the first episode. Yet, she’s kinda lovable.
The rest of the quarter isn’t all that fleshed out yet, but each gets some good lines off in the premiere. It’s a funny show that’s actually quite sweet in some ways, and it looks like it’s going to be very different from your usual sitcom (just the scene with Lena’s Hannah in the hotel room with her parents was fabulous and inventive).
I’m not ready to anoint “Girls” as part of the historical HBO awesome pantheon, but it’s definitely got me back for a second look (And Digger Stiles from “Gilmore Girls”  is in it!).

It’s on Sunday night on HBO at 10:30.

 

**And now, a couple of thoughts on last week’s “Mad Men.” And I don’t even think I need to say “spoiler alert,” because folks, it’s Wednesday and you should’ve seen it already if you care.

— Fabulous episode. Of course, any episode where the detestable Pete Campbell gets his lights punched out is fabulous. God I hate Pete Campbell. I haven’t hated a TV character this much since Ziggy Sobotka on Season 2 of “The Wire.”
— Though I have to say, Don Draper being the only one to NOT cheat on his wife at a brothel party or whatever the hell that thing they took the Jaguar guy to was pretty stunning.
— I really hope they don’t have Lane leave his wife for Joan. That is one hook-up that I don’t think my eyes could ever “un-see.”
— I know Roger has pretty much no role at the agency anymore, but goddamn, John Slattery has the best lines every week. I loved this gem from last week, when Pete and Lane were about to fight: “I know cooler heads should prevail, but am I the only one who wants to see this?”

Man I love Roger.

*Finally today, one of the scariest “driver plows into a building” videos you’ll ever see. It comes from my old employer, the Daytona Beach News-Journal. Last weekend a 76-year-old Florida woman plowed her car into a Publix supermarket, and amazingly didn’t kill anyone.
This is from the surveillance camera at the store; I’m warning you, it’s very scary and a little shocking when the crash happens (around the :32 mark). Like I said, I feel OK posting this here because no one was killed or seriously hurt.

“Mad Men” is back and again is awesome. And a titanic meeting of the family dogs

“Mad Men” is back and not a moment too soon, as we’re in the vast television wasteland of mid-summer right now.

It’s a very odd show, different from most others on TV, but it’s been terrific for two seasons. So naturally it’ll be good again this year, especially since they’ve opened up a lot of new storylines with most of the major players starting their own firm at the end of last year.

Some quick hit thoughts from the premiere Sunday night (SPOILER ALERT: SKIP DOWN UNTIL YOU SEE PICTURES OF DOGS IF YOU HAVEN’T SEEN IT YET)

**Solid episode, with some really funny lines from, of course, Roger Sterling and Don Draper.

**Loved how mean they’re making Betty Draper, like we’re supposed to believe Don is the victim in this divorce. Please. He’s a cad, always will be.

**Hilarious stuff with the two ladies in the diner who fought over the ham.

**Don Draper has to hire a hooker? Really? Guy gets laid a hundred times in the first few seasons, every woman he meets seems to love him, and he needs a prostitute? That part didn’t ring true to me.

**They’re making Pete more likable, dammit. I hate that guy.

**It was a day that been coming for months, and no one knew how it would turn out.
Cautiously, optimistically, thrillingly, we waited until the day finally arrived.
Saturday afternoon, the two family dogs met each other for the first time.

Sadie (right), my sister-in-law’s seven-pound terrier-chihuaha mix, has always had most favored dog status since she’s come into the family five years ago. She’s a bundle of energy, had a spring-loaded ass (can jump from anywhere to anywhere), and is extremely interested in human food (I’m told she knows what the words “burrito” and “Pizza” mean.)
Anyway, since Julie and I got Bernie a few months ago, we knew at some point the two tiny doggies would meet (though at 10.2 pounds, Bernie is HUGE compared to Sadie).
That day arrived. How’d it go? Well, Bernie was all into Sadie, sniffing her butt and chasing her around my in-laws big house. Sadie was sort of annoyed by Bernie, especially since Grandma and Grandpa’s house has always been her sole domain.
At one point Saturday they had a “pooping in the house” contest, with both leaving their marks on the kitchen floor. Another highlight was their staring contest on Sunday, when for about five minutes they just walked toward each other in the kitchen, and wagged their tails while staring intently in each other’s eyes.
It was the canine equivalent of “High Noon.”

Finally, Sadie went home to New York City, and Bernie remained. They didn’t kill each other, and now hopefully next time they meet things will go more smoothly. Meanwhile, Bernie lays here at my feet, exahusted.
It’s tiring trying to get siblings to like you sometimes.

Great fall TV, the power of LeBron helps the Jets, and Rush Limbaugh as NFL owner?

bedwards_560x375So the braincurb-your-enthusiam08‘s a little fried tonight, too fried for any deep thoughts. So, I figured it’s time for a post about the television I’m watching. It’s really been a great fall season; I usually get depressed after the summer when “Rescue Me” and

“Weeds” go off.

But a bunch of my favorite shows have been really good this year:

**”Curb Your Enthusiasm.” I’ve been pretty hard on this show the last two seasons; it was so incredibly awesome for the first four years, with so many classic episodes (“Krazy Eyez Killer,” the one with Larry humming Wagner, the last “Producers” episode, just to name a few), and then I really feel like it fell off a cliff the last two seasons. It was like Larry David ran out of ideas and was just doing anything silly without a point.

But after three episodes the funny is definitely back. The reunion of the “Seinfeld” cast is bound to be hilarious, and good ole’ Leon still won’t leave Larry’s house (he was the only one of the Black family that I liked). It’s been almost as good as it’s ever been, which is good enough for me. And Susie Greene has been screaming at Larry, which I always enjoy.

**”Glee.” I’ve already raved about this show a bunch here, but it has gotten even better as the season has gone along. Jane Lynch is so perfect as the cheerleading coach, the scene with the gay kid Kurt trying out for the football team to Beyonce’s music was pee-in-your-pants funny, and the music is, of course, fantastic. If you’re not watching this yet, I don’t know what’s wrong with you.  If you like “Weeds,” you would definitely like “Glee.”

**Mad Men:” Outstanding start to Season 3. I dislike Pete Campbell as much as ever, especially after Sunday night. I totally don’t get the Duck-Peggy shtupping thing, but maybe she sees in him someone who can make her a star in the ad world. I’m really surprised they still haven’t really explored Sal’s homosexuality in an intelligent way; this is one show I trust wouldn’t fall victim to stereotypes and cheap, stupid jokes.

And the John Deere tractor accident in the office? Too damn funny.

**”Desperate Housewives:” Solid start, though once again I wonder, “Do any of these people ever work at their real jobs?” Love having Gabby and mini-Gabby (her niece) in the same house. So many of these characters are bordering on pathetic to me, though; Susan, Bree (come on, sleeping with Carl???), and now they’re making Katherine a psycho.

Gotta love having Adrianna from “The Sopranos” on, though. I still can’t look at her and not hear her saying “Chris-to-fuh.”

**And of course, my new fave, “Modern Family.” Three episodes in, all hilarious. Wednesday night’s was freakin’ brilliant. Ten-year-old Manny sitting at the kitchen table counseling his “sister,” played by Julie Bowen? Phil and Ed O’Neill’s character flying a model airplane together? This show is so good.

**I got a hilarious voice mail from my sports-obsessed friend Tony Jones this morning, before I’d heard the great news. Well, great news for Jets fans.

“How big is LeBron James in Cleveland? He can get a Cleveland Brown traded! That ain’t even his sport!

I laughed, but Tony’s dead right. Braylon Edwards has been a malcontent for years, missing meetings, fighting teammates, loafing on the field, all of it. And nothing happens to make the Browns want to get rid of him.

But then he punches one of LeBron James’ friends outside a club, and three days later, bye-bye Braylon! You DO NOT mess with a member of the James posse and live in Cleveland to tell about it. I’m sure it was just a coincidence, right?

Anyway, as a Jets fan I’m very happy. Yeah, Edwards comes with some baggage (he drops a lot of balls, has some off field issues) but he’s in a new, winning situation now, and he knows he has to behave and play well if he wants a big new contract. This could do so many things for the Jets offense: take pressure off Jerricho Cotchery, open up the field for tight end Dustin Keller, and give Thomas Jones and Leon Washington some running room by not allowing opposing defenses to stack the line of scrimmage.

(By the way, my mother and my wife, the two women I love the most, didn’t understand a word of what I just wrote. But it’s all good.)

This is a great move made by a bold Jets franchise that’s been making good moves for a few years now (including firing Eric Mangini).

**Finally, it looks like Rush Limbaugh is trying to buy the St. Louis Rams. All I can say is, if it happens, expect the Rams to run a ton of plays to the right.

Thank you. I’m here all week. Try the veal.