Monday, May 18, 2015

TV Opinionz!

I feel like I use the phrase “this will be the greatest thing ever” a lot, but yeah, this will be the greatest thing ever

I’d be interested to know what the crossover is between “people who didn’t like the Mad Men finale” and “people who were hoping Don Draper would finally turn the corner in his life/people who thought Don Draper was a good guy all along.”  The finale has drawn criticism in some corners for being either too satisfying (all of the semi-fan servicey endings like Joan going into business for herself or Peggy and Stan getting together) or not satisfying enough (what exactly happened with Don?) but the most popular reading of the somewhat oblique ending is also taking some heat. 

Some might feel that Don absorbing all of this new age-style therapy and funnelling it into making the world’s most iconic Coke ad instead of becoming a better person is a cheat, and an unsatisfying way to end a long-running series.  To this I say nonsense, since if anything, having Don be one of the only main characters who didn’t evolve or gain something in some way is pretty apt.  Why would Don change now?  He’s a lousy human being.  As I wrote years ago, the seeming point of the Megan Draper character was to create someone genuinely kind to illuminate just how terrible Don himself was — he was the main character of Mad Men, but not the “hero” of Mad Men.

On the flip side, Peggy and Stan are adorable.


Firstly, I really hope they get the song from the first trailer (an original written especially for the show!) properly released in full soon, since it sounds awesome.  Secondly, I really hope Rachel McAdams’ character is named Trudy Tective.


The recently-concluded Amazing Race season featured a gimmick, and thankfully this one was streets ahead of the infamous “families race as a quartet” year that is universally regarded as the worst TAR season of all time.  Still, this new gimmick was in itself not great since it basically undermined the entire premise of the show.

The season featured 11 pairs, yet only six of them had pre-existing relationships (they were all dating).  The rest were random strangers paired off in “blind date” scenarios, a point annoyingly mentioned by Phil Keoghan about every five minutes.  While Phil is basically the best, this was the first year when I felt he sunk to Probst-esque levels of irritating with his constant “so, is there a love connection here?  Eh?  Eh?” at every pit stop.  The producers clearly wanted the storyline of a couple falling in love on the show SO MUCH and yet…

* two of the blind date teams seemingly instantly decided to just focus on the race, as there was no couple chemistry between them.
* one of the blind date teams kinda flirted a bit, yet it seemed more playing along for the cameras than legitimate affection.
* one of the blind date teams was comprised of two gay guys who could’ve literally passed for brothers, leading them both to be “uh, I’m not into guys that look just like me.”  One of the two also mentally checked out on the race very early while the other was really into it, so hooray for two people who will never speak to each other again.
* the other blind date team were nicknamed ‘the Bickersons’ by the rest since it was just a constant stream of nattering from Hayley the entire time while Blair just tried to tune her out and kept making the same mistakes that caused the nattering in the first place.

Despite these issues, it’s worth noting that the blind date teams cleaned house in the actual competition.  The top three teams were all blind daters, and all told, only three of 12 legs were won by the previously-dating couples.  I couldn’t help but think that this essentially flies in the face about everything TAR has tried to promote about their competition, which is that it takes a particular bond of teamwork and cooperation to win the show.  Instead, apparently any two randoms can join up and win.

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