Monthly Archives: March 2015

Mad Men Finale: Study Guide

The second half of the final season of the beloved and brilliant Mad Men premieres in one week. So, for those of you who might have forgotten where we left off, here is a quick recap to get you geared up and ready for the April 5th premiere:

Historical Period: The moon landing, July 1969

Mid-Season Finale Title: “Waterloo”

Important Plot Points:

  • Jim Cutler sent Don a letter citing him for breaching the addendum to his contract by barging into the cigarette meeting two episodes prior. Jim’s line of reasoning: “You’re just a bully and a drunk”. Can’t really argue with that…
  • Peggy visited Indianapolis with Pete, Don, and Harry and gave the Burger Chef pitch in Don’s place (the day after the moon landing). It was the most moving pitch of the show since “The Carousel”, and symbolic of Peggy’s professional and personal growth. Don’s face alone during Peggy’s pitch, gazing at his protégé emulating his knack for zeroing in on authentic and raw emotion, was tear jerking and Emmy worthy.
  • It is interesting to note that “The Carousel” pitch was nostalgic and looking backward, while the Burger Chef pitch looked toward the future.
  • Bert Cooper passed away while watching the moon landing on the couch in his living room.
  • Roger proposed to Don his plan to have McCann buy out their company and make them a boutique agency-within-an-agency, promising all of the partners a large sum of money. Don succeeded in pitching the deal to a reluctant Ted and the other partners during a meeting, and it was decided: McCann owns Sterling-Cooper-Draper-Price.
  • Don and Megan’s marriage was apparently broken up over the phone… though this is surely not the end of Megan Draper (in some capacity) on the show.
  • Back in the Francis household, Betty is still living her post-divorce life with Henry and is nevertheless miserable and restless, but maybe a little less so than in previous seasons.
  • Watching Sally’s development has been my favorite part of the show. The night of the moon landing, she made out with the nerdy boy staying at her house (Betty’s friend’s son) instead of his hunky football player brother. She is a smart girl and I can’t wait to see where her character ends up. Also, Betty was possibly attracted to the hunky football player (throwing it back to her inappropriate obsession with young boys like Glenn), which is symbolic of how different Sally is from Betty.
  • The episode ended with Don hallucinating, or possibly just imagining, Bert Cooper singing and dancing to “I Believe In You” which Robert Morse sang in How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying.

This is just a basic list of things to remember for next Sunday. To be truly prepared, give last season a re-watch. Maybe even the entire series.

Parting is such sweet sorrow…

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Movie Meditation

Whether you are a student like me dealing with exam after paper after presentation, or a real-life adult dealing with whatever it is you all deal with (I will find out soon enough), we are all stressed out most of the time.

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I personally handle anxiety with progressive muscle relaxation, wearing a cold facemask, or taking a hot shower… but usually by watching a chill movie. Here are the top ten movies I watch to zone out when feeling overwhelmed (keep in mind these are generational and primarily for women):

  • “The Parent Trap”
  • “Legally Blonde”
  • “Meet the Parents”
  • “The Devil Wears Prada”
  • “It’s Complicated” (it is legitimately a tranquilizer)
  • “Bridget Jones’s Diary”
  • “Bring it On”
  • “Romy and Michelle’s High School Reunion”
  • “Clueless”
  • “Mean Girls”

Consider those movies your cinematic Xanax. What are your top picks?

Thoughts on “Girls”, Season 4

I must preface this post by saying I am an unconditional fan, supporter, and admirer of Lena Dunham. She is by far my most profound role model and I aspire to be half the writer she is.

That being said (don’t you just love this passive aggressive phrase?), this season of Girls just didn’t do it for me. We saw the “girls” together only a handful of times, and the plot-lines flew all over the place. Hannah was in Iowa for graduate school, Hannah came back to New York to find Adam with a new girlfriend, Hannah spent time with said girlfriend (Mimi Rose) and kind of liked her, Hannah decided to be a teacher, Hannah started dating a co-worker at her school (a guy named Fran, which I did kind of love), Hannah inappropriately befriended a high school student (Maude Apatow), then Hannah witnessed the home birth of Adam’s sister (played by Gaby Hoffman who was BRILLIANT). Adam asked for Hannah back while gazing at his sister’s child (named Jessa-Hannah), Hannah declined, and apparently six months later Hannah is in a serious relationship with Fran. Also, Hannah’s dad is gay, Marnie is engaged to Desi (or is she anymore?), Ray ran for office, Shoshana is going to Japan, and Jessa is going to be a therapist.

The best thing about Girls (for me) was always how relatable it was. I felt a deep emotional connection to each character. This season I watched the show and felt hollow. I sometimes connected with Hannah’s confusion and frustration with entering adulthood, but it was overshadowed by how easily she settled into a new job and a new relationship. Wouldn’t losing her boyfriend, quitting graduate school, and finding out her father is gay trigger Hannah’s OCD? Wouldn’t Marnie rise to the occasion and be there for her supposed best friend? I miss the days when Hannah and Jessa sat in a bathtub with “Wonderwall” playing in the background.

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What do you guys think? Where is Girls headed?

Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt

Tina Fey, Netflix, and God have all answered every hope and prayer I have had for a new TV show to be obsessed with… Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt.

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Tina Fey’s new show, which is now streaming on Netflix (the entire first season!), stars Ellie Kemper as Kimmy Schmidt, who you probably remember as the “you smell like pine needles and have a face like sunshine” girl from Bridesmaids. Kimmy has spent the last 15 years in an underground cult, has been rescued, and returns back into the real world of New York City. Kimmy’s childlike and charismatic outlook on the world is endearing and hysterical, and she would probably seem annoying if she was played by any other actress than Ellie Kemper, who was frankly made for this role.

Kimmy’s bizarre roommate Titus (played by Tituss Burgess) and her insane landlady (Carol Kane, perfection) jive perfectly into the show. Most importantly, the Upper East Side mom Kimmy nanny’s for is played by Jane Krakowski, who is one of my favorite actresses of all time and utterly steals the show. Krakowski brings elements of her 30 Rock character Jenna Maroney into the performance, but is also creating an entirely different, but just as iconic role in Jacqueline Voorhes.

What I love most about Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt is that the show is funny but still savvy and complex. Kimmy is essentially a child trapped in a woman’s body, but is still determined to make a life for herself even though she worries she will never truly be normal.

This show is perfect in every way. Binge watch the first season right NOW! You will fall in love with the Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt.

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