15 items from 2014
Don Draper is losing his mind. This is not a new theory, but after last Sunday’s season finale (for this half of Mad Men’s final season) it looks like it is becoming a fact. A season that has had Don fighting to keep everything – his job, his marriage, his family – finally allows our battered protagonist to end things on a high note with Don back on top at Sc&P, letting go of a marriage that seemed only to weigh him down, and building an honest relationship with his kids (well, Sally at least). But then the true cracks start to show. While Don has spent the past season fighting to keep his place in his world, his world has forgotten him. Betty wants to pretend Don was just a “bad ex-boyfriend” instead of her ex-husband and the father of her three children. Sc&P marched on despite Don’s forced leave of absence and »
- Allison Loring
"The phones have been ringing off the hook!" Robert Morse exclaims, which isn't surprising given the 83-year-old actor's turn in the Mad Men split-season finale last Sunday night. (Here there be spoilers, so anyone who has not yet seen the episode, you may want to turn back now. Seriously.) Having played Sterling Cooper & Partners' co-founder and resident Zen philosopher/Japanaphile Bertrand Cooper on the show for seven seasons, Morse saw his character shuffle off this mortal coil right after his character witnessed Neil Armstrong walk on the moon. Viewers learn »
Spoilers ahead. If you haven’t yet seen Mad Men’s mid-season finale, get on that and come back later. This week, Robert Morse will head to the set of Mad Men. Filming is underway on the series' final episodes, and the 83-year-old actor still gets scripts and turns up to table reads regularly, even though his character Bertram Cooper passed away in Sunday’s mid-season finale. Morse tells us series creator–executive producer Matthew Weiner wouldn’t have it any other way, and as far as TV deaths go, Weiner wrote Bert one hell of a swan song: a dazzling song-and-dance number set to “The Best Things in Life Are Free.” Vulture chatted with Morse about his wife’s tearful reaction, his smooth moves, and how he found out that Bert had only one testicle.Hi, Robert! Hello, hello! How are you doing today?I’m a Vulture [laughs]. What’s the feedback been like? »
- Denise Martin
He took a few moments away from focusing on next year’s last seven episodes to discuss some of the broader themes and plot points from this year’s first half of the farewell season.
Spoiler Alert: Stop reading if you haven’t seen “Mad Men” episode 7, “Waterloo.”
Although the seven episodes seemed to be over in a blink of an eye, Weiner said he and his writing team “really tried to tell a whole season’s worth of story.” Now that “Waterloo” has aired, the truth can be told. The writing team had long planned for Bert Cooper to die while watching the July 1969 moon landing. And they’ve been wanting to script a song-and-dance number for »
- Cynthia Littleton
At the beginning of this season, Mad Men creator-executive producer Matthew Weiner spoke with Vulture about the impact of splitting the final 14 episodes, and the timelessness of Don’s creative work. Where does Don have left to go from here? Is the honest progress he's made in these last seven episodes built to last, or is his personal Waterloo yet to come? Answers won't arrive until next spring, but the morning after Sunday's momentous mid-season finale, Weiner talked about setting up the end by having Don earn his integrity and laying the groundwork for everything from that last dazzling vision of the late Bertram Cooper to Meredith’s ill-timed pass at Don to, yes, Ginsberg’s severed nipple.There's already debate online about whether Don’s vision of Bert singing and dancing to “The Best Things in Life Are Free” was a tribute to Robert Morse or an indication that »
- Denise Martin
“Waterloo” was one more episode of Mad Men this season that used iconic historical references to imbue the narrative with dread and toy with our pessimistic assumptions about Don Draper and friends (and frenemies). The title—a nod to Napoleon’s last, losing battle—got us worrying that personal agendas would cause Don to sabotage the Burger Chef pitch or Peggy to botch it, or that the forces opposing their self-realization (the Cutler/Lou conspiracy thwarting Don’s atonement; the chauvinist, unjust culture impeding Peggy’s advancement) would win the day.
Instead, with the livelihoods on the line and all eyes watching, »
- Jeff Jensen
[This is a review of Mad Men season 7, episode 7. There will be Spoilers.]
For the second time in as many weeks, Mad Men has delivered an episode that, largely due to the weight of its closing moments, could easily have served as an incredibly satisfying end to the series itself. Unlike last week’s slow pull away from Don, Peggy, and Pete forming an improvised family unit at a Burger Chef, however, ‘Waterloo’ puts another spin on the series’ typically elegiac way of ending things by affording Robert Morse a chance to send the indomitable Bert Cooper off with a rendition of ‘The Best Things in Life are Free’ that is ...
Click to continue reading ‘Mad Men’ Season 7 Mid-Season Finale Review
The post ‘Mad Men’ Season 7 Mid-Season Finale Review appeared first on Screen Rant.
- Kevin Yeoman
After seven years, Mad Men is delivering its very best and still capable of surprising us. Here’s our review of the midseason finale…
This review contains spoilers.
“What is happiness? The moment before you need more happiness.” That season five line typifies the cynicism that, previous to Waterloo, I’d taken to be Mad Men’s essential perspective.
Over six and a half seasons, Matthew Weiner’s show has been a circus of disenchantment and unfulfillment. Against a backdrop of social discontent and ad-land lies, we’ve seen Don’s death wish, Joan’s compromises, Pete’s frustrations, Peggy’s loneliness, Kinsey’s failed ‘enlightenment’, Lane’s fate and more. “What is wrong with you people?” Megan once asked Peggy. They’re Mad Men characters is the short answer; unhappy people whose job it is to create more unhappiness.
Then came this year’s midseason finale.
The seventh season of "Mad Men" his its midway point, and its last episode until 2015, with a song in its heart -- specifically, "The Best Things in Life Are Free," which Bert Cooper returned from the grave to croon to a teary-eyed Don Draper. It was a surprising move, to say the least, and one not without its detractors -- my own take on that, and the rest of the episode, is here -- but there's no question it left us with a strong image to contemplate over the long break until the show's finale seven episodes. In its final season, "Mad Men" has knocked off characters and finalized stories with greater aplomb than any show since "The Wire": They'll be done with every one of them in seven hours, so why not give Ginsberg a psychotic break, or send Bert Cooper off to the great agency in the sky? »
- Sam Adams
Every great ad is a story. Ain’t that the truth.
Spoiler Alert: Stop reading if you haven’t seen the “Mad Men” season 7-a finale, “Waterloo.”
We close this first half of the final season on a surprisingly hopeful note for our heroes. The mood seems to match the feeling of the country in July 1969 after the triumph of the Apollo 11 moon landing.
After nothing but bad news for years — assassinations, the Cold War, riots and Vietnam — the country was ready for some rah-rah news and Neil Armstrong’s fateful footsteps certainly qualified. “Waterloo,” written and directed by series creator Matt Weiner, seemed to underscore a lot of the big themes that Weiner has always pointed to in discussing the series. One of the biggest is his desire to show that the 1960s in reality are not at all as they are remembered in hindsight. I thought it »
- Cynthia Littleton
As Bert Cooper would say, Bravo.
In the week leading up to this mid-season finale, many Internet critics and commentators criticized AMC’s decision to split Mad Men’s season in two halves. Unlike Breaking Bad and The Walking Dead, action-heavy series that created excitement and anticipation with surprising cliffhanger endings, how could a slower, more character-driven series finish on a resonant note? Well, from the moments we see Bert Cooper watch the lift-off of Apollo 11 and Ted cut the engine as he steers two clients on his plane, “Waterloo” is a high-wire hour, full of superb acting and story turns both devastating and triumphant. This was an episode filled with darkness and light, some big wins and an incredible loss. If “Waterloo” does not rank as the series’ best episode, it is certainly in the top five.
The best place to start is with the dearly departed Bertram Cooper, »
- Jordan Adler
During a brainstorming session in last week's episode "The Strategy" — perhaps the first time Don Draper has ever addressed Peggy Olson as a true creative equal, he gifted her with a great piece of advice: "I start at the beginning again, see if I end up in the same place." But that strategy doesn't work as well for his life, as the Season 7.1 finale, "Waterloo," shows in spades. Don started over with a second marriage, and it ended just like the first one, except this time it only took Megan »
A review of the "Mad Men" mid-season finale coming up just as soon as I have to talk to people who just touched the face of God about hamburgers... "Bravo." -Bert Cooper In Peggy's pitch to Burger Chef — easily the best she's ever given, and one that gets much closer to the level of the Carousel pitch than I think we might have ever imagined anyone on this show (including Don himself) reaching again — she talks about how Neil Armstrong's first footsteps on the moon brought the whole world together, all watching the same amazing thing as it happened. It's a masterful blend of current events with the themes she and Don had already decided on — turning the thing that she feared would torpedo the pitch and making it into the element that closes the deal and nearly moves the Burger Chef executives to tears — demonstrating a keen »
- Alan Sepinwall
If you've already seen Mad Men's half-season finale, then there are likely many questions on your mind. One of them might be about the episode's final minutes, which closed out with a song, in much the way many Mad Men episodes close out. But also not like the way many Mad Men episodes close out. Spoilers follow:Don Draper hallucinates the recently deceased Bert Cooper singing a song with lyrics that resonate with the historical event they all just experienced: The moon belongs to everyone The best things in life they're free The stars belong to everyone They cling there for you and for me The song is "The Best Things in Life Are Free," with lyrics written by Lew Brown and Buddy G. DeSylva and music by Ray Henderson. It was first heard in the 1930 musical Good News. One of the song's earliest versions was recorded by English bandleader »
- Gilbert Cruz
Turner Classic Movies (TCM) will open the 2014 edition of the TCM Classic Film Festival with the world premiere of a brand new restoration of the beloved Rodgers & Hammerstein musical Oklahoma! (1955). TCM’s own Robert Osborne, who serves as official host for the festival, will introduce Oklahoma!, with the film’s star, Academy Award®-winner Shirley Jones, in attendance. Vanity Fair will also return for the fifth year as a festival partner and co-presenter of the opening night after-party. Marking its fifth year, the TCM Classic Film Festival will take place April 10-13, 2014, in Hollywood. The gathering will coincide withTCM’s 20th anniversary as a leading authority in classic film.
In addition, the festival has added several high-profile guests to this year’s lineup, including Oscar®-winning director William Friedkin, who will attend for the screening of the U.S. premiere restoration of his suspenseful cult classic Sorcerer (1977); Kim Novak, who »
- Melissa Thompson
15 items from 2014
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