Mad Men “The Forecast” Review (7×10)

20 Apr

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“It has to get better.”

The ad is all about capturing the future, about predicting future trends and desires and mindsets. It draws you in, displaying image after image of a new life you can make for yourself…if only you had that one product. Because Mad Men is built around the ad, the show’s oftentimes dealt with the future, asking its characters whether they’ll be able to move on and change, whether they’ll be able to answer their own glaring questions: What’s next? What does the forecast of your future say? Is the forecast accurate?

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Orphan Black “The Weight of This Combination” Review (3×01)

18 Apr

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“I’m not your people.”

Orphan Black seems to always be teetering on the edge of a cliff, a quick push all it needs in order to descend into chaos. The writers have been able to juggle the show’s plethora of plot points effectively, though, and they’ve been able to sustain an overarching storyline without losing control of it. It remains to be seen whether they’ll keep it up–I have confidence they will–but right now, season three is getting off to an exciting, intense start. The premiere is a bit of a scattered episode, but it holds your attention for every second of its running time.

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Louie “A La Carte” Review (5×02)

16 Apr

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“There’s more than one way to be together. Do all roads have to lead to ruin?”

Louie’s been in a rut for a while now, unsure of where exactly he wants his life to go and what he’d like to do outside of comedy. At certain points, he’s simply giving up, unable to push himself to move forward and unable to be “fun”. It’s a theme that’s been emphasized over and over again during the show’s run, and “A La Carte” tackles it nicely throughout its three vignettes. This is a half hour that brings up memories of the early episodes of the series, and it’s one of the most purely hilarious episodes we’ve seen in a while.

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Person of Interest “Terra Incognita” Review (4×20)

15 Apr

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“You can change.”

At this point in the season, we expect to see an episode that advances the overarching plot, that puts the wheels into motion for the final arc of the season. This show, however, understands that its characters are just as important as the plot, that John Reese’s psyche is just as interesting a topic to explore as the Brotherhood or Samaritan or Elias. Sure, his storyline has faltered a bit in recent weeks, but it’s clear now what the writers were going for with Iris and with Reese’s therapy sessions. It’s all coming together now, and “Terra Incognita” is a wonderful hour of television for his character development.

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Justified “The Promise” Review (6×13)

15 Apr

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“We dug coal together.”

Nowadays, we expect our drama series to end with characters going out in a blaze of glory, with antiheroes falling off their thrones and finally meeting their inevitable fates. We expect people to pay for all the bad things they’ve done throughout a series, and we expect the house of cards to come crumbling down at the end. Now, there are certainly shows that did this well–e.g. my pick for the best series finale of all time, The Shield‘s “Family Meeting”–but sometimes, what we need is to be entertained and satisfied. By striving for a grand, complex gesture, Justified might’ve overlooked exactly what made the show special, so thankfully, the writers recognize what the best way to end the series is. And man, it is a beautiful, rewarding, and plain brilliant way to conclude a fantastic six years.

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Bloodline Season One Review

13 Apr

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Note: Full spoilers for the season follow.

“We’re not bad people, but we did a bad thing.”

Bloodline creates an immersive world right from the start, utilizing the Florida Keys as essentially another character, as another element of a tidal wave of secrets, lies, and pain. As the rain falls and the heat envelops, our characters are caught in a fascinating web of lies, and as friends and loved ones and enemies close in around them, they are forced to do things they never imagined they could do.

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Mad Men “New Business” Review (7×09)

13 Apr

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“You think you’re gonna begin your life over and do it right, but what if you never get past the beginning again?”

“New Business” is about new beginnings, about the desire to change and move past stagnancy. It’s clear that the 1970s social, cultural, and political influence is snaking its way throughout the show, and we see people adapting to new lifestyles at every turn. Yet, aimlessly floating through our television screens right now is none other than Don Draper, a man who’s both out of touch with the times and with those around him. We see this mismatch visually with him in his suit and Pete in his golf outfit, and him telling Pete to “watch the road” is representative of his inability to change with the times; he’s looking in one direction, and he’s driving down the same path that we’ve seen him go down before.

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