Sunday Night TV Wankdom: The Sandy Version

don-draper-promo-picOn Sunday night I fell asleep during Mad Men.

This unprecedented occurrence is due to the fact that showrunner Matt Weiner seems to have permanently inserted his head up his ass.

In other words, I think he is putting a bit too much credence in his own press.

Do I hope that somehow, someway he will unwedge himself?  You bet I do.  But with meandering plots; strange, ham-handedly “meaningful” shots of nothing (what was up with Don’s hand at the May Day celebration); and a determined lack of focus on anything resembling a forward-moving plot, I’m becoming less and less optimistic.

Right now, the emperor has no clothes.   None.  (If things change after watching Sunday’s third episode, I will eat appropriate amounts of crow.)  Mad Men has always come dangerously close to being in the red on the precious meter, but this season it is beyond pretentious.  And I want my Don Draper back. Really.

True Blood has, however, been almost completely fantastic this season, even if I do think that show has lost momentum over the last two episodes. After such a splendid farewell to Godric and the Fellowship of the Sun storyline, I’m feeling as if things have really stalled out for the moment.

Okay, zombies.  Bad.  Tara.  Bad acting.  Bad, bad, bad acting.  Really horrendously bad acting.  Eric.  Not enough.  Even remotely.

As for Sophie-Anne, big let down, too.  She seemed rather forced and strained and…just, well, badly acted.  She looked good, but there it ended.

But then there is the meat tree.  Gotta love the meat tree.

Also on the positive side, they’ve finally brought a human side to Layfayette, who had “caricature” written all over him before the end of this season.  I actually like him now.

Still, considering the complaints many of us had last season, I’m feeling very good about Alan Ball and the direction he’s going.  And if he listens to the fan wankdom, he knows we want Eric.  Lots and lots of Eric.

As for the season finale coming up in two weeks,  what do you bet that the season ends with Eric’s revelation to Sookie about what…er, Bill did?  Thoughts?

Edited to Add: Watched the Mad Men episode I missed last night and it was definitely better.  Still not even close to the transcendent levels of season one and two.

-Sandy AAR

8 thoughts on “Sunday Night TV Wankdom: The Sandy Version

  1. LinnieGayl

    This season is sooooo much better on True Blood. I’ve really been very happy with it. I love the Queen’s home. I agree, I’m really thinking the season will end with Eric’s revelation to Sookie. I know it ends in two weeks, but is there a new episode this weekend too?

    Haven’t watched any of my recorded Mad Men so far. Was planning on doing a marathon this weekend to catch up. Hmmm… not so excited about it now.

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  2. Lavinia

    Eric is an addiction. I think the more they give us the more I want.

    I may be a little tired of the black-eyed zombie people, but I love that it is making all Sookie’s men come together.

    They have done and amazing job this year of making me care about the characters I didn’t really like last year — Lafayette, Jason, Tara. Although, Tara’s been on a definite downhill slope in my affections these last weeks.

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  3. Sheila

    Mmmm, I’m intrigued by the title of your post.
    I wonder if ‘wank’ means the same in the US as it does in the UK?
    Here it means to masterbate!
    I know there are some hot men in Mad Men but still …..

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  4. Lea

    As I sat watching Mad Men with my husband Sunday night, I had to say “What’s with all this meandering? These scenes are meaningless!” And then later I had to add that it was boring. And then when it was done, I had to add yet another comment “What happened to an ongoing enjoyable plot?!”
    Over the past few months we watched the previous two seasons of Mad Men for the first time and I was eagerly anticipating the new season. So maybe I have seen too much action in a short period of time but these first episodes seem empty. And did anyone else hope for even a little hint of interaction between Pete and Peggy?

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  5. AAR Sandy Post author

    LG, no True Blood this week. Labor Day weekend usually gets very low viewership.

    Lavinia, you know my Internet Stalker status. Nothing’s changed.

    Sheila, I think “wank” is a universal term.

    Lea, yep. I think this last episode was better. I liked the structure of examining where the weekend found everyone. Class structure, much?

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  6. Tracy Grant

    I quite liked the most recent “Mad Men” episode. Totally agree about the class structure, Sandy–a brilliant example of showing not telling. Since I watched the first two seasons all at once, it’s a bit hard to compare this season. I suspect some seemingly inconsequential things will prove to be important over the arc of the season.

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  7. AAR Sandy Post author

    Tracy, season two started off with a great scene the perfectly set the stage for the season: the denizens of Sterling Cooper getting dressed in the morning to the tune of “Let’s Twist Again”. We saw who the characters were in the way they prepared for their day, from Trudy helping Pete to Joan arming herself with an ironclad girdle to Peggy still somewhat girlish in her preparations. It was also a sly nod to the audience: hey, we had fun last year, let’s do it again.

    The self-consciously pretentious scene in which tortured Don with his whore mother in his kitchen was so far from the brilliance of that season two beginning that I find it difficult to believe it’s the same creative hand. But I did like the third episode — enough so that I might actually watch it again.

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  8. Ida

    I personally have loved scenes like that. I think that Matthew Weiner can say A LOT with a scene and little or no dialogue. When Don is basically caressing the grass and looking at the dancing woman at the May Day celebration, to me it shows he is being faithful (that we know?) but is still tempted. I do admit that I have to be in a certain type of mood to watch Mad Men. The 2nd season lost me halfway through but when it came out on DVD this summer, I watched the episodes back to back and I enjoyed the show so much more. Probably because although the episodes are an hour long, they can go slow and sometimes nothing major will happen. But if you watch the all the episodes in a week, it seems like there are more things going on. Maybe that’s the way to enjoy it?

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