Monday, August 30, 2010

Mad Men Live Blogging - Season 4.6: Waldorf Stories

It's Monday, time for some Mad Men! Will Don woo Honda -- or the psychologist? Will Roger refuse to eat sushi? Let the fun begin!

2:00 - Wow. Talk about bad resumes. 5 riffs on the same idea, then ads he likes? It's too bad this guy is such a square, because he's got the perfect skill set for an unemployed hippie.

3:30 - "It's a relief to see someone worse than me" - I've been waiting for a nice, pithy summary of my dating choices, and this is it.

5:30 - Roger is writing his memoirs? Well, dictating them, at least.

6:30 - Flashback to Roger & Don's first meeting! And the model in Don's ad campaign for the fur company? Betty. I wonder if those two crazy kids will make it?

9:00 - "For my wife" Riiiiight. It's good to see Joan happy, though. Probably not so good that the "work story" for the memoir is an unflattering one to Don.

11:30 - Peggy has apparently followed Pete's lead and also grown a pair.

14:30 - Duck is back! And, unfortunately, back on the sauce. Was Peggy there when it happened?

16:00 - Peggy's no longer enamored of Don, apparently. Taking credit for her work isn't flattering?

17:15 - I like how Roger AND Don hold Joan's hand -- I thought for different reasons, but Don did go for a kiss. Niiiiiice!

18:45 - I assume Peyton Place is the Melrose Place of the 60s? Or is about the Colts?

19:30 - Ooof. Don a la Booze is not the right dish to serve.

21:30 - Bizarro Don is back! The opposite of season 1's Carousel, now he's just offering bad puns on "Life".

23:45 - Bitter, insecure Pete is back! And a bit chastened that Lane actually likes him.

27:15 - Fine, shoot him down, but do you really need to give mixed signals?  Don's now 0-for-2 with the hot psychologist, right?  But she's clearly tempted.  I'm now hoping for her since I think Joan may be destined for Roger.

28:30 - "I know you're ashamed of your body, or you should be." "I can work like this, let's get liberated." Having recently rewatched the pilot episode, I can easily say that based solely on that, this scene is less plausible than Don being in training for the Apollo missions.

31:15 - "You've crossed the border from lubricated to morose." Ahhhh, Joan. Beautiful and wise. 

32:30 - Now we see the key to his morose-itosity: Don was nothing and Roger was the big shot.

34:45 - Nice work by Peggy!

36:30 - Waking up on Sunday thinking it's Saturday with a different woman? Who calls you by your real name? I think this might, finally, hopefully, be rock bottom.

38:45 - Or not. He's already back to the booze. And looks like complete shit, too.

42:00 - I like that there's been a steady trickle, and not a stream, of jokes about how useless his new secretary is.

44:15 - Pete is getting
really good at lording power over people.

46:30 - Don was hired because Roger was DRUNK? That's pretty sweet. And doesn't bode well for Don's reign as creative king.

Verdict? Another great episode, though the expected payoff of "Mikey Likes It" will have to wait -- Wiki says until 1974. Don's drinking is getting worse, not better, and the only question is if Peggy will try to help him or take his spot like she did Rumsen. So I give it a:

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Live Blogging - The Naked Gun

I'm in Lyon and Dijon for a wedding, so I'll let you enjoy this bit of pre-recorded Live Blogging.

One of the all-time comedy classics from my childhood, or so I remember it. But how does it hold up more than 20 years later?

0:00 - Of all the evil heads of state, only Qhadafi* is still in power. And only Amin (and maybe the Ayatollah Assaholla) is still seen as a complete asshat.

4:20 - You know what's not outdated? Shower scenes.

5:15 - Hey! It's OJ! I loved him in these! How come you never see him in movies or commercials any more?

7:00 - The beyond over-the-top death scene here reminds everyone that the tone of the intro was, in fact, what they should expect from the movie.

9:20 - "He has a 50/50 chance of living, though there's only a 10% chance of that."

10:00 - Wow. That hospital room looks really, really outdated. It does have one of those cool pump things, though.

11:15 - I love the exchange with Nordberg's wife: "Frank, who could do such a thing?" "It's had to say. A blackmailer, an angry husband, a gay lover..."

14:00 - "No matter how silly the idea of having a queen might be to us, as Americans we must be gracious and considerate hosts." I love randomly quoting this line to Brits.

16:00 - The floating body outline is possibly my favorite sight gag in the movie.


21:45 - "Nice beaver!" "Thanks, I just had it stuffed."

24:00 - Khan does a great job at being the obvious, smarmy 80s bad guy. Though I'm not sure if it's a parody or an attempt at a straight portrayal.

26:00 - The gadget guy's bits are pretty tired, expect for Fred gasping, "Ted! Why?" as he falls. It's the details that make great comedy.

30:45 - Drebin having trouble getting the pillow off his face is so money.

31:30 - The Drivers' Ed chase scene (start the video around the 1:20 mark) is sweet. "Normally you would not be going 65 down the wrong way of a one-way street." Following this instructions on giving the finger? Genius.

36:00 - After the ultra-straight delivery of the blatant innuendos, her defense of "I was young! I needed the work!" when Drebin mentions "interesting" photos he saw is pretty hilarious.

40:45 - "You really mean that? You're not just saying that because we exchanged bodily fluids?"

44:00 - The care Drebin shows in putting everything back as he found it is key to the hilarity when it all falls apart.

47:00 - "When I see five weirdos dressed in togas stabbing a guy in the middle of a park in full view of a hundred people, I shoot the bastards. That's my policy." Too bad it was Shakespeare in the Park.

52:00 - "He's got a picture of your wife! ... Anyone else here seeing his wife?"

55:00 - For my money, there's very little physical comedy funnier than having a man mount the queen on a banquet table. Heh.

55:30 - "Just think - the next time I shoot someone, I could go to jail."

57:30 - The baseball scene! Definitely the highlight. The 7-person announcer booth isn't all that implausible now. It's bizarre that Dick Vitale looks exactly the same as he does now.

1:00:00 - So, do you think Roseanne was ripping off this scene when she sucked at the anthem? I think she just sucks.

1:02:00 - As a civilian, Frank now has two assaults in 3 minutes. That's strong work.

1:03:00 - The baseball scenes are among the funniest in sports movies, but most are visual. Enjoy. What stands out is that this is the last time I actually enjoyed a Randy Newman song. Talk about your no-talent-ass-clowns, how did he make it big?

1:11:22 - Do you think it was this game that made the manager of the Angels turn to crime and eventually become a mob boss in "Reservoir Dogs"?

1:13:30 - "Hey! It's Enrico Palazzo!"

1:16:20 - "I've finally found someone I can love. Good, clean love -- without utensils."

1:18:30 - Do you think Nordberg's white van was wheelchair-accessible?

Verdict: Not as good as I remembered, but still solid. Sadly, I've matured a bit, and I prefer slightly more cerebral humor now. But it was interesting to see how many of the jokes were later recycled (homaged?) on the Simpsons, Family Guy, etc.


* I use alternate spellings

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Sepp Blatter - Only Russian Bribes Can Prevent England From Hosting WC 2018

FIFA Chief Sleaze Officer Sepp Blatter recently raised England's hopes of hosting the World Cup in 2018 by stating, "The easiest way to organise the World Cup is to go to England. Everything is there -- fans, stadiums, infrastructure -- it's easy."

He then immediately shit on their sundae* by adding, "You cannot deny Russia if they bid for something. They are more than a country. They are a big continent, a big power."

The official JTInGermany translation? "Make me an offer I can't refuse, Mr. Putin."

* And crushed their only hope of winning.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

A Gift From The Blog Gods

Sometimes you stumble upon* an ad that needs little or no introduction to be a blog post. Had I seen Activia before the SNL parody, it would have been a perfect example. Or, if I had invented blogging in time to write about Viagra, that would've been another example. The most recent? The Better Marriage Blanket. Does it keep one of you warm while the other stays cold? Does it hide the sight of your partner from you? No. It absorbs your partner's nasty nighttime farts and thus saves your marriage. An excerpt from the product site:

Experience the fresh air! The Better Marriage Blanket is an odor eliminating blanket and makes a great gift for weddings, anniversaries and birthdays.

You're (soon-to-be) welcome, Mrs. CW!

* Or, more accurately, are emailed an URL

Monday, August 23, 2010

Mad Men Live Blogging - Season 4.5: The Chrysanthemum And The Sword

Donny Advertising is plummeting into the abyss. Can anything be done?

1:00 - Don's old secretary is still there! Good for her. But not such a good sign for him. At least he gets some more face time with the hot Freudian.

3:15 - Bert isn't so delightful when he's arguing against civil rights. He also looks pretty beaten down. I wonder if going barefoot all the time is giving him static electricity poisoning?

4:30 - Who is Dr. Lyle Evans? According to Google, he was no one until this episode -- 9 of the top 10 hits are variations on this question. The other is the head of the Sasketchewan Public Library. Also, Roger is still bitter 20 years after WWII.

6:20 - Don has the kids for a night so he goes to Benihana? Is this research for the meeting with Honda? At least it gives Sally and the nurse a chance to bond.

8:00 - Hey! It's Thanksgiving girl! And she knows how to use chopsticks! I hope Don hires her so that he can hook up with her.

11:00 - Wait. Don paid the nurse and didn't have sex with her? He's totally lost his mo-jo.

13:00 - I like how Henry takes a second to throw Don under the bus before he actually acts like a decent person. Sneazy*! I like it.

15:00 - I like the translator. I hope they get the gig.

17:00 - First, Pete gives the cheapest gift to the boss. Then he can't keep Roger away.

19:00 - Ooooh! The boys are fighting!

21:30 - "Playing with herself"? Did they say that in 1965? And WTF? Remind me to never have children in the 60s.

24:30 - Apparently being interrupted with your child's public display of masturbation kills the mood.

29:30 - Remind me not to get divorced, too.

31:00 - Don is also sneazy!

33:30 - $3,000 is too much for a test commercial? They should get Samberg and Parnell to do it.

36:00 - "Why does everyone need to talk about everything?" I ask myself the same thing during team meetings.

37:00 - Psst, Don, you're doing that whole talking-about-everything thing you were just whining about. If you don't have your steely gaze, you're opening up to (instead of hitting on) her.

38:00 - "Fake dinner plans with your fake husband?" Not your best line, Don.

39:45 - "I was private and I mostly outgrew it." Key word is "mostly".

41:00 - The therapist is officially the most normal person on the show.

43:00 - Don uses Chemical Bank! Just like Nana on Seinfeld!

44:00 - Nice work, Joan! Talking Roger off the ledge of self-pity. Or, possibly, shoving him off the ledge.

46:30 - I take that back. Carla is still awesome. The lesson? The less we know about characters, the better.

So? I especially liked the end, keeping the therapy private. It's insane, but it would feel like invading Sally's privacy. And even though she's a fictional character, she's still a 10-year-old going through therapy.  But the whole bit the Honda rocked, and it's kind of cool to see Pete stepping up.  Is he about to change from Fredo to Sonny?



* Sneaky-sleazy.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Vampire Weekend On The Move

FBers go HERE for video.

I have to admit, I've been a bit obsessed with Vampire Weekend this week(end). Even so, this is pretty cool -- the band plays a few songs while walking in Paris and then in a bar. I especially like the random guy listening to his headphones and ignoring the band playing at the next table. The rest of the songs can be found HERE.

Apparently this guy does this a variety of different music acts (Tom Jones!). Definitely a cool idea and worth checking out.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Star Wars As A Silent Movie

You know I love me some Star Wars. But in old-school B&W with silent-movie'ed piano soundtrack? Oh, yes.

FBers go HERE for video

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Mad Men Live Blogging - Season 4.4: The Rejected

Episode 4! I'm not even going to bother hoping Don gets his shit together. Let's just hope for no more disasters.

0:00 - Are there any sweeter words on basic cable than "brief nudity"?

1:30 - Don polished off the bourbon? Allison does NOT approve.

2:00 - I'm siding with Lee on this one. Bowling is NOT a sport. I do like the idea of the smoking horse, though.

3:00 - Hot psychologist is back! Yay! Also, nice work, Peggy.

5:15 - Don, here's some friendly advice. When your secretary, who you treated like a prostitute at CHRISTMAS, tries to extend a hand of friendship, don't be curt. Or if you must, explain that that time is a factor, you think fast, you talk fast, and you need her to act fast if she wants to get out of this.

6:30 - Pissy Pete is back. Hooray?

7:55 - Was photo editor woman checking Peggy out? And, fortunately, our brief nudity was female. Though quite artsy, I have to say.

10:30 - Smooth move by Pete to not take his opening and break the news.

12:00 - A little unknowing call-back to Pete's first(?) child with Peggy. But does this mean that Pete might stop being a sleazebag?

13:30 - Joan is not happy that she's not a hot young product tester anymore*.

14:30 - I like the voyeur element of these product tests. They also kind of remind me of suspect

17:30 - Peggy's right - Faye is amazing. She's playing these women like a cello.

18:00 - "It's worse when they notice sometimes" and the meaningful look at Don? If this were a Bruckheimer production, there'd be a meaningful chord.

21:00 - Don is clearly trying to develop a superpower to blend into the furniture as Allison rushes out. Peggy'll take care of it, though. She rocks.

22:00 - Orrrrrrrr not. Wow. That is not what I was expecting.

23:00 - Kenneth's back! And he got a pair!

25:15 - "My mom was a nurse at the state hospital in Vermont, and that was the last time I saw so many retarded people in one building." Nice! I'm using that.

29:00 - Excellent work, Allison! What kind of jackass won't even write a recommendation? Ugh.

30:40 - First Peggy watches Don's reaction to the explosion, then the LIFE magazine woman asks her out. A big day! And that is most definitely not a platonic invite. Will Peggy visit the Isle of Sapphos?

32:00 - Did Kenneth tell Pete where to find his balls?

35:00 - See, I thought in 1965 that boyfriends did own the va-jayjays. But noooo! Just renting!

37:30 - One great thing about the Live Blogging is you have an incentive to google the various cameos. Like David Kellogg.

41:30 - Is Peggy trying to be the better person, or just sticking it to Pete by making him so nervous? Right. I guess i's the former.

44:30 - Way to go, Don! Any doubt that you were the cause of Allison's breakdown is now gone. Also not really impressing Lady Dr. Phil.

46:00 - WTF was that between Pete and Peggy? Does she see him as her lost path to love and maternity?

What's the verdict? I think they've gotten their groove back. With some resolution of Allison's situation (let's hope she doesn't disappear) and Peggy getting some serious shades of gray in the process, I have to grade it:

* By the end of the episode, it's clear that she was pissed because she went from awesome to nonexistent in one episode.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Live Blogging - The Wizard of Oz Part 2

I'm back and ready to take all Glinda can throw at me! Will the Fab 4 meet the wizard? Will the Wicked Witch do anything other than stalk Dorothy and throw magical Molotov cocktails at the scarecrow? Will I realize there's no suspense in a movie that's 70 years old?

58:00 - Say what you will about the Wizard, but his city has polite, helpful and omnipresent cabbies. Though why does the horse switch from white to purple? Is that a movie or a DVD issue? Or is that what makes it "a different color"?

58:30 - Ok, it's gone to red and yellow, so it wasn't a mistake. That's gotta make it a bitch to find your horse in the stable, though.

58:45 - Oz is clearly starved for tourists to give a group of 4 the city-wide song-and-dance routine. This is like watching Kruschev visit Bucharest.

1:00:00 - The Witch is kind of a buzz kill, isn't she? I wonder if her last name is Kusyk? You have to give it to her for going with "Surrender Dorothy" instead of just "Die, Bitch".

1:02:00 - This whole song by the Lion seems more like a deleted scene than the real thing. I like the grass & flower cape, though.

1:04:00 - "What makes a king out of a slave?" I'd say a shiny hat and a big-ass army. Apparently, though, it's courage.

1:06:00 - The scene of the 4 walking down the hall is pretty fing cool. The Lion almost wetting himself kind of ruins it.

1:07:30 - Oz is pretty bad-ass, I have to admit. And he clearly has been a huge influence of the whole theory of job interviews -- making them wait, giving them much weaker positions, asking questions for which there are no right answers.

1:09:30 - Let me get this straight -- the "great and powerful" Oz needs a teenage girl to go off a rival and steal her broom?

1:10:15 - Where did Tin Man get the wrench? And the Scarecrow has a gun? And a net and "Witch Repellent"? At least we know where the Batman TV show got its ideas.

1:11:45 - They really should have played "Flight of the Valkyries" as the flying monkeys flew off. They deserve it, right? And is it just me, or do they look kind of bummed out to be sent on such a lame mission?

1:12:30 - The big question is, how did she break them of the feces-throwing habit? No matter, they get shit DONE.

1:14:00 - Toto coming out of the basket just emphasizes that he started the whole dog-as-fashion-accessory trend. I hope the Witch gets him.

1:16:00 - Mocking a crying Dorothy? Some say this is over the top, but the Witch sticks to her evil guns. I like it. But Dorothy should've listened to Gandalf and not looked in the palantir.

1:16:30 - "Is Dorothy at the old mill?" I never realized that Toto was Lassie before Lassie.

1:18:30 - The Witch has done a great job of training her guards to march and sing, but maybe she should've drilled them a bit more on what the shiny, pointy end of the sticks are for. The idiots throw theirs away before jumping on the 3 Stooges.

1:20:00 - Just a bit of "Night on Bald Mountain". That's some sweet tuneage.

1:22:45 - "How about a little fire, Scarecrow?" This is such an underrated line. Feel free to throw it out there when you buy a shot for someone. Especially if they've recently engaged in stumbulatory antics.

1:23:00 - A few substances that I do NOT keep in buckets around the house:

  • Phosphorous
  • Boric acid
  • Plutonium
  • Lye
On an unrelated note, the Witch apparently keeps buckets of water in her castle when even a small splash is enough to melt her. Dorothy is really leaving a trail of bodies in her wake, isn't she? I guess she's a serial manslaughtereress*

1:25:00 - "You've had plenty of time to think about it" -- what is the time frame of the movie, anyway? A week? A month?

1:25:10 - "Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain!"** I like to say this whenever I set off the alarms at airport security. They never get the reference, though. And does this mean that the doorman is really the Wizard, or were they just saving money on actors?

1:26:00 - What the hell is going on with the Wizard, anyway? Who built the contraptions? And how did he get his job?

1:27:30 - "Hearts will never be practical until they can be made unbreakable" -- that would make a good t-shirt.

1:29:00 - How old is the Wizard? He refers to Kansas as "The Western Wilderness".

1:29:45 - What were the people of Oz smoking to name him "Oz, the First Wizard Deluxe"?

1:31:45 - "But this could never be like Kansas." Really? Was it the magic, the colors, or the lack of a Great Depression that tipped you off?

1:32:30 - Ugh. Glinda shows up when there's a power vacuum -- big surprise. And why does Dorothy think Glinda can help her now, when the last time she admitted to being useless?

1:32:45 - Oh, right. Because Glinda is a lying bitch. "You have to learn it for yourself." What kind of crap magic are these shoes? And that's a great lesson -- you should never look for anything outside your neighborhood. Helllloooooo, isolationism!

1:33:30 - Of course, the real issue is that the Wizard is gone and Glinda needs to get rid of the hardass who just offed the "Wicked" Witches of the East and West.

1:36:45 - "Does anyone believe me?" "Of course we believe you" -- I'm pretty sure he was dialing for the padded wagon as he said this.

So? The verdict? I'd have to give it:

Sure, it's corny, overwhelmed with song/dance, but it's entertaining, hilarious, and the flying monkeys still rock.

* Witchslaughteress?
** Frank Morgan is great and all, but WC Fields would've been AWESOME as the Wizard.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Live Blogging - The Wizard of Oz Part 1

Go to for the original photo

Ok, it's in my Top 10 (maybe Top 5) of movies, and I haven't seen it for over 10 years. The last time was in the theater, and I still remember this review (which is a hilarious list of reasons why the movie scared him as a kid). Go, read it, laugh, then come back. If I refer back to it without quoting, it's an homage, not stealing.

0:00 - Is it true that Judy Garland demanded a rug made out of the MGM lion during one of her benders?

0:30 - Is the production company, Loew's Inc., a forerunner of Loew's the DIY store?

1:00 - If you're watching this with Pink Floyd in the background, you need to light up your joint... now.

2:00 - I wish movies today had dedications. I'm betting Transformers 2's would read "To Old Scratch, without your contract, I never could have made it big -- Michael Bay"

3:00 - Just how many amphetamines did Garland take before filming? She's like a hummingbird on Red Bull.

3:30 - "Your head ain't made out of straw, you know." A pretty funny throwaway line there.  Probably just Kansas humor, I wouldn't pay any attention to it.

4:00 - Dorothy just fell into what is apparently the world's only sterile pig pen. Too bad she missed that lecture about being brave while she was walking the rails like Frauzi.

5:00 - "Feed the hogs before they worry themselves into anemia." How is that not as famous as "I'll get you, my pretties!"?

5:30 - First song, and it's "Somewhere Over the Rainbow." It's amazing: she looks 16, acts 12, and sings like she's 30.

7:30 - What happened to sepia tone, anyway? I think Iron Man 2 would've looked great in Sepiavision.

9:30 - I have to admit, this whole Kansas scene totally slipped my mind. I forgot that Kansas-witch wanted to kill Toto. Apparently Kansas during the Great Depression wasn't as wonderful as I've heard.

12:00 - This Professor seems a bit shady (in a harmless way). Even by carny standards.

13:00 - Do we ever find out what happened to Dorothy's real parents? Or did Em & Henry just claim they were Dorothy's aunt and uncle as some kind of bizarre Midwestern joke on their daughter?

15:00 - In the pitch for "Twister", they said, "do you remember the 2 minute tornado scene from 'The Wizard of Oz'? Don't you wish it'd lasted 90 minutes?"  Yes, and no.

18:50 - OK, the whole change-to-color bit is pretty cool. Of course, it can also be seen as the utopia resulting from an uprising of the people.

20:00 - "Now I know we're not in Kansas" Not what we all remember, but fine. Now, was it the bubble or the big-ass dress that tipped off Dorothy?

20:50 - What kind of crap witch is Glinda? "Are you a good witch or a bad witch?" followed by "Only bad witches are ugly." This implies that a) Glinda is unsure if Dorothy is ugly* or b) that Glinda is a shallow moron. I'm going with b).

21:50 - "What are Munchkins?" They're donut holes, and damn tasty!

22:30 - Say what you will about the Munchkins, but they have great facial hair and they know how to welcome a witch.

26:45 - I always zone out during the song and dance, except for The Lollipop Guild. I still can't figure out why they talk out of the sides of their mouths.

27:30 - I love the panicked look on Dorothy's face when she hears the word "bust". Heh.

29:30 - "I'll get you my pretty - and your little dog, too!" Kind of the "hasta la vista, baby" of the late 30s.

30:30 - Glinda is such a lying bitch. She claims that only the Wizard might know how to get home, yet at the end she tells Dorothy that she could go home anytime. Ugh. And why doesn't she have a broomstick? I hate her.

31:00 - "Never let the ruby slippers off your feet." Ouch. I hope they stay magically fresh. Otherwise, this could get ugly.

31:30 - Does Dorothy really need 3 Munchkins in a row to tell her, and I quote, "Follow the yellow brick road"?

32:00 - Where does the red brick road go**? And what kind of propaganda machine does the Wizard have to get his subjects to sing?  Not even Soviets serenaded visitors with "The Stalin Samba"

32:30 - Surprise, surprise. Glinda the Good Moron of the North didn't mention the crossroads.

33:30 - "Some people without brains do an awful lot of talking" -- seems like they missed an easy shot at politicians there.

35:00 - It's one thing to be bad at your job. It's a whole different story to be bad at your NAME. I'm proud to say that I kick ass at JTing.

36:30 - I love how Dorothy cons the Scarecrow into believing he'll get a brain, THEN mentions, offhand, that she has a witch mad at her.  Solid salesgirlship.

37:00 - "I won't try to manage things, because I can't think" -- that didn't stop most of the managers I've seen.

37:45 - The Witch is hiding behind a tree?  Really?

40:00 - The whole lubeing-up-the-Tin-Man scene is a bit overloaded with innuendo. "Perfect? Bang on my chest if you think I'm perfect" -- said in the throatiest voice possible.

43:00 - Dorothy whispers "He's soooo gay" to the Scarecrow after hearing "I'd be friends with the sparrows (and the boy who shoots the arrows)... if only I had a heart!" and "I'd like it with a zipper"

44:00 - What's the deal between the Witch and the Wizard, anyway? Jilted lovers? Power struggle? Arguing over who gets to whack Glinda?

46:50 - "Lions and tigers and bears, oh my!" leads to my favorite of the 4, the lion. I think Chris Farley would've made a great lion in a remake.

48:00 - The guy with the axe is scared of the lion, and he thinks he needs a heart? Maybe a new set of ball bearings would be more useful.

49:30 - "Don't you think the Wizard could help him, too?" "I don't see why not!" Of course not -- you've suckered the first two in with promises that you can't back up. Why not a third?

51:10 - Hooray for flying monkeys! Forget Boba Fett, these guys are the coolest bad guys in film. With faux-hawks and everything!

52:00 - Of course, the Witch has no way of knowing that Dorothy has developed quite a tolerance for the poppy.

54:00 - Is the snow cocaine to counteract the opium?  OK, I'll ease up on the Dorothy drug jokes for now.

56:30 - "Nobody's ever seen the Great Oz!" That's a sweet government you've got there, Hair Boy.

Annnnnddddd... with their entry into the Emerald City, I'm going to call it a night.  Come back tomorrow-ish for part 2, where we'll travel to the Witch's castle and ponder why Superman didn't keep a bucket o' kryptonite in the Fortress of Solitude.

* And that Toto might be beautiful, since she thinks he's a witch, too. Apparently witch school is a safety school for most.
** I'm betting Moscow.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Mad Men Live Blogging - Season 4.3: The Good News

Will Don bounce back from the depths? And what is "The Good News"? Is someone finding religion? Or is Peggy, Joan or Don's secretary knocked up? Good Lord, this sounds like a soap opera now.

Cocktail of the Week: Bloody Mary*

1:00 - I'm pretty sure Mad Men is the only show I've seen with one, much less two, scene(s) in a gynecologist's office. It's now also the only one to have a character admit to having not one, but two, abortions. And one done by a self-proclaimed midwife! Well, I guess that's life in pre- (and, likely, post-) Roe v. Wade

3:00 - Aaagh! Allison. At least it's not awkward. Oh, wait, it is. How could the suavest man on the planet fall so low. He's definitely lost his mo-jo.

5:00 - Does Lane miss out on Joan's "breast or thigh" double entendre because he's worried about his family or because he's English? Either way, he's going to regret it.

6:15 - Ah, the 60s. Everyone on the plane is dressed up. The last few times I flew this year I wore shorts and flip flops.

8:15 - A cute young girl in a bikini and shorts designed to create a FUPA. How long until "Dick" hits on her? Especially since Anna is pushing for it.

10:30 - Is it any surprise that Dr. Clueless assumes that enlisting in the Army in 1964 will NOT lead to Vietnam? The telegram to Joan this season or next is going to be one of the highlights of the series for me.

12:30 - "Dick" wants to bring out the kids? To meet the wife of the dead man whose name he stole? Good plan.

16:45 - Don gets the "what are you doing?" as he makes the move. Though, I have to say, he probably won't care about the rejection now that he finds out that the only person who loves him for him is dying of cancer. And she hasn't been told. Ah, the 60s.

25:00 - Don was going to change his flight to hook up, and instead gets lectured for not wearing pants while painting. But the big question is, should he keep quiet about her cancer and go back to being "the man in the room with the check"? Of course, he goes with being quiet. The old Don never would've been cowed by the sister.

28:00 - Exchange of the episode: "The fact that you're the kind of person that can't accept blame is egregious." "I... don't know what that means" "It means I can't believe I hired you."

28:30 - On the list of worst things to put on an apology note to a platonic coworker that gets sent to the wife by accident, I think "Joan, forgive me." is near the top. Note to self: make all non-wife/gf apology notes explicit.

31:00 - To all my doctor friends, is asking your doctor hubby to take you to the hospital when you cut your finger more or less emasculating than, say, announcing that said doctor hubby has a small penis?

33:30 - For a raping sleazebag of a husband, he does have a good moment here.

37:00 - Don and Lane drinking at the Godzilla knockoff is pretty freakin' sweet. Being told you remind someone of a guy "who died in a motorcycle crash"? Not so freakin' sweet.

39:30 - Does Lane know that Don's "lady friend" will be "working" on New Year's? Does he care?

43:00 - Did Don ask for the slapping treatment on the couch? I'm thinking yes.

44:00 - Is anyone surprised that Lane leaves the bedroom with his full three-piece suit intact?

45:00 - Joan begins 1965 by leading the meeting at the head of the table. I like it.

So, the verdict? I'd say this was probably Joan's best episode, ever. I also don't think it's a coincidence that Peggy is a cameo, at best. Overall? I'd give it a...


* Virgin -- I'm watching this before work.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Mad Men Live Blogging - Season 4.2: Christmas Comes But Once A Year

Apparently the year skip wasn't enough -- we're hurtling through 1964 at a breakneck pace. Thanksgiving is offscreen and it's Christmas time!

Cocktail of the Week: Screwdriver*. I forgot to get bitters, so no Old-Fashioned tonight.
1:30 - Wait, is Sally going to get a love interest? A throw-back to Season 1 (or 2?), no less!

3:00 - Don seems to be awfully familiar with his secretary. Is this part of new, desperate Don? Or reborn, reanimated Don?

5:00 - Drunk Freddie is back! Does Roger have rubber mats on his chairs? Which is unfair, since Freddie has been clean and sober for 16 months. Strong work!

6:30 - You wanna move hams? You have a couple of broads fight over them, they fly off the shelf.

7:00 - What kind of jackass has a morning bourbon AND offers one to the guy back from rehab? Don Draper, that's who.

9:00 - Sally's got a feller!

9:30 - Joan and Peggy sitting in on a meeting? Women's Lib is here! And the psychology lady's outfit is messing with my mind. But she knows something is up with Don. Just what he needs -- a hot Freudian-spouting girlfriend.

12:30 - I'm pretty sure Don wore the same robe in "30 Rock". A cute nurse neighbor? That can't possibly backfire.

13:45 - Freddy is a sponsor for AA? Nice! But I can I still dislike him for being a sexist?

17:00 - Roger's still got a thing for Joanie. Understandable, but still. I guess Wife 2.0 wasn't the upgrade it was marketed to be.

19:30 - Peggy's "fiancé" is really a boyfriend? And Duck, where's he? And I'm pretty sure he's not her first. Well, maybe this season.

21:00 - Ouch. Drunk Don Draper. Not a good sign, but maybe a nurse is what he needs.

23:30 - Peg pops off on Freddy for being "old-fashioned"! He's definitely had some bitters...

25:30 - Trudy definitely deserves better than Pete, period. Even if he weren't a manipulative borderline-rapist, she deserves better. It's a bummer that we didn't get to see Don bombing at Thanksgiving.

28:30 - "You punk kids get out of my kitchen!"

30:00 - I've never seen a pissing contest over a Santa suit. I think Lee, Jr. has figured out he's the big dog in the SCDP world... aaaand the continued grope of the partner's wife proves it.

32:20 - It's nice to see Don being nice to Peggy, at least until the psychologist eyes him like a wolf eyes a particularly interesting lamb.

33:50 - "I'm disappointed. I thought you came to flirt; you came to fight."

35:00 - The closet gay client forcing the office men to sit on Santa's lap? I'm not sure if this is sexual or a power play. Or, more likely, both.

37:00 - Don the office drunk? Shot down twice in an episode? This could get ugly.

40:00 - It just got ugly. Don nails his secretary -- and she walks out on him. I hope '65 is better for the intrepid Mr. Draper.

42:45 - I know that Peg doesn't have a lot of positive males in her life, but Freddy for advice?

43:00 - Who doesn't love a good Fuhrer joke?

44:00 - If I get a secretary, remind me to never bang her after being drunk at a Christmas party. And if I do, not to give her her bonus the morning after. Failing that, definitely don't act like it never happened. And for God's sake do NOT give $100 in cash as her bonus.

46:30 - You know what makes a romantic post-coital tune? "I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus Last Night".

* Virgin. I wanted to take a night off from booze, so sue me.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Mad Men Live Blogging - Season 4.1: Public Relations

We're back! It seems like more than a year since Don, Roger, Joan* were in my life, but it's been less. Do we get a time skip? Is Betty still in the show? Did my email campaign convince AMC to allow nude scenes? We'll see.

Cocktail of the Week: Whiskey, neat. Probably should be a bourbon, but I went with the Balvenie 12. Thought about the Quinta Ruban, but it seemed a bit too post-modern.

0:00 - The recap makes me think I should've prepped for this. Dammit.

1:30 - "Who is Don Draper?" I thought we'd passed this.

3:00 - I'm afraid that Liz Lemon is dangerously close to ruining Don for me -- I keep thinking he's hot but dumb.

5:15 - "It's not a bikini. A bikini is underwear you wear to the beach." Yeah, what's the problem? Now Don & Roger have to try to market family-friendly

7:25 - Ooooohhh, not all is right with SCDP. Snippy!

10:30 - Good call on the whiskey, neat! Should've gone Jameson, but how to know?

13:30 - Sweet Zombie Jesus, is that a TV turning on or a jet turbine?

19:00 - Don gets shot down! I thought the 60s were about free love?

22:00 - We have a Joan sighting! Damn sunburned Harry is taking all her screen time. I can't believe this Jai Alai plot is still alive. I wouldn't mind if it died.

23:30 - Pryce is not happy with Don! And Don seems to be afloat. And WTF is GloCoat? But Don talking about himself was never his strong suit. NOT talking about himself is more his wheelhouse.

28:30 - "I really wish we had a second floor so I could jump off it" Nice line, Harry!

29:00 - Betty X is in the house! And Sally is not a happy camper. I foresee bad choices at Woodstock for her. But she lost a LOT of weight. Is that by edict?

31:30 - Don gets slapped around by a hooker! Now, THAT's a fun family Thanksgiving. Some good writing to explain away the lack of nudity when she's on top.

34:00 - Peggy comes by for bail with America's Most Whipped Date in tow. He looks terrified at her disapproval! Will the season end with Peggy smacking Don around?

38:00 - Don does come off poorly playing the embattled spouse.

41:30 - How much has Peggy moved up? She now stands up to Don -- Seasons 1-3 Peggy would NEVER admit "All we want to do is please you."

42:30 - Henry's mom is a judgmental wench, but it is refreshing to hear someone bitchy enough to refer to Betty as "that man's dirt" -- no more of that beating around the bush. That's so 1962.

45:45 - Holy crap! I can't believe Donny Advertising just kicked out clients! Has he lost his mojo?

46:30 - Um, no. Of course, this WSJ article may just blow up in his face.

* Mmmmm... Joan...

Sunday, August 08, 2010

Well, This Is Just Impressive

Regardless of your politics, I think we can agree that this is pretty amazing. I will say, without hesitation, that it's the best drawing performance by a current or future Senator since Strom Thurmond's coffee table book, "The Negresses That I Love".

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Obama Administration Weak On Crime, Music-Lovers Claim

The Obama administration today announced that they would instruct the Justice Department not to prosecute anyone else for felony charges for being "less than the best". The move is in anticipation of upcoming legislation to make "anything less than the best" a misdemeanor for the first time since 1990's "Vanilla's Law". Press Secretary Robert Gibbs stated, "Like all Americans, the President strongly opposes shitty rap. However, we feel that felony charges are too strong, especially in light of the current overcrowding of federal prisons."

The pop music industry is one of many groups lobbying for repeal of the law, claiming that convictions against Ricky Martin, Britney Spears, Lindsey Lohan and others prematurely ended or harmed their careers. Supporters of the law claim that their careers were shams, and that the consumers saved from further music purchases are sufficient justification for the bill.

The law was enacted in 1990 after being publicly introduced and demanded by rapper Robert "Vanilla Ice" Van Winkle. Ironically, the first conviction under the law came in US vs Vanilla Ice. The rapper was sentenced to 15 years of public humiliation and prohibited from selling further records, a restriction that was seen as unnecessary due to market forces.

The reach of the law was expanded beyond entertainment into the sports industry with the landmark case US vs Starks in 1994. The case reached the Supreme Court, where Ruth Bader Ginsburg wrote the decision for an 8-1 majority, including the famous line, "While the Constitution supports free speech in all its forms, sucking ass to the tune of 2-for-18, much less 0-for-10 in the 4th quarter, is not speech -- it's cruel and unusual punishment. The only problem with this decision was that coach Pat Riley was not also charged." Writing in solo dissent, Justice Antonin Scalia wrote, "My dissent is only that no crime can be committed against Knicks fans. Suck it, Stark! Go Nets!"

The administration indicated that they would move to free those previously convicted under the law and allow them to return to their careers. Reached for comment, Van Winkle's agent, Ari Gold, said, "I'm saddened by Vanilla's death, as are both of his paren... fans. Wait, he's alive? I guess I do owe E that drink, after all."

Secretary Gibbs also announced that "The Justice Department has also decided that they will no longer stop drivers for 'doing fifty-five in a fifty-fo'. Speeders will need to do at least fifty-seven before being pulled over. It was brought to our attention that the majority of people detained in these circumstances were 'young, black, with hats real low' and this was leading to an inordinate number of warrants requested to search the trunk."

Sunday, August 01, 2010

I Let The Numbers Speak For Themselves

I hadn't really sat down and looked at the numbers until now.  It's not good, I have to admit.  When you add in the appendectomy issue?  Wow.

Stay tuned for more developments. But for God's sake, be careful.