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Showing posts with the label Season Finales

BuzzFeed: "The Midseason Finale Of Mad Men Is One Giant Leap Forward"

Don’t be fooled: Matthew Weiner’s period drama has always been about the future. Warning: contains spoilers for “Waterloo.” At BuzzFeed, you can read my latest feature, "The Midseason Finale Of Mad Men Is One Giant Leap Forward," in which I review the midseason finale of AMC's Mad Men ("Waterloo"), which represents a giant leap forward for the characters and for the show itself. For a show about the past, Mad Men has always been about the desperate pressing of the future against the figurative glass. In looking back to the 1960s, the show has held up a tarnished mirror to our own society, our own failings, our own future. A moon landing is full of promise; an old man lives just long enough to see the impossible made possible. Old ways — and the literal old guard — slip away. Companies perish and new ones are formed. Alliances, once fractured, are renewed. This dance is eternal, the combustive pressure between the past and the future, between cynicism a

BuzzFeed: "53 Possible Ways Season 3 Of Scandal Could End"

Shonda Rhimes’ political thriller always leaves you guessing, but entertainment editorial director Jace Lacob and staff writer Emily Orley take a stab as to what might happen by the end of the third season. Let the wild speculation begin! At BuzzFeed, you can read my latest feature, "53 Possible Ways Season 3 Of Scandal Could End," in which Emily Orley and I come up with, yes, 53 ways that this season of Scandal could end, from the possible to the highly absurd. 1. Maya’s bomb explodes on the campaign trail, leaving the fates of several characters — including Fitz — unclear as the show goes on its summer hiatus. CLIFF-HANGER! 2. Fitz is killed when the bomb goes off, widowing Mellie in the process. Olivia is understandably distraught, as her actions lead to Maya being able to plant the bomb. 3. Fitz is killed when the bomb goes off and Cyrus runs in his spot on the Republican ticket. He becomes the first openly gay man to win the presidency. 4. Adnan turns on May

BuzzFeed: "Where Can Homeland Go From Here?"

Showtime’s espionage thriller wrapped up its third season and much of its overall narrative. So where can the show possibly go in Season 4? WARNING: SPOILERS AHEAD. At BuzzFeed, you can read my latest feature, "Where Can Homeland Go From Here?" in which I look at the third season finale of Showtime's Homeland and where the show could possibly go from here. (Answer: wherever it does, I likely won't be watching as I'm fatigued with this show at this point.) With Sunday’s season finale of Homeland (“The Star”), Showtime’s espionage thriller seemed to fold inwards upon itself, offering up a 20-minute epilogue that felt very much like a conclusion for the series, an alternately intelligent and deeply frustrating drama, depending where in its overall narrative you were at any given time. (It was, however, renewed for a fourth season earlier this year.) In its often maddening and meandering third season, Homeland found Carrie (Claire Danes) pretending to be on

The Daily Beast: "Mad Men Creator Matthew Weiner on the Season Finale"

The AMC series’ season ender offered upheaval in the lives of SC&P’s employees. I speak with Mad Men creator Matthew Weiner about the finale and what’s next. Warning: Spoilers ahead! At The Daily Beast, you can read my latest feature, " Mad Men Creator Matthew Weiner on the Season Finale," in which I speak with Mad Men creator Matthew Weiner about the sixth season finale, going overboard, that look, California, and much more. Not since the end of Season 3 has AMC’s Mad Men—created by Matthew Weiner—ended a season with as much physical, emotional, and psychological upheaval as it did in Sunday night’s episode (“In Care Of”), which closed out the period drama’s sixth and penultimate season. Written by Weiner and Carly Wray, the final episode restructured some of the show’s key underpinnings: Don Draper (Jon Hamm) spilled the truth about his awful childhood in front of his partners and clients; Megan (Jessica ParĂ©), Pete (Vincent Kartheiser), and Ted Chaough (Kevin

The Daily Beast: "The Good Wife: Creators Robert and Michelle King on the Season Finale, Alicia and Kalinda, and More"

The season finale of The Good Wife was full of dramatic bombshells. I talk to creators Robert and Michelle King about rebooting the show, the start of a ‘civil war,’ Alicia and Kalinda’s dynamic, and what’s next. WARNING: Spoilers galore. Over at The Daily Beast, you can read my latest feature, " The Good Wife Creators Tell All," an exclusive Season 4 postmortem interview with The Good Wife husband-and-wife creators Robert and Michelle King, in which we discuss the Alicia (Julianna Margulies)/Kalinda (Archie Panjabi) dynamic (or lack thereof), what really happened between Kalinda and Nick (Marc Warren), the year of Cary (Matt Czuchry), Robyn Burdine (Jess Weixler), and much more. (Seriously, it's a long interview and I had to cut a lot for space.) With two simple words (“I’m in”) the fantastic fourth season of CBS legal drama The Good Wife came to a staggering conclusion on Sunday evening with the revelation that Alicia Florrick (Julianna Margulies), Illinois’s n

The Daily Beast: "Downton Abbey Crashes" (Or My Thoughts on the Controversial Season Finale)

My take on the frustrating finale of Downton Abbey , which ended its spectacular third season with heartbreak. WARNING: Spoilers ahead if you haven’t seen Sunday’s episode. At The Daily Beast, you can read my latest feature, " Downton Abbey : Why Last Night’s Season Finale Has Fans Seeing Red," in which I offer my thoughts about the controversial Season 3 finale, which aired last night on PBS's Masterpiece Classic . He had to die. There was no other way for Dan Steven’s Matthew Crawley to leave Downton Abbey other than in a body bag. As the heir to the grand estate and the title, it would have been impossible for sensible, responsible Matthew to shirk his responsibilities and head to America to start a career on the New York stage, or—to borrow from Monarch of the Glen, a Scottish Highlands-set drama that featured Downton Abbey creator Julian Fellowes as part of its cast—to go climb a mountain somewhere. No, Matthew Crawley was not only wedded to Lady Mary (Miche

The Daily Beast: "Parenthood: In Praise of Season 4, Monica Potter, and More"

Following the conclusion of the show’s fourth season, I examine NBC’s underrated Parenthood and offer why television needs a fifth season of this remarkable drama. Over at The Daily Beast, you can read my latest feature, " Parenthood : In Praise of Season 4, Monica Potter, and More," in which I sum up my feelings about the fourth season of NBC's Parenthood and praise the show's subtlety and bravery. Dry your eyes: it’s time to celebrate this season of NBC’s Parenthood, not to mourn it. The show’s fourth season, which concluded Tuesday night, was arguably its best to date, one that captured the emotional highs and lows of family life with bravery, subtlety, and realism. Overall, Season 4 was both somber and uplifting—often at the same time—depicting and playing with the notion of change, as seen through the adults and children of the sprawling Braverman family. Change, as we know, comes in many forms: from the pangs of puberty and the leap into adulthood to th

Before All Else, Be Armed: How Borgen Gets Everything Right (Or What Aaron Sorkin's Newsroom Could Learn From Borgen)

"A prince never lacks legitimate reasons to break his promise." - Niccolo Machiavelli Machiavelli's words continue to hold power today, though in the current era, it's context is limited not to royalty but to those who hold elected office as well: the leaders of dominant world powers, the prime ministers and presidents whose decisions echo through the lives of ordinary folk. Promises are made and broken, alliances tested, enemies courted and appeased. This is felt most keenly within the stellar Danish political drama Borgen (or, literally, "The Castle"), from creator Adam Price. Borgen wrapped up its second season run last night on U.S. cable/satellite network LinkTV following a 20-episode run that asked tough questions about policy makers, mothers, and citizens. I've been writing and tweeting almost incessantly about the show for the last few months, having fallen under its intelligent, incisive, and gut-wrenching spell. (Missed the series? No wor

The Phantom: Thoughts on the Season Finale of Mad Men

"Are you alone?" I had a feeling that there would be some discontent among the viewers of Mad Men when faced with the finale of Season Five, after such a breathtaking and momentous episode as last week's "Commissions and Fees," which saw the death of one character and featured startling and concrete change. Airing directly after, the season finale ("The Phantom"), written by Jonathan Igla and Matthew Weiner and directed by Matthew Weiner, could feel a bit anti-climactic. To me, however, "The Phantom" offers a necessary coda for the fifth season, paying off the season's diverse themes and allowing the viewer to see the after-effects of the suicide of Lane Pryce (Jared Harris) on both Don Draper (Jon Hamm) and the firm as a whole, exploring the ways in which we seek out what we believe will offer us happiness--however temporary or fleeting--in order to assuage the rot inside us. Once we achieve the thing that we dreamed about and want

Valar Morghulis: Thoughts on the Season Finale of Game of Thrones

Everything ends. Life, love, and even dynasties: nothing lasts forever. They all turn to dust, a charnel cloud of smoke, reducing even the stones of a fortress that has stood for thousands of years to ash. Everything crumbles, everything rots, and everything eventually ends. And even this, Season Two of Game of Thrones . The season finale ("Valar Morgulis"), written by David Benioff and D. B. Weiss and directed by Alan Taylor, concluded the second season of Game of Thrones with a powerful episode that built up on the magnificent set piece of the Battle of the Blackwater that last week's episode provided. Despite the fact that, after such a momentous event, the final episode could have felt more like a denouement than a riveting installment in itself, "Valar Morgulis" instead further teased out more tension, drama, and dread, offering an ending to the season that was flooded with possibility, both of life and and of death... but ultimately of change. Whi

The Unopened Door: Thoughts on the Season Finale of The Good Wife

Auteur Hal Hartley once said, "A family is like a gun. You point it in the wrong direction and you could kill someone." The message therein, and the parallels between the potential explosive energy of a family and that of a loaded gun, was keenly felt in this week's outstanding season finale of CBS' The Good Wife ("The Dream Team"), written by Corinne Brinkerhoff and Meredith Averill and directed by Robert King, which posited two parallel situations between Alicia Florrick (Julianna Margulies) and Kalinda Sharma (Archie Panjabi) that will fuel our imagination during the long summer. The Good Wife is one of a very small handful of television shows that can take innately simple moments--those that may seem quotidian or mundane, such as a knock at the door or a look through an open window--and make them transformative. This has been the case in the past as well: look at Alicia and Will (Josh Charles) opening a hotel door at the end of last season. While t

Our Own Worst Enemy is Ourselves: Quick Thoughts on the Homeland Season Finale

I'm puzzled by how polarizing the season finale ("Marine One") of Showtime's Homeland ended up being, with viewers on one side or the other about just how effective--and believable--the climax of the espionage drama was last night. Personally, I thought it was powerful, heartbreaking, and superlative, filled with emotional resonance and an aura of tragedy hovering uneasily over everyone, particularly the now-tragic figure of Cassandra-like Carrie Mathison (Claire Danes), whose portents of doom fell onto deaf ears. It's Carrie who saves the lives of the Vice President and his cabinet as well as that of Nicholas Brody (Damian Lewis), but her instability is used as a weapon against her. In essence, she saves the world, but is denied the knowledge that she's done so. Her breakdown in the final third of the episode isn't just a mental one, but that of communication as well as self-worth. Carrie's entire persona is based on a laser-like precision of the

Day of the Dead: Thoughts on the Season Finale of HBO's True Blood

"I'll always be with you." I've been quiet about the last few episodes of True Blood , partly because I've had a massive amount of deadlines at work and am in the process of moving house (and taking time off as a result), but also because my enthusiasm for the series has waned considerably during the final few installments of Season Four. After a series of strong episodes, I felt the quality drop considerably out of the final third of the season. I will say, however, that I did quite enjoy the season finale ("And When I Die"), written by Raelle Tucker and directed by Scott Winant, which is a head-scratcher as I typically don't love the True Blood season finales as a rule, as they tend to be more about setting up the next season than wrapping up storylines. (I tend to think of them more as epilogues or codas than anything else.) Given how little I've liked the rally massacre/standoff at Moon Goddess storylines, I was surprised by how much ple