Here's a quick rundown.
Neal Patrick Harris was a charming host, but some bits during his intro recalled SNL scripted monologue fillers, such as an interlude with Jimmy Kimmel that fell flat. One audience bit with a maniacal Kevin Spacey in House of Cards mode worked especially well. Of course, we loved the-3-D-glasses-and-popcorn-chomping Amy Poehler and Tina Fey — who were like a female version of Waldorf and Statler on The Muppet Show.
We also loved the cray-cray musical number (pictured above), Will Ferrell's bit at the end with the kids; the teary In Memoriams of James Gandolfini, Jean Stapleton, Jonathan Winters and Andy Griffith; Stephen Colbert unseating Jon Stewart as the variety show favorite and Michael Douglas' saucy acceptance speech (for his mini-series actor win for Liberace: Behind the Candelabra).
Big winners included Breaking Bad for Most Outstanding Drama, which made both me and our TV writer Erik Hahmann very happy. Modern Family, an erstwhile personal favorite, won for comedy series for the fourth time, rousing suspicions that the execs of the ABC sitcoms have compromising photos of all of the judges shot on Melrose. I myself had no interest in the category. I was sour grapes because my favorite, Parks and Recreation, wasn't even nominated. Stars Anna Gunn, Bobby Cannavale, Jeff Daniels, Jim Parsons, Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Claire Danes took home statues. HBO dominated with 27 awards total. For more, click here.
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James Gandolfini, Emmy Award-winning actor, best known for his work as Tony Soprano on HBO’s The Sopranos, died Wednesday. He was 51.
Mr. Gandolfini was found dead of an apparent heart attack while vacationing in Italy. He is survived by his wife Deborah, daughter Liliana and son Michael.
Don Draper isn’t an inherently bad person. He’s just broken internally, lacking a solid moral compass. That type of thing tends to happen when you’re a fatherless son of a whore, raised by an abusive step-mother.
Despite the rough upbringing Don has done a few very generous acts over the years. He aided Peggy after the birth of her child and promoted her to copy-writer when she was just his secretary. After finding out Lane Pryce was embezzling money from the company, Don allowed Lane to quietly resign instead of going to the police. Although that led to Lane hanging himself, it was a very kind gesture on Don’s behalf. [Spoiler alert; information going forward has details about Sunday night's episode.] Just this past week Don pulled a lot of strings to spare Arnold and Sylvia’s son Mitchell the horrors of Vietnam.
All that being said, Don has mostly done terrible things over the course of the series, none worse than what poor Sally Draper witnessed Sunday. One thing is for certain, Sally is going to need a lot of therapy when she gets older. Betty and Don weren’t model parents when they were together, and it’s been worse since they’ve been divorced. Sally has grown to rebel against and resents her mother but has always had a special respect for her father. Don has treated nearly everyone he’s ever had any type of relationship with poorly, but he’s had a different rapport with his children. Sally knows he isn’t the best father in the world. Catching him mid-coitus with the downstairs neighbor is a different story. The image of her father the hero came crashing down in front of her. His hollow apology did little to mend any fences.
That ranks as the worst thing Don has ever done, though it’s not lacking in competition.
Reality TV fans are squawking about University of Tampa grad Lea McGowan, who auditioned on the reality show in a chicken costume. The multitalented actress, comedian, aerialist, performance artist, dancer and more, is now based in Manhattan, and has posted a slew of offbeat and impressive performance videos of many types online since graduation, so the piece is no wild departure for McGowan if you've followed her past work.
She even has a meme dedicated to her:
“America's Next Drag Superstar”, Jinkx Monsoon has an incredible ring to it, doesn't it? Congratulations on winning Season 5 of RuPaul's Drag Race! Has it set in yet, really?
AMC announced today that Breaking Bad will return for the series' final eight episodes Aug. 11 at 9 p.m. It's a bit later than last year's July debut of this season's first eight episodes, but the longer we have Breaking Bad in our lives the better.
The series, starring three-time Emmy winner Bryan Cranston and two-time Emmy winner Aaron Paul, will be followed by the after show Talking Bad. The format is modeled after The Walking Dead and Talking Dead, where a host and panel of actors will dissect the episodes live. AMC will use these final eight episodes to launch their new series, the crime drama Low Winter Sun, which airs at 10 p.m. and will lead into Talking Bad.
This Sunday marks the return of AMC’s critically acclaimed drama Mad Men for its penultimate sixth season.
The fifth season was the most experimental of the series, dealing with issues like the Richard Speck murders, ’60s counter-culture, and drugs, and showed us just how far the characters will go to find happiness, or in one harrowing instance, relief.
As per usual, Mad Men creator Matthew Weiner hasn’t given any hints as to what this season may have in store, but this series is the story of Don Draper far more than it is of an ad agency in New York. Sure, there are many other characters, but he’s the dapper, chain-smoking sun. Everyone else just revolves around him.
CL Arts and Entertainment Editor Julie Garisto and I chatted about the events of last season, how the characters have developed, and how this season may play out. Enjoy.
Every week I hear the same thing from a variety of people after an episode of Girls: “I’m not sure I like this show, but I keep watching.” That’s the beauty and brilliance of Lena Dunham’s creation. It makes you feel uncomfortable yet totally unable to look away, like Marnie in Booth Jonathan’s TV chamber, though likely less turned on.