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Binge-Worthy TV: Top 10 Shows to Fill Up On

Homer Simpson - couch potatoOur Picks for the Top Ten Shows to Fill Up On

Oh, how the holidays are filling! Family dinners, luscious desserts… from Thanksgiving to New Year’s Eve, our waistlines suffer, as does our need for good entertainment. Most shows go on hiatus near the end of the fall, and, while reruns are OK from time to time, I like to try and find something that’s brand new to me. And totally binge-worthy.

We here at EMTV have a tendency to dive in and get wrapped up when we find a new show that catches our interest. I remember over one Christmas break from work, I got through the first two (and sadly only two) seasons of Carnivale. Watched the first few episodes, and two days later had watched all twenty-four. Since then, there have been quite a few vacations, weekends, and holidays where we’ve given our Netflix subscriptions a severe workout, and we want to share our top ten favorite binges with you.

While arguments can be made for a lot of shows that have aired over the years, we tried to find a representative of various genres. Ya know, cause sometimes you just wanna bring on the funny, while others you want to dive deep into a mythical realm where dragons and imps reign supreme.

In really no particular order, I give to you – Shows to Waste Enormous Amounts of Time On!

Sons of Anarchy (2008-Present) – This past fall I had seen so many people freaking out about what was happening on Sons of Anarchy, I knew it would be one to check out. It had always been one of those those shows I noticed, but had such a busy viewing calendar, I put it off. Luckily I had a few hours to kill when my other shows went on hiatus. Now, here I am three weeks later and five seasons deep.

Like most violent dramas, SOA has no shortage of blood, bullets, and boobs. But, unlike other shows of its’ type, it actually surprises you. Every time I thought, oh, well, it’s gonna go this way… it shifts gears and goes in a completely different direction. I must shout WTF! at least two times per episode.

Much like a lot of characters on TV lately, this gang of hoodlums are definitely of the anti-hero ilk. Criminals at heart and by choice, this is a bunch of men (and women) that you would never normally root for. So why is it that you can’t help but want them to constantly get away with the bad things they do? Because deep down, you know these guys (and gals) love their family and are only trying to provide for them and protect their home town.

The cast is pretty stellar, and they inject a certain something into their characters that makes their bad sides kinda hard to hate. Well, except Clay. I think I will ALWAYS hate Clay. The show is a bit like crack, but if you can handle the addiction, I say this is a show you could easily binge on.

The “L” Word (2004-2009) – What makes a TV show one to binge watch? I think you need to ask yourself what you LIKE to watch. Now, I’ve tried watching shows that people suggest or even what smart search suggests, but I find it’s best to binge on what you know and love. Do you like non-stop drama and attractive women? Well, The L Word could be the show for you to binge on!

There’s 6 seasons of non-stop drama for your mama, an amazingly beautiful and talented cast of women, and an array of characters with various personalities. With this show you’re going to learn so much about the Gay Culture along with the pride and struggles behind same-sex partners. Meanwhile seeing these women deal with the problems relationships bring, on top of real life responsibilities – work, family, love, and survival.

This show will give you an introspective look at the minds and hearts of women. How they think and feel. What friendship and love is really about, and lots of hook ups too! These lesbians know where it’s at in L.A.! Gay rights is a hot topic on this show, so if you’re homophobic, don’t skip this one! You should tune in and learn something!

There’s LOTS of depth and substance throughout this show, despite it’s questionable and frustrating 6th season finale. But at least you had a HELL of a run! I HIGHLY recommend watching The L Word – it made me laugh and cry. It made me pick sides and then switch perspectives! It’s an interesting show with a good sense of humor and whole lot of heart.

Supernatural (2005-Present) Two hot guys, a cool car and lots of other-worldly adventures. How could you NOT want to pour yourself into this show? But even beyond its pretty packaging, the story itself is an epic tale of Cain and Abel proportion set in modern day. Supernatural is a story of a family torn apart by a life-long destiny that no one wanted, and everyone tried to run from.

Take every story you’ve heard about monsters going bump in the night, and you have your MOTW (Monster of the Week) stories, being held up by a strong and deep mythology that will leave your mouths agape as it unfolds. The show is able to make fun of itself one week and leave you in a messy pile of feels on the floor, the next.

What makes this show binge-able (and sustainable) after nine seasons, is the amazing acting chops of said pretty packaging: Jensen Ackles and Jared Padalecki. These guys are goofballs and best friends off set, but when the cameras roll, they can set your emotions off in a tail spin. From laughing to tears all in one episode, THEY are what makes this show just that much more amazing than the others of its’ kind. Go ahead, jump in the Impala and take the ride with the Winchesters… you won’t regret it.

The Walking Dead (2010-Present) This show… well, unless you have been living under a rock these past few years, you have to have at least heard of The Walking Dead. If you are generally a fan of horror, blood, guts and zombies, then this is the show for you to spend countless hours diving into.

From the first minute, it is compelling, character driven television. Sure there are lulls in the story, but when you are battling slow moving, brainless flesh eaters, sometimes there just happens to be a little down time. What The Walking Dead offers in the study of human nature is nothing short of spectacular. That, and the unique way the writers find to kill the zombies, is what makes TWD a fairly binge-able show.

Besides the awesome make-up and special effects, the characters themselves are pretty bad ass (for the most part). As the story unfolds, and people come and go, you will find yourselves more wrapped up in the warped thinking of some characters, than the zombie threat they live with. Questionable decisions, and unlikely heroes will keep you watching episode after episode until you feel like one of the zombies yourself.

The Office (2005-2013) I could go on and on as to WHY The Office is the best comedy in the world to binge on, but in the words of Dunder Mifflin’s boss Michael Scott, I’m going to K.I.S.S. the topic instead (K.I.S.S. – Keep It Simple Stupid)

It’s funny. Period. No, wait… its REALLY funny. Like, side splitting funny. And dumb, really, really dumb. What separates this from the average funny show you ask… The people who work in the office. Michael Scott is a normal guy, who just wants to know what it feels like to have friends, family, and be the best boss in the world. Oh, and be the best improv comedian, magician, screenwriter, actor, etc. in the universe. Wrap all that up in one average paper salesman turned manager, and let the hi-jinks ensue. Then, back him up with a sidekick like Dwight Schrute, and all bets are off. Michael and Dwight are just TWO of the laundry list of reasons why this show should be THE comedy to watch – again and again and again.

What really makes this the comedy to binge on isn’t just the laughs, but all the little things that support the funny. There are also these moments in the documentary-style off-beat comedy that are sweet and poignant. It’s smart and ridiculous all at the same time. And with each episode only twenty (or so) minutes long, you could easily breeze through nine season’s worth of episodes. Trust me, once you get a load of Michael Scott’s screenplay, you won’t want to stop watching!

Fringe (2008-2013) You either like Sci-Fi or you don’t. But I suspect that even if you fall into the latter category, you could easily get wrapped up in Fringe. I happen to be a big fan of sci-fi shows, books and movies. So when I saw this show and that it was combined with a name like J.J. Abrams, I really couldn’t pass up a little gem like this.

I watched this show as it unfolded in real time on FOX. Somewhere between seasons 3 and 4 I got behind, and ended up binging on DVDs of seasons 1-4 in order to get ready for the shortened fifth and final season. While the story is mythology heavy and the “fringe” part of the science discussed is way over my IQ level, I couldn’t stop watching this show.

I’ll give you the four main reasons to give Fringe a chance: Walter, Peter, Olivia and Astrid. Remember that last name, because Walter always forgets; but the alternatives he comes up with are just the icing on the cake. Walter is one of the most amazing characters I have ever watched on TV. Of course, you have to completely suspend belief in realism to fully immerse yourself in it, but I think if you can shut off your brain for a while, you would easily get sucked in to the alternative Fringe-verse that awaits. Besides, Walter makes some really amazing drugs in his lab. Do you really want to miss out on that? And did I forget to mention there’s a cow?

Breaking Bad (2008-2013) There is a very popular trend on television over the past ten years of showcasing the anti-hero main character-type. I mentioned it earlier that the SOA crew was made up of personalities like that, but no show did that character type better than Breaking Bad’s Walter White. I know, it’s hard to imagine a man in his 50’s, wearing khakis, a cheap button down dress shirt and sneakers as a scary villian. But. somehow Bryan Cranston did that with cancer-stricken chemistry teacher, Walter White.

Along with his meth-cook sidekick Jessie Pinkman, Walter White made his mark on everyone’s Sunday night for five years. Having a break in my TV schedule last year, I found it on Netflix and caught up with the rest of the world, watching Walt struggle with a poor health diagnosis and a growing methamphetamine business. On more than one occasion I found myself watching, completely captivated, mouth agape, at what I was watching unfold.

I don’t think there is another show on television that had such a strong run as Breaking Bad. From start to finish it told a complete story, with a very satisfying ending. Because of the way the show is formatted, binging on it is just as easy as binging on Walt’s special blue meth, or so I presume. Most endings are left in a cliffhanger, and most of the beginnings foreshadow a oncoming disaster, so it is nearly impossible to tell yourself, “Just one more episode.” 

How I Met Your Mother (2005-2014) It all started in January 2013. I had no work… for the whole month! So, what did I do? I sat on my comfy-@$$ couch and binged on Netflix! And what did I watch you ask? Eight and a half seasons of How I Met Your Mother until I caught up to present day airing. That’s gotta be some sort of a record!!! HIMYM is an easy show to binge on. Each episode is only 22 minutes, which means, I could view about 3 episodes per hour, and if on average I watched 6-8 hours of TV, that’s 18-24 episodes a day. We’re looking at 1 season, or just shy of 1 season, a day. So, the viewer just flies through the show, getting a lot of TV for a “lesser” time commitment.

HIMYM is just down right cute and fun, and extremely relatable! With nothing to do for the month of January, I decided to make some new friends: Lily, Marshall, Robin, Barney, and Ted! They are a group of true friends who can be extremely silly and completely honest with each other. They will call each other out when necessary, even hold an intervention for one another, and will always have each others’ backs! The show’s use of call-backs, past references, and countless inside jokes allows the audience to feel as though they’ve been seamlessly admitted into the crew, without any questioning or hazing. The writing is inviting and open-minded, very appropriate for today’s young adult generation. Nothing is off-limits on HIMYM. They address topics like dating, parenthood, mommy & daddy issues, employment and relationship issues, sex, drugs, alcohol, friendships, friends with benefits, bromances, bachelor-life… you name it, it’s in there! Any viewer can easily relate to any one or more of the characters.

Barney Stinson is reason enough to watch the show! Though Robin is my personal favorite, Barney steals the show. He may be cocky, chauvinistic and outrageously ridiculous, but that’s what gets you hooked. His shenanigans are worth seeing and keep you wanting more. Neil Patrick Harris is an exceptional actor, period. If anything, at least watch the episode where Barney sings “Suits.” Who doesn’t love a musical episode? And if you enjoyed that, be sure to catch episodes featuring Robin Sparkles to hear “Let’s Go to the Mall,” and “Sandcastles in the Sand.” #Hilarious

The final reason to stay tuned is to find out who the eff Ted’s wife will be! So be sure to catch up, it’s quick and easy, and most importantly, it’s fun! Watch it on Mondays at 8pm on CBS because it’s going to be LEGEN wait for it…. DARY! LEGENDARY!

Game of Thrones (2011-Present) Watching Game of Thrones (GoT) at first was a little bit like one of those crazy dreams where it was high school history class combined with a strange acid trip, and flavored with ancient fairy tales… and not the kind granny used to tell. You know, those crazy, old, scary ones that were meant to frighten little children to keep them out of the woods. Yeah, that was my initial taste of GoT when I gave it a shot last February. But, you know what? After the end of episode two, I was diggin’ it. So, two seasons in about a week, really wasn’t hard.

Game of Thrones really is epic. Sometimes I think that word is thrown around a little to liberally with TV Shows these days, but in this case, its fitting. Even though there are a lot of characters, (even now I still get names confused) you will end up coming to love or loathe all of them. Its a great fit for a trip to fantasy island, where you just want to immerse yourself in a new realm, full of kings and queens, horrible and wonderful, swords and dragons, dire wolves and whitewalkers…

While there are only three seasons available, and only ten episodes per seasons, GoT is a great binge show. Yes, its heavy in dialogue, accents and, well, boobs, but there are dragons! Seriously, people, dragons!! How could you NOT want to see that! It’s clever, surprising, fascinating and captivating television. Winter is coming, don’t be the last one in from the cold.

Mad Men (2007-Present) Ok, to be honest, I struggled a little in choosing one last show for this list. Ultimately, what made me choose Mad Men is still a bit of a mystery to me. I started the show through DVDs from Netflix, and had a hard time getting past the first disc. When it became available for streaming, I decided to try again and picked up where I left off. Not exactly sure what it was, but from that second chance, I devoured four seasons in no time.

Here’s the funny part – one of my fellow TV Junkies asked me what I found so compelling about Mad Men. The more I thought about it, I couldn’t come up with a good answer. I just went blank. Yet, I couldn’t wait to get to the next episode. When season 5 became available, I watched it in a handful of days. What I think I enjoyed about it most, is the era and the business of advertising on Madison Avenue in the 1960’s. A period in time that sparks an interest and an industry that is close to my heart, I guess there was just an attraction for me to this show. BUT, as I got further and further into the seasons, the more I dug it.

Aside from the main character, Don Draper, the surrounding cast is phenomenal. Peggy, secretary turned Copy Editor, is a force to be reckoned with and Roger Sterling is just pure entertainment to watch. Don eventually gets interesting and his character slowly becomes a perfect study of childhood trauma affecting adult behavior. If you have any interest in psychology or study of social behavior, than this show is REALLY for you! Action-free but full of booze, sex and lies, Mad Men is a great way to fill your need for some serious drama-centric entertainment.

HONORABLE MENTIONS: These are some one or two seasons shows that are definitely worth considering for a quick binge-fix:

Orange Is The New Black (2013-Present, Netflix Original) – Excuse my language, but this show is the sh*t. Funny, sad, ridiculous… oh, and a character named Crazy Eyes. Need I say more?

The Newsroom (2012-Present, HBO) – Easily the best drama of its kind on television. Jeff Daniels won that Emmy for a reason folks, Watch it. Delight in it. Then watch it again, because you will hear things you missed the first time around. Brilliant and exciting television. HBO better give MORE than nine episodes for its third season, due to air sometime in 2014.

Revolution (2012-Present, NBC) – This show is intense. It gets a little mucky in the middle of season one, but the season that is currently airing on NBC has been nothing short of fantastic. Revolution is scientific, apocalyptic and has hot dudes fighting with swords. You really can’t go wrong.

American Horror Story (2011-Present, FX) – The ONLY reason AHS wasn’t included on the initial list was because it is currently airing its third season on FX. But, you can easily watch the first two stories in this horror series on Netflix now. Season 1: Murder House and Season 2: Asylum, are completely separate stories, and both fun and horrid in their own ways. But the real reason to dive into this show – two words… Jessica Lange. That is all.

Thanks for following along, and I hope this little review helps you pick some binge-able shows to add to your roster to fill in the gaps of what’s new on TV. As I wrap up the last few episodes of Sons of Anarchy, I am ready to line up my next one – any suggestions?

Here’s hoping 2014 brings us some great new television that doesn’t include any laugh tracks or procedural cop shows. Happy New Year to all, and don’t forget to set those DVRs!

Hey, Tuesday! ‘Pig In a Poke’!

piginapokeThat seems like as good a title as any with the randomness that I am about to unleash on you.

Although, for you Supernatural fans, you get it; cause every Tuesday it’s the same thing, right?

Moving on…

Sunday night my television was a’hoppin’ with the drama. First, up Game of Thrones. Honestly, I did NOT see some of that coming cersei-lannister-e1363361226383down the line. Pappy Lannister is pissed off and taking it out on the kiddos. I generally despise the Lannister’s, and everything about them. Even their words annoy me, mostly because I feel like, yeah, they pay their debts… so what? Does that give you the right to be an asshole in the process? Me thinks not. However, watching Lord Tywin Lannister telling his smug-faced daughter Cersei, that she WILL wed Loras, the brother of the new soon-to-be-Queen and produce more babies… I got two words for you people. BOO-YAH! That was enough to wipe that privileged, arrogant grin right off her face, as she stomped her foot say, ‘but I’M Queen Regent!” I know I am jumping ahead of myself in the episode, but that moment was so epic for me, I just had to start there. Even though, I do find the Lannister’s at the top of my GoT shit list and virtually irredeemable, I have to say that I did feel bad for poor Tyrion. It doesn’t seem fair that after all he has endured for the family, he was appointed to marry that waif Sansa. We know he loves Shae, and how do you think this will go over with that firecracker?

jamieSpeaking of irredeemable characters, there was quite a scene between the King Slayer, Jamie Lanister and Brienne of Tarth. His breakdown of what actually went down with the mad king was pretty awesome. To see this great, brave warrior, whom is supposedly feared and hated throughout the lands, have this moment of absolutely vulnerability… wow. I never really thought much of Jamie, or the guy who played him, but that scene made me a fan of Nikolaj Coster-Waldau. Jury is still out on his character though.

In other Game of Thrones happenings, we once again get to see the Khalessi, Daenerys Targaryen, and her big ass army marching daenyrsalong with great passion. How can anyone else battling for the Iron Throne have more of a claim than she? Her actions speak volumes about what kind of ruler she would be, and honestly, King’s Landing needs her. The people need her. After all, she does have dragons. Dragons trump all. She inspires loyalty and love in people by the way she speaks, carries herself and burns down her enemies. She is the Queen for the people. Cersei should take note. For me, her story is the one I look forward to the most each week. I can’t help but cheer her on, especially after the way her story began. Nothing makes me happier than to see the underdog rise up from the ashes and keep fighting. Daenerys Targaryen takes that to a whole new, bad ass level.

‘Sidenote’ Note: Am I the only one that thinks that Arya Stark is the next Brienne of Tarth? She is going to be Hell on Wheels with a sword when she’s older. The fire that rages in her and all the shit she’s gone through. That girl is going to have some serious skills one day and I don’t doubt will be a better fighter than her brother. The Hound better hope he never crosses her path again.

Don and Megan get real

After GoT winds up and the husband goes off to bed, I settle in to watch Mad Men. I usually press play off the DVR with a mediocre expectation of the next hour, and usually, it’s about what I get. This week, however, had another one of those moments that make me sit up and realize why this show is in season six, has dominated and won the Emmy drama categories, and keeps me coming back week after week. Starts out with a lot of blah blah blah… Peggy looking at apartments, Bobby Draper peeling wallpaper (Yeah, you read that right… THE KID WAS PEELING F-ING WALLPAPER!), Betty bitching about something or other, Don eye balling his mistress as she leaves with her own husband for a DC trip… completely bored and random nothingness. Then, the whole SCDP gang goes to some awards shows, and during the proceedings the news is announced that someone had assassinated Martin Luther King Jr. For a show set in a decade rife with news, war, social outrage, generational shifts, they don’t tend to use much historical happenings tied in with the central arc of the characters. However, the way they wove the assassination into the firm and showed how each of these characters dealt with all that comes with it, was truly awesome. Those moments lead to what, in my opinion, was the best moment of season six so far (Yes, even more than Trudy telling Pete to get lost) was Don’s monologue about his love, or lack thereof, for his children when they were born. I felt for the first time in a long time, Don put his shit aside and had an honest, self-reflective moment. I loved that Megan just let him go with it, and didn’t interrupt. Jon Hamm better submit that scene to the Academy. Because when Don Draper can actually make me feel sorry for him, there needs to be some sort of award for that! Check out the link before for a snippet of the scene I’m talking about.

http://youtu.be/_QWb0VoxwQk?t=3m40s

Joan and Dawn's 'hug'

Joan and Dawn’s ‘hug’

Honorable ‘HA HA’ mention of the night: Joan’s awkward hug with Dawn. Really, we all felt it. Good try Joan, but you DID try and fire her last week.

Revolution

Monday night’s TV adventure takes me through a haze of reality TV with The Voice, and then on the roller coaster ride that is Revolution. Ok, all kidding aside, if you aren’t watching this show, you seriously need too. I can’t put my finger on it as to why I find it to be appointment viewing… Oh wait, yes I can, because it kicks ass!! Miles is a BAD ASS people. Mysterious, sexy, and handy with a sword, I wouldn’t want Miles Matheson as an enemy. And if there was any hope for a ‘let’s let bygones be bygones’ between Miles and Monroe, Monroe pretty much burnt that bridge as he held their hometown hostage. When that didn’t work put a gun to Emma’s head. Now, was her declaration of a secret child a ploy to save her life or was it a truth? She did say it was Monroe’s son, but as the flash backs tell us, its possible it was Miles’ right? RIGHT? Again, I get ahead of myself episode wise, but that ending… damn! Miles is definitely more determined than ever to put Monroe down, and by the look of a wounded Monroe being escorted off by Lucifier, er… Jeremy (sorry, Mark Pellegrino will ALWAYS be Lucifier to me, right SPNFAMILY?!?) I am betting that Monroe has it in for Miles for killing Emma. Even though it was Captain Dick, sorry, Captain Dixon (…ya know what, screw it, he was a dick and I’m glad he’s dead too) that killed her.

Aaron seeing his long gone wife

Aaron seeing his long gone wife

Then, of course, there was Aaron finding the wife he left behind, only to learn she has a new family now. I generally like Aaron. He’s a smart, caring guy who looked out for Charlie and wants to do nothing but help. But, dude, really? You can’t be pissed that the wife you left behind ‘for her own good’, moved on. Even though she says she will always love him, part of her has to still be pretty miffed that he just left her with strangers. Oh, well, there was that note… :-/

Charlie is harboring some rage at Uncle Miles for something he did to her mom years ago. Am I the only one who thinks that Miles and Rachel got it on behind Ben’s back? And that maybe Charlie is really Miles’ kid? Sorry folks, been watching soaps again so I tend to cross over shitty drama for good drama.

But that ending… hot DAMN, THAT ENDING! When the President of Georgia was talking about this unknown person, I had a feeling it would be Tom. But to see that door open and his icy grin fill up my screen made my heart go all a-flutter, and not for the reasons you may think. Giancarlo Esposito has quickly become the quintessential bad guy, and I love watching him do it. Putting aside his role as Pierce Hawthrone’s half-brother on Community, he actually terrified me as Gus on Breaking Bad, and as Captain Tom Neville on Revolution made me seethe with a rage I thought unthinkable to feel while watching television. Here is another man that deserves an award.

Giancarlo Esposito, as Captain Tom Neville

Giancarlo Esposito, as Captain Tom Neville

Thank God that this show got picked up for seasons two. I need more characters like Charlie, Miles and Nora. The action, drama and dialog in this show are genuine. Eric Kripke and J.J. Abrams have, once again, made some damn good TV here. With a cast and crew that are pretty awesome as well. I don’t know of too many casts that live tweet during their shows to connect with fans. I certainly don’t know any others that direct message their fans on Twitter, thanking them for comments and watching the show. I’m looking at you Tim Guinee and JD Pardo (@timguinee and @PardoJD respectively), stay classy boys.

So, with that being said… Watch it. Take Back the Power with the rest of us. You won’t be sorry.

Stay tuned kids, much more TV to dish about!

Including…

SOAPS ARE BACK! With the premiers of All My Children and One Life to Live on TOLN (The Online Network), I can’t help but wonder, is this truly the future of television? But, more on that later. Keep an eye out for my review later this week of the new incarnations of some of television’s oldest (and longest) running shows!

• For reality junkies – Deadliest Catch is back for SEASON 9 people!! How can a show about crab fishing be so damn compelling?? Tune in a 9 p.m. tonight on Discovery and see. Really, I swear it is almost hypnotic. That, and the guys on the Time Bandit are f-ing crazy!

• A brand new Supernatural this Wednesday, which shows a very sickly Sam passing out, and Dean having to do ‘god-only-knows-what’ to save him. For any one else like myself who watches that show holding their breath half the time, Sammy wasn’t looking too good in that preview. With the trials two-thirds complete and a prophet on the run, the boys will need a miracle to get it done. Or Castiel, I’m sure he could help.

• Count down to The Office Series Finale with us! Every Thursday night we are watching and talking The Office. With only a handful of episodes left, don’t miss out on the fun!

• Speaking of Thursday nights, while The Office is the main event, there are also some amazing little shows called Community and Parks and Recreation. I can honestly say, NBC’s domination of the Thursday night line-up is chock full of characters that you just want to wrap up, take home and keep as pets. Who among us wouldn’t want your very own Abed or wished they were getting a text from Jeff? I know, personally, I would LOVE to have a Leslie Knope in my home. It would be so organized, and fun, and full of waffles. Throw in a Ron Swanson and you automatically have an assortment of breakfast meats at any given time. Pure bliss.

What are you most looking forward to watching this week?

OMFG Something Happened on Mad Men!

mad men cast

No, seriously… this is not sarcastic excitement. This is sheer, unabated joy all because something of note seemed to finally happen on Mad Men!

I tried watching this show once a few years back and I don’t think I got past the second disc of season one. That made me incredibly frustrated because I had heard nothing but great things from friends and online reviews about how amazing the show was. I have such an affection for the time period, for the area of advertising and sales, and, well, drama. Who doesn’t love a little drama? When I found myself unemployed this past fall, alone all day with three kids and a Netflix subscription, I decided to give the gang from Sterling Cooper another shot. And I was really glad I did.

Fast forward to this past February, I had finally caught up on all five seasons, and was marking on my calendar the premiere of season six. In discussing the show with friends, I tried to explain what the show was about and why I enjoyed it so much. A summary, sure, no problem… but why do I like it? That’s a harder question to answer. With the exception of three, maybe four, I don’t much like the characters much. In one way or another they are all obnoxious, pompous asses who all deserve the worst that karma could befall them for their actions. Having said that, I suppose that’s one reason I do love the show. The writers have an amazing sense as to who the characters are, and even though I may never want to have a drink with them, I would love to sit here and psychoanalyze them all! MOST of all, Don Draper.

Moving on to my OMFG moment of this week’s, Collaborators: Got three words for you folks: TRUDY “F-ING” CAMPBELL.

57799-Mad-men-6x03-collaborators-Tru-aIPy

Alison Brie’s Trudy absolutely blew me away this week. Her reveal that she’s known about Peter’s affairs all along shocked me! Then, the seemingly perfect housewife’s new ‘I-wont-take-your-shit-anymore’ attitude kicked his ass to the curb, stating,

“I refuse to be a failure. I don’t care what you want any more. This is how it’s going to work — you will be here only when I tell you to be here. I’m drawing a 50 mile radius around this house and if you so much as open your fly to urinate, I will destroy you.”

Hell. Yes. Thank you Trudy, for finally giving Pete just what he deserves. Now, if she would only find out about Pete’s other kid…

stanpeggyThen, there is Peggy. She is still my favorite member of Madison Avenue, even though her time at the SCDP agency is over. I find myself looking forward to her story the most, as well as, her keeping in touch with Stan at SCDP. While their working relationship was rocky at the start, they seemed to have forged a genuine friendship akin to one you’d have with a bunker mate while at war. Even when the war is over, only that person can relate to that part of your life and the connection you form with them bonds you forever. Maybe it was the long hours smoking pot, er, being ‘creative’ at SCDP, or the fact that they endured the conference room meetings together while battling over the Heinz Baked Beans account… or maybe it was the fact that even though she is a woman working in a man’s world, he respected her work… whatever the reason, Peggy and Stan are my favorite blossoming potential non-couple at the moment. Even if they never move past that, I still think she’s got more chemistry with him, than her boyfriend Abe.

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Adversely, you know who I DON’T care about, Don’s new side meat. With the flashbacks he is having to the whore house from when he was a boy, to the way that he tells his mistress, in a crowded restaurant no less, that he IS going to take her dress off at the end of the night, I just feel like he is a flat out nymphomaniac. Now, is that because he did witness (well, peeped) at his pregnant mother getting plowed by his drunk uncle, or is it because sexing up a new woman is how he maintains that feeling of control? It was apparent that its all finally taking a toll on him when he told her he wanted to stop what they were doing, then, unable to walk into his apartment, slinks down to the floor and stays there. He’s clearly having a rough time of it and I am starting to think that maybe all the death omens from last season will carry into this one. I mean, seeing your business partner hanging from his office door, then having visions of your dead brother all over the place, that’s gotta stay with a guy, right? Not to mention the divorce from Betty, countless affairs, and a whirlwind marriage to Megan… Maybe he could make an appointment with Roger’s shrink. Which, by the way, are scenes I could watch over and over again. Roger and his shrink are great, and I really hope the writer’s delve more into that man’s psyche. That LSD he took last season opened a door in his mind. Given the year is 1968 and the height of the ‘awakening’ of that generation’s consciousness, I think that they would be missing out on an opportunity if they don’t.

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So to recap the third episode of season six: Don’s still spiraling out of control, despite his successful business, beautiful actress wife and Italian housewife side action… Peggy is still being harassed by most of the men she works with… Joan is still being propositioned by that creep from Jaguar… Roger is, well, still Roger, and poor Burt Cooper is still looking for an office. Once again, nothing much has progressed. Oh, Wait! TRUDY F-ING CAMPBELL happened! 

And THAT is why I love this show.

On a quick side note… WTF is up with the previews for the next episode? I can’t be the only person who noticed that they are cut awfully and make absolutely no sense whatsoever. Don’t believe me? Watch this and tell me if you can even get an inclination as to what this episode will be about. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n8HleDcZX0c