Thursday, May 21, 2015

'Mad Men' Greatest Hits - The Top 20 Episodes, Part 4: #5 - #1



On Sunday night, AMC’s Mad Men wrapped up its extraordinary eight-year run. You can read my full review and analysis of the finale here, and now that the series is over, we are spending an entire week bidding farewell to this incredible show by counting down the Top 20 episodes from throughout the run. Things kicked off Monday with #20 - #16, continued Tuesday with #15 - #11, and Wednesday with #10 - #6, and wraps up today with the final five episodes of the countdown.

So without further ado (and, it goes without saying, with spoilers), let us conclude our walk down Mad Men memory lane, with Part 4 of the Mad Men Greatest Hits, after the jump…

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

'Mad Men' Greatest Hits - The Top 20 Episodes, Part 3: #10 - #6



On Sunday night, AMC’s Mad Men wrapped up its extraordinary eight-year run. You can read my full review and analysis of the finale here, and now that the series is over, we are spending an entire week bidding farewell to this incredible show by counting down the Top 20 episodes from throughout the run. Things kicked off Monday with #20 - #16, continued Tuesday with #15 - #11, and will continue tomorrow with one final installment. This is Part 3, with #10 - #6 on the countdown.

So without further ado (and, it goes without saying, with spoilers), let us continue our walk down Mad Men memory lane, with Part 3 of the Mad Men Greatest Hits, after the jump…

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

'Mad Men' Greatest Hits - The Top 20 Episodes, Part 2: #15 - #11



On Sunday night, AMC’s Mad Men wrapped up its extraordinary eight-year run. You can read my full review and analysis of the finale here, and now that the series is over, we are spending an entire week bidding farewell to this incredible show by counting down the Top 20 episodes from throughout the run. Things kicked off yesterday with #20 - #16, and will continue through Thursday with two more installments. This is Part 2, with #15 - #11 on the countdown.

So without further ado (and, it goes without saying, with spoilers), let us continue our walk down Mad Men memory lane, with Part 2 of the Mad Men Greatest Hits, after the jump…

Monday, May 18, 2015

'Mad Men' Greatest Hits - The Top 20 Episodes, Part 1: #20 - #16



Last night, AMC’s Mad Men wrapped up its extraordinary eight-year run. You can read my full review and analysis of the finale here, and now that the series is over, it is time to celebrate its life by looking back at the very best of what Mad Men was.

One of the things I always loved about this series was that, in a period of intense TV serialization, Matthew Weiner and company always took things episode by episode. There are obviously serialized plots and character arcs that extend within and between seasons, but Mad Men existed and thrived on individual episodes, each existing to tell a particular story or explore a single set of themes, and because of that, it was an incredibly powerful, fascinating, and fun show to watch every week.

With that in mind, I have spent the last few weeks revisiting the series’ very best episodes. I ruled out the possibility of doing a Top 10 list almost immediately, as there are simply too many great ones to choose from. A Top 20 list seemed quite a bit more manageable, and because these episodes are so wonderful, and because I love writing about Mad Men more than any other show, I have spread the Top 20 over the course of four separate pieces, to be published over the next four days. I did not quite write a full essay on each of these hours, as I did for each installment when they were airing (in the seasons I reviewed), but I wanted to revisit them in at least a certain amount of depth, as that is the least these terrific episodes of television deserve.

So today will be Part 1 of the ‘Mad Men Greatest Hits,’ with #20 through #16 on the countdown. I’ll be back tomorrow with #15 - #11, and throughout the week until we get to #1. Another special retrospective piece will publish after the countdown finishes, on Friday.

So without further ado (and, it goes without saying, with spoilers), let us begin our walk down Mad Men memory lane, with Part 1 of the Mad Men Greatest Hits, after the jump…

Sunday, May 17, 2015

'Mad Men' Series Finale Review: "Person to Person" (Season 7 Episode 14) - "Seems like this could be a chance to build something..."


Mad Men concluded its extraordinary eight-year run tonight with the final episode, “Person to Person,” and for one last time, I have an in-depth review and analysis of the hour. As always, to do this final episode justice, this review contains spoilers, so do not read until you have seen the finale.

Spoilers for “Person to Person” after the jump…

Friday, May 15, 2015

Review: "Mad Max: Fury Road" is a defiantly singular action masterpiece



My jaw dropped at the first frame of Mad Max: Fury Road, and it did not close again until the credits rolled.

What George Miller and his extraordinary team have accomplished here is nothing short of a full-blown action masterpiece. A pure expression of cinematic vision unlike anything mainstream cinema has offered in recent memory, Fury Road is among the most ambitious, strange, and accomplished Hollywood blockbusters to come along in my lifetime. Shot after shot, sequence after sequence, awe-inspiring image after awe-inspiring image, I can honestly say I have never laid eyes upon anything quite like Fury Road, certainly not in a mainstream American multiplex, and that is such an immensely rare sensation that even after watching the film, I can hardly believe it exists. Miller has masterfully blazed his own trail here, somehow convincing a room full of studio executives to lose their minds and give him an irresponsible amount of money to realize this incredible lunatic vision. From the way it looks to the way it moves to the way it sounds, to how it crafts an archetypal story that simultaneously challenges the history of Hollywood genre representation, Fury Road is defiantly singular, and cinema is richer for its existence. 

Continue reading after the jump...

Sunday, May 10, 2015

"Mad Men" Review: "The Milk and Honey Route" (Season 7 Episode 13) - "You knew we'd catch up with you eventually..."



The final season of Mad Men nears the home stretch tonight with the series' penultimate episode, "The Milk and Honey Route,” and as always, I have an in-depth review and analysis of the hour. My second-to-last one ever. Sigh. I don’t ever want this show to go.

Anyway, you know the drill – to do the episode justice, this review contains spoilers, so as always, do not read unless you have seen the episode.

Spoilers for “The Milk and Honey Route” after the jump…