Summer is here! Time to hit the beach, take a vacation, watch beautiful sunsets, dine al fresco, and come home at night with warm skin from your day in the sun to relax in front of your TV. But here’s the thing – what on earth will you watch? With all the wonderful things summer has to offer, the one thing missing is decent TV programming. For me (and probably for anyone who watches quality scripted shows) summer brings a black hole to my DVR where there once used to be hours of programming that I could never get through. Come summer time, I no longer perk up mid day on Sundays when I’m reminded of what goodies are in store for me that night – Mad Men, Nurse Jackie, VEEP (and although I don’t watch, I can’t omit Game of Thrones for your fans out there). There is a plethora of amazing cable TV shows – not to mention all the great network TV shows that have dazzled us this season – that will sadly all go the way of the dodo by late June, leaving us with literally NOTHING to watch all summer. Even though we are not quite there yet, I’m getting depressed just thinking about it.
Now I know that all the hard working people on these productions need a break, and summer hiatus is what they all deserve and look forward to, but there has to be a better way to set up the scheduling so there isn’t a massive gap at any given point during the year. As consumers who have come to expect access to everything we want at any point in time, is that so much to ask? Perhaps it is. And I also realize that summer is the time to step away from the proverbial boob tube and get outside to enjoy the aforementioned aspects of summer, but is it so wrong to also want my TV fix when I need it? As much as I’m thrilled to welcome Breaking Bad back to my home for its final episodes, I have to wait until mid August for crying out loud! They may as well have held off until September rather than tease me with a “summer” release.
So the reality is that this summer there will be lots of rerun watching and possibly some catching up with movies that I’ve embarrassingly not yet seen. But I’ll still miss my faves. Since my Sunday night line up is so extensive, let’s focus on Mad Men, which I will probably miss most. Here are some thoughts about where Matthew Weiner has taken us this season and why I’m still so hooked on this show.
Last season we all actually thought Don Draper was a changed man, having settled down with Megan, becoming an honest husband and decent man. Of course that was too good to last and we all knew it. So here we are, having watched him revert to his old ways as the season unfolded- yet this time having taken it so far that he completely lost control, essentially falling in love with his new mistress and allowing her to cloud his judgement in ways we didn’t think were possible. Despite his deplorable actions, we’re made to feel sorry for a man who is no longer in full control of himself and his emotions – that is, until, he compromised the trust and innocence of his daughter when she walked in on him and Sylvia Rosen doing the deed. And now the question hanging over his head is if and when Sally will spill the beans about what she saw, which in a way gives her more leverage than she’s ever had on her absentee father. But knowing how much she loves him despite his behavior makes you wonder if she would ever pull that trigger. And then there’s Betty, who completely impressed me with her nonchalant wooing of her ex-husband while away at their son’s Boy Scout outing. Atta girl, Bets – you get yours! And make sure he knows it means nothing to you! Take that, Don – doesn’t feel so great, does it?
And then there are all the fun happenings at the office. Peggy summed it up best when she called him a “monster” this past Sunday after he pulled that massive stunt in the client meeting to try to “save the business.” There are so many other ways he could’ve handled that situation, but he decided to be the puppet master – once again proving that he is a pathetic control freak who, after having lost control of himself, feels the need to mess with everyone else’s lives instead. What a hot mess that Don Draper is, and his lying there in the fetal position at the end of the episode was certainly on point. Who knows what’s in store for him next season, but no matter what happens, I know it will be worth the wait.