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‘Mad Men’ recap: All about ‘The Beautiful Girls’



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“Mad Men,” Season 4, Episode 9: “The Beautiful Girls”

It’s about time the women over shadow the men on “Mad Men.” From little Sally Draper to ancient Ida Blankenship, Sunday’s “Mad Men” was all about the woman.

“The Beautiful Girls” episode adds to what’s shaping up to be the best season of “Mad Men” yet. We see Sally run away from home to find Don, furthering proof that Betty is the worst mother in history. Joan, seeking comfort as a now-Vietnam soldier’s wife, finds her way back into Roger’s arms. Peggy continues to roar as an independent woman. Dr. Faye won’t apologize for choosing her career over motherhood. And Ida Blankenship kicks the bucket at her desk.

The episode closes with Joan (Christina Hendricks), Peggy (Elisabeth Moss) and Dr. Faye (Cara Buono) standing side by side in an elevator. One of the best parts of the episode is drawing your own conclusions on the symbolism of that final scene.

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Sacha Baron Cohen will play Queen frontman Freddie Mercury



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We refuse to run a photo of mustached Mercury (at left) next to Cohen as Borat.

It’s been suggested and rumored many times before, but now it’s being confirmed. Sacha Baron Cohen (“Borat”) will play Queen lead singer Freddie Mercury in a biopic.

Ironically, Peter Morgan, who wrote “The Queen” (ha!) will apparently be writing the script. Reports say the movie will focus on Queen’s formative years up until their Live Aid appearance in 1985. The movie, as of now, will not touch on Mercury’s 1991 AIDS-related death.

No word on whether Cohen is capable of actually singing. Especially like Mercury. But there has already been rights granted to use some of Queen’s greatest hits. This could be good. Mercury was such an amazing talent. His stage presence alone could’ve made him a star. Cohen has a tough job ahead of him and if it’s done right, could be Oscar-worthy.

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‘Mad Men’ Season 4 Episode 8 ‘The Summer Man’ recap: Don’s new leaf



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“Mad Men,” Season 4, Episode 8, “The Summer Man”

Don Draper decided to cool things down. He’s decided to drink less, he’s swimming and he’s journaling. He turned down sex! He even went to his own son’s birthday party. Don’t overdo it Don.

Last night’s episode consisted mostly of Don’s journaling through monologue. But we also got to see Betty  react to seeing Don on a date with Bethany. She pretends it’s hate she feels, but I have a feeling it’s jealousy.

Later, in separate cars, Betty throws her infantile tantrum while Don gets some oral stimulation. It’s the same story, really. Don is still having all the fun and Betty is just as miserable as ever.

It’s a good thing Bethany took care of Don in the cab because his new leaf will apparently leave him without the real company of a lady for at least a bit. We saw a different side of Don later when he dined Dr. Faye. She all but threw herself on him in the cab, but he graciously declined and insisted on just taking her home. It’s still 1965, so that smooth move worked like a charm on her. She probably thinks he’s actually worth marrying now.

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‘True Blood’ season 3 finale review: Loose ends and other disappointments



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“True Blood,” Season 3, Episode 12: “Evil is Going On”

I don’t know if it’s because the rest of the season was action- and blood-packed, but I thought the “True Blood’s” season finale was the worst episode of the season. And that’s not cool. Season finales are supposed to be the best.

They’re supposed to tie things up, set things right and set things up. They barely did anything. And before you go there, let me stop you: you’re going to say they did set some things up. Well, sure they did but what? None of the cliffhangers were even cliffhangers (I’ll explain that more but first I should start from the beginning.

So we have Eric (Alexander Skarsgard) and Russell (Denis O’Hare) dying out in the sun. First of all, no one ever thought Eric would die. And he didn’t. Sookie (Anna Paquin) saved him. And ghostly Godric convinced Eric to not kill Russell. Instead he buries him alive in cement.

Bill (Stephen Moyer) decides to do the same to Eric for one of two reasons: 1. So Eric won’t tell Sookie a big secret none of us knew about or 2. So Eric won’t exploit Sookie for her fairy blood.

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RIP Glenn Shadix of ‘Beetlejuice’ and ‘Heathers’



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The actor who played Otho in “Beetlejuice” Glenn Shadix died Tuesday at the age of 58. The actor’s sister said she believes he fell from his wheelchair and hit his head.

That’s terribly sad. He was a great character actor, and at 58, very young. He will be missed and remembered for many great roles, including two of our favorites:

Otho in “Beetlejuice

The priest in “Heathers”

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Julia Stiles talks about her stint on ‘Dexter’



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Showtime has released an interview with actress Julia Stiles on her upcoming season of “Dexter.”

It turns out she was a big fan of the show, which is a good thing. She should have a lot of respect for the show and be a great addition to the cast. There’s no word on what kind of role she’ll be playing. The first speculation is that she’ll be Dexter’s (Michael C. Hall) new love interest. For some reason, I doubt that.

The new season of “Dexter” starts Sept. 26.

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‘Mad Men – The Suitcase’ recap: Don Draper’s softer side



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“Mad Men,” Season 4, Episode 7: “The Suitcase”

Oh Don Draper, how is it you can make me angry one week and bring a tear to my eye the next?

This week’s “Mad Men” was a special one. Because we saw a part of Don (Jon Hamm) we’ve almost never seen. He actually broke down, shed some tears and reached out to another human being. It was intense. Seeing Don Draper cry is like seeing your dad cry. You have to cry along with him.

Leading up to Don’s breakdown, we find the gang working on a Samsonite account. And it’s set to the backdrop of the historic May 1965 fight between Muhammad Ali and Sonny Liston (Oh, and more underplayed Peggy’s 26th birthday).

Everyone in the office is taking off to watch the fight when Don gets an urgent message from California. He already knows what it is but cannot bring himself to return the call. He decides to skip the fight and work. He decides to torture Peggy (Elisabeth Moss) as well. Not knowing it’s her birthday, he forces her to stay behind and work on the Samsonite account.

Meanwhile, Peggy’s boyfriend Mark has arranged a surprise birthday dinner with her family. So, little does she know Don is actually keeping her from an uncomfortable mess.

Don and Peggy end up in a bickering and yelling bout that was far more exciting than Ali vs. Liston. They finally make up after Peggy tells Don it’s her birthday. He takes her out for dinner. Then he gets drunk. Then they fall alseep in his office. I guess I should mention two things that happened along the way: (1) A drunk Duck (Mark Moses) shows up and tries to whisk Peggy away and fight Don. (2) Mark dumps Peggy.

The sun rises and Don finally returns the call to California. It’s confirmed that the original Mrs. Don Draper has passed away. Don breaks down in tears and Peggy sees this. He tells Peggy that he lost a dear friend and the only person who ever knew him. She tells him that’s not true. Even though it kind of is.

The both sleep in their offices and when she wakes, Peggy goes in to check on Don. He’s a fresh as ever and has even come up with a campaign for Samsonite. Peggy doesn’t like it, but tells Don what he wants to hear. He puts his hand on hers.

It turns out Don Draper is human after all.

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‘Tron: Legacy’ theme park being developed



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If you haven’t heard, Disneyland is transforming the Hollywood Pictures backlot into a Tron-inspired theme part called ElecTRONica. It will apparently be an outdoor dance park. With lots of neon and no ecstasy. Unless you bring your own.

The concept art looks kind of like The Sims. Which reminds me that I need to pre-order my copy of The Sims 3 for PS3. brb.

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‘Black Swan’ reviews: First impressions are mixed



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Press screenings for “Black Swan,” starring Natalie Portman, are under way today and the first reviews are showing up on Rotten Tomatoes. The film debuts tonight at the Venice Film Festival. So far, it’s gotten two good reviews and one not-so-good. Here’s the run-down so far:

Hollywood Reporter: “Trying to coax a horror-thriller out of the world of ballet doesn’t begin to work for Darren Aronofsky.”

IndieWire: “With Natalie Portman, in the demanding leading role, equaling her director in unquestioned commitment, the central issue for the viewer is how far one is willing to follow the film down the road to oblivion for art’s sake.”

Variety: “A wicked, sexy and ultimately devastating study of a young dancer’s all-consuming ambition.”

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‘Mad Men’ recap: Don Draper’s new low



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“Mad Men” Season 4, Episode 6: “Waldorf Stories”

While Jon Hamm was losing his Emmy over at NBC, Don Draper was winning a CLIO over at AMC. There was an interesting award show parallel going on last night as “Mad Men” aired during the Emmys. Even though Hamm lost the Best Actor award, show creator Matthew Weiner (for writing) and the show itself (Best Drama) took home gold.

Don Draper’s (Hamm) television commercial CLIO award was basically what last night’s episode was centered around. SCDP took home the award and celebrating ensued. Don, as drunk as ever, took home a woman only to awaken two days later with another woman, an unattractive waitress, remembering nothing in between. He even missed picking up his kids.

It was kind of a moment of rock bottom for Don. And a moment of clarity for me. I realize he’s becoming Roger Sterling (John Slattery). He’s got his name on the building. His creativity is becoming outweighed by his drinking and irritability. He’s losing moments and days because of the lifestyle.

We’re shown this during a flashback of how Don met Roger. Roger was buying a fur from Don (for Joan no less) and Don saw an opportunity to try to get his advertising foot in the door. He slipped his portfolio in the box along with the fur then continued to harass Roger. Finally, over a drunken pre-lunch, Roger agrees to hire Don. When Don shows up at Sterling Cooper, Roger doesn’t remember any of it. Sounds familiar, no?

So unless Don makes some changes, he’s going to be a washed up rich man in an office who does nothing but drink all day. It won’t take much.

While I’m still talking about the bitter men of SCDP, I’ll mention that Pete Campbell (Vincent Kartheiser) throws his 20th tantrum of the season when he learns his rival Ken Cosgrove (Aaron Staton) is coming to work from SCDP (finally!).

Meanwhile, the far less sorry and pathetic ad woman, Peggy Olsen (Elisabeth Moss), is clashing with the new creative director Stan (Jay R. Ferguson) to get a Vick’s campaign off the ground. He’s the typical male pig that SCDP loves to hire, so Peggy has a fight on her hands. But she’s learned to deal with Don, so she’s got it under control. When he refuses to work as he’s more interested in a Playboy magazine, Peggy strips down and insists they work in the nude. This gets his attention. As do her penis jokes. Peggy wins. Go Pegs!

I’d just like to congratulate “Mad Men” for winning Best Drama last night and thank them for giving us a week off from Betty (January Jones) and Sally Draper. After Sally’s uncomfortable storyline last week, I just needed some time.

(By the way, for those of you who don’t watch NBC dayime, that’s Jennifer Aniston’s dad John Aniston (Victor Kirakis, “Days of  our Lives”) presenting Don his award.)

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