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Real things you should know about Blockbuster’s bankruptcy


A lot of blogs are poking fun at Blockbuster‘s Chapter 11 filing and I don’t quite understand why. Since when is it funny for a business that employees thousands and thousands of people to be at risk of closing? I mean, the last time I checked, it wasn’t funny for anyone to lose their jobs.

The graphic above was posted by The Consumerist. While there’s complete truth to the graphic, it’s just not a laughing matter. A lot of innocent people could lose their jobs.

So there’s the first real thing you should know about Blockbuster’s bankruptcy: Think before you joke.

Secondly, people can’t seem to understand what Chapter 11 means. Message boards on the blogs I mentioned above are flooded with ignorance (that’s not an insult, ignorance is a legitimate term) about what kind of bankruptcy Blockbuster filed. It doesn’t take a degree in business to know there’s a difference between Chapter 11 and Chapter 7. Chapter 11 means the company’s debt has been cleared (or lessened in Blockbuster’s case) and Chapter 7 means liquidation and closure.

So there’s the second real thing you should know about Blockbuster’s bankruptcy: The store is NOT closing. You will still have to return your movies to your local store.

Of course Blockbuster’s days are probably still number unless they make drastic changes. There’s a lot of restructuring they need to do. They need a stronger online presence. They need to give consumers a better selection of movies. Not everyone is only interested in new releases. Of course I’m no expert on restructuring a business. I’m just recognizing the fact that they need to change.

So why do I care enough about this topic to write about it? No, I don’t have stock in Blockbuster (thank God). I just know what it’s like to work on the bottom ranks of a corporation. I know what it’s like when that corporation is both hated for what it has and hasn’t done. I know what it’s like to be the one who has nothing to do with the corporation’s mistakes but depends on it to pay my bills.

And I know how to sympathize. That’s the bottom line.

‘Mad Men’ Episode 10 review: That was close


“Mad Men,” Season 4, Episode 10: “Hands and Knees”

Don Draper’s life almost ended in Sunday’s episode of “Mad Men.”

He came this close to being discovered as an impostor by the government. It turns out a possible $4 million account with the North American Aviation requires security clearance for Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce employees. Don wasn’t aware of that.

Betty (January Jones) is the first one to tell Don (Jon Hamm) because the FBI spent 45 minutes grilling her on Don’s personality and past. Lucky for Don, Betty didn’t decide to get revenge at that exact moment. Maybe Don saved himself with Betty by promising Sally tickets to see The Beatles.

Don is instantly a nervous wreck. If the FBI finds out he’s stolen someone’s identity and abandoned his own, he’s in serious trouble. He goes to Pete Campbell (Vincent Kartheiser) and asks him to sabotage the NAA account. Pete, who is aware Don’s really Dick Whitman reluctantly agrees. He’s not happy with losing a $4 million account he’s worked hard to obtain, but he’s loyal.

Meanwhile, Roger (John Slattery) is meeting with the slimey Lee Garner Jr. from Lucky Strike. He informs Roger they’re taking their business elsewhere. A near-heart attack later, Roger gets Lee to agree to keep silent for 30 days until he can get SCDP’s affairs in order. Which is a good thing since they also just lost the $4 million NAA account.

Aside from SCDP hemorrhaging clients, the only other notable events were Lane’s (Jared Harris) interracial relationship and Joan’s (Christina Hendricks) pregnancy. Oh yeah, I forgot to mention that. Joan is pregnant by Roger. Remember the street sex they had last week? Yeah.  I think she terminated the pregnancy. But for some strange little reason I’m not entirely sure.

This season has been a Don Draper  yo-yo. One episode he’s on top, the next he’s at rock bottom. One episode he’s throwing up on himself, the next he’s quit drinking. This was one of those down episodes. Don truly thought his life was over and he had the anxiety attack to prove it. Hamm really shines in moments of Don despair.

It was also great to see more of Pete. He’s been almost as sparse as Betty this season. And how hilarious did Trudy look in her pregnant nightie? I guess more Pete means less Peggy? Peggy (Elisabeth Moss) was no where to be seen in this episode. I’ve gotten really used to seeing Pegs, too.

I was worried the entire episode that Don would forget to take Sally to see The Beatles. And she’d finally snap and kill Betty and everyone else in sight. But I guess he did take her. It just didn’t show it.

‘Dexter’ Season 5 premiere review: RIP Rita


“Dexter,” Season 5, Episode 1: “My Bad”

The fifth season premiere of “Dexter” was a necessary followup to last season’s insane finale and a tribute to Rita.  The episode picks up on that same sad night just moments after Dexter (Michael C. Hall) found his loving wife dead in a bathtub full of her own blood.

The police show up, followed by Deb (Jennifer Carpenter). They find a stunned and bloody Dexter holding baby Harrison who explains Rita’s dead and offers up the phrase “It was me.”

Lt. LeGuerta (Lauren Velez) informs Miami Metro homicide that Rita’s murder is a Trinity Killer case and therefore belongs to the FBI. She insists they’re there for Dexter as friends and family not as police detectives.

Dexter spends the next couple of days moping, which says a lot for a man who is supposed to have no feelings. He won’t cry, but he’s sad. That’s clear. And you can tell one of the hardest things he’s ever had to do is tell Rita’s children their mother is dead. Especially when one of the kids is a notorious little bitch. Let’s hope this story line quickly sends her off to live with her grandparents.

Deb ends up handling all of Rita’s funeral arrangements because Dexter just isn’t capable. He’s being very weird, even for Dexter, and Deb and Detective Quinn (Desmond Harrington) are noticing. It’s obvious Quinn is not going to ignore Dexter as a suspect. Looks like we could have another Sgt. Doakes on our hands.

Speaking of Deb and Quinn, there could be a new couple there following their surprise sex scene. Quinn better be careful. Deb’s boyfriends seem to drop like flies.

It becomes clear to Dexter that the jig is up for him. He can’t fake the kind of emotion and interaction it requires to get through the loss of a spouse. He packs up his weapons, burns down his storage building and decides to sail off into the sunset. But first he stops for gasoline. And he brutally murders a redneck who insulted Dexter and Rita. Outside of Harry’s code… Speaking of Harry (James Remar), he shows up and tells Dexter that was the most human thing he’s seen him do since Rita’s death.

Was that an indication that Dexter has changed? That the code is no more? Or was that just an OK slip up … a way for him to mourn? We’ll see. It does help Dexter decide to go home and deal with Rita’s death like a “normal” human. But it’s not going to be that easy. Quinn and the FBI are interested in what Dexter might know about Rita’s death.

Dexter delivers Rita’s eulogy and closes it with a simple realization: He did love Rita.

I’m guessing some people will find this episode boring and slow. I agree it’s not the most exciting episode we’ve ever seen, but it’s a necessary one. We deserved to see the direct aftermath of Rita’s death. We needed to see how it was handled. Who investigated. Who reacted and how.

Trust me when I say this is a much better place to go with the storyline instead of a jump ahead. We’d feel cheated if this season opened weeks or months after Rita’s murder. I hate when shows do that. I feel cheated.

There’s a lot more to this season than we’re seeing right now. I’m confident it’s not going to be a repeat of Season 2 and Doakes. We just have to be patient. There’s a reason we’ve all made it five seasons with Dexter. Hang in there. I surely am.

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


“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.

Sacha Baron Cohen will play Queen frontman Freddie Mercury

mercury1 copy

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.

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


“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


“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’


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”

Julia Stiles talks about her stint on ‘Dexter’


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.

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


“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.