While I appreciate the intellectual argument that when you are rooting for a sports team you are basically rooting for a uniform, I have never been able to get my heart to agree with my head. As sports fans know, you don’t choose a team, it chooses you. You start watching a sport and you decide on “your team” but that choice only takes when something happens that binds you to that team forever. I’ve been a Red Sox fan since 1977 but it was probably the one-game playoff loss to the Yankees in 1978 that bound me to that team forever. With the Celtics, I don’t remember exactly but it probably happened sometime during the 1981 championship season. I’ve lived and died with the Celtics for over thirty years and I always believed the fantasy of Celtic Pride and all that. I was elated when they finally won another championship in 2008 and I was crushed when they fell one rebound short in 2010. I have conjured false hope during each of the past three postseasons. It doesn’t make sense but I have continued to have an emotional connection to the team. Now I think Danny Ainge broke me.
Of course Paula Deen said it. Of course she did. Ms. Deen is in her sixties and grew up in Georgia. I’m in my forties and grew up on Vermont and I’ve said it. If you’re white and you grew up in this country and you are oven a certain age then it’s more likely than not that you’ve said it. What are we hoping to accomplish by ignoring that racism is part of the basic education of white people in this country?
If there is one common complaint about Mad Men season six it is this: It is no longer interesting to watch Don refuse to change. I understand that there’s no series, or at least no Mad Men as we know it, if Don got his act together in 1960. Don’s existential crisis is the spine of the show and it is what drew me in at the beginning. However, if Don isn’t moving then the series is not as interesting. “In Care Of” finally gave us Don evolving and it was worth the wait.
Of course. Of course that is how the first season had to end. I’ve enjoyed the season in and of itself but I’ve also enjoyed how the show has acknowledged that many of the viewers are already familiar with Red Dragon and The Silence of the Lambs. The final scene in which Lecter walks down the corridor of the Baltimore State Hospital for the Criminally Insane is a fantastic nod to the future. Lecter is outside and Will is on the inside, the exact opposite of what we will see when the Tooth Fairy case is recreated. Kudos to Bryan Fuller and his team.
One of the things that can happen on a dramatic series is that the writers will seem to paint themselves into a corner. On the best dramatic series, the writers come up with a dramatically logical way to get out of the corner. We won’t know until the season finale if the Hannibal writers can get out of the corner but “Releves” features that last bit of painting possible. Everything is in place for the last episode.
The character of Dr. Abel Gideon was introduced in “Entree”, an episode that served as a parallel between Hannibal and the movies based on the characters, mainly Manhunter and The Silence of the Lambs. In “Roti”, Gideon again is a parallel but in this case Gideon’s quest for identity is mirrored by that of Will Graham.
James Gandolfini died yesterday at the too young age of 51. Gandolfini will always be known for his iconic role as Tony Soprano in the HBO series The Sopranos. David Chase created Tony Soprano and with Gandolfini they turned him into one of the all-time great TV characters. It’s not a stretch to say that Tony Soprano made the memorable TV characters that followed him possible. (UPDATE: Here’s Bryan Cranston expressing just that sentiment.)
Credit: BBC Two
Last night I had the bad luck to start watching the BBC Two series The Fall on Netflix. I say bad luck not because there was anything wrong with the series. On the contrary, I thought for the most part that it was pretty great. It was my bad luck because I had hoped to go to bed early and once I started watching The Fall I had to stick with it and watch all five episodes. As a result, I’m a bit tired today, but satisfied.
Yesterday, Josh Barro had an excellent summary of the thinking of the Republican Party:
So many of its members have a warped vision of what liberalism is. They think it’s something so mind-bendingly awful that they cannot fathom how voters could willingly choose it. It must be some mistake. And sooner or later, mistakes get fixed.
The only thing wrong with Josh’ summary is that he didn’t go far enough. The thinking he ascribes to the Republican Party can also be used for the Democratic Party, substituting conservatism for liberalism.
If you’ll allow me to torture the episode title and the passage in The Merchant of Venice from which it comes, Don and Pete show mercy on co-workers but I’m not sure that anyone who gave or received mercy was blessed, except maybe Bob Benson or whatever his name is. And Glen shows mercy on Sally and may just be the noblest character in Mad Men.