Donald Trump’s most recent expenditure report is a disaster perfectly befitting the campaign from whence it came. And of all the campaign’s various questionable spending decisions ($208,000 on hats), one recipient in particular stands out—mostly because it’s named after a fake advertising company from Mad Men.
Donald Trump, as is his wont, gave an absolutely bonkers interview this week, this time to venerate reporters Bob Woodward and Robert Costa of The Washington Post. The transcript, which reads like the transcript of a young child’s screed about wanting to be king of the playground, is chock-full of bizarre ramblings from the Republican presidential frontrunner. And through it all, Woodward and Costa try in vain, sometimes hilariously so, to get a single coherent answer out of Trump.
The critically acclaimed AMC original series Mad Men ended its run last night after seven seasons and 92 episodes of prestige period drama. Creator Matthew Weiner’s ode to the advertising industry in the middle of the 20th century was one of the most talked-about shows of the last decade, with each episode lovingly (and sometimes not-so-lovingly) dissected by a dedicated army of recappers, reviewers and television critics.
So I'm watching the season premiere of Mad Men and Don Draper is hanging out late at night alone in the bar of the Royal Hawaiian hotel, and I keep waiting for Don to get up and go bang a waitress because Don Draper is the world's classiest sleazebag, but no. Instead, he befriends a drunken sailor and ends up being the best man at the sailor's beachside wedding, all while staring off into the distance and looking crazy thoughtful because that's how Jon Hamm rolls. Draper, a man whose very existence is an elaborate sales job, has an epiphany on that beach about the hotel he's staying in. When he meets with the client back in New York, he explains that you become a different person when you stay at the Royal Hawaiian. You enter a different state of consciousness, and you don't miss what you left behind. You're not you anymore. You disappear. That's all pretty solid thinking. I know most advertising is terrible, but that doesn't mean someone out there didn't put some insight into it.
Mad Men is all set to perform a tipsy cha-cha-cha back onto our TV screens for its penultimate season April 7. In the meantime, AMC has released a slew of promotional pictures designed to remind everyone very clearly that this show features beautiful costumes, beautiful people, and lots of cigarettes.
Here's a fun drinking game: Every time a character sips a drink in this supercut of all the drinking scenes from the last five seasons of Mad Men, take a shot.
It's a very darling sort of year for the Emmys with critical/Internet/real people favs like Girls, Breaking Bad, Homeland, Downton Abbey, Game of Thrones, Parks and Recreation and 30 Rock popping up in multiple categories. Mad Men and American Horror Story lead with 17 nominations. Somewhat weirdly, American Horror Story qualifies for the miniseries categories because, as Vulture explained earlier this year, "the miniseries distinction is reserved for programming that has a story line that gets resolved in a single season." This logic led the first season of Downton Abbey to be considered by the Emmys as a miniseries last year, although that was bullshit then (clearly Mary and Matthew had more heart-dragging to do — no one could have possibly thought that the first season finale constituted resolution). It's a bit more understandable in the case of American Horror Story, which will focus on an entirely different story every season,
but it's still a little weird since we know several characters from last time around will return. (Actually, word is that returning actors will not be reprising their Season 1 roles but take up all new ones. Jessica Lange, for example, is supposed to play a nun.) No matter - whatever it takes for a show so batshit crazy to be regarded as distinguished is fine with me.
Season five of Mad Men ended just as it began: with a question. "When is everything going to get back to normal?" Roger asks Don in the third episode. The presumptive answer was that order, as they knew it, would never be restored—that the characters would instead have to adapt to a new normal as everything changed around them. Season five's thematic through-line was that adaptation. As each character attempted to move forward, they had to find a way to either avoid obsolescence or capitalize on the changing landscape.