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    Suits is back on USA..



      Monty Python's "Meaning of Life" on down here last night - one of the greats!

      A little minty wafer anyone?



        Emmy nominations just released. While I don't care for watching the show itself, I do enjoy the nominations and results. These awards often indicate longevity and influence of the various TV shows and networks currently airing.

        HBO scored massively as a network in first place at 81 nominations, thanks to shows and movie projects including Game of Thrones, Girls, Boardwalk Empire, Veep, Curb Your Enthusiasm, and Hemingway & Gellhorn.

        AMC was also notable in Drama, with Mad Men and Breaking Bad grabbing multiple nominations. Mad Men tied for most nominations for a single production at 17 nominations this year, alongside FX's American Horror Story.

        Mad Men was the first basic cable series to ever win Outstanding Drama, and has won the award every year since, making it a frontrunner yet again this year. A fifth win in the category would make it the most awarded show ever in that category.

        Following behind are PBS's Downton Abbey with 16 nominations, now entered as a regular series rather than its previous winning place as a miniseries. History Channel's Hatfields and McCoys ties with the HBO film Hemingway & Gellhorn at 15 nominations.

        What do you all think of the nominees? Any that you are hoping receive one of TV's biggest yearly praises?



          How did Jason Isaacs from Awake not get a nomination???

          Anyways, whom I would personally pick:

          Maggie Smith wins Drama Supporting Actress.

          Bill Hader for Comedy Supporting Actor, or maybe Ty Burrell

          Daily Show with Jon Steward for Variety show

          Dot-Marie Jones for Drama Guest Actress (though I don't know how she can be considered a "guest")

          I need to watch some of these though. I want to get into Breaking Bad, Veep, and Curb Your Enthusiasm.



            I've been trying to get into Mad Men which I know gets some love on this site. I must admit. I really don't get the hype. I find Don Draper to be whiny and boring rather than a brooding, mysterious genius. It seems to be a huge stereotype of many things. It is cool as a period-piece but that novelty wore off for me in one episode. If someone could say what they like about it I'd be curious.

            I tend to like shows for the writing, which I find lacking here. For reference I like Dexter, Breaking Bad, arrested development, Game of thrones, etc.

            I will say, there was one scene I just watched between Don and the female owner of the Menken's store in a restaurant talking about utopia. That was well done. I just caught up on breaking bad. That was phenomenal. I was hoping Mad Men would be next but I just don't see it happening.

            "You don't need money to dress better than you do" - Salvatore Romano



              White Collar

              Hell on Wheels


              Mad Men

              "We had a sick night b*tches!"



                Coincidentally, I was just about to revive this thread to talk about the return of shows coming soon.

                @greg_s - Hey, Breaking Bad, Arrested Development, Game of Thrones, and many more greatly written shows get mention here!

                I'm a sucker for bygone eras and lost loves in stories, so Mad Men resonates with me there. Plus the 50s and 60s are my favorite decades in history. I also just love period dramas, and realistic dramas in general.

                I just love the style, the manners, the period objects and products, the language, the world. I find the show to be filmed much more like a film, with handheld filming never occurring, just camera dollies and very clean stage lighting with little obvious color alteration.

                I think the show has brilliant symbolism and references over its 5 seasons so far. Of the shows on TV, it perhaps feels like its writers would be the most at home on set of an Oscar-nominated adult drama.

                Now, Breaking Bad. That show is incredible. It has perhaps the greatest character shifts of any show ever. The writing is fantastic, the visuals raw. It easily is the darkest show on television, and one of the darkest ever (AMC is pretty darn great, with how many "ever"s I'm compelled to use). I wholly recommend it. Mad Men is a personal favorite over it, but I wouldn't hesitate to give the best writing awards to Breaking Bad. Shame its in its final season, but it is going out bold and strong.



                  @Cannon I re-read my post. My "here" was related to Mad Men. Not Dappered lol. Many great shows have been mentioned on this thread. I meant I found the writing lacking on Mad Men. Ironically, it was a poorly written sentence.

                  Breaking Bad is definitely unique among the non-HBO/Starz cable channels. It doesn't hurt that the leads are very strong actors. Bryan Cranston is phenomenal and deserves the credit he gets, but not nearly enough credit is given to Aaron Paul.

                  "You don't need money to dress better than you do" - Salvatore Romano



                    Mad Men is, in my opinion, the best-written TV show that's ever aired. Seriously, it's a work of art not unlike a "great American novel." The first season is incredibly slow and it takes some time to see how episodes and whole seasons are constructed, but I promise you that the series as a whole is intricate and rewards intense, almost exegetical, viewing. By about halfway through the first season, the series hits its stride. The second season is a huge improvement over the first (and the season that just ended was jaw-droppingly good.) Take note of the title of each episode, and think of that as the main theme of each episode. Then analyze how each distinct plot line in each episode (usually they have three or four) function as counterpoints to that theme, often showing quite different, often conflicting adumbrations of that theme. For example, there is an episode in the second season titled "Maidenform." It's a reference to the bra company for whom Draper is writing ad copy, of course, but it's also the theme of the show: namely, the form, or expected form of women (as opposed to their content). The episode uses "form" quite literally as the woman's shape, but it also asks the viewer to think of the "form of life" of different women, and how their desires, talents, careers, even daily activities are usually cut off in the procrustean mold of "what a woman should be." In other words, the episode asks what should women look like, and to what societal molds should they conform, and who gets to have the power to make these decisions? The social setting makes this quite interesting because of the existence of nascent feminism within a patriarchal society, so the various women in the episode encounter societal norms in very different ways, and they react to those norms in different ways, as well. Don's ad copy for the episode ("Are you a Jackie or a Marilyn?") makes it clear what male-dominated society expects, but each woman in the episode finds that she doesn't fit any particular expected role, and so either she must sacrifice something to fit in, or she must sacrifice her role in society. So when you're watching an episode, interpret it almost as if you were in an English class or something. It's quite rich. The whole last season was constructed in this manner, and it was unbelievably powerful.



                      Even the basic setting of the show is so fascinating -- an advertising firm set in the 60's. Advertising is all about the difference between surface and depth (what *is* a product; is it what you think it is in light of its marketing, or is it *really* a basic commodity that we attach meaningless images and stories to give it fake value?), which brings up the question of identity. And identity is the basic question of the 1960s -- are people defined by what society says they are, or can they (try to) define themselves however they want? What *is* a woman, or a person of color? Can people be redefined and re-packaged like a product? And, of course, this applies to Don, too, and his own identity in so many ways -- is Don really Don? Is he Don the dude sleeping around, or the family Don -- which one is real, and why? (There are more questions about Don's identity in the series, as well). So many fascinating questions just from the setting alone!



                        I do agree that season 1 of Mad Men is slower because it was largely about establishing the nature of the characters and the office, but it never lost my attention. Seasons 4 and 5 are my favorites with it all being the movement and growth of the characters and agency we know well now.



                          @BB, a compelling case. I plan to stick through this season, maybe one more. I see what you are saying about that aspect of writing the show requiring a lot of talent. Nuance and over-arching themes are lacking in most tv shows. What I find missing, that I think is difficult to write in addition to making an excellent show, is interesting characters. I don't find any of them likable at all (yet) and they are often boring and one-sided. It seems that some of their particularities are awkwardly written-in to give the impression that they are a deeper character.

                          Take Dexter and Walter White. They certainly aren't likable on paper, but the complexity of the characters and how well they are understood by the writers makes you care about them and what happens to them. At least for me. I'm at work so this is a quick response, but that is what I find missing so far. You make a hell of a case for it, though.

                          "You don't need money to dress better than you do" - Salvatore Romano



                            @greg_s - I love the Mad Men characters. There's a lot of great ones, and they do a fantastic job with their guest characters too. I definitely wouldn't say one-sided about most of them. In fact, it's almost a theme of the show that these characters are going through a lot more than their peers see if you look closer, and as viewers, we end up getting to look closer at them.

                            I'd say this show perhaps focuses on the dimensions of a personality and an individual's strife more than any other I watch. It is very apparent that with them being in a world so similar to our own we can relate, but just different enough that it is an alluring drama, there is a lot we get to understand about where they are in their lives. Something that is, in my opinion, less focused on in shows like Game of Thrones and Breaking Bad, which as their own types of dramas, are intended to be far more about the eventfulness of the extraordinary and foreign circumstances.

                            If you stick around long enough, Mad Men will show you some of the greatest realistic character moments of triumphs and struggles that are believable and relatable, but that are so deep and intricate, you are compelled to watch, enjoy, and share praise for its picture of the reach-out, live-fast, fall-hard American way.

                            @BB - I think likening it to the Great American Novel for television is accurate. That seems to largely be the state of mind that the show is conceived and written from, and displays excellently.



                              @BB - Impressive analysis, I actually really enjoyed reading your thoughts. Next time I watch it, I'll do so with a keener eye.



                                Yes, I tend to watch things closely. I will watch with these things in mind. This is a thoughful group of people whose opinions I generally respect. It can't be all bad with praise like that!

                                @Cannon, I will definitely agree with you about the eventfulness being the center of Game of Thrones. Though it is still a pretty excellent show based on the 1st season. However, I will have to vehemently disagree that that is the focus of Breaking Bad. Well, maybe that is a poor choice of words. The whole show is informed by the series of extraordinary events Walter finds himself in, however, what I really think carries it (vs. a show like Weeds) is the character development. Particularly with Walter. I think he is an excellently well-written character. It is easy to make those characters become caricatures in settings like Breaking Bad (again, Weeds). Walter carries the show because he is thoroughly developed, even in the midst of bizarre events.

                                Either way, a little Dappered-related gem of a line from the Mad Men episode I'm currently on: "You don't need money to dress better than you do" - Sal

                                "You don't need money to dress better than you do" - Salvatore Romano