Won’t the Real Don Draper Please Stand Up, Please Stand Up, Please Stand Up

Quick hits today, let’s go …

you can buy it on itunes. i only wish i was kidding.

There was a time when Nip/Tuck was my favorite TV show. I was obsessed with it, and mostly, with Christian Troy. Not necessarily Julian McMahon, who played Christian, but the character of Christian. He was hysterical. Everything he said was either off-the-wall funny or really, really important. Self-centered and shallow, but important. Then he was carved up by an unknown psychopath, and he spent a bunch of episodes just wandering aimlessly through his life. Every fan thought, “Who is this guy??? After about four or five episodes of that boredom, he hooked up with a detective investigating his mystery attack as he was apt to do, and his girlfriend caught him. Instead of flummoxing through excuses, he proudly said, “It’s me baby! I’m back!” And so ended the aimless ramblings of Christian Troy. Don Draper on Mad Men is far more complex and layered than Christian Troy. But after about a half-hour of last night’s delayed season 5 premiere, I had that same feeling. “Who is this guy???” He was happy, forgiving, helpful, optimistic — he was everything the Don Draper of the first four seasons of the show wasn’t. I wasn’t the only one thinking it since not long after I thought it, Peggy asked, “Who is this guy?” Me and Peggy. We’re always on the same page. He’s obviously been given a shot of life by marrying his 10-15 years younger secretary Megan. We know he’s told her his well-guarded secrets, either learning from his past mistakes or just feeling the need to come clean to his new wife. Now the question becomes — is this new Don Draper cemented?  Or will something happen that breaks down the new Don and brings out the old, recognizable Don? I’m saying yeah. There are kinks in the new marriage’s armor already — admit it, you thought Megan was jumping — and there probably are more (baby-related ones) on the way. It could be just to show their marriage isn’t great, but no marriage to Don would be great. We already knew that. Something ridiculously jarring is going to have to happen to set things in motion where Don would revert to his well-established bad behavior. So let’s just go ahead and make crazy predictions about what that could possibly be. Here’s mine — Don and Joan start an affair. Feel free to hit the comments or the PopRox Facebook page for your own thoughts on how we get the old Don back. I mean, it’s inevitable, right?

not nearly as mad as when whatever twilight movie they're on breaks records

If you were one of the people with your jaws on the floor over how much Hunger Games earned over the weekend, then you just weren’t paying attention. Like when I said it would happen last week. But even the biggest optimists couldn’t have predicted it would be the third-biggest opening ever. Third-biggest! Know how many movies have come out in history? I don’t know either, but I assure, it’s a lot. And Hunger Games beat almost all of them. The same movie that I had no information about whatsoever when a mild Internet stir was caused by the trailer release in November. Now it’s the movie that made $151 million, that my wife went to the midnight show of and that’s the talk of the town. Not too shabby.

Fringe is gone, everyone. It has to be, right? NBC wouldn’t even bring a show back that scared up a 0.9 demo rating. For whatever reason, the show just never caught on, which sucks because it’s second season is probably in my top 20 seasons of TV ever and the first season finale — which kicked off the alternate universe plot — is one of my favorite finales ever. Yeah, it’s not as good this year. I think we can all settle on that. It’s confusing, it’s unfocused and even when you do figure out exactly what’s going on with the whole Peter timeline thing, it doesn’t make sense. It outsmarted itself into becoming something it never intended to be, a serial drama whose sci-fi is above the heads of us mere mortals. But it’s still a very good show when they concentrate on the Peter-Olivia and Peter-Walter (but not Walternate) dynamics, and it’s better than most shows. If it does get canceled, than we enjoyed it for four years, and we know exactly why it was axed.

There needs to be a rotating group of awards show hosts that just go from show to show, and they’re the only ones who are allowed to host until they die. Here’s the current list, in order: Chris Rock, Jimmy Kimmel, Jon Stewart … and that’s pretty much it. They should host every awards show for the next five years. After that, we’ll get some more. Please note the deliberate exclusion of Neil Patrick Harris, Billy Crystal, Ricky Gervais and Steve Martin. It’s gone, guys. It’s good to see that Kimmel is getting another gig hosting the Emmys this year.

You know my stance on the Arrested Development reboot. Until I see it, everything we hear about it is crazy talking. That was until I saw that Steve Holt hasn’t been asked back to whatever production there is. At best, this is unacceptable. At worst, this is a deal-breaker for me to get Netflix for two months next year so I can watch it. I don’t want to see an Arrested Development without Steve Holt(!). No one does. Judy Greer and Martin Mull have probably been asked back. Charlize Theron and Dave Thomas, too. Julia-Louis Dreyfuss, Scott Baio and Henry Winkler probably are all in the plans. But no Steve Holt? Forget it. Well, not forget it. But I’m definitely not as interested as I would have been. Save Steve Holt! This is probably a good time to mention Steve Holt! was the name of a fantasy football team of mine at one point.

et tu, toby?

While one of the funniest shows of all time is (maybe) coming back, another one looks to be on its way out the door. The Office is running on fumes as it is, but with showrunner Paul Lieberstein now leaving the show … I mean, what’s going on here? I remember talking to Greg Daniels for an interview a couple years ago and I asked him about the fact that the profiles were rising for the stars on the show, and how could the show survive without them if they left? This was long before Steve Carell announced he was leaving. Daniels said the show is designed to lose people because a normal office loses people. What office has little-t0-no turnover for eight years? Great point for real life, but for TV, it’s unrealistic to expect the audience to follow a show where the cast changes all the time (American Horror Story is going to try and prove it wrong). And it’s not just the stars like Carell, James Spader, Ed Helms, Rainn Wilson and Mindy Kaling, now Leiberstein and FOPR and show producer Danny Chun that are potentially bailing too. The Office won’t end in May. But getting anything more than one more year is probably dreaming, though I’m not sure at this point that even the biggest Office fan wouldn’t be totally cool with one more year and then ending it.

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