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Category Archives: TV news

Mad Men season four premiere tonight

The fourth season of Mad Men premieres tonight, and I can’t wait.

For the uninitiated, the show is basically a window on upper-middle class American culture in the early 1960s. It centers on Madison Avenue and the ad men who work there, especially the ever-mysterious Don Draper. The season one trailer should give you some idea of the series’ tone.

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Telling it like it is

Alberta’s culture minister recently found himself in hot water after he made some harsh comments about the state of Canadian television.

“Why do I fund so much crap?” asked Minister Lindsay Blackett, presumably speaking rhetorically.

Sadly, the guy’s got a point. I can’t even tell you the last time I watched a Canadian television series. Corner Gas seemed to be the last big deal we had, and that show was tolerable for about five minutes.

That’s not to say that US TV is necessarily better. There’s just more of it. Throw enough crap at the wall, and some of it’s bound to stick eventually. But you’d think Canadian channels would produce something decent once in awhile. American networks have great shows like Mad Men, House, Dexter, plus about a million sitcoms (some of which, like the Big Bang Theory are actually funny). Canadian television is just a vast sea of nothing.

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“The Pacific” not living up to expectations?

Variety critic Brian Lowry’s review of The Pacific – a miniseries about World War II  – was posted well before the series premiered; however, since half the episodes in the 10-part series have now aired, one can start to analyze his viewpoint.

Lowry’s reaction is mostly lukewarm to negative. His biggest complaint about The Pacific is it’s lack of cohesion. As he puts it, this disconnectedness, “makes the hours play more like loosely assembled snapshots of the war without a compelling hook to pull the audience along.”

His point is well taken. Though The Pacific really only has a handful of main characters, their personalities are slow to develop. For example, John Basilone is essentially a blank slate after the first episode – none of his character traits or defining characteristics are revealed. The second episode sees him perform a heroic action, but it comes out of the blue. We know what he did makes him a hero, but we don’t know anything else about him. His character is a cardboard cutout.

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