Recapping Television's Hottest Shows with Monkeys as Critics
Recent traumatic events throw Don's personal and professional life into turmoil
In the wake of traumatic events, people face an often-impossible choice: dourly dwelling in the past, or pushing forward in a respectful manner. This week's episode of "Mad Men" focused on the fine line between the two, as deaths both personal and impersonal rock the lives of those in Sterling Cooper. While a death close to home affected a family dynamic, a death in the political world opened up a new business opportunity for the ad agency.
Let's deal with the personal side first: the circle of life in which the Draper clan finds itself. With Sally acting out at school in the wake of Grandpa Gene's death, Ice Queen Betty starts going slightly mad while struggling to keep her emotions in check. Sally's teacher can scarcely believe that neither parent informed her of the family's recent loss, but neither Don nor Betty are particularly keen on anything approaching emotion when it comes to their children. Poor pugilistic Sally has to express emotions for the entire household.
[Full recap of Sunday (Sept. 13) night's "The Fog" episode of "Mad Men" after the break...]
Qristyl and Althea opt for basic black, but one of them blows it
Okay, let me start by saying that I'm leaning toward “over it” when it comes to Nicolas. Last week's creepy porn star lace chaps were bad enough, but then he has the brass ones this week to regally announce to his flatmates that it's time to weed out the talentless people. Uh, okay Lacey sans Cagney, someone's a wee bit overconfident, since it was your crap idea that landed you in the bottom three last week. But hey, he's only one of the designers working my last nerve this week.
[Full recap of Thursday (Sept. 10) night's "Project Runway" after the break...]
In which everybody mocks Jeff in the Jury House, departed favorites return and the HoH contest continues
8:00 p.m. It's been well-reported that nobody is going home on Thursday (Sept. 10) night's "Big Brother," but I'm doing a minute-by-minute recap anyway, because that's what I do and I'm too lazy to learn another way...
8:02 p.m. When we left our three remaining hamsters, they were running circles on a log and rain had begun to pour down on them.
Tyra Banks is doing all of the world's petite women a tremendous favor and she won't let them forget it
Tyra Banks doesn't just produce and host a show about models, no no no, girl. She changes the standards of the WHOLE MODELING INDUSTRY. Never mind we've never heard from what's-her-name since she won that time. America's Next Top Model is IMPORTANT. Because Tyra says so. That's why.
As we all know by now, this whole cycle of Top Model is about finding a supermodel under 5 feet 7 inches. Tyra's logic: We have like two or three super-successful tiny models out there, so that MUST mean the industry wants another short one, right? Right. Because Tyra says so. That's why.
[A recap of Tyra Banks' salute to the world's petite women, specifically Wednesday's (Sept. 9) "America's Next Top Model" premiere, after the break...]
In which the Kevin and Natalie pretend to fight, PoV sets up a Special Tuesday and Michele makes her caseEviction
I am facing tonight's episode with dread in my heart. Natalie's reign of terror isn't quite over yet and you just know something bad is going to happen if that evil little sprite has anything to do with it. If anyone deserved to get yanked out of the house and thrown into traffic, I'd say it's Natalie, but that's just me.
By the way, has anyone else noticed that Julie Chen's hair gets bigger as her baby bump expands? I'm afraid by next week she's going to be in full-on "Dynasty" diva hair and that's just not a good thing.
[Full recap of Tuesday (Sept. 8) night's "Big Brother," complete with shocking elimination spoilers, after the break...]
Sterling Cooper courts an ambitious new client, Peggy makes a move to the city, and Gene makes plans for the future
Early in Sunday's (Sept. 6) episode of “Mad Men”, Sal confesses stress over his impending debut as a commercial director. He tells his wife Kitty, “I don’t wanna fail. A single mistake, the entire shot is ruined.” He’s talking about the shoot for the Patio account in which they have been tasked with slavishly recreating the opening sequence of “Bye Bye Birdie.” And even though Sal manages to mechanically achieve this, both the in-show audience at Sterling Cooper and the at-home audience come away with the same impression: it’s just a pale imitation.
The phrase “pale imitation” works nicely as a way to tie in the variety of personal and professional r
elationships on display in this we
ek’s episode, entitled “The Arrangements.” Most frequently, this played out as older generations looked down at younger ones with disdain, wondering how an entity with so much shared DNA could turn out so differently (read: inferiorly). We might as well start with the man behind the title, Gene Hofstadt, with our analysis. Previously, we’ve learned that Betty’s memo
ries of her childhood were essentially lies constructed to glorify a past that never existed. This week, we learned Gene didn’t have much for their time together, either.
[Full recap of Sunday's "Mad Men" after the break...]
In which Natalie proves an insufferable Queen Bee, Pandora's Box opens again and two more hamsters go on the block
I'm just warning you up front; I'm not entirely sure I can make it through tonight's episode. Natalie as HOH? Jeff gone? What the hell? Come on, Big Brother, throw us a lifeline, some kind of Coup D'Etat or maybe a heat-seeking missile that only targets semi-delusional shrieking harpies. But hey, maybe ol' She Who Talks Big But Never Wins isn't so delusional after all, because when it counted she managed to pull it out and win HOH. That doesn't make me despise her any less, but whatever.
[Full recap of Sunday (Sept. 6) night's "Big Brother" after the break...]
Qristyl and Epperson brawl and the judges make a shocking decision
Oh no. This week is team designing, which means “Project Runway” is going to venture into “Blind Date” meets “Jon and Kate Plus 8” territory, in that I'm sure there's going to be no kissing, lots of fighting, pointed insults, a general level of bitchiness and simmering resentment and possibly a tantrum or two. Thank God there are no kids involved.
[Full recap of Thursday (Sept. 3) night's "Project Runway" after the break.]
In which Jordan and Jeff part, Natalie keeps her word and a new HoH is crowned
7:59 p.m. ET Thursday (Sept. 3) night's "Big Brother" has yet to begin, but I'm already feeling dread at the inevitable separation of Jeff and Jordan. I'm not sure how she'd live without him and I'm not sure I much care how he'd live without her. It's always tragic when showmances come to an end. Well, maybe not "tragic." Or even really "sad." But it's definitely a reason to tune in.
[Full minute-by-minute recap, with spoilers, after the break...]
In which Kevin gets stuck, Natalie gets annoying and Michele gets smart
Oooooh, it's time for the mystery twist! I can only hope the twist is as game changing as the Coup D'Etat, which succeeded in putting Jeff in the lead and making Chima go all hella lotta crazy (quite a twofer, even by reality TV standards). But I fear it may be one of those B.S. twists along the lines of, hey, no more organic vegetables in the kitchen or heads up, hamsters, the jacuzzi is on the fritz. But Big Brother has been delivering the crazy-making goods thus far, so maybe I just need to have a little faith.
[Full recap of Tuesday (Sept. 1) night's "Big Brother," complete with Mystery Twist and Power of Veto spoilers, after the break...]