My desert island countdown continues (see yesterday’s post for the full explanation).
Desert Island Musical Artists – #4 – Paul Simon
Not only do I get Paul Simon’s stellar solo discography (including the unparalleled one-two punch of Graceland and The Rhythm of the Saints), I bring with me a quintet of Simon & Garfunkel albums I adore.
The new season of Mad Men is around the corner and the anticipation has me remembering the lovely way the previous season wrapped up.
Season Six as a whole was one of the more scattered of the series’ run, at least partly by design. As the 60s started to bleed into the 70s, the outside world increasingly encroached on the usually insulated characters. The assassinations of Martin Luther King Jr. and Robert Kennedy, as well as the Vietnam War, left everybody shaken.
Over the past 5-10 years, television has increasingly taken over as the dominant filmed art form in terms of quality. There have certainly been many great theatrical films over that span, and it’s still tough to beat the experience of the big screen, but television’s ability to tell complex tales across multiple seasons and to evolve characters over many years is unique.
I don’t know when the switch came from episodic television that was truly episodic (with each hour or half-hour essentially self-contained) to the complicated mythologies that are so common today. Perhaps it was Twin Peaks or The X-Files, or something earlier that I’ve never seen.
I started renting the Mad Men DVDs several weeks ago after reading so much “Best show on TV!” praise that I finally couldn’t ignore it any longer. Often that kind of praise winds up being a turn-off… it’s easier to dismiss the hype and pride yourself on standing apart from the “cool kids.” I’m reminded of a B.J. Novak blog entry titled “I will watch The Wire when I watch The Wire!” that was aimed at all his friends who kept goading him about that show.