Mad Men: You don’t need to watch Season 7/8

I won’t bother writing about why you should watch Mad Men, it is critically acclaimed enough and has a diverse enough following that it doesn’t need your help to keep it going. In fact, we all should have done it a favour and let it die with dignity a few years ago, but it’s a little late for that now.

This is really about how in my mind, you can stop watching Mad Men after Season 6 (actually, I think there were a few previous seasons you could have stopped watching, like Season 4, since Season 5 was all about how old habits die hard with Don blah blah second verse same as the first).

However, this is my argument about why you don’t need to bother watching Mad Men anymore because it’s come full circle and to its natural conclusion.

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The Philadelphia Story

the-philadelphia-story-original

Rating: 9/10

Media type: Movie

Genre: Romantic Comedy

I’ve only been reviewing TV shows so I decided that my inaugural movie review would be about one of my all-time, favourite, romantic comedy movies, The Philadelphia Story.

Why I recommend it: If you like snappy dialogue, wonderful 1940s outfits, great Old Hollywood actors and actresses, real romance (as in getting to know a person and liking them as a real person), drunk off-key versions of “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” then your next rom-com night needs to be all about The Philadelphia Story.

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Non-Magical Kids Movies: Scary/Sad/Sketchy Parts Outlined

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A few weeks ago I was chatting with a professor about kids movies and not remembering/knowing what are the scary, traumatic or sketchy (ex. racist) parts. She has a three-year old son and she was saying how he’s obviously sensitive to some of the scary drama that is in kids movies and that sometimes the line between fantasy and reality is pretty blurred so that’s a whole other discussion that needs to take place after watching the movie.

As a joke, I told her that I remember way too much about kids movies and I would put together a simple list for her. But then in a bout of insomnia, this list happened…

Enjoy!

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The Americans

Rating: 7.5/10

Media type: Television

Genre: period drama

Why I recommend it: The show is a bit of a slow boil at first but once it picks up it things get really crazy, really fast. So if you are a fan of spy vs. spy, UST, Cold War narratives, Russia vs. U.S., action, high suspense and bad wigs, you’ll really like this show!

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Shameless

Rating: 8.5/10

Media type: Television

Genre: black comedy

Why I recommend it: If you want quality acting, “I can’t believe this is happening?!” television moments of the good and the bad, a family that you love and hate at the same time and that keeps evolving and changing the way REAL people do, then you need to watch Shameless.

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Making the Decision: Good or Bad? (forget the Ugly)*

I use a rating system that is out of 10. You will probably never read anything here that is less than a 5. If it is less than a 5, I will probably have nothing positive to say about the subject except don’t waste your time seeing this/watching this OR quit that show! (I will talk about quitting shows at another time).

There have been a few films that have received a 10/10 from me and even fewer television shows crack the 8/10 grade. This is because television expands over multiple seasons, some of which can be strong or weak and this can effect the integrity of the show overall. I actually like to rate television shows based on the seasons I recommend a person watches (ex. House of Cards season 1 is 10/10 television, House of Cards as an overall series so far is a 7/10).

So what makes a television show or a movie good? What makes it bad?

Step 1: Identify what is the purpose of the show or the movie? Make you laugh? Feel romantic? Go on an adventure? Teach a life lesson?

Step 2:  Identify who is the main target audience? Is it a kids movie? Is it a television show for people who want to think and solve a mystery? Is it for overstressed people who want mindless fluff after a long day?

Step 3: Compare  it with other shows or movies that also share the same the same characteristics/target audience

Step 4: Cast your vote, is it good or bad? That’s how simple it is to decide if a movie or television show is good or bad. Once you understand what is the purpose of the show or the movie and who it is directly trying to reach, that is when you can establish if it good or bad, based on how well does it fulfill its purpose? After that, its up to you to decide if its worth recommending based on the competition.

HOWEVER, this system does not work if you don’t have a wide enough viewing experience. If you cast your vote for something but haven’t compared it to the competition, I will force you to back up your claim or ridicule you until you admit you didn’t do your due diligence so your opinion invalid.

I know it sounds mean but how many times have I heard someone still extolling a television series that is past its prime? (Dexter should have ended after Season 4) Or recommend a movie because it’s nominated for Best Picture without having seen any of the other films in its genre (American Hustle was the worst con/comedy-drama movie). I don’t want to end on a negative note but I will say that there is no shame in indulging in watching a lot of television and movies.

Yes there are more fruitful ways to spend your time but there are also worse ways to waste it (watching hours of Youtube videos of people falling down stairs). So let yourself watch a television show that makes you think or a movie that evokes an emotional response and start expanding your horizons!

*I will review/rank my favourite Clint Eastwood films at some point

Brooklyn Nine-Nine

Rating: 9/10

Media type: Television

Genre: workplace comedy

Why I recommend it: There aren’t a lot of comedies that are funny and on-point right out of the gate. There aren’t a lot of ensemble comedies that have diverse characters that are funny in their own unique way, making it hard for you to pick your favourite one. For example, Captain Holt is the no nonsense ‘straight’ man in the comedy but he also happens to be an openly gay character (and his sexual orientation is never the butt of any of the jokes). It’s clever humour, people!

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