30 May 2012

Know When To Hold OR Fold 'Em

Memorial Day must've sent a memo to Game of Thrones and Mad Men and been like THIS IS IT, DON'T GET SCARED NOW. "Blackwater" and "The Other Woman" were so jam-packed with actual action, they put earlier talky episodes to shame. Things are HAPPENING!! Because after next week, things will stop happening. Here's to season 6 of Mad Men, premiering December 2016.

Game of Thrones: The Seage
Tyrion's magical "Blackwater" was finally put to use this week, spilling gallons and gallons of bright green flame on half of Stannis's armada. I have to say, I'm impressed. We all know Tyrion's smart, but we also know (from the time he got hit in the face by friendly hammer-fire) that he's not really a soldier. So for him to plan and execute a strategy like this is pretty phenomenal. Shae's going to die soon, btw. No woman that spunky, no woman who swings around a stiletto blade that much gets out alive. Maybe she'll stab one guy's cheek before being brutally murdered. Maybe.

The Hound is amazing and while I'm glad that he ditches Joffrey, I wish he would throw the kid off a cliff first. Also, he and Bronn could have a ton of awesome adventures together, but it looks like the Hound only wants Sansa's company or, failing that, nobody's. Unfortunately, Sansa stays where she is. What a priss!!! The Hound stands alone!

Stuck with all the lady-nerds of King's Landing, Cersei gets trashed on wine and tears everyone a new asshole. She spells out the various ways Sansa is stupid and makes eyes at the executor, Ser Ilyn Payne. He's there so he can kill all the lady-nerds before they get raped or worse by Stannis's army. She also comes this close to figuring out Shae's secret, and I'm positive that no amount of small-knife threatening will thwart her. Cersei ends her evening by pulling Boy King Joffrey off the battlefield and then almost poisoning her other son.

I am thoroughly confused about Loras and why he seems to be leading a pack of Lannisters at the end. I understand why he's in Renly's steez, though. (It's because they used to be boyfriend-boyfriend.)

Great news, everyone: we still haven't been to the House of Freex. I'd assume we get to see it next week, but after these three dragonless weeks, I've realized that I assume wrong. MAYBE ONE DAY, DRAGONS?

Mad Men: Madame Holloway
SCDP is the place to be if you're a woman. You get to go on "dates" with fat, greasy businessmen and have Don Draper throw cash in your face. And on good days, you get to watch the guys eat lobster from The Palm! Life's looking pretty good for a young woman in 1966 (unless of course it's already early 1967, in which case all of this is only looking slightly pretty good). I can't believe all the things that happened this week on Mad Men. I can't believe they finally happened.

Joan Holloway is a brick house. Not just physically, but in just about every sense of the phrase. She was the backbone of Sterling Cooper and has become an even stronger backbone for SCDP. She's raising a child on her own and going through a divorce all while maintaining a pleasant demeanor. And now it's up to her to save the company - or not - by having sex with the swarthiest man in the world. Poor, poor Joan.

The partners vote on it, for God's sake! Even Sterling says yes, though I don't exactly remember that happening (was the vote offscreen?). Everyone but Don has faced the hard truth that they will not be getting Jaguar's business unless Joan goes and gets it for them. And how hypocritical is Don, going as hard as he does for the company (often at Peggy's expense) only to tell Joan that she shouldn't have to do anything she doesn't want to. I mean, OF COURSE she doesn't, but for Don to say it is like "OHHHHHHH I DID NOT REALIZE," which is me being as facetious as possible dressed in a 60s outfit and staring Don in the face at SCDP. Then I'd roll my eyes HARD and continue to be mad at him even though he is the only noble partner in this whole ordeal.

Don and Peggy. Peggy and Don. Maybe this is why I'm so FURIOUS with our lovable yet mysterious Don Draper (jk he's no longer either of those). He used to see something in Peggy. He used to help her out in his own way. He's been short with her for a while, either because he's been trying to treat her like one of the guys or because he honestly has no idea how to be an authority figure to a female he's not sleeping with. Over the past few seasons, Don has bitched Peggy out too many times to count. Whatever happened to "The Suitcase???" Whatever happened to hand holding? Whatever happened to if-you're-not-going-to-get-married-like-the-real-Draper-Daniels-and-the-real-Peggy-you-should-AT-LEAST-HAVE-A-MEANINGFUL-FRIENDSHIP? It's like Don forgot all about that. I like Megan, but she's blinded me (and definitely Don) to how much everyone's ignoring Peggy. Peggy was the other main character, as far as I was concerned. Now she's off to the side like Freddy Rumsen for God's sake.

So Peggy goes to Ted Cheaougugh and he offers her a job with his crew. When she tells Don, he kisses her hand for one entire hour. THANKS FOR THIS, DON. THIS REALLY MAKES UP FOR EVERYTHING. I'm surprised she could be as flattering and kind as she was in her resignation speech. Because again, if it were me, I might have been forced to be like "THANKS SO MUCH FOR TREATING ME LIKE A HUMAN BEING FOR SO MANY YEARS. IT'S BEEN AWESOME."

I hope they grab Peggy back during the season finale. I hope she and Joan get a hell of a lot more than they've been getting. I hope stupid Mad Men comes back before 2025. And I hope that when it does come back, Peggy and Joan own an ad agency called PJ's and it turns out they do all the "He went to Jared?!?!?!" commercials.

It could only be Jared!!!!!

Photos courtesy AMCtv.com and HBO

21 May 2012

A Mixed Bag Of Thrones

Several conversation-worthy things happened on television last night, and since I took notes on none of them, this will be a special sort of recap. I'm going to throw things in as I remember them. Assuming you watched Game of Thrones "The Prince of Winterfell," Mad Men "Christmas Waltz," and Girls "The Return," you should not encounter any confusion whatsoever, just kidding, you will.

I think it's safe to say we all expected Daenerys to visit the House of the Undying last night. Last week Dorkus Wizard told her in no uncertain terms that her dragons were at his house and that he wanted her to come over. But instead of showing us all the freaky special effects that a house like that would offer, Daenerys decides to hang out in her room or something, droning on about her dragons like Claire screaming for "miy baiby!" over and over. C'mon ladies. Mothers Day was LAST WEEK.

At least Harry Crane goes somewhere interesting: Paul Kinsey's chapter of Hare Krishna. Oh my GOD I never expected the bald-with-one-small-braid guy to turn around and full-on BE Kinsey. As Peggy explains later on in the episode, after Sterling Cooper dissolved, Kinsey bopped around to almost every ad agency until finally falling off the face of the planet. Now he's back, looking to get coffee with Harry Crane.

Hannah Horvath goes home to East Lansing for the weekend and shares a cup of coffee with her old pal from high school, who is literally dumber than a coffee bean. The friend plans to move to LA without knowing anyone there first, and she dolefully recounts the tragedy of their kidnapped-on-spring-break acquaintance Carrie so that Hannah will come see her dance at the Benefit for Carrie's Parents. Hearing about what your friends from home are up to can be like this, but usually it's in much smaller doses and it's spread out among several lost classmates. If I were Hannah I would have been weeping at the Party Girl poster near my bed, not just looking at it.

Mother Lakshmi looks like a mixture of Juliette Lewis and Serena van der Woodsen's aunt. She's exceedingly bad at making sex trades. She doesn't want to move to the country and start a family with Kinsey, or maybe she does. Hare Krishna women are like this? I don't get it.

Thankfully I know exactly what women from Tarth are like. They are very, very, very tall, and they don't like funny business. As Brienne of Tarth escorts Jaime Lannister down to King's Landing in the hope of trading for the Stark girls, I get the feeling that I'm going to like watching the two of them together. Jaime's like "you have to answer yes or no: do your parents know you're gay?" and Brienne's like "aaaaAAAAARRRRGGHH!" This is comedy gold. Will they fall in love? And how about Arya and Jaqen Hagar? They have an understanding and Arya's witty banter seems to please the silent assassin. Will THEY fall in love?

I can tell you who I don't want falling in love. I know Joan's just been served divorce papers, and I know Don's "turned over a new leaf," but their afternoon of drunken flirting makes me extremely nervous that they're about to have an affair. One of those "we just fell into it and we couldn't stop the power of love!" affairs that somehow hurts way more people than just a normal affair would. If Don and Joan get together, here's who will get hurt: Roger, Megan, Peggy, and Joan. And, really, Don would get hurt too because he'd probably lose Megan. Although his walls would have less spaghetti on them.

I also didn't want Robb and Tulisa of Wherever to get together, but it happened, and now the shit's going to hit the fan. Something gives me such a bad feeling when I think of Robb breaking his promise to the Freys. Something tells me this won't be swept under the rug. Maybe if there were some passion between them, some palpable tension, then I'd want Robb to throw caution to the wind and just do it anyway, but as of now, the only thing I can discern about their relationship is that they only talk about sawing off legs and then stand around looking at each other all googly-eyed. Now Jon Snow and Ygritte, that's another story. I'd like them to do all sorts of stuff, stuff that would be just as politically tragic, because they at least have one mole of chemistry together. Just a little chemistry joke. Or not??

How do Lane's problems get so big so fast? As far as I could understand from last night's episode, Lane owes $8000 in taxes to Great Britain, which would be roughly $56,000 today. He "dates" escorts, screams at his wife, gets caned by his father, and starts fist fights with his colleagues. Lane is cruising toward suicide faster than you can say "at least Sterling didn't have to steal from the company." What a mess.

Hannah's parents also end up making a mess during their passionate anniversary shower, and I can honestly say I've never been happier to see Becky Ann Baker's boobs or Peter Scolari's penis. Scolari falls and hits his head on the bathroom floor, and when Hannah gets home to find her naked mother hovering over him, what follows is a truly amazing scene. We see what Hannah sees, what her parents would rather we didn't see, what they need us (Hannah) to see in order to deal with an emergency, which is real life as it happens, which is about as honest as it gets. Girls gets better with every episode. I have now seen everyone in the Horvath family naked.

What have I left out? Cersei kidnapping Tyrion's favorite prostitute but getting the wrong one, and poor Ros suffering even more at the hands of the Lannisters as a result. If Theon is the Pete Campbell of Game of Thrones, what with all his posturing and entitlement and whining, then his old pal Ros is like its Trudy - she does her duty and tries to be good, but she ends up getting shat on nonetheless. No one seems to feel like she's a real person. She's just a pawn in the big Westerosi chess game, and because she's a woman, she's even easier to beat up. Too bad she doesn't have any dragons to yell about futilely.

Did my Sunday night shows share any themes last night? There was the idea of honesty and literal exposure: the naked Horvaths showed as much of themselves as possible while Tyrion hid his lover's identity behind another woman's. There were experiences of the "other," between Harry Crane's Hare Krishna visit and Jon Snow's new home with the wildlings. There were doomed romances right and left, what with Robb & Julissa (or whatever) and Jon & Ygritte and Hannah & Adam and Don & Megan and Paul Kinsey & Mother Lakshmi. It all ended up coming together just in time. Trust me.

Photos courtesy imdb.com, AMCtv.com, HBO.com

16 May 2012

Usage Wednesday: "Alumni"

Here we are, mid May, on the eve of so many young adults' graduation ceremonies. Ex-students, you can't even fathom the future that lies before you: unimpeachable strides in solar and wind-generated power, floating malls, babies that do calculus. You will live in skyscrapers on the moon, and your cars will know not the acrid stench of gasoline. You will wear clothing made of paper, and, with my help, you will use the correct endings for the word "alumnus." Godspeed, tissue vests!

Latin for "pupil" or, more literally, "foster son," alumnus refers to an ex-student of an educational institution. We've all heard of "alumni events," and we all have a basic knowledge of the fact that non-English languages typically use gendered suffixes (in Spanish, a boy is a niño and a girl is a niña). And so we all have this vague understanding that we should be changing the endings for "alumnus," but unfortunately, we didn't all take Latin.

This is a guide for when to use which endings of "alumnus." Just shortening it to "alum" can be a good solution sometimes, but it doesn't always work. Basically we have two different situations, and unless you went to an all-girls school, you only have to pay attention to the first one.

Rules for ex-students of co-ed schools:
-Singular: although "Alumnus" technically means "male ex-student," only a psycho Latin teacher would fault a girl for using it to refer to herself. Use "alumnus."
-Plural: just use "alumni." Not "alums," but "alumni." It means what you want it to mean and it makes it sound like you know what you're talking about.

Rules for ex-students of all-girls schools:
-Singular: a girl ex-student is specifically an "alumna."
-Plural: several girl ex-students are "alumnae." 
BUT I'd be willing to venture that if you went to an all-girls school, you'd know this by now, as it would be plastered all over everything.

The "alumnus" confusion comes from people not wanting to offend either gender by leaving them out. Unfortunately, the past was just like that. Girls were counted in with the boys and more nobly referred to with male suffixes. Whatever, at least we're allowed to learn in college now. And have jobs and stuff. And run grammar blogs.

alumni > alums

14 May 2012

Objection, Your Honor

Last night's television was all tangled up in honor, be it intentional, accidental, or just totally absent. From stealing dragons to keeping secrets from a 12 year old girl, the gangs did their best to figure out which priorities belong at the top of their lists. But as Game of Thrones's very own Kingslayer puts it, "No matter what you do, you're forsaking one vow for another." So I guess they're just going to have to pick out their favorite honor and go for it because, chances are, everything else will fall by the wayside in pursuit of it.

Game of Thrones
"A Man Without Honor"


It's the morning after Osha's great escape, and Theon's pitching a fit. Somehow it's everyone else's fault that the little lords got away, and their successful flight makes Theon look even less powerful than he is. So he tracks them to the farmer's house where Bran sent a few orphans two episodes ago, and then he returns to Winterfell with two small burnt corpses. Wow, Theon, what a ruse. Those bodies must obviously belong to Bran and Rickon because (1) we totally got to see it all happen, (2) it's not like there'd be burnt Osha and Hodor bodies too, and (3) Theon's super great at killing people and things. J/K to all of that.

If Theon fakes warrior-honor by fake-killing two boys, does that mean he has double-fake, thus real, honor? Nah, probably not.

Jon Snow, on the other hand, has so much honor that he refuses to whip out his privates even though Ygritte (the saucy redhead wildling) seems pretty into his "stohnes and bohnes." To be fair, she is a con artist. To also be fair, Jon needs to get laid, and soon. Unfortunately Jon's chastity doesn't keep him from walking right into a wildling trap. Aw, stohnes.

In King's Landing, Sansa has the ultimate OMG Most Embarrassing First Period Story EVER. She's dreaming about the time she almost got raped, and when she wakes up with blood on the mattress it's like WHOAAOAOA! Finally, finally, Shae comes in and helps Sansa out in her own special way - by physically threatening a would-be tattletale handmaid. These two together could work magic, if only the Hound weren't so on the ball. But he is, and he alerts the queen to Sansa's new childbearing capabilities, and it's all downhill from here. Damn Hound honor!

Queen Cersei feels bad about all the incest she's been having. Citing the Targaryens' incestuous and lunatic history, she confides in Tyrion (for some reason?) that she might be guilty for Joffrey's cruelty. She stops short of really blaming herself, though, and treats it more like maybe she just did a goof. Not much honor in blaming oneself for creating a child tyrant, so why dwell on it?

Over at Harrenhal, Tywin has basically figured out Arya's deal, but for some reason he's keeping her secret intact, at least for now. She freely blurts that she grew up well-fed, and it's clear that she has an education. Tywin knows she's lying to him about being lowborn, but he doesn't feel the need to act on it -- maybe it's that she doesn't present a physical threat, or maybe it's because Tywin is honor-bound not to kill innocent young girls. It's strange that, to me, Tywin seems like the most principled and disciplined character on Game of Thrones (especially now that Ned is gone) , yet I'm not really sure what he stands for. Just winning, I guess. And money. Capitalism?

Maybe coming to Qarth wasn't such a great idea after all. Daenerys's dragons have been stolen, and her trusted host, Baron von Ducksauce, takes every three minutes as an opportunity to remind her that he's done some bad shit to get where he is. So it's only natural that when Daenerys speaks to the 13 Kings of Qarth, Ducksauce does more bad shit to get even higher up. He and the Wizard King have been plotting to make Ducksauce the only king of Qarth, though I'm still not clear on what's in it for Weirdo. Maybe he gets to keep the dragons he's hiding at House of Freex. At any rate, he becomes a bunch of assassin clones and thereby takes Qarth for Ducksauce. And Daenarys is like "huh?"

In this universe, honor is the struggle to attain one's ambition, forsaking all opportunities for kindness and mercy that might get in the way. Except in the case of Jon Snow, of course, who definitely should have taken the opportunity to do it with Red when he had a chance. What a dummy.

Mad Men
"Dark Shadows"

I like watching Mad Men after Game of Thrones because it's like watching an allegory before looking at its implications in (semi-)modern life. If GoT deals in battles, allegiances, and dragon stealing, then MM echoes that in business rivalries, romantic entanglements, and pitch stealing. On Madison Avenue in the 1960s, honor takes on more contemporary values, such as etiquette and forthrightness. But just like in Westeros, it's still up to these characters to decide what's most important to them.

The episode opens on Betty trying to lose some weight. She spends the week leading up to Thanksgiving minimizing her sundae intake and going to Weight Watchers meetings, and bit by bit, she seems to be shedding pounds. But physical fitness isn't Betty's ultimate goal - the "honor" that Betty wants to get back has much more to do with self-esteem. She wants to be Alpha Betty again, the version that models clothes and wins over handsome ad executives. Unfortunately, that's going to be pretty tough quest.

Betty sees Don's new apartment for the first time when she comes to pick up the kids. Not only does it have a beautiful view, but it's also co-owned by a beautiful woman (who's beautiful in a way Betty is no longer capable of). Megan has a sense of honor, too, which is why she gave up advertising to pursue her dream of acting. All of this is a threat to whatever it is Betty holds dear.

So Betty tries to "poison" Don and Megan (and Sally's) relationship by telling her daughter about Don's first wife. That's right, Betty tells Sally about Anna Draper. She plays it off like Megan purposefully lied to Sally about Anna Draper's existence just to screw Sally over on a Language Arts family tree project. Oh dear lord, Betty.

All in turn, Sally gets mad at Megan, Megan tells Don about Betty's misdeed, and Don almost completes the cycle by calling Betty to chew her out -- until Megan stops him. Instead of deriving pleasure from Don yelling at Betty, Megan takes the high road and Don follows suit. From this it's clear to see that Megan values her relationships with sane people over a nonrelationship with a total jerk. Well prioritized, Megan. You might say that Megan's honor lies in her ability to maintain mental health.

Granted, mental health is something Don's still struggling with. He finds Ginsberg's pitches for Sno-Ball, the icy 1960s treat, and decides to start a competition without telling Ginsberg he's in the race. He comes up with his own pitch idea and then sabotages Ginsberg's pitch by leaving it in the cab. Yowza, that's a shady management style. For Don, it's a question of reasserting himself as SCDP's Alpha Don. For Ginsberg, it's a question of letting someone take advantage when he's already at such a disadvantage. The poor kid lost his entire family in the Holocaust, and now some rich white asshole with self-esteem issues wants to ignore Ginsberg's work just to feel better about himself? Not today, sir. That's how Ginsberg feels, anyway. Someone should tell him that bosses generally do get to do whatever they want. Accepting that may help him avoid getting fired.

In the meantime, we find out that Roger's sense of honor really only does go as far as handing out wads of cash. Additionally, Pete Campbell is still fixating on Rory Gilmore, which leads me to believe he's finally about to do something miserable to mankind. Obviously Pete has always considered personal glory and respect to be the most important thing at all costs, so I won't be surprised when he tries to earn it by wearing Rory's small intestines as a freaking necklace around the office, looking for compliments.

So the world of Mad Men is just as cutthroat as the embattled continent of Westeros, and it contains just as many people pretending their ambitions are "honor." Hopefully the violent streak within Game of Thrones inspires Bobby Draper to keep drawing big, fat, blue whales with harpoons sticking out of her fat, mean side.

And PS, I have to admit that I'm starting to like Henry Francis a lot more. When he and Betty tell the kids what they're most thankful for at Thanksgiving, they absolutely nail it:
Betty: I'm grateful that I have everything I want. And that no one else has any better.
Henry: Me too.

photos courtesy HBO and AMCtv.com

08 May 2012

Women Ruin Everything, pt. 2

This week's Mad Men, "Lady Lazarus," features a few key female players at their sneakiest. Megan wants to be an actress so badly, she's willing to sabotage the entire office to do it. Rory Gilmore drops by to present yet another temptation to our resident Great Guy, Pete. And as for Peggy? Forget it, she's useless. "JUST TRY IT!"

As we learned last week, Megan and Don make a terrific pair of salesmen. They start bantering about baked beans or Cool Whip, and before you know it, you've given them all your money. They are the future of American capitalism. Perhaps it's the performance aspect of the bit that reminds Megan how much she loves acting, or maybe it's the stress of finding out that she's really good at something she doesn't truly want to do. Either way, she figures it out pretty quickly. Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce just isn't for her.

Megan's departure from the office feels like just the beginning. Just as Don finally starts to recognize that she's good "at everything," Megan decides to relinquish half of it. She's very good at coming up with copy, crafting pitches, and selling products face to face, but she doesn't want to do it anymore. All of those good traits disappear as she disappears from the office. Who is the Megan Don will come home to now? She'll still be chipper and bright, but she won't fulfill Don's work-romance fantasies anymore. How long will it take for him to lose interest completely?

Peggy can't do a sales pitch, but by my standards, standing here in this whipped cream taste test kitchen, she's the luckiest girl in the world.


On the train to and from work, Pete finally finds his place in life: sitting on the same boring seat in the same boring train car in the same boring train twice a day, next to a life insurance jerk who is equally boring but seems to at least have a girlfriend in the city. You'd think maybe Pete could appreciate finding a suitably boring place to hang out, but no no no. Pete always wants something better. And since he's such a boring person, he always reaches for something pat and pretty because it seems like that's what he should be doing. So he has a brief affair with Life Insurance's wife (played by Stars Hollow bookworm Rory Gilmore), even though it looks a lot like neither of them particularly want to.


Who knows, maybe Rory's brain damaged now and can only be attracted to horrible men. She takes Pete home with her one night because it's very obvious that Pete knows why her husband's not coming home. I guess Rory doesn't quite realize she's taking AMERICAN PSYCHO home with her, or at least she won't realize it until Pete shows up for dinner at their house the next night and threatens to drag her to a hotel room. Excellent, Pete, truly excellent. I'm impressed with your ability to round out the profile of a serial-killer-to-be so fully. 

Since Rory doesn't show up to the hotel, I'm assuming Pete's going to murder her with a chainsaw. But instead, he looks over at her from his car in the parking lot of the train station, where to him it looks like Rory's as in love with him as ever. I honestly wonder if this is a hallucination. Because nothing about Pete's behavior merits any fond memories from ANYONE.

Mad Men spent the week focusing on how annoying it is when women's wants and needs don't line up with the rest of the world's. Don would love it if Megan would just keep pitching ideas with him over dinner with clients. Pete wants Rory Gilmore to become his new concubine. But these women, with their brains and hopes and dreams and whatever, just don't care. They ruin EVERYTHING.

Photos courtesy AMCtv.com

07 May 2012

Women Ruin Everything, pt. 1

No matter what you think you got going for you, some girl's going to come around and slap it out of your hands. Last night's Game of Thrones was full of meddlesome women, whereas Mad Men featured just one or two huge troublemakers. Either way, CUT IT OUT, GIRLS! And give back those dragons!

"The Old Gods and the New"

Theon conquers Winterfell by waking Bran up early one day. Thanks, Theon. He then orders the Starks' trustiest advisor and guard, Ser Rodrik, to death for spitting in his face. I can see where he's coming from, but I mean, where are you gonna get another guy with a beard like this? Might've been nice to keep him around. Also, the Iron Way isn't really working out if a loser like this has any semblance of power at all.

At any rate, Osha the Wildling figures that she better not stick around either. She honeypots Theon, really only to get him to go to sleep (maybe it was too much, but come on, hindsight's 20-20), and sneaks the boys + Hodor out into the wilderness, which I'm guessing she's good at living in.

Blissfully unaware of the current state of her home, Arya's pretty much best friends with Tywin Lannister right now. He's so impressed she can read, he tells her about Jamie's debilitating dyslexia. The secrets between these two! Arya and Tywin, Sally and Roger - it's becoming obvious that the secret to happiness is being a bright young girl with an adult male of questionable morals. WAIT, DUH, CURLY SUE. Science has known this for decades now.

Littlefinger comes to visit Tywin and completely recognizes Arya. He even lets her know by hinting, "I talked to CATELYN STARK. She had a PROPOSAL for her DAUGHTERS." Oh boy, how's Littlefinger going to weird this one up.

Above The Wall, Jon Snow meets a cute redhead. She's the only surviving member of the group of Wildling scouts the Wall Guys just took out. And fellas? She's feisty. She's so feisty, she reminds me of Karen Allen in the Indiana Jones movies. She's so feisty, Jon can't even bring himself to hack her head off. So they snuggle instead. 

Just as we've always suspected, nobody likes King Joffrey. Well, people do like throwing poop at him, which counts for something, although for him it doesn't seem to. The commoners of King's Landing basically start a full-scale rebellion against guards and poo-faces and even nice girls like Sansa. Sansa is saved from near rape by the Hound, who violently kills her attackers. Perhaps the Hound can stop the rest of the revolution.

Robb's new girlfriend makes it really awkward when Catelyn arrives back at camp. Bad news, nurse: You're going to wreck everything. This whole thing stinks to heaven. A few minutes into it, Catelyn's like "Maybe I can go talk to Theon." Perhaps she's overestimating her powers right now due to Brienne's protection. Because I feel like Theon's a PSYCHOPATH.

And at the very end, we find out that our poor Khaleesi Daenerys, exhausted after a long day of rejection from the Spice King (because he's a smart businessman), is now one of the only remaining Dothraki of her party. They've all been slaughtered in Ducksauce's mansion, and the dragons are gone too. I understand that Daenerys is going through a heavy cycle of emotions at this moment, but she sort of looks like she's about to crack up laughing in one of the shots. Maybe she's a psycho too now. I hope she finds the dragons somehow, now that they're on their way to some creepy tower.

And so the women of Game of Thrones have been real thorns in the paws of the main players in this war. Catelyn's return to Robb's camp ruins his repartee with the nurse; the nurse, being someone besides his betrothed, is going to screw Robb over anyway; Arya's basically in position to take down the entire Lannister army from the inside; Ygritte's going to lead a siege on The Wall; and Osha just stole the equivalent of rubies or precious documents from Theon in the form of the living Stark boys. GIRLS!!! ARGGG!!!

Mad Men (pt. 2) is soon to come.

photos courtesy of HBO

01 May 2012

The Ghost Of Harrenhal At The Codfish Ball

After a very busy Monday and another round of filling 2 of these 3 darn cavities, I am finally prepared to talk about Sunday night's Game of Thrones and Mad Men. If last week's episodes were weird, then this week's were power punches. Does that sound like my teeth are still numb? Because they are.


Game of Thrones: "The Ghost of Harrenhal"
or, Next To You Guys, the Starks Look Like Rocket Scientists

Right at the top of the episode, Melisandre's Baby Skeletor glides into Renly's tent and stabs the crap out of his heart. So now it shall be known as canon that a priestess of this caliber can give birth to a shadow with the ability to turn smoke into a stabbing mechanism. We're screwed!

Renly dies, and Brienne's heart audibly breaks as Catelyn basically has to drag her away from all the guards who will be pursuing her. Little Finger has an identical scene with the Flower Siblings, and it's a pretty clear illustration of why Catelyn's so much better than him. They do the exact same thing and somehow Catelyn comes out like a hero and Little Finger comes out even more cowardly than before. And so, when Brienne offers to become Catelyn's bodyguard, I am extremely, extremely happy.

Bran's hanging out in Winterfell with nothing to do but rule over his brother's kingdom with utter grace and aplomb. To make another parallel, how much better is Bran at boy-kinging than Joffrey? It's not even a contest. Bran wins. How about once Robb starts ruling the North, Bran can rule King's Landing? I'd be ok with it.

Outside Westeros, Dany is Qarth's most eligible bachelorette. The weirdo alien king wants her to live at the House of Terrors or something, and Baron von Duck Sauce is through with love (he'll never fall again), so he wants to marry for politics and probably help himself to a dragon or two. Everyone wants these dragons. For obvious reasons, sure, but it's like, guys? Enough!

Also here is some woman that Jorah must've offended somehow. Oy.


Over in Harrenhal, Arya's been cruising through her kill list faster than I ever thought possible. I was expecting it to take years plus at least another primo fencing teacher. But nope, thanks to Jaqen H'ghar (who looks like a haggard Matt Bomer), Arya's list will shrink very quickly. Since she saved the three prisoners from the fire, he offers her three deaths in return. I hope those other two dudes she saved show up and offer her three lives too and then she'll get 9. Just saying, that would be cool. Within hours, Arya's first request - The Tickler - is dead in the street. And Jaqen's just like, A-WINKA!

PS Who was the ghost of Harrenhal? Probs Noseholes.

Mad Men: "At the Codfish Ball"
or, Free Sally Draper

Hahahahahahahahaha, I will never stop laughing, for you see, Grandma Pauline fell down. HaHA! And it's indirectly Glen Bishop's fault! Yes, hahaha, I can't breathe, we did it. Plus, this gets the kids over to Don's house where Megan's parents are visiting, so it all adds up to the fullest house on television since the Tanner residence.

Megan is getting better and better everyday. She comes up with a great idea for a Heinz commercial, she's great at juggling her nutso parents, and Don honestly seems more relaxed around her than he is with anyone else, including Peggy. This means she will die soon, and that makes me sad. I'm not saying that Mad Men is a full on soap opera, and of course Matt Weiner is a tricky guy sometimes, but I keep feeling intense dread whenever she comes onscreen. I like her too much. She's going to die.

So Megan saves the day (and the company) by feeding Don her pitch right before Heinz is about to fire SCDP. I think I'd like to marry Megan one day, too, if that's alright. I'd bring her breakfast in bed and she'd help me with my career. And I'd make sure she buckled up and looked both ways and NEVER, EVER DIED.

Pardon my redundancy, but Megan's parents are French Canadian weirdos. Her mother (Julia Ormond) is ridiculously off-balance and her father is a paranoid socialist. I fink they freeky and I like them a lot! Obviously so does Roger Sterling, that silver son of a bitch.

Don takes Sally and Megan and his in-laws to an award ceremony, where Roger treats Sally like his date. He has her collect his business cards and periodically say "Go get 'em, tiger." Following his lead, Sally tries eating codfish for the first time. This looks like the greatest pairing in the history of television UNTIL Roger sneaks away with Megan's mom, practically begging Sally to walk in on them in flagrante. Poor, poor Sally. You are obviously going to try this out as soon as possible on Glen, and I am going to throw up about it. This is the most terrible thing ever. He used to hand her Shirley Temples to taper off. Now he hands her miserable life experiences. "How's the city?" Glen asks. "Dirty," says Sally.

Always last and trying desperately not to be least, Peggy thinks Abe might be planning on proposing to her. Joan psychs her up about it, and Peggy dolls herself up in the most 1960s outfit imaginable. It is a sincere problem that there is not a picture of this outfit on the internet. She looks like those Laurence Welk Show singing sisters from SNL where the little one has vestigial teeth and hair and a baby arm growing out of her head. ALAS, Abe just wants to move in. But you know what? That's the best damn news Joan has heard all day. Good for you, Peggy!

Here Were the Power Punches:
-Roger Sterling's penis seems longer than average.
-What was once left of Sally's innocence is totally, completely gone.
-Daenerys's sexiest assets are her dragons.
-I wish Peggy's mom would have to wear that nosehole mask.
-Jaqen means business and so does Megan.

So I guess the power punches were actually Jaqen and Megan, who are great at TCB.

What is a power punch.

Photos courtesy AMCtv.com and HBO.