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Tag Archives: Mad Men

Mad Men Forever

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TV’s “Mad Men” returns on Sunday, and I, for one, am psyched. So much so, that I’m envisioning what it would be like to see these characters continue into the 1970s, and beyond.

1970: DON DUSTS OFF HIS OLD, “I’D LIKE TO BUY THE WORLD A SMOKE” CAMPAIGN, REWORKS IT, AND SELLS IT TO COCA-COLA

1971: JOAN BURNS HER BRA AT A PROTEST IN TIMES SQUARE; ROGER TAKES THE DAY OFF TO ATTEND

1973: BERT RESIGNS HIS PARTNERSHIP TO TAKE A POST AS IMAGE CONSULTANT TO RICHARD NIXON AS THE WATERGATE SCANDAL UNFOLDS; HE ADVISES NIXON TO “ACT LIKE AN ADULT”

1974: ROGER ROBS A BANK WITH PATTY HEARST

1977: HARRY BUYS A LEISURE SUIT; JOAN FIRES HIM ON THE SPOT

1981: PETE LANDS THE DELOREAN MOTORS ACCOUNT

1983: PEGGY PERSUADES BILL GATES TO REBRAND HIS “INDIVIDUAL COMPUTING DEVICES” AS “PERSONAL COMPUTERS”

1984: BETTY DIVORCES HENRY FRANCIS AND MARRIES GLEN, WHO NOW OWNS A CHAIN OF WATERBED DEALERSHIPS

1988: ROGER RETIRES AND SAILS AROUND THE WORLD ON HIS YACHT, THE REGINA

1993: KENNY WRITES A BEST-SELLING MEMOIR, “IMPERFECT PITCH”

1998: DON’S FINAL CAMPAIGN, FOR VIAGRA, WINS NATIONAL AWARDS

2000: PETE LANDS THE ENRON ACCOUNT

2001: JOAN ACCEPTS A JOB AS SENIOR ADVISOR TO U.S. SEN. HILLARY CLINTON

2005: SALLY, A SUCCESSFUL VENTURE CAPITALIST, STARTS A FUND FOR RETURNING IRAQ WAR VETERANS; SHE CALLS IT THE “DICK WHITMAN FOUNDATION”

2009: PETE LANDS THE BRITISH PETROLEUM ACCOUNT

2013: DON IS VOTED SEXIEST OCTOGENARIAN OF CORAL VISTA ESTATES

How do you see it playing out?

A Gallery of Cinematic Hats

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Much is made of computer animation and other technology in movies and TV, but I think one of the best special effects goes on top of an actor’s head. It shapes our whole attitude about a character, without so much as a transposed pixel. Here, without commentary, are some of my favorites.

HARRISON FORD AS INDIANA JONES

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CHARLIE CHAPLIN AS THE LITTLE TRAMP

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THE LADIES OF “DOWNTON ABBEY”

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CLINT EASTWOOD AS THE MAN WITH NO NAME

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SALLY FIELD AS “THE FLYING NUN”

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JON HAMM AS DON DRAPER

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THE CAT IN THE HAT

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CARMEN MIRANDA

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JIMMIE WALKER AS J.J. EVANS

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ALAN HALE JR. AS THE SKIPPER

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MAURICE CHEVALIER

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JOHN WAYNE

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MARY TYLER MOORE AS MARY RICHARDS

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BASIL RATHBONE AS SHERLOCK HOLMES

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MIKE NESMITH IN “THE MONKEES”

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FESS PARKER AS DANIEL BOONE

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DANIEL DAY-LEWIS AS ABRAHAM LINCOLN

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THE SORTING HAT FROM “HARRY POTTER”

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ART CARNEY AS ED NORTON

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B.D. IN “DOONESBURY”

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MINNIE PEARL

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LARRY HAGMAN AS J.R. EWING

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JOHNNY DEPP AS THE MAD HATTER

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BUDDY EBSEN AS JED CLAMPETT

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ARETHA FRANKLIN AT THE PRESIDENTIAL INAUGURATION

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LIDSVILLE TV SERIES

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GENE HACKMAN AS POPEYE DOYLE

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ERROL FLYNN AS ROBIN HOOD

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HUMPHREY BOGART AS SAM SPADE

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MARGARET HAMILTON AS THE WICKED WITCH OF THE WEST

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That’s a LOT of hats! But even so, feel free to suggest a few more!

Television’s Great Angry Wives

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Friends, we are living in a Golden Age of Angry Wives on TV. Unlike most of their counterparts from earlier eras, today’s television wives give full voice to their fears, frustrations and fury. It’s a beautiful thing. Take a look at some classic examples from today and yesterday.

JANUARY JONES IN “MAD MEN”

Don Draper gets all the attention, but Betty Draper’s story arc on “Mad Men” is equally compelling and also tragic. We see her transform from mousy and petulant to passive aggressive to outright bitter. No one holds an angrier cigarette than Betty.

SOFIA VERGARA IN “MODERN FAMILY”

Here’s a case where having a character show anger makes her much more likable. As Gloria, Vergara easily could have been just eye candy. Instead, she uses her zero to sixty temper to be someone who stands up for herself, thinks for herself and is funny in her own right.

AUDREY MEADOWS IN “THE HONEYMOONERS”

Alice Kramden is the TV Angry Wife rock of Gibraltar. That voice! That withering stare! Not only did she give as good as she got on “The Honeymooners,” she apparently conducted much of her life in a dreary apartment roughly the size of the Kardashians’ bathroom.

LEAH REMINI IN “KING OF QUEENS”

I think the closest thing to Alice Kramden in recent years was Leah Remini as Carrie Heffernan on “King of Queens.” Carrie didn’t put up with any guff from her larger-than-life hubby and she had a ferocity about her that jumped off the TV screen.

TICHINA ARNOLD IN “EVERYBODY HATES CHRIS”

Everybody may have hated Chris, but they were downright scared of Rochelle. She ruled the family with a steely resolve and a glare that could see through solid rock – in this case a young Chris Rock. Yet the show made quite clear that Rochelle’s anger stemmed from her desire to keep her husband and kids moving forward.

PATRICIA HEATON IN “EVERYBODY LOVES RAYMOND”

The meaner Patricia Heaton got on “Everybody Loves Raymond,” the funnier she became. She was a joy to watch, particularly as she branched out and got angry at her in-laws. The fact that she’s so tiny made it even more impressive.

ESTELLE HARRIS IN “SEINFELD”

Despite playing a secondary character, Estelle Harris was an essential part of “Seinfeld.” Her epic arguments with her TV husband, Jerry Stiller, were atonal symphonies of spite. Bravo, Estelle.

ALICE PEARCE AND SANDRA GOULD IN “BEWITCHED”

Two actresses shared the role of nosy neighbor Gladys Kravitz on “Bewitched.” Alice Pearce trafficked expertly in odd facial expressions, while Gould (shown here) went in for a more hostile vibe. Let’s just say Mr. Kravitz had his hands full.

JANE KACZMAREK IN “MALCOLM IN THE MIDDLE”

Ah, Lois. Your sitcom anger was pure farce, but it was truly formidable. Kaczmarek crafted a character who used yelling to convey humor, honesty, love and concern, as well as indignation.

SUSIE ESSMAN IN “CURB YOUR ENTHUSIASM”

And then there’s Susie. Her put-upon, California wife in “Curb Your Enthusiasm” is a force of nature. Her anger is volcanic. Her expletives are extraordinary. I’m fairly confident she can divert weather systems with the sheer energy emanating from her face. If TV is going to have a Larry David, there has to be a Susie Essman to balance things out.

Oh, but there are so many more. You have Edie Falco in “The Sopranos,” Felicity Huffman in “Desperate Housewives,” Julie Bowen in “Modern Family,” etc. Who are some of your favorites?