Bryan Batt


The return of a few pivotal guest characters and some very funny moments, in some situations that those characters–Lee Garner Jr. (Darren Pettie), and Glen Bishop (Marten Weiner) created.  Garner, may not appear much, but I’m sure many Mad Men fans are displeased with the character who is the reason that closeted homosexual art director Sal Romano (Bryan Batt) was fired.  Remember when Garner made a pass at Sal who nervously rebuffed him?  That’s all it took for Lee to tell Roger to cut Sal loose, which don didn’t hesitate at doing, once Roger told him it was for Lucky Strike, their number one client.

https://crackbillionair.wordpress.com/2010/03/17/sal-romano-we-hardly-knew-ye/

https://crackbillionair.wordpress.com/2010/07/21/january-jones-jennifer-aniston-love-triangle/

https://crackbillionair.wordpress.com/2010/06/13/january-jones-seeing-chef-bobby-flay/

https://crackbillionair.wordpress.com/2010/06/12/january-jones-in-4-car-crash-thursday-night-fleeing-paparazzi-nipple-shot/

I certainly hope everyone remembers the divorced neighbor’s (Darby Stanchfield) son, Glen Bishop, who Betty (January Jones) babysat for and who developed a crush on Betty.  One day the mother confronted Betty at the market after finding out that Betty had given Glen a locke of her hair, calling her juvenile and questioning her judgment.  Glen is played by Martin Weiner’s son, who does a creepy good job with the role.  Last night, Sally (Kiernan Shipka) and Bobby (Jared Gilmore) ran into Glen while Christmas tree shopping, and Glen seems to take a liking to Sally, whom he tells, “I saw your new dad.  My mom said that would happen.”

https://crackbillionair.wordpress.com/2010/07/27/mad-men-don-and-betty-up-to-old-and-new-tricks/

Then Glen calls Sally (top pic), tells Carla that his name is Stanley, and then tells Sally that her parents will not get back together because, of Betty he says, “she’s doing it with somebody else.”  Little Sally didn’t even get what that meant, but she did tell Glen she’s miserable, and Glen told her she would be miserable until she moved.  Later, Glen and a friend, who Glen calls a “shithead”, trash Betty’s house, because Glen feels he is helping Sally by getting Betty to think about moving.  Glen continues the onslaught by making crank calls to the old Draper resident in the middle of the night.

Another old character, the affable Freddy Rumsen (Joel Murray), walked in to the new agency clean and sober, with a major account in toe, and was hired back on the spot by Roger.  Freddy had a great line when he said of Roger’s (John Slattery) office, “it looks like an Italian hospital” and a very interesting one when he told Roger he didn’t want Pete Campbell (Vincent Kartheiser) anywhere near his account, and that he was surprised when he heard they brought Campbell along.  Remember that Campbell made fun of Freddy when he was on the way out due to his alcoholism, and when he pissed himself.  Freddy seems very sharp, and out for revenge on Campbell, who he also made a dig at in a meeting in Don’s (Jon Hamm) office with Peggy (Elisabeth Moss, looking large) and Roger.

https://crackbillionair.wordpress.com/2010/07/29/mad-men-jon-hamm-tells-parade-he-doesnt-want-wife-and-kids/

Speaking of alcoholism, let’s do our Don Draper update.  Early in the episode, Don drops his keys at his door, and is observed by his neighbor, as he wobbles to get down to pick the keys up.  Phoebe (Nora Zehetner), lets Don in and puts him to bed while resisting his advances.  Don tells her she’s good at this and she zings him with “my father was a drunk.”  The presence of a female around don usually means one thing: Don’s gonna tag her.  But with “Christmas Comes but Once a Year”, s4, e2, we see Don drinking too much–a fact pointed out even by Sterling Cooper all-star drunk Freddy Rumsen, when he asks Don f it isn’t too early in the morning to be drinking.  Also, the new artist calls Don pathetic, and it wasn’t the first time that he has made a remark about Don, to Peggy or some of the younger SCDP employees.  Last night, when he calls Don pathetic, nobody disputed him–an interesting tell on the state of Don Draper right now.  That’s why I’m not sure if Phoebe is there as Don’s neighbor this year as a romantic possibility, or as someone who is going to be coming to his rescue.

Then you have the Christmas party, where Don spoke with another potential hookup, Cara Buono, who played Phaye Miller, a consultant that the firm has brought in.  You might remember Cara Buono as Kelly Moltisanti, Chris’s wife, from The Sopranos, and also as Artie Lange’s love interest in Beer League.  But the party was made by the spoiled SCDP top client, Lee Garner Jr., who strong armed Roger for an invitation to the party, causing the party to be changed from a small, quiet affair to a fete worthy of the man who “keeps the lights on.”

Lee asked Roger to play Santa Claus, then insisted, waving off Campbell who tries to take the bullet for him, and staring Roger down and saying of the costume, “Seriously.  Put it on.”  Sterling trudged off and then trudged back as Santa, making for one of the funnier Mad men moments we’ve had.  Lee Garner Jr.’s Christmas present was a Polaroid camera, and, ballbuster he is, made everyone get on Roger’s knee for a picture.

When Alison (Alexa Alemanni), Don’s secretary, brings Don his keys after the party, Don makes a crude, drunken pass at her, and she resists at first before kicking her shoes off and laying back.  Joey, played by Matt Baird–the new character with a lot of venom for Don–seems to be dating Alison, a nice potential plot complication for the future.  And while Alison tells Don, or attempts to tell him she has a boyfriend after they have sex, she was clearly preoccupied with Don all episode, from her reading Don the letter to Santa from his kids, and she seeemed on the verge of tears after Don acted coolly towards her the morning after at the office.

And Sterling had us laughing until the end, when he greets Don that morning with, “Did you enjoy the fuhrer’s birthday?” in a German accent–a comment all the more valid when comparing the proclivities of Adolf Hitler and Lee Garner Jr.  But if Don is firmly walking in the land of the dangerous alcoholic this season, where he has tiptoed for years, and he has a tense office romance going with Alison, which could turn very badly, then Don might not be the hero this season that we have come to associate with his dapper character during the life of the show to date, and we probably won’t be laughing too much at all.

Here’s to Don getting it together.  Getting dissed and called a type by Cara Buono can’t be a proud moment, and it was only one of many inglories that Don suffered last night.

–Crack (https://crackbillionair.wordpress.com, www.crackbillionair.com)

Jon Hamm and girlfriend Jennifer Westfeldt (above).

The man who stars as Don Draper on the iconic hit Mad Men, actor Jon Hamm, has told August’s Parade magazine that he has no intention of marrying or having kids, despite his long love affaair with actress girlfriend Jennifer Westfeldt.

“I don’t have the marriage chip,” Hamm told the Aug. 1 issue of Parade magazine, “and neither of us have the greatest examples of marriages in our families.”

The “Mad Men” star also doesn’t plan to become a father anytime soon.

“I like kids but I also like the option to close the door,” he said. “Becoming a parent is a whole other life, and it doesn’t stop.”

But don’t get too excited, ladies. Even though Hamm doesn’t plan to walk down the aisle or into the delivery room anytime soon, he said Westfeldt – who he’s been dating for 13 years – is a keeper.

“Jen is the love of my life, and we’ve already been together four times longer than my parents were married,” says the 39-year-old actor.

http://www.nydailynews.com/gossip/2010/07/29/2010-07-29_mad_men_star_jon_hamm_i_dont_have_the_marriage_chip.html

For more on Westfeldt, check out:

http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0922724/bio

Mad Men began season 4 Sunday on a high note, to it’s best ever ratings debut.

Last night’s season four premiere of Mad Men scored drew 2.9 million viewers, making it the most-watched season premiere of the Emmy-winning series. Its viewership was up 5 percent from the 2.76 million people who watched last season’s debut episode. Mad Men‘s first season averaged 925,000 viewers.

http://news-briefs.ew.com/2010/07/26/mad-men-premiere-ratings/

Read our take on the Mad Men premiere below:

https://crackbillionair.wordpress.com/2010/07/27/mad-men-don-and-betty-up-to-old-and-new-tricks/

–Crack (https://crackbillionair.wordpress.com)

https://crackbillionair.wordpress.com/2010/06/13/january-jones-seeing-chef-bobby-flay/

https://crackbillionair.wordpress.com/2010/06/12/january-jones-in-4-car-crash-thursday-night-fleeing-paparazzi-nipple-shot/

https://crackbillionair.wordpress.com/2010/06/04/esquire-picked-scarlett-over-christina-for-may-cover-lady-pics/

https://crackbillionair.wordpress.com/2010/06/03/battle-of-the-moolighting-mad-men-wives-alison-brie-versus-peyton-list-picture-show/

https://crackbillionair.wordpress.com/2010/04/21/mad-men-rubicon-set-for-725-premieres/

https://crackbillionair.wordpress.com/2010/04/20/mad-men-half-dead/

https://crackbillionair.wordpress.com/2010/04/16/my-old-kentucky-home/

https://crackbillionair.wordpress.com/2010/03/22/tara-jackie-and-joannie-holloway/

https://crackbillionair.wordpress.com/2010/06/14/breaking-bad-poor-finale-ends-excellent-season/

So I’ve been going to town on television lately, and with good reason, for much good TV is either set to premiere or rerun.  Two Showtime favorites, if imperfect, that return tomorrow (3/22/10) are The  United  States of Tara and Nurse Jackie, a Lionsgate TV production.  Lionsgate’s masterpiece, Mad Men, also returns tomorrow/tonight in reruns (12 AM), as AMC looks to capitalize and piggyback on the success of Breaking Bad, in its season 3 premiere, which will be aired at 10 PM and repeated at 11 PM, leading into Mad Men at 12:03.

We have learned that tonight’s Breaking Bad deals with the aftermath of the plane crash, which is an indicator that there will not be any real time lag between the season 2 finale and the season 3 premiere.  We have no idea where Nurse Jackie will pick up, but it was certainly unsettling where she left off–locked inside a hospital room, about to pass out on the floor after drinking 3 bottles of morphine–and with good reason.  Her boyfriend, Eddie (Paul Schulze, who you might remember best as Father Intintola from The Sopranos), lets Jackie (Edie Falco) know that he has just met her husband, who she had concealed from everyone except Dr. O’Hara (Eve Best).

 Jackie is a very different role for Falco than Carmella Soprano, and I find her good in both, though Carmella Soprano was more of a scrutable character.  It is very hard to understand Jackie’s deviousness, and how she betrays her husband so easily (Dominic Fumusa).  Though she is a drug addict, and Eddie who was until recently the hospital’s pharmacist and her supplier, as well as her noon time  lover, which makes total sense from the outside, but not from within. Inside the text, Jackie is a lot more complex than that.  To crack her behavior up to the pressure’s of running a nursing unit in an ER in a busy Manhattan hospital is overly simplistic as well.

I find myself comparing Falco in this role more and more to her former fictional husband, Tony Soprano.  She gets off on being able to do whatever she wants, whenever she wants, and now we finally get to see her deal with some consequences.  While the audience, I assume, hopes she gets off easy, as we always hoped for Tony, I’m not sure we quite find ourselves rooting for her in the same way as we rooted for Tony, a veritable super hero of television–even though she has gone to great lengths to help children, steal from the rich and give to the poor.  Perhaps that’s a societal double standard at play.  At any rate, Jackie, like Tony Soprano, is a premeditated murder (she euthanized a friend and former colleague who was dying a slow and painful death), and that is a little different than killing one’s own nephew, the way Tony killed Christopher by pinching his nostrils while he choked on his own blood.  Jackie may have even more of a God complex than Tony S., and that means the show can literally take us anywhere, and I must say I am apprehensive about this powder keg.

I just saw spots for Tara and Jackie on Showtime, and Anne Deavere Smith, who plays Nurse Akolitas, talked on the ad about how at the end of the day, Jackie will do anything to help those in need.  Like snorting the little round contents of these unnamed capsules?  By the way, how do those little round balls stay up her nose?  She doesn’t even crush them up or anything!  I guess Jackie is a bit of a superhero too.

At the end of the day, I am left to wonder if she will do anything to help people because of the bad stuff she is atoning for, and not out of her “humanitarian” disposition.  Either way, season 2 should be the tits.  We’ve seen what she’s done, and now we have to see the repurcussions, and though Jackie isn’t all good, I, for one, am very scared for her.  But I have this feeling it aint gonna be no thing for this dope fiend.  And we would be remiss if we did not also mention the outstanding performances turned in by nurse in training, Zoe (Merrit Weaver), and by Haaz Sleiman, playing Mohammed, Jackie’s closest nurse friend.

As for Tara, her and I got off on the wrong foot.  When a scientific premise is not accurate, I have trouble falling into that sort of plot.  I’m not gonna go crazy about it, but I had a problem with the medication that Tara was prescribed for her M.P.D.  Not to be too specific, but they were talking about anti anxiety meds and she was in need of some serious anti psychotics.  If the much ballyhooed creator and lead writer, Diablo Cody, is too lazy to get that right, then the show stands on shaky footing.

But then you see the cast–truly stellar–led by Toni Collette, who burst on to the scene almost 20 years ago in the Indie classic Muriel’s Wedding, her husband, played by the affable John Corbett, who played Carrrie’s love Aiden on Sex and the City, and who I always preferred for her to Big.  By the way, how bad are they dragging Sex and the City out?  I mean, I thought the movie was over 2 separate times when there was still one and a half hours, and 45 minutes left, respectively.  Kill me already.  And that my wife will force me to watch the sequel, about 4 women who were never hot in the first place and are now 10-15 years removed from their glory days, is already making my stomach turn.

Tara’s children probably make the show.  Her daughter, played by Brie Larson (not Bree Olsen!), totally nails the free spirited hot teenage daughter of a seriously mentally ill mother.  Tara’s son, Marshall, played by Keir Gilchest, is considered by some to be the show, a young adolescent, openly homosexual, living in Kansas, who has enough to deal with, as you can imagine, without one of Tara’s alters hooking up with his first boyfriend.  But Marshall dealt with that rather decisively, by setting a large fire in the family’s backyard, now didn’t he?

And we must also mention Tara’s sister, Charmaine (Rosemarie Dewitt, also known for her role on Mad Men as the hippy chick that Don was fucking in season 1).

Speaking of Mad Men, as we have mentioned, reruns begin at 12:03, with season 3, episode 1, “Out of Town”, in which Don (Jon Hamm)and the aforementioned in these pages, Sal Romano (Bryan Batt) must take a business trip on which Don discovers that Sal is gay.  To his credit, Don is cool with it, perhaps identifying with Sal on account of his own secrets.  This pivotal episode involving Sal makes us all the more sad that he will not be returning to the cast to reprise his role.

But we are stoked that Christina Hendricks will be featured on the little screen for the next thirteen Monday mornings, in her role as office manager Joannie Holloway.  While January Jones and Elisabeth Moss come bearing bigger names, Joannie does more than hold her own, which isn’t easy, considering the size of her breasts and her alien like measurements.  Hendricks was recently featured in New York Magazine, and you should all check it out.  The 34 year old is about to become a breakout star.  And because I like you guys so much, I will leave you with a few photos of her to contemplate.

Obviously, Esquire was hot for her too…

Here’s a shot of Joan looking all hot over at Sterling Cooper.

Ahh, the women of Showtime and Lionsgate, their secret lives, multiple identities, and of Joannie–I don’t know what to say, other than I’m so glad she’s back, if only in reruns.  Enjoy.

Peace,

Crack