10 Best TV Shows of the Decade

Can’t really complain with Bill Mann’s 10 best TV shows of the decade, but I wouldn’t have The Sopranos #1, I would have bumped The Shield for 30 Rock and had Friday Night Lights as an Honorable Mention. What do you supposed 6 Feet Under bumps out? Stewart/Colbert probably ought to be counted as one show. What do you think of the list? What were your favorite shows of the decade?

1. The Sopranos (HBO)
2. Deadwood (HBO)
3. The Wire (HBO)
4. The Colbert Report (Comedy Central)
5. The Daily Show With Jon Stewart (Comedy Central)
6. Mad Men (AMC)
7. Curb Your Enthusiasm (HBO)
8. Extras (HBO)
9. The Shield (FX)
10. The West Wing (NBC)
Honorable Mention: Countdown With Keith Olbermann (MSNBC); Weeds (Showtime); Fareed Zakaria GPS (CNN); The Office (BBC version).

10 Best TV Shows of the Decade

Mad Men Season 3 Preview Roundup

Mad Men Season 3 starts on Sunday and I am…excited. Here’s a round up of some of what’s been said about the show in the last couple weeks.

-Like cocktails? Here’s a Mad Men Cocktail Guide.

-Lots here from Vanity Fair, including a word on their obsession with set design:

A scene-setting anecdote everyone in the Mad Men orbit tells is how Weiner came onto the set one day and focused on some pieces of fruit he said were too large and shiny and perfectly formed; produce in the early 60s—period produce—wasn’t pumped up. Get smaller, dumpier fruit, he ordered. (Depending on who was telling me the story, from cast members to network executives, the offending produce morphed from apples to oranges to bananas, but Amy Wells, the set decorator, said definitively: it was apples.)

HuffPo’s take.

-The New Yorker on advertising Mad Men:

The theme of season three is change. “We wanted our key art to be more high-concept,” Schupack explained, unveiling the new poster, which hits this week: Draper is sitting in his office, looking nonchalant, as water rises up to his knees.

mad-men-season3-hed

-From Esquire, Christina Hendricks and some other female players.

-Story about the real life person Don Draper is based on.

In the 1960s, Draper Daniels was something of a legendary character in American advertising. As the creative head of Leo Burnett in Chicago in the 1950s, he had fathered the Marlboro Man campaign, among others, and become known as one of the top idea men in the business. He was also a bit of a maverick.

Playboy is getting Madmenized for the next couple weeks.

Interview and podcast with Jon Hamm.

-Talking with the Mad Men costume designer:

Bryant mixes original creations with vintage pieces for the principal cast’s wardrobe, which is designed from scratch, starting with sketches. Her use of kaleidoscope colors, sparkling jewelry, brilliant prints and florals can be deliciously distracting.

-New York Magazine got into the act with a profile of Christina Hendricks

Which is kind of the point of Mad Men. Bad is sexy. And then just very, very bad. The show lures you in with a glittering surface, but just below is a hothouse of homophobia, racism, anti-Semitism, sexism, and a more general and crushing sense of isolation.

and Pete Campbell whom everyone hates except Matt Weiner apparently:

“I went to an all-boys school, and Pete’s like the kids I went to school with. He could have been Holden Caulfield’s roommate, who borrowed his coat and didn’t bring it back.”

and a handy Guide to the First Two Seasons.

-Finally here’s the Wall St Journal on the story, which seems to be getting a lot of play this year, of the writing staff that is mostly female:

The story centers on Don Draper and his shadowy past, but a key part of the series, the writers say, is its complicated female characters. “It’s less skewed than it appears,” says consulting producer Maria Jacquemetton.

Mad Men Season 3 Preview Roundup

You Don’t Need to be Right…

In a new interview on HuffPo with Terrence McNally, Michael Lewis explains why it only SEEMS like all the financial firms were full of idiots (instead of actually being idiots).

As a trader inside a big Wall Street firm…you would face a decision: Do I exercise my independent judgment and bet against this market, or do I just keep going along with what my firm is doing? If you exercise your independent judgment and bet against sub-prime mortgage bonds, you not only probably run into some political conflict within your firm, but you’d never make the big score for yourself… The minute you make a bunch of money from your bet, your firm is doomed. They couldn’t pay you. So the smart thing was just to go along and hope it lasted long enough for you to get rich.

You Don’t Need to be Right…

Blake Schwarzenbach to Write for Huffington Post?

According to Facebook, Blake Schwarzenbach from Thorns of Life, Jets to Brazil, and Jawbreaker will be writing at Huffington Post starting “Monday, July 25”. Seeing as how today is the 25th and Monday is the 27th, it’s not clear if this is a joke, but I’ll definitely be looking for totalaccord@huffingtonpost.com on Monday. I’ll post something on the article if it happens. Still no word on the album that was rumored to be releasing on June 30th.

Blake Schwarzenbach to Write for Huffington Post?