Justified ends tonight (nooooooooooooooo!!!!!!!!) and two of the best tv critics I know have already posted a tribute to the FX series. Those pieces of writing that are both worth reading.

Noal Murray used to be the best reviewer on the AV Club, and he came back to his former house to deliver here a lovely tribute to the show.

I especially liked the way he talked about Boyd and Raylan:
"Yost and his writers haven’t shied away from confronting matters of class and race, or from asking whether’s Raylan’s really all that different from his loquacious nemesis, drug dealer Boyd Crowder. But Justified also hasn’t avoided answering that question, with an unequivocal, “Yes.” Boyd’s a devious opportunist who kills when it’s convenient, while Raylan—though he’s a self-centered prick who’s quick on the trigger—aims to do what he knows to be right.
Boyd’s a fun character, especially as played by the wiry Walton Goggins; and he’s even fairly sympathetic. Like a lot of criminals in pulp stories, Crowder dreams of piling up enough money to allow him to buy a big house and live the straight life with his true love, Ava. But relatable aspirations don’t make him any less deserving of punishment. Raylan, meanwhile, has never been an “antihero” of the type that’s dominated TV in the post-Sopranos era. He bends rules, drives his boss and coworkers crazy, and he’s clearly haunted by a childhood spent under the thumb of a cruel outlaw father. But he also closes cases, and as played by Timothy Olyphant he does it with a combination of quiet arrogance and vengefulness—as though he were trying to prove to everyone he grew up with that he’s better than them."

And, of course, I loved his use of the word "troubadour", and the ending of his post:

"Each season thus far has ended with a different version of Kentucky musician Darrell Scott’s “You’ll Never Leave Harlan Alive,” and over the past six years the series has established an aesthetic similar to a low-key guitar-slinging troubadour: making music so simple that it seems like anyone could do it. But not everyone is Darrell Scott, just like not everyone is Elmore Leonard. The main reason why Leonard was able to work so well within his own rules is that he had a vivid imagination and a masterful ear for dialogue, which meant he didn’t need much more than a twisty plot and some strong personalities to fill the page. Justified’s team has also trusted that this is enough. Like a great songwriter, they’ve just picked out a few chords, and then sung something honest."

Alan Sepinwall is one of the most revered tv critics and he's equally quick to sing the praises of the show in his farewell here. I'll leave you with this bit:

"But the writers never lost sight of who their hero  was, and they let him show off the same cocky, stubborn, sarcastic demeanor against thugs big and small. They had a great character at the center, played by an actor who fit the role as perfectly as that hat fit his head".
Oh yes, that was the perfect man for the perfect hat!


Wild horses

Tom McRae
I found this little gem thanks to Openculture!

This is an acoustic and never-heard version that the Rolling Stones uploaded a few days ago:


"Your teeth glow in the dark"

Now that's a line they must have been waiting to use for years!!!

Anyway, I was wrong, "Collateral" wasn't the finale, there's still one episode left. Yay! But given how this one ended, I wonder how they are going to fit everything in the next and last (nooooooooooooooo!!!!!!) episode of Justified.

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Vermeer, woman in yellow
That Belize in-joke aside, the finale was oddly touching, I didn't expect that.

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I will definitely watch season 2. And I will have an icon!

ETA: Here is an interview with director/writer of the finale, Peter Gould, that pleased me a lot!

"The other thing that really surprised us was how much we liked Jimmy McGill. We root for this character in a way that I was never expecting. I was expecting Saul Goodman to be full of mischief and full of energy and fun, but I wasn't expecting to root for him and feel for him the way I feel for Jimmy. It's put us in an interesting place, because we've gotten to the point where we love Jimmy McGill. We like Saul Goodman, but we love Jimmy McGill. "

Vanitas vanitatum

Vermeer, woman in yellow
I wish there were someone with whom I could discuss Mad Men! Has anyone from the flist seen it and would like to share thoughts?

I said yesterday that the show doesn't switch me onto speculating mode, but it often triggers my analytical mind. It's the kind of show to parse and decipher. And "Severance" was definitely an episode that begged to be analyzed!

I remember that when I watched The Sopranos I couldn't help thinking of Mad Men, all the time. Matthew Weiner created something that seemed unique in style, but actually brought so much from his experience as a Sopranos writer. Surely, there was no true equivalent of Peggy and Pete on The Sopranos (Christopher was never that fleshed out, and, apart from Edie Falco and Lorraine Braco, the show suffered from the lack of great actors to face James Gandolfini) and Don isn't as bad a man as Tony was. He never killed anyone, and although there are morality issues at play in his line of work, being an advertising man is not the same as being a gangster. Yet, the two have so much in common.They are womanizers, unable to be satisfied with what they have, adaptating and yet stuck in a sort of perpetual nostalgia. They can't change. I kinda picture Tony and Don meeting up. What would they talk about? Their last conquest?

I think they would rather talk about their mothers. Deep down, Mad Men is about Don's psyche, the same way The Sopranos was about Tony's, except that Matthew Wiener didn't need a shrink on screen to explore Don's. He found other ways to the point that most of what happens on Mad Men tend to be all symbolism and a mere extension of Don's spirtual/psychological state.

In the last season of The Sopranos, fans looked for clues about Tony's death; Mad Men fans have been speculating about Don's death for years (if only because of the falling man from the credits), and there are already legions thinking that Don is already dead.

Death has always been a prominent character on Mad Men, if only because, technically, Donald Draper is a dead man walking...

In "Severance" Ted voiced a very cliché line about how "there's only three women in every man's life". However Don has had so many women that three seems too small a number.

Who are Don's three women?

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So, the final countdown has begun...

Tonight Mad Men returns for its final 7 episode run.

I don't really have an idea about how it's going to end. I have never really been in speculation mode when it comes to Mad Men, It isn't that kind of show for me. I take what it gives, sometimes it's brillant and poignant; sometimes it's as subtle as a hammer sound; sometimes it's a vacuum pretending to be smart. I'm totally ready for the show to leave my screen. Actually, I would have loved the show to end with the diner's scene from last year, with the core trio of the show, Don, Peggy and Pete. Those relationships (Don/Peggy; Don/Pete; Peggy/Pete) are the most precious thing about the series, IMO, even though the Don Draper/Sally Draper has become very important too (shades of Tony Soprano/Meadow Soprano) in the last seasons. I just hope the finale will live up to the somewhat overrated reputation of the show.

Yes I enjoy Mad Men and have seen every episode to this day, but it never was in my tv pantheon. AMC did have one masterpiece, and I don't think that, when Mad Men is over, it will ever be regarded the same way BrBa was.

BTW, let's remember how terrific Breaking Bad was!!!

Damnit, I miss having Bryan Cranston works his acting magic on my screen. I miss all the daring cold opens the show provided, all the dark humour and fantastic visuals; I miss Walt/Jesse twisted relationship.

And soon I will miss my tv boyfriend.

On Tuesday, Raylan Givens will wear his hat for the last time. I didn't review the penultimate episode because I was so exhausted on Wednesday and Thursday that I had to choose between The Americans and Justified, and The Americans HAD to be reviewed, but, of course, I loved Justified, and I would be onboard if FX were to announce that there's a Wynn Duffy spin-off in the drawers!

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I will probably need some Deadwood marathon to help me heal after Justified ends. Especially, given that The Americans is nearing to the season finale (fortunately the best current tv show is renewed for a fourth season!!!), and RECTIFY won't return until Summer.

ETA: The Guardian makes a list of the literary references (or rather of the books the characters read on screen) on Mad Men.

Don reading Dante in Hawaii.
Vermeer, woman in yellow
This penultimate episode turned out to be an exercise in morality and horror.

So what would you prefer...

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I'm embedding this to bookmark the video. Dan/Eugene for ever!!!


In which The Americans is true to itself

Truth can be dangerous, but it still has values.

A lesser show would have turned into a big screen thing what is a big thing, but The Americans does trust itself, and the show trusts its audience and its amazing cast.

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I knew it!

Vermeer, woman in yellow
But still, it did sting.

Poor Jimmy. "Not a real lawyer".

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Defying expectations...or not?

I'm caught up with my tv shows and it's an abundance of riches. So many thoughts in my head!I have to write down reviews.

First off, I'm loving this first season of Better Call Saul.

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As for "Trust", it was again a hell of an episode! I can't believe that there are only two episodes left before Raylan Givens disappear from my screen.
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And finally, we've got my favourite show, The Americans, a series that never fails to provide breathtaking (sometimes hard to watch) scenes and first-class acting. You all know my love for Arkady Ivanovich, and I believe that Matthew Rhys' performances as Philip Jennings are among the best I have seen on television in the last couple of years, but what I also love about the show is that it is filled with terrific female characters. Elizabeth of course, as co-lead, but also Nina, Paige, and Martha.

And what a great season it has been so far for Martha!!!

This week the show's title was a tribute to another Philip (btw Blade Runner was released in June 1982 in the USA): "Do Mail Robots Dream of Electric Sheep?"

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