DAVID BIANCULLI

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'Mad Men' Returns, Cocky And Confident As Ever
March 23, 2012  | By David Bianculli
 

(From NPR) Yes, it was worth the wait. Absolutely. Mad Men returns Sunday with a two-hour season premiere — and by the time it's over, if you react the way I did, you'll be satisfied and even comforted to have spent two wonderful hours with the folks at Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce.

Series creator Matthew Weiner has created something magical with Mad Men, and that spell continues in Season Five. This show has a pace and feel all its own, and the writers, actors and directors all attack with the cocky confidence of Jon Hamm's Don Draper entering a conference room to woo a new client.

These characters have been delineated so richly over the years that spending time with them this season is not only a pleasure — it's a constant series of small but revealing discoveries. When Elisabeth Moss, as Peggy, snaps at Don after she has a bit too much to drink, it's underplayed — but it's obviously a bold move that results in a series of aftershocks. So is the power play by Vincent Kartheiser's Pete, who's bringing in more clients than many others in the office — and doesn't want that fact to go unnoticed, or unrewarded...

 
 
 
 
 
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Good news, TVWW readers: David’s new book from Doubleday, The Platinum Age of Television: From I Love Lucy to The Walking Dead, How TV Became Terrific is available on Amazon for $20. (Paperback will be available September 5th, here.)

Doubleday says: “Darwin had his theory of evolution, and David Bianculli has his. Bianculli's theory has to do with the concept of quality television: what it is and, crucially, how it got that way."

"The Platinum Age of Television is an effusive guidebook that plots the path from the 1950s’ Golden Age to today’s era of quality TV. For instance, animation evolved from Rocky and His Friends to South Park; variety shows moved from The Ed Sullivan Show to Saturday Night Live; and family sitcoms grew from I Love Lucy to Modern Family. A high point is the author’s interviews with Carl Reiner, Mel Brooks, Norman Lear, Bob Newhart, Matt Groening, Larry David, Amy Schumer and many others...Bianculli has written a highly readable history." —The Washington Post

 

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