Top Ten Shows of 2013

It is a great time to be an audience member right now, as network television starts to fight back against the domineering cable powerhouses like AMC, FX, HBO, Showtime, and, now, Netflix. And because we live in 2013, I decided to make a list about it. So here you go, Internet. Here’s a look at my top ten picks for the past year in television:

10. The Mindy Project

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In her quest to take over Hollywood, writer/producer/actress Mindy Kaling and crew step up their game big time in the sophomore season of The Mindy Project. With the addition of Adam Palley (Happy Endings), the cast finally seems complete and grounds some of Mindy’s pop culture rants. While most people have written off this show as a mind-numbing sitcom, Kaling brings a hint of her Dartmouth intelligence to the mix, crafting the lovable Nurse Morgan (Ike Barinholtz) and the bromance to end all bromances between Dr. Castellano (Chris Messina) and Dr. Reed (Ed Weeks). Mindy’s biggest problem is that she only appeals to the Generation Y – my mom doesn’t get half the jokes.

9. American Horror Story: Coven

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There is a house in New Orleans…and shit hits the fan. Ryan Murphy’s latest installment of the horror series follows the struggle between the witches and voodoos in the great Mardi Gras city, all while juggling massive themes of racism and acceptance. Sarah Paulson, who shined in Asylum, takes a back seat in this chapter, letting veteran Jessica Lange battle it out against industry staples Kathy Bates and Angela Bassett. With an eclectic group of supporting characters like mind-reader Nan, human voodoo doll Queenie, Fleetwood Mac-inspired Misty, and vagina-killer Zoey, the women of AHS take a stand, once and for all.

8. Top of the Lake

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Speaking of women taking a stand, let’s take a moment to talk about Elisabeth Moss, who killed 2013. Like, the reason 2013 is coming to a close is because she killed it. Moss stars in this surreal Sundance drama as a Detective Robin Griffin, who looks into the disappearance of a twelve-year-old pregnant girl, and uncovers the dark underworld dealings of rural New Zealand. Better yet, Holly Hunter delivers the performance of her career in the best side-story of the year as GJ, the psychedelic con artist who leads troubled women into the plains of Paradise. With a supporting cast comprised of Peter Mullan, Thomas Wright, and David Wenham (Lord of the Rings). In a sort, Elisabeth Moss’ Robin Griffin was everything that Claire Danes’ Carrie Matheson wasn’t this year… I still love you, Claire.

7. Modern Family

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We’re keeping it in the family this year with yet another amazing season of ABC’s Modern Family. While their Emmy days are starting to fade (even though they won Best Comedy for the fourth year in a row), the show remains strong as ever. As always, Phil and Claire Dunphy (Ty Burrell and Julie Bowen) bring the show to a whole new height, with the sadly realistic mix-ups that occur daily in households across America. Even Lily (Aubrey Anderson-Emmons) has stepped up her A-game. If you disagree with me, go rewatch “ClosetCon” and then we’ll talk.

6. Please Like Me

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“The Best Show That You’ve Never Heard Of” award for 2013 goes to the Australian comedy Please Like Me. While most Americans knowledge of Australian television extends as far as Chris Lilley’s HBO partnerships like Summer Heights High and the recent (flop) Ja’mie: Private School Girl, this is one show you should add to your list. It stars Josh Thomas as a twenty-something who realizes he is gay when his girlfriend dumps him over a seventeen-dollar sundae. It’s the intricacies like the seventeen-dollar sundae that make this show so great! Josh goes to stay with his depression-stricken mother, as his father lands himself with a young Thai woman. With the help of his best friend Tom and his new ex-girlfriend Clare, Josh attempts to navigate the world as a gay man – and he’s very bad at it. You can find Please Like Me on the new Pivot channel – check your local listings and whatnot. This is one show that’s too smart to miss.

5. Game of Thrones

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Red Wedding. While this episode of Game of Thrones was truly a masterpiece, I now forget what happened in the rest of the season. I’m sure it was good, but then again I do recall a lot of Jon Snow/Ygritte whining, awkward Brienne/Kingslayer conversations, and general Joffrey bitchiness. Eh, it still deserves a spot on my top ten, I suppose.

4. House of Cards

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House of Cards made history by winning Netflix’s first ever Primetime Emmy Award, which went to David Fincher for Outstanding Directing in a Drama Series. That aside, Kevin Spacy and Robin Wright are cruelly captivating as Congressman Francis Underwood and wife Claire. This dynamic duo brings a new spin on the anti-hero, since the majority of the spouses of today’s most complex anti-heroes are not in on their secret vices (think Don Draper, Walter White, Nurse Jackie, Nicholas Brody, etc.). This show exposes the underworld-like dealings that occur in our nation’s Capital. With the addition of budding reporter Zoe Barnes, played by Kate Mara (not Anna Kendrick), we see how the media influences political dealings and ultimately lead to national cover-ups. With the convenient “Play Next” button, it’s hard to resist watching the first season in one sitting.

3. Veep

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My favorite comedy of the year goes to another story of political intrigue, Veep. Julia Louis-Dreyfus stars as the manic Vice President of the United States in the second season of this HBO comedy about the day-to-day dealings with her political team. This year, Tony Hale was the breakout-star (even though his work in Arrested Development has already been universally appreciated), earning him an Emmy in September. Dreyfus also took home an Emmy this year, as her character strived to appear sane in the public eye through a slew of scandals from the ill-timed pig roast to “the song” to the tit grab. Assisted by Anna Chlumsky, Reid Scott, and Matt Walsh, the show’s fast pace has become its saving grace because there’s never a dull moment. Looking ahead at 2014 – Selina’s running for president, and I can’t wait.

2. Breaking Bad

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We bid a tearful farewell to many shows this year (30 Rock, The Office, Dexter), but none of were able to live up to American audiences’ expectations quite like Breaking Bad. In its final stretch, the AMC drama heated up as Walter White ping-ponged with his own destiny, coming full arc to admit to his wife that everything he has ever done has been for himself and not for his family, as he reiterated time and time again throughout the series. His sidekick Jesse, receives redemption of sorts – but at what cost? Two girlfriends, countless bystanders, and his own sobriety. All the while, Anna Gunn brilliantly embodies the hollow shell of Skylar White, the overtired wife of America’s most wanted criminal. Farewell Walter White; we’ll see you in Godzilla.

1. Orange is the New Black

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At number one comes the most groundbreaking television series in some time: Orange is the New Black. Debuting on Netflix early this summer, social media exploded with glowing reviews and raves about the dramedy, which tells the real life story of Piper Chapman, an inmate at an all-female correctional facility. This show encompasses the ultimate “stranger in a strange land” mantra audiences have come to love over the years, but at the same time makes this prison and its eclectic group of inmates somewhat familiar. We see the human side of these women, as we delve into flashbacks of their lives pre-orange jumpsuit. Taylor Schilling just received a Golden Globe nod for Best Actress, and there’s no doubt America will be rooting for her all the way to SHU with her bloody, tooth-marked knuckles.

Some honorable mentions that didn’t have great seasons, but great episodes:

The Office – “Finale”

Homeland – “The Star”

The Middle – “The Jump”

Downton Abbey: Series 4 – “Episode 4”

Girls – “One Man’s Trash”

Mad Men – “In Care Of”

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Top Ten Entertainment Moments of 2013

The year was 2013 and madness ensued. Here’s yet another meaningless top ten countdown, where someone will bitch about how I didn’t include HBO’s “Enlightened” being cancelled.

 10. The Rise of the Mini-Series

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To start off the countdown, I’d like to take a moment to recognize a phenomenon that has captivated audiences in 2013: the mini-series. Unlike any year before, these productions have combined the high production value of films with the periodic elements of a television show. Most notably is FX’s American Horror Story: Coven, the third installment to Ryan Murphy’s anthology series, which follows the struggle between the witches and voodoos in New Orleans. Another popular mini-series this year was BBC’s Top of the Lake, starring Mad Men’s Elisabeth Moss as a detective who uncovers the disappearance of a twelve-year-old pregnant girl. The story unfolds with strong cultural ties to the New Zealand landscape. BBC’s other masterpiece this year was Parade’s End, starring Benedict Cumberbatch as a conservative aristocrat who falls in love with a progressive suffragette. So do yourself a favor and watch a mini-series! It’ll be worth your time.

 

9. North West

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At number nine is the baby of the year – and we’re not talking about the future heir to the English throne – we’re talking about North West. On June 15th, reality star Kim Kardashian gave birth to a baby boy, who, along with boyfriend and rapper Kanye West, named North West. As a nation, we gasped, thinking of this kid’s first day of Kindergarten as a confused schoolteacher takes attendance and calls out a compass direction, rather than a name. This was also a big year for Kimye as a couple. From Kanye’s music video for “Bound 2” was parodied by James Franco and Seth Rogan, to his public fight with Jimmy Kimmel, to his record smashing CD release of Yeezus, tabloids have been stocked with juicy stories about Hollywood’s newest power couple.

 

8. Lorde releases “Pure Heroine” 

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At number eight comes a young girl from down under – New Zealand to be exact. In the midst of the Royal Baby craze, she reminded us that, “We’ll never be royal.” This girl’s name is Lorde and her album, “Pure Heroine” hit shelves September 27 to critical raves and a whopping four Grammy nominations.

 

7. Jennifer Lawrence wins Oscar, trips

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Moving on to number seven, we take a trip back to February’s Academy Awards, where America’s budding sweetheart Jennifer Lawrence took a trip of own. On her way up to the stage to accept her award for Best Actress in a Motion Picture for her role in Silver Linings Playbook, Lawrence stumbled up the steps – but still managed to make it look like a Chanel ad. The Girl on Fire has had a full year, starring in The Hunger Games: Catching Fire and the upcoming David O’Russell flick American Hustle, where another Oscar could be in store for Lawrence.

 

6. Deaths of James Gandolfini and Cory Monteith

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For number six, we take a somber moment to remember two great men gone too soon. In June, news broke that Sopranos front man James Gandolfini had died of a heart attack. Gandolfini had just wrapped up filming of a recently released film Enough Said alongside Julia Louis-Dreyfus, which has gained a lot of critical attention. Then in July, we learned the passing of Glee star Cory Monteith. The show postponed the start of their fifth season in order to properly pay tribute to Monteith’s legacy in an episode entitled “The Quarterback.” At the 2013 Emmy Awards held in September, Edie Falco and Jane Lynch paid tribute for their respective co-stars in a tearful in memoriam.

 

5. Sandra Bullock Brings The Heat and is Suspended in Gravity

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Number four on our countdown goes to Sandra Bullock, whose films this year brought audiences to tears of laughter and desolation. First, in her summer blockbuster, The Heat, Bullock stars as a ridged, by the books FBI agent from Manhattan, who is tasked to work with a Boston cop, played by Melissa McCarthy, to take down the nation’s most notorious drug dealer. Then in October, Bullock captivated audiences as Dr. Ryan Stone in Alfonso Cuaron’s Gravity. Bullock’s character goes through a range of emotions in the ultimate “stranger in a strange land” film. The only thing in the way of Bullock’s second Oscar is Cate Blanchette in Blue Jasmine, but my vote’s for the lonely astronaut.

 

4. “Rains of Castamere”

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Have you heard someone say “Spoiler Alert!” at all during the past year? If so, chances are pretty good that that someone was about to talk about Game of Throne’s “Rains of Castamere” – which comes in at number three on our countdown. In one of the bloodiest hours in the history of television, the HBO fantasy drama unexpectedly killed off a slew of protagonists, as jaws dropped around the globe. Like clockwork, fans took to the Internet to vent their concerns, leading to dozens of viral “reaction” videos to the episode’s infamous moment, now known as “The Red Wedding.” Basically, if you haven’t started watching television’s most expensive drama, you should probably make that your New Year’s Resolution.

 

3. Miley Twerks at the VMAs

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She’s still just being Miley. At number two on our countdown comes Disney star turned provocative twerk-er. In August, Miley Cyrus performed a rendition of “We Can’t Stop” and “Blurred Lines” with Robin Thicke, and proceeded to do the “Twerk Seen Round the World.” Was it a publicity stunt? Probably. Did it work? Definitely. Before the year was up, Miley had hosted SNL, performed a head-scratching rendition of “Wrecking Balls” at the AMA’s, and released a relatively successful album, Bangerz, all while sporting her now iconic short hair-do. Say what you will, but she’s just being Miley.

 

2. Breaking Bad Finale

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At number five, America said goodbye to its favorite meth cook – Walter Hartwell White. AMC wrapped up the fifth and final season of Breaking Bad on September 29th, as audiences packed auditoriums and movie theaters around the nation to view the shocking conclusion to one of the greatest television dramas of all time. To honor the show’s legacy, the Emmy’s awarded Anna Gunn with Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama, and the Outstanding Drama award went to the cast and crew of Breaking Bad.

 

1. Netflix Produces Original Content

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For my number one moment in entertainment for the 2013 year, I log onto my Netflix account to view their new, original content. Racking up an impressive fourteen Emmy nominations and one win, the online streaming site has become a television network in its own capacity. From reviving fan-favorite Arrested Development, to the political drama House of Cards, Netflix is doing everything right. Over the summer, Netflix added yet another outstanding show, Orange is the New Black, which has demolished all notions and prejudices America has had about female correctional facilities. At $8.99 a month, Netflix is more than just entertainment – it’s an experience.

Do you agree with my top ten? Let me know in the comment section. Be civilized, people.

Mireille Enos and My On-Again, Off-Again Relationship with THE KILLING

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After Mireille Enos’ very convincing performance in the box office smash-hit World War Z, my on-again, off-again relationship with The Killing is back in full swing.

Although Enos’ role as Karin Lane, wife to U.N. globetrotter Gerry Lane (Brad Pitt), allots her little face time, her ability to steal the early scenes of the apocalypse is uncanny.

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Much like her character Sarah Linden in The Killing, Karin appears to be a sheepish soccer mom of two, but she’s equipped with quite the roundhouse kick when the world falls to pieces.

The second season of the AMC crime drama is a continuation of season one’s Rosie Larson case, and the pieces are slowly, but surely, falling into place. Most critics wrote the show off in its second season, after becoming entranced with the surreal vibes from the first season. For this reason, there was a long hiatus to ultimately produced the show’s third season, currently airing Sunday nights on AMC – a nice liaison between the end of Mad Men and the beginning of Breaking Bad‘s final, eight episode stretch.

However, I like the “Big Brother” feeling that surrounds the second season of The Killing. By turning Linden against the police department and practically writing off Mitch Larson, the show is able to better delve into the Linden/Holder relationship and explore Sarah’s troubled past with Reggie and her various foster families.

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The female detective is becoming an increasingly prominent role in television these days. From Claire Danes in Homeland to Elisabeth Moss in Top of the Lake to Sarah Paulson in American Horror Story: Asylum (shown above, left to right), these women all share a similar troubled past and an extreme work ethic, which leaves them almost void of emotion. However, I feel as though Enos most powerfully conveys her detachment from herself and her family as the Rosie Larsen case comes to consume her and her son’s life.

Funny enough, the three women above are likely to each take home an Emmy in their respective categories – Danes for Actress in a Drama Series, Moss for Actress in a Movie or Mini-Series, and Paulson for Supporting Actress in a Movie or Mini-Series. Poor Enos. Maybe the writers should make Sarah develop a psychiatric disorder to get the voters’ attention!

A New Dawn: MAD MEN Season 6 Finale

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Like so many of our favorite heroes (Superman, Batman, James Bond, etc.), Don Draper has to return to his origins before he can move on. Unfortunately for the slick ad man, his stomping grounds aren’t as breathtaking as Krypton or Skyfall; he’s stuck with the disheveled whorehouse.

This is where we leave Don Draper at the end of the sixth season of AMC’s Mad Men. Although not as fun and exciting as their previous family trip to Disney Land, the Draper clan seem to finally understand their father. As the rebellious Sally muttered phrases like, “I know nothing about you,” and “My father’s never given me anything,” throughout this season, her little moment with Don at the end of this episode washed those sorrows away.

While the season finale didn’t put any closure on my “Don Draper is already dead” theory, we did reach an ultimatum, much like the SC&P partners did, on Don’s downward spiral. The final straw on the camel’s back is the Hershey pitch – in which he relays his childhood attachment to the beloved candy bar. By revealing his dark past, Don becomes a wide-open book. We’ve caught glimpses of Don’s humanity throughout the series – noting the Carousel pitch and his emotional breakdown after the death of his closest friend and confidant, Anna. Heck, he even had a little moment with his secretary, Dawn. Is this the dawn of a new Don?!

I’d be remiss if I ranted about Mr. Draper for the entirety of this post, especially since so much happened around the newly named SC&P office.

A very sexually-confused/frustrated Ted brings his family into the office, which sparks Peggy to become equally as sexually-confused/frustrated.

Luckily for her, she has a skimpy dress with a big, red bow just chilling in her office, along with some “Chanel Number 5,” which Cutler pins right as she walks into his office.

Meanwhile, Pete receives a telegram that his mother has married Dr. Manolo on a cruise, and subsequently jumped ship and is now presumed dead. In one of the best Peter Campbell scenes to date, Pete and Bob stand in an elevator and Bob asks how he’s holding up, to which Pete snaps, “NOT GOOD, BOB!” When the two of them arrive at the Chevy meeting in Detroit, Bob coaxes Pete to test out one of the sports’ cars, followed by jeering from the Chevy executives. Now, I was thinking this was gunna be another “lawn mower” scene, but all Pete did was back it up into a GM display, which embarrassed him enough to drop the account, giving Bob exactly what he wanted all along.

Bob’s good fortune begins to rub off on Peggy. Although she appears heartbroken when Ted decides to leave her to start life anew in California with his family, she ends the episode sitting (quite literally) in Don Draper’s seat – her dream has become a reality.

These two characters reveal powerful underlying social commentary on the times. Bob, a gay man, is now in charge of the biggest accounts in the office, and Peggy, a woman, is the firms sole Creative Director.

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The greatest scene from last night’s episode, however, comes from the Campbell home, shown above. A messy couch divides the living room – to the left is Trudy, to the right is Pete. Trudy’s side is well put together and bright, whereas Pete’s side looks like it had been ransacked and the light from the window doesn’t creep far enough to illuminate his face. Clearly, Trudy has the upper hand – another bit of commentary on the rise of women at the turn of the decade.

Like many recent episodes, the finale ended with Judy Collins’ “Both Sides Now,” a quite literal depiction of how Sally and SC&P are able to see the two sides of the tortured Don Draper.

While season six does not live up to the Mad Men we used to love (seasons 1-4), this season finale will surely bring the show back into Emmy contention – especially Jon Hamm as Don Draper and James Wolk as Bob Benson.

My Short-Lived Run with ORPHAN BLACK

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After Tatiana Maslany’s shocking win over the likes of Claire Danes (Homeland), Elisabeth Moss (Mad Men), and Julianna Margulies (The Good Wife) at the Critics’ Choice Television Awards, I felt the need to watch her performance in Orphan Black. What I found, however, left me less than impressed.

The BBC America produced, sci-fi drama follows Sarah Manning (Maslany), a streetwise hustler, who so happens to catch a glimpse at a woman who appears to be her twin just before she jumps in front of a train. Thinking she can leave her troubled past and abusive relationship, Manning decides to steal this woman’s identity, becoming Elizabeth Childs. The conflict? Childs is a cop.

As the episodes go on, we come to learn that Manning is one of eight-or-so clones, and her creator is killing them off one-by-one.

Sure, Maslany is tasked with developing a host of accents, postures, and demeanors to differentiate the clones, but all of the characters are very one-dimensional. The “uptight soccer mom” clone is just an uptight soccer mom. The “German” clone is just German. And the “lab geek” clone is basically just a rip off of Abby from NCIS.

I think the leading factor in my dislike for this show is that it’s a British show. So far in my nineteen years of existence, I’ve had a hard time stomaching a show from across the pond. I’ve tried The Office (U.K.) with very little success, followed by Torchwood, which justified my dislike for British television even more. The only two exceptions I’ve made are Downton Abbey and Sherlock – but who wouldn’t?

Who knows – maybe I’ll give Orphan Black another chance once my Instant Queue has been depleted. But, for now, it’s a drop.

CRITICS’ CHOICE TELEVISION AWARDS 2013

Last night, the Broadcast Television Journalists Association (BTJA) presented the third annual Critics’ Choice Television Awards. The always funny Retta of Parks and Recreation hosted the night of triumphs and snubs. Although winner Patton Oswald (Best Guest Actor in a Comedy Series for Parks and Recreation) noted that the ceremony was only being broadcasted on UStream to “Internet shut-ins,” I highly enjoyed the relaxed atmosphere and the acceptance speeches.

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When the nominations were released last month, I tweeted my support for three underdogs: Eden Sher for The Middle, Alex Karpovsky for Girls, and Elisabeth Moss for Top of the Lake. Probably because the critics read my tweets, both Sher and Moss took home the awards in their respective categories. However, Sher tied for Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series with the blown-out-of-proportion The Big Bang Theory star, Kaley Cuoco. Sher noted that this was her second happiest moment, “right after [her] bat mitzvah.” As for Moss, who basically robbed Jessica Lange of the award for Best Actress in a Movie or Mini-Series, she joked that she had no one from Mad Men to thank, since this was her first ever big-scale recognition as an actor.

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Lange’s co-stars, Sarah Paulson and Zachary Quinto, redeemed her loss by snagging their well-deserved awards for Best Supporting Actress and Actor in a Movie or Mini-Series, respectively, for their bone-chilling roles in FX’s American Horror Story: Asylum.

Although I have yet to see HBO’s Behind the Candelabra, I wasn’t too keen on it taking home the awards for Best Movie or Mini-Series and Best Actor in a Movie or Mini-Series (Michael Douglas). I was pulling for AHS to take home the big award and for Benedict Cumberbatch to receive some sort of recognition for his hauntingly detached portrayal of Christopher Tietjens in HBO’s Parade’s End. Let’s hope the Emmys don’t get it wrong, too.

As far as drama goes, HBO’s Game of Thrones and AMC’s Breaking Bad tied for Best Drama Series. And while I think a tie is sort of a cop-out, both shows have been groundbreaking in the past year and deserve the recognition.

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While Bryan Cranston added another trophy to his collection for his work on Breaking Bad, newcomer Tatiana Maslany, from BBC America’s Orphan Black, scored her first acting award. Although I’ve yet to see this show, her win over the likes of Claire Danes, Elisabeth Moss (the night’s only double-nominee), and Julianna Margulies prove that I’m missing out on the next best thing.

The Supporting Actor and Actress in a Drama Series never go to who I want, which is why Michael Cudlitz of TNT’s Southland and Monica Potter of NBC’s Parenthood took home the awards. I didn’t know anyone watched these shows, let alone the critics!

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And in terms of the comedy awards, I don’t really want to talk about it. The Big Bang Theory took home three-too-many awards, but the one silver lining was Julia Louis-Dreyfus’ win for HBO’s Veep, in which she portrays a fictional Vice President of the United States. Louie C.K. took home the award for Best Actor in a Comedy Series and his countless wins keep reminding me to watch his show.

A common theme throughout the night’s acceptance speeches was the diversification of television today. No longer are the four broadcast networks the kings. Stations like AMC and FX are continuing to define television, and newcomers like the Sundance Channel and even Netflix are following in their footsteps.

While the ceremony was underway, the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences posted the ballots for the 2013 Emmy Awards. The nomination period closes on June 28 and the ceremony will take place September 22, just in time for fall programming.

MAD MEN Do Favors for Each Other

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I think it’s fair to say that last night’s Mad Men was a sort of filler/catch-up episode to delve into the personal lives of the characters, since the majority of this season has been spent focusing on the structural changes to the newly named Sterling Cooper & Partners.

Peter’s mom comes into the office with Dr. Manolo, the caretaker that Bob Benson had recommended for Peter. She rambles to Peggy, thinking she is actually speaking to her daughter-in-law, Trudy, which makes Peggy vulnerable when she brings up their child – something both Peter and Peggy have sworn to never speak of again.

Later, Peter and Peggy drunkenly converse over dinner in preparation for their flight, with Ted as their pilot. Something’s kindling there…again.

Meanwhile, Don arrives home to find Megan consoling a teenaged boy, who we discover is Arnold and Sylvia’s son, Mitchell. When Sally and her friend arrive at the apartment later for their Model U.N. trip, they both are keen on the boy, who has sent back his draft card in protest, making him a 1A Lister.

Don does what he can to try and help Mitchell. He eventually makes an agreement with Ted, who has a connection in the Air Force. But it comes with a price. Ted asks Don to “end the war” between them, meaning dropping the Sunkist account to focus on Ocean Spray.

All the while, a newly single Peggy has a mouse in her house. Good plot point, Weiner. She calls to her go-to-man, Stan, but he’s over her, like, three episodes ago. Way to burn your bridges, Peg.

My favorite Mad Men mystery, Bob Benson, added another segment this week when he spoke to Peter about true love. While delivering a moving monologue, he rubs his leg up against Peter’s, which draws back Ginsberg’s question from last episode, in which he asked Bob if he was a “homo.” But he’s with Joan, right? Like, with Joan. Or maybe it’s a cover up. Or maybe, like I’ve written previously, the writers are just screwing with us and there’s no real mystery at all.

At the end of the episode, Sally’s nameless friend tells her that she had slipped a note under Mitchell’s door, causing her to panic. She tricks the doorman into giving her the keys to all the apartments in the building and heads straight for Arnold and Sylvia’s room. Once inside, she looks around and is relieved at the sight of the note. It’s the sight of another thing that will probably force her into therapy, like her mother. Sylvia is screwing Don as a way of saying, “Thank you,” for helping her son. Quite the favor.

With only two more episodes left this season, I am left with so many questions. Is my “Don Draper is already dead” theory right? Who is Bob Benson? Will Cutler and Ted stay onboard with the firm or will they split? And Peter – isn’t he still questioning his role at the firm? And can Peggy be cool again? Please?