The Oscars & Emmys: Musings & Misgivings: Mad Men's Emmy Drama
Probably, though its season finale this past Sunday was a real head scratcher, what with Don Draper somehow deciding that ravenous secretary Megan was worth marrying based on the romantic epiphany that, hey, any woman who could remain composed and calm in the face of his kid spilling a strawberry
shake was someone to spend the rest of his life with.
In my book, that’s worth giving an engagement ring (even if it once belonged to
another woman, the wife that Don adored of a man whose identity he took! You Mad Men neophytes have a lot of catching up to do.) Plus, where exactly has partner Bert Cooper gone? Will jilted Dr. Faye tell her mob-connected father?
And what ever did become of Sal? Still, why quibble—Mad Men, in all its opaque brilliance, is rightly in the pantheon of Great Shows We Love and will return
Not so the AMC series Rubicon that preceded it on Sunday nights, and whose renewal is up in the air. Here is the perfect candidate for the Woody Allen-coined (in his film Manhattan) Academy of the Overrated. Really, has there ever been a more highly praised (though, let’s be honest, cheap-looking) conspiracy thriller with more loose ends, false leads and red herrings?
Ordinarily, any series in this genre that plants clues in a DVD copy of Meet Me in St. Louis would have my attention, but Rubicon goes down so many blind alleys with so many bland, button-down types constantly shuffling papers (or folders) that nothing dramatic ever seems to happen. There was one intriguing mystery, however: why the show’s best character actor, the wonderful Harris
Yulin, was killed off in the first episode and given virtually nothing to do?
No, come Emmy-nomination time, there will be two new faces in the Best Drama field, and Rubicon, despite the hype, if there’s any justice, won’t be one of them. One of the newcomers is a chalk pick, HBO’s Boardwalk Empire (more about it in a later column) and the other demonstrates that while even a great star (like Jimmy Smits in Outlaw) cannot save a deeply flawed series), sometimes an icon (Tom Selleck in Blue Bloods) can elevate a solid ensemble cop drama into a bona fide keeper. Now let's see if CBS is smart enough to move it from its graveyard Friday-night slot.