July 1st, 2015
May 7th, 2015
It starts with money, of course. A demand, in fact, for rent.
April 27th, 2015
December 22nd, 2014
December 17th, 2014
like reading a newspaper, and it feels like getting reports from a real other world, one which has its own history, politics, and theology.
In later storylines, this distinction between Estarcion and the real world is broken down, to the point that one book is almost entirely given over to a discussion of the Bible, and Sim seems to believe, at least somewhat, that he was writing the prehistory of our own world — but so did Tolkien, and while Sim’s fictional world is nowhere near as fully thought-out as Tolkien’s, it was, for a while, possible to believe that it was, if only in Sim’s mind.
Trigger warning: this piece discusses rape.
December 13th, 2014
May 31st, 2014
May 15th, 2014
One thing that disappointed me about the commentary surrounding Time Zones was a general unwillingness on behalf of most critics to get stuck into not just Freddy’s pitch but the first scene generally. I understood why well enough, it was a depressing episode and seasoned fans have been well trained to mistrust the surface glamour of Mad Men’s premiers, which in the normal course of things turns to crap after the first half hour. But in the end that didn’t cut it for me, for two reasons. Firstly, because the opening pitch so often serves as the key to unlocking a season’s trajectory, and secondly, because Freddy’s first words, a confident and joyous starting gun on a gloomy story, were designed to nag.
“I want you to listen carefully. This is the beginning of something.”
The idea that these words heralded the beginning of the final season and nothing else seemed unlikely. Because, come on everyone, this is the final season. Every detail is important.
Initially the main effect of this nagging, this jarringly incongruous celebratory voice echoing across the ruins cheering the new day, was to force me to re-evaluate many of the scenes and plot beats most reviewers took for granted were evidence that things will never go right for Don. Then it got me thinking about the downward spiral of the season more generally, eventually concluding that this, like Don’s descent in six which led to that beautiful final scene, was probably a good thing too. I was listening, I was paying attention, and it occurred to me that the Something Terrible Don drew down with that first ad pitch in The Doorway probably wasn’t through with him yet. Megan leaving him to pursue her career in California and his getting fired was only the start of it. Things needed to get about as bad as they could before the pendulum would swing the other way.
Quite simply, I realised this season is about nothing less than the destruction of Don Draper.