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DP/30 Emmywatch ’12: Mad Men, actor Christina Hendricks

One Response to “DP/30 Emmywatch ’12: Mad Men, actor Christina Hendricks”

  1. anghus says:

    Easily her best season on Mad Men. In a show that is often about compromise and the struggle to find substance in a world obsessed with surface, Joan became the personification of that struggle.

    Don Draper had always been the centerpiece of that struggle. A man who considered himself to be morally sound in spite of his many failings. The other supporting characters were all at different places on the moral compass. Every year compromise seems to find one of them as each character gets their hands dirty.

    This year we saw Lane cross that line, one that cost him his life. And while Lane had the saddest and most damning arc, it was Joan that had to live with her choice. She had always been the beautiful, seductive icon of this ore-fab time. And even though she had her share of flings, they were always of her choosing. When the firm asks her to do the unthinkable, the choice she makes never feels obvious. And that fantastic scene between Hendricks and John Hamm where he tells her she doesn’t have to do it… and the subsequent scene in the boardroom where he realizes she already had… it’s just brilliant. The entire season was fantastic, but those final few episodes with the Jaguar campaign. As Ginsburg spins that pitch to Don: “At last, something beautiful you can truly own”, and you realize that Joan has now sold her soul for financial security… it’s the kind of writing and acting you’re only going to find on a show like Mad Men.

    On a show with so many good actors, Hendericks really killed it this year. I hope she wins.

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“To make work out of your own imagination is an invitation to a lot of unforgiving hard slog, failure, satisfaction which doesn’t last long, more failure, discontent, maybe a prize, a bit more satisfaction, self doubt, dissatisfaction, lots more hard work and so on and so on. But anyone who’s persisted and written something and got to the end and even better had it published or performed learns quickly that the hard slog, the frustrations, the blind alleys and dead ends and scenes that don’t work and great ideas that turn to dust are in fact a big part of the work. The reward for the agony is not the ecstasy of Chuck Heston finishing the Sistine Chapel but still more agony that might also include some kind of not pleasure exactly, maybe a brief, terrible joy.”
~ Australian playwright Michael Gow

“People react primarily to direct experience and not to abstractions; it is very rare to find anyone who can become emotionally involved with an abstraction. The longer the bomb is around without anything happening, the better the job that people do in psychologically denying its existence. It has become as abstract as the fact that we are all going to die someday, which we usually do an excellent job of denying. For this reason, most people have very little interest in nuclear war. It has become even less interesting as a problem than, say, city government, and the longer a nuclear event is postponed, the greater becomes the illusion that we are constantly building up security, like interest at the bank. As time goes on, the danger increases, I believe, because the thing becomes more and more remote in people’s minds. No one can predict the panic that suddenly arises when all the lights go out — that indefinable something that can make a leader abandon his carefully laid plans. A lot of effort has gone into trying to imagine possible nuclear accidents and to protect against them. But whether the human imagination is really capable of encompassing all the subtle permutations and psychological variants of these possibilities, I doubt. The nuclear strategists who make up all those war scenarios are never as inventive as reality, and political and military leaders are never as sophisticated as they think they are.”
~ Stanley Kubrick

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