Who is Don Draper? That’s the question asked at the beginning of Mad Men season 4, one that will prove to be very important to the season that follows. AJ, Kenn, and Joe get in a celebratory mood circa 1964, starting with Sally’s Thanksgiving regurgitation in “Public Relations”; before moving onto Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce’s Roman orgy festivities in “Christmas Comes But Once a Year”; and ending with some bad news in “The Good News,” just in time to ring in the new year. Plus, don’t miss another exciting installment of Hamm Watch!
It’s Christmastime in the city, which means 1963 is almost over. Other things at an end: the Draper marriage, Sterling Cooper, and Mad Men season 3. AJ, Kenn, and Joe discuss the finale, “Shut the Door. Have a Seat.,” in which our cast of characters, who have so often been at odds with one another this year, are forced to band together to start a new chapter of their lives. It’s a heist, Mad Men style; Don’s Eleven, if you will. Plus, don’t miss another exciting installment of Hamm Watch!
Where were you when JFK was shot? The characters on Mad Men find their everyday lives, their ad campaigns, and their affairs interrupted by those bullets in Dallas. AJ, Kenn, and Joe, who weren’t around on 11/22/63, sift through Sterling Cooper’s sense of loss and share reactions to their generation’s closest reference point: 9/11. The episodes under the lens this week are “The Color Blue,” wherein Betty consults an attorney; “The Gypsy and the Hobo,” in which Ms. Farrell spends a lot of time in the car; and “The Grown-Ups,” wherein Lee Harvey Oswald ruins Margaret’s wedding. Plus, don’t miss another exciting installment of Hamm Watch!
After scaling the high point of The Sandman last week with Brief Lives, Paul and AJ fall a little closer to earth with a discussion of Vol. VIII – Worlds’ End. Joining them is Wanna Cook? author Ensley F. Guffey…and they all agree it’s likely the series’ weakest collection. But weak Sandman is still better than most comics, so there’s plenty to say about Neil Gaiman’s final attempt at telling short stories in the Endless’ domain. There’s the return of Hob Gadling, a look at the mythic side of American politics, and a funeral procession passing by the inn at the end of all worlds. Plus, the gang grouses about Gotham and discusses Marvel’s settlement with the Jack Kirby estate.
Next: Gobbledyween 2014 gets off to a slashing start with Alfred Hitchcock’s 1960 classic Psycho. The boys will be joined by Mike Brooks.
For their first interview with authors from The Deli Counter of Justice, Paul and AJ talk to the other man who makes up the Deli braintrust: Eric Sipple. Eric discusses his start writing SeaQuest fan fiction, his introduction to the world of superheroes via Tim Burton’s 1989 Batman film, how he created Carl Cook’s daughter Tabitha for his story “Pixelated” (who may wind up becoming the anthology’s Wolverine), and much more.
Next: Paul and AJ sit down with Rahne Ehtar, the author of “Without Masks.”
After taking a week off, AJ, Kenn, and Joe are back with more talk of Mad Men season 3. The episodes up for discussion this week are “Seven Twenty Three,” in which time (and Don’s face) is fractured; “Souvenir,” wherein Pete does something very bad; and “Wee Small Hours,” in which Lucky Strike doesn’t get lucky. Also on this episode: the boys realize that three straight white guys analyzing Mad Men is sort of terrible and ironic. Plus, don’t miss another exciting installment of Hamm Watch!
It’s still 1963 for the gang at Sterling Cooper; acid wouldn’t become the drug du jour for another few years, but that doesn’t stop our very own Kenn Edwards from going on a far-out trip, man. As Kenn comes down from his psychedelic odyssey, he attempts to talk about Mad Men with a depressingly sober AJ and Joe. The episodes among discussion this week are “The Arrangements,” in which Sally throws a tantrum (that will bring you to tears); “The Fog,” wherein Betty takes revenge on caterpillars; and “Guy Walks Into an Advertising Agency,” in which, well…yeah. Plus, don’t miss another exciting installment of Hamm Watch!