For their final episode of 2014, AJ, Kenn, and Joe continue their discussion of Mad Men season 5 with looks at “At the Codfish Ball,” in which someone’s cod is getting fished, if you know what I mean; “Lady Lazarus,” wherein Don lets the needle drop; and “Dark Shadows,” in which smog invades Thanksgiving. Plus, don’t miss another exciting installment of Hamm Watch!
We here at Gobbledygeek are big believers in the practice of shameless self-promotion, but I believe this is the first time I’m promoting something of mine from elsewhere. I’m plumbing new depths of shamelessness! That’s right, Gobblers and…Gobblettes?…I’ve snagged a gig writing about comics for The Ann Arbor Review of Books. My column “Thought Balloon” will run every Monday at 4 PM EST, exploring all my weird, largely pointless thoughts about comics as an artform and an industry. You can check out my first piece, about how Mind MGMT is making a compelling case for monthly comics reading, right here. Here’s an excerpt to whet your appetite:
But the series, published by Dark Horse, is also making a strong case for monthly reading at a time when many readers have become “trade-waiters,” waiting for the inevitable trade paperback collections of certain story arcs. Kindt, known for graphic novels like Super Spy and Revolver, says that he doesn’t read monthly comics anymore. In the letter column at the end of the first issue of Mind MGMT, he writes, “I want the reading of this monthly book to be unique. I want it to be something that can’t be replicated in a trade. Something that hasn’t been done before.”
On this, the eve of 2013, Paul and I begin to look back at some of our favorite things of 2012. First up, our ten favorite TV series.
Also, let’s give a slow clap to Paul, who struggled through severe illness just to get these words to you, dear reader. A speedy recovery to you, sir!
PAUL: 10. PARKS AND RECREATION (NBC)
Season 5 gets out of the office a little bit, with Ben and April in Washington D.C. (with an evil robot congressman). Ron gets a new love interest (the always lovely Lucy Lawless). Tom starts a new business. And Andy finds a new career.
AJ: 10. GAME OF THRONES (HBO)
What Game of Thrones did in its first season was nothing short of exceptional, a 10-episode narrative that goes down as one of the finest accomplishments the medium has seen thus far. And while the second season struggled at times to recapture that majesty, it certainly wasn’t for lack of trying. The scope and breadth of George R.R. Martin’s world remains impressive; the cast, especially Peter Dinklage as the kind of noble imp Tyrion Lannister, continues to knock out high fantasy material that would crush lesser actors; and thrilling hours like “Blackwater” remind us that this is the closest thing we have to a Lord of the Rings on TV. And it’s a whole lot nastier and sexier, too.
We had a show on Paul McCartney’s birthday, but no dice for Ringo; as always, the man gets no respect. But wait! Today is Ringo Starr’s 70th birthday, and I am determined to honor him! He is a wonderful drummer; his technique during his time with the Beatles went from the simple, pleasurable backbeat of Please Please Me to the complex, sophisticated drumming of Abbey Road. Like fellow Beatles John, Paul, and George, the growth he experienced over six or seven years was remarkable. And for 40 years now, ever since the band broke up, he has quietly released a steady stream of solo albums. Some are pleasant, a couple–Ringo, Liverpool 8–have been excellent, and though most are mediocre, the fact that he’s had a recording career for close to half-a-century is a terrific accomplishment. (Plus he’s never released anything as ear-bleedingly awful as John’s Life with the Lions or Paul’s Liverpool Oratorio, so props for that, Rings. Can I call you Rings?)
So in celebration, I present to you Ringo’s Top 5 Beatles Songs!
I could probably take a broader view and determine Ringo’s best Beatles songs by taking into account his actual drumming (in which case, I’m thinking “Rain,” “Strawberry Fields Forever,” or “Tomorrow Never Knows” would likely be contenders for the top spot), but I’m only going to count the songs he sang. There were only 12, but all are worthy additions to the Beatles catalogue.
5. “What Goes On,” Rubber Soul (1965)
I met you in the morning, waiting for the tides of time. But now the tide is turning, I can see that I was blind.
Rubber Soul is an album fraught with girl troubles, and even the usually happy-go-lucky Ringo finds himself at odds with a lying, cheating girl. As with many Ringo songs, “What Goes On” has a country-and-western flair, though I doubt many C&W songs sport anything as lovely as John and Paul’s background harmony. Paul’s stabbing bass provides a nice counterpoint to George’s clean guitar lines, nicely capturing the song’s mood.