Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Notes on Pop Culture: 'Mad Men's' Roger Sterling, 'Grey's Anatomy' & 'The Event'

Image credit: AMC
John Slattery on Roger Sterling: ‘I don’t think he has any interest in killing himself'

Mad Men’s Roger Sterling has had a bad time of things this season. His marriage to his super-young former secretary, which upended his entire life, hasn’t quite turned out the way he hoped as his eye has wandered back to the woman with whom he shares an intense emotional connection, the married Joan Holloway Harris. When Roger and Joan were out on the town, they were mugged. Joan lost her wedding ring and the duo had sex in a dingy alley . . . which led to an unplanned pregnancy followed quickly by an illegal abortion, after Roger plainly told Joan that if she went through with the pregnancy he'd disavow paternity.

On top of all that, Roger’s one big client, American Tobacco -- which represented a huge hunk of Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce’s revenues -- left Roger high and dry after decades of working together, putting the entire future of Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce in jeopardy. Then Roger lied about losing the account, pathetically faking a phone call and a trip.

Some have speculated online as to whether Roger, played by John Slattery, is suicidal. (He was darkly joking about suicide after Ida Blankenship died, saying he, a man who survived two heart attacks, didn't want to die at his desk.) Slattery chatted with New York Magazine about this issue, as well as Roger’s very bad season.

Grey’s Off to Good Start

Grey’s Anatomy’s writers have certainly not taken the easy road as the drama’s seventh season has begun and, as a result, the show's off to a fine start. There've been no neat and tidy resolutions following the mass shooting in the season six finale. Seattle Grace staffers who survived intimate contact and threats from the homocidal shooter has left them with emotional damage, some more so than others. The characters' reactions have been varied, though I must say that Lexie Grey is getting on my nerves.

I was particularly fond of the interplay between McDreamy and Cristina in last week's episode, particularly the scene in which Derek said they would’ve never chosen each other as friends but now they’re family and he was worried about her withdrawal from her work. And because she saved his life, operating as the barrel of a loaded gun was next to her head, he feels as though he owes her. I reviewed the latest episode here.

Any Grey’s fans think the season has been going well so far?

The Event: Is It Worth Sticking with It?

Still feeling burned by Lost’s series finale and unhappy with the way FlashForward ended while leaving a million loose ends dangling (thanks ABC), I’m leery about latching onto another show that's a dense serial drama where answers won’t immediately arrive, that is, if they ever do.

Which brings me to The Event. It’s got all these layers and conspiracies. Scenes flash around from time period to time period. People are dead and then they’re not. A jet liner disappears just before crashing into the president. Amidst all that, you know what was flashing in front in my eyes? Red flags. Giant ones.

Is this all going to make sense? Is it irrational, in light of Lost's final "hey they're all dead" season, to expect that answers will be forthcoming? That the network will encourage viewers to get all involved and then pull the rug out from under them, a la FlashForward? I’m very skeptical. You?

Image credit: Michael Yarish/AMC.

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