Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Gimme a shot of Draper. And keep 'em comin'.

The summer has entered a strange middle passage.  Post-vacation, pre-kindergartenpalooza, all sorts of family and personal plans bumping up against each other like big crates in an untethered hull.  But everything's got the right momentum.  With the possible exception of falling into the cliched trap capturing so many not-so-new modern parents - over-scheduling the offspring.  Amidst her usual social calendar and classes, Maya's mid-way through her third (and final) summer camp.  Two home (in Seattle) and one away (in Santa Barbara while we were there as a family).  Granted, they were/are for only part of the day.  And I am of the political orientation that thinks varied input can only add flavor to the soup.  Yet I had to pause yesterday after Maya told me she had the most fun going to the chilly, rocky shore of Lake Washington than anything having to do with camp at the Woodland Park Zoo where they have lions and tigers and bears (oh my!).  That's why today I'm taking her out for a donut at Top Pot after the Zoo to test my unformed hypothesis.  I don't expect to answer any big questions.  But their maple bars rawk (just ask the Seattle Seahawks).

On the subject of rawking, I'm surely in a legion of fans completely enthused to have the new season of "Mad Men" underway as of this past Sunday.  All the way through, that show has been a must-see.  Now it feels like a must-discuss.  Jon Hamm as Don Draper is a rare, transcendent role delivered by an actor with real chops (seeing him host on "Saturday Night Live" made me a believer, as if I needed a verification given what he does here).  And now that he's turned far darker yet substantially more knight-like,  I think the storyline is stronger than ever.  If you hate new entertainment and think you can categorize all art without actually experiencing countless, massive troves you've never touched (I'm looking at you Stephen Metcalf), don't watch.  This show is for those of us that let loose naturally at Roger Sterling's howlers (the Ad Age reporter joke in the beginning is one of his best ever) or yearn for challenging confrontations with real history (was the actual Jantzen Swimwear family actually that prudish?) or just want sexy TV to not dumb it down.  My rating of this season's premiere - a strong A-minus.  The final scenes of the episode set a higher than ever bar.  That's why we watch.

Hope your own camp is all theatre, no bugspray today.  Rock on.

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