• The 'Mad Men' Set-Up: How Will We Deal?
    "Mad Men" resumes next Sunday, April 5, and the final seven episodes of the series are fittingly called "The End of an Era." As I mentioned last week in my maudlin musings, I'm obsessed with -- but also somehow anxious and fearful about -- the finish. It doesn't help that after viewing the season opener at a party at the Museum of Modern Art in New York last week, Andy Cohen of Bravo fame told "The New York Times" that the first episode back is "dark -- a real wrist-slasher."
  • 'Drunk Exec Barfs At Bergdorf's': Is That You, Don Draper?
    "Drunk Executive Barfs at Bergdorf's," read a recent headline on Page Six of the "New York Post." Why was this story so sticky, getting picked up online and in print all over the world? Four words: Just like "Mad Men"!
  • The Apple Gold Standard: Think Rich, Bitch
    Remember when, 20 or so years ago, anyone walking around in public shouting into a cell phone was considered a nuisance (or an asshole)? Well, soon early-ish adopters will be causing similar levels of annoyance by going around town yelling into their wristwatches.
  • Dakota, Isis, And 50 Shades Of Cray-Cray
    Last weekend, Dakota Johnson's appearance as host of "Saturday Night Live" sparked intense shock, despair, and agitation -- if not high dudgeon -- all over the Internet. But not for the expected reason: her role as Anastasia Steele, the nave college student and virgin in the movie "50 Shades of Grey."
  • The Oscar And The Helix: Changing The Academy's DNA
    Hey, Oscar. These days, your whole campy, top-hat-and-jazz-handsy dance is wildly out of step. You've become your own Botoxed, bloated parody. So what's a stiff old gold guy to do?
  • Cadillac: Walk Softly And Carry Your Stick-Shift?
    "It is not the critic who counts" is the opening line for this new and unexpectedly highfalutin' Cadillac spot, which breaks at the Oscars this Sunday. So I guess as a critic, I'm out.
  • What A Long, Strange Media-Death Week It's Been
    It was an uncanny week of sudden death and public loss for the media. First, the shocking items about major "news" people that were disclosed minutes apart: beloved fake anchor Jon Stewart was leaving his post at "The Daily Show" after 16 years, and Brian Williams was suspended without pay for six months.
  • Brian Williams And The Fog Of Ratings War
    We are a country with big secrets, in desperate search of heroes. And the heroes that the media seeks to embrace are managed and packaged. Real heroes are the ones who do what they do away from the media glare.
  • Where Have You Gone, Go Daddy?
    As you read this, the Barton F. Graf 9000 agency is scrambling to come up with a new Super Bowl spot and have it turned around in time to run on The Big Game on Sunday.
  • I Cried That I Had No Bread Bags For My Shoes -- And Then I Met A Man With No Feet
    To be fair, all politics is theater, and certainly a televised occasion like the State of the Union speech, and its follow-up, is all performance. Whereas the follow-up part of the ritual - the ostensible honor of being chosen as the official responder to the State of The Union - appears increasingly to be a curse.
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