Friday, April 01, 2011

A fun Friday clip show

I suppose the news of the day is Matthew Weiner's inevitable deal with AMC for three more years of "Mad Men," but the most I can really bring myself to say about all that is that should TV ever, even when it's this good, be so complicated?

Here, however, are the details as I know them. With the deal (actually with Lionsgate, I believe), Weiner has agreed to do a fifth and sixth season, and if AMC wants it, a seventh season. I can't imagine they wouldn't, so what that gives us is an effective end for the show after seven seasons. I read somewhere that Weiner planned to end it after five, but things are certainly going strong now, so why not two more?

As for AMC's demands, the show, as it airs on the network, will be indeed two minutes or so shorter to incorporate more ads, but the much more onerous idea of product placement has been shelved. And as for any demand to cut or slim down the roles of characters to cut costs, I'm not sure about that, but Weiner always kind of rotates in supporting players anyway, so I doubt we'll even notice when this finally returns early next year.

OK, enough serious stuff, but there is word this morning about when two other of my favorite shows will be returning. In the past five years or so, there's only been one TV drama I've enjoyed more than "Mad Men," and that's NBC's sublime "Friday Night Lights." That show will be wrapping up its run (and probably already has on DirecTV) on NBC with this final season beginning appropriately enough Friday, April 15, and it's certainly been a great five-year run.

Also returning soon will be David Simon's New Orleans drama "Treme," on Sunday, April 24 to HBO. If you missed season one, you really missed out on a true American original, a show that moves albeit a bit slowly, but at its own rhythmic pace much like the city it portrays, and takes a lot of time for fantastic character development. If you missed it, there's really no reason I can see not to get started with season two anyway if you get HBO.

Not too many details are known about what's coming in season two, but I do know that food writer Anthony Bourdain has joined the writing staff, and that the great David Morse, who played the police chief in season one, will now be a series regular. Here's a bit more of what Simon had to say about what's in store:

"We are following the actual timeline of post-Katrina New Orleans as a means of understanding what happened -- and what didn't happen -- when an American city suffered a near-death experience. In doing so, we're trying to address ourselves to what the American experiment has become and what possibilities remain for us."

Making the role of cops more central can only be an improvement, so I'll definitely be tuning in for this. And after that today, I just have a quartet of clips, two trailers and two music clips that are just goofy fun. First up comes the first full trailer for "The Hangover Part II," which is set to drop May 26. As you'll see from the trailer, and probably already know, this time around Bradley Cooper, Zach Galifianakis and Ed Helms end up in Bangkok, and in my estimation at least, it promises to deliver some solid laughs, especially once Ken Jeong of "Community" turns up once again. Decide for yourself.

Next up comes the first trailer for something at least slightly more serious, the Will Ferrell dramedy "Everything Must Go," which is set to open in at least limited markets May 6. I hope Ferrell is enough to get this flick based on a short story by Raymond Carver to eventually play much wider, because I really enjoy Ferrell when he tones it down a bit. Enjoy, and stick around 'til the end for a very funny soccer joke.

OK, on to the music. First up comes the music video for the National's "Think You Can Wait," which doubles as the theme for director Thomas McCarthy's "Win Win," which is in at least a few theaters now. The song itself has a fairly groovy Nick Cave kind of vibe, and the video is a fun collection of bloopers from the movie, but it really just makes me want to see it, and has me contemplating a drive up to Atlanta this Saturday to do just that. Enjoy.

And finally today, where better to end up on a Friday morning than with Zooey Deschanel serenading Winnie the Pooh? If you've ever heard what she's doing with M. Ward as She & Him, you know it's the sweetest kind of California pop, and she carries that sound into the song from the movie featured here, "So Long." And if you've never checked out She & Him, do it already. I guarantee you won't be disappointed. And smile, folks, because it's baseball season, and the Orioles begin tonight against the Rays. Bring it on!

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