Lots and lots of news, so I’m posting before the holiday weekend eats all our brains.

I just found this great interview with Christina Hendricks from June 28. My favorite part is that she doesn’t realize that Joan speaks in a higher voice than she does in real life. How funny!

The New York Post has a cloyingly written, but highly favorable, review of the first couple of episodes of season 2 (hat tip to Basketeer dansj).

When we return (or by the second episode, at any rate), it’s March 1, 1962, the day that John Glenn got a ticker tape parade in lower Manhattan and an American Airlines plane with 70 people aboard crashed after takeoff into Jamaica Bay…

(So my fervent prayer is that they work in one of the singularly worst advertising campaigns of all time – a 1960s airline commercial with singing wives begging, “Take Me Along If You Love Me.” Legend has it that many husbands took the opportunity to get free tickets for their mistresses and secretaries instead. Tragically, the airline then wrote thank you notes to the wives for being taken along… )

Without giving anything away, we also learn that the dreadful Peter wasn’t thrown into the street for trying to blackmail Don and we learn what happened to Peggy’s pregnancy …

(more…)

At The Envelope (the awards-centric section of the LA Times), Tom O’Neill compiles a roundup of nomination predictions. This is a discussion of which shows, among the top ten favorites already selected, will get one of the five nominations for Best Dramatic series. Polling five TV critics, and offering his own predictions, only three shows get unanimous agreement: Mad Men, House, and Damages.

At the Salt Lake Tribune, Vince Horiuchi discusses his own ballot.

Never has my hand been more sure than when marking a check next to “Mad Men,” AMC’s sterling first entry into original programming.

Variety interviews Jon Hamm, as part of a series on Emmy contenders.

…and our commenter kartheiser_grl hooked us up with another Variety article, this one about John Slattery and Vincent Kartheiser, focused on actors in Emmy contention for supporting roles.

A quick bit in Variety says our beloved Trudy Campbell is stepping out; not with her publishing ex-beau, but with Olympia Dukakis in a movie called Montana Amazon. Looks like this is her first 2009 movie for Brie, and there are two coming out in 2008.

The Satellite Awards have announced their 2007 nominations.

Mad Men has been nominated for best dramatic series (along with The Riches, Dexter, Friday Night Lights, Grey’s Anatomy, and Brothers and Sisters).

According to Variety, Mad Men is also getting a Special Acheivement Award for “Best Ensemble, Television,” but I can’t find it on the Satellite Awards nominee page.

How does MM stack up against the competition? Roberta can tell you all about how uneven The Riches is. Grey’s Anatomy has jumped the shark (the past few episodes have been top notch, after a disasterously stupid 2+ months of this season, and sucking most of last season). My friends tell me Dexter is the best thing on television, but I don’t get Showtime so I wouldn’t know. I hated the first episode of Brothers & Sisters (hated!) and never watched again. I’ve never seen Friday Night Lights.

But hey, let’s talk movies. I have seen exactly zero of the “Comedy or Musical” nominees (Hairspray, Juno, Shoot ‘Em Up, Lars and the Real Girl, Knocked Up) but I’ve seen four of the six movie nominees (The Lookout, Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead, Away From Her, and 3:10 to Yuma), plus my friend and I have a date to see a fifth (No Country for Old Men). All the ones I’ve seen are good contenders. I imagine the Coen brothers or the Lumet film will take home most awards, but of the ones I’ve seen, I have to vote for 3:10 to Yuma, which was the most overall satsifying, solidly made, and well-structured. Second choice would be The Lookout. GODS do I love Joseph Gordeon-Levitt.

This article in Variety is about unknown (or relatively unknown) actors getting breakthrough starring roles on television (especially well-written, well-reviewed television). Mentioned are such actors as Kate Sackhoff, America Ferrara, Lee Pace, and our beloved Jon Hamm:

Hamm, who gave a charismatic performance as secretive, soulful ad man Don Draper in AMC’s critically adored “Mad Men,” is a name several critics automatically think of when the subject of breakthrough roles is brought up.

The article suggests that these and others (including Damien Lewis, whom I adore in Life) could well be taking home Golden Globes.

This sort of thing excites me, because MM is really just a cult show right now. Lots of good buzz, lots of prestige, but not lots of viewers. AMC doesn’t really have many more viewers for MM than they do for their movie reruns, and obviously reruns are cheaper. So anything that might generate more viewers is A Good Thing.™

Broadcast networks, watch your backs: This could be the year freshman cable skeins dominate the Golden Globes’ TV categories.

While the traditional webs managed to drum up only lackluster buzz and Nielsen ratings during this strike-struck fall campaign, cable — and in particular, basic cable — had a summer to remember.

Now, those shows (and the thesps on them) are in the running for the Globes’ top drama and comedy nomination spots.

This year, the focus is on shows such as AMC’s critically adored “Mad Men” and star Jon Hamm.

Variety tells us that real-life advertising execs are complaining about Mad Men.

George Packer, who started in advertising in New York as a 20-something in the ’60s, laments, “Yeah, we all drank like fish and smoked like chimneys and screwed our brains out, but it wasn’t like that!”

Packer, who works as a blurb consultant and runs the popular Ad Rants blog, says he hates the show mostly because it gets period details wrong. The IBM Selectric came on the market in 1961, not 1960, for example.

Ummm…wrong? Or just nitpicky?

“I think it’s because a lot of people in advertising on the creative side are frustrated screenwriters,” says Packer. “There’s a certain snideness, ‘If I really had the time I could write rings around those guys.’ But then a lot of people in advertising are basically lazy.”

This reminds me of what was said about a show I loved, Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip. If it’s a hospital show, doctors and nurses will slam it. If it’s a cop show, cops hate it. If it’s based in New York, residents will bitch every time characters take the wrong subway to get to a particular part of town. But if you write a show about comedy television writers, then comedy television writers will bitch about it, and generally, these are people who also write reviews of television shows…which is a lot of what killed Studio 60.

Mad Men doesn’t have a huge audience, but it hasn’t alienated advertisers. It seems, however, to have alienated, well, Mad men.