Tag Archives: New Amsterdam

Mad Men – “New Amsterdam”

“New Amsterdam”

Season One, Episode Four

[I’m a week late on this one, but forgive me: I’ll have a piece on tonight’s episode done sometime tonight, probably]

By the time Mad Men got to its fourth episode, it had filled in a lot of its gaps: we are thoroughly compelled by Don Draper, interested in seeing more of this world from Betty’s perspective, intrigued at the inner workings of Sterling Cooper, and curious as to how all of these people intersect in the historical mediation the show presents.

All except Pete Campbell, that is. To be honest, Pete Campbell was pretty much a snake before this point: a spineless, ungrateful punk at his worst, and certainly not the kind of character that any of us relate with. His insistence on rising the corporate ladder could be passed off as mere capitalist determinism, a selfish attempt to take for himself and to leave others in his wake.

What “New Amsterdam” provides is a new perspective, a glimpse into the fact that Pete Campbell’s life is just as complicated as everyone else’s in terms of the series’ primary characters. Over time, the show reveals the truth behind other characters as well (Joan and Roger Sterling are next up), but the familial and spousal pressures facing this character are some of the most eye-opening. No, it isn’t exactly surprising that he has some serious family issues, but it does explain at least some of his past behaviour while leaving plenty of qualities on the table that we as viewers will take issue with.

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Upfronts Analysis: FOX 2008-2009 Fall Schedule

“A Subtle Improvement”

FOX 2008-2009 Fall Schedule

In the past, I’ve complained a lot about FOX’s scheduling practices – rather than using their biggest shows to produce strong lead-ins for new shows that need attention, they have instead chosen a path wherein they waste it on reality shows or (what I consider to be) derivative comedies. And really, their fall schedule is always a little bit of a crapshoot: considering that American Idol isn’t on it, FOX is kind of hoping for subtle success before its juggernaut wins the season outright in a few months time.

This time around, I admire their scheduling far more – sure, it isn’t perfect by any means, and they’re only debuting two new shows, but there’s a smart decision that signifies that FOX is no longer being idiots about how to handle their top shows, and to create hit new shows in their place.

New Shows

Fringe – Tuesdays at 9

It has a big-budget pilot, Lost producer J.J. Abrams on board, and most importantly has the best slot on the schedule: the newly created spot post-House on Tuesday nights. This is a smart way to create a lead-in, without question – the only concern is that the two-hour pilot will have to air without a lead-in, so I almost wonder if FOX will divide it in two just to make sure the show doesn’t get off on a weak foot. (Final details of the schedule sees Fringe airing its two-hour premiere on August 26th).

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