This Week on TV: 'Mad Men,' 'Bloodline' and more

A new brunette on ‘Mad Men,’ a new drama set in Florida, and ‘Dig’ goes deeper.

By
April 26, 2015 15:30
3 minute read.
'Bloodline' TV series

'Bloodline' TV series. (photo credit: PR)

 
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Much like The Sopranos (which is being rerun Friday nights on Yes Oh), another one of the great shows of television’s new golden age, Mad Men, is not skimping on plot, even though it is in its final season. That makes sense, since Matthew Weiner, the creator of Mad Men, was a writer on the final few seasons of The Sopranos and is credited with coming up with many of the dreamlike, haunting scenes after Tony is shot and lapses into a coma.

Weiner has introduced a new major character in the last half of Season Seven, Diana (Elizabeth Reaser), a waitress who has lost a daughter and who has abandoned her other child and her husband. Reaser has a way of acting amused even when there is nothing particularly funny about what she is saying, and she often seems to be mocking Don (Jon Hamm). Yet he pursues her as he has never pursued a woman in all the previous seasons of the show.

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Another character, a famous photographer, Pima Ryan (Mimi Rogers), is brought on board to shoot a vermouth ad and ends up seducing Stan (Jay R. Ferguson) and nearly seducing Peggy (Elisabeth Moss). She seems to be gone for good by the episode’s end, but with Mad Men you never know.

Two other dark-haired beauties dominated the last episode: Megan (Jessica Pare), Don’s soon-to- be ex-wife, and her mother, Marie (Julie Ormond). Even Sylvia (Linda Cardellini), Don’s Italian lover from Season Six, is back briefly. All the living brunettes in Don’s life are accounted for.

The one major character who hasn’t been heard from at all in this second half of the last season is Sally (Kiernan Shipka), Don’s daughter, although Betty (January Jones), his first wife, appears and makes the ironic announcement that she is going back to school to study psychology. Let’s hope Sally gets a story arc in the last few episodes – time is running out.

Mad Men airs on HOT VOD and HOT Plus on Mondays at 10 p.m.

Linda Cardellini is also a welcome presence in Bloodline, a new series that premieres on YES Oh on April 30 at 10 p.m. (and will continue Thursday nights at this time and will also be shown on YES VOD). It’s a dark drama about a family in the Florida Keys, and Cardellini plays Meg, one of the Rayburn family’s adult children. The whole family is gathering for the 45th anniversary of the family’s opening its unbelievably gorgeous beachfront hotel (this series gets a triple X-rating for its real-estate porn).



But the arrival of the black-sheep son, Danny (Ben Mendelsohn), creates problems for everyone, especially his brother, John (Kyle Chandler, the very likable star of Friday Night Lights), the sheriff.

John narrates the series and keeps repeating, “We’re not bad people, but we did a bad thing.”

That bad thing is revealed early on, but what will keep you watching is why they did the bad thing.

The parents of the family are played by Sissy Spacek and Sam Shepard. Shepard is still one of the sexiest men alive (reportedly, Joni Mitchell wrote the song “Coyote” about him), and I would watch him in anything. But in spite of the cast and location, the series seems a bit heavyhanded.

One new series that has gotten better with each episode is Dig, the thriller set mostly in Jerusalem, with Jason Isaacs as an FBI agent investigating a murder.

But that murder is just a jumping-off point for a plot that gets more complex each week and involves a wide-ranging conspiracy to try to rebuild the Temple. Every episode has new twists, the majority of which you won’t see coming. And every week, I find myself wondering why Jason Isaacs isn’t a huge movie star. He acts like a regular person, but he has a great tough-guy look.

If you haven’t been following Dig, check it out. It’s all still available on HOT VOD and HOT Plus and on YES VOD and YES Action. Although the location shooting in Jerusalem was shut down following the war this summer and the production moved to Croatia and New Mexico, this is very carefully concealed and looks as if it were all done here.

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