This week on the small screen

‘Mad Men’ and movie madness.

On the small screen this week (photo credit: Courtesy)
On the small screen this week
(photo credit: Courtesy)
For most people, March 7 is a date with little significance. For some of us, however, it marks exactly one month before the final season of Mad Men begins. It’s been a long, cold winter without Don Draper & co., and Season 6 closed on an especially intriguing note, when Don (Jon Hamm) had a meltdown in an important client meeting and told everyone the truth about his background, that he was raised in a brothel. Series creator Matthew Weiner says Season 7 will be about the consequences of characters’ actions, although no substantial details have been released.
Actress Christina Hendricks, who plays Joan, said in an interview that she doesn’t even tell her husband anything she reads in the scripts. Weiner won’t even answer the simplest questions about the show, such as whether Don gets his job back. Seven episodes will be aired each week for a month and a half, and then the show will go on hiatus again – until 2015. If you’d like to get a very fast-paced recap of the previous six seasons, check out the Mad Men in Two Minutes video on the AMC website at videos/mad-men-in-less-than-2minutes-don-draper-edition Other popular shows that are returning soon include Game of Thrones on YES Oh for its fourth season, which will be shown at 4 a.m. on Fridays, exactly when it airs in the US. This is a strategy meant to minimize piracy; but given the wide availability of television series on an evergrowing number of pirate sites, it’s not clear whether this really works. In any case, it will be rebroadcast at 10 p.m., a far more fitting hour for a dark, fantasy epic like Thrones.
Perhaps less tempting to pirates but nevertheless delightful, Parks and Recreation returns for its fifth season on HOT Comedy Central and will air Sundays to Thursdays at 10:30 p.m. The show is a bit like The Office but features the public officials of a small Indiana town. It stars Amy Poehler, formerly of Saturday Night Live.
If the Oscars got you into the mood for great movies, then you’ll want to tune in to some of the terrific new movies and classics that will be shown on television this month.
Gravity, the drama about two astronauts literally lost in space, that stars Sandra Bullock and George Clooney, which won seven Oscars including Best Director (Alfonso Cuaron), Best Score , and Best Cinematography, is currently available on YES VOD.
If you missed World War Z in the theaters, the zombie epic will be shown on March 14 at 10 p.m. on HOT Gold. It has the distinction of being the first zombie movie to have a long sequence set in Jerusalem, although some homegrown zombie flicks are apparently right around the corner. Daniella Kertesz, who plays Brad Pitt’s sidekick throughout much of the movie, is an Israeli actress who plays an IDF soldier.
She stars as a nuclear scientist in the new film Operation Sunflower.
If you’re into violent action films, you can catch the second part of the Hunger Games trilogy, Hunger Games 2: Catching Fire, showing on YES VOD on March 20.
Although its target audience is tweens and teens, I would caution parents against letting young children watch this film, about a futuristic world in which a group of children and teens are forced to fight to the death while the rest of the world watches on television.
HOT Prime is celebrating the month of March with a tribute to gangster films. Starting this weekend, every night until March 29 the channel will show the finest gangster films of all time.
This marathon starts out with The Godfather saga, of course (you might want to skip Godfather 3), and includes such wonderful films as Martin Scorsese’s Goodfellas, starring Ray Liotta and Robert De Niro; Mike Newell’s Donnie Brasco, starring Johnny Depp and Al Pacino; John Huston’s Key Largo with Humphrey Bogart, Lauren Bacall, Edward G. Robinson and Lionel Barrymore; and Barry Levinson’s Bugsy, starring Warren Beatty and Annette Bening.