James Wolk

mad men header

Don Draper just keeps pulling out the dick moves. And with next week being the season six finale, who knows what he had in store for us? A lot of stuff happened on this week’s Mad Men installment, “The Quality of Mercy,” written by Andre and Maria Jacquemetton and directed by Phil Abraham. So much so that Ken Cosgrove gets shot in the face in the first few minutes and it’s barely a blip on the overall drama scale. Another great episode, this one really sets the stage for the impending finale. It also featured Roger Sterling’s proclamation that he “once held Lee Garner Jr.’s balls!” if that’s any indication. Well, not really. But that line sure tickles. As noted, Don behaved pretty poorly this week, which makes for great television, but not necessarily for making his character any more likable. Don is still pretty worked up over the Sally-caused coitus interruptus… to the point where he is acting like Kirsten Cohen from The O.C. and stealthily spiking his orange juice with vodka. And taking the day off work. He is also very peeved by the growing camaraderie between Peggy and Ted, to the point where he goes out of his way in a meeting to embarrass the hell out of Ted and rob Peggy of her idea for the St. Joseph aspirin campaign.

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Bob Benson

Bob Benson didn’t need to have a bombshell of a secret. In fact, history dictated that Bob Benson wasn’t going to have a bombshell of a secret. And yet, the Mad Men newcomer, played by James Wolk, raised suspicion from the moment he waltzed onto (the wrong floor, inevitably) of SCD&P (now just the offensive-to-everyone SC&P) in the series’ sixth season. Benson, a new accounts man, could have easily been regulated to a background bit – after all, even perennial accounts man Ken Cosgrove hasn’t gotten much play this season, save for his spectacular tap dancing sequence during the season’s drug-fueled “The Crash” – but the handsome Wolk has popped up in no less than eight episodes of the show’s latest season, and he’s been inscrutable at every turn. Wolk is also not some fresh face that comes without baggage – if you’re familiar with his work on such ambitious shows as the ill-fated Lone Star or the underappreciated Political Animals, you are also familiar with his panache for playing characters with major secrets comes part and parcel with seeing him on television. Wolk isn’t the guy you cast for some small part, he’s the guy you look to for some steadily building, multi-faceted character work. The Bob Benson conspiracy theories have run the gamut (he’s a government spy! he’s a mole from another ad agency! he’s an undercover journalist! he’s just a total lunatic!), and while the real truth (or whatever “real truth” that Mad Men is willing to […]

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For A Good Time, Call Review

Sex complicates relationships. Sex talk complicates friendships. In Jamie Travis‘ For A Good Time, Call…, a pair of mismatched gal pals attempt to navigate the murky waters of sex line proprietorship while also exploring what it means to be a loyal and true friend. That may sound cheesy, but that’s okay, because For A Good Time, Call… is cheesy, and in the best possible way. It’s also dirty, smutty, raunchy, silly, charming, funny, heartfelt, honest, sexy, and did we mention dirty, smutty, and raunchy? It’s a movie about a sex line. It has to be. But it doesn’t have to be this charming. We open with good girl Lauren Powell (Lauren Miller, who also wrote the film’s script with Katie Anne Naylon), bored, bra-ed, and in bed with her boyfriend, mid-coitus. This is not a relationship built on passion, and when Lauren’s boyfriend, Charlie (James Wolk) finally lays it on her and confesses to Lauren that he’s bored – not just bored! “Crazy, out of my mind bored” – it’s already a relief. Even when Charlie tells Lauren he’s heading off to Italy for a summer gig, we’re breaking up, see you never. Oh, and get out of our apartment. Left homeless in a city notorious for its horrific (and overpriced) housing, Lauren has precious few options – but her good pal Jesse (Justin Long, outrageously funny in his supporting role) has a plan. Too bad it involves making Lauren move in with his other good pal, Katie (Ari Graynor), […]

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published: 04.19.2014
A-
published: 04.19.2014
B+
published: 04.18.2014
C-
published: 04.18.2014
C

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