season

Mad Men Split Season

This past week, AMC announced that it will split Mad Men’s seventh and final season into two 7-episode increments to air in 2014 and 2015, similarly to the way that Breaking Bad has been careening to its much anticipated yet seemingly breathless finale. On the one hand, this represents a business move that exists anywhere between shrewd and shameless, but one that is unlikely to anger fans who would be happy to follow Don and Roger well into the disco era, even if they’re ultimately only getting one extra episode as a result of the wait. But the decision has convincingly been perceived as an act of desperation on behalf of a network whose two brand-making critical darlings of original programming will soon see their end, with no surefire successor to take their place (perhaps Low Winter Sun should create a crossover story with The Killing). But what I find most striking about this decision is the fact that, perhaps more so than any recent quality cable show, Mad Men has done of great deal of work to identify itself through – and, in the process, help to define – what a television season means in the age of binge-viewing. By separating each season by discrete gaps in the historical procession of time, Mad Men has overtly defined each of its seasons as characterized through changes in its characters’ associations, lives, relationships, locations, business affiliations, etc. So, will each “part” of Mad Men’s final season take place in a separate […]

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A few weeks ago, news came out that CBS was dropping their CIA comedy CHAOS from the schedule, and as a result was pushing the U.S. premiere of established police procedural Flashpoint up a month to the 8pm slot. A slot which is new to the show as Flashpoint has always been switching between the 9pm and 10pm slots since it began in the summer of ’08. I had the chance to ask series co-creator Mark Ellis about what fans can expect from the upcoming season:

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Team One is under investigation after an active spree shooter at a gala leaves one of the highest, and bloodiest body counts in the unit’s history. Things get even more unstable when an SIU agent (Lauren Holly) is called in to asses Team One’s conduct. Was the SRU out of line, or were they acting by the book? At the end of the day, there is much more to this investigation than the agent is willing to lead on. And by the end, her true motive for her ruthless hunt will be answered. And Team One will be faced with one of the worst nights of their lives.

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A little girl who has been crying wolf to 911 for the last month is suddenly faced with a real life crisis when her mother is gunned down at point blank range in her home. Now it’s up to Greg, Ed and the rest of Team One to find her and her father before the other three gunman find them. But there is much more to this little girl than any of the SRU realize. At the same time, Greg receives an unexpected visit to SRU HQ. And this person has come to deliver a message that will rattle him to the core.

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Flashpoint

Team One suits up for a hot call in a residential neighborhood after some people reported a loud fire cracker like sound. Turns out that, that sound was the bullet of a Mac10 being fired inside a stash house where a buy is currently taking place. Upon storming the front of the house the team discovers that Ed’s brother Roy is behind the buy. Now it’s up to Team One to figure out if Roy has turned to the wrong side of the law, or is he in fact playing an elaborate game of undercover cat and mouse to take down one third of the entire Toronto illegal gun supply.

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It’s an average night in Toronto. That is until a group of kids kidnap a teen and assault him. That’s where the SRU comes in. At first they try to find the abducted teen, but soon learn that he escaped the clutches of his attackers, who happen to also be his team mates. But then things take a turn for the worse when the abductee shows up on the roof of his school threatening to jump off. Now it’s up to Parker, Ed and the rest of the team to talk him down before it gets any worse, while at the same time trying to figure out why the team members assaulted him in the first place.

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Teams One and Four suit up when a 911 call comes through the line from someone claiming that a Neo-Nazi cult is planning a mult-bomb threat across the city. But things don’t go as planned when some of them escape after the initial raid. Now it’s up to the SRU to not only take down the cult, but find the bombs and defuse them before all hell breaks loose. Major developments: Jules may have a new love interest. What worked: The best episodes of South Park are the ones where the boys are just being boys. The best episodes of House are the ones where House just being a genius doctor. The best episodes of Futurama are the ones where the crew is just going on a wacky adventure. And the best episode of Flashpoint are the ones where the team is just doing their jobs, and that’s what this episode was all about. Multi-team hot call, 911, Neo-Nazi raids, shootouts, and that’s all before the opening title sequence. I said that last week’s episode lacked in action, well this episode made up for it big time. Between Parker getting shot (which I did not see coming), a massive warehouse shoot out and a multi-level bomb threat, this episode is jam packed with action. And more importantly, quality action. Action you don’t see much on TV anymore now that shows like 24 are off the air.

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The SRU is called in after a woman kidnaps two little girls. But things take a major turn when it’s discovered that the woman is actually the biological mother of the girls she has taken. Now Team One must track her down and get the girls back before she goes off the deep end. Major developments: Greg learns about Ed’s wife’s pregnancy and also decides to re-connect with his son who he hasn’t seen in ten years. What worked: This episode is what I hope to be the beginning of an ongoing story line with Greg. He has talked about his son throughout the season and last weeks episode explained why Greg’s ex-wife took his son to Houston. Now he realizes that things have changed and he wants to see him again. It’s a very cool dynamic that show needs, because Greg has been really down played this season so far.

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Flashpoint is an action/drama series on CBS about a SWAT-like team of police officers who use state of the art weaponry and technology to fight all kinds of crime. They also use their noggins. Merrill Barr is one of seventeen people who watch it on a weekly basis. This is his review… It’s a normal day for Greg Parker and the rest of the SRU. That is until Greg gets a mysterious text from an old friend. Upon arriving to the meeting place, Greg is kidnapped and forced to reveal a secret from his past. Now it’s up to the rest of the SRU to find him before the warehouse he’s being held in blows to kingdom come. Major developments: The only major character development is that we now know the reason why Greg is a recovering alcoholic.

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Flashpoint

After the death of his brother via OD. A one man vigilante sets out on a mission to rid the community of all drug dealers. The SRU has no choice to pursue him before he escalates to the point of no return. They will be faced with one of their greatest challenges to date, is a good citizen, who just wants to rid his community of evil a bad guy? Major developments: Apparently the FBI is interested in hiring Spike.

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Flashpoint

Every serial killer has his first day, and when the SRU gets called to the site of a motel room after an unintentional kidnapping, they soon learn that one of the hostages is not who they appear to be. At the same time, Ed learns that there is much more than his cop family at stake now, as he will soon have an unexpected surprise in his life. Jules also begins to take a much more offensive role when she finds a connection with the condemned subject.

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Flashpoint

Whether you watch it or not (or have even heard of it), Flashpoint is one of the best dramas (cop or otherwise) on television right now. Action, drama, a hint of comedy, great writing, it’s got it all, and it shows no signs of slowing down any time soon. The show features an amazing cast of TV hard hitters including Amy Jo Johnson, Enrico Colantoni and Hugh Dillon. Now in its third season on CBS (or second if you go by the CTV numbers), this Canadian import has proven to be a huge hit for both networks. Now having been picked up for two more seasons, one of which that has already completed production, it looks like a bright future is ahead for the program. I had the chance to sit down with the shows creators Mark Ellis and Stephanie Morgenstern to discuss what’s in store for the future.

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published: 12.19.2014
A-
published: 12.18.2014
C-
published: 12.17.2014
B+


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