1.'Game of Thrones' I'd say "Blackwater" was the best episode of G.O.T. to date, unless you can't get over last season's dragon-reveal finale. And, really, get over it. The dragons obvi won't be ready for crazy, fire-breathing attacks any time soon. So we have to be happy with a cinematic battle, by sea and by land. The shock and awe of those ships blowing up! The inherent pussitude of King Joffrey! The continued bravery of "the imp"! But, most of all, the batshit end-of-rope conversations carried on by icy blonde king momma Cersei! Her character is particularly cutting and delicious in this eppi, right down to the second when she's saved from offing her own little lion cub.
2. 'Mad Men' I think I spent half the episode forming crinkly, disbelieving facial expressions. I've always heralded Joan as a badass, even in her weaker moments. But her final decision to whore herself out for the good of the company - and her own financial security - well, it was icky. Don's horrified face mirrored my own - it's the first time I've been able to claim an outer similarity to that big ol' handsome man. Still reeling from Joan's 'Indecent Proposal' moment (which, in my opinion, will only bring more propositions from scummy dealership reps), I could only react with a sudden crocodile tear to the tender goodbye moment between Don and Peggy. Good for her, for moving on to another firm. It should give us an interesting side plot (surely Peggy ain't completely dunzo), and it'll make more room for direct tension between Don and this fascinating Ginsberg cat. All that said, I'm just hoping nobody falls down the elevator shaft. Foreshadowing!
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3. 'Real Housewives of Orange County' Our former North Texas gal, Gretchen, had a low-key week on Bravo's O.G. 'Housewives' saga. Surrounded by "strong" personalities - Vicki carrying on like a damn lunatic, Alexis stepping into the role of 'attention whore,' Heather actively judging everyone - Gretch couldn't get a word in. But, you know, after her Pussycat Dolls performance of "Fever" that killed every small animal in a six-mile radius, she should take it easy for a while.
4. 'Duets' I love you, Kelly Clarkson, but I can't. I just can't. First thing's first: America needs a break from singing shows, period, so it can't help that ABC's new one isn't very good. Second, the odds already seem stacked against our Burleson sweetheart, who didn't put together a strong enough team of amateurs. Methinks Jennifer Nettles, with her evil lounge-act flair, will plow over all the other judges in a race to low-rated-finale victory.
5. 'Hatfields & McCoys' An amazing ratings feat for Kevin Costner and History Channel. Three nights of feudin', killin', and bickerin' helped the basic cable bastion outperform pretty much everyone else on the airwaves - broadcast nets included. That's because the acting was top-notch, the real-life story compelled to no end, and there were enough subplots to keep any true geek mentally occupied. You can watch the entire six-hour miniseries online here, or catch it when it re-airs on History Saturday night. Don't miss out on a minor phenomenon, folks. This is probably the closest we'll get to a Roots or a Lonesome Dove in our modern era of fragmented media.