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Mixed Notes - May 22

By Rich Heldenfels Published: May 22, 2012

I was on the road Sunday and Monday for some family matters, and ran into some technical difficulties as well when I tried to post from the road.  So let's do some catching up.

"Dancing With the Stars" was a joke on Monday night, with the judges tossing out 10s like they were candy -- and Len still managing to disrespect Donald Driver. I don't know what this mad love for Jenkins is all about, but the show overall was a cynical attempt to pander to the audience (see how great everyone is!) while leaving the final result in voters' hands by keeping the scores close. At least I won't have to sit through tons of padding on the way to the result tonight. I will be at a "Men in Black 3" screening and check the DVR when I return.

As you know, "House" ended its run Monday night. I had a column Sunday reflecting on the show, which you can find here. I didn't watch all the finale but did catch the waning minutes to see how House left prime time. And didn't have much of an emotional eaction -- beyond the pang I always get when I hear Warren Zevon's "Keep Me In Your Heart." This was a show that should have wrapped years ago, and which needed a plan before this season, when the conclusion loomed.

I caught up to Sunday's "Mad Men" last night and it felt like the most awkward episode of the current season. I liked Don and Joan bonding, and its acknowledgment of a respectful near-friendship, but the dialogue in the scene felt stiff and formal, not as well done as the show usually is. The Lane stuff seems overly melodramatic, the Paul/Harry story pointlessly weird. The best thing in the episode -- indeed, one of the best things in the series -- involved Megan, who does not let things simmer with Don (aside from that crack about her abandoning advertising) but will not let him walk away from the relationship. Making him sit down to dinner, with her, was crucial -- and certainly a factor in Don's realization that he has to stop spinning his wheels at the agency and become the Don We All Admired.

Before my trip, the bride and I caught up on the last several "Grey's Anatomy" episodes, up through the season finale. What an insane melodrama it has become; the episode with them all talking their boards was especially loony -- all that arguing and yelling, and still only one fails? And I have to wonder if Shonda Rhimes is overstretched -- not only did "Grey's" have the plane crash, she used one in "Scandal" not long ago. (Yes, I am trying to catch up with "Scandal," too.) And does James LeGros get some kind of bonus for being in both the season finale of "Grey's" and the series finale of "House"?

I had an overview of the coming TV season in Sunday's Beacon Journal, and you can find it online here. There are also lists of returning shows andcanceled/concluded programs. One update since I wrote all that: CBS has reportedly ordered 13 more episodes of "Rules of Engagement."

 

 

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