Tuesday, January 25, 2022
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Here’s hoping ‘Mad Men’ provides us with a satisfying denouement

🕐 4 min read

Excerpted and edited from Washington Post TV critic Hank Stuever’s weekly online chat on all things TV. On the minds of readers this week: The end of “Mad Men,” Kalinda’s disappearance on “The Good Wife” and Stuever’s thoughts on the “Full House” reboot.

(Beware: there are spoilers below.)

“Mad Men”: So the firm is being killed. Will the last scene involve Don Draper given the responsibility to market “New Coke”?

Stuever: Well, I’ve always been rooting for a flash-forward — far enough so that Don is completely outdated and regarded as a sexist drunk with old ideas. And New York magazine once asked an actuary to predict Don’s life span, given his smoking, etc., and I believe they have him dying in 1985, which lines up nicely with the New Coke campaign, so …

Oh, what’s the use. Once again we are demonstrating that there are 1,000 better things to do with this show than what Matt Weiner ultimately did with it. At least Sunday’s episode involved some interesting plot developments, for a change. I hope things pick up. Only three weeks left.

“The Good Wife”: Is Kalinda gone for good, or will she reappear in the final two episodes of this season? I can’t believe the writers would let this character have such a disappointingly anti-climactic exit from the series.

Stuever: I too am surprised that they (literally) closed the door on Kalinda like that, but “complete disappearance” was one of my guesses for how they would deal with it. At least one of my colleagues seems totally down with the rumors that Archie Panjabi and Julianna Margulies can’t stand each other and that’s why they haven’t had any actual scenes together this season (it’s all phone calls, and, Sunday, a greeting card).

I don’t know if Kalinda will make any more reappearances before season’s end. Maybe she’ll return in viral form and take down Lockhart et al’s computer system, which is apparently easy to do. The real issue facing “Good Wife” at the moment is renewal. The industry watchers seem to agree that the show is in the clear for one more season, but we still haven’t heard that officially.

“Full House” reboot: Any thoughts on the “Full House” reunion/reboot? I was a casual viewer of the show, so not really invested, but would be interested if the original cast were in it. I understand some of them are.

Stuever: I’m about five years too old (at least) to feel the pangs of excitement, but I would never stand in the way of anybody’s hysterical approval of this news. “Full House” started when I was a college sophomore. It was on Friday nights and weirdly on in the background while we were getting ready to go out and get hammered. It seemed like the dumbest thing, but there were so many harmlessly dumb things on TV back then, from “ALF” on down. I remember thinking li’l Jodie Sweetin was a comic genius, but I might have been under the influence of something. As toddlers, the Olsen twins always struck me as developmentally delayed, but I was comparing them to my nephews and my niece who were all, of course, baby geniuses.

Anyhoo, I’ve got no dog in that hunt. If it pleases the millennials, then past experience tells us it Cannot Be Stopped. So now we just wait and see if it’s any good.

“A.D.”: I saw one guy note the ratings dropped after Jesus left. Does it have any chance of making it to the Book of Revelation? If they were really desperate, they could follow the Book of Mormon and show Jesus make a side trip to North America.

Stuever: I would LOVE it if they would do the kooky Mormon sequel. Ages ago, I was in Salt Lake City and went to the Welcome Center or whatever and saw a rather big-budget movie about Jesus in America with the native tribes and it was kind of mind-blowing. (I mean, I wasn’t ready to convert and change my underwear or anything, but … wow.)

I doubt “A.D.” will get through all the epistles and to Revelation. For that kind of nonsense, we have terrible shows already like “The Messengers,” “Constantine,” etc.The angels battling it out for our souls and … yawwwwwn.

McDreamy: Did you know (about his sudden death on “Grey’s Anatomy”) in advance? Guess it pays to stay on Shonda’s good side.

Stuever: I didn’t know in advance, but didn’t we all kinda know? Hadn’t Patrick Dempsey been bemoaning his sorry state of imprisonment on that show before? Isn’t he much more into racing cars?

Letterman: How do you cover his last show? He seems determined to keep it cool and light. … Kinda interesting that CBS did not consult him about his successor, though he seems OK with Colbert.

Stuever: I expect it to be wonderful and warm and then totally over, thanks mainly to the year-plus since his announcement that he was retiring. We’re ready. We’ll miss him — I think we know how much we’ll miss him, but I think we’ll wind up missing him even more than that.

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