There are scores of TV shows out there, with dozens of new episodes each week, not to mention everything you can find on Hulu Plus, Netflix streaming, and HBO Go. How’s a viewer to keep up? To help you sort through all that television has to offer, Flavorwire is compiling the five best moments on TV each week. This week, Wendy Davis dominated the news while the Veep and Mad Men finales dominated Monday’s water-cooler chats.
Don Draper Hits Rock Bottom
It took six full seasons to get there, but Don Draper’s demons have finally caught up to him: he’s alienated his daughter, his wife, and his coworkers, and the end of Sunday’s phenomenal “In Care Of” found him unemployed and grappling with alcoholism. Based on the episode’s ending shot, which shows him and his children standing in front of the Pennsylvania whorehouse where he grew up, Don’s beginning the final season of Mad Men by finally embracing the truth he’s spent decades fleeing. The finale leaves plenty of unanswered questions: is Don going to out himself as Dick Whitman? Are his relationships with Megan and Sally salvageable? Is the quintessential ad man out of advertising forever? Whatever the answers, Mad Men looks poised to finally move its protagonist forward after a season of stagnation.
The Humans Fight Back on True Blood
Season 6 of True Blood has embraced the crazy like never before. But thrown in the mix with plot lines like “Vampire Jesus” and “Fairy Babies” is the first interesting tweak to the show’s core premise in years: a power reversal in the human-vampire dynamic. Thanks to glamor-proof contact lenses and UV-emitting bullets, the anti-vampire government of Louisiana now has the power to persecute vampires — and so does everybody else, because according to Governor Burrell, vampires don’t have any constitutional rights, either. Now that humans actually have power over their supernatural counterparts, True Blood‘s always-sketchy civil rights allegory is both more obvious and more fitting than ever before. And just in case you didn’t get it, the episode also includes the descendant of two Freedom Riders and a shot of a Nazi-style
gas sunlight chamber.
Kristen Schaal Returns to The Daily Show
To get her take on Wendy Davis and Marsha Blackburn, interim Daily Show host Jon Oliver brought in 30 Rock alumna, Bob’s Burgers star, and generally funny lady Kristen Schaal to rock some Davis-style pink sneakers and do her crazy lady schtick. Schaal didn’t disappoint, coming down hard on pro-life female lawmakers by mock-arguing for sexism: “Imagine how much money you’ll save by paying us less!” The real money shot, though, was Schaal delivering a frenzied take on “I have a dream” that hit way too close to home, envisioning a female president “with an all-male cabinet” and capping off the whole rant by screaming “BITCHES BE CRAZY!” Never change, Kristen.
Selina’s Running for President!
The second season finale of Veep was as convoluted as it was hilarious, but after several false starts, a panicked staff, and a meeting with POTUS, it looks like Selina is set to run for president in just two years. It’s a game-changer for a comedy about the indignities of occupying a totally useless position, promising to push Veep‘s comedy beyond just the humor of irrelevancy. And after a second season that managed to improve on the already very strong first, it’s reassuring to know that the third comes with the ready-made plot material that comes with a full-fledged presidential run. It’ll be almost a full year until audiences are reunited with Armando Iannucci, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Tony Hale, and the rest of Veep‘s stellar cast, but the finale hints that the series’ return will be worth the wait.
CNN Thinks Blueberry Muffins Are More Important Than Wendy Davis
While the Texas state senator was dedicating 13 hours of her life (and a whole lot of back pain) to preserving women’s abortion rights, the chronically out of touch CNN was covering the truly important stuff: the nutrition value of breakfast pastries. Instead of providing on-the-ground coverage of the filibuster itself, the chaos in the state capitol building, or Republicans’ disgusting attempts to cheat their way into passing SB5, Piers Morgan was interviewing Dr. Drew about blueberry muffins. Predictably, Twitter and Tumblr blew up, making one of this week’s defining TV moments not CNN’s actual programming, but rather what it notably left out. For further reading, check out Roxane Gay’s excellent Salon essay about the failure of cable news vis-a-vis social media.