Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Mad Men begins its shuffle off television’s mortal coil

Illustration for article titled iMad Men/i begins its shuffle off television’s mortal coil

Here’s what’s up in the world of TV for Sunday, April 5th. All times are Eastern.

Top pick

Mad Men (AMC, 10 p.m.): Well, this is it: the searing, beautiful drama that launched careers, a million thinkpieces, and a surprising fondness for a sniveling dude’s bitchface starts its final season tonight. As John Teti prepared to take over coverage, we prepared our own wishlist for these last seven episodes:

  • Don Draper expressing something that resembles a human feeling
  • Sally Draper rolling her eyes and exhaling smoke into a lesser being’s face
  • Betty Hofstadt-Draper-Francis accidentally destroying her husband’s campaign for office with a withering glare and/or disastrous dinner party
  • Megan Draper stumbling into the Valley of the Dolls lifestyle
  • Roger Sterling putting on a dramatic reading of Sterling’s Gold
  • Pete Campbell getting lost on Venice Beach and/or at sea
  • Trudy Campbell/Rachel Menken/Joyce Ramsay appearing even just once
  • Joan Holloway emotionally/professionally destroying trash men
  • Peggy Olson professionally/emotionally destroying trash men
  • Bob Benson’s shorts.

(We recognize that some of these demands are more reasonable than others.)

Also noted

Salem (WGN, 10 p.m.): The second season opens with the most powerful witch in Salem facing some new challenges to her authority. We are starting weekly coverage, with LaToya Ferguson slated to keep us all up to speed on this witching hour.


Wolf Hall (PBS, 10 p.m.): The wildly popular book series comes to television, for a six-part series. Though there have been many an onscreen retelling of the Tudor story, this one at least features a perfectly cast Damian Lewis as Henry VIII and Mark Rylance as his right-hand mastermind, Thomas Cromwell. (We may be biased, however, since we are unabashed Tudor family fanatics, and have an award-winning elementary school project complete with diary entries from the perspective of each of Henry’s six wives to prove it.) Zack Handlen was impressed with the series, which he calls “more anthropological than romantic.”

American Odyssey (NBC, 10 p.m.): Anna Friel plays Sgt. Odelle Ballard in a drama “centering on an international conspiracy and its impact on three strangers.” Seems neat, but we still don’t know what it’s about! This series also used to just be called Odyssey until less than a month ago when it added the American, perhaps to piggyback off American Sniper’s success, or perhaps to just make it sound even more generic, somehow.

The Lizzie Borden Chronicles (Lifetime, 10 p.m.): A new Lifetime miniseries with Christina Ricci playing serial killer Lizzie Borden and Clea Duvall as her sister should be a good time, and indeed, Noel Murray calls Ricci’s performance “wonderfully, ludicrously wicked.” Alas, Murray also contends that the series is less fun that it could be, so viewer beware.

Shameless (Showtime, 9 p.m.): The fifth season ends with Fiona struggling with her feelings for two different guys, Frank struggling with his feelings about Bianca, and Joshua Alston struggling with his feelings just in general, feelings are hard, you guys.


Regular coverage

The Good Wife (CBS, 9 p.m.)

Battle Creek (CBS, 10 p.m.)

Classic coverage

The Simpsons (3 p.m.)

What else is on?

Sinatra: All Or Nothing At All (HBO, 8 p.m.): A new documentary digs up archival footage and interviews for an in-depth look at Frank Sinatra.


China, IL (Cartoon Network, 11:30 p.m.): The third season premiere follows the misadventures of Frank and Steve’s annual Gentleman’s Bet.

Happyish (Showtime, 10 p.m.): Hello, Showtime subscribers, here is a present: a sneak preview of this new series starring Steve Coogan, Kathryn Hahn, and Bradley Whitford. Neat!


Black Girls Rock (BET, 7 p.m.): A truly awesome event with an even better red carpet features Ava DuVernay, Ciara, Jada Pinkett Smith, Janelle Monae, Erykah Badu, Estelle, Faith Evans, and hosts Regina King and Tracee Ellis Ross.

Last Week Tonight (HBO, 11 p.m.): The show is taking forty-five minutes to deliver tonight’s takedown of whatever got on John Oliver’s bad side last week, so uh, whatever it is should probably be running scared.


100 Miles From Nowhere (Animal Planet, 10 p.m.): A new series promises to explore “some of the most untouched pockets of the planet where cameras—let alone people—rarely have gone,” and the first episode takes place in…Utah. That is some shady shit, 100 Miles From Nowhere.

Sunday Night Baseball: St. Louis Cardinals at Chicago Cubs (ESPN2, 8 p.m.): Baseball takes the quiet before the NCAA final storm as an opportunity to come back into our lives.


In case you missed it

Outlander: The second season of the time-travel drama is officially underway, and Kayla Kumari Upadhyaya will be there for every crazy/sexy/cool second of it.


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