Lydia Chadwick takes to the stage
Family Tree is developing into one of the hidden gems of HBO’s lineup (something has to fill in as the network’s great underrated comedy now that Enlightened‘s off the air). This week, Nina Conti, the real-life ventriloquist who plays the hand puppet-wielding sister of Chris O’Dowd’s protagonist Tom Chadwick, stars in a hysterical scene that features her character giving a tactless performance at a Greek wedding. Austerity is brought up (a callback to the episode’s main plot, which references the 1984 London Olympics, also known as “The Austerity Games”), as is suicide, and the results are as painfully awkward as they are funny. The scene is a great case for Family Tree being so much more than a Christopher Guest side project or a Chris O’Dowd vehicle.
Joan leans in
Forgive the Sheryl Sandberg reference, but is there any female viewer who didn’t have at least a little bit of a “you go, girl” moment when Joan stuck it to Pete Campbell and went after the Avon business on her own? Or when Peggy exercised some feminist solidarity by bailing Joan out during her heated meeting with Ted? Sure, Don had some weird hallucinations after smoking hash in LA, but at this point the former Dick Whitman’s fear of death and identity crises are straight-up boring, as it’s become clear his character development is dead in the water. These days, it’s all about Joan taking Kate’s advice to own her professional success and making damn sure she’s more than the icky bit of prostitution that landed her a partnership.
Veep‘s Dan has the world’s worst job interview
Faced with the threat of losing his job during a government shutdown, Selina’s communications man Dan takes a textbook Washington lobbyist out to dinner hoping to score a backup career in the private sector. Of course, the dinner is a disaster, and, this being Veep, it’s filled with profanity and vicious insults. The lobbyist makes Dan buy expensive lobster dishes for both of them, but then he doesn’t even eat his; he asks Dan if he’d be interested in “swindling a bunch of sisterfuckers out of their land” to build a pipeline in Nebraska; he belittles Dan by comparing him to a turd. Dan isn’t completely innocent, dishing about all of Selina’s staff without so much as an actual job offer, making the scene as viciously satirical as it is good television.
Game of Thrones really did go there
There’s not much more to say about the Red Wedding: it was devastating, it was awesome, and it’s everything that makes Game of Thrones the essential viewing it’s become. A moment of silence for our dearly departed protagonists. Also, here’s a clip of George R.R. Martin being hilarious to make you feel better.