Joan Gets Angry
Blah blah Don is lonely and obsessed with death blah blah. The real star attraction of Mad Men‘s final premiere was one Joan Harris, who gave us all a master class in what to do when your bosses are pigs and your colleague is a victim-blaming jerk: threaten arson and go on a shopping spree. Joan’s learning to revel in the freedom and control that comes with her partner cash, particularly skipping out on meetings with sexual harassers to buy herself a new dress or three.
John Oliver continues to show up every other journalist on television without even primarily identifying as a journalist. This week, he surprised viewers by unveiling a half-hour interview, filmed in Russia, with Edward Snowden. The takeaway (but seriously, those with an HBO Go subscription or know a guy who knows a guy who has one should watch the whole thing): Snowden misses Hot Pockets, he does not miss the entire state of Florida, and your password is pathetically easy for a computer to figure out.
Louie Meets a Surrogate
And has hilariously loud, water-breaking sex with her in a hallway. After a season of ambitious long-form storytelling, Louie‘s season premiere was a return to episodic, borderline sitcom-y form. After throwing his heart and soul into some fried chicken and showing up at the wrong gathering, Louie arrives at a parents’ potluck hosted by a vaccine-hating, pro-natural birth lesbian couple — whose best-laid plans he proceeds to blow up by schtupping their surrogate. Judy Gold’s suggestion that Louie cut off his own dick and eat it caps off the escapade, and with it this season’s promising start.
Outlander Gets Violent
Much has already been made of the Outlander premiere’s spanking scene, although the vibe is less “sexy, consensual” spanking and more “oh right, domestic violence was totally normalized in the 18th century” spanking. It’s a smart move for the show, introducing real conflict into Jamie and Claire’s electrifying chemistry—and giving them some tension to work out with, you guessed it, a hot and heavy actual sex scene later in the episode. (There’s a sword involved.)
SNL‘s response to Going Clear was notable less for the jokes — unfortunately, Scientology’s so terrifying that half the punchlines aren’t even exaggerations — and more for the filmmaking chops that more and more of its prerecorded skits display. The music video for “Neurotology” (a self-referential gag claims one member “left for Scientology”) is a spot-on replication of the early-90s aesthetic, down to the grainy VHS quality and Kate McKinnon’s excellently crimped hair. Also the vacant, creepy expression on everyone’s faces, but as Going Clear shows, that’s not really a period thing.