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For John Slattery, It's a Mad, Mad World

John Slattery, Mad Men

Smoke, drink and be merry. That's the motto ad executive Roger Sterling lives by, even after suffering two heart attacks last season on AMC's critical darling Mad Men (Sundays at 10 pm/ET, AMC). We asked for some insight into the character from John Slattery, the Emmy-nominated actor who plays him. TV Guide: How lucky do you feel to be on this show? John Slattery: It's the best job I've ever had! Every time I read a script, [Roger] always has something to say that I can't wait to do. TV Guide: Are the glowing reviews at all surprising to you? Slattery: Sometimes you're surprised that other people like what you like — and the fact that everybody seems to think it's even better this season. TV Guide: What's the secret of Mad Men's success?Slattery: I don't think it's a read more

Mad Men (and Funny Tina Fey) at the TCA Awards

Mad Men courtesy AMC

In case you hadn’t heard, AMC’s Mad Men is not only a hit with the Emmy voters (the most nominated drama this year, with 16) but it’s a bona fide critics’ darling, walking away with three Television Critics Association Awards over the weekend at the 24th annual ceremony in Beverly Hills. Mad Men won for new program, outstanding achievement in drama and program of the year, prompting Emmy-nominated co-star John Slattery to quip (during one of the show’s several acceptance speeches), “How glad I am that the message of smoking, drinking and whoring Mad Men puts across has registered with the TCAs.”Jon Hamm, also an Emmy nominee, thanked reality shows like Keeping Up With the Kardashians, Flavor of Love, Rock of Love (all three seasons) and Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Grader “for pushing the envelope so far that way that there was a place kind of on this side for us to sneak in.”HBO’s epic John Adams miniseries won two awards, for Paul ... read more

TCAs: Critics Still Mad for Mad Men

Jon Hamm by Jim Spellman/ WireImage.com

Jon Hamm, a Golden Globe winner and likely Emmy nominee, isn’t taking the critical success of Mad Men for granted. “It’s phenomenal. It’s a wonderful experience. But the swirl that happens around the show exists outside the show.” Still, as he quotes his co-star John Slattery, “It makes you feel like … you’re not crazy. Other people like good stuff too.”Critics certainly like good stuff, and AMC’s session promoting Mad Men’s upcoming second season was easily the biggest lovefest so far in the TCA press tour, currently in its first week devoted to cable presentations.The group laughed when a critic challenged the show’s famously tight-lipped creator Matthew Weiner to explain to fans why the mystery surrounding what happened to Peggy’s illegitimate baby — the jaw-dropper of the Season 1 finale — remains unresolved by the end of the July 27 season opener. “I would say, trust me. I will give you the informat... read more

Cheers: A Desperate Disaster

John Slattery and Ricardo Antonio Chavira in Desperate Housewives by Danny Feld/ABC

Cheers to Desperate Housewives for finding a creative way to dispatch Victor (John Slattery, who's better suited to Mad Men anyway). Fairview's Machiavellian mayor met his maker during the ABC soap's spectacular "twister" episode when he was impaled on a shard from a white picket fence. The week's other casualty, crazed ex-mistress Sylvia (Melora Walters), seemed like a bit of a cheat, especially since the opening voiceover led us to believe the ladies of Wisteria Lane would lose a "friend." Still, when the final shot revealed the tornado's devastation, I was blown away.• Read and react to Bruce's opinions on My Name Is Earl, Dirty Sexy Money and more!• Share your own raves and rants about other shows on the Reader Cheers & Jeers discussion board.• We may feature your Cheer or Jeer on TVGuide.com or in TV Guide magazine! read more

"Something's Coming"

Natural disasters create strange bedfellows — or more specifically, basement fellows. While the tornado caused two deaths tonight, it was also a catalyst for forgiveness, revelation, and new and altered friendships.I (and others who read scoop and spoilers) found out a while ago that two characters, one man and one woman, would die. And within the first few minutes of the episode, narrator Mary Alice told us that on what began as a beautiful day would end with the loss of one housewife's husband and "a friend." I had my ideas, not to mention the knowledge that John Slattery (Victor) was bound for a second season of AMC's Mad Men. Still, I found myself at moments thinking about what the show would be like if Victor had shot Carlos dead or if Tom succumbed to his cat allergy with a fatal asthma attack. My two favorite Wisteria Lane husbands (Carlos and Tom) and the Carlos/Gaby and Tom/Lynette couples would be no more.Thankfully these couples are still intact. But their homes and ... read more

Oh, Mama: A Great New Grey's

Diahann Carroll in Grey's Anatomy by Craig Sjodin/ABC

If you don't like tonight's first-rate episode of Grey's Anatomy, which fires on about as many cylinders as possible (humor and emotion coexisting wonderfully), then you should probably face the fact that you simply don't like Grey's anymore, if you ever did. Diahann Carroll, terrific as the departed Burke's visiting mom, hovers around Seattle Grace this week as a much-needed reality check and conscience for the various characters: including Meredith, who could always use a good dressing-down for her narcissism, and George, who's still dithering about how to do the right thing in his romantic quandary involving wife Callie and obsessive crush Izzie.But Mama Burke is really there for Cristina (the fabulous Sandra Oh), who is frozen emotionally as she surveys the wedding gifts that surround her to remind her of her broken relationship. Work is a thankful distraction (“Carnage always trumps rounds,” she tells her nameless interns), but she can only hide from Preston’s mo... read more

Thursday-night TV: It's Back!

Sandra Oh in Grey's Anatomy by Bob D'Amico/ABC

Now that's what I like to see on TV's most overcrowded night: TV's top crime drama and TV's top medical soap back in fine form, the two most-awaited season premieres of the week delivering on the hype. And the icing on the cake? Another sensational episode of AMC's summer holdover Mad Men, the one show I never want to see end. I'm going to miss that one when it goes away in a few weeks. As much as I enjoy CSI and Grey's Anatomy, combatants of the highest and most satisfying order, they feel like old hat compared to this scrumptious, provocative period piece.First off: Big sigh of relief that Sara Sidle (Jorja Fox) lives on. As Michael Ausiello reports in his exhaustive interview with the star, her days on CSI may still be numbered, but for now, Grissom’s lady love is still kicking, no matter how bloodied, battered and sunburned. The teaser for next week’s episode reveals, no surprise, that the course of true love isn’t going to run smooth for these coworkers, but ther... read more

May 20, 2007: Getting Married Today

Well, they said the final scene would be a shocker, and they were right. I am speechless. You know how much I love my Edie. Would it be too much to ask to have Carlos heroically and miraculously walk in during the very first scene this fall and save her? I do not want this show to go on without Nicollette Sheridan. Yes, Edie is not one of the four main housewives, but the show would not be the same without her. Soap operas have had people hang themselves and be saved at the last minute. Until I get a confirmation, I'm going to spend this entire summer believing Edie is not dead. Just call me DID — "Dave In Denial."Except for that ending, I was very happy with this season's finale episode. I thought it had the perfect Desperate Housewives blend of drama and comedy. I expected to be satisfied after seeing that departing coexecutive producer Joe Keenan was one of the writers (along with talented fellow coexec producer Kevin Murphy). Besides having the same job title for all those ... read more

May 13, 2007: What Would We Do Without You?

Admit it — you got a little teary-eyed like I did at the end when Lynette was told the bad news that she might have lymphoma. And what did it for me was Tom slowly grabbing Lynette's hand and holding it, after she had tried the same thing with him (before the news), and he had rejected her hand. That scene between Felicity Huffman and Doug Savant with Lynette and Tom fighting in bed, the one that led them to get Lynette to the hospital, was a prime example of two actors at their very best. Lynette finally admitting to Tom that she did indeed have feelings for Rick (but "nothing happened") was such a powerful scene by itself — then the cancer scare. I was a mess. You could tell how desperate Tom was getting earlier, sneaking in a marriage counselor (William Ragsdale) to talk with Lynette in a very "ambush therapy" kind of way. Lynette was not about to let Herman's Head get into her head.Speaking of messes, thankfully Susan and Mike cleaned up the possible mess of dueling we... read more

May 6, 2007: Into the Woods

I just knew that Victor Lang (John Slattery) was going to turn out to be a bad guy. He seemed too perfect. But didn't you think his mean streak came out of nowhere? He acted as though Gabrielle had never done a stupid thing before with the way he yelled at her. Yes, Gaby jumped in his arms like a child when it looked as though he was going to win the mayoral race. Yes, Gaby can be a "high maintenance nightmare," as brilliantly described by Vern (Alec Mapa). And yes, Gaby got arrested for her shenanigans with the cop (Brendan Patrick Connor), ripping up the parking tickets since she thought it was acceptable behavior for the new "First Lady of Fairview." But did Victor have to yell at her like an abusive father to a daughter? You knew as soon as he saw the bruise on her wrist caused by the cop that Victor was going to have something done to the guy. Enter the two thugs, beating up the cop. But Gaby's going ahead with the wedding. Let's see if she indeed says "I do" in two weeks.Kudos... read more

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