August 31, 2007

TV: weekend marathons

If you're looking for something to do over the weekend, I recommend a pair of TV marathons, complete airings of the first seasons (so far) of two of the summer's best new series.

On Sunday, AMC airs the first seven episodes of Mad Men, about a group of advertising men coping with a world and a career on the verge of major change in 1960; Jon Hamm is getting most of the attention (and he's very good) in the starring role, but even more, I'm enjoying the supporting performances of Vincent Kartheiser, John Slattery, and January Jones.

And on Monday, FX repeats the first four episodes of the legal thriller Damages; the plot is on the wildly implausible side, but it's worth it for Glenn Close's magnificently ferocious performance as legal shark Patty Hewes, and for Ted Danson's precisely calibrated is-he-evil-or-misunderstood work as the tycoon she's suing.

New episodes of Mad Men air on Thursday nights, and Damages on Tuesdays; both are on basic cable, so they repeat frequently during the week.

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