It's the middle of June and, as summer heads towards us with a vengeance, I say goodbye to familiar faces and dear friends. This has happened in previous Junes, but for some reason this year it's more difficult for me.
The gloom set in last Sunday night. I had to bid adieu to Don Draper, Peggy Olsen, Joan "Our Lady of the Large Ta-Ta's" Harris, and of course that final goodbye of Lane "Always Leave 'em Hangin'" Pryce. I know these people well, I love them all, I even worked with some of them back in the '60's, and now my Sunday nights feel cold and empty. Like I was just taken off a big account. I was left with only a quick turn of Don's head when a babe at the bar asked him, "Are you alone?" Now that is a deep, metaphysical question, one that went to the core of Don's being. And my being, as well. I won't know his answer until October or November or whenever the hell Matt Weiner decides to bring back his "Mad Men."
Other friends left last Sunday, as well. That surly, swaggering, ragged, foul-mouthed, over-sexed, violent, duplicitous, power hungry, never-take-a-bath, valiant band of men and women who populate the worlds of "Game of Thrones." No, don't ask me what's going on. I am not sure who's doing what to who. Only that I can't take my eyes off the screen. If I had a tee shirt that said "Winterfell" I would proudly wear it to the finest restaurant. I never thought I'd admit to this, but one of my favorite characters is a dwarf. Yep, like Sneezy and Doc and Happy. This one's name is Tyrion Lannister (I had to Google for that) and the actor's name is Peter Dinklage.
Here's a touching footnote to Peter's Golden Globe Award last January. He dedicated it to a victim of a dwarf tossing incident. No, I'm not kidding. Could I make this up? A very short man, aka dwarf, was standing outside a bar in England, smoking a cigarette, when some drunken stranger came up to him, picked him up, and tossed him. Far. The dwarf - an aspiring actor, just to add depth to the story - fell on his back, and now he is partially paralyzed. This is the blackest sort of humor. And I feel desperately sorry for the little fellow. I guess Peter D. must be on some kind of internet group for dwarves.
Anyway, "Game of Thrones" departed last Sunday with the introduction of some walking dead people in a winter storm led by a frost monster of sorts with Paul Newman blue eyes, on horseback. I know there's some bad stuff coming. When? I don't know. HBO will tell me.
And finally, not to drag this out: I'm dreading tomorrow night. It's the season ender for "The Killing." I hope to hell we find out who killed Rosie Larsen. This case has been going on for two years now. I really know these people. I care about them all, even the ones I hate. Sarah and Holder and Stan and Richmond (the guy in the wheelchair) and Jamie, who I didn't trust from day one and still don't. What I will not miss is the endless rain. Every day, every night, it rains. The show is shot in Vancouver, as a stand-in for Seattle. My impression of the entire Northwest is that of one sodden mass covered in mold.
I just hope the murder case is solved tomorrow night, and that all or most of those unforgettable people will return to me soon.
No, I don't watch a lot of TV. But the shows I watch receive my undivided attention. I connect with those people, thanks to strong writing and excellent casting. I know them. I will miss them. To admit something to you that I don't tell everyone: I still miss Tony Soprano and the Fishers - Nate, David, Ruth and Claire - from "Six Feet Under" and even Al Swearengen, the most foul-mouthed character ever to walk the dirt streets of "Deadwood." He didn't even get to say goodbye. But I miss them all.