Alternatives for frustrated ‘Mad Men’ fans

by Keith Barber

‘Breaking Bad’

Due to the fact AMC and “Mad Men” creator Matthew Weiner could not reach an agreement on his contract, the fifth season of the Emmy Award-winning show was postponed until March 2012. Since 2007, “Mad Men” has been the perfect cure for the summer entertainment blues and a Sunday night staple for millions of loyal viewers. However, the success of the show led to the development of “Breaking Bad,” which has become one of the best shows on television. “Breaking Bad” tells the story of Walter White, a high school chemistry teacher diagnosed with terminal cancer, who takes a dark path in life. Each season, “Breaking Bad” gets consistently better. Season 4 of “Breaking Bad” premieres July 17 on AMC.


The fourth season of the legal drama “Damages” is scheduled to premiere on DirecTV on July 13. The series centers on an unscrupulous lawyer, played by Glenn Close, and her protégée, played by Rose Byrne, and the law firm, Hewes & Associates, according to Wikipedia.

‘The Walking Dead’

AMC developed another winner with this post-apocalyptic horror series based on the graphic novel of the same name by Robert Kirkman, Tony Moore and Charlie Adlard and developed for television by Frank Darabont.

‘Master Chef’

The meteoric rise of Gordon Ramsay, restaurateur and reality TV star, has captured the imagination of food enthusiasts worldwide. One of Ramsay’s many TV projects is “Master Chef,” where amateur chefs from all over the country compete for the coveted title and $250,000. Ramsay, a former soccer star from Scotland, has a screen presence unlike any other reality TV star.

‘True Blood’

“True Blood”’s fourth season premiered on Sunday, much anticipated by fans, especially in Greensboro. The plot has worn a bit thin and the duet between Neko Case and Nick Cave of the Zombies’ classic “She’s Not There” on the show was a bit of letdown. That said, the social ecology of vampires, werewolves, fairies, shapeshifters and humans in Bon Temps, La. can be entertaining.


“Wilfred,” the successful Australian comedy television series, comes to America this summer on the cable channel FX. The comedy, which stars Elijah Wood of Lord of the Rings fame, the show is based on an award-winning short film.

The Netflix/Roku option

Netflix is one of the greatest inventions of all time. It ranks right up there with Facebook. Several years ago, the online video rental service offered the Roku box for instant downloads of movies. As long as you have the $9.99 monthly membership, you can download all the titles available for free. It’s a great Sunday night option until “Mad Men” returns in the spring.

Independent films

Piedmont Triad residents are blessed to have two fantastic art house cinemas — A/perture Cinema in Winston-Salem and Carousel Luxury Cinemas in Greensboro. Another viable entertainment option for “Mad Men” fans is to support their local art house theater while enjoying some of the finest independent films in the world.

‘Curb Your Enthusiasm’

Larry David’s hilarious HBO comedy series “Curb Your Enthusiasm” kicks off its eighth season this summer. Playing a fictionalized version of himself, David will welcome Ricky Gervais in one episode this season.


There are only eighth episodes left of the HBO series “Entourage,” and for many, that is good news. The show, based on the life and times of executive producer Mark Wahlberg, peaked several seasons ago and has been foundering ever since. It will be interesting to see if the show’s producers can bring viewers back to the show.