‘Mad Men’ in a ‘League’ of its own — and that’s ‘Final’

Several years ago we took our kids to Pearl Harbor and toured the sites, explored the history. As my son grows older, the history of the islands, as well as their place in World War II, become the basis for endless games in the keiki room. Knowing this, my first selection is a recommendation from my father-in-law.

“The Final Countdown” takes a fully armed, battle-ready American aircraft carrier and transports it back to Dec. 6, 1941 just off the coast of O‘ahu. Once they come to grips with their time travel, the crew is faced with the age-old question: Do they alter history and, if so, what will happen? I’ve been in an F-15 flyover; imagine the Japanese pilots’ faces as the jets drop in on them. The premise is facinating, the special effects are dated and what exactly is Martin Sheen’s purpose?

I took the “Mad Men” leap a couple years ago. I heard all the raves and reviews, so in I jumped with both feet, and I’m glad I did. This AMC series is very well done and its awards are well derserved.

I wasn’t alive in the 1960s, but I feel like I’ve time traveled. The story is engaging, characters are dynamic and the glimpse into the time of my parents’ youth is facinating. I’m sure in today’s workplace, the stark portrayal of the attitudes toward smoking, drinking, women and race would be an HR nightmare. But it does make for good television.

My third choice, “The League,” was recommended to me by Tyson Alger, The Garden Island’s sportswriter. (Welcome to the league, BeastMaster). I’ve been playing Fantasy Football since 1990. Back then, we kept the stats and score by pen and paper. As the commissioner, I’d skip my Monday morning college classes to update the league scoring and prep the teams for Monday night’s game. I can’t remember life before FF. So a TV show about FF — now I’m listening.

“The League” follows five guys through their FF season. I was hoping for more football and less comedic sitcom, but that’s my problem. This tongue-in-cheek look at the hobby of fantasy sports does a good job of selling the passion and angst I’ve felt on too many occasions. Losing stinks, and all you can ask for is a shot to win come Monday night.

‘The Final Countdown’

Cast: Kirk Douglas, Martin Sheen, Katharine Ross

This show is: Cerebral, Exciting, Mind-bending

Rated: PG

Common Sense rating: Should be investigated by parents as some history might be learned.

What if the Japanese assault on Pearl Harbor was met with might of a modern American aircraft carrier? Douglas and Sheen team up and ask us the question. I say turn ‘em loose boys. Story intriging, special effects lacking. 2 of 5 Netflix stars.

‘Mad Men’

Season 4

Cast: Jon Hamm, Elisabeth Moss, Vincent Kartheiser, January Jones, John Slattery

This show is: Emotional, Dark, Understated

Rated: TV-14

Common Sense rating: Adult themes, like watching your parents, if they were cool and seductive.

The mysterious ad man Don Draper offers us a glimpse into a 1960s New York City ad agency and the birth of mass media advertising. Set in the days when smoking and drinking at work were glamorous and commonplace. 5 of 5 Netflix stars.

‘The League’

Season 1

Cast: Kathryn Aselton, Mark Duplass, Nick Kroll, Stephen Rannazzisi

This show is: Goofy, Raunchy, Witty

Rated: TV-MA

Common Sense rating: Sexual content, language, drug use and Fantasy Football. Not for kids or auto drafters (Alger).

This series explores Fantasy Football and the lengths this group of managers will go to in an effort to win. Annual hobby for some, better than marriage for others. Looking forward to second season. 3 of 5 Netflix stars.


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