The Year in Review Begins

Breaking Bad

It’s the most wonderful time of the year. No, not the holidays, though those are nice too. It’s time to recap, review, analyze, dissect, quantify, qualify, discuss, debate, demystify, debunk and debrief the year in pop culture. I’ve fully immersed myself in the spirit of summing up the past 365 days, and I’ll be unveiling a steady stream of blog posts in that spirit over the next couple weeks.

I started my 2013 Nostalgia Tour over at The Eagle. My final Take 5 column of the year briefly summarizes major trends in movies, music and television. I also left room to shine a spotlight on the year’s best performances and had fun using some of the year’s most memorable quotes to tell a little story about what we’ve learned from our entertainment. You can read my “Take 5: 2013 in Review” here.

Keep an eye out for my thoughts on the year’s best movies, TV shows, albums, songs, awards show moments and much more. Read on for a few of my parameters and guidelines for year-end recaps.

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Take 5. Actually, Take 7.

Lou Reed

Not caught up on the latest happenings in and around Hollywood? Fear not, because my Take 5 columns will catch you up in no time. Since September, we’ve lost two major pop culture icons in Tom Clancy and Lou Reed. We’ve ushered Breaking Bad off our television screens, replacing it with tons and tons of new fall shows, most of which aren’t as good as Breaking Bad. We’ve been graced with tons of compelling new music, from pop superstars like Justin Timberlake and Miley Cyrus to promising newcomers like Lorde and HAIM. We’ve come to terms with the breakup of the Jonas Brothers, but we’re not quite over talking about Chris Brown‘s depressing antics.

And I’ve been taking notes. Read on for the last seven editions of Take 5.

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Take 5: “Mad Men,” Fall TV, Pixar and More

Jon Hamm

Each week, I take a survey of the five most notable pieces of entertainment news and synthesize them for your reading pleasure for my The Eagle column Take 5. From the bifurcation of Mad Men Season 7 to the postponement of the next great Pixar adventure, it was a busy week.

AMC will air the final season of “Mad Men” in two seven-episode arcs, one in 2014 and one in 2015.

AMC will commission spinoff series tied to its established hits “Breaking Bad” and “The Walking Dead,” rankling viewers who are craving new originals rather than tired retreads. Now, AMC has announced that it will split the seventh and last season of “Mad Men” into two years to capitalize on ratings, buzz and Emmy awards before the show can finally ride off into the sunset. This same strategy worked like gangbusters for “Breaking Bad,” but “Mad Men” may be approaching its expiration date faster.

Read the rest here.