Lorraine Duffy Merkl Lorraine Duffy Merkl
Starpulse Contributing Writer
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Lorraine Duffy Merkl is a freelance writer in NYC and author of the novels FAT CHICK and BACK TO WORK SHE GOES.

'Mad Men' Gives Us A Glimpse Of The Endgame

April 27th, 2015 10:58am EDT
From entrepreneurs to cogs in the wheel.

And so it goes when you sell your small business to a major conglomerate. The five partners – Roger, Don, Joan, Pete and Ted – may have made millions on the deal and may still have jobs after the dust settles (because they all signed four year contracts), but they have lost their independence; something that’s more important than anything to mavericks like these.

It seems that parent company McCann-Erikson has reneged on the deal they made with Roger, which was to allow SC&P to retain it’s name, offices, and clients. The giant agency is absorbing S...

'RHONY' Duke It Out Over Brunch

April 22nd, 2015 9:32am EDT
Only this bunch could turn a late breakfast into a Battle Royale.

Still hangin' at Luann's in the Hamptons, Heather, Kristen and Carole get a text from Ramona about brunch in town, but they are already expected by Bethenny who is making brunch for them at her home.

Luann -- Ms. Manners -- advises that they should all go to both in an effort to keep the peace. Carole doesn't want to go to either. She wants to stay behind and go on a boat ride with Adam, Luann's personal chef, with whom there is a mutual flirtation.

But no. She and everyone from Team Luann go to Bethenny's. Ramona & Co. (D...

Don Tries To Figure Out His Future In Latest 'Mad Men'

April 20th, 2015 10:04am EDT
“It’s supposed to get better.” That’s Don’s take on life, but unfortunately not his life. True, things could be worse (he owns a penthouse on Park Avenue, has a high powered job on Madison Avenue, and a bevy of women always at his disposal), yet his life is stalled. He doesn’t know what he wants or what he should want.

Then he gets an assignment from Roger.

First though he has to get out of bed, which he does when a woman lets herself into his apartment. The first assumption is that she’s his latest conquest, but no, she's a realtor named Melanie. She's there to show the place, but first ...

'RHONYC' Brings The Crazy To The Hamptons

April 15th, 2015 10:32am EDT
The New York housewives bring the crazy out to Long Island's East End.

Ramona and Dorinda head to Ramona's East Hampton spread. Meanwhile, Heather and Carole are on the way to Sag Harbor to Luann's new house. First though, they make a pitstop at Lu's old place where The Countess is selling off her possessions, which is bittersweet.

Dorinda and Ramona show up at the estate sale as well and Ramona tells The Countess she owes her a major apology. Luann agrees to forgive, but will never forget the vicious remarks Ramona made to her when she was going through her divorce from the Count.

That ...

'RHOBH' Reunion Part 3: Kim And Kyle Go At It

April 15th, 2015 9:33am EDT
The Clampetts brought more class to Beverly Hills than these people.

After a rather boring Q&A where it was "revealed" that Lisa R. dropped the F-bomb more than any other of the BH housewives, and that Brandi is propositioned more times than not by guys who are either too old or too young, things got cooking.

Kim whipped out her smartphone and read three threatening text messages ("I'm going to eff you up," etc.) sent to her by Lisa R. To combat the attack -- since there were no real excuses she could make to get off the hook -- Rinna owned her social media transgression and started to cr...

'Mad Men' Recap: Don Has To Deal With Some Old Business

April 13th, 2015 9:49am EDT
Mad Men - Don
Mad Men's latest episode is called "New Business," but Don's got to deal with old business first -- and we're not talking about clients.

There's Don making milkshakes in the kitchen of the Francis home. For a minute, I hoped that Henry was history, meaning Don and Betty were back together. But no. It seems Betty and Henry had a black tie event and Don was taking care of Gene and Bobby. (Sally is away at boarding school.)

Betty walks in alone looking all glam and updates Don that she's going back to school for her Master's in psychology. They've been divorced how long? Yet, she's still try...

'RHOBH' Reunion Part 2

April 8th, 2015 10:42am EDT
Lisa R.
Lisa Rinna challenged Kim Richards to, "C'mon, tell us. Did he f**k the dog?" But when given the opportunity to make good on what she insinuated in Amsterdam about Lisa's actor husband Harry Hamlin, the erratic blonde clammed up, yet kept mumbling things like, "I won't, it's too personal." Comments like that only stir the pot and make whatever the incident is sound even more salacious. Kim remained smug that there is a problem in that marriage because, "I hit a nerve." Lisa's contention is that, of course she did.That's what happens when you talk badly about someone's family.

They got int...

'RHONY': The Skinny Girl Is Back

April 8th, 2015 8:30am EDT
“I’m not a housewife, but I am real.” The Skinny Girl and her big fat mouth rejoins Luann, Ramona, Carole, Heather, Sonja, Kristen and newbie Dorinda, who have all made a career out of pretending they are New York Socialites. (As a native New Yorker, I know Manhattan upper crust when I see them; this bunch ain’t it.) For the record: only two of the eight cast members are married. (This is an issue across the entire franchise. Time to change the "housewife" name or get people who actually are, no?)

We’re first reunited with Bethenny when she pulls up in front of the famed Essex House hotel ...

The End Of An Era Begins For 'Mad Men'

April 6th, 2015 10:03am EDT
peggy and don
April 1970. As The End of an Era begins for AMC's "Mad Men," Don “My life only goes in one direction: forward” Draper, decides to look back.

As Peggy Lee croons, "Is That All There Is?" Don auditions a model for a Wilkinson Razor commercial. The woman is half naked and wrapped in a chinchilla coat. All the Sterling Cooper & Partners execs sit and salivate as Don directs the young woman to hyper sexualize herself and, "Don't talk, just touch your skin to show us how smooth it is." Later, he dreams that one of the models is Rachel Menken Katz, Don's former lover and client (Menken's Departme...

Farewell To 'Mad Men': Quotes Of Wisdom, Wit And Advice

April 5th, 2015 9:00am EDT
30 Sterling 'Mad Men' Quotes To Live By Forever
“The End Of An Era,” the name given to the final seven episodes of the juggernaut AMC series, MAD MEN, debuts Sunday, April 5th.

How will the award-winning drama end? You’ll have to watch and see. But long after ad man/ladies’ man Don Draper and his SCDP colleagues are gone, their insightful, inspiring, and often-sarcastic words of wisdom will have a place in our lexicon.

Read them. Heed them. Live them. And keep Don, Peggy, Joan, Roger, Betty, et al., alive in you.

Go home, take a paper bag and cut some eyeholes out of it. Put it over your head, get undressed and look at yourself in...