I am so happy to be back! I missed you all very much while I was away, and over the next couple of days, I will have a couple of posts inspired by the trip. But I wanted to kick off our discussion this afternoon with a more immediate question: how many of you read “The Love Affairs of Nathaniel P.”? What about “New Year’s Eve,” the prequel short story released earlier this month? And what did you think of both? I ended up re-reading the former after reading the latter, and I am still working out my thoughts on the second go-round.

Elisabeth Moss as Peggy Olson - Mad Men _ Season 7, Episode 5 - Photo Credit: Justina Mintz/AMC
Elisabeth Moss as Peggy Olson in “Mad Men.” (Photo Credit: Justina Mintz/AMC)

Now, to the links:

-Heather Havrilesky on why “Mad Men” has never done violence particularly well.

-These kids should maybe read “The Secret History,” both as a cautionary tale, and as a reminder that it is actually less transgressive when you are trying to be shocking and scandalous.

-Joel Anderson goes deep on boxing judge C.J. Ross.

-If today was your unfortunate introduction to Solange Knowles, might I recommend “Sandcastle Disco,” “I Decided (Pt. 2),” her cover of Coldplay’s “Viva La Vida,” and in particular, this song, which has a title I cannot print in the Post?

-Jane Campion may direct an adaptation of “The Flamethrowers,” and now I cannot stop thinking about who should play Reno.

-Jenna and Liz, reunited on Tina Fey’s post-”30 Rock” show.

-”Modern Family” paid for marriage licenses and ceremonies in New York City yesterday.

-I hated “The Windup Girl,” but this is an interesting read on it.

-A fair, if tough, assessment of Tyrion Lannister’s skills as a player in the “Game of Thrones.”

-Should we actually be excited about the number of women who directed movies at Cannes this year?

-The fall of the music-based television show.

-I really should not let myself get excited about “Gotham,” but I love “Arrow” so much that I am willing to give this a shot:

 

Alyssa Rosenberg blogs about pop culture for The Washington Post's Opinions section.