Seminal Television: Tomorrowland
Don (Jon Hamm) has a meeting with the American Cancer Society, telling them that teenagers aren’t as a hard sell to tobacco companies as the committee assumes. To combat that appeals, he proposes that the ads should portray ‘ or mothers and daughters or fathers and sons and that cigarettes are between them.’ My layman’s interpretation of his pitch is that it might show that the children might think that they’re better than their parents, or they must change and deviate from their parents habits. That cigarettes aren’t as rebellious as tobacco companies make them. I know some commenters from other websites think that Don can’t relate to the baby boom generation. I’m not sure if that’s true.
Others are afraid that Joyce (Zosia Mamet) might become predatory, but her taking on the mother hen role makes me love her more.
I’m sorry, Henry, but if you were so against it, why not write a recommendation letter for Carla yourself? Grow some balls.
Peggy (Elisabeth Moss) and Joan (Christina Hendricks) share work gossip and talk about how boys are actually shallower than girls.
I never imagined Faye (Cara Buono) as this season’s Allison, crying at the finale and all.
Betty (January Jones) fixes her face, beautifying herself even if no one’s gonna see her. After the unforgivable, destructive encounters with Glen, Carla and Henry when Don walks in unexpectedly. They still know so much about each. She’s still mostly thorough, he still knows where the whiskey is hidden. She knows both about Bethany van Nuys – strange for her to remember that name – and the secretary (Jessica Pare). She admits to her frustration about attaining perfection and keeping up with change, and is possibly jealous that Don might have finally attained that said perfection. Ironically, he’s the only person she can have a decent conversation with and it took a divorce to get to that stage. She hands him the keys, finally saying goodbye despite that look in her eyes that wants to touch him once last time. There’s a vehement disappointment that the Internet collectively had for this finale – even if this episode is a failure, it’s not a spectacular failure, this bittersweet farewell made me love this episode.
- Mad Men’s 12 Most Memorable Moments (thedailybeast.com)
- Mad Men – Season 4 Yearbook (seriousfilm.blogspot.com)
Matt Weiner’s “A Single Don”
“More and more everyday about Vietnam. Hope it’s not another Korea.
“I sound like a little girl, writing down what happened today.
“Sunday is Gene’s birthday party. I know I can’t go. I keep thinking about him.
“He was conceived in a moment of desperation and born into a mess.
“A list of thing I’d like to do. One – climb Mount Kilimanjaro.
“Go anywhere in Africa, actually.
“Two – gain a modicum of control over the way I feel.
“I wanna wake up. I don’t wanna be that man.”
“If you listen, he’ll tell you how he got there.
“How he forgot where he was going, and then he woke up.
“If you listen, he’ll tell you about the time he thought he was an angel.
“Dreamt of being perfect. And then he’ll smile with wisdom.
“Content that he realized the world isn’t perfect.
“We’re flawed because we want so much more.
“We’re ruined because we get these things and wish for what we had.”
– Matt Wiener
Mad Men Before and After
Taking in the new office of the new Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce, I thought that the fourth season of Mad Men means that the show can’t turn back the clock. The season’s sixth episode, “Waldorf Stories,” proved me wrong. It’s character instead of plot for this episode, a challenge to the actors like Christina Hendricks, Jon Hamm and January Jones to regain the glint in the eyes that the characters have had five years ago or so. The more cynical of us think that this episode is written specifically so that the Academy can see that the three deserve Emmy’s already, for Christ sakes.
Before. Don Draper circa 1959 [ETA: Christopher Rosen and S.T. Van Airsdale talked theories, and now I think it’s 1953], telling just another customer, Roger Sterling (John Slattery), what ‘we’re’ gonna do. His pitch is one of the show’s cruxes, ‘what women want,’ yet here it is about a mistress and not a mother.
After. Draper in 1965 is award-winning but more rudimentary and uninspired, trying to wing the presentation with talk of adult ‘irony.’
Before: Roger Sterling and Joan Holloway in private, treating the fur coat with more importance than the ‘genius’ who has sold it, giving each other ‘one gift at a time.’
After. Joan is Joan Harris. Appearing together in public, Joan speaks on behalf of Roger, no longer taking his shit and eventually leaving him drunk in the bar.
Before. Betty Hofstadt, cold. Her slogan represents independence and her face exudes hope. If you notice, for some reason Betty has the blonde version of Joan’s curly, longer hair. Overread that, if you like.
After, her name is Betty Draper Francis, fuming, reminding Don that ‘It IS Sunday.’ She divorced, yet ironically still dependent on her first husband.
Seminal Television: The Good News
The fourth season of Mad Men seems to concentrate more one character pointing out who’s normal and who’s not. The earlier episode, Bert Cooper (Robert Morse) laments that the Civil Rights are the beginning of a descent in America. This episode, it’s the cast donning and taking off their little veils. Joan’s (Christina Hendricks) body looks medically fine despite her past. Her coworkers and her husband still thinks she files cabinets, she still thinks he’s an incompetent doctor foolishly going to Vietnam. But she’s close the door quietly or smile, because she doesn’t like repeating herself.
Don Draper’s (Jon Hamm) first wife Anna still thinks she’s healthy despite a broken leg. He and Lane Pryce (Jared Harris) see a B monster movie in a theatre where ‘hand jobs’ go on. Also, Fake Lenny Bruce makes fun of two men who apparently shouldn’t be sitting in a table together. ‘Wall Street, does it bother your parents that he’s so ugly?’ The periphery penetrating the centre. Lane Pryce responds, ‘We’re not homosexuals, we’re divorced.’ At the same time, I wondered why it would have been more shameful to be the former than the latter.
Later, Lane and Don’s whores come in. The comedian greets them with ‘They’re not queers, they’re rich.’ Gross. Lane points out how well Candace knows his kitchen. ‘She does not go to Barnard.’ Don’s joke, as well as the one by the comedian. also touches upon the good old mad Men theme that things aren’t what they seem. But that doesn’t stop other for figuring each other out.