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Posts tagged “Mad Men

Seminal Television: Tomorrowland


ph. AMCTV

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.


Seminal Television – Blowing Smoke


ph. AMCTV

Like Buffy needed two men to save the world, the women in Don’s life help him get where he is and do what he does in the summer of 1965. There’s Faye, who helps him get into a meeting with a representative of Heinz Beans in a secluded restaurant. The representative tells Don to wait for six months. I should start using that to turn down guys, like I’m turning down guys now.

Then there’s Midge (Rosemarie DeWitt), who still paints canvases based on what she sees when she closes her eyes. Apparently, as shown by her #4, she sees snowmen. Midge for some reason looks like Liz Lemon, although Liz would never do heroin. This scene feels slightly PSA, but Midge, a girl who has only gotten lukewarm reaction from audiences, is now a character both love and pitied. Out of pity, Don buys #4 and inadvertently supports her habit, the painting and the woman both inspire him.

Peggy also becomes ones of Don’s fairy godmothers, giving him inspiration twice. The most obvious instance is when Peggy reminds her ninja master of his own wisdom – ‘change the conversation.’ He disappoints her by being unable to change said conversation, but they’re smirking at each other later. She also drops a line earlier about how pointless it is to convince women to change brands. This line makes Don develop the idea that tobacco advertising is also pointless. The thankless work Don and SCDP have had to keeping and advertising Lucky Strike, the rules already in place against how to advertise it. Instead of fighting for Virginia Slims, Don types away, the caper music playing. He runs a full-page ad that makes Pete hold on to his toast. Nobody else pats him on the back with this move but Peggy.

Thanks to Don’s ad, Faye has to resign from her assignment at SCDP, in conflict with her firm wanting to keep cigarette accounts. Since they don’t work together anymore, they can go out in the open now. She also stakes her claim to him, telling him to have Megan make reservations. And she knows.

Also, Trudy puts her foot down, the women of CGC are uglier than the ones at SCDP, SCDP has an inexhaustible pool of good-looking receptionists, Joan still hates Lane, Sally’s addicted to creepy Glen, Betty’s addicted to Dr. Edna. Because of the latter items, for the first time in forever, Betty was better than Sally at something.


Seminal Television: Chinese Wall


Megan’s (Jessica Pare) place within the intricate plots of “Mad Men” is clearer now, although Wiener and his writers threw one or two curveballs even within a scene, turning it from job interview to seduction. Megan also implies her opinions on Don’s former secretaries, calling Peggy ‘Miss Olson’ – probably the first time I heard those words, and refers to herself as unlike Allison, not crying out of his office after the tryst. Obviously, she’s in his office the same way she thinks about Peggy being in his office. Than again some of us are wonder what would have happened if Peggy was in the office that late.

Don classifies the women in his life in two categories – an equal like Peggy and everyone else, the latter of which he treats as sexual beings. Will Megan be the happy medium between said groups?

Despite of other (conspiracy) theories, I’m one of the few people who think that she’ll be a copy writer. Megan’s gambling here since SCDP is at risk after losing Lucky Strike, but then these volatile conditions can motivate a few people like her to do what she has done.


Seminal Television: In Which I…


…predict what Don is actually gonna say for the first time.

ph. AMCTV

“Betty?”

“Yes?” Say thank you.

“Thank you.” Thank you. Maybe say that to Peggy next time you rip off one of her ideas, you douche.

Also, Sally looking like a little Drew Barrymore here. The best conversations happen with Don, on the phone, while the worst encounters happen in person, with people who have stunted family relationships. Not saying that Don and Betty don’t have that. Betty and Sally are lucky because can you imagine Henry allowing Sally to go to a rock concert?

McCarthyism has survived ten years after its peak. If I was Don, I would have ridden it out till they actually caught me, but he couldn’t take that risk just because G-Men wanted to know if he was a communist.

It’s funny seeing Don and Betty being a sort of ‘team’ again, looking out for each other 18 months after their divorce. I don’t necessarily think that they love each other with the same intensity as they used to. They have a secret code between two people – you don’t tell anyone what you’re told not to. Later on, she ironically asks Henry to not have secrets between them, hoping she won’t make the same mistake twice.

It’s surprising how that code worked on Betty and Pete, especially Pete since $4 million was at stake. I wish Don and Pete waited until the board meeting before they cut off ties with American Aviation to save Don’s neck. Burt also knows who he is. How will SCDP and Don survive after all of this?


Seminal Television: Beautiful Girls


Shot: Do not come out of there.

ph. AMCTV

Counter shot: I know!


Matt Weiner’s “A Single Don”


“More and more everyday about Vietnam. Hope it’s not another Korea.

ph. AMCTV

“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


Seminal Television: The Suitcase


ph. AMC

Peggy Olson (Elisabeth Moss) has nowhere else to go.  As the right hand woman of the Creative department in Sterling-Cooper-Draper-Pryce, she’s Don Draper’s (Jon Hamm) target of emotional abuse. Look at her alternatives, however. She is offered earlier in the episode to become a partner in an in-the-works new agency to be formed by Duck (Mark Moses), a worse-off alcoholic than Don. She can’t form her own agency – since Don gives her no credit, she’s unknown to clients. She can’t go back to being a secretary. And she isn’t the marrying kind – yet.

Don also tells her that she ‘should be thanking me along with Jesus for giving you another day.’ I shouldn’t give the ungrateful Don more credit, but Peggy  starting out as a secretary may not have pictured herself as a workaholic copyrighter. Don has helped spark Peggy’s love for advertising, and there’s a part of her that believes that. The hardest part about being the heir apparent is waiting for and watching the wrath and demise of the man who inspired her, and that’s the only way she can come out on top.

He also sarcastically apologizes for being partly why she broke up with her boyfriend.

Later on, they listen to a draft of Roger Sterling’s (Jon Slattery) autobiography, ‘Sterling’s Gold,’ where he reveals his struggle against Bert Cooper (Robert Morse) in the early days. They find a mouse and he reveals that his childhood was spent on a farm and that he’s a witness to his father’s death. Peggy opens up that she has the latter in common with him. Those are the few things the learn about each other as they strengthen their vulnerable relationship.

Enough erudition, I just wanna point out two things – as Allison would say, this happened. The picture below is the best I can do for the screen cap, sorry. For a self-confessed plain lookin’ gal, Peggy sure has a lot of guys fighting because of her.

And Peggy Olson stars in Where the Wild Things Are, and Don plays the James Gandolfini character, obviously.