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Posts tagged “Mad Men

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.

Seminal Television – Blowing Smoke


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.



“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.


Counter shot: I know!

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

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.

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.

ph. AMC

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 Chrysanthemum and…

ph. AMC

After Sally Draper (Kiernan Shipka) gets herself into a Robert Mapplethorpe kind of mess, her mother Betty née Hofstadt (January Jones) and Henry Francis decide to get her a psychiatrist. Trying the shrink, Dr. Edna, out, Betty theorizes that Sally’s bad behaviour has its roots on her father Gene’s death. Dr Edna leaves the room, revealing a doll house behind her.

Betty notices, smiles and restrains herself even in a private moment. I change my mind about Jones constantly, but her monologues never bore. Also notice how her body barely move an inch yet we feel those emotions through her face. Just like that I love her again.

And there’s some hot mess about a deal with SCDP and Honda. And Peggy rides a bike. I care too, but I don’t wanna overload you.

Seminal Television: The Rejected

ph. AMC

Yes, half of the cast of Mad Men was given the red stamp last Sunday, but I wanna talk about the half-rejected. Like the brassiere ad campaign that Pete Campbell (Vincent Karthesier) has to handle, which is contentious specifically because the print makes the model look Puerto Rican. As Pete says ‘I don’t care if she looks like a Puerto Rican. Puerto Rican girls buy brassieres.’

And Sharon, the black model Peggy Olson (Elisabeth Moss) meets in the youthquake. The girl’s parents don’t know. I’m really crossing my fingers that Peggy gets the ovaries to ask the girl to model for one of the products that SCDP work for. Don’s feeling risky this season, maybe he’ll bite too. Also double rejected in the room is Joyce, brushed aside both by Peggy and Life Magazine.

Also, the secretaries of SCDP took their powder room problems to this focus group. What went wrong here? Smaller sample size? Also reminding everyone that Peggy has been a part of focus groups like this too. When she was on the secretaries’ side of the mirror, she managed to wow Freddy. I guess girls like Peggy only come a generation. Allison’s problem is not her problem indeed.

White boys get rejected too. Ken Cosgrove (Aaron Stanton), who, despite of his great client list, rejected in SCDP ‘s inception. It’s funny seeing and listening to him being the abrasive one, since that’s pretty much Pete in 1963.  Ken’s over it though, telling Pete about the ‘the worst…retards in the same room’ of McCann Erickson. In between those superlatives, he tells Pete about his mother being a nurse, Ken representing the other half of SCDP who isn’t born with a silver spoon.

Moral lessons suck, but I like Joyce, Sharon and Ken’s getting-there survival stories, becoming the unsung heroes of this episode.

Seminal Television: The Good News

ph. AMC

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.

Seminal Television – Christmas Comes But…

Uh-oh, these guys. ph. zxfactor via burgundyshoes. Enjoy Mad Men tonight!

Seminal Television – Public Relations

Sorry this was late. Peggy: yay or double yay? ph. zxfactor/ Burgundy Shoes

Seminal Television – Community

Screw the Sopranos series for a while. Here’s Abed as Don Draper via SUNNY1 from Jezebel.

ph. NBC

Have fun watching Mad Men tonight at 10 on AMC! And boy did Peggy’s hair change.

Seminal Television: Mad Men…

video via LUXXX from theFashionSpot

What can I say, I’m a whore for page views.

I just gotta say that a) Still on the fence with JJ, and I don’t wanna sound like hating her if I’m gonna start liking her by July again. It’s too confusing for me and 22 of you. Jon Hamm takes the spotlight though.

b) I had to watch this the second time to see the lady playing Carla.

c) I wish the guy who played Burt Petersen was there.