Tuesday, September 14, 2010

More Mad Men Season 4 Thoughts

I've learned a lesson from "LOST": enjoy every single episode of your favorite shows because there will come a time when they are no longer on air. Some people were critical of last night's episode, and I am not one of them. Not every episode can be the Don/Peggy tornado of awesome acting that was last week's episode. That is an Emmy winning performance by both of them. This season has been fantastic, and might be the best yet.

This is a '60s show, and we now get some rocking music. I found the use of the Stones' "Satisfaction" as a nice contrast with Don. Don is a man of the Korean War, '50s era that is becoming that stuffed shirt, older man. He hates Ali, dislikes Namath, and his ideas work better in print (notice Peggy's questions about his suitcase idea). Great use of the anti-advertising verse from "Satisfaction". Tonight's episode used a camera device created in Hitchock's Vertigo with the zoom in-dolly out shot. They did this during Don's drinking at work scene. A bit artsy, and I was happy with it.

The two leads are Don for the boys and Peggy for the girls. Don is going through that be the superman, get knocked down, crash and hit rock bottom, then rebound and have the big comeback. It is the story of every "Behind the Music", some politician bios, and feel good Disney sports movies. Don is struggling, and you root for him to get back to being "Don Draper". I hope this season he finds center, and a season or two from now we see another pitch like the "Carousel" pitch. Peggy is fulfilling that arc I hoped she would of the woman who breaks glass ceilings, but can't have it all. This episode shows Peggy firing someone. She, a young woman, fires a man. It means something. It also reveals how she will now be considered a humorless bitch. She can't have it all. She can't 'save the day' for Joan and still be beloved, spunky Peggy to the others. It is beautiful, and I hope women who blazed the trails in the working world in the '60s and '70s watch this.

This episode unfortunately had Betty "Albatross" Draper in it. At this point, Sally Draper is more interesting and 3 dimensional. I would welcome father-daughter moments more than Don-Betty scenes. Another downside is any scene with Joan's dumbass husband. The guy is the ultimate fraud. Plays doctor but he was cut from the surgeon squad and then joined the Army because they'd let him be a surgeon. He is clueless with Joan*. He tells dumb stories, exudes creepiness, and raped Joan at work. Let's not forget that. He also has this stupid look on his face in between lines. His mouth opens slightly like he has a hot bit of food in it and needs to breathe over it to cool it down. Who cast this Princeton grad with a degree in biology?????

Keep it up Mad Men. I love you.

*I've already written myself in as a love interest for Joan like I used to with "Days of Our Lives", and I combined it with being Roger Sterling's bastard son that he employs at the firm where the two men never formally recognize each other until Roger dies. They should have given Joan a comparable age fling along with Roger who stays with the firm/show forever as she stays with Dr. Douche.

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