Mad Men

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flipp525
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Postby flipp525 » Mon Sep 01, 2008 4:58 pm

Sabin wrote:I can't wait to dive into Season Two.

Too bad you missed the Season 2 marathon they did last night leading up to the latest episode, although I'm sure AMC will do another one before the season ends.
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Postby Reza » Mon Sep 01, 2008 9:56 am

Damien wrote:The recreation of both the look AND the mores of the period is astonishingly good.

This is the first thing one notices about the show.

Just started watching and I'm hooked. What a pleasure to watch an intelligent show on tv.

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Postby Sabin » Mon Sep 01, 2008 3:17 am

I just devoured 'Mad Men'. It's one of the best things I've ever seen. I can't wait to dive into Season Two.
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Postby Damien » Wed Aug 27, 2008 12:15 am

I just caught up with this fascinating episode. Like Flipp, I find all of a sudden that I'm fascinated by Bobbie -- so much unexpected nuance in her character.

Don's having to call Peggy shows how inconvenient life was without ATM and a plethora of credit cards (presumably the Stoney Broook polce department didn't take the Diner's Club).

The look of the episode and some of the acting -- particularly in the Pete and Trudie argument -- struck me as highly stylized, and having the feel of an early '60s Hollywood melodrama.
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Postby kaytodd » Tue Aug 26, 2008 8:03 pm

Mister Tee wrote:From Pete's answer to the doctor about fathering a child, I see no evidence he has a clue about Peggy's baby.

This could make for interesting developments. When he found out his wife Trudie (Alison Brie is gorgeous!) was unable to bear children, Pete said that was OK, telling her about the benefits of their being a childless couple. It seemed like he really meant it, that he was not just trying to comfort Trudy. He is obviously a self-centered person. It would be in character for him to think of the financial and leisure benefits of not having children while his wife is anguished over this.

But...what if he finds out he has fathered a child and the mother is someone he is close to every day? How would he react? Would he try to be a part of Peggy's life in some way? Would he want to ditch his rich wife?




Edited By kaytodd on 1219799043
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Postby flipp525 » Tue Aug 26, 2008 1:24 pm

Rather than demonstrating Peggy's ruthlessness, I viewed her calling Don by his first name as a recognition that they were now on equal footing, obviously not with respect to positions on the totem pole, but in the greater sense of their mutual respect and, more importantly, trust of each other. Don respects that Peggy has shown initiative in the past and has rewarded her. She's proven time and again that she's earned it.

Also, he had just chided her for being late with her assignment in front of the others, even though he knew she had been taking care of his girlfriend and sacrificing sleep. The "Don" moment, to me, was a reinforcement of what she had said in the police station earlier in the episode, something about not treating her badly because she might remind him of his misstep.

The episode set up a certain parallel between Bobbie and Don, with Bobbie clearly representing the female version of Don. Bobbie climbed the ranks, escaped an abusive past and has clearly reinvented herself as a Hollywood power player. The difference is, unlike Bobbie, who is all about about negotiation and doesn't do anything without some sort of bargaining chip in mind, Don sought Peggy out at her lowest point in life for no other reason than that he cares for her on a different level than any other female in his life. It was also on the tails of learning his brother had committed suicide, so I think he was especially concerned about letting another person in his life succomb to a similar fate. Peggy seems to be the one person in the office in which Don sees himself most reflected.
"The mantle of spinsterhood was definitely in her shoulders. She was twenty five and looked it."



-Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell

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Postby Mister Tee » Tue Aug 26, 2008 1:08 pm

I have to say I wasn't crazy about the accident itself -- closing his eyes while driving on a windy road seemed way too foolish for Don -- but the repercussions were fascinating.

Given a few seconds to think about who Don would call, I first thought Roger, but then figured they were a bit on the outs after the American Airlines thing. The way the shot focused first on female feet, I thought it was Joan, which seemed a catastrophic choice -- but then it turned out Peggy, which seemed obvious in retrospect, and then moreso when we got the flashback.

My wife thought it was a bit ruthless of Peggy to call Don by his first name at the moment she did -- not because she didn't rate using the name (all the guys, her peers, already do, and it seems only sexism and the residue of his having been her boss have kept her from it), but because her doing it at a moment when Don's testicles were in her grasp made it feel "I dare you to correct me" opportunistic. She's obviously taking Bobbie's advice (best Bobbie episode by far, by the way), but might have marginally damaged her relationship with Don.

From Pete's answer to the doctor about fathering a child, I see no evidence he has a clue about Peggy's baby.

It seems there might be more to come about Peggy, her sister and the as-yet-unassigned baby.

Hilarious that Don's lie to Betty means he has to eat (to him) bland food. "Because we love him" was a wonderful fade-out line.

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Postby flipp525 » Mon Aug 25, 2008 7:52 am

The connection between Don and Peggy is one of the most interesting relationships on this show and this episode mined that dynamic in order to produce an exquisite hour of television, one of the best of the series. "The New Girl" is right up there with "The Hobo Code" and "5G" from last season for me.

This show is so subtle and well-crafted, that the rest of the hour was almost telegraphed from the moment the audience saw that it was Peggy who Don had called to come to his rescue. From the season premiere, it was pretty safe to assume that Peggy had let Don in on her troubles, and this was an excellent way of confirming that fact as well as giving us a flashback to that interim period of Peggy's life we had missed out on.

Don telling Peggy she would be surprised at how easy it would be to forget all that had happened to her was fascinating. "It will shock you how much this never happened." Don, more than anyone else in Peggy's life, knows exactly how to compartmentalize the past. What he didn't tell her is that it can come back to haunt you when you least expect it. And it would seem now that he is partly responsible for the fact that she barely acknowledges her child or her time in the hospital.

The Peggy/Bobbie scenes were very well-done -- fabulous dialogue and a palpable sense of discordance. I wasn't really interested in the Bobbie character before this episode, but now I'm seeing some hidden depth. She's starting to grow on me. Loved her desire to literally recreate the beach scene in "From Here to Eternity" with Don.

The transition from Pete in the bathroom at the doctor's office to Roger Sterling paddling away was sheer genius. Editing with a sense of humor.

And what was up with Anita being pregnant also? Did she lose her baby and then take up Peggy's as a replacement? I love how this show is like an onion, slowly revealing new layers with each installment.




Edited By flipp525 on 1219673742
"The mantle of spinsterhood was definitely in her shoulders. She was twenty five and looked it."



-Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell

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Postby flipp525 » Wed Aug 20, 2008 1:53 pm

kaytodd wrote:
flipp525 wrote:Why has Robert Morse's character devolved into a doddering old fool? He seemed so together and wise last season.

I noticed it in the first episode. I don't think he was in the second episode at all. I hope the 67 year old actor is not ill.

I thought a good way of showing that he still has at least an ounce of his sharpness left would have been for him to say, after the secretary came in to announce the arrival of the American Airlines people, "Hey, didn't I fire you yesterday? Get out!" Especially, after Don had assured the poor girl that Cooper wouldn't remember firing her the next day.
"The mantle of spinsterhood was definitely in her shoulders. She was twenty five and looked it."



-Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell

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Postby kaytodd » Tue Aug 19, 2008 10:40 pm

flipp525 wrote:Why has Robert Morse's character devolved into a doddering old fool? He seemed so together and wise last season.

I noticed it in the first episode. I don't think he was in the second episode at all. I hope the 67 year old actor is not ill.
The great thing in the world is not so much where we stand, as in what direction we are moving. It's faith in something and enthusiasm for something that makes a life worth living. Oliver Wendell Holmes

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Postby flipp525 » Tue Aug 19, 2008 8:46 pm

Finally got around to watching this episode. I came home from vacation with a TiVo line-up of such varying fare as four episodes of The Young and the Restless, men's synchronized diving (um, hello there, David Boudia!), and the season premiere of The Hills. Yet, it was Mad Men to which I ran first.

This episode was strangely paced and felt rather disjointed to me, but I still found several things I liked. Peggy's storyline was easily the most interesting. And yes, kaytodd, her sister is a vile gargoyle who seems aghast that Peggy gets to continue her rise to the top at the ad agency and in her mother's eyes while she's stuck raising her baby and dealing with what looked like a lazy, fat husband (did he really have a bad back?). The last exchange between Peggy and the priest was very well-done. Did anyone else recognize Colin Hanks?

I very audibly gasped when Don shoved Betty. Their marriage seems like the kind that if either of them decided to one day scratch the surface of it, the whole thing would come tumbling down like a game of Jenga. Betty's protestations that she's tired of staying home all day with the kids (why aren't they in school?) leads me to think she's going to start to stray somehow. Wasn't BUtterfield 8 mentioned earlier in the season? She's bored and almost relentlessly horny.

Frankly, I'd prefer that the Bobbie subplot die. I was annoyed that he gave into her "seduction" yet again this week.

Why has Robert Morse's character devolved into a doddering old fool? He seemed so together and wise last season. I still think his buddy Ayn Rand needs to make a guest appearance.




Edited By flipp525 on 1219258374
"The mantle of spinsterhood was definitely in her shoulders. She was twenty five and looked it."



-Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell

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Postby Mike Kelly » Tue Aug 19, 2008 5:58 pm

I was a BMT "West End" commuter back at time this series takes place.

While watching the show I kept asking myself why Father Gil looked familiar. He could have been Dylan Baker's brother. When the credits rolled and I saw he was Tom Hanks's son, Colin, whom I've seen in several films (King Kong, etc.), I said "of course." The hairstyle threw me off. I'm constantly amazed at the attention to detail on this show.

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Postby Damien » Mon Aug 18, 2008 11:47 am

I loved your wife's theory, Todd, and went into last night's show looking for her to be vindicated.

I had an aunt who lived in a middle class section of Brooklyn, and although she was more sophisticted than Peggy's family -- an unmarried nurse, she would travel to Europe and go to the theatre -- I have to say the show got the milieu of that time and place down perfectly. And Fr. Gil is a perfect character for this, the year of Vatican II.

My favorite amazingly accurate piece of period detail -- Peggy saying she had to catch the BMT. Back then, the New York subway system consisted of 3 independent systems, and unlike now when a train is known by its number or letter, back then you's take the BMT, IRT or IND local or express.

And anyone have any thoughts on Jimmy Barrett's wife and Don's son having the same name -- Bobbie/Bobby?
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Postby Mister Tee » Mon Aug 18, 2008 9:23 am

I have to say, kaytodd, I really found your wife's theory interesting...but, as you say, it appears off the table now.

For an ex-Catholic like myself, this show was gold. "That was lovely, Father -- now, do you want to say grace?" and "The sermon's the only part of the Mass in English, but it's sometimes hard to tell" go in the all-time recovering Catholic scrapbook.

What a vile act by Peggy's sister. The only honest sentence she uttered was when she asked, What about me?

Don Draper does awful, traitorous things to his family, but on some level he's a man of real honor. He still feels the sting of letting down Mohawk, and for it to have been all for naught is deeply disillusioning to him. Add to that: Sterling failing to see it his way marks the first real breach between the two, depriving him of his most steadfast ally. Is Don one of those guys who one day later in the decade gets in his car, drives to Big Sur and joins a commune from disgust with the rat race?

"Let's pretend we know what 1963 is like" is a wonderfully ironic line for the show -- given that we know 1963 will bring some of the jolts (King's march, JFK's assassination) that will change America significantly, and make our characters' lives hugely different.

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Postby kaytodd » Sun Aug 17, 2008 10:30 pm

Looks like my wife's theory about Bobbie is wrong.

Good episode tonight. I think Don and Duck are going to have a very serious conflict soon. It is good that Duck wants to take big risks for big rewards but Don is an old school type that did not like the risky move with their airline accounts. He has to be especially upset after what happened tonight. Duck has to do something that pays off big for the firm soon or Don will move against him (of course, we do not know what contributions Duck made during 1961). It will be interesting to see what Sterling and Cooper do in a Don vs. Duck situation.

Sterling decided to be with a hooker when his partners and all of his employees were dealing with the crisis. I wonder if his heart attack last season changed how he looks at work vs. life's pleasures.
The great thing in the world is not so much where we stand, as in what direction we are moving. It's faith in something and enthusiasm for something that makes a life worth living. Oliver Wendell Holmes


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