Mad Men's Final Season

For discussions of subjects relating to television and music.
User avatar
flipp525
Laureate
Posts: 5833
Joined: Thu Jan 09, 2003 7:44 am

Re: Mad Men's Final Season

Postby flipp525 » Thu May 15, 2014 10:12 am

I'm finding the Manson/Tate allusions uncharacteristically clunky for this show. We all know that there's a certain doom that's hanging over the world at this point in 1969, and Megan living not too far from Cielo Drive is obviously not by accident, but they presented even the character of Stephanie (smart, formerly in school) as Manson gang-lite. What's is all leading up to? Jessica Pare is just not strong enough of an actress to pull off whatever he seems to have in store for her.

Conversely, I loved the scenes of Betty in the kitchen spouting off at Henry, insisting that she's "comfortable" when she really has been presented as anything but.
"The mantle of spinsterhood was definitely in her shoulders. She was twenty five and looked it."

-Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell

Mister Tee
Laureate
Posts: 6526
Joined: Wed Jan 01, 2003 2:57 pm
Location: NYC
Contact:

Re: Mad Men's Final Season

Postby Mister Tee » Wed May 14, 2014 8:12 pm

Mike Kelly wrote: There's also a very quick tip of the hat to MAD Magazine, when the guys are cutting down Lou's comic strip idea, by saying he'll never be a Mort Drucker. Drucker was the artist that handled most of MAD's movie satires.

..and they quickly segued to Mort Walker, who drew Beetle Bailey, which they would have found immeasurably more square.

I laughed out loud at the lip-reading thing, but the joke was on me, as Ginsberg's situation became anything but funny. I think the show did a great job with Ginsberg over the past few weeks. His comments had always had an eccentric quality, but they'd been growing progressively odder of late -- finally exploding into clear schizophrenia. In a way, the show's creators put us in the position of Ginsberg's co-workers: in denial that he was slipping over some edge; trying to believe it was just him being his weird self. Heartbreaking to see Peggy and Stan's reaction to his being carted off.

On the other hand, Ginsberg's shouted "Get out while you can" has resonance in an office that seems to be breaking apart at the seams. It's great to see Don finally make an assured move, but I'm not sure where it's going to lead.

Mike Kelly
Temp
Posts: 256
Joined: Thu Jan 02, 2003 9:59 pm
Location: Melbourne, FL, USA

Re: Mad Men's Final Season

Postby Mike Kelly » Wed May 14, 2014 5:51 pm

Besides the weekly foreshadowing of the Manson/Tate murder, there was a clever nod to 1968's 2001: A Space Odyssey, when Ginsberg, feeling possessed by the new computer, is reading the lips of Lou Avery and Jim Cutler who are standing in the computer room out of earshot. The back and forth camerawork mirrors HAL's lip-reading of astronauts Dave Bowman and Frank Poole. There's also a very quick tip of the hat to MAD Magazine, when the guys are cutting down Lou's comic strip idea, by saying he'll never be a Mort Drucker. Drucker was the artist that handled most of MAD's movie satires.

User avatar
flipp525
Laureate
Posts: 5833
Joined: Thu Jan 09, 2003 7:44 am

Re: Mad Men's Final Season

Postby flipp525 » Tue May 13, 2014 10:06 am

So...that scene with Ginsburg's nipple was...disturbing. Most horrifying thing on this show since that lawnmower scene a few seasons back.

And who would ever have thought that Harry could be redeemed. This episode was very weird, but quite interesting.
"The mantle of spinsterhood was definitely in her shoulders. She was twenty five and looked it."



-Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell

Mike Kelly
Temp
Posts: 256
Joined: Thu Jan 02, 2003 9:59 pm
Location: Melbourne, FL, USA

Re: Mad Men's Final Season

Postby Mike Kelly » Fri May 09, 2014 7:27 am

Mister Tee wrote:Bert's lacerating of Don was vicious -- and brought me to think, Hey, Bert, what exactly do YOU contribute these days? We never see him doing anything but sitting around his office.


How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying. I miss Robert Morse's devilish imp from his bygone days.

Mister Tee
Laureate
Posts: 6526
Joined: Wed Jan 01, 2003 2:57 pm
Location: NYC
Contact:

Re: Mad Men's Final Season

Postby Mister Tee » Thu May 08, 2014 8:21 pm

Did anyone else have a sinking feeling when they announced "Only three more episodes" this season? I know AMC wanted to repeat the ratings coup they got with Breaking Bad's final rounds, but I think they picked the wrong show. Mad Men deals in wide dramatic arcs, and forcing things to reach a head in just a few more episodes seems counter to the show's appeal.

Lots of nice detail on this week's show (titled The Monolith, for those who hadn't seen -- the computer representing the coming of a new world just as much as the monolith did in 2001). And yes, for those who weren't around: they really were that big in the beginning.

Don taking up the Mets as his cause -- bequeathed by the "dead man" who left him his office -- feels hopeful, given where we know that hopeless team ended up come October. I have the sense Don/Peggy made up a little of the ground that had grown up between them, if only from realizing they're both being used by others. The final music -- the Hollies' "On a Carousel" -- was about two years off in time, so seems like it had to have been specifically selected to remind us of Don's Carousel Slide Tray pitch, one of his golden moments.

I don't know what kind of candy that was Don was eating, but Meredith was way ahead of her time warning Don he'd get fat if he ate it. People weren't quite as "eat that and you'll pork out" conscious in those days. (Besides, the drinking was apt to put him out of shape alot faster)

Bert's lacerating of Don was vicious -- and brought me to think, Hey, Bert, what exactly do YOU contribute these days? We never see him doing anything but sitting around his office.

User avatar
flipp525
Laureate
Posts: 5833
Joined: Thu Jan 09, 2003 7:44 am

Re: Mad Men's Final Season

Postby flipp525 » Wed May 07, 2014 3:08 pm

How interesting that Sterling Cooper & Partners can see the advantage of filing clients and potential clients past a giant room-sized computer to show how modern their thinking is, yet they can't dare allow an African-American receptionist to be seen at the front desk.

Also, was that a Hershey bar, of all things, that Meredith told Don to stop eating?
"The mantle of spinsterhood was definitely in her shoulders. She was twenty five and looked it."



-Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell

User avatar
flipp525
Laureate
Posts: 5833
Joined: Thu Jan 09, 2003 7:44 am

Re: Mad Men's Final Season

Postby flipp525 » Wed Apr 30, 2014 9:31 am

I liked the impending sense of doom Lou had immediately upon seeing Don in the office and his panic to assert he had a two-year contract.

I also liked that the partners tried to put all the various minor stipulations on Don, like the Lilliputians attempting to tie down Gulliver. None of them will hold, particular the one where he "reports to Lou."

Relationships in the office develop according to their own dynamic, and someone doesn't gain authority just because some manager draws a line on an org chart. When Don entered the office, his people (with the exception of Peggy) immediately fell right back into his orbit. Lou's jealously appearing at the door and dragging them away to the non-existent meeting was perfect and a harbinger of things to come. He's toast.
"The mantle of spinsterhood was definitely in her shoulders. She was twenty five and looked it."



-Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell

User avatar
flipp525
Laureate
Posts: 5833
Joined: Thu Jan 09, 2003 7:44 am

Re: Mad Men's Final Season

Postby flipp525 » Tue Apr 29, 2014 9:43 am

Mister Tee wrote:I shouted a number of obscene things at Peggy when she snapped off "We haven't missed you" at Don. Joan's cold-heartedness was also a surprise, but Peggy's venom went above and beyond. It's not Don's fault your life sucks right now (though I think Peggy blames him for Ted's departure).

I think there's also some residual anger towards Don concerning the way he handled the St. Joseph's campaign, tipping the client off that the firm was about to go over-budget thereby putting the full execution of hers and Ted's idea at risk. Then, pulling that stunt in the boardroom where he put their relationship in the spotlight for those who were already in the know. And, going back even further, Peggy is still pissed off that she is working with Don at all. As long as he's around, she's always going to be "Don's little protégé" not necessarily someone who's standing on her own terms. That's why she was giving stink-face after the two firms merged and she found her way right back under Don's shadow again.

What seems odd to me though was that in the final episode of last season, the show seemed to be intimating that Peggy would be stepping into the spot that Don was leaving vacant with his leave of absence. The way they had her sitting in his chair with her head tilted, almost mimicking the classic Don Draper silhouette of the opening credits. But that's really not where we found her character when the season began.

I'll be interested to see how Weiner brings those two characters back together. The show has always relied on that relationship at its core. I'm just remembering how many walls and barriers they broke through in "The Suitcase" a couple of seasons back, so there's a long way to go to get back.

Tee, the calendar on Peggy's desk read "31" so I'm imagining this episode was set at the end of March, about 6 weeks after last episode's Valentine's Day setting.
"The mantle of spinsterhood was definitely in her shoulders. She was twenty five and looked it."



-Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell

ksrymy
Adjunct
Posts: 1150
Joined: Fri Jul 01, 2011 1:10 am
Location: Wichita, KS
Contact:

Re: Mad Men's Final Season

Postby ksrymy » Tue Apr 29, 2014 12:07 am

Mister Tee wrote:(There aren't many cultural markers in 1969 that I can think of -- apart from Chappaquiddick and the moon landing in July, the Manson murders around August/September, and maybe the Miracle Mets in October)

Woodstock.
"Men get to be a mixture of the charming mannerisms of the women they have known." - F. Scott Fitzgerald

Mister Tee
Laureate
Posts: 6526
Joined: Wed Jan 01, 2003 2:57 pm
Location: NYC
Contact:

Re: Mad Men's Final Season

Postby Mister Tee » Mon Apr 28, 2014 6:51 pm

For those who didn't recognize the film Don was watching at the start of the episode (raising my hand!), it was apparently Demy's Model Shop (which was shown on TCM sometime in the past year or so, but is pretty obscure). IMDB says it opened in NY in February '69, so it fits chronologically. (There aren't many cultural markers in 1969 that I can think of -- apart from Chappaquiddick and the moon landing in July, the Manson murders around August/September, and maybe the Miracle Mets in October)

I shouted a number of obscene things at Peggy when she snapped off "We haven't missed you" at Don. Joan's cold-heartedness was also a surprise, but Peggy's venom went above and beyond. It's not Don's fault your life sucks right now (though I think Peggy blames him for Ted's departure).

I felt for Don throughout that half hour or so that he sat in the office, waiting to see if he was going to be cast aside (feeling radioactive from some of the treatment he got). Someone pointed out, the whole show was themed around rejection, with Don getting it from Megan (first time he's not been the romantic rejector rather than rejectee), and Betty wildly over-reacting to Bobby's probably innocent faux pas because it sets off feelings of rejection in her.

Was that blonde at the Algonquin a one-off oddity, or will she be back? Nifty sleight-of-hand, showing a door opening right afterward, leading us to believe Don was taking her up on her the offer, only to give us the scene with Roger.

Mister Tee
Laureate
Posts: 6526
Joined: Wed Jan 01, 2003 2:57 pm
Location: NYC
Contact:

Re: Mad Men's Final Season

Postby Mister Tee » Wed Apr 23, 2014 9:03 pm

Just loved the whole Don/Sally arc. The way he knew she was really hungry and wasn't eating just to spite him, so he knew he could order her food once they'd cleared the air. The casual, throw-off way she said "I love you" at the end -- she's probably said it a hundred times to him barely meaning it, but this time it went to his heart. (Especially since he'd said (in another context) earlier in the show, "Just looking for love")

Bert is casually racist because he's old. Lou, in addition to being a prick every which way, is a MEAN racist. ("I know you can't fire her...")

For those who've been waiting for Dawn to take a meaningful part in the show: rejoice. Hilarious/sad that she and Shirley do that scene of calling one another by the wrong names. How many times has it happened to them for real? (When they obviously don't look remotely alike)

Peggy is a mess. Hopefully she, like Don, will take some deep-breathing time and start to climb from the pit.

Did anyone think Don spying the cockroach, while drinking way early in the day, might have been meant to call up The lost Weekend?

Greg
Tenured
Posts: 2746
Joined: Thu Jan 02, 2003 1:12 pm
Location: Greg
Contact:

Re: Mad Men's Final Season

Postby Greg » Mon Apr 21, 2014 11:56 am

I think last night was a step up from last week. My favorite scene was Don and Sally and the restaurant bill.
"Wall Street is not the solution to our problem. Wall Street is the problem!"

Ronald Reagan, corrected

Mike Kelly
Temp
Posts: 256
Joined: Thu Jan 02, 2003 9:59 pm
Location: Melbourne, FL, USA

Re: Mad Men's Final Season

Postby Mike Kelly » Thu Apr 17, 2014 4:08 pm

Yes Tee - Lost Horizon's intro: "In these days of wars and rumors of wars - - haven't you ever dreamed of a place where there was peace and security, where living was not a struggle but a lasting delight?
Of course you have. So has every man since Time began. Always the same dream. Sometimes he calls it Utopia - - Sometimes the Fountain of Youth - - Sometimes merely "that little chicken farm."

As for the music, If they don't play the trippy In a Gadda da Vida, famously used in "Manhunter", there's that other 1968 release by The Chambers Brothers - "Time Has Come Today"

FilmFan720
Tenured
Posts: 3454
Joined: Thu Jan 02, 2003 3:57 pm
Location: Illinois

Re: Mad Men's Final Season

Postby FilmFan720 » Thu Apr 17, 2014 2:01 pm

flipp525 wrote:
ksrymy wrote:Okay. I'm either going to look like an idiot or a genius here, but I think Megan is going to go the way of Sharon Tate.

This idea has been ALL over the Internet for quite some time. There've been whole articles written about it.


Matt Weiner publicly said that was not going to happen last year. It also seems to be against so much of how Mad Men works...except for Hilton there hadn't been a real character on the show, and Weiner is more interested in how characters react to history rather than participate in it.
"Go into the world and do well. But more importantly, go into the world and do good."
- Minor Myers, Jr.


Return to “Broadcast Media”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest