Monday, August 16, 2010

Mad Men: Rejected?

Funny that the title of this week's Mad Men is rejected, as not all advances were rejected and some folks made progress.  Again, for a thorough review, see Sepinwall.  But for a few quick thoughts, see below the break:

"You can't tell how people are going to behave based on how they have behaved." -Don

Um, I never thought that Don would attack the fundamentals of my profession.  Well, he is now the voice of un-reason, so this can be expected.  Sepinwall makes the point that people change so the past is a poor indicator of future behavior.  But, well, I disagree.  Change does occur, but habits remain.  Why advertise at all if every decision is unrelated to past decisions?  Isn't the idea to get someone to build a habit and stick with it, like smoking Lucky Strike?

Jon Hamm is such a good actor--to watch his face as Allison fell apart in the focus group.  Draper does feel bad for what he has done, but has no clue about how to handle it.  Asking Allison to do the work of writing the letter of recommendation showed that--what he thought was a favor, she thought was insulting.  Indeed, Don being unable to grant recognition is a consistent theme of the show--Peggy has to drag it out of him, so does Pete.  Past behavior --> Present behavior.

We saw the lesbian hitting on Peggy miles and miles away.  Indeed, my daughter asked about gay-dar when I told her about the episode, but I realized that in the 1960's, Peggy would not have been thinking about lesbians when a woman was friendly to her (thinking hoofbeats mean horses, not zebras).  But in the 21st century, TV has trained us to reverse that--that friendly women are zebras and lesbians are horses--that in any TV show, it is more likely that a woman showing interest in another woman is a lesbian.  This is not true in reality, but we have learned in TV shows to expect exactly that the woman is a lesbian. 

But they seem to be fine once she made a joke, using a funny line that reminds me of what people have said about foreign aid renting and not buying politicians.

Funniest casting choice: the old lady who is now Don's secretary (did Joan choose her to punish Don or to prevent any more advances?) is apparently the actress who played the Karate Kid's mom (thanks, Sepinwall, I never would have caught that). 

Overall, a lively, interesting and funny episode. 

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