That was some Mad Men finale, wasn't it? If you haven't seen it yet, please stop reading now, because there was just too much going on for me not to just launch into some discussion.
OK, I'll wait until after the jump to really get into things. But, suffice to say, the end of season three left some characters going down a pretty well-determined path, but others have entered a sort of limbo state, where we don't quite know what their roles will be in season four.
(S03E13) It's a cold Friday, December 13, 1963. The President's been killed and the world as Don Draper knows it has pretty much fallen apart. For most of the season, the ground has been shifting under Don's feet and he's be holding on, trying to right himself and his life. He's tried with Betty. He's tried for Sally and Bobby and Gene -- at least as much as Don is able to try.
With Conrad Hilton he's never been on a level playing field, and from the moment he was forced to sign the contract, Sterling Cooper has not been his domain as it had been. With this episode, this season finale, all was changed and, perhaps, all has been righted. More after the jump.
(S03E11) Autumn in New York, why does it feel so inviting... That's a great song, and I thought of it while watching the opening of this episode, with the Draper kids all excited about Halloween. And there was also that chill in the air between Don and Betty. Actually, the icy glare was all Betts. She was off to see her brother about selling their father's home, but what was really on Betty's mind was the contents of Don's desk drawer. More on that and gypsy and the hobo, after the jump. By the way, this was a great Mad Men episode.
Conrad Hilton has become more of a headache to Don, and the way he's being played, he's very Howard Hughes-like to me. Eccentric, powerful, demanding and hard to read. For a master player like Don, it has been unnerving to have Connie pull his strings. Don doesn't like being a marionette.
Don wasn't the only one having his strings yanked. Lucky Strike, in the form of client Lee Garner, Jr., pushed Pete and Harry around, but it was Sal who suffered. And Henry discovered that Betty was more complicated than any Ossining housewife he ever knew. More after the jump.
There was a real conundrum for Mad Men last Sunday night. Did you watch the Emmys and see Mad Men win as Outstanding Drama Series or were you tuned in to watch latest episode from Season Three? Of course, most of you reading are DVR owners and could watch one live and record the other, but watching an award show after you know the winners is a little like watching sports when you know the results.
Well, if a Mad Men fan has missed any episodes this season, or if they're piled up on the DVR/Tivo queue, making you feel guilty for not keeping up, here's an out. AMC is going to show a Mad Men Season Three marathon on Sunday, September 27, starting at 10 a.m. All six episodes will air up to the premiere of the last, episode seven, at 10 p.m.
(S03E06) What do disappointment, opportunities and snakes have in common? They're all themes in this episode of Mad Men. The British, in the form of Powell, Ford and Mackendrick came to Sterling Cooper for a visit, but what that visit meant was anybody's guess. The visit wrecking holiday plans for the staff -- no Independence Day for you, colonists -- was obvious irony and true nonetheless. And the Guy walking into the ad agency, well, it would be a hollow joke after this tragedy. More after the jump.
(S03E05) Time is moving on and the time's are a-changing. Sally has had a difficult adjustment to the loss of Grandpa Gene, so much so that Betty and Don actually have to act like parents and attend to her needs. The family was a big part of the episode, not just the Draper family, but the Sterling Cooper family, too. More on the latest Mad Men episode and the changes after the jump.
But not all. Peggy, Smitty and Paul were stuck working on Bacardi at the office, but that wasn't a reason not to party. Peggy's new secretary, Olive, seems to want to be a surrogate mother to Peggy. She worries over her, much to Peggy's surprise. More on that later.
Jane was a source of irritation for Joan when she appeared at the office, and if looks could kill, Joan had her slayed. You could just tell it was one of those, "It could have been me moments" for Joan.
(S03E01) The more things change, the more they stay the same. Don has returned to Betty, the baby's on the way, but all's not right in Don's world. There's turmoil in the office and a current of unrest thanks to the British takeover of Sterling Cooper.
But if you hoped, or believed, that Don's sojourn to Los Angeles and his contemplation of another life was a wake-up call, think again. Don Draper remains Dick Whitman. A leopard doesn't change his spots.
I get it. Television is populated with pretty people and there are just some guys who are objectively hot (hellooooo, Jon Hamm). Generally speaking though, I'm not drawn to the Luke Perrys and Mario Lopezes of the world. I like quirky guys, and so while most of the dudes on this list aren't going to make it into the People magazine "Sexiest Man Alive" issue, they keep me tuning in every week (heh, that sounded totally dirty).
Follow me after the jump for the undercover hotties: ten guys on TV I secretly love.
With little fanfare, Don came back from California. He appeared at the riding club where Betty's breath was seemingly taken away by the sight of him. No explanation. No excuses. And with a new sense of power, Betty wasn't ready to welcome him home.
Don is in paradise. Sun, exotic music, a vision of a woman that looks like Betty, but she passes right by him. The devil appears in the form of Willy, the viscount. He's actually pimping out his daughter Joy, although we don't know he's her father till much later. Joy offers Don a way out, a beautiful life traveling to beautiful places, freedom at an epic scale, including the fact that she's not possessive. "You can have anyone you want," she tells him.
Of all the television shows he mentioned, though, there was one that was the most influential. "You can't have the '60s without The Twilight Zone. It is a mind opening experience for a generation," said Matt. "It was not just science fiction, it dealt with social issues. It's filled with the texture of real life. Just the idea of having a show every week where you don't know who is going to be in it and what it's going to be about, to have this acceptance of the fact that we don't know everything about the world. That in itself was something."
Going through The Twilight Zone episode guide, there are quite a few shows in which you can see where Mad Men could find inspiration. Here's four that reminded me of Don and Betty and Pete and Sterling Cooper:
(S01E13) "Who knows why people do what they do?" - Don
True story: About 20 years ago, I worked with a woman who was overweight. She wasn't feeling well one day - I think she had an upset stomach - so she left work and went to the doctor. She found out that she was 8 months pregnant. Not a month or two months, but about a month before the baby was due.
I thought of that tonight after watching the season finale of Mad Men. So many things answered and so many doors left open for a second season...
(S01E11) "I saw this one where the husband gets this girl pregnant, so he kills her ... you don't want to be that woman." - Rachel's sister, about Rachel's affair with Don.
Several episodes ago, after the episode where Don/Dick was reunited with his younger step-brother Adam, we all wondered if Adam would reappear. Had we seen the last of him? Would he cause more trouble for Don? Would he show up in the season-ending cliffhanger? Those questions were answered in the very first minute of tonight's episode, as Adam gives the hotel clerk a package to mail to Don and then promptly goes to his room and hangs himself.
I was not expecting that.
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