It’s a MotherTrucker to Irresponsibly Recap Mad Men in the Face of Historic Tragedy
November 3, 2009

While much of this season, from the utter shock of the John Deere accident to the abject horror of Peggy taking a roll in the hay with Duck Phillips, much of this season of Mad Men has been one surprise after the next; however, one thing that had been foreshadowed from the moment we saw Margaret Sterling’s wedding invitation flash across the screen was John F. Kennedy’s assassination.  Well, it finally happened in this past week’s episode:

mad men jfk assassination tv

While my irresponsible blogging instincts have me inclined to skip all the way past all of this quagmire of historical seriousness and get straight to the matching shoes and dress Trudy was going to wear to Margaret’s wedding before Pete decided he was kaput with Sterling Cooper (seriously, that blue was fabu!), I think the above image really sums up what this past week’s episode was actually about, which was watching television.

Seriously, if we weren’t actually watching archival news footage reporting on JFK’s assassination and the subsequent murder of Lee Harvey Oswald this past, we were likely watching someone watching news coverage.  While Don assured his kids that everything would remain the same, and Joan assured Roger that the world was still turning as usual, the near omnipresence of the television in this past week’s episode served as a reminder of how things really were changing in the 1960s, and how integral a part television (and particular televised news) would play in this cultural shift that has led to our current era of media oversaturation.

There’s something so antiquated yet prescient about being reminded of a time where news didn’t travel by Facebook or 24-hour news network.  Added to that, seeing the phones at Sterling Cooper go dead from the overload was comically surreal in that it was like seeing 1960s version of Twitter go down, but nobody turned to Western Union telegrams to vent their frustration.

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Mad Men Brings the Sexual Intrigue/Grossness. Oh, and Let’s Not Forget the Chaise Lounges.
October 1, 2009

I think the best way to start this week’s (much belated) Mad Men recap is by appreciating the perfect perfection of this still:

don draper face-plant

Huzzah.  Yes, today’s moment of embarrassment comes as a result of Don make the smart decision of hopping in his car with a tumbler full of whiskey, picking up two seemingly innocent ne’er-do-wells, pops a couple phenobarbitols, has a hallucination of his awesomely white-trash father:

archie whitman awesomely white trash

And then the two kids beat up Don senseless and take his money.  Given his self-destructive recklessnes, Don seems to be an ad man on the verge of a nervous breakdown.  Perhaps I should muster up some sympathy, but instead I’ll just relish how–as a single image decontextualized from the narrative itself–the Don Draper post-face-plant picture is pure comedy gold.  GOLD!

But it was just Don making bad decisions this episode.  Oh no no no.  Peggy was in the bad decision business as well:

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The Mad Men Super-Gigantic, Three-for-One Recapapalooza
September 22, 2009

Oh man, y’all.  I get a little bit tardy (for the party) with keeping my blog promise, and then Sunday night’s episode happened, which was the usual Mad Men greatness.  Until the end, which was easily the ballsiest (and most utterly insane) television Mad Men has put forth thus far.  I’m tempted to prematurely insist that this episode was a game changer for the show, but I’m getting way ahead of myself.

Before we talk about the crazy, let’s go quickly recap the highs and lows of the past three episodes.  A blog promise is a promise, after all, which means we have to discuss things like jai alai, the sport that Regina George would have a few choice words for if she worked at Sterling Cooper:

regina george jai alai

Maybe it’s the fact that any discussion of sports is inherently a discussion I don’t care about, or maybe it’s just that choosing such an obscure sport felt like an incredibly forced way of depicting Horace as spoiled to the point of delusion, but I was not having the jai alai plot.

Fortunately, when Mad Men tries to get all sporty and butch on me, they give us Sal talking about his vision for the Patio commercial:

Sal gets so excited about Ann-Margret that he starts camping about his bedroom.  Kitty makes a sad-face that is totally heartbreaking.  What’s not to adore about this scene? Oh, that’s right: NOTHING!

Also, behold what happens when Pepsi’s bad-idea ad baby shimmies and shakes its way out of the womb:

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