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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This Week in Irresponsible Mad Men Recaps: Where’s My Betty Draper Hysterics?
October 20, 2009

Responsible Mad Men recapping blogs probably try and follow the narrative arch of the episode, and they’d probably delve a little more into the fact that Sterling Cooper is once again up for sale, which makes Lane Pryce sad and his wife very happy.  I am not that blog.  Now let’s do this thing irresponsible style!

So Paul Kinsey was intimidated by Peggy and her keen improvisational skills, and then he got too drunk while working on his Western Union account.  This taught us all the important lesson that you should always write down the brilliant ideas that you have when you’re drunk so you don’t forget them.  If he had written it down, we’d have instead learned the equally important lesson that the brilliant ideas that you have when you’re drunk are never as brilliant in the sober light of day, but that’s neither here nor there.  Anyways, Peggy fortunately used his screw up to save him, and I was I left baffled that telegrams were something people still actually used in 1963.  Also, maybe it’s just me and my love of all things of questionable taste, but Aquanet is doing wonders to Peggy’s hair.  

In other plot lines, Don’s relationship with Suzanne Farrell unfortunately continues to happen:

don draper suzanne farrell do not want

I find this plot to be like the narrative version of Ipecaca, and I blame this largely on the fact that Ms. Farrell hasn’t once seemed interesting enough to warrant such of devotion.  A scene with a Maypole, a drunk dial, and a few lines of straight up crazy is all it takes to have Don Draper all up in your lady business in a serious sort of way?  I’m deeply unimpressed with the both of them.  And the fact that the writers continue this charade.

The lone silver lining to their bumping uglies, though, came in the form of Suzanne’s epileptic brother, Danny, who was helped by Don to do what else?  Pull a Don Draper.  That’s just him being philanthropic by sharing his secret to happiness and success: it comes from running away from the unpleasant parts of your identity.  Or, in Don’s case, all of it.  You may be constantly haunted by your past and incapable of genuine human intimacy, but at least you’ll get signing bonuses and shiny awards at the fortieth anniversary Sterling Cooper parties.  Fair trade, I’d say.

And speaking of fortieth anniversary Sterling Cooper parties, Trudy Campbell’s party ensemble was some kind of wonderful:

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The Mad Men Recap Where the Internet Threatens to Collapse in on Itself
August 31, 2009

As per usual, last night’s Mad Men was par spectacular.  Certain things, like Betty and Don’s ever tumultuous relationship, remained the same.  For example, Dan solves his distaste for Roger Sterling’s blackface performance by making himself an Old Fashioned and cryptically discussing his past with a bartender.  Meanwhile, a silverfox by the name of Henry Francis flirts with Betty at Roger Sterling’s Derby Day party; naturally, she does the only the only polite thing to do if you’re a married, pregnant, and fending off advances from another man: Shoot him the ol’ fuck-me eyes.  That’s just proper social decorum when you think about it, and Joan would probably remind us that Emily Post says so.    They fight when Betty realizes Jane drunkenly reveals that she knew about Betty and Don’s split, Roger gets called out by Don for being a tackyass who flaunts his embarrassing marriage, then Betty and Don hug.  With all that drama, it’s no wonder that Sally turning into a thieving lesbian.

Fortunately Trudy Campbell continued her wearing-the-best-hats streak, and then she and Pete did the Charleston:

My goodness how a dancing Pete Campbell GIF can make everything better.  Right?  Right.

We also discovered that nothing changes the uncomfortable conversation of screwing up a surgery like Joan playing the accordion.  Really, it was amazing, and just another reason to remind us that she’s the World’s Second Greatest Joan.  Her husband is the undeniably the worst, and it’s quite heartbreaking to see her trapped in a marriage that amounts to little more than a case of Stockholm Syndrome that substitutes marital “obligation” for sympathy, but she seems like the character most primed to benefit from The Feminine Mystique (which we all know came out in 1963), so I optimistically suspect that this situation will eventually turn around.  I mean, seriously:

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