Tag Archives: Sterling Cooper

Mad Men 3.6: “Guy Walks Into an Advertising Agency” but he ain’t walking out, is he?

Quick question.

If there was ONE thing you had to pick that was most memorable about this episode, what would it be?

Sally’s barbie doll in the bushes?  Probably not.

Conrad Hilton summoning  Don to the presidential suite at the Waldorf-Astoria? Nope.

Don getting an old-fashioned shave with a flat razor? Definitely warmer…

Let’s see, umm, Oh, I know!  Going out on a limb here (hee hee), but I’m going to predict it’s this…

Cake, anyone?

Yeah, definitely Guy McKendrick getting his foot sliced off with the John Deere lawn mower during Joan’s going-away party.  Nailed it. (update: animated gif now up at Gif Party.)

So let me just take a second here to say…HO-LEEE MEGA-CRAP! That’s a Hard Right Turn right there, folks, and most definitely a candidate for the Mad Men’s most shocking moments board on the AMC Mad Men page.

And secondly, I think it’s safe to say that Lois and machinery do not mix well, hmm?  Last week she got her scarf caught in the xerox machine.  This week, well, here’s another take on the moment…

Guy McKendrick gets a lil' surprise

Okay, maybe I went a bit far with the dialogue from the guy in the background, but…he’s smiling, people. C’mon.

And there’s a lesson here.

The next time your Brit bosses make you work on July 3rd because they “were unaware of the holiday” then you remind them of a little thing called the Revolutionary War and you make it hurt. Because that’s the American way.

So what happened to Lois?  Well, her getaway ended up like everything else she attempts: a sadness parade.

How to get fired from your job (part 2).

Lois invents open office architecture (unknowingly, of course).

Peggy faints into Pete’s arms (interesting) and Ken yells for someone to call an ambulance.

Joan runs in and saves Guy’s life, proving once again she’s the greatest office manager in the world. Speaking of…

Joan can’t be leaving Sterling-Cooper, right?  Say it isn’t so, Weiner and sons!  She’s got skills, spunk and she’s got a heart, considering she’s the only S-C employee who bothered to go to the hospital, until Don shows up, right?  Yes, a big heart, until the writers remind us that there’s no tragedy too big not to be openly mocked by these people (as long as it’s a well-crafted joke, of course; there’s no points for poor wordplay), so Joan pouts about her dress being ruined from Guy’s blood and then makes a joke about how that’s life: you may have a great day or you may have a secretary run you over with a lawn mower.

Too cruel, you say? Tell that to the nuns in St. Patrick’s Cathedral (which is, btw, the church spire that is visible from Roger Sterling’s window, although that’s probably artistic license because his office is not high up enough to have that view).

This is New York.  People lose their feet every day. Whatayyawant me to do about it?

It should be noted that Roger delivered the first, and awesomely best joke about the gimp…

Paul: He may lose his foot.

Roger: Just when he got it in the door.

Didn’t even skip a beat.  Then he calls Harry Crane a “Sissy Mary,” which is like winning the Masters two years in a row. The Masters being a golf tournament, which is something Guy McKendrick will never participate in, according to his boss Powell…

Powell: The doctors said he’ll never play golf again.

And that is the measure of a man, isn’t it?  His golf game.  Actually, it’s more the golf course; that’s where the deals are made, and no one wants to play golf with the club-footed guy.

Yet another reminder about the importance of style and presentation in this world. It is the surface of a man that must be flawless and inspiring, even if it covers over the darkest of secrets. Just like a glossy ad in a magazine or a television commercial populated with actors who flash rows of teeth bleached to the grit.

(Note: Powell’s full character name on imdb is listed as Saint John Powell.  I thought he was being called Sinjun Powell, didn’t you?  Or is Sinjun short for…Saint John?  Who the f names their kid Saint John?!)

While we’re on the topic of the Brits, let’s discuss that miserable Michael York-looking bastard, Harold Ford.

Ford = York

Coincidence?

Ford’s got a cuckoo clock for a heart and getting his jaw wired shut was elective surgery.  He practices sneering in the mirror for ten minutes a day. Eleven on Sunday. When he told Lane Pryce “One of your greatest qualities is doing what you’re told,” I wanted to smack the pomp out of his circumstance.  Or worse, deny him his afternoon tea, which would probably make him melt into the floor like The Wicked Witch of the East.  Add to that Powell telling Pryce “Don’t pout” after ordering him to move to BOMBAY and once again on Mad Men, we suddenly feel sympathy for a character that we previously thought was a class-A dick.

I now want Lane Pryce to remain at Sterling Cooper, just long enough to see Powell, Ford, Putnam, Lowe, Shakespeare, Wernham and Hogg burn, baby, burn.

And talk about two guys who know how to give a present: that shriveled up Cobra in a cheap wooden basket?  That’s one you want to have under your arm when you cross a bouncy threshold. And did Powell actually say to Peggy “As you were” as if he were her superior officer in the service?

Does the party ever stop with these Brits?

And notice how Guy McKendrick called Don’s department “Creative Art and Copy” thus reducing it to doodles and captions. I mean, if that’s what you’re looking for, Jude Law Jr., then I’ve got it all cued up for you …

Guy, pre-getting his foot sliced off by a lawnmower driven by Lois the secretary with styrofoam for brains.

Guy, pre-getting his foot sliced off by a lawnmower driven by Lois the secretary who has styrofoam for brains.

Guy…I’ve known Don Draper.  I’ve worked with Don Draper.  You’re no Don Draper.

And what else this week?

The wife-raper proved he was a failure…

Paging Doctor Lowered Expectations.

Paging Doctor Lowered Expectations.

…Betty’s still a bitch and an awful mother…

betty_bedbitch

"Only boring people get bored, and only new babies get love. Or, so my mother used to say. Before I strangled her for touching my hairbrush."

…and what the f*$k kind of Atomic-age doohickeys are happening here?

"I make-uh Mr. Draper feel-uh good with electric pizza dough rollers I invent back in Napoli."

"I make-uh Mr. Draper feel-uh good with electric pizza dough rollers I invent back in Napoli."

One last thing.

The Joan-Don goodbye: was that a “what could have been” moment or a “what WAS” moment? Drop your opinion in the Comments below.

Next week on Mad Men…incoherence.  Seriously, those previews are getting more Sopranos-rage-inducing each week.

It’s gonna be a long six days, Madison Avenue, so smoke ’em if you got ’em.  LOTS of ’em.

-Dan.

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Mad Men 3.5: “The Fog”

"Maybe she realized he's a sonofabitch."

Shortish post this week.  I wasn’t blown away by this episode; some nice moments but also some really clunky ones.

The writing felt very “on the nose” in several spots, and directing-wise, there were two techniques that reminded me more of The Sopranos than Mad Men: the quick-cut shot of Sally Draper wiping the blood on her cheek and Betty’s dream sequences.

Let’s hope Matt Weiner doesn’t throw in another “convenient” car crash and continue to Sopranos it up.

Staff Writer Kater Gordon got her first solo Written By credit on this episode (from the looks of imdb, she was a writer’s assistant until last season’s finale, “Meditations in an Emergency,” which she co-wrote with Weiner, the big dog) but I can’t say I’m currently a fan of hers, with dialogue like this…

Dennis the prison guard’s line about not bringing his work home with him felt too contemporary and obvious.  Then later, he says: “I’m gonna be a better man…Tell me you heard me.” Nice moment and a fine performance by character actor Matt Bushell — I just wish the dialogue got a polish.

Don: “Our worst fears are in anticipation.”  Recycled line! Why doesn’t Don just wear a t-shirt with these words printed on it?

Betty: “My water never breaks.”  Uhh…what now?

The elevator scene with Pete and Hollis, ugh!  Pete’s line about everyone having the American Dream.  Hollis’ response of “There’s more important things to worry about right now than TV” and “Every job has its ups and downs.” (They’re in an elevator, get it?!)

Ken: “What time is it?  What time isn’t it?”

Roger: “I should drop-kick you off the roof!”  (Even Roger can’t think of a better line than that?)

Betty’s mom: “You see what happens to people who speak up?”

Peggy: “You have everything.  And so much of it.”

With that said, we got a couple gems…

Pete: “Two months at Grey, you’re already having a nosh?”

And from one of Betty’s dream sequences…

Gene: “You’re a housecat: you’re very important and you have little to do.”

Oh, Gene, you chiding old palooka!

On that note, some visuals for ya’s, brought to you by the toolbar button on Photoshop that creates thought bubbles that I discovered at 1 A.M. last night…

And Pete arriving in three, two...

Awkwaaarrddd...

Awkwaaarrddd...

You got served! (on the topic of eggs)

"Integrate it!" (sad trombone)

"Integrate it!" (sad trombone)

"I should drop-kick you off the roof!"

The Three Horsemen of the Atherosclerosis.

There’s a lot of stuff I liked this week, but unfortunately I need to get back to the (cough) day job,  and snark always wins out over praise when you’re dealing with the Internets.  So I hope you enjoyed this diversion, and maybe I’ll get back here soon to add some kudos.

Meantime, fire away with comments!

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Mad Men 3.3: Roger goes blackface, Joan rocks the accordion, Peggy gets high and Sally Draper continues on the road to prison

Sally Draper: Future Criminal.

Is there any doubt now?

She drinks, smokes, lies, and now steals money from family members.

Okay, it was only 5 bucks, but still, her road to ruin is clear and has been well-documented.

And we’ve got a police cruiser showing up at the Draper household next week, as Sally deviously pets a stuffed animal on the porch.

With murder in her eyes.

Yes, it’s clear, and I’ll be the first to say it…

Little SallyDraper is going to kill Grandpa Gene.

Just look at this monster-in-the-wings…

Sally Draper: future criminal

Sally Draper: future criminal

The only question now is how?  Let us know your theory in the comments below.

But she’s not the only character this week who lapsed into Holy Shit Land.

We’ll get to Roger Sterling in blackface in a minute.

Apparently, Paul Kinsey’s college buddy (“Princeton, class of ’55”) is none other than Patrick Bateman of American Psycho fame…

Do you like Huey Lew-, I mean, grass?

Do you like Huey Lew-, I mean, grass?

But I guess I’m not the only guy to notice the resemblance, like the actor himself, Miles Fisher, who produced his own music video in which he plays Christian Bale and re-enacts scenes from American Psycho!

(btw, that video is not safe for work)

So did the producers give the actor the greenlight to just “do Patrick Bateman” in the episode?  I wonder.

Oddly, Miles Fisher (he gained fame doing the impression of Tom Cruise and his Scientology rant) is not listed in the imdb cast list for this episode; maybe because he is actually an axe murderer in real life.

No, that’s Sally Draper.  But I digress.

The POINT is…his character Jeffrey delivered some mary-jane to Paul and Smitty and they smoked it up (in big-headed Harry Crane’s office?) and then were joined by…Peggy.

Peggy getting high and then putting her new, matriarchal secretary in her place…just continued Peggy’s ascent to awesomeness.

But who wants to see Peggy and Smitty get together? How cute would they be as a couple?

They’re about the same size, and he’s already a beatnik and she’s obviously willing to go there…

EVIDENCE THAT PEGGY OLSEN IS ON
THE ROAD TO BEATNIK-DOM…

  1. casual sex
  2. weed
  3. Bob Dylan
  4. gay guy friend who does her hair
  5. drink of choice…COFFEE

Hello?!!!

Maybe Peggy will become the first female CEO to own an espresso joint in the village?  I sure hope so (fingers crossed).

Okay, time for an odd moment that stuck out for me since it felt like a break from the ‘reality’ of the Mad Men dramatic world: Joan’s song.

Vamp's got a squeezebox.

Cue playback!

The scene was a great idea and furthers the development of her marriage to The Rapist, but the sound of her obviously over-dubbed singing voice made it seem like one of those musical numbers that suddenly pop up in an old movie with Martin and Lewis, or the Three Stooges.  So it pulled me out for a second.

But, like everything else on this show…I will no doubt come to love it with my inevitable 4-5 more viewings.

And now, without further adieu…

Roger in blackface.

Definitely one of the biggest Holy Shit moments in Mad Men history.

And it really threw me as to why they would go there.  Had they run out of ways for their characters to be racist?

But I realized that what’s brilliant about this scene is that in case there was anyone out there who still liked Roger, or at least didn’t think he was (in Don’s words) “foolish”…they sure do now!  There’s just NO way to sympathize with him now.

Oh, mammy, please don't give me that inevitable third heart attack.

Yeah, he's really doing this.

This it top-notch buffoonery at its best, and we all know who’s the buffoon — a guy willing to dive into a wall, laughing all the way, convinced it’s a great idea.

Should we prep the E.R. now for Roger’s next, and possibly, last visit after one more run-in with a tray full of martinis?

So the Al Jolson impression sets up the confrontation between Don and Roger that they’ve been presaging since the beginning of this season, which in turn sets up a bittersweet ending to the episode — Don sees Roger and Jane having an intimate dance, and (in my interpretation) Don decides to let Roger have his “happiness” and to mind his own business.  Don has his woman, and she’s a great one that he should appreciate.

So Don and Betty kiss.  They, like us, know that this will not ward off all the demons coming down the road or make up for past mistakes but, for one moment, all is right with the world and the future looks bright.

Fade Out.

Oh, wait, THIS JUST IN! I just got off the phone with the Mad Men writer’s room and they’ve leaked the method that Sally will off Grandpa Gene…

Now THAT's a decline of the Roman Empire!

Image last seen in Sally Draper's diary.

Tune in next week and I promise you someone will die.

-Dan Draper, Jr.

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