Monday, April 2, 2012

TIME IS NOT ON YOUR SIDE:  Betty's unhappy. We get it. Don (and the rest of SCDP) are on the wrong side of the youthquake. We get it. Pete believes he's more important than Roger and wants everyone to know it. We get it. Harry doesn't like being Thinner Harry. We get it. Matthew Weiner was pretty sure last summer who the Republican nominee would be this year, and isn't a fan. We get it.

Hopefully, we'll look back on this episode of Mad Men as one which quietly set a lot of interesting balls in motion, but my immediate reaction is "this is why not every hour of television merits an immediate reaction," because in the wake of an intense, plot-filled return to Westeros last night, that felt weak.


  1. The comparison couldn't be more stark (pun intended!) between the two shows last night. I dvr both of them and opted to watch Mad Men first. I'm glad I did because watching Weiner hit me over the head with this "everything is changing" episode would have bored me to tears after all the machinations on Game of Thrones.

    I still love Mad Men and am hoping for less Betty next week. She's always been a drag on the show, out there in Westchester. And the show did answer one of my office's lingering questions: How old is Megan? 26, just like my mom was in 1966. But Mom was married with a toddler and an infant and going back to work as an RN at Roosevelt Hospital, not living the high life in a fancy apartment with a man 15 years older than her.

  2. This is another exhibit in my Grand Unified Theory of Mad Men, which holds that the excellence of an episode is:

    1.  Directly proportional to the amount of Joan.
    2.  Inversely proportional to the amount of Betty.
    3.  When neither Joan nor Betty play a prominent role, excellence remains possible (e.g., The Suitcase).

  3. Joseph J, Finn10:17 AM

    Best Betty episode since the trip to Italy.  I'm a loner on this, but I like looking at how fundamentally screwed up Betty is, what with her parents, her ex-husband, her inability to give a damn aout her kids and her wasted potential.

  4. Andrew10:33 AM

    I think #2 of Matt's Grand Unified Theory should be inversely proportional to (the amount of Betty divided by the amount of Sally). The exception, of course, being Souvenir (where Don and Betty go to Italy.) So i guess it's actually inversely proprtional to the (the amount of Betty divided by (the sum of the amount of Sally and the amount that Betty is outside of the Northeastern US).

    And compared to Game of Thrones, this was not only a weak episode, but the act breaks were more jarring than ususal. Mad Men has never been a show that builds to act breaks -- as if Weiner is making a show for premium cable (or DVD and Netflix) -- and the act breaks just happen jarringly between scenes. It felt even more so immediately after watching the seamlessly engaging season two premier. 

  5. kd bart10:36 AM

    My prediction.  By the middle of season six, Harry Crane will be dropping acid in the office in an attempt to be young and hip.

  6. Also, why wasn't Peggy Olson at the Stones concert?  After all, she's Peggy Olson and she wants to smoke some marijuana!

  7. Duvall12:14 PM

    I would like to say that Jon Hamm can do no wrong, but - he did wrong.  Was there any reason that episode needed to be 64 minutes long?

  8. Anonymous12:50 PM

    Might have something to do with the Weiner/AMC negotiations. Weiner didn't want to cut his time to allow for more commercials, but acquiesed to allowing AMC to stuff it to over an hour. Pure speculation. I don't remember the details.


  9. Kind of off topic, but do the commercial breaks drive anyone else as crazy as they drive me? Do the writers not know how to write around commercial breaks? Or do they just not care? it's annoyed me since season 1.

    Rant over.

  10. Joseph J, Finn3:23 PM

    Mo Ryan said something about how he'll be the first guy in the 70's to be wearing gold chains over sweaters.  His midlife crisis is going to be a magnificent implosion.

  11. Other than being generally underwhelmed, my biggest peeve was the total caricature-ization of Roger.  He's always been the guy with the one-liners, but this episode seemed to be "how many times can Roger try to zing someone, while just sounding like a fool" way too much.

    But then...Zou bizou bizou....*sigh*

  12. Speaking of ads, I was a season behind.  Only the last two episodes of Season 4 were available on demand, so I watched the rest of the season via Netflix streaming, with no interruptions or problems.   Then the last two, On Demand...with "commercial" breaks.

    Why do I pay for cable again?

  13. Meh...I'm tired.  Actually forgot there was a new episode last night.  My comments were directed to the season premiere. 

  14. Nigel from Cameroon11:33 AM

    Generally agreed...I'm about as apolitical as they come but I thought the Romney comment was just cheap, if not cheesy. I do kinda like that Betty's not pregnant or sick, just fat.