Monday, May 14, 2012

PU PU:  Congratulations, Betty Draper: you're raising a daughter who can be as spiteful as you, but what happens when she directs her cutting questions back at mom? Once again, Sally Draper learns more about the adult world, and once more she finds out it kinda sucks.

No, "Dark Shadows" wasn't the greatest hour of the show, though I like the idea of Roger and Bert (and Don) trying to act again like the busy bees they once were. But this episode is a perfect demonstration of Matt's ratio of Mad Men success: this little Joan and Peggy (and Dawn), and that much Betty, usually leads to bad things, even if mitigated by the prospect of throwing a snowball at Hitler. I do wonder if the "Ugly Betty" plot is prompted by the actress' pregnancy rather than dramatic needs, because as a dramatic arc ... not doing it for me.

The smog is coming, so watch out.

added:  MZS: "Do you feel, as I do, that a lot of the fat Betty stuff this season feels like narrative piling-on, despite the thematic sharpness of aspects like the Weight Watchers meeting scenes? Don't the weight gain, the pills, the crushing loneliness, and that Henry Jamesian mansion of doom feel a bit like karmic payback for sins that are, in the greater scheme, a lot less grave than Don's? How do you solve a problem like Betty Draper?"

 Also: Is Season 5 using the tracks of Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band as a template?


  1. Anonymous10:29 AM

    Have to replace "Roger and Peggy" with "Roger and copywriter" as the recipe for success.  Roger usually gets all the quips, but, just as Ginsberg has outdone Don and Peggy on paper, he outquipped Roger in Roger's own office.  "Can you keep a secret?" "No." 

    Incidentally, I find the Joan stories to be just as depressing and momentum-arresting as the Betty stories.  Can't wait to see what Tom and Lorenzo think Don's casual polo outfit connotes. 

  2. Random thoughts while watching last night:
    - I can't believe that Sally Draper didn't already have crying on command down pat.
    - Favorite small joke of the night - Cooper pulling back his sleeve as if to look at his watch when Roger says he's divorcing Jane.
    - Loved that Peggy was a better bargainer than Michael with Roger.  Like, twice as good.
    - The tiki restaurant scene somehow brought to mind the restaurant scene early in The Apartment. I mean, I guess all 60s tiki restaurants look alike, but there was something really reminiscent there.

  3. Nigel from Cameroon10:52 AM

    I'm actually pleased there is so little Joan...mainly because the Joan-as-struggling-single mom storyline does nothing for me. And they haven't given her anything else to do.

  4. Did anyone else think Don's pitch wasn't very good? I thought it was silly when he was recording his thoughts in the devil voice and it seemed like both groups liked Ginsberg's idea more. I thought the arc was "Don has lost his fastball," but it did not go that way.

  5. I Know Someone Who Knows Someone Who Knows Alan McGee Quite Well3:54 PM

    "Loved that Peggy was a better bargainer than Michael with Roger.  Like, twice as good."
    Because it just follows, naturally, that the yidlach would be a better hondler. 
    (Don't forget that soon-to-be-ex-wife Jane got a new apartment out of her own deal with Roger.)
    Give Ginsberg a few months, and he'll be cutting deals with the best of them.  If Harry can get $1,100 cash just for switching offices...

  6. Watts4:06 PM

    Roger should have a conservator - like a starlet that's had a downward spiral.

  7. I really liked Roger's sad humanity when he left Jane's new apartment and realized what he'd done to her fresh start.  However, I do wish Jane would grow a backbone already - sure, she used her leverage to get the new apartment, but she didn't exactly stop him from coming up or from sleeping with her.  That was as much on her as on him.

    I really enjoyed all of the aspects of competition in this episode: Don against the young and talented creative; Betty comparing herself not only to Megan's young body and modern apartment, but to her whole relationship dynamic with Don; Peggy feeling slighted that Roger went to Ginsberg this time; Sally jealous because Megan was "her friend first."