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Madmen venting.

edited May 2012
Hi guys!
It's been pretty busy up here for the last few months. Not a lot of time for things that are not projects...
Still, once a week our household treats itself to an episode of Madmen, which we always are pumped to watch, until we watch it and realize that maybe we are not feeling it so much anymore...
What do you guys think? Do you still love the show?

So far I've been wanting to see a lot more of Sally, Peggy and Joan. I never thought I'd miss Betty, but I do now that she's been replaced by Megan*, who's pretty annoying to look at. I especially liked the appearance of "fat" Betty. What a cool development that could be, a swan losing its grace or something.

It seems like the trippy magic isn't there anymore. I used to watch this show and have my mind blown by the time the end credits would roll. Lawnmower incident? Peggy's cool adventures in the New York underground? Dick Whitman? Now it feels just like a normal show. Even the LSD thing fell short...

*My main beef with Megan is that she makes no sense as a character geographically or historically. Megan is not a French name. One out of two sentences she says in French sounds terribly wonky. They should have gotten a French-Canadian actress to play her, instead they just got an English-speaker from Montreal. Her parents made no sense either. They could pull it off if they didn't make the characters speak French with one another. They don't have to.
Megan also feels to me like an annoying sexy vibe forced on the viewer, like whenever she appears we're all supposed to think she is super hot and melt in front of the TV. With a character like Joan it came a lot more naturally.



  • I am behind. I have a to do list item that says, 'Catch up on Mad Men'. But the reason I am behind is both being bad at TV and also, not super compelled!
  • edited May 2012

    I am only on episode 2.

    I liked it when Peggy hired the new guy... except I am sick of her only getting respect from Don. I like the new guy.

    I liked it when Pete led the staff celebration! I love crazy Pete. The crazier he gets, the more I love him.

    I only hope that Megan is there exclusively to make Don feel old, and to completely break his heart. I see that with her age, she can treat him the way he has always treated other people, and he will be humiliated.

    I want more Sally, especially since (since ep. 2) Betty wants to take Mommy's Little Helpers. Just as everyone on the show represents an archetype from the period, to me, Sally represents the type of childhood that the 1970's era disco queens had. Alienation from parents, TV babysitters, weirdly unsupervised play time, therapy... all set the stage for 1970's drugs and excess!

    Thanks for the Megan expose. I do not know the subtleties but I thought they might be trying to trick me into just taking her for a swinging Parisian chick... I liked it when she was cleaning the white carpet in her underwear and she was like "You don't get to TOUCH ME!" But was disappointed she didn't put up a fight. I thought things were about to get a little ... advanced. But then Don just ruined it with his 1940's style sexuality.
  • Also am loving Sally so much. I like your interpretation of Megan begin there to make Don feel old and treat him the way he has treated people. The other thing about Megan is that she is a genuinely nice person, a kind person, and what will the eventual storyline of that kind of person be, at Draper Draper Sterling Price or whatever the new name is?

    I fucking LOVED Pete/Lane fistfight. I really like Lane and hope he gets developed more. His weird pervy affliction but then his absolutely love/respect for competence, such that he is literally the only person on the show who actually sees Joanie as a human being, because she's so competent, even as he also wants to see her boobs so bad. I think that relationship is really interesting.

    LOVED when Joanie told her husband she's glad the army makes him feel like a real man because she's sick of trying to do it. SINGLE MOTHER JOAN

    I think the show is less gut-wrenchingly compelling, for sure, but I think it's got more of a slow burn that I am still pretty into. I think things are going to unfold strangely and slowly, as these people try to make their way through the sixties, groping toward self-knowledge and usually failing.

    I think when the show is funny it is the funniest show on television, because you never expect it to be funny. When Harry asks Don if he wants the last cheeseburger? "They're GONE? You got two dozen! I thought you were getting them for your family"

    Megan's inaccurate French Canadianness is really annoying to me. Why not just hire an actual French Canadian? WHY NOT HIRE THAT GIRL WHO WAS THE ONLY GOOD PART ABOUT PAN AM? She's awesome.

  • Also Peggy now = Old Don
    So who does that make New Don?
  • The dinner party at Pete and Trudi's house was amazing, right? Pete's constant emasculation. Is Pete going to murder somebody? I loved how that episode kept making us think someone was going to commit suicide but then no one did.
  • Also how Betty secretly WANTED to have cancer. Enjoying crying with self pity. Need more Betty. Sally and the Grandma talking about serial killers and taking tranqs together was so dark
  • oh my g. We were trying to figure out the C thing. How Don assumed she was going to die... like he wanted her to? "Say what you always say." "Everything's going to be all right." That made me think they are going to get back together.

    I think Megan has a dark, super jealous and selfish side... like they are playing up her "female cattiness." From outside USA=passionate and emotional?

  • Sally is obvi the best part. I wish we could just fast forward her life and watch her do badass stuff as a teen or in college.

    The show used to have much more of a Twin Peaks vibe, which it has sadly lost. The lawnmower was a good example of this.

    The LSD ep felt like a genuine "jumping the shark" moment for me. I haven't watched the most recent ep, but this season is bumming me out.
  • Oh and anja is also annoyed by the inauthenticity of Megan. Her background is French-Canadian and Megan's accent bugs her a lot.
  • It's true that Sally is the best part. And so far I have loved how there is this vibe that her and Glen will behave badly, but they never do anything wrong. It's so much like what it feels like to be a kid. Your freak parents think you're up to no good and you behave until one day you've had it.
    LT: I agree that the new guy is cool. I am waiting for him to do something crazy.
    YT: you have a lot of good points, the stuff you are talking about is what makes the show worth watching, but still. My expectations are higher.
    The name of that PanAm actress is Karine Vanasse. There are a bunch of French actresses from Québec trying to make it in Hollywood, they could have used those. I think they probably thought no one would make the difference, but I do. Even in Twin Peaks the Renault brothers are more believable because they speak so little.

    And Megan, as a character, is super dark. I disagree that she is a genuine nice person. She seemed that way last season but now she has this fucked up manipulative streak. She pulls too hard and then pushes away, or disappears. Don keeps saying things like "Where is she? Was she ok? Oh, you don't know her!". Like someday he'll turn down one of her ideas and she will run away from home and kill herself. And all his focus is on her.
    It almost feels like when Peggy and Joan were discussing her in the last episode of the previous season they were telling us what would happen next.
    Ugh.. I shouldn't forget that it's just TV!
  • Whoa, you're so right! (About Megan's dark side). that's intense. I love the call about Peggy/Joan predicting this season. I somehow hadn't really put it together that Megan was displaying this weird streak. But it's totally true. I mean I have definitely felt that Don's focus on her and on being So Happy All The Time Being Married has been creepy but I hadn't really looked at the part she was playing in it. Taunting him about his age!!

    I also agree though that the show isn't as compelling as it once was. It's still really awesome but it totally doesn't have that "WTF" moment as the end credits roll anymore. I still am trusting that it is going to take us somewhere cool though.

  • I was pretty WTF when Don had that dream that you didn't know was a dream. Don has been pretty Dick Whitman this season.
  • I loved when Roger thought he was being profound by saying, "When people are looking at you, they're usually not even thinking about you," and Don was like, "Lots of people that haven't taken LSD already know that, Roger." Made me laugh so hard.

    Have you seen that dumb article that predicts Pete's death? It's the dumbest thing I've ever seen.

    I think its going to be hard to top last season. All the stuff with Anna Draper was the best.
  • Totally true that Don has been so Dick Whitman this season. When Megan was like "nobody loves Dick Whitman" and you could tell it made him mad? Also when she said why doesn't he call his mother and he was so fucking devastated? Is he thinking about his roots more? It's weird how he's able to be a bit more open about his weird life-lie, like at the whorehouse when he was all casually like "I grew up in a place like this."

    THAT DREAM WITH KILLING THE WOMAN. That was so epic. I totally forgot about that. UGH!!
  • I could buy Pete dying/killing himself. I could also buy him just getting old and being a shitty husband/person. He's a rich pampered kid who won't grow up and has everything he desires but is eternally unhappy.
  • edited May 2012
    I forget, does he have a son or a daughter? Son would be best! He would be so merciless!

    But then he can be accidentally cute, like when Trudi wanted to buy a house with a yard and he was like "Central Park was good enough for me, darling." And she had this look like, hmm maybe that is why you are such a sociopath, my kid is having a yard for sure.

    At first I thought he could go off the deep end, but now I think he is too much of a narcissist to ever hurt himself on purpose. His redemption would be kidnapping Peggy and driving off south of the border.
  • His baby is a daughter, remember how her name is TAMMY.

    I really love Pete Campbell as a character. He so perfectly rides the exact edge between sociopath and just-a-regular-dummy that I never, never know which one he is.

    I wonder if he and Peggy will ever have intensity again? It's so intense that they had a baby together and they both know it, and now they're just like "you're off the beans campaign, peace."

    I am also interested in Peggy. She also seems sort of in between some mild sociopathy and normalcy. Like who is Peggy? What does she want? Why did she give that guy the handjob??

    I haven't seen the most recent episode so I would appreciate no major spoilers, if possible, FYI

    Also why does Don love Howard Johnsons so much????????

    Also don't you love Don and Sally's relationship? I feel like they are becoming actual human friends, like they actually speak to one another as humans.
  • edited May 2012
    One day Don is going to be busting Sally out of jail. She'll be wearing tan silk pants, crystal platform heels, and a blonde fur coat
    He'll be wearing whatever clothes the guy who ate the White Castles wears currently (pea green sweater set)
    And she'll be like You're just like me dad
  • Hand job analysis:
    Pete appears just long enough to tell Peggy she's off the account, and Stan says, "Women usually want to please." Rather than punch a wall, throw a phone, or hire a whore, Peggy opts to assert her femininity by giving a hand job to a stranger who gifts her some marijuana in a darkened movie theater during a matinee. She smirks a little while washing her hands, feeling self-satisfied about her spontaneous secret reach-around. Maybe she is Don after all! You're not an uptight prig if you gave a rando a stoned hand job during a safari movie, right? The HJ was ostensibly in return for Peggy puffing on the joint, but it was really just an overstressed and formerly eager-to-please person confirming her basic human right to do whatever the fuck she wants. Lapsed Catholic Peggy realizes that neither God nor Don blessed the pack of gum, and she bombed Heinz on her own merits.
    Also, I think it is Dick Whitman who loves Howard Johnsons because it is this weird normal family thing he never had. Maybe.
  • oh good calls!!

    god, remember how Dick Whitman's fucking brother showed up and hung himself because Don wouldn't talk to him? How do you bounce back from something like that
  • edited May 2012
    One time I stayed at a Howard Johnson and when I complained about the cockroaches they said I was a prostitute. So this makes DW's love of it even funnier to me.
  • I think its the best season of Mad Men yet.
  • I agree with UBS: I have really loved it so far this season. I really like the Megan character, especially her dark sides, and am curious where it goes. I think the transition into this next time period was really well executed. To me it seems perhaps inevitable that it's leading up to a cool feminist injection. I do think the storyline of Betty spinning off seems pretty disparate, but I have faith that she'll be making more appearances this season, somehow. I've had some cool conversations with my mom about this show, especially about the rampant sexism and general shitty Don behaviors, and she has been pretty adamant that a lot of the portrayals are pretty true to life in this time period. It's hard sometimes to distance myself from the realities of the times at hand in this show, but there are some pretty brutal truths being played out, and I find myself commending the creators for not backing off of fairly intense topics.
    It also seems pretty apparent that Don's character is definitely becoming more and more Dick Whitman, the bizarre dreams and strange hallucinations all seem to point to a some future breaking point where he will have to confront this person.
    The LSD scene with Roger? SO GOOD. The scene where Peggy lets her coworker stay the night? SO GOOD.

  • I loved the LSD scene. I love the race stuff--which brings up something we haven't even discussed, which is Girl Dawn!!! What's going to happen with her? She's so brave, all alone in the office. Everyone treating her normally...but then not (the awful purse suspicion, and Peggy being ashamed of her suspicion, and Dawn seeing the suspicion and the shame and not forgiving either: AMAZING). Also another great example of how weirdly funny the show can be--her being named Dawn. Such a dumb joke yet funny every time.

  • I gave up after season 1. Should I get back in? It was just hard for me to relate to the characters?
  • edited May 2012
    My TV these days is watching The Voice and Community after a little while on Hulu. The Voice has been our intergenerational religion in our household. Did anybody else get into this?

    It is mostly over now and getting down into the final competitions. It's like American Idol with a twist of Project Runway. The competitors have celebrity mentors that work with them to build their performances.

    This is what we have learned:

    Jamar is truly f-ing amazing. The Anthony/Jesse battle was epic tragedy in 2 and one half minutes. Christina Aguilera is a petty, heartless, clueless, cruel and narcissistic jerk. If nothing else, The Voice has convinced my pop-tot that she absolutely does not want to be Christina Aguilera when she grows up. This is a major coup!
  • Kevin, HA HA HA HA HA!!!!!!!!!

    Amazing entry into this conversation. Like what are we even supposed to say to that??

    Probably if you didn't like season 1 you won't like seasons 2, 3, 4, or 5, I guess.

    Reminds me of when Lost ended, and then my friend Elizabeth decided to STARt watching it for the first time, and she watched like 2 episodes and then emailed me frantically wanting to know if "Walt ever finds his dog again," and I was just like "!??"
  • edited May 2012

    Derail: I feel like the experience of watching LOST as it was broadcast can never be topped, because they kept giving us, the audience, a lot of the things we were asking for. It felt very participatory in a weird way.
  • edited May 2012
    edit: My post got posted twice. What?
  • What?
    Now my cool post is gone!
  • I watched it on the train out here last year in the middle of the night when I could no longer see the landscape, and in the scenically boring parts of the midwest. I was alternating between it and Degrassi, which weirdly, I related to way more. I did get caught up in the drama though, and got through like 8 episodes before checking out. I'm not sure what to make of Mad Men being so deeply aestheticized but I guess Twin Peaks is too?
  • If you see your post show up twice, just leave it, it usually sorts itself out.
  • edited May 2012
    Kevin I read your post as saying "the scientifically boring parts of the midwest"

  • Haha! Funniest manifestation yet of your anti-midwest bias.

    If Parks & Rec doesn't get renewed, I am due to add a new series and it will probably be Mad Men.
  • you guys, the last two episodes killed it so hard for me. I was so blown away.
    The darkness of Sally's experience at the ball...that feeling from childhood when you think you're having a fun time relating normally to somebody and then something happens (witnessed blowjob) that strikes home with brutal clarity the reminder that you are a CHILD and that all these grownups are on their own weird, tawdry, corrupted journeys that don't actually involve you. Totally devastating to realize that her fun time with Roger was somehow all just setup for him getting that blowjob. The waiter saying "are you finished with that," meaning her shirley temple, but really meaning HER CHILDHOOD.

    Then the next episode! Dude, I feel like what we are seeing is DON NO LONGER GETTING IT. I couldn't believe when he turned off the Beatles song. It was so fucking jarring and dark and powerful. Don no longer gets it--he's 40, he's no longer the coolest dude in the room. Youth culture is passing him by! He doesn't understand music! And he's got this young wife who does, and what does it all mean? What will it mean when Don Draper is old and doesn't understand how people think anymore? He's becoming a worse ad man because he doesn't get why everyone wants a Beatles song in their ad or whatever.

    Also so weird, with Megan being so good at the pitch but then wanting to quit, what does it mean?

    So nice when Joanie congratulated Peggy on living in sin. Also Pete's weird affair, god, Pete is so going off the deep end. He's trying to be Don but he has too many feelings!! Pete, that is not how you have an affair!!!! You're being a creep! He can't just acknowledge that he wants to live in the city and be a cool guy. He even likes his wife, but feels imprisoned by just the fact of her. That funny conversation with the affair lady about all the hobos in the city. "there aren't THAT many," all annoyed

  • I saw the BJ ep, but haven't seen the newest one yet, so I didn't read that part of your post. I really liked the ep I watched, though. Felt much better about the show. Post-LSD Roger is awesome. He's realized how much of a joke everything is and he's enjoying himself more.
  • YEAH last two eps SO GOOD.

    Pete I think is probably the darkest soul. That beatles song pretty much ruled. 250k well spent.
  • also I forgot about when Don looked down into the fucking elevator shaft!!!!!

    facing the empty void at the heart of the building/the ad business/life
  • dammit stop looking at this thread (note to self)
  • The elevator shaft was so fucking intense. It took the breath out of me.
  • yeah, that was incredible.
  • edited May 2012
    yo but what about this

    image image
  • Ok, caught up. It was good, I agree.
  • Also, Mr. Belding & Rory Gilmore.
  • Is that Kurt Cobain on the right?
  • edited May 2012
    A. Pink

    Doncha think, tho??
    Especially since they started bleaching Sally's hair.
  • Can we add a LOL button plz?
  • Don's reaction to what Peggy told him in ep 11???? I DIED! So perfect.

    I mean right when she told him where she was going to work and he was like "mhmm" and stifled his rage so hard.
  • I just came here to talk about this very moment!!!!!!!!!!

    Don stifling his rage! He was so fucking hurt and raging and upset! He knew in that moment just how badly he had blown it.

    That was a phenomenal episode. Ownership. What we can own and what we can't, what we want to own. So much deep heavy shit about owning women. Don thinks he can throw money in Peggy's face because he owns her. It was amazing to see Peggy slowly realize that at a different agency, her boss wouldn't feel like he owned her in the same way, and she would be free.

    Fucking Joanie. So fucking brutal. So unreal, pimping out the head of HR so you can get some dumb account. Ownership of beautiful women / cars, etc.

    Does this mean it's gonna be called Sterling Cooper Draper Price Harris? She's not a named partnership right? Pete's not, either, right? I get confused about the various levels of partnership. JOANIE!!!!!!!!!!! "It's non negotiable."

    Don realizing it wasn't his (i.e. Ginsberg's) brilliant idea that won the account, it was the oldest story in the book, man's boner
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