Sunday, August 30, 2009

For Alicia (and anyone else who wants to play along)

So, what do you think is the significance of all the singing in tonight's episode of Mad Men? We had three vocal performances -- Joan with the French accordion song, Roger in that disgusting blackface, and Paul with his college buddy. Do you think Pete and Trudy's charleston dance fits in with whatever theme they were trying to build with the music? It might have. Perhaps they were trying to make a point about the ways in which people perform. Not sure.

Also, Peggy + marijuana = win
Surely you like her better when she's stoned? I did. She had the two best lines of the whole night.
1 -- "I am Peggy Olson, and I would like to smoke some marijuana." (hilarious)
2 --
Smitty (in disbelief): Are you working?
Peggy (a little surprised): I think I am.

In the "I am always right" column, let's make a notation for Jane Sterling. Last week I suggested her look would change. Last season, pre-wedding, she wore absurdly tight clothing and unbuttoned her blouses enough to see inches of bra. This season, she's dressed in baggy sacks with jewel necklines, and "ladies who lunch" type hats. I thought her first dress, the black and white harlequin number, evoked the circus.

And what's up with Don suddenly becoming a truth teller? That bit at the end with Roger -- "they think you're foolish" -- was a bit shocking. But was it out of character? I can't decide. He doesn't seem to mind laying other people bare. It's himself he must hide ----- and yet, there he was behind the bar with a stranger, telling about his childhood. Is Don changing?



Edittorrent said...

I DVRed it, and will watch later.

But I can see Don's thrifty treatment of the truth, shall we say, breaking down as his defense against his past does. He kept being honest to the stewardess, except for the identity thing, revealing all sorts of secrets really to her.

Now being honest to Roger, someone he loves-- that's a real advance, only not in Don's estimation.


Kris said...

First off - Love High Peggy.

I want to say suggest that it's almost a play on status. The characters who were born of high status seemed very comfortable in the settings they played out. Like Pete and his wife dancing and trying to outdo the other couples. (or even the idea that they must be good at something if their not having kids)

Now even though Don wasn't in many scenes, I think his presence was known. He didn't want to be at the Derby and so he retreated to where he felt most comfortable. Jane gets smashed and reveals the ugly truth about Betty & Don.

Lets not look past Joan. Great line by telling Greg to stop talking. I don't think Greg understands how good he has it, but I think Joan got a peak at how Greg isn't the Big Shot Doctor.

Now, back to Peggy...she is totally owning her new found status and running with it. I can't wait to see what she pulls out for the Bacardi Rum campaign.

Edittorrent said...

Red, I think you might be on to something. There were three songs sung, and three different social sets involved.

The "old guard" at the country club/Roger in blackface (ugh, and double ugh) -- I think most rational people would find this performance distasteful, and the culture clash between the old guard and the new youth is part of what made the 60s so turbulent.

The "new youth" smoking dope in the office and singing a college song -- I'm not sure there was a larger point other than to set up the group and theme.

The "upwardly mobile" -- not yuppies, not yet, because those didn't exist until later. The doctors are more like Kennedy-era haute culturalists. Joan sang in French, for pete's sake, and everyone in that room could follow her song. This is the group that probably most closely resembles the Camelot ideals, and I bet we will see more of them as November comes closer.

So, yeah, it might be about status -- something about how we perform in accordance with our status, but we're really all still performing?