Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Mad Men - Out Of Town

Just so that you all know, there WILL be spoilers in this post. And this isn't going to be a recap per say, for that you can head right over here. This is just going to be a collection of my thoughts from the episode, and I'll try to go in chronological order so that it's not messy. But we're going bullet-point style. Crazy!

  • Don's birthday story - You know, as far as having a legitimate reason to change your name goes, I think this is a pretty big one. The opening sequence of the episode was a little confusing for a few moments, especially seeing as there's no way Don remembers this experience. This isn't a memory for him, so is this just how he imagines it happened? Or is it a wink, wink to the viewers? 'This is how it really happened just so you know, but who knows what Don really thinks'? His mother's last words were 'I'll chop off his dick and boil it in hog fat'. So naturally his name turns out to be Dick. But does he know this story? I mean, I ask my parents how I got my name and they tell me they deliberated for weeks and weeks before deciding. Don asks the same question and they actually tell him 'because your mother's last words were dick and hog fat'. I doubt that's how it happened, but then again, his adoptive household was so abusive, it could have happened, who knows.

  • The 'lesbian' versus 'tomboy' argument - I've heard this at more than one forum, and even from people I talk to who watch the show. When Betty was explaining to Don about how his suitcase got broken, she also said "She's taken to your tools like a little lesbian." First of all, I have never laughed at anything Betty said (except for maybe that Nordic comment in season two), but that was so unexpected that I laughed hard. The argument that I've heard surrounding this, is that back in the 60s, she would have said something like 'tomboy'. I agree that yes, maybe in public she would have. But in the privacy of her own home when she can say whatever she wants, I don't see why she wouldn't say 'lesbian'. And let's be honest here, it wouldn't have packed as much of a punch if Betty had said 'She's taken to your tools like a little tomboy'. See, not as funny.

  • Joan vs. Moneypenny (sorry, Mr. Hooker) - Writing my original recap, I had only watched the episode once, and so didn't pick up fully on what Joan did. But after watching again, I want to stand up and cheer. Let it be said that you just don't mess with Joan. You won't win, because in her own little way, she'll give you an awesome reality check. We didn't get to hear the initial conversation about Mr. Hooker being more than just a secretary, so we have to assume he was pretty prissy about it. What we do get is Joan having this great idea of 'if you're so much better than the secretaries out here, have an office and a secretary'. Wouldn't you know that the British Overlord (BOL) knocked Hooker down a few pegs as soon as he told him to get rid of the office and the girl. BOOM, ROASTED. Oh, Joan. So cunning!

  • Pete vs. Ken - HOW DELICIOUS. Oh, now this is exciting. Obviously the whole thing is an experiment in who can persevere the longest in order to get the permanent position as head of accounts, and BOTH men know that, but Pete refuses to not be childish about it all. He was so elated when he called home, too, and I particularly loved this exchange between Trudy and Pete:

Trudy: I love the way you sound right now.
Pete: That's because I'm already drunk.
Trudy: Good for you!

Oh, standards back then! And then slowly it all comes crashing down and Pete is sharing the spotlight. He wants everything NOW NOW NOW, and when he can't get it, well, he turns into a brat. It'll be interesting to see how this plays out.

  • Keep it in the closet - Sal. Poor, poor Sal. He was finally going to get lucky and then that fire alarm went off. And you know what? I actually have a bone to pick with ALL OF YOU OUT THERE. I got so many e-mails and personal comments about how 'graphic' the scene was with Sal and the bell hop. The graphic part, apparently, was the shot of a hand going down Sal's boxer shorts. To that I say: HEY REMEMBER THIS:

In my opinion, Don fingering Bobbie Barrett is no more graphic than Sal and the bell hop. A friend of mine pointed this out and do you know what she was told? "Well, I guess since it was heterosexual [with Don and Bobbie] I was okay with it."



WHAT? Okay, hypocrisy much? Sexual content is sexual content ladies and gentleman, and if you're watching this show for morality you are watching the wrong damn show. And again, I'll quote my friend - everyone's okay with the cheating, and the abortion conversations, and the egregious drinking, but as soon as two men get it on people flip out and go on long rants about how it's just WRONG. God forbid. Did your television explode? People, chill out. CHILL. OUT.

Then there was that conversation on the plane with Don and Sal. Some people think that Don will use Sal's sexuality to black mail him. I say no. 'Limit your exposure' is what Don suggested for the London Fog account, and it was his advice to Sal as well. They're moving on because Sal's sexuality doesn't compromise the fact that A) Sal is amazing at his job and B) that he and Don did good work together while in Baltimore. It also hearkens back to 'It'll shock you how much it didn't happen' in season two when we found out Don was also there for Peggy. So really, one could wonder how long it will be before Sal knows a secret of Don's and is trusted to keep it.

That officially ends my thought process on the first episode. I apologize for any wonky spacing - I'm working on it, I promise. But I want to hear your thoughts! Leave me some comments, and tell me what you think. I don't bite - much.

1 comment:

alexis said...

LAWLZ. I still giggle at that lesbian comment. Honestly, I don't see how anyone can take offense to anything said in this show. I see the "offensive" things as things that were said/done in that time period. Obviously, if this show was set in the now, half of the things that are said/done would be gone and the show would lose it's pizazz.


I walked backwards from the living room!