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The Klowner
Apr 20, 2019

by Jeffrey of YOSPOS


So glad I found this thread, I just finished my third run through of the series earlier this year. The latest episode is fantastic, I love seeing Don and Roger's relationship develop.

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The Klowner
Apr 20, 2019

by Jeffrey of YOSPOS


I love Sal's side plot in this episode. That conversation between him and Elliot is so rich with pathos and ulterior meaning.

I'm a little surprised about your baffled reaction to Peggy's interest in Pete, OP. Fresh graduates in their first real job are bound to be captivated by the fantasy of office romance, in the Big City no less. With our privileged viewpoint, we know Pete is a silver-spoon-sucking slimeball, but to Peggy, he's a clean-shaven, confident, not-unattractive young man in a relative position of power who's shown an interest in her. It's not that big a stretch.

The Klowner
Apr 20, 2019

by Jeffrey of YOSPOS


lurker2006 posted:



edit: I'm sorry.

lmao

The Klowner
Apr 20, 2019

by Jeffrey of YOSPOS


GoutPatrol posted:

I went back and watched the scene, I think Pete was making a joke. I don't think Jerusalem thinks Pete was making a joke.

It was a joke made out of frustration, which Jerusalem pretty clearly stated in his response

The Klowner
Apr 20, 2019

by Jeffrey of YOSPOS


Although, come to think of it, both instances of that joke are made by white men after being prompted by black men. And Tina Fey (30 Rock's creator and frequently a creative contributor) does have a history of writing intentionally racist/sexist humor (and later complaining that people "are too sensitive" about such humor). Mad Men's"The Hobo Code" preceded 30 Rock's "Reunion" by about a year; maybe Fey was knowingly referencing Mad Men thinking that it was a racist joke.

:tinfoil: you guys, I've cracked the code!! :tinfoil:

The Klowner
Apr 20, 2019

by Jeffrey of YOSPOS


Incelshok Na posted:

I'm really conflicted about the Don-as-serial-killer line they dropped. You can still see a lot of it in S4. It would have been a . . . very different show. Dextermania was a part of the zeitgeist in weird ways because it was such a mediocre show.

I've never heard that before. my first reaction is that it sounds incredibly loving stupid on paper.

The Klowner
Apr 20, 2019

by Jeffrey of YOSPOS


Gaius Marius posted:

I'm pretty sure they're joking.

in my defense, there are crazier fan theories out there. And anything can happen in the writer's room.

The Klowner
Apr 20, 2019

by Jeffrey of YOSPOS


Jerusalem posted:

Welp it finally happened, after the last 8 episodes maxxed out at like 45k characters, I ended up going overboard on this one. If these things are getting way too verbose, let me know, and I'll try to be a bit more efficient with my wordcount. I tend to - and greatly enjoy - rambling on about a point :sweatdrop:

I think every episode can be sufficiently described within the limit of one post. There are some dialogue exchanges where you really only need the gist to get the point across. Then again the show is really rich with layered meaning and there are many instances of scenes or exchanges that become much more prominent in retrospect. It's never a bad idea to expound on a scene or bit of dialogue that seems significant, at least with this show

The Klowner
Apr 20, 2019

by Jeffrey of YOSPOS


gently caress those pigeons anyway

The Klowner
Apr 20, 2019

by Jeffrey of YOSPOS


Yoshi Wins posted:

Fun casting fact: the actors who play Roger and Mona are married in real life. They do always have good chemistry in scenes together.

Another fun fact, John Slattery is actually Talia Balsam's second husband. Her first was George Clooney.

The Klowner
Apr 20, 2019

by Jeffrey of YOSPOS




I would strongly advise more discretion when it comes to discussing the overarching themes of the show. That kind of conversation lends itself to accidental spoilers very easily (e.g. "X is very interesting, especially in the later seasons" or "The show is about Y, which is demonstrated later on by Z"). Part of the fun of the thread is reacting to the OP's fresh take on the plot, particularly in what they expound on or what they personally connect to. If you go ahead talking about which certain events or relationships are important unspoilered, it sours the fun a bit.

I say keep unspoilered talk strictly about the most recent episode. It's better to nip this in the bud now than later when we get to the latter seasons.

The Klowner
Apr 20, 2019

by Jeffrey of YOSPOS


I just realized that mad men is available for streaming via the IMDB channel on Amazon prime so I'm pretty excited to revisit the series along with the thread. I'll do my best not to skip ahead :kiddo:

The Klowner
Apr 20, 2019

by Jeffrey of YOSPOS


I feel like "the guys" have thus far too readily accepted Peggy. Like you would expect a bunch of 60s business men to feel a little more threatened by the trajectory of a young woman who's able to write and pitch copy as well as she has. It's like an idiot plot but for sexism instead of intelligence.

Also they ought to make a rejuvenator for men. I want some electric underwear elon musk, make it happen

The Klowner
Apr 20, 2019

by Jeffrey of YOSPOS


Cool, I'll distract myself from one election with another.

It's lined up so perfectly, almost like... it was planned from the start :tinfoil:

The Klowner
Apr 20, 2019

by Jeffrey of YOSPOS


lurker2006 posted:

When Pete showed his intention of revealing it to Cooper I immediately had the impression that it would be dismissed out of hand, it's not like Don lied about any credentials, you don't sever a money maker for what is essentially having a pen name.

Maybe it was more of an anticlimax in 2005 when american audiences might have assumed businessmen in the good old days had principles besides "make money"

The Klowner
Apr 20, 2019

by Jeffrey of YOSPOS


Beamed posted:

This is important to note just because Cooper is drawing two lines here - you can't just disappear on us without consequences, and I know exactly who you are. Very heavy stuff

"Who cares?" and "Wouldn't you say I know something about you, Don?" are two of his best lines in the show. Bert is an evil bastard and I absolutely love it.

The Klowner
Apr 20, 2019

by Jeffrey of YOSPOS


It's gonna be really sad in the next episode when Russia drops the atomic bomb and the timeline diverges and the show just becomes another post apocalyptic survival story

The Klowner
Apr 20, 2019

by Jeffrey of YOSPOS


Gaius Marius posted:

It never should've been this close

The Klowner
Apr 20, 2019

by Jeffrey of YOSPOS


Don crumbling after Pete walks out of the room is so good, Hamm really nails it. I can't stop thinking about how well he sells quiet, panicked horror in that scene.

The Klowner
Apr 20, 2019

by Jeffrey of YOSPOS


Gaius Marius posted:

I honestly don't think she's a great actor but she's absolutely perfectly cast. Everyone is. Whoever had the final say in casting deserves a bonus, sopranos, breaking bad, deadwood, they all had a few weak links. Every single mad men actor is loving bringing it every scene

Suzanne Farrel that's the only weak actor

potee posted:

Matthew Weiner's son that played Glen was pretty terrible, but they clearly figured that out early enough, and they also struck gold with Kiernan Shipka.

All of these x100

also I really hope Jerusalem didn't google Suzanne Farel. I don't want to be the spoiler police but come on! X(

The Klowner fucked around with this message at 05:30 on Nov 5, 2020

The Klowner
Apr 20, 2019

by Jeffrey of YOSPOS


JethroMcB posted:

That was a deliberate Matt Weiner troll move, the network demanded they provide previews but he kept imposing restrictions on the editing team - "You can't show anything past the first half of the episode," "You can only use the first scene of the the A plot," "Nothing with the guest star" etc. That's why by the last few seasons it was just clips of characters asking monosyllabic questions, making small talk and innocuous action/establishing shots (Don thumbing through paperwork, Betty closing a cabinet in the kitchen, Peggy thumbing through paperwork, etc.)

That's the correct way to do a preview imo. Otherwise you're just giving too much away and you cheapen the show as a whole

The Klowner
Apr 20, 2019

by Jeffrey of YOSPOS


Also I decided to watch the next episode ahead of J's write up. Normally I've been watching the episode after reading their summary but I decided to switch it up to see how it affects my viewing experience

What a hell of an episode to do that for, I completely forgot some of the really important things that happen in "The Wheel." I'm very interested to see J's thoughts on Peggy's and Betty's plotlines in particular

The Klowner
Apr 20, 2019

by Jeffrey of YOSPOS


There are multiple moments in the show where the writers seemed to decide to randomly take things from 5 to 10 after a relatively gradual escalation. I suppose it's one of those things where writers introduce something (a character foil, a chekhov's gun, or some far-off-but-steadily-approaching external conflict) early without knowing when or where the payoff is going to be. It's a storytelling tool for serialized, episodic content, but it's incredibly jarring when they pull the trigger early in Mad Men, like with ginsberg's breakdown, Sal's exit, and Peggy's cryptic pregnancy in the very next episode.

The Klowner
Apr 20, 2019

by Jeffrey of YOSPOS


JethroMcB posted:

It's her hallucination in "The Fog" where the silkworm drops into her hand. As she goes from admiring the worm to wrapping her fist around it, her expression shifts from dreamy wonderment to this cold, cruel smile; there's a second where her eyes go wide, marveling at her power over a living thing, and that's when I think both "Ohhh, I suddenly have an understanding of how Betty views motherhood, and it's kind of terrifying" and "This is a really good performance for somebody pretending to crush a bug on a green screen."

That's a pretty good example. Also between this and her comment a few episodes ago about wanting to get a picture of Sally crying, I'm getting a very different impression of her character on this rewatch. It's sneaky how Betty's inner loathing and anger is woven into so many of her scenes, with the odd comment or passing look. I'm developing a much better impression of Jones' performance this go around.

also lol if we go a whole page without unspoilered posts

The Klowner
Apr 20, 2019

by Jeffrey of YOSPOS


Another Jerusalem post just in time, I was starting to get the shakes :cheers:

The Klowner
Apr 20, 2019

by Jeffrey of YOSPOS


There's a lot I want to respond to regarding this episode, but for now I want to address this:

Jerusalem posted:


Pete is troubled and a little vexed that Trudy mentioned this to her parents, though he really only has himself to blame for having clearly told her he expected to get the role (I presume he didn't tell her his certainty was down to his plans to blackmail Don Draper) only for it to all blow up in his face. But unlike Pete's own father, Tom isn't bringing this up to harangue or look down on Pete, if anything quite the opposite. With surprising openness he tells Pete warmly that he wants to treat him like a son because he thinks of him like a son... and his best advice is for Pete to stop concentrating so much on work and focus more on his family life.

...But When Pete starts talking about how Sterling Cooper could help him spread the message for his product, he gets back on track. Diplomatically he brings up "tending your own garden" before finally just outright saying what he means: he and his wife want grandchildren, and they want Pete concentrating on getting their daughter pregnant.

Trudy is a little shocked to overhear this.... regardless of how genuine Tom's affection or good treatment of him might be, he's still overstepping himself in Pete's mind. But he can't shut him down or tell him to mind his own business, after all he's his father-in-law, and more than that he's the man who loaned them (on extraordinarily lax terms) the money for the apartment they currently enjoy living in.

Your interpretation here is intriguing, because I always interpreted their exchange in this scene as an explicit threat by Tom against Pete. "You can have the apartment as long as you give me grandchildren." Joe O'Connor's performance here, to me, suggests very transparently that Tom doesn't like Pete, and only tolerates him to the extent that he makes Trudy happy. (Beyond that, it's also an interesting foil of Pete's blackmail of Don.)

But here's what's really interesting: watch Trudy during this scene. She's constantly looking back at the men from the background, and when Tom blurts out he wants grandkids, there's a cut to Alison Brie, and she gives this amazing look. She stares at Pete, and the camera holds on her juuust long enough. She's embarrassed in the moment of course, but she's very much interested in this exchange between her father and her husband. We already know she wants kids. I think it's possible she engineered this pressure against Pete after learning he didn't get the promotion. It gives this later exchange between them in their bedroom a really different dynamic:

quote:

Her reply? He can't think about that. He is confused, but she insists, and he doesn't need much convincing. The two go back to making out, birth control all forgotten.

The meaning of her "you CAN'T think about that" is, I think, straightforward: having a child together in her mind should NOT be a rational, logical and thought-out process where the pros and cons are weighed against each other. It should be the product of love, of the natural desire between a husband and wife, and if a child comes from that, it will come from love. The rest of it, the money, the time, the stress etc, that can all be dealt with later.

Oh to be white and from a privileged background.

"You can't" in this context means, "You can't think about not having children, because that goes against the stated condition of our living arrangement. You can't because my parents, and by proxy, I, won't let you say no." I could be reading too much into it, but it certainly fits with the idea that Trudy is someone who's obsessed with obtaining for herself a particular image and status.

The Klowner
Apr 20, 2019

by Jeffrey of YOSPOS


Something else I was thinking of while watching the episode ahead of the write-up: I remember being completely blindsided and bewildered by Peggy's cryptic pregnancy (unaware at the time that it is in fact a real phenomenon), to the point where I thought I had accidentally skipped an episode or missed some incredibly relevant dialogue or scene. I had no idea what to make of it at the time, it seemed like such an otherworldly twist to introduce to the show.

You don't give much away in your description of the scene depicting the revelation of Peggy's pregnancy, OP. What was your reaction?

The Klowner
Apr 20, 2019

by Jeffrey of YOSPOS


Jon Hamm is obviously phenomenal, but I want to shout out John Slattery and Robert Morse. I think the two of them elevate Sterling and Cooper way beyond the page. It's easy to imagine the roles being played more like caricatures—Sterling, the cocky silver-tongued silver-spooned junior exec, and Cooper, the old quiet eccentric with vast connections to power—but I feel like their performance adds a needed dimension to what might otherwise be simple foils to Draper.

I got to see the two of them perform on Broadway alongside John Goodman and Nathan Lane in a 2016 production of The Front Page and they all killed it, it was probably the most memorable show I've been to (though I'm not exactly an expert).

The Klowner
Apr 20, 2019

by Jeffrey of YOSPOS


The exchange between Duck and Roger is so pregnant with meaning and unspoken context, I never gave it much thought in the past but it's really a fascinating scene.

quote:

After a surprisingly clumsy fade-to-black,

quote:

Another clumsy transition via fade-to-black

Yeah get used to that.

The Klowner
Apr 20, 2019

by Jeffrey of YOSPOS


I promise you, it's only going to get more difficult to pare down the write-ups. Everything builds on everything else exponentially and it rules. A few seasons from now I bet you'll be making a full length post on each scene.

What kind of schedule, if any, are you aiming for with the write-ups? I cracked and ended up skipping way ahead lol

The Klowner fucked around with this message at 01:22 on Nov 28, 2020

The Klowner
Apr 20, 2019

by Jeffrey of YOSPOS


I've always loved the exploration of the Pete-Don-Duck daddy triangle in this episode, but I never realized the actor for Pete's dad had actually died. For people like me who didn't know any better, it certainly seemed like a plot twist that was planned from the start.

Yoshi Wins posted:

Some people find season 2 to be "slow". They're crazy. Tons of stuff is going on all the time. The fact that you're watching very carefully is really gonna help.

Who the hell would say that?? In a relative sense, the whole drat show is slow!

The Klowner
Apr 20, 2019

by Jeffrey of YOSPOS


Also, I wish Mark Moses would do some audiobooks or radio dramas or something. I could listen to that guy talk all day

The Klowner
Apr 20, 2019

by Jeffrey of YOSPOS


I view the show as a complete whole. it doesn't make sense to rank the seasons imo. To me that's like ranking scenes in a movie. it's a credit to the consistency and strength of the writing in the show.

That said, while I don't think there's a "best" episode, the episode that has stuck with me the most over the years is season 4 episode 7, "The Suitcase." An absolute masterclass in catharsis. In fact, all of the Jennifer Getzinger-directed episodes are quite memorable.

The Klowner
Apr 20, 2019

by Jeffrey of YOSPOS


Why? What makes one season of mad men better than another?

The Klowner
Apr 20, 2019

by Jeffrey of YOSPOS


To me the first two godfathers are two parts of one film. I haven't seen the third. I also haven't seen much of the wire or the Simpsons.

E: to be clear, I don't view all media within a franchise as parts of a whole. I just don't like or dislike any of the mad men seasons more than another. They all have a very consistent quality in my opinion. I cannot say the same for, say, the Star Wars films.

The Klowner fucked around with this message at 18:22 on Nov 29, 2020

The Klowner
Apr 20, 2019

by Jeffrey of YOSPOS


I'm starting to think this Don Draper guy is a real jerk!

The Klowner
Apr 20, 2019

by Jeffrey of YOSPOS


I'm always happy to see Patrick Fischler in something, he's a really underrated character actor imo

The Klowner
Apr 20, 2019

by Jeffrey of YOSPOS



lmao. You really have an uncanny knack for juxtaposed screengrabs

The Klowner
Apr 20, 2019

by Jeffrey of YOSPOS


Also I'm pretty sure the gum that Bert stepped in came from Sally, we see her chewing gum a few scenes prior. Or am I just parsing that completely incorrectly

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The Klowner
Apr 20, 2019

by Jeffrey of YOSPOS


This episode reminded me of something:

https://i.imgur.com/vF3z8iE.jpg

(light spoilers for Fleabag season 2 (and none for Mad Men except the current episode))

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