February 2008

Q: What musical featured the song Smoke Gets in Your Eyes (the episode title of our beloved pilot)?

A: Roberta

Didn’t know that? Neither did Matt Weiner la la la la…

Here’s an observation that I have no place to put.

There’s a scene towards the end of Babylon where Roy (the beatnik) raises his glass to Don and says “L’Chayim.”

(For those of you who don’t know, that’s a Hebrew toast meaning “To life.”)

This in an episode where Don discusses Israel, meets with the Israeli Tourism Board representatives, reads Exodus, learns that Betty’s first kiss was with a Jewish boy, discusses Judaism with Rachel, and oh, yeah, in which the exile of the Jews is used as a primary thematic element.

Is Roy Jewish? Is it being suggested that others are not as anti-Semitic or ignorant as the Sterling Cooper environment would have it? Or is it just a symbol?


Deb and I are each home with our special and unique versions of the flu. She’s sicker than me, but I’m on my way down.

So we throw it out to you.

Any thoughts on these opening credits? We’ve never talked about it. We’ve discussed the possibility of Don being suicidal, and here’s this falling body.

G’head. Discuss.

Seems I did something to make our entire blog italic.

Deb, make it stop.

I miss Salvatore!

He all but disappeared toward the end of the first season. His last great moment was his kiss with Joan in Nixon vs. Kennedy.

I find it amusing that there was ever any guesswork for viewers regarding Sal’s orientation. Ever. But I’ve been around the message boards, and some people were surprised by the ‘reveal’ in Hobo Code. Some people said they had “guessed early on”. Guessed? It was established the moment we met him in Smoke Gets in Your Eyes.

Salvatore walks into Don’s office while Don is using one of those chest flex thingies (that are also a handy chest hair waxing alternative). Sal leaps right in with Oh, look at you, Gidget. Still trying to fill out that bikini? (more…)

I smell a birthday!

Mark Moses, who plays the seemingly sober Duck Phillips, born 2/24/1958. So it’s like, a big one.

Happy birthday, Mark.


the Lipp sisters

I just got home from two days in Manhattan. It’s around midnight on Saturday night and I am exhausted and full, in many ways.

Over dinner in the city I flashed on a piece of a dream I had somewhere over the last few nights. I read that the actor playing Ken was cut for next season. In the dream I couldn’t remember his name (Aaron Staton), but I was devastated. I think I was looking at something like a script or some other ‘inside’ document where you could see he’d been cut. And we were terribly sad about it.

‘We’ were terribly sad about it.

Not Deborah-and-I ‘we’, but like, we the audience, we the cast and crew and Matt Weiner and all of the production team and the Janet Maslins and Stuart Elliotts and Joe Buas and genius commenters and AMC fucking TV themselves. And it was ‘we’ all together, not we over here and them out there. It was like the group hug in the finale of the Mary Tyler Moore show.

I fully recognize that I need to get a life. But it is kind of interesting to watch how this is all processing in my brain. I am not even going to give any effort to figuring out what else this loss (and loss of control) might possibly be representative of in my life. Nope.

Anyway, whatever. That was my dream. Not as epic and iconic as Deborah’s, but just as fucked up.

Newsweek reviews this new book as “Mad Men: The Novel.” It takes place in the early 1960s at a New Haven, CT ad agency, where our hero is a graphic designer.

I’m definitely going to pick this one up, it sounds fascinating.

Here’s something Matt Weiner said (when we met! him! la la!) that has stuck with me: Each episode should be its own movie.

It was striking, there in the Jacob Burns Film Center, that Smoke Gets In Your Eyes worked perfectly as a film, albeit a short one. It through introduction of characters smoothly, it was sexy, it had a pay-off and a reveal and a bit of mystery, it was gorgeous to look at, and it filled the big screen.

Weiner’s goal is for each episode to be a movie. Yes, each should build on the last and our understanding of these people should grow. But each should be self-contained, hold its own personal and symbolic value, have some emotional conclusion (however subtle) and have visual strength.

I’m putting zillions of words in Weiner’s mouth. He never said any of this. But he did say that each episode should be its own movie (and some other stuff…damn, Roberta, where’s that transcript?) and this is how I understood him. And given what we know of this show, it makes total sense.

England’s gonna get some. Mad Men Season One starts airing on BBC Four (whatever that means), Sunday, March 2nd at 10pm.

At least one person is excited. And we, of course, know they’ll love it.

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