Season 1 Episodes

We’ve talked about it in here, and they talk about it more in the ‘best of’… how Pete really does have a nose for the future. He consistently either has or recognizes a great idea. Only no one knows it but him. And, well, us, because of how we know how it turns out.

In the pilot, he suggests the ‘death wish’ idea that Don had vehemently dismissed, and everyone is horrified. But really, what do we think the symbolism behind Marlboro Country is?

He pitches the very excellent Bethlehem Steel tagline, the Backbone of America.

During a discussion about how to angle Israel tourism, Pete says, “Maybe we should try and exploit the danger, instead of fighting it. Travel as adventure.” This idea, while not being actively shot down by Don, was skimmed over.

He was the only one who liked the Volkswagen ad, which pissed everyone off. He recognizes the hip factor of Kennedy, calling him Elvis. The way I saw that, he wasn’t comparing the people, but the potential (and eventual) phenomenon of Kennedy to that of Elvis.


We got this email from Basketcase Jorie:

I just picked up a copy of “Panati’s Parade of Fads, Follies, and Manias” by Charles Panati. It’s a book examining the last 100 years of pop culture, everything from fads to tv shows to books. There will undoubtedly be things mentioned in the book that will be mentioned in Mad Men in the coming seasons, so you might want to pick up your own copy at the library or used bookstore.

While Don Draper says that “nostalgia” means “pain from an old wound,” Panati claims that it comes from the Greek “nostos–to return home” and “algia–a painful condition.” Literally, it is “a painful yearning to return home.” That is exactly what Don tried to do at the end of “The Wheel.” Panati also goes on to say that the term was coined by Swiss physician Johannes Hofer in the late 17th century to describe a condition he was seeing among Swiss mercenaries who were working far from their homelands. Until the 1880’s, it was classified as a disease and its “symptoms” included despondency, melancholia, bouts of weeping, anorexia, and suicide attempts.

I thought you would find this interesting, since you like to go into depth about concepts on the show. Keep up the good work!

Thanks, Jorie, we definitely find it interesting. And by the way, here’s a link to Panati’s book. I bought it for myself.

Roger Sterling: You know what? I am very comfortable with my mind. Thoughts clean and unclean, loving and… the opposite of that. But I am not a woman. And I think it behooves any man to toss all female troubles into the hands of a stranger.

–Ladies Room

Roberta said it first: Don loves Rachel.

Until my DVDs came, I had only seen Marriage of Figaro once—the only episode of Mad Men for which that was true. I didn’t start saving them right away, and around the time they were rebroadcast, I was in the midst of switching from Tivo (rocks) to Io DVR (sucks) and screwed up the recording. It’s an amazing and important episode, and I’d only seen it once. So I rewatched it right away, pausing only to write up everything and watch an extra feature.


In the early part of the season, I wondered if Don wasn’t seriously, even suicidally, depressed. (more…)

In Babylon, when Roger tells her that before meeting her he was ready to leave his wife, she play-slaps him. But the intention of the slap was, Don’t you ever talk about leaving your wife.

And in Marriage of Figaro, she says that Lady Chatterly’s Lover is “another testimony to how most people think marriage is a joke.”

by rkl

Huh. Weird. But okay, I’m not gonna argue.

They say it’s in three parts, but all are currently available. So go. Watch while you’re at work.

…or something. A nominee to the nominees. Top 11 (11?) semi-finalists for best supporting drama actress.

Tom O’Neil of the LA Times ‘the Envelope’ has plenty to say about this list. Of interest to us:

Another surprising omission: January Jones, who portrays Jon Hamm’s emotionally plagued wife on “Mad Men.” Her role is so prominent that many Emmy observers were surprised she opted to compete in the supporting race, not lead like costar Elizabeth Moss. Instead, voters (academy membership is overwhelmingly male) chose to snuggle up to costar Christina Hendricks, who portrays the — ahem — sexually frisky office manager.

Christina is nominated to be nominated (whatever) for Babylon. I’m all for it.

The same episode where Harry says of Don “That guy could be Batman for all we know,” is the episode where Don runs into someone on the train who calls him “Dick Whitman.”


It’s hard to watch well-written television. Catch the subtext, foreshadowing, and motifs. Honestly, having this blog helps me do the thinking I need to do to fully appreciate the genius and subtlety of the show. Oh my gods I sounded like I was giving Matt Weiner a blowjob, didn’t I? But it’s just that good.

Where have we heard that before?

Nixon vs Kennedy. Rachel to Don, when he wants them to run away together. Don to Pete, when he attempts blackmail. You haven’t thought this through. You haven’t thought this through.

In the Wheel, Don learns that Adam has hung himself. (more…)

Okay, okay, I know I’ve posted a lot today, but the DVDs got me all excited.

A long while back, we were discussing the song “Babylon” (which I misidentified as “Rivers of Babylon”). I spent all sorts of time on the Web trying to figure out what song and what version it was, and we got close, but man. All you really need is a DVD. (For the record, I also emailed AMC and SAG but they were no help at all.)

So, the Disc One feature on “Scoring Mad Men” is mostly David Carbonara talking about the musical themes used in the show, but he also talks about Babylon. Turns out it’s a Don McLean song from American Pie. (Not really, it is the traditional song we ultimately identified, but that’s where Matt Weiner got it from.) And I’m seriously bent, because I know my brother had this album (on like, vinyl) and I’ve heard it and I DID NOT KNOW. But anyway.

Weiner asked Carbonara to use the song at the end of the Babylon episode, and to be one of the three singers (he’s the one with the zither). Weiner’s instructions were to arrange the song and get two more singers.

So now we know.

Next Page »