One thing that knocks me out on this show is the class distinctions.

Top of the list and most obvious (set up in the very first scene of the series) is white/black. The only blacks ever seen in the series, to date, have been in service roles; the busboy, elevator operator, household help, etc.

And the Jews… that’s almost a whole different hierarchy.

The women. It’s right there within that first conversation in Smoke, between Don and the busboy… Ladies love their magazines. And they both laugh; white and black, at the silly ladies and their silly magazines.

But what fascinates me is the secretaries. (more…)

So I posted about the naming of Don Draper. (Mr. Weiner has not called to confirm my theory, but he will, I’m sure. Call me, k?)

Well within an hour of this revelation, (I kid you not, within an hour!) I get an email from our very own wisefish (whose comments were always inexplicably visiting our spam-catcher first before being rescued but now it’s finally better), talking about the possible origins of Dick Whitman’s name. (more…)

Deborah and I had a brainstorming session… we normally don’t work that way, (in fact, usually it’s more like this), but we wanted to make sure that Basket of Kisses is ready for Season Two. Like, all these thoughts about Season One that we keep meaning to capture; we know that we will continue to discuss Season One episodes, but Season Two will give new perspective, and there are certain things we want to accomplish while Season One is still pristine.

So we’d like, been discussing the show and pulling up clips for hours. And I’m in the kitchen (hers) and I wish I could remember the train of thought that led me to… Matthew Weiner wouldn’t just randomly name a character as important as Don Draper. What does it mean?

Draper. He is a draper. He drapes himself in his disguise.

And… Don?

Holy fuck. He dons his drapery.

Kind of I ran (ran!) upstairs to tell my sister ’cause it was actually important.

There will be a Part 2, but for now…

The end by rkl.

Not if she could help it.

Awhile ago we got into a feisty discussion about Rachel’s reaction to Don wanting to run away in NvK.

(And lately we’ve been so filled up with news and scoops. But we still love talking about the show!)

No. Something happened and, I want to go and I want you to come with me and I don’t want to come back.

What happened?

What does it matter, isn’t this what you want?…

…You want your children to go on without a father? You know how that felt.

Are you having an attack of conscience after all this?

No. I’m watching you talk because I feel I don’t know you.

You know more about me than anyone.

You won’t even tell me what happened.

And so I think this is where it begins.

In Don’s partial defense, I don’t think that he can physically speak the words (the answer to ‘what happened’.) But I think that his anger at Rachel serves to seal this window shut; I believe that Don doesn’t tell Rachel what happened. Ever. Regardless of how this scene turns out. They run off to Buenos Aires? She still never finds out why. (more…)

Roberta can’t stand it. She wants them all posted.

This one is obviously the same day as the Francine picture (same outfit).

This one also appears to be from the same scene.

(more…)

Two thoughts this last time I watched Nixon vs. Kennedy (okay, a zillion thoughts; two I’m posting about here).

First: Holes. At the beginning of the Hobo Code flashback, Dick “Bowlcut” Whitman is digging a hole. For fun. His stepmother asks him to stop. In the opening of the final flashback in Nixon vs. Kennedy, Private Dick Whitman is digging a hole. Nice visual continuity, that.

Second: Fairness. In discussing the outcome of the presidential race, Cooper tells Don that Nixon will allow Kennedy’s election shenanigans in Chicago to go uncontested so that he’ll have a chance to run again. (It was more complicated than that, but that’s how he tells it.) Don says that it doesn’t sound fair, a phrase which brings astonishment to Cooper’s face.

Later, Peggy says that what happened in the office isn’t fair. The first time I saw this episode, I thought that the phrase of Peggy’s that pushed Don past his fear was “some people…people who aren’t good can do whatever they want” (I may have that imperfectly worded, but it’s close). But at that point I didn’t notice the parallel “fair”s, and we do know that Peggy parallels Don. I think the simple, plaintive “It’s not fair,” the child’s voice that was never answered, never soothed, is what ultimately compels Don to at last fight back.

Okay, one last parallel. Rachel calls Don a coward. Don remembers that he was a coward; he pissed himself. And y’know? He’s still pissing himself. Calling Pete’s bluff, he is, at last (in a way that honestly doesn’t soothe him, merely surprises him) not a coward.

In honor of sixty years of Israeli statehood:

So, we’ve got a quasi-communist state where women have guns, and it’s filled with Jews.

—Don Draper, Babylon