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

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In a video posted on AMC’s Mad Men blog, Alan Taylor (who directed Smoke Gets In Your Eyes as well as Ladies Room and Nixon vs. Kennedy) talks about stylistic uses of the camera that set the period every bit as much as the costumes. Interesting!

Check it out.

I wrote the following yesterday. And then after I wrote it, I dug around AMC’s website.

I am so outraged. Like, speechless. (Well, my version of speechless is kind of word-heavy, but you get it.)

Those stupidheads at AMC are NOT GOING TO BE SHOWING MAD MEN AT ALL IN MAY. NOT AT ALL. NOT SUNDAYS AT MIDNIGHT, NOT WEDNESDAYS AT 3AM, NOT SATURDAYS AT 6AM TO COMPETE WITH ANGEL ON TNT, NOT ANYWHERE AT ALL.

Heard about this great new show but still haven’t gotten around to seeing it? Been waiting for the latest run to wind up, (which it just now has) and maybe you’ve even read that the first two episodes will be airing over the next two weeks?

WELL TOO BAD FOR YOU!!! Guess you’ll have to wait until July.

Way to build momentum, Jack. Or, what’s that other thing… LOSE ANY STEAM YOU HAVE WITH POTENTIAL NEW VIEWERS WHO WILL FORGET ABOUT YOU ONCE THEY START WATCHING NEW EPISODES OF HOUSE AND ER.

Anyway, I think this little intro perfectly sets up the rest of what I had prepared. Enjoy:

I’ve been thinking it’s time to recap AMC’s sins. Some of you are new, but also, like when your shitty boyfriend starts acting all sweet lately, you might be losing perspective.

Let’s take a moment, shall we, to think back to a simpler, happier time. (more…)

Cecelia Antoinette is now credited on the IMDb as the Ladies Room attendant in Ladies Room.

This has only been bothering me for 2 months.

Betty, to Mona: I don’t know if I told you, but my mother died three months ago.

Mona: (says nothing. Nothing!)

Ladies Room attendant, to Betty and Mona: I’m sorry. There are other ladies waiting to use the mirror.

So what you hear is:

Betty: I don’t know if I told you, but my mother died three months ago.

Anyone in the world who is finally responding to Betty: I’m sorry.

 

Matthew Weiner spoke to the casting of Robert Morse.

He can’t take credit for it; he knew they wanted some “old luminary”. It was Tom Palmer who suggested him, and Weiner was thrilled at the idea.

(There’s no one who reads this who doesn’t know that Robert Morse originated the role of J. Pierrepont Finch in How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, and who doesn’t get what a brilliant and hilarious nod that is to the fourth wall, right?)

He had to audition, like everyone. He wasn’t at all insulted by that, but he “had nooo idea what was going on”. He kept saying, So much yarn, so little time, which Weiner put into the show. (Was it New Amsterdam? In Ladies Room, in reaction to all the boys running around in t-shirts playing with Right Guard.)

He still doesn’t know the name of his character. He calls himself Sterling Cooper.

Awesome.

Weiner then spoke a bit about the Asian-influenced behavior of the character. He said he’d wanted that from the beginning; that it fit the period. He said that while the shoelessness is Asian, he could also wear house shoes, but he took that from someone specific he had known.

And then he revealed…

Really, like most of the things that he does, they come off as eccentricities, but they’re really a way of controlling other people.

See why we could talk to him for like… EVER?

When Roberta and I first saw Marriage of Figaro, one of the things we discussed was Don sitting at the train tracks. Was he contemplating suicide? In The Ladies Room, Paul says he’s late for a meeting because someone jumped in front of his train and killed himself. You don’t drop a remark like that for nothing. Especially Matt Weiner doesn’t drop a remark like that for nothing.

So all through season 1, I absolutely believed that Don was contemplating suicide that afternoon; that’s why he sat at the train. Sure he’s a bastard: He’s a bastard for walking in with no explanation or apology, for choosing a moment when his daughter needed him to fall apart like that, for acting as if there had been no crisis in the first place. But he’s also so horribly wounded that it seemed to me that he could not for the life of him leave those train tracks. It just hurt too much.

Only now I don’t think he was suicidal. I think it was the train.

The second major motif of Mad Men (other than birds) is trains. Don doesn’t get off the train in his home town, leaving the real Don’s body to be Dick Whitman. Don’s identity is first hinted at (in Marriage of Figaro) on the train. Trains are escape.

One thing we learned about Don in Nixon vs. Kennedy is that he always wants to run away. Running away is the only thing he’s 100% sure he knows how to do. I think, now, that’s what he was contemplating in MoF, he was looking at the train and deciding whether or not to escape.