In Hobo Code she was still a party girl (witness The Twist, and also ‘we all work so hard’). By Nixon vs. Kennedy, not only was she a tight-ass, but she had a reputation as such.

Ken: Draper has plenty of booze.

They look towards Peggy, working at her desk despite the party around her.

Ken: (continues) We could ask her to join us. That might soften her up.

So what happened?

Okay. In Hobo Code she finally gets to have sex with Pete again. And I’m sorry folks, goodness knows I am not a fan of Mr. Campbell, but it was kind of beautiful. Evidenced by the tenderness between them afterwards… even from him. (more…)

First, let me just say thanks to everyone for your kind words regarding my bad day yesterday. I’m feeling entirely well today! Kisses– rkl

In Long Weekend, in response to the Kennedy jingle, Harry says “It’s catchy like it gets in your head and makes you want to blow your brains out”.

Cut immediately to a family photo of John, Jackie and way down at the bottom, John John. But mostly you see the two of them, the black and white, and to me it immediately drew up the image of them in the car after he was shot. Maybe that was just me.

Chilling.

An article in the Montreal Gazette provides this juicy Matthew Weiner quote:

The culture views the ’60s as this kind of golden glory. The election of John F. Kennedy is memorialized as a time of great innocence. And yet, reading the New Yorker from April 1960 and reading the movie reviews in there of Psycho and The Apartment, I thought to myself, ‘This is not a particularly innocent society.’ We forget that the wave of youth and enthusiasm that swept the country then was decided by about 100 votes.

Psycho and The Apartment? Where have I heard that before? Oh, yeah. Here’s a Mad Men conversation about The Apartment:

Aw, Red, that’s not how it is. Look, it was crude. That’s the way pictures are now. Did you see that ridiculous Psycho? Hollywood isn’t happy unless things are extreme.

Roger Sterling to Joan Holloway, Long Weekend

What were the big movies of 1960? (more…)

Roger Sterling is like a walking sense of entitlement. He was more or less born into his job. His name, as he says in Red in the Face, is on the building, and he even acknowledges that makes him feel entitled. He thinks he can and should have any woman just for the taking, so that he is disgusting with the twins in Long Weekend (suggesting incest is A Bad Thing) and angry at Don for being more attractive in the bar in Red in the Face. How dare anyone usurp his entitlement?

He’s also really insecure, maybe because he hasn’t actually earned anything. He wants to restrict Joan; keep her in a birdcage, and that feels like both: entitlement and insecurity. Right of ownership combined with fear of losing her.

The most telling thing of all is the dialogue with Don in Shoot; Don considers the McCann-Erickson offer, Roger says he’d be afraid of failure. Don is not afraid. Don says he might leave advertising, Roger says “What else is there?” Don runs away, true, but he also runs forward; he remakes himself. And Roger can’t do that, he can only hang back. And diddle women to persuade himself he isn’t full of fear. Roger is a guy who doesn’t know what else there is.

We just received an email from a self-proclaimed long-time BoK lurker. (We love that more of you are de-lurking!)

She is an Emmy voter, and just received… ahh, screw it, I’ll just pull it from the email.

As a long-time “lurker” on your blog, I wanted to give you the heads up (if you’re interested) that as an Emmy voter I just received AMC’s Emmy “For Your Consideration” DVD package today containing six episodes each of “Breaking Bad” and “Mad Men.” I was so excited that they sent half the season that of course it’s in my DVD player right now. The episodes AMC is sending out for consideration are as follows:

“Smoke Gets In Your Eyes”
“5G”
“The Hobo Code”
“Long Weekend”
“Nixon vs. Kennedy”
“The Wheel”

I wouldn’t want the job of narrowing the selection down! Can’t wait to vote for my favorite newcomer!

That is a lot of great stuff to pull from. A-freaking-mazing!

She gave me permission to print this, but I posted so fast I didn’t ask if I could print her name, so I didn’t. So R, feel free to out yourself if you like. And thanks for the scoop!

Kisses,

R & D

The president is a product, don’t forget that.

—Pete Campbell, Long Weekend

In Long Weekend, Joan posts a memo on the bulletin board that the office will be closed on Labor Day.

Which means that’s not routine? That people didn’t know whether or not the office would be closed?

It’s sort of baffling. Does Sterling Cooper have no stated holiday policy? Do employees simply not know what their days off will be? And is Labor Day actually optional?

I checked up on this. Labor Day has been a holiday for a very long time. Business have been closed on Labor Day for over a hundred years, and workers in an office such as Sterling Cooper would certainly expect and know well in advance that Labor Day was a long weekend (hence the title).

This hovers on the edge of goof. It’s more one of those cheap TV tricks to remind the viewers of what’s going on, and put Joan in the right place at the right time. It’s the kind of “goof” that you wouldn’t notice on a lesser show, but because Mad Men rarely relies on stupid trickery, it stands out.

Or I’m too obsessed. Either way.

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…)

In Long Weekend, we see Don and Rachel connecting the dots. Maybe the first time I saw the episode his arrival at her door came from nowhere, or maybe I was just taken with their mutual attraction, but on closer examination, they are connecting at a deep level.

We arrive at Sterling Cooper in a Nixon campaign meeting. Don wants to set aside current ad ideas and tell “the story” of Nixon. He calls Kennedy “a recent immigrant who bought his way into Harvard,” On the other hand,

“Nixon is from nothing. A self-made man, the Abe Lincoln of California, who was Vice President of the United States six years after getting out of the Navy. Kennedy, I see a silver spoon. Nixon, I see myself.”

He sees himself. He sure does; he came from nothing, went into the Army, came out a new man (literally) and in a short time (six years?) he was a big success.

Later the same day, there’s a Menken Department Store meeting. There, Don kind of poo-poos Abe (there’s that name again) Menken’s history of coming from nothing (like Lincoln; like Nixon). Rachel takes umbrage:

“Excuse me, this is not some phony story you people print in your Fourth of July circulars. My father actually started with nothing and he made it into everything we’re talking about. Who here can say that?”

Don. Don can say that. And although Rachel doesn’t know that about Don, he must feel like she’s looking right through him, and like he and she are the only two people in that room who understand each other.

So of course, that’s the night they sleep together. But more importantly, that’s the night he finally tells the truth about himself to another human being. And it’s so important, so powerful, that I offer it here in its entirey:

“You told me your mother died in childbirth. Mine did too. She was a prostitute. I don’t know what my father paid her but when she died they brought me to him and his wife. And when I was ten years old he died. He was a drunk who got kicked in the face by a horse. She buried him and took up with some other man. I was raised by those two sorry people.”

He came from nothing. She understands. She kisses his hair.

I was watching Long Weekend tonight, and taking extensive notes. I’ll have more to say later on. But for now, I was noticing this. That Don is not a womanizer.

People all over the Internet are angry at Don for cheating on Betty. And yeah, Don’s a cheater. An adulterer. These are bad things and we can be mad at Don. But he’s not a skirt-chaser. He’s not, to put it plainly, Roger Sterling. (And I have some thoughts about Roger I’ll also be fleshing out—no pun intended—in the near future.)

In Long Weekend, Roger says he wants to use Don “as bait.” He knows the way to go is to pick up two young women and end up with one. This isn’t new; he’s after the same thing in Red In the Face, and only wrangles an invitation to dinner when his plan fails.

Roger is a womanizer. He wants warm, lovely flesh. He wants a young woman to remind him of youth. He wants beauty and soft skin and lips like strawberries in milk. Don wants something different.

When Don says he wants to go home he means it. He doesn’t want to be with Roger, with twenty year-olds on their laps. He’s a bad husband, but he believes in the salvation of being a husband and having a family. And it’s when that salvation doesn’t pan out that he goes for Midge, and then for Rachel. He tells Rachel in Smoke Gets in Your Eyes that he doesn’t believe in love, but he’s deeply romantic; he believes each of these women might save him.

(more…)