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.


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…)

What They\'re Saying
This one’s cool—it intersperses Mad Men quotes with real quotes (and continues longer than a clear screen capture can show).


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…)

The common understanding of how it worked, the legend (if you will), is that men wore hats until John F. Kennedy appeared for his inauguration nude-headed, and, overnight, the hat business was over.

(We at the Basket have been bracing ourselves to say goodbye to the behatted Don Draper for Season Two. )

CBS Sunday morning did a feature on hats this morning. Just now. They claim that it wasn’t quite like that. Turns out young men were leaving their hats at home more and more commonly. Kennedy just brought it to the public’s attentions.

Which suggests, again, that Don is a little old-fashioned. I mean, he may not be categorized with the ‘young men’, but he’s younger than Kennedy. And though there is a lot of hat-wearing among the young men of Sterling Coo, Pete Campbell is frequently seen hats off.

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…)

I sometimes call my son embarrassing pet names he is much too old to be called by. I suck like that.

For some reason, my son and I were discussing one particular such name, and I was saying how nice it was phonetically. How it rolled off the tongue, how it felt loving to say it. And we started thinking of pet names that didn’t sound like that. Names that felt formal, like “Dearest.” You have to stop and say dearest carefully; the syllables require enunciation. Or “Sweetheart.” There’s a stop in that one, between the “t” and the “h,” which makes saying it slightly labored. Whereas “Baby” or “Honey” roll off the tongue.

“Lovely” (which is what Pete calls Trudy) doesn’t roll off the tongue. It’s labored. Everything about it is full of effort and artifice. “Lovely” is a fake pet name. It screams “I made this up for you to prove to you I love you.” It says “Listen to me use fancy words so that you’ll give in to my manipulations.” Even Thurston Howell’s “Lovey” is more relaxed. As is “Birdie,” which has an easy enunciation that feels like it just slipped out.

It’s amazing to me that even what they call their wives draws fundamental character distinctions between Don and Pete.

Eme commented on another post about the appeal of the Mad Men as grownups:

The fact that the men are supposed to be real adult men. Yes, I know that when we discuss these things we realize the real adolescent immaturity at (the) heart of the MM men but nevertheless, doesn’t MM in a way celebrate a culture of sophisticated adulthood? Personally, I’m just dying for a grown man to show up onscreen…

This reminded me of something Matthew Weiner said (back at that thing we saw him speak at where we met him and stuff) about how one thing that drives the characters forward is each of their struggles with where they are in their life cycle. That keeping that ‘real’ (no way did Weiner say “keeping anything real”) was how he could guarantee that this series never run dry, or need to rely on over-the-top plot devices. (more…)

Today the Mad Men blog over at AMC posted a “deleted scene” from The Wheel. Yay. Great. Awesome scene.

According to Wikipedia:

Deleted scene is a commonly-used term in the entertainment industry, especially the film and television industry, which usually refers specifically to scenes removed from or replaced by another scene in the final “cut”, or version, of a film (including television serials). It is occasionally, but rarely, referred to as a “cut scene”, but due to the usage of “cut scene” in reference to video games, the preference seems to be to call it “deleted” instead. A related term is “extended scene”, which refers to scenes (such as fight scenes or montages) which were shortened for the final version of the film. Often extended scenes will be included in collections of deleted scenes, or also referred to as deleted scenes themselves

So to be clear, this scene did air in the premiere airing of The Wheel. I remember it well. AMC simply edited it out for every subsequent viewing. And other things. There are lines missing from that episode as well. Every single episode that we are currently watching (unless you’re getting them through iTunes or you are watching from the very first run, but only the 10pm run and not the 11pm “encore” presentation) is already butchered.

I wrote about this when I first discovered it. It tangles my yo-yo string more than any of their other (numerous) sins.

Anyway, whatever. Watch it. (For some reason I was unable to post the video itself.) It’s brilliant, of course, and kinda gross, ’cause Pete’s being all dirty in his little boy pajamas, and extra weasley in his ‘get me the Clearasil account’ ways.

But let’s not pretend AMC doesn’t suck for taking the scene away from us to begin with.

From their writeup of Marriage of Figaro:

Rachel, however, is unimpressed, saying her store already has personal shopping and designer collections, which makes her wonder if they were so focused on her competitors that they forgot to visit her store. Pete: “I’ve been away on my honeymoon.” I quoted that directly because I was afraid that if I’d merely told you that Pete used his honeymoon as an excuse here, you wouldn’t have believed me.