Roberta and I have been discussing this. (And hello, that means that the blog is not enough for us, we also talk about Mad Men.)

If you read a news story about a woman who didn’t know she was pregnant, maybe gives birth in a restroom somewhere, you think “psychotic break.” (Or maybe just “woo-woo nutbag.”) And the thing I’ve really disliked about this storyline is that I like Peggy; I even admire her. She’s fighting to become more than she is; “something she hasn’t seen.” She asks for the raise; asks awkwardly, but asks. She’s wrong about the radio voices, but handles it and moves forward. She doesn’t let Pete walk all over her. She’s intelligent and kind of fierce. (more…)

By Eric Goldman at IGN. Mostly stuff we already knew, but here’s a cool quote:

Weiner recalled talking to an angry man who works in advertising about some of the characters on the show mocking a real life Volkswagen ad, because he felt it truly was an important and memorable advertisement. Said Weiner, “I understand the thrill of that, but I think it’s fascinating that this firm is just on the wrong side of things.” Slattery said he felt the show was “about what people want, not what they get. All these people on this office are aspiring for something and not getting it.”

Couple of great quotes about Peggy:

    Matt Weiner, asked about her future: “I don’t predict good things for anybody out here, I’ve got to be honest with you.”

    Elisabeth Moss: “[Peggy] is capable of an incredible amount of hope and belief in something, whether it’s love or Don or advertising or that she’s not pregnant.”

Go read (and don’t forget to click the Page 2 link at the bottom, it’s barely visible).

The best thing I got out of the experience of watching the New York Times Arts & Leisure do was this quote from Matt Weiner:

“The show is based on denial, and what better denial…?”

He’s talking about Peggy’s pregnancy, and I think that’s the insight we need as we contemplate what will happen for Peggy in season two.

Babies are hard to deny, but not impossible. Any action Peggy takes will have major consequences. Give it* up for adoption? Have her mother raise it and pretend she doesn’t have a baby that way? I know, I know that she won’t quit to raise it. Where does that leave her?

Denial is creating the mental state that you want, despite the reality. ‘I want to be a strong single career girl, not a timid mouse, and not a mother,’ says Peggy, and somehow she will make it so. And this is not different from Dick Whitman making himself into Don Draper, or Betty making herself into a pretty wife content to stay at home.

Interesting that Betty has the fewest exterior reasons to end denial (no secret identity, no baby) and yet she’s the one closest to breaking through.

*I cannot remember if it’s a boy or a girl. I haven’t rewatched The Wheel yet. Roberta says it’s a boy.

I found the blog thus spake drake on AMC’s list of blogs that talk about Mad Men (and included us, la la la). I’ve added it to the blogroll because it’s really very fine, but I couldn’t wait to direct you to Drake’s take on The Wheel. I mean, it’s very long and very good and almost impossible to excerpt. But here goes anyway:
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Roberta wonders about the effect on taking the pill during pregnancy. According to the Mayo Clinic, the risk is low, but it’s definitely not recommended:

What happens if you take birth control pills while you’re pregnant?

If you continued taking your birth control pill because you didn’t realize you were pregnant, don’t be alarmed. Despite years of this accident happening, there’s very little evidence that exposure to the hormones in birth control pills causes birth defects.

Still, the birth control pill is a potent estrogen. Lessons learned from women who took diethylstilbestrol — a synthetic estrogen that was later linked with cancer — to prevent miscarriage in early pregnancy suggest that such exposure should be minimized.

Once you learn that you’re pregnant, stop taking the birth control pill.

And that’s referring to the pill nowadays. The estrogen content was much higher in 1960.

The comparison, though, is to DES. DES caused problems in the daughters and granddaughters of women who took it, including a spike in the rate of cervical cancer. It did not cause miscarriages. In fact, it was given to prevent miscarriages (which, ironically, it didn’t do either).

Okay, so my sister and I have started this blog, and we have approximately (november,december,january…) eight-ish months before the second season, so what all are we going to do? Watch ’em again, of course. Chew apart the details.

So let me start with the most obvious question… What The Fuck?

Here’s the thing with Peggy being pregnant. I’m not happy about it. It feels like a TV trick. And so to keep it authentic, they will need to write her as kind of insane. Pretty damn insane, or something darn close to it. My concern is that they won’t. write it that way.

But I am reminding myself… these are excellent writers. And they have not let us down in this show. Not once. And it’s not like at the last minute they decided it would be fun to throw this wrench at our heads. They set it up in the first episode… she has sex the same day she gets her pill script.

I don’t know about the chemistry… could she have been bleeding this whole time because of the pill? What does being on the pill do to a fetus anyway?

Watching Peggy take control of her life has been the most applaudable show of feminist awareness in the season, but she certainly has an odd innocence about her. Still, I’m not buying that as enough of a reason to keep her from noticing a baby kicking its hungry legs against her… parts. (Christ, that poor kid took quite a ride with the Relaxi-bator!) And they were very clear that the kid was carried to term. They could have cast a smaller baby, but this one was already skipping rope.