Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Mad Men Episode #8 (Season 4): The Beautiful Girls

Why Mad Men Episode #8 (Season 4) Worked:
  • The elevator scene between Joan and Peggy. Seemed like Peggy got the shaft...or did Joan have a point about being PO'd with Peggy coming to her defense? I really wanted Peggy to get the credit but the outcome was surprise and a bit of crafty screenwriting.
  • The "Satisfaction" soundtrack at the top of the show. It really signals that there's a revolution taking place "out there" far from Madison Avenue. (Any bets when or if Don starts wearing sideburns?)
  • The mooning of Joan when she was chewing out Joey the copywriter. It was so subtle at first I wasn't sure that I saw it (thanks DVR!) but it really happened.
  • Joan chewing out the creative staff.
  • Speaking of the mooning, have you ever seen a US tv show supported by advertising with so much foul language and boundary-pushing antics? This is also one of the pleasures of Mad Men and it was on display for Eppy #8.
  • The Ray Charles joke.
  • The back-seat-of-the-car canoodling and then some. First Bethany goes "downtown" on Don Draper as the cab heads uptown. A few weeks later Don and Faye kiss passionately in another cab leading Faye to invite Don to a more intimate setting. Don declines. (The character is changing his behavior, always an interesting turn in a tv series.)
  • Peggy firing Joey. Very satisfying moment. Did most men really behave like such morons in the 60s or was it only Mickey Mantle?

Why Mad Men Episode #8 (Season 4) Didn't Work:

  • Don's voiceovers. Pretentious and contrived.
  • Almost any scene with Henry (although the dude is ripped as evidenced by the gratuitous scene at home without his shirt). The show slows to a crawl with him.
  • Miss Blankenship, Don's secretary. The joke is wearing thin.
  • The restaurant scene where Don and Betty bump into each other. Felt stagey and didn't hit the right notes.
  • Don's date with Faye. Another slowwwwwwwww scene.

Overall Grade for Mad Men Episode #8 (Season 4):

  • C. Weakest episode of the season. My feeling is that the politics of the office anchor the show; most everything else is a sideshow.

1 comment:

  1. I loved the montage at the beginning showing Don Draper at his most drop dead handsome. It was about time for him to put down the bottle and hit the pool! Why are Henry and Betty still in Don and Betty's house? Was real estate that hard to flip in the 60's? Is Henry very rich - as Betty's comment implies? If so, what's he doing in Don's house?