Sunday, April 21, 2013

Mad Men Season 6 (Episode 4): To Have and To Hold

Why Mad Men Episode 4 (Season 6) Worked:

  • Harry's epic scenes.  Wow....Harry really crushed it in this episode.  His showdown with Joan about her firing his secretary was searing and his subsequent showdown with the partners and then Roger and Bert bristled with realism.  
  • Joan firing Scarlett (Harry's secretary).  Wow...Joan really crushed it in this episode.  With those curves, we mistakenly believe she's hot.  But in reality, she's wickedly cold and it showed when she pink-slipped Scarlett (and was subsequently overruled by Harry and not backed by the partners).
  • Sideburns.  Harry and Pete look very appropriate for the late 60's.
  • Dinner with the swingers.  Don and Megan go out to dinner with Arlene and Mel from Megan's television show and discover they want to swing.  The conversation was expertly crafted and was dotted with pointed references to the war in Viet Nam.  Well done!
  • Don watching Meagan's love scene in her soap opera.  Masterful acting by Jon Hamm without saying a word.  And the fight in her  dressing room showcased the episode's strong writing.
  • The pitch to Dow Chemical.  Love the tag line:  "Dow Chemical: family products for the American family."  Yeah right....Dow was manufacturing napalm that was being used in the Viet Nam war.  More excellent, sly writing.

Why Mad Men Episode 4 (Season 6) Didn't Work:
  • Joan's scenes with her friend Kate.  Not awful; just flat.
  • Dawn's scenes.  Not awful; just flat.
Overall Grade for Mad Men Episode 3 (Season 6):  

  • A-.  Strong writing and memorable scenes made this an excellent episode.  As usual, when Mad Men focuses on the office politics and office problems, the show rockets to another level.   

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