Sunday, April 20, 2014

Mad Men Season 7 (Episode 2): Happy Valentine's Day

Why Mad Men Episode 2 (Season 7) Worked:

  • The Valentine Day's flowesr gimmick.  That was an exceptional plot device and only faltered when Peggy blew up at her secretary (see what didn't work).
  • The faulty squawk box gimmick.  Nobody liked the squawk box, not even in 1969.  Clever writing.
  • Don's failed attempts to cover up his absence at the office.  It was easy to feel sorry for him.  The show is better when he's a cad, but this adds an interesting new dimension to one of prime time tv's most compelling characters. 
  • Don letting his hair down with Sally. Another well-written, completely believable scene.  Don is changing and it's happening before our eyes.  
  • Sally.  She played a critical role in this episode and it helped make this a memorable one.  Her unexpected visit to the office to see Don after she lost her  purse was dramatic and Kiernan Shipka made the most of these scenes.  
  • Secretary merry-go-round.  Everyone seemed dissatisfied with his or her secretary and all those personnel problems rolled up on Joan's desk. Nice subplot.
  • Lou. Such a dick.  But so believable.
  • Shirley's (Peggy's secretary) groovy orange dress.
Why Mad Men Episode 2 (Season 7) Didn't Work:

  • Downbeat tone.  We're not having a lot of fun in Season 7. 
  • Pete's (Vincent Karheiser) bad hair piece. Distracting.
  • Pete's hot LA girlfriend. Really? She can do better.
  • Peggy's rant about her flowers. A bit much.
  • Pete's rant about the ineffectiveness of his role in LA. A bit much
Overall Grade for Mad Men Episode 2 (Season 7):  .  A-. Great writing and intriguing subplots made this episode memorable.  Everyone at the agency seems unstable and on the verge of collapse.  It's highly stressful to watch -- but completely addictive.  Can't wait until next week to find out what happens next.

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