Sunday, April 19, 2015

Mad Men Season 7 (Episode 10): The Forecast

Don Draper has a number of headaches that he must contend with.
Why Mad Men Episode 10 (Season 7) Worked:

  • Sally's speech to Don at the bus station before she leaves on a teen tour.  She was good and pissed that Don was responding to her friend's flirtatious behavior, and she called him out on it.  More than any other character on the show she sees Don for what he is.  (Let's hope she gets a well-paying job because she's going to need a lot of expensive therapy.)
  • Don's struggle to devise a corporate vision for Roger.  His inability to articulate what the company should be and where it's heading reflected his own rudderless life.  He is a man truly adrift without an idea of where his ship should sail.  
  • Don's showdown with the copywriter.  It wasn't a perfect scene but it had energy; that's for sure.  And the copywriter called him basically just a pretty face. Don, of course, is more than that but there's no denying that his looks and perfect hair give him a lot to work with. 
  • Don alone in the hallway outside his apartment after the real estate agent finds a buyer for his penthouse.  Great fade-out music (Roberta Flack's "The First Time I Saw Your Face") and Don looks terribly lost and lonely.  A bit artsy and pretentious but it helped lift this uneven episode.  

Why Mad Men Episode 10 (Season 7) Didn't Work:

  • Joan's romance.  Whatever happened to one night stands?  Joan has sex with a divorced older guy and the next thing he's in New York telling her that he's not into her four-year-old son.  Before you can scratch your head, she's telling him that she'll send him off to boarding school (was that for real????) but no, he then says he'll take the boy and her mom and buy a place in New York. Sorry, I didn't buy it.  It was like the Cliff Notes version of Mad Men.
  • The drama around the Peter Pan peanut butter account.  Usually, the account problems provide the best drama in the show.  Not tonight.  It was convoluted, confusing and poorly plotted.
  • The return of Glen (part I).  The scene in the hallway with Sally, Glen, Betty and the random girlfriend fell flat.  Some outrageously stilted acting and contrived writing.
  • The return of Glen (part II). His scene with Betty barely made sense.  She offers him a beer while alone with him in her kitchen.  He comes on to her.  She rebuffs him because "I'm married."Then she puts her hand to his face and puts his hand on her face.  Where was this going?

Overall Grade for Mad Men Episode 10 (Season 7): C+.  This was the night of crazy shit where so many scenes seemed rushed and outrageous.  It was good to see the hard-bitten Joan finally involved with a man and it created some interest and tension in the subplot, but the speed in which the relationship unfolded was so quick that it seemed like the writers were trying to cram everything in before the show ends in a few episodes.  Other scenes also seemed poorly written like the real estate agent criticizing Don and the copywriter insulting the client.  This episode showed Don and Betty's compulsive need to be attractive to the opposite sex no matter how inappropriate that interest might be.  That was a good thread woven through the  episode.

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