Mad Men Open Thread

Pete, Don and Roger sit at a table; Don smokes a cigarette

What did you all think?

Also, check Frank Rich’s column this week.

Obviously if you have not yet seen this week’s episode and you don’t want it spoiled, don’t read the comments.

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8 comments for “Mad Men Open Thread

  1. July 26, 2010 at 10:40 am

    I tend to reserve actual judgment on Mad Men until at least the 4th episode in of a given season, because I do not view Mad Men as a TV show with individual episodes, but as one long movie that slowly builds to a crashing crescendo by the end of a season. That said, I was pretty pleased with this episode as a set-up (although it is a travesty that Salvatore Ramano is not the art director). My main desire from this episode was that we will get more frequent and more indepth looks into the racial politics and the civl rights movement that is really starting to get into full swing. The scene where Don’s date mentions the murders in Mississippi is quite powerful. I don’t necessarily expect any of these characters to run off and join the movement (their age, social class, etc really just makes that seem too unrealistic for a show that prides itself on realism) but I would really like to see some of the change slowly integrate itself into this seemingly impenetrable world.

  2. Ruth
    July 26, 2010 at 11:10 am

    I think the episode was just fine, although I have to admit I was a bit bored with it. I agree with Lauren that it would be nice to see some more social issues in the show. That way you could leave advertising itself aside every once in a while without falling into cheap melodrama (x hooking up with y and so on…). I mention leaving the office aside because I have the impression that the show is becoming more interested in the characters’ personal lives than in advertising and the office atmosphere, and I’m not so sure I like that. In any case, it’s soon to tell, and I hope this show continues kicking ass.

  3. Ruth
    July 26, 2010 at 11:11 am

    Sorry, I meant to say: “that way, apart from the social aspect being interesting in an of itself, you could…”.

  4. Lance
    July 26, 2010 at 2:43 pm

    Pretty good episode, though also a good reminder that Mad Men links to bring things to a slow boil. I forget how slow the show can be at times.

    Interesting to see other characters on the show acknowledge that Betty Draper is quite possibly the worst person in the world (okay, Don’s almost as bad, but not quite). I wonder if she’ll finally have the revelatory moment this season that will turn things around.

  5. prairielily
    July 26, 2010 at 2:48 pm

    I was really struck by Don’s scene with the sex worker. (I don’t think she had a name, although they’d definitely seen each other multiple times.)

    I know a lot of people just found the scene hot, but it seemed to me like Don wanted to be punished for his past sexual transgressions – he planned this encounter on a day he should have been spending with his family.

    I can also see how it could somewhat parallel a Thanksgiving from a previous season (I suddenly can’t remember which one) where he tells them to go ahead without him, and then dreams that they won’t and he can join them. When he got home, they were already gone and the house was dark. I suppose in that sense he never felt like he was really part of the family anyway.

  6. Linnaeus
    July 26, 2010 at 3:23 pm

    I wonder if things are really going to come unraveled for Don this season. It looks like he’s a bit off of his “game” both personally and professionally.

  7. Blue Jean
    July 26, 2010 at 9:14 pm

    Yeah, I kept wanting to yell at Betty “Grow up, already. I know you didn’t want kids and you’re trying to impress Henry’s family, but let’s cut the Mommy Dearest act. Your daughter acts more mature than you do.”

    Don/Dick continues to surprise me. I knew he had some sadistic tendencies but masochism too? That explains a lot.

    However, it’s great to see that Joan finally has her own office. And that Peggy looks so much more polished and confident. Her “John/Marsha” bit with the new art director is seriously cute.

    I was disappointed that the show skipped over Freedom Summer and Dr. King winning the Nobel Peace Prize, but hopefully, we’ll see more of Sal. Maybe he’ll become this hot shot director who’ll turn down SCDP for a project they really want to do.

  8. problem chylde
    July 28, 2010 at 4:29 am

    I really enjoyed the premiere, and Roger still got most of the winning lines. I wrote a review here about it.

    I thought the ep moved seamlessly from Season 3’s finale with all the opening doors. Viewers were constantly walking into scenarios they didn’t necessarily understand. In the finale of last season, I felt like a conspirator on a heist. In the premiere, I felt like a voyeur/eavesdropper. I also liked all the play with tables and the lack of them in some situations. This season’s going to be all about illusions of power and how to maintain them. I’m excited!

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