Monday, September 6, 2010

Mad Men 4.7: "No Credits on Commercials"

Don tells Peggy that there are "no credits on commercials" as she finally begins to bring it to him - calling him out on Don's getting the CLIO for "his" Glo-Coat ad, based on Peggy's idea, and for which he gave her no public thanks - not to mention Don's running with Roger's nephew's idea last week, for Life Cereal.   The product de jour this week is Samsonite luggage.   But episode 4.7 gives us the best Don & Peggy episode of the entire series, so far.   Both are more vulnerable than usual.   Anna is dying and it's Peggy's birthday.

Before the day and night and day we see are over, Don will pass out and sleep the night on Peggy's lap in his office.   He'll lecture Peggy, put down her ideas, more or less insist that she stay in the office on this evening of her birthday, and break down and cry when he gets the news that Anna has died.  Peggy will storm out of the office, stand up Mark in a restaurant, accept his breaking up with her, and console Don when he's crying.   It's the closest we've ever seen these two, and makes it impossible to put aside the possibility that they may end up at some point in the series as a couple and more.

In one of the many best exchanges of the episode, Peggy asks Don about Anna.  He replies that she meant so much to him because she was the only person in the world who really understood him.  Peggy softly replies that that's not true.   She of course does not know the facts that Anna knew, but she has seen more of the "real" Don Draper than anyone else in the office - as the sociologist Erving Goffman might have put it, Peggy has seen more of Don's "back region" behavior.

Peggy is also keenly aware of everything Don has done for her and to her.   She remembers that Don came to see her in the hospital after she had her baby.   She appreciates that Don promoted her from secretary to junior copywriter, whatever his motives.  She resents that Don has never tried to sleep with her - and doesn't fully accept his answer that he doesn't sleep with with his secretaries, and Allison was a mistake.

All of this makes, somehow, for one of most heart-warming episodes of a series in which hearts are more often torn than warmed.   Don and Peggy have a powerful, complex, ultimately winning chemistry, which we could well see more of.

So, yeah, there are indeed no credits on commercials, and I often tell my students that if you like seeing your name out there, stay away from advertising and public relations (egotist that I am, I never write anything unless my name is attached).    But there are credits for television writing, and credit and kudos go to Matthew Wiener for writing this superb episode.

See also Mad Men 4.1: Chicken Kiev, Lethal Interview, Ham Fight ... 4.2: "Good Time, Bad Time?" "Yes." ... 4.3: Both Coasts ... 4.4: "The following program contains brief nudity ..."  4.5: Fake Out and Neurosis ... 4.6: Emmys, Clio, Blackout, Flashback

And from Season 3: Mad Men Back for 3 and 3.2: Carvel, Penn Station, and Diet Soda and 3.3: Gibbon, Blackface, and Eliot and 3.4: Caned Seats and a Multiple Choice about Sal's Patio Furniture and 3.5: Admiral TV, MLK, and a Baby Boy and 3.6: A Saving John Deere and 3.7: Brutal Edges ... August Flights in 3.8 ... Unlucky Strikes and To the Moon Don in 3.9 ... 3.10: The Faintest Ink, The Strongest Television ... Don's Day of Reckoning in Mad Men 3.11 ... Mad Men 3.12: The End of the World in Mad Men ... Mad Men Season 3 Finale: The End of the World

And from Season Two: Mad Men Returns with a Xerox and a Call Girl ... 2.2: The Advertising Devil and the Deep Blue Sea ... 2.3 Double-Barreled Power ... 2.4: Betty and Don's Son ... 2.5: Best Montage Since Hitchcock ... 2.6: Jackie, Marilyn, and Liberty Valance ... 2.7: Double Dons ... 2.8: Did Don Get What He Deserved? ... 2.9: Don and Roger ... 2.10: Between Ray Bradbury and Telstar ... 2.11: Welcome to the Hotel California ... 2.12 The Day the Earth Stood Still on Mad Men ... 2.13 Saving the Best for Last on Mad Men

And from Season One: Mad Men Debuts on AMC: Cigarette Companies and Nixon ... Mad Men 2: Smoke and Television ... Mad Men 3: Hot 1960 Kiss ... Mad Men 4 and 5: Double Mad Men ... Mad Men 6: The Medium is the Message! ... Mad Men 7: Revenge of the Mollusk ... Mad Men 8: Weed, Twist, Hobo ... Mad Man 9: Betty Grace Kelly ... Mad men 10: Life, Death, and Politics ... Mad Men 11: Heat! ... Mad Men 12: Admirable Don ... Mad 13: Double-Endings, Lascaux, and Holes

20-minute interview with Rich Sommer (Harry Crane) at Light On Light Through

                 Special Discount Coupons for Angie's List, Avis, Budget Car, eHarmony, eMusic, Mozy, Zazzle

The Plot to Save Socrates

"challenging fun" - Entertainment Weekly

"a Da Vinci-esque thriller" - New York Daily News

"Sierra Waters is sexy as hell" - curled up with a good book
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