Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Why "You Only Live Twice" for Mad Men Season 5 Finale

Why was Nancy Sinatra's "You Only Live Twice," from the 1967 James Bond movie of the same name, such as perfect choice for the closing music of Mad Men's Season 5 finale?  As my wife immediately mentioned, Matthew Weiner and the folks at Mad Men must've been  thinking about this song for years - it so perfectly captures Don's dual life - but were waiting until the chronology of the series caught up to the song's.

But there are lots of additional reasons that make the song such as good choice:
  • Don, especially in the arm draped around a chair, cig in hand, that serves as the logo of the series, looks a lot like the James Bond from this era.  Clearly, that was the look that Weiner wanted.
  • The 1967 movie - the fifth in the series - was the first not be fully based on the Ian Fleming novel.  Some of the settings and characters were same, but the script was freshly written by Roald Dahl (based on an earlier attempt by Harold Jack Bloom).  A lot like the way campaigns come to be written at ad companies.
  • The movie was the first to be released in the summer - a new time slot for James Bond movies.  Just as Mad Men had a new time slot this season.
  • Nancy Sinatra was regarded by some at the time as getting the vocalist role at least in part because she was Frank's daughter (on the other hand, she had already had some huge hit records).  But nepotism was a central theme of Mad Men Season 5.
Anyway, the closer has given the song a whole new audience, and that's good news.  It was always one of my favorites from the Bond collection, and a great song and performance in its own right.

See also Mad Men Season 5 Debut: It's Don's Party  ... Mad Men 5.3: Heinz Is On My Side ... Mad Men 5.4: Volunteer, Dream, Trust ... Mad Men 5.5: Ben Hargrove ... Mad Men 5.6: LSD Orange ... Mad Men 5.7: People of High Degree ... Mad Men 5.8: Mad Man and Gilmore Girl ... Mad Men 5.9: Don's Creativity  ... Mad Men 5.10: "The Negron Complex" ... Mad Men 5.11: Prostitution and Power ... Mad Men 5.12: Exit Lane ... Mad Men Season 5 Finale

And from Season 4: 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  ... 4.7: 'No Credits on Commercials' ... 4.8: A Tale of Two Women ... 4.9: "Business of Sadists and Masochists" ... 4.10: Grim Tidings ... 4.11: "Look at that Punim" ... 4.12: No Smoking!  ... Mad Men Season 4 Finale: Don and -

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

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The Plot to Save Socrates

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