Sunday, May 19, 2013

Mad Men 6.8: Dr. Feelgood and Grandma Ida

There's always at least one insane show on Mad Men, sometimes two, in which all hell breaks loose to the point where you and the characters don't know who's dreaming what, or if it's really a dream at all.  This is one of Matthew Weiner's signatures, and you'll recall it was used to excellent effect on The Sopranos in the aftermath of Tony being shot by Uncle Junior.   At its best on Mad Men, it had Don going out to California a few years ago in his original identity as Dick Whitman.

Tonight's Mad Men 6.8 was such a show.  The trigger is a Dr. Feelgood kind of doctor - the name the doc who gave JFK a stimulus shot on regular basis was known by - who in Mad Men dispenses a combination of B vitamins and a little something extra (no doubt amphetamine) to most of the major characters including Don.

Don is down because of his loss of Sylvia last week and a cough (which I hope is not the first sign of lung cancer) and is in dire need of a pick-me-up.   The doc gives him a shot in the buttock (as the doc says), and in a few seconds we get a brilliant piece of acting from Jon Hamm.   The gist is he thinks he's come up with a fabulous campaign for picky Chevy, but it turns out most of it doesn't translate to the un-high world.   We also get some fine dancin' from Aaron Staton as Ken Cosgrove, with a cane and all.

Meanwhile, back home, the kids are staying over Don's apartment and Megan has to leave to meet some Broadway producers, and out of nowhere Grandma Ida is inside the apartment and talking it up with the kids.  Never heard of her?  Neither have the kids, and, to make matters even more surreal and funny, she's African American.   Sally and Bobby were at their deadpan funniest, and I was laughing out loud at this scene (and also because there really was a Grandma Ida in our family).   The upshot, however, is Don left the back door open, and Ida was casing the building looking for some suitable places to burgle.

Don collapses when he comes home to find this, but from the shot in the buttock to the faint we get a fast moving collage of zany scenes interspersed with the young Don losing his virginity. Amidst this craziness in the office only Peggy, as usual, is the voice of sanity, but she does get her backside complimented by the copywriter with the beard and says thanks so the episode was not a total loss for her and definitely far from it for us and in fact it was a cracked hoot.

See ya next week.

See also Mad Men 6.1-2: The Lighter and the Twist ... Mad Men 6.3: Good Company ... Mad Men 6.4: McLuhan, Heinz, and Don's Imagination ... Mad Men 6.5: MLK ... Mad Men 6.6: Good News Comes in a Chevy ...  Mad Men 6.7: Merger and Margarine

See also Why "You Only Live Twice" for Mad Men Season 5 Finale ... Mad Men Season Five Finale

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

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 3Mad 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


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