Sunday, August 30, 2009

Mad Men 3.3: Gibbon, Blackface, and Eliot

An even edgier than usual episode 3.3 of Mad Men tonight, delving into -

Racism -

1. Don and Betty's daughter Sally (wonderfully played by Kiernan Shipka) finishes reading from Gibbon's Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire to Grandpa. She leaves, comes back in the room, and swipes a $5 bill from his table (he's "indisposed"). Grandpa Gene realizes the money is missing, and pretty much blames the African-American maid.

2. Later, at Roger & Jane's country club party, Roger sings in black face. By the way, the voice was good - was it John Slattery's?

Weed -

Hey, I'll be reviewing Weeds tomorrow, but here it is on Mad Men, and back in May 1963, as Peggy, Paul, and two other dudes partake. My typical question: Isn't this a bit early for 1963? I know, pot goes back to the 1930s and earlier, but at a Madison Avenue ad agency? And while we're on the anachronism trail, would people have been dancing the Charleston - as Pete and Trudy were at Roger's party - in 1963? Well, some really fine dancing by Vincent Kartheiser and Alison Brie, whatever the historical timing of the dance.

Sexism -

This is of course a staple of Mad Men, but did you catch those doctors at Joan and Dr. Greg's party talking about "code pink," which goes up in the hospitable whenever an "attractive, unconscious woman" is on the premises?

Thus Mad Men continues to make us uneasy by probing some of the racism and sexism of our not so distant past. But tonight's show also had some happier music as Joan sings "C'est Magnifique" and plays her accordion (and it sounded to me like Christina Hendricks' voice). And Paul gets to quote a little T. S. Eliot as he's stretched out stoned on the floor.

And it was nice to see Don and Betty kissing at the end...

See also: Mad Men Back for 3 and 3.2: Carvel, Penn Station, and Diet Soda

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

6-min podcast review of Mad Men

Special Discount Coupons for Angie's List, Avis, Budget Rent-a-Car, eBags, eHarmony, eMusic, Nutrisystem

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