Sunday, September 20, 2009

A Saving John Deere in Mad Men 3.6

Mad Men won the Emmy for Best Drama for the second straight year tonight - against competition that included "Big Love," "Breaking Bad," "Damages," "Dexter," "House," "Lost" - and while it's almost impossible for me to choose among such very different, brilliant contenders, I think the award was eminently well deserved, and tonight's episode 3.6 shows why.

The Brits come over on the eve of our July 4, 1963 to evaluate and reshuffle the leadership of the firm. Bert tells Don that he expects the Brits to move Don up to a joint US-UK exec position, but it turns out that all they really have in mind is moving Lane to India, moving Harry up to higher television position, forgetting to even put Roger on the new flow-chart (but they have no problem writing him in), and installing a young British hotshot as head of a triumvirate over Bert and Don that will run Sterling Cooper and eventually who knows what else.

No one except Harry - of course - is happy about this in our gang. But fate lends a hand - or takes a foot - in the form of a new John Deere riding lawnmower that Ken brings into the office to celebrate his landing of that dear account. During the party the Brits throw in honor of the shakeup, one of the secretaries gets behind the controls of the John Deere and accidentally rides it right over the hotshot's foot.

The best laid plans. The Brits say can't rely on a wunderkind sans one foot. So Lane stays put in New York.

Meanwhile, Don is called to a meeting by Connie - Conrad Hilton, whom Don met at the country club a few episodes ago - and gets the Hilton account for Sterling Cooper. He's great saying goodbye to Joan - who's likely leaving the company, but not the show. And back home, he's a good, loving father again to Sally, who's finding it hard to adjust to baby Gene, who looks just like grandpa Gene, as she says (babies and grandparents do look similar).

And that's the unique magic of Mad Men. Flawed people in a world in many ways more cruel than ours, but some - like Don, and, for that matter, Joan - with hearts that can shine through the glitter and tarnish.

See also: 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 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

8-min podcast review of Mad Men

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