Archive for May, 2011

Mad Men – Season Wrap-Up

Mad Men was a show I always heard about and especially read about. I mostly read about how many Emmy awards they are annually nominated for. Because of this, I was intrigued by the show, but very intimidated. I told myself there are too many episodes to catch up to and so on. Then this blog report was the perfect opportunity for me to start this journey.

The show started a little slow, but Don Draper played excellently by John Hamm kept me going. His acting is spot on, and his character is straight-up awesome. Emotionally, he is weak at times, but he is the best at what he does. When the spotlight is on him, he delivers and that interests me. This is a character driven show, and the cast is absolutely perfect. There are your likeable characters, and characters you can hate; and it shows them in their everyday life in New York City in the 1960s.

Mad Men is the term that was given to the ad men in New York in this particular time period, and they are truly mad men. They cheat on their wives, drink heavily during the day and belittle any woman around them. The motto of the show, “where the truth lies” is perfect. Where is the truth? All the characters are lying to each other and they live in a very cut throat environment. It is pure entertainment and we can relate to a lot of the angles that we see on the show. I know people who get turned off from the show because it is set in the past. I think the opposite. I appreciate the way the show is portrayed. It is so authentic from the wardrobe to the technology to the furniture in homes, and I tip my hat to the people who work behind the scenes because it really brought out a great aspect in the show.

Now let’s give credit to where credit is due. Whoever casted Joan played by Christina Hendricks and Betty played by January Jones are geniuses. They are absolutely gorgeous and played their roles wonderfully. Then, you have a character like Peggy played by Elisabeth Moss, somewhat of the underdog that a lot of people can relate to, starting from the bottom and working their way up.

Overall, I truly enjoyed the show every step of the way. I honestly cannot wait to watch season 2 and see what else will happen. There was drama, comedy and romance; the formula for a successful TV show today. The character development is there as well especially with Peggy in this season and I am looking forward to the other character changes and angles next season.

Mad Men deserves all the critical acclaim it has been given and the creators have a great concept on their hands. I enjoyed the blogging as well. At first I needed some pointers and help on how to blog, but once I got the hang out it, it began to be fun for me. I get to express how I feel about the show, and how I felt about the storyline. I was put through cliffhangers and suspense after every episode. I’m contemplating continuing this blog for the next season even though it was sometimes tedious. I want to live in the 60’s after watching this show. It has made a serious impact on me and I would consider myself a fanatic at this point. I would advise the doubters to jump on the bandwagon with me and enjoy the ride.

Season Rating: 4.8/5.


Mad Men – Ep. 13 – The Wheel

We are finally here. The season finale of Mad Men. My expectations are high and cannot wait to watch this. I can’t wait to continue to watch this show once I’m done blogging. All the build-up, all the questions, everything we wanted to know, will be revealed. Well, most of what we want to know. After completing this episode I couldn’t be happier. There are so many different elements in this episode that were brought out and that is why I fell in love with the show, and it leaves plenty of room for season 2.

The episode is titled “The Wheel,” because of a product the agency takes on. However, I think a different meaning is necessary. I look at it as the season coming to an end, full circle. In the beginning of the season we met these characters, and have seen them grow through this character driven show, and it is beautiful to watch.

Lets start with Peggy, now in charge of the “weight loss machine” we met a few episodes ago, is screening people for ads. We met her when she just started at the agency as a secretary and now she has grown well with the company. She is tough and confident and thinking like a man. Peggy had to be rushed to the hospital and she finally gives birth. We all knew this was coming and hopefully she will lose that pregnancy weight. She was at a loss of words and didn’t even want to see the baby. I can’t wait to see when she presents the baby to Pete. Pete and his wife Trudy spoke about having a child of their own. How ironic? What is she going to do with the baby? She wasn’t even excited. This worries me and we will need to wait for the next season to find this one out.

Don’s wife Betty is maturing. She finally expressing her feelings to Don and to whoever would listen. She even went to Glenn! Remember him?! Last episode I felt bad for her because she seemed like a lost cause. She is starting question Don’s loyalty and she will eventually find out what he has done. I’m wondering what is going through her head. Betty admits to the therapist that she feels bad for Don. This is something I would have never expected to hear her say. I think she knows he is unfaithful, but wants proof first. This will be an ongoing storyline next season.

I’m happy we saw Glenn once again. He was such a creep when he took a lock of Betty’s hair earlier this season. This was nice moment because Betty looked for someone to connect to and it happened to be a child. It shows hoe young she acts and how she told him “adults don’t know anything.” Her confiding in Glenn, a young boy shows that she emotionally still has not turned the corner.

Don Draper, my favorite character, we meet as a hard-working, successful man. We originally think he is a bachelor, but we find out at the end of the first episode, he is married. I never would have thought that seeing him jump from numerous women, staying out late and sometimes not even sleeping home. Don is a product of his environment. He never knew what is was like having a close family as we saw the last episode. We can’t blame his actions entirely on him, but in this episode we saw a different side of him. The presentation Don facilitated for the wheel with Kodak, or as he would call it “The Carousel,” was moving. It would be up there with my favorite scenes of the season. He realizes what he has, he goes through a series of pictures with his family including childhood pictures with Adam and he comes to terms with his family life. Truly amazing. Now he wants to go away for the holidays with his family. He was so happy to finally go home to his family, which we never see, but his family is gone and he is alone. The writers fooled us by showing a beautiful scene of Don coming home to his family, but it was just what was going through Don’s mind.  I felt terrible for Don because we have not seen him so driven to see his family and his came up short. I’m going to have to give it a rating of 4.7/5. It wasn’t a perfect finale, but it had enough elements in it to tease us with suspense for the next season.

We feel everything that goes on emotionally with the characters in this show, with the exception of Pete, especially after he was fuming because he has to work with Peggy and her proven talent in the future. Overall, the season was filled with outstanding drama and woah, what a ride it has been. The authenticity, the acting, and writing is some of the best I’ve ever seen. There are many questions coming up for the coming seasons and I am pumped for what’s to come.

Mad Men – Ep. 12 – Nixon Vs. Kennedy

The episode titled “Nixon Vs. Kennedy should be titled Draper Vs. Campbell. We saw Don and Pete go at it a lot and this has to be one of the best episodes yet. With flashbacks, partying, and politics; could it get any better?

In the presidential elections, Richard Nixon and John F. Kennedy are running against each other and everyone at Sterling Cooper wants Nixon to win. They are all keeping a close eye on the election and we see this when Cooper meets with a potential account executive. The first question he asked him was “who did you vote for?” We obviously know JFK will come out victorious. I wish I can let them know. If only…

Once Don leaves work on election night, the offices at Sterling Cooper suddenly turns into a party. Everyone was drinking and dancing and there was a lot of sneaking around too. Peggy was the quiet reserved one as I would expect. I think this scene was awesome, especially when they turn the water cooler into an Absinthe cooler. The morning after was a typical morning after from some serious partying. The guys looked disheveled and  were drinking hangover remedy juices and the office was a mess. Peggy was looking around thinking to herself what the heck happened here last night? I think Peggy should live a little instead of being so uptight. She is always following the rules and I know she is new at the agency, but you only live once. Even I would want to go to that party, it looked so reckless.

As we suspected, Pete used blackmail on Don to try to get the accounts manager position at the agency. Don quickly denies Pete’s information. Once Don heard this, he seemed different. I have never seen him look so weak mentally this whole season. The facts are obviously true, and Don is very quiet about his past. Pete is acting immature and I liked the way Don put it. He told him, “why do you deserve it? Because you’re rich? Because you paid for $5 haircuts as a boy.” When Pete ran to Cooper, to try to possibly cost Don his job, Cooper responded “who cares,” and I agree. Don Draper is the engine that powers the agency, leave him alone.

What I did not like this episode was Don running to Rachel Menken. He asked her to run away with him. Run away? Is he really going to run away from his past? Run away from Pete Campbell? Don, I do not dig. Neither does Rachel, she thinks he’s delusional and breaks it off. Now we get to the flashbacks. My first thought is yes! I’m an avid LOST fan and if you watch LOST you are aware of the flashbacks.

We meet Dick Whitman (Don), and his Lt. Donald Draper, and we see by an accident that Dick was the reason that the real Don died. In the flashback Dick takes Don’s dog tag and when they return, the real Don is believed to be Dick. This was a perfect way for Don to run away from his life and start a new one. Cowardly? Yes. This episode made it clear that Don is pretty cold-hearted. I came away surprised with the flashbacks, but I did enjoy them and can’t wait for more.

I am rating this episode a 5/5. I loved the political aspect of the episode and how it was a mirror to Don and Pete. The flashbacks were easily the highlight for me. I felt like I was watching a movie. The time is now. The long-awaited season finale of Mad Men. Could I get any more excited??? What’s up with Roger? What will happen with Don and Betty? Hopefully we will find out in the finale.

Mad Men – Ep. 11 – Indian Summer

This episode is titled “Indian Summer,” and the weather this weekend felt like the summer. I watched this on my iPhone at home on Mothers Day. I am still trying to get over the idea that Roger Sterling had a serious heart attack this past episode. We haven’t seen much of Peggy lately until now and she had a big role literally, in this episode.

It is official, Peggy Olson is huge. It is very noticeable and I am starting to think a pregnancy with Pete’s baby is an angle coming up for her. Peggy is also getting some opportunities in the office. Don gave her an account a few weeks ago, with the lipstick company and now he asked her for help with another project. The product is introduced as a weight loss machine, but apparently it gives women “sensations.” The next day Don and the team had a meeting when they brought her in to explain how it works. It was really funny because she did not want to say what it does exactly. Don got it out of her and the team was impressed with her analysis.

The episode begins with Don’s brother Adam, sending out a package to Don and then committing suicide. I really did not see that coming. However, we haven’t seen Adam in a while so I figured he was doing something. I felt really bad for him. He had no one except Don and he gave him money and sent him off. I wonder how Don will take the news of this. He doesn’t usually show his emotions with his family, but this should hit him hard. Pete, was hanging in Don’s office because he wants to wear his skin and the package came. I’m wondering what type of blackmail he will try to pull on him.

Lucky Strikes has another meeting with Sterling Cooper and they wanted Roger’s attendance. When he came into the office he looked terrible. He was pale as a ghost, but made the best of his appearance. Joan came to put makeup on him to make him look presentable and of course he presented her with his sleazy lines. Awesome. Joan must feel horrible. She just cried about him having a heart attack and he is telling her that she is “the finest piece of ass.” Never a dull moment with Roger Sterling, that is for sure. Suddenly at the meeting, Roger has another heart attack. What is going on?!?! I hope they don’t kill off Roger he is too valuable to lose.

Betty is lonely at home and gets her own sensation with the clothes dryer and it is pretty sad. Don is out cheating on his wife and the only pleasures she can get is by manually leaning over the dryer. She fantasizes an air conditioning salesman that came to the house. It was a weird run in and eventually she told him to leave. This caused a fight between Don and Betty and now I am officially endorsing their divorce. It is just not working and I think it would be best if they break it off. Heck, I’ll take Betty if Don isn’t interested.

With Roger out, Cooper offers Don a position as partner with the agency. This is my favorite scene of the episode. He accepts right away, and seeing him and Peggy happy was a relief. He gives her the rest of the day off and a raise. How awesome is that? I can’t wait to see Don as the engine running the agency and see how far he is going to take it. Don has success written on his forehead.

Sidenote: I loved when Rachel Menken was out with her friend when they refer to Don as a “Goy.” A Goy in Hebrew means a non-Jew and it is funny seeing it on TV because I’ve heard it my whole life via  Yeshivah.

I rate this episode a 4.5/5. I really enjoyed most of it except with Roger and his heart attacks and the ongoing fights between Don and Betty. Otherwise, the writing and acting is great as usual and I am awaiting another good episode.

Mad Men – Ep. 10 – Long Weekend

I am watching this episode alone on my laptop on a Friday afternoon. The episode is titled “Long Weekend,” and I thought that was fitting. Let me first give you my initial reaction from this episode. Wow. Talk about some good TV. This episode was dark, unpredictable, and very realistic. After that experience I would say this episode concentrated about how life can change at any moment.

Roger Sterling, the founder of the agency, and one of my favorite characters finally has an episode centered around him. We see how sleazy he is in this episode. I think most girls would be disgusted by his attitude and disrespect towards them, but I think that is what makes his character great. By the way he’s married, and oh what a womanizer. Roger was fooling around with a newly hired girl and he suddenly got a heart attack, and is not in good condition. I did not see that coming. This hits him hard when we see him in the hospital bed later in the episode. Don is also really affected by it and surprisingly Joan as well.

Don had to remind Roger his wife’s name is Mona, not Mirabelle, the girl he was getting with. I think Don starts to realize that this can be him, on his way to the hospital, after cheating on his wife. Coincidentally, Don goes to Rachel Menken’s apartment. Don and his team met with Rachel and her father this episode about her department store. Don always had something for her, and she definitely had feelings for him as well. I don’t know why he picked Rachel to see after such a tragedy and not Betty, or say Midge. Maybe he looks at Rachel as someone who he can talk to, someone similar to him. Betty is beautiful, but immature and Midge he likes to sleep with. I don’t think Don’s intentions with Betty are good after seeing this episode. Don gets very intimate with Rachel and tells her “this is all there is.” He comes onto her, and she backs away, but they eventually start to kiss and you know where that goes. Later, Don tells her some things we never heard him tell anyone, and that is about his past.

Joan also had a big angle in this episode. Like I said, Roger came onto her this episode and she seemed disinterested. However, her roommate confessed her love for her. At first Joan tried to downplay it, which is what I would try to do. Actually I would freak out, but she played it cool. Joan had at least 2 guys and 1 girl hit on her this episode, talk about a hot commodity. We always see Joan keep her composure. When she heard the news about Roger, she broke down. Roger also couldn’t compose himself when he saw his family. It could be that he is realizing all the bad he has done for the people who care about him most. I felt terrible during that scene. Roger is either serious or messing around, but we never saw his emotional side, and I think that was needed. When Joan was crying, maybe it was from her long day and everything going on in her life, but mostly I think it was about Roger. Maybe she really does have feelings for him? We can only wait and see.

This episode I would say it definitely a cliffhanger. The suspense I have for next episode between Roger’s health and how he will end it and Don’s relationship with Rachel. Will we finally see an obvious (I think) end to Betty and Don’s marriage? Or will it be heartbreak for Rachel again? I’m hoping to see a lot, the anticipation is killing me especially with the finale coming up. Mad Men hits us with another A+ episode.

Rating: 5 of 5.