Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Mad Men: The Better Half

I was briefly talking to someone at work today about Sunday's Mad Men episode. And so I was inspired to write some quick thoughts.

What is there to say about the show now? It is meticulously crafted; the actors know what they are doing and do it well. But my problem with the show now is that, while I watch each episode and enjoy them, I don't feel that they are really heading anywhere.
(At which point, mastermind Matthew Weiner mentally scoffs at me for my lack of understanding and vision and dismisses me outright. Which . . . I guess is fair, since I'm the same guy that wrote this only a few hours earlier TODAY. . . )

ANYWAY . . . so, yeah. Skill and technique and limited mental ability of the viewer aside . . . where is it all going? By now we should all get that Don is a struggling lecher and Peggy is torn and Pete is a tool and Bob Benson is (probably) a sociopath. And we long ago figured out that Roger is a meaningless cad.


I think that I my own personal problem. We don't get much in the way of ad pitches anymore. It's too much about the tumult of history and the upheaval of people's LIVES and stuff. I want to see significant ad campaigns breathed into first life. I want to believe that Don can use that charisma to sell the Ford Pinto or hawk Mello Yello. I don't need to see yet more evidence that his best use of those pipes is to get ladies (even his old lady) out of their panties . . . AGAIN.

And yet, there were some promising developments in this week's episode that I will spend a moment or two to praise--most notably the important clues given regarding Bobby Draper.

Weiner's best moments revolved around the interesting dialogue Bobby had with his parents in the camp restaurant. (Was it a camp restaurant or simply a restaurant near the camp? It certainly didn't look like the campground cafeteria that I remembered from Camp Villa Marie.)

You might have missed it, mesmerized as you surely were by this weird sing-along moment:

gif copied from http://www.hitfix.com/whats-alan-watching/

(I've heard this song sung A LOT around my house. A function of my wife's many years of her own church camp upbringing and her inability to ever forget a camp song.)

But really the subtext of this was that Bobby was announcing his own future embarkation to being a serial killer--perhaps the future Tom Cruise?) Because he was saying that he would search out and destroy all past incarnations of Bobby so that he could continue on as Bobby Prime. And his loyal subjects would acknowledge his supremacy with the Father Abraham salute.

(Be afraid Bobbys I through IV.)

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