Posts tagged ‘Television’

Mad Men Monday

Sunday nights episode found Don Draper with Anna again in California. I love seeing Don with Anna because we see another side of him that we usually don’t see. Never during the series do we see Don care about anybody or anything else the way we see him care about Anna, and that perhaps it is because it is Don Draper channeling his “real” self and identity as Dick Whitman.

That said, I was so angry when he didn’t tell Anna that she had cancer. If you care so much about her, why wouldn’t you share that news with her? Why not be there for her during that time? It baffled me. I worry about what will happen to Don if and/or when Anna dies. Dick Whitman will be gone forever, as she is the one person in his life that reminds him of who he really is. If Anna dies, so does Dick Whitman.

And perhaps that’s why Don didn’t tell her; because it meant acknowledging that his connection to his true self will be gone forever if Anna passes away. Perhaps sitting with that reality is too much for Don, which meant performing the selfish act of keeping the news of the cancer away from Anna.

Don is slowly unraveling this season between losing Betty and havin’ relations with his secretary. It’s going to be interesting seeing him further evolve this episode.

Did anyone else watch last night’s episode? What did you think? Who else is relieved that he didn’t do the thang-thang with the college chick at Anna’s house?

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Mad Men Monday

I’m going to try something different for this season of Mad Men and do a post about the most recent episode on the following Monday. I’ll try to do as few spoilers as possibe, but I can’t promise you that my posts will be completely spoiler free.

I’m hoping the rest of the Mad Men heads who read my blog will chime in on the comment section! Don’t be shy.

From  Basket of Kisses:

Mark called Peggy old-fashioned. He thinks she’s a virgin. She’s not. Peggy hasn’t just had one bad affair gone very, very wrong, but she’s had dirty sex with an older man in broad daylight. It stung her to be called old-fashioned. The lie she’s telling him stung her, maybe some sadness for the old-fashioned girl she used to be, and maybe anger at Mark for needing her to be something she just ain’t.

I know many people will be talking about the return of Glenn or about Don sleeping with his secretary, but I want to focus on Peggy for a minute. We see her lie to Mark and tell him that she’s a virgin, which if you’ve been watching since season 1 we know couldn’t be farther from the truth. By now, we’ve seen Peggy have an affair with a married coworker (Pete), have raunchy sex with Duck, and have what could only be described as a booty call with one other guy. So why would she lie about being a virgin to Mark, and why would Mark so willingly believe it?

I think it comes down to the sexual double standard that many women faced back then, and still do today. I think Peggy told Mark that she was a virgin not only to further hide the fact that she had another man’s baby, but also to perpetuate the virgin/whore expectations that were thrown at women in the 1960s. In some ways, I suspect Mark expected Peggy to be a virgin, even though it isn’t expected that Mark himself is a virgin.

Furthermore, I too was thrown when Mark called Peggy old-fashioned–it just let us know that he doesn’t have a clue about who he’s dating. It seems to me that he should have known just by her occupation alone that Peggy was more than just another girl next door, but somehow he seems to want to fit her into a mold that she simply isn’t willing or able to fit at this point.

And Betty.

It’s so interesting to see how far we’ve come in terms of our attitudes toward Betty. I went from sympathizing with and cheering for her in Season 1 to hating her in Season 2. Now that she’s with Harry she seems to resent Sally even more, which makes me in turn dislike her even more–and I’m pretty sure that’s what Matt Weiner was hoping would happen. I’m not convinced that Henry and Betty will last, and I’m not sure I want to be convinced that Betty and Don are really over as we see Don further unravel without her.

And to think this is only Episode 2.



Black people on Mad Men (or lack thereof)

As a pretty big Mad Men fan, I was so excited about last night’s Season 3 premiere. Not only did I want to know how the rest of the story unfolded but part of me hoped that maybe, just maybe, we’ll see more than a passing glance at a Black character on the show or the mention of race as an afterthought. Every time I watched the show, I couldn’t help but think, “gotdamnit! When are they going to say anything about race or Blackness! It’s the sixties for cryin’ out loud!”

It wasn’t until I read Ta-Nehisi Coates’ recent post that I realized that it the absence of Black people is precisely what we love about the show as it explores what white privilege and masculinity is—and in the case of Mad Men it does mean that people of color are rendered invisible.

I actually think it’s a beautiful, lovely, incredibly powerful omission. Mad Men is a show told from the perspective of a particular world. The people in that world barely see black people. They’re there all the time–Hollis in the elevator, women working in the powder-room, the Draper’s maid, the janitors, the black guy hired at Leo Burnett–but they’re never quite seen. I think this is an incredible statement on how privilege, at its most insidious, really works.

It’s been argued that the absence of people of color is a romantic view of “the good ol’ days”, but I beg to differ. The fact that Black people are so absent and silent in the face of white privilege is exactly a commentary on race in the 60s, especially as there were already so few Black people who lived in worked in the type of environment that Don Draper and company were so accustomed to. There are several female writers on the Mad Men team, which is why the gender commentary is so on point, but I often have to wonder what would have happened on the show if there were people of color on that team. Would we be more present? Or would things remain the same?