a few thoughts on ‘Mad Men’: “Waldorf Stories”
Okay, so, herewith the sexism of the 1960s: Danny, the cure for the common copywriter, gets a job at SDCP thanks to nepotism, and no thanks to his utter lack of talent. But Peggy has to get naked with Stan, the new art director — not to have sex, but just to challenge his bullshit — in order to get him to at least acknowledge that she’s present in the room and a partner in the work they’re supposed to be doing. (Even when she wins, though, she loses, because know he thinks she’s a “smug bitch.”) Oh, and Peggy, who was nominated for a Clio for her work on the floor wax campaign, doesn’t get to attend the Clio Awards ceremony… but Joan does, so she can be bait for new clients.
Gotta love the rich irony of Don complaining that by the time a campaign is finished, it feels like everyone else has done your work… when he later forgets to acknowledge Peggy when they win the Clio for her work, and when he drunkenly appropriates Danny’s “cure for” line for the Life campaign.
Speaking of: Is Don’s drinking finally getting waaaay out of control? First he forgets that he stole Danny’s line, then he forgets that he sent Peggy and Stan to a hotel room to work; he goes to bed with one woman on Friday night and wakes up on Sunday morning with a different woman in bed with him, and he doesn’t even realize that it is Sunday. Yikes. All the booze-fueled interpersonal animosity that is dripping from this episode is nothing compared to Don’s lost weekend. (That moment, when Don wakes up to find Doris the waitress in his bed, has to be one of the most effective uses of editing I’ve ever seen. It so beautifully illustrates Don’s loss of memory.)
Hey: What is it about Joan, that Roger and Don each clasp her hand under the table when their category is called at the Clios? It’s not just that she’s gorgeous. It could be that she’s nearly a partner in the firm, and so they all have a real stake in whether they win this award or not, but I think it’s more than that. She’s like their totem, or their muse. That was a nice moment, actually, in which her position at the firm — she’s almost an unspoken leader — is acknowledged as important. Or am I missing some more unpleasant connotation of Don and Roger’s implusive act here?
The flashback! Who’da thunk Don Draper would be so fresh-faced, so eager, so desperate just prior to going to work at Sterling Cooper? It’s kind of amazing how Jon Hamm managed to look totally different in those scenes…
Best line of the episode, maybe: Lane’s “Roger Sterling is a child.”
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