Tuesday, April 07, 2015

Mad Men 7: Random Bullets of a Brief Review

Now that Historiann has opened the voting, so to speak, and to follow up on my earlier Mad Men thoughts, herewith some random bullets of Mad Men 7.1.  I saw it during the regular broadcast time, since there was laundry to fold and since iTunes refuses to download episodes with the season pass that I bought.
  • "Is That All There Is?" played 3 times in this episode. We get it. Is Don having an existential crisis? Does he ever have anything else?
  • On the other hand, Don wears a striped shirt! The times they are a-changin'.
  • If Don came to me as a fortuneteller, I would totally clean up: "You are haunted by a mysterious brunette from your past, and she will return in your dreams. You cannot erase this figure through sexual contact with other brunette women."
  • Critics seem to think that Ken would have been better off writing his novel than getting back in the game with Dow.  Matt Weiner says this, and so does Alan Sepinwall, who's the critic most worth reading.  But to do this, Ken has to live on Cynthia's money, and he has always resolutely resisted that. Also, he has said that they have to pay (emotionally) for anything they get from Cynthia's parents and that there are lots of strings attached.
  • Isn't living on your wife's money just as corrupting, in its way, as working for Dow, even though it does not involve a hazmat suit? What Ken really has is two bleak choices: Dow's money or his wife's.
  • A thought experiment: Did Peggy have a choice in the meeting with the frat guys from McCann other than ignoring their halfwitted remarks and plowing ahead, if she wanted to enlist their help? Should Joan have brought along a flame-thrower? Discuss.
  • Note to Peggy: cheering Joan up, or dispensing sanctimony and blaming Joan for the way she looks, in an elevator is always a losing proposition. The decade will declare that "Sisterhood is powerful," but individual experiences might argue "not so much."
  • The internet loses its mind about Roger's and Ted's mustaches, and Weiner declares that people in future generations will think that the 2015 beards will look strange. Well, facial hair comes and goes. My bet is that people will think that men shaving their heads over the past 20 years or so will be thought odd, since that's historically a new development in male sartorial splendor, unless you're counting the era when men shaved their heads to wear wigs. 
  • Since Season 6 was basically a repeat of Season 4 (fine performances with endless downward spiral), I'm hoping that Season 7 will repeat Season 5, if it needs to repeat anything. I want a happy ending of some kind for these characters.

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