Monday, May 20, 2013

Men Down! (Mad Men, that is)

Perhaps I did not sleep well last night, or maybe having my plans to get some major work done today interrupted by a strep throat inflicted child has made me a wee bit meaner today. Either way, I watched last night's Mad Men episode this morning, and I believe my sister eloquently summed it up with her email, saying quote "WTF?"".  (NOTE: If you have not watched Mad Men up to and including last night's episode, look away. Look away I tell you! There are spoilers ahead.)

First of all, the fact that I chose to go to bed rather than stay up to watch the episode as it aired should be a sign of how I feel about this season. The first episode of the season was boring and confusing. People (Bob) appeared out of nowhere with no explanation of who they were or what they do. The next few episodes seemed like an improvement to me. It was on its way back! I was so excited! I was a fool.

Don keeps having flashbacks to his childhood and acts like a sad sack about Sylvia. Does he even really like her, or is he just that resistant to not being in control? Am I the only one that hoped it really was Arnold Rosen on the phone, just to see how Don would handle that confrontation? Peggy learns (again) that her office mates are not remotely suitable romantic interests. And how creepy is Harry Hamlin's character? His contributions so far are gross voyeurism and bringing in the questionable doctor. While the old school Sterling Cooper office drunkenness had a certain juvenile charm, the new firm's atmosphere is just over the top to me. I'm pretty sure the only "vitamins" in those injections were vitamins D, R, U, G and S. And what on earth was the point of "Grandma Ira"? To show that Don is so busy putting work first, his kids are in danger when left alone? Well, duh. Name a time Don't work (or Don) didn't come first to Don. The best thing about this episode was the complete lack of Pete. I feel like this season is kind of flying off the rails.

Take note, Matthew Weiner. Here is what I want to see more of: Strong, confident Don. Not sad Don, or super icky S&M Don, just ad man Don who saves accounts on the fly. Way more comic relief (and silver foxiness) of Roger. More Joan and Peggy as strong, professional women working in a man's world. More Betty IF you show her as more complex and not a shrew harpy all the time. If I never see Megan, Pete or Harry again, that is fine by me. I appreciate the complexity of the relationships and the personal struggles of each character, but I'd also like to get back to the ad campaigns and pitch meetings. I think seeing Dawn's life outside of work would be an interesting reflection of what she faced during this time period, but otherwise I'd really like to see more of the actual work. You know, the advertising?

Am I alone here? Is anyone just loving the season more than anything?

P.S. Having seen the white tonsils and smelled the distinctive "sick breath" in our house about a thousand times over the last few years, I feel qualified to diagnose strep throat. I wish I could just call in a prescription and skip the office visit that will only tell me what I already know. If E turns out not to have strep, I will eat my hat.

Updated to add: If I had a hat, I would have to eat it! Test came back negative for strep. Guessing it is a virus so just more rest and fever reducer if needed. Daddy bought her lots of popsicles and ice cream so E is living it up.

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