Mad Men Open Thread: Christmas In August

Episode-2-lee-don

It was disorienting to say the least to see a Christmas party during an August heat wave but nobody throws a party like the Mad Men. I decided to experiment with an open thread this week to see how much interest there is in discussing this fascinating and nuanced show.

Here’s a topic: Lee Garner Jr, Prince of Darkness or common variety rich asshole? Discuss amongst yourselves. Me, I’m busy wondering if Sally Draper and her weirdo friend Glenn will end up as members of the Manson family. When Glenn was trashing Betty’s kitchen, it was easy to see him carving up the odd socialite down the road.

Uh oh, guess I went on too much for this to be an open thread that will suit the purists but I’ve never been a purist so why should I start now?

9 thoughts on “Mad Men Open Thread: Christmas In August

  1. marc sobel says:

    All characters (with the exception of all but one of the Brits) are both good and evil. Remember Lee Garnder Jr. is at least bi-sexual. That probably made for complexity (you know, back then before all the gender problems got fixed)
    What I became aware of was how much times were back then economically.

  2. Adrastos says:

    Lee is a power mad dick. He likes rolling over people as in the whole Roger as Santa thing. Perhaps the main reason I hate Lee is that he’s the reason Sal cannot work at DCSP. I miss seeing my homeboy Brian Batt.

  3. Kevin says:

    When you need a Christmas party thrown together in less than 24 hours, all you have to do is yell “Joan!” and she just makes it happen. Magic.
    I fear for her, though – besides the Mysterious Doctor Visit next week, Twiggy is just around the cultural corner. I’d hate to see her magnificence on the slagheap, like poor Freddy Rumsen with his sad sandwiches and 1940s ad concepts.
    Don is both smiling a lot more AND completely falling apart. Back in the first season, he was enigmatic and cold, but he sure wasn’t falling-down drunk in public hallways, and no one – particularly not the young pups! – would have the effrontery to sneer at him.
    Roger’s wife must’ve just seen Liz Taylor inCleopatra. That’s the only possible explanation for that Christmas getup.

  4. Adrastos says:

    Me, I’d scream Joan just because I have a mad crush on her. Joan has got it all: brains, beauty and competence to burn. Unfortunately her hubby turned out to be Dr. Nightmare…

  5. David says:

    Lee is a classic sociopath (see: http://www.mcafee.cc/Bin/sb.html) … prediction: he is going to stir up a lot more trouble BECAUSE HE CAN and he knows it …
    Was it my imagination, or has Jane put on weight?
    I believe the knife Glen had at the Christmas tree lot was a switchblade … hardly age-appropriate … according to “Chekhov’s Gun” (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chekhov's_gun), seeing that knife now means we are likely to see it play some significant role a few episodes down the road …

  6. mothra says:

    A Mad Men open thread? OOOOOO! Christmas IS in August.
    Lee is a sociopath. I was trying to remember if he was the one who came onto Sal–now Adrastos confirms it. I miss Sal, too. I really loved how they developed his character–why’d they write him out?
    Freddy Rumsen and his sad sandwiches. Har. But I did enjoy that the writers didn’t have Freddy come right out and say he was a recovered alcoholic–we are so used to pepole being open about it today when back then it was a stigma. So odd.
    Don. Don is careening off the edge, but I imagine he’ll reel himself back in somehow. Or maybe not. Don always has been self-destructive, if you think about it.
    And little Sally. I have wondered for quite a while about the writers’ intentions for Sally. There was that bit a couple of seasons ago where they had her talking about wanting to pee outside which I found quite bizarre. I think Sally is going to be our sociopath from the Draper family. Her hateful mother doesn’t help much, either.
    Ah, I could go on and on…

  7. Iz says:

    Lee Garner Jr is a prick but unfortunately holds all the cards right now because of Lucky Strike being the firm’s primary account. Don however dug a hole like none other banging is secretary when he forgot his keys. I’m dying to see how that plays out…

  8. Adrastos says:

    Don really has been “pathetic” this year as the new guy said The famous Draper babe magnet effect seems to be in abeyance. He kept striking out until he broke his own rule by sleeping with his secretary.

  9. spocko says:

    I would have posted sooner, but I wasn’t at a computer.
    I loved Lee Garner Jr’s needling Rodger about Santa and the next day Don’s joke about “de Fuhrer’s birthday party” was hilarious.
    They know who Lee is and how they are supposed to keep him happy. Anyone who has been in the business on the accounts side knows this stuff. It’s kind of sad, but it’s real. I had to be really nice to some very demanding people who “knew which way the money flowed” and reminded me of it more than once.
    Don and the secretary was just heart breaking. The look on her face the next day, and when she got the Christmas bonus, two fifty’s it just must have made her feel like a prostitute.
    Note to Kevin above, good catch on the eye make and and the influence from Cleopatra which came out in 1963.
    Peggy can be really rude at times but you know if the same criticisms had come from a guy they would have been accepted. They would have come in the form of a cutting joke. That is the difference, but Peggy has to go “one down” and apologize to the man. A guy would just say, ‘Don’t be such a baby, I was ranking on ya, ya old man!”
    This is a style difference I’ve seen with men and women in the office. In brainstorming it can be a horrible experience where only people with the ability to keep pitching and ignoring attacks can “win”. Good ideas are lost before they are even heard.
    A good brainstorming session has three parts.
    1) Before the meeting = studies show that people are more creative alone
    2) In the Idea phase where the old chestnut “No bad ideas” exists and people “yes and” the ideas
    3) The evaluation phase. Which of these is workable?
    Part Final: The brainstorming about implementation. Or “selling the idea and pulling it off” You can come up with great ideas but if you can’t sell it and you can’t execute on it they will die. I learned that after several great ideas died at the client level.

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