Mad Men Thread: Hair and Death


The season premiere was called The Doorway and there were a
shitload of them since Matthew Weiner and company are deep into symbolism in a
rather unsubtle way. The doors had a lot to do with death and very little to do
with hair, which may be just a harebrained idea on my part…

On to random and discursive comments that may be even randomer and discursive
than usual. Dang, that was repetitive:

Hair and Harry: It’s finally the late ’60’s at SCDP and the
men’s hair reflected that. It is no longer difficult to spot the
difference between the creative team and the beancounters. The former are as
shaggy as all get out: Harry has stopped using greasy kid stuff and has sideburns,
and Stan has a full-tilt Jerry Garcia beard. Even Roger and Pete have
sideburns. The sole hold-out is our Dante’s Inferno reading hero, Don Fucking Draper
who looks the same as he did in 1960, only more pensive.

Don’s Inferno: Don had a rough episode. He was surrounded
by reminders of his own mortality from the beginning. I had a
brief Tweety-like tingle in my leg when I realized that Ray Abruzzo, Little
Carmine from The Sopranos, was playing the doorman who died briefly and was revived
by Don’s new frenemy Doctor Rosen. The latter doesn’t know the enemy part: Don
is porking the kindly Jewish doctor’s Italianate spouse…

I really loved the scene in the Honolulu bar where Don looked his past, and
perhaps his future, in the eye when he met the callow drunken private. Don’s
zippy Zippo lighter somehow got traded for the kid’s, which he’s trying to send
back via his secretary. I expect she’ll hear that he’s been KIA-killed in
action, not the Korean carmaker- when she tries to send it to his unit. Another
tailspin for Don, y’all.

Don Draper in a Frock: I’m talking about the Pegster,
y’all. It was great to see her thriving and in control at the new agency
complete with ex-Sterling Cooper dude Bert Peterson on the staff. He was last
seen pitching a fit after Lane and Moneypenny sacked him.

Peggy actually looked and acted happy. At Teddy Chaough’s agency, she’s no
longer the girl who used to be a secretary, which is why this was a good move
for her. In her dealings with her underlings, she was pure Don Draper in a
dress: barking orders, dismissing their ideas and demanding coffee. I hope
Teddy will continue to be a good boss so that we can continue to see 2, count
’em 2, Madison Avenue ad agencies in a time of social and creative ferment. Ferment? Sounds
like beer…

The Continuing Adventures of Roger Sterling: His mother
dies but he seems more upset by the death of his shoeshine guy. I think it was
the mere fact of seeing the man’s life work reduced to a box of rags laces and
polish. Our Roger seems reduced to being a figurehead at the office, and the bank of
Dad to his family. Time for another acid trip?

Roger does, however, take Don’s hurling at the wake rather well. Don was
drunk (shocked? I thought not) and had a hard time stomaching all the mommie dearest
chat since Don/Dick never knew his own mother. Don is spiraling, I tell ya. We
like it when Don spirals…

Brunette Betty the Social Worker: The weakest part of the
episode. It was motivated by a futile attempt to make us hate Betty less. Never
gonna happen, my friend. Her “rape joke’ will see to that. I did, however
get a kick out of the snippy hippie who used the word grok. Betty was, after all, a
in a Strange Land
in that squalid Village squat. I grok that, man. Pass the
pork belly and the fiddle, please. At least Betty didn’t have to perform a
Heinlein maneuver on any of the grotty and spotty squatters…<rim

I think Sally’s pal is off to be a Manson girl but our Sally seems to have
developed a new way of dealing with her mother: ignore her. Probably a good
move, kiddo.

You say Megan, I say Corinne: The lovely and brilliant Ms.
Calvert is a minor soap opera villainess now. She was even recognized by a bun
headed woman from Minnesota in Hawaii. Ja, you betcha. I hope her fan won’t mind when she goes all Richard
Widmark and pushes someone in a wheelchair down a stariwell. That I want to

Don and Megan are still together but my hopes that the love of a nice, intelligent, and
very fetching woman would make him a better man look hopeless. Don keeps proving that he’s incapable of love. Cheating on Betty was one thing but Megan
is a kindly, floral bikini-wearing doll. Zou bissou, bissou. That’s right,
y’all, Don is still in a tailspin:

3 thoughts on “Mad Men Thread: Hair and Death

  1. I hope their US advisers warned them but they obviously didn’t listen if they did. So it goes. Roger woulda told them…

  2. Way back in the day before they exported to the US, when they made REALLY crappy and dangerous cars, the name was a running joke among US troops in South Korea.

  3. Shit. I completely forgot that KIA stood for killed in action. How on earth did the manufacturers of the KIA cars not realize that, though?

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