Skinny Ties & Sweaty Backs

Mad Men-Public Relations

Man wasn’t last season just a drag?  The office politics and fucking around with beautiful promiscuous women  gave way to a lot of domestic drama that was draggy and boring 45 % of the time.  A feeling of tiredness pervaded the landscape which was the point but a story about tired people becoming more tired just makes one tired doesn’t it?  But a lull for Mad Men would be many a show’s high point and that really speaks to the quality of   the thing.  Season 3 shined at the very end with the promise of not just a return to office junk and fucking but of a new edge to go along with it. Well you can sign that package cause this thing delivered.

Walking into an office straight from the Tativille set, chic and clean and mid-60s modern everything is already humming along.   This episodes sparks with a scrappy energy, a feeling of we know what we used to do but were punching shit up on the fly too.  Character rapport is different, because it’s no longer based on an employer/employee sort of basis now replaced with something resembling equality among them.  Peggy has a bitch boy and smokes now apparently (she do that before?) Harry has swagger and a California sunburn (and a reason to remember his name unlike Bearded Commie guy and that other guy from middle management.) Roger Sterling is spouting double entendres with a Connery-from-Thunderball rapid-fire succession and Joan Holloway is still Joan-Fucking-Holloway even for the two total minutes she’s onscreen this episode.  This ad biz office stuff is what makes this show tick like a Timex.

But it’s Draper.  Draper is.  Is frustrated. He’s kicking chairs.  Is tired.  His wife is a bitch in a creepy relationship with an unsettling guy who married a married woman with three kids kind of fast.  Is getting  slapped in the face having sweaty sex with his high end prostitute.  Is challenged.  That date scene.  Do they give out cutie pie trophies?  Cause that girl should get one.  The meat of this episode is the fact that Don Draper has become the LEADER leader and he doesn’t know what to do about it.  Before he had others to defer to and now he’s there equal and just because of who he is, he’s the defacto boss.  His right to privacy shit can’t fly anymore and now it looks like he’s taking his phony persona to the next level.

Shit’s back, son.

-Daniel Von Egidy, 2010

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