The first few weeks when I started doing these reviews I sat down with a yellow notepad and a #2 mechanical pencil and wrote observations down and then from those observations I wrote one of these thingies. The last two or three not so much and I have felt…suffered a bit for it. Spun a bit too off the cuff as it were. Which is what these are to begin with, I usually write them after the original airing and as its replaying right after.
Mad Men-The Summer Man
This one. This one did not have the laser focus of last week’s Don/Peggy “trapped in an elevator” sort of deal but it did pick three plots and run them through pretty proper.
1) Don and his drinking
2) That new hipster douche guy
3) Betty and her getting less creepy by the appearance husband
Soooo 1). Yes. This one was pretty hit or miss. The pool thing worked in a super obvious European movie of the 60s metaphor for drowning because I’m letting myself sink. Sort of thing. The Stones sunglasses badass thing was so sorely and weirdly out of place and apropos of nothing that it fucking worked. It was a Bob Haney moment on TV swear to god. The voice over thing worked sometimes. At it’s best it sounded crime noir, at its worst like bad beat spoken word. But it might supposed to be that? Don being an absorber of pop influence can only spit it back out again?
2) with a shoe cause that rhymes. The new cast of middle management talking pieces with no subplots is about as interesting as the old one (kind of somewhat) and there to contrast with Peggy and Joan and women stuff and to reflect and contrast the timesblahblahblah. This was fine I guess but it didn’t seem to advance anything except to show that shit sucked for women still, 1965. Thanks I guess.
3)Ummmm. This one worked all the way for me actually. I don’t think much of Betty Draper AT ALL but who does. But January Jones, and this is the first time I’ve mentioned any actor names here, she has really developed this complete hatefuck vibe that I dig and I hope with how this one ends it won’t be the last of it.
For a very middle episode this one was good.
-Daniel Von Egidy, 2010