Sunday, October 26, 2008

Mad moments

Now that Season Two of MAD MEN has come to a very satisfying - if somewhat soap-operay - conclusion, I will once again direct viewers to the best MM discussion on the net, courtesy of my Star-Ledger colleague Alan Sepinwall. He also has a lengthy and exclusive Q&A with MM creator Matthew Weiner, talking about the series as a whole and the finale in particular.

My favorite moments from tonight's episode:
+ Don finally giving Pete the fatherly attention and approval he's sought for so long. I've always thought of Pete as a soul in the balance, looking for guidance from various father figures, only to be rebuffed by Don at every turn.
+ The merger of the Don/Dick personalities at the same time as Sterling Cooper itself is facing a merger. Don seemed to return from California with the best qualities of both his personas, plus a desperate realization of what he stood to lose if things continued as they were. And along with that ...
+ ... Don's letter to Betty, written with his characteristic adman's skill, but with an emotionally wrenching sincerity at its heart ... "you won't be alone for long, but I'll be alone forever."

All that said, I'm still hoping for the Freddy Rumsen spinoff series next year.

And, for those who missed it, one of the finer moments from this weekend's Saturday Night Live, courtesy of Jon Hamm.

Speaking of finales, in case any of you have been following the news about The Star-Ledger, the other shoe did indeed drop Friday. The short version being that I and 150 of my colleagues - about half of the newsroom staff - will be leaving the paper by the end of the year.

But enough about that, go read Sepinwall. And don't worry, he's staying.


pattinase (abbott) said...

Oh, no. Sorry to hear that--the final thing. Don't have the heart to discuss MM after hearing that.

wstroby said...

Well, it's been an ongoing situation since they first made the announcement, so nothing came as much of a surprise. It's almost a relief to have some sort of resolution after the stresses of the last couple months. I don't think anyone quite expected how many people would want to go though, or that management would allow (and even encourage) them to.

By all means though, feel free to discuss MAD MEN. As I posted on Sepinwall's blog, my prediction for Season Three is that Darrin Stephens joins the firm, Don has an affair with Samantha (or maybe Serena) and Endora sends Paul into space.

pattinase (abbott) said...

What most amazes me is how the writers can continue to embue every character with enigma, pain, optimism and individuality. It is impossible to clearly define/understand any one of them--which does reflect greater complexity than any other TV show has attempted.
I didn't quite get the difference between what Ducky had in mind for the new firms and what Don Draper wanted. Selling advertising rather than products, I know. So you're just offering blocks of time on behalf of the networks rather than working with clients?
Does Don really believe he loves Betty? I guess so but he's never seemed to share anything with her other than aloofness. I'll let you alone now.

wstroby said...

My feeling is Don came back from Calif. with a better appreciation of what he had and a fear of losing it. There was a lot of simple everyday joy in those moments with his kids in the hotel room. However, I wouldn't put too much stock in his ability to change. After all, two episodes ago, he was nailing a woman he'd just met who was almost young enough to be his daughter.

tintin said...

Was the link to SNL the Jon Hamm's John Ham advert. Your link is ka-put.

Am very glad to hear it is bloody over. Am back in Ef El but heading back to NYC for good soon.

I read The Feminine Mystique and I swear to God a lot of stuff on MM is coming straight from the book. And I mean that as a compliment.

wstroby said...

No, the link is to SNL's "Don Draper's Guide to Picking Up Women" and I think it's working again.