22 October 2007

Mad Men season finale


Can I start the screaming right now? For the most part, I enjoyed the season finale of Mad Men but there were a few elements that made me want to shout at the TV. See my reflections on the episode and the season below.

WARNING: Possible spoilers ahead

--Did I miss something? Did Pete's wife say that she didn't want to start a family right away in another episode?

--How does Don Draper get away with not going with his wife and kids for Thanksgiving? If this part of the show is true to life, then I am amazed at how often businessmen got away with not going home at night and not spending time with their wives on the holidays.

--On other blogs it has been commented that Betty Draper has the mentality of a 12-year-old but I never saw it before this episode. The scene with her neighbor Francine was priceless. She truly didn't know that she was supposed to give Francine advice as one cuckolded wife to another. The scene with the neighbor boy Glenn illustrated this even more. She talked to him as if they were both kids on the playground together. I had to fight the temptation to fast-forward; that scene had a high "ick" factor for me.

--Peggy was ruthless in the recording booth scenes. I wonder if she picked the pretty girl for the session because she didn't want to pick the girl who looked more like herself. I'm still confused as to why she was so frustrated with the pretty girl's performance the next day. However, I'm sure the commenters on the other TV blogs will set me straight :-).

--Was Betty purposely telling her psychiatrist about Don being a cheater because she knows Don calls him, or was she just in denial and pouring her heart out to him? I'm not sure that she has it in her to be that calculating.

--The scene where Don made Peggy a copywriter just to spite Pete was great! My favorite part about this show is that even though the women don't exactly have equal rights (it is set in 1960, after all), they still acknowledge the fact that Peggy has skills. Of course it comes at a price. It seems they can't see her as talented and desirable at the same time.

Now we come to the screaming. Didn't I say they were going to make Peggy pregnant instead of just fat? I knew they were going to take the easy way out. They better have some really good scenes with Peggy next season to justify this. And that baby! Normally I suspend my disbelief when I watch TV and movies; I am not one to pick apart every detail looking for errors. However, Peggy was not big enough to have carried a baby to full term. I fully expected her to have a miscarriage when they showed her doubled over.

This series as a whole reminded me a bit of Heroes. Both shows started slowly in the beginning and then unveiled surprise after surprise toward the end, although Mad Men isn't as whiz-bang as Heroes. You have to be a patient person to appreciate it. In my case, the set design and costumes drew me in and kept me there long enough for the story to grab me. I'm not sure that someone without my addiction to vintage style would stick around that long.

So what do I want to see from Mad Men next season? Well, my list starts off with things I don't want to see.

--First off, I want that baby to be gone. When Peggy turned her head away from the baby, it gave me hope that she is going to give it up for adoption. I want to see about Peggy advancing her career, not her trying to be a single mother.

--I also want that creepy storyline with Betty and the little boy to disappear. Nothing good can come from that.

--More Joan, please! Christina Hendricks sparkles every time she is on the screen. She is one of the few celebrities who has tempted me to write a fan letter.

--More great set and costume design. I've heard a rumor that the next season will jump forward to 1962 and I can't wait to see what they do with that.

Well, that's it. I guess I've gained another hour on my weekly viewing schedule. Whatever will I watch?
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