Tag Archives: Vincent Kartheiser

Mad Men Recap (S06 E13): The 70s suck

I have not bothered recapping the last few episodes of Mad Men because (a) I’m lazy, and (b) the story arcs have been sub-standard.

As such, (a) + (b) = (c) I am lazy to recap sub-standard crap.

I understand that Mad Men holds itself to a different standard of story-telling. Matthew Weiner doesn’t do the cliff-hangers, the bottle episodes, the melodrama etc etc – all hallmarks of typical television dramas. However, it has to be said that skewering all the characters of your TV show can’t be considered good television either.

In seasons past, no matter what the crazy shit it was that they pulled, you always felt an illogical loyalty to whomever your favourite characters were. Whether it was Pete cheating on his wife, Don cheating on his wife, or Peggy cheating her way to the top, there was always a little voice in the back of my head going, “aww, but its not all his / her fault – they just have a shit deal.” Mad Men has achieved the impossible by rendering every character, no matter how minor, as an actual human being. And that, my fellow TV nerds, is what makes compelling television.

Now obviously, I’m not the type of viewer that watches Mad Men to analyze the significance of Megan Draper’s t-shirt (can we all just admit that the whole Sharon Tate murder thing was a complete red herring?) or the importance of Bob Benson’s coffee-drinking habits. I know that a bunch of viewers enjoy the intellectual workout that Mad Men offers – that’s where they get their kicks, and thats fine by me.

Take that, conspiracy theorists! Megan is STILL ALIVE.

However, I’ve taken enough film and television studies courses at university to vow never to over-analyze, and thus ruin, my TV shows. Mad Men is genius – its smart, well-written, highly cerebral, but more than that, it was engaging as all hell. For those who thought Mad Men was just a bunch of pretentious tosh, I would always shoot back, “YOU ARE DAMNED FOOLS!”

The reason for that has always been because of one reason: YOU CARED FOR THE CHARACTERS. You cared about their lives, their journeys – it was like watching your best friends screw up week after week, and you sat there in blind support because you gave a damn about their futures.

That’s why it pained me this season to watch all the main characters slowly screw themselves over and over. The glittering glamour of the 60s is over, folks. Welcome to the muddy mess that is the 70s.

Nevertheless, I have decided to break my silence because this episode gave me a glimmering flicker of hope that its all going to be okay.

Douchebag Draper – As much as I harp on about how I hate Don Draper, that doesn’t mean that I don’t want him to find redemption. I’ve hated on him pretty hard this season, but I see why now. He’s like that childhood friend that I can’t quit – no matter how much he fucks up, no matter how much I rage about his bullshit, I still want him to dig himself out of that alcoholic, philandering hole and get his shit together. Matthew Weiner tore him down, and this episode was Don’s rock-bottom. Sally won’t speak to him, his partners as SC&P have ousted him, and Megan has seemingly left him. He is finally getting everything he deserves and it was all of his own making. Strangely enough, I felt no joy at his ruin. Instead, I felt an immense tug of hope well up inside me when he took Sally and his boys to see his childhood home. This was Don trying to face his past, and rebuild his present. Kudos, Jon Hamm – I can’t ever quit you.

20 pts (for recognising the vast failures of your life and trying to get your shit together)

Miss Peggy – Hey girl, you finally got it on with Teddy Chaough. I hope it was hot, because we can’t be having that infidelity crap hampering your meteoric rise in the advertising world.

What up, Don? Peggy is in the house. As much as I liked Ted, her whole arc with him has been a distraction from where she needs to go. Where I need her to go. And that is, the top of the heap. God love her for not being a coldly ambitious ice queen – Peggy is still a girl who wants to love and be loved, as much as she wants to be the ultimate advertising dragon-lady. But hon, like Ted says, him leaving for LA is going to be the best thing that’s happened to you.

10 pts (for her ridiculous get up to make Ted jealous, proving that she’s just like the rest of us silly girls) + 20 pts (for telling Ted to get the hell out) = 30 pts

We’ve all been there, Peggs.

Ted Chaough – Oh honey, NO. It’s not okay to cheat on your family. You’re better than Don. It’s also not okay to seem so overwhelmingly decent and earnest in your love confessions, and then change your mind on a girl.

NOT OKAY.

– 30 pts (for cheating on the familia) – 20 pts (for “if I can’t have you, no one can”) + 5 pts (for going to LA after realising that YOU’RE BETTER THAN THAT) = -45 pts

Sideburns Campbell – Oh dear, his receding hairline is receding even faster. That dastardly Manolo! Pete’s family life is becoming a bit too soap-operatic for my taste – Oh no! He cheats on his wife! Oh no! She kicks him out! Oh no! His mom has dementia! Oh no! His mom’s gay caretaker marries her on a cruise-liner, throws her overboard, and tries to steal her money! OH NOOOES! (Seriously, read that last line again to yourself and tell me that doesn’t sound like a plot line from The Bold and The Beautiful.) (No disrespect to B&B – the women of my family have been enjoying the crazy adventures of Brooke Logan-Chambers-Jones-Marone-Forrester for over two delightful decades now.) But like Don, Pete has very much hit bottom (maybe not rock-bottom, but bottom enough to realise his life sucks) and there is a glimmering hope at the end of the tunnel. Bonus – we got to see Trudy! I’ve missed you, Miss Alison Brie. Like she says, Pete is finally free of everything. May he make the best of it.

10 pts (for his hilarious freakouts over the phone) + 5 pts (for his poignant moment with Tammy) = 15 pts

In commemoration of a happier time.

Silver Fox – Roger is the great love of my Mad Men life. You can’t ever hate him. And more than that, you genuinely feel sorry for him despite his shenanigans. He is that perpetual lost boy who doesn’t know what happened to his life.

20 pts (for calling out his brat of a daughter, because she’s a BRAT) + 10 pts (for his effortless charm with little Kevin) = 30 pts

Bob Benson – LOL Bob wins at everything.

50 pts (for being in everyone’s face all the time)

WINNER: Bob Benson – for being completely, and utterly unflappable. He is Don of the 70s, but better.

See that rosy sepia tint? That’s me missing the 60s:

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Mad Men Recap (S06 E06): Pete falls down the stairs

I just need to get this out of the way:

Danggit, Don! I’m sho angwee wif you!

LOL –  poor Pete.

Anyway, back to the other stuff:

Is this the birth of SCPDCGC?

Anyway, Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce and Cutler Gleeson Chaough merged! And once again, Don has his clutches back into our favourite Miss Peggy.

It seems like Mad Men is doomed to repeating its greatest hits. Last week, we had the Martin Luther King Jr version of that great JFK Assassination episode. This week, we have the less-exciting version of that episode where they robbed Sterling Cooper and became a mouthful (“Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce, how may I help you?”)

Noted, it was a better episode than last week’s, but my laziness in posting this up has been a clear indication of my waning interest in Mad Men’s Season 6. Where everyone used to be a mystery wrapped in an enigma – after 5 excellent seasons, everyone has become an irritating roommate that I know all too well. In other words, OMG how predictable.

This episode, ‘For Immediate Release’, sees SCDP chasing after the illustrious Chevrolet account. Don ditches Jaguar because he’s too cool for Herb Rennet (okay, Herb is also a heinous pig – kinda fair). Everyone’s pissed when they find out because SCDP was in the midst of going public. CGC is also chasing the Chevy account. Roger makes some big moves to get SCDP in the running by schmoozing up a first-class flight attendant (OMG DANIELLE PANABAKER) into giving him the low down. Megan’s mom is back and being a delicious French bitch. Peggy is in a shitty apartment block where fecal matter is a common gift on one’s stairwell.

En garde:

El Douchebag – OF COURSE, this man is incapable of thinking about anyone but himself. Screw the people that love and support me, screw the company that made me rich – IMMA FIRE JAGUAR BECAUSE THAT FAT GUY IS DISGUSTING. Let’s just forget Joan’s immense sacrifice. Then, of course, being the lucky bastard he is, he lands in the right place and the right time to ride in like the prodigal son in gleaming white armour with the solution. Welcome back to being stuck in my shadow, Peggs!

I will wear this in my casket.

– 40 pts (for being a selfish asshole) – 50 pts (for dicking over Joan) – 20 pts (his smug puffy face when he announces his presence to Peggy) + 10 pts (for the apparent ingeniousness of the merger) = – 100 pts

Miss Peggy – She’s living in a yucky apartment. Her boyfriend looks like a hobo (which is probably what he smells like too). There’s a crack addict taking number 2’s on her stairwell. AND she’s KISSING UP her boss now.

All that sexual tension is messing with the TV.

All that sexual tension is messing with the TV.

5 pts (for telling Abe he’s not an electrician, just a moron) -10 (for not having the balls to lead the life she actually wants to lead, but settling for Hobo Abe) = – 5 pts (SHIT Peggs, you can do better than this)

Mr Silver Stallion – Roger Sterling, you cad! He seems a bit like George Clooney – treating the girls well, sending them on their way, and no one has a bad thing to say about him. Except in this case, he was fooling around with that Earth mother chick from Sky High…

Are we sure she’s legal, Roger?

Well, I guess Roger is still the perpetual man-child with his irrepressible boyish charm, so why not? Mega-plus, watching him schmooze that Chevy guy like a pro made me all giggly inside.

20 pts (for being a cuter Clooney) + 10 pts (interesting / questionable taste in women – i.e. Earth child) + 30 pts (for showing us how its done, Accounts-style) = 60 pts

Sideburns Campbell – Its a big week for Sideburns. At work, he finds out his company is going public and he has obviously been instrumental to SCDP’s growth. YAY, Pete! But then, Don dicks it all up. Pete takes a fantastic tumble.

I’m sorry – I had to see it again.

He’s left where he started – angry and humiliated. On the personal side of things, he finally thinks he has an in with Trudy. Alas, he acts like a spoiled child when he doesn’t get sexy times. To satiate himself, he goes to a ‘party house’ where he. very unfortunately, runs into his FATHER-IN-LAW leaving the room with the “biggest blackest prostitute you’ve ever seen”. Then of course, when Trudy’s dad takes Vick Chemical away, he goes and ruins everything out of spite. Mutually-assured destruction, indeed.

Can you hear the crickets, Pete?

Can you hear the crickets, Pete?

10 pts (for trying so hard – I feel bad for the guy) – 5 pts (for whining about no sex like a 4 year old) – 20 pts (spiteful ranting to Trudy about her dad’s big black prostitute) + 20 pts (for excellent physical comedy timing) = 5 pts

Joan – MRS HARRIS IS LETTING HER HAIR DOWN.

You saucy minx, you.

You saucy minx, you.

Here sits Joan, former secretary, turned Office Manager, turned Director of Agency Operations, turned ‘not silent’ partner at premier Madison Avenue advertising agency, SCDP. “Compliments to the chef”, indeed! Imagine Joan in the 21st Century. She would be unstoppable.

Then, of course, Don went and did what Don does. You go, Mrs Harris, for standing up to El Douchebag!

We're all corporate whores! Deal with it, Don!

We’re all corporate whores! Deal with it, Don!

20 pts (for being Joan, the immaculate beacon of efficiency) + 20 pts (for the grace it takes to maintain dignity in the face of whore-dom) = 40 pts

Ken Cosgrove – I love Ken. Where’s the wifey? God knows, I can’t remember her name either, Megan. She’ll always be Alex Mack to me.

Alex Mack grew up and found a good one.

5 pts (“That’s why I don’t worry about the bomb! Mutually-assured destruction!” – Ohh, Ken!) 

Trudy – Kick his ass to the kerb, hon. Good riddance.

"We're done, Peter! Get your things!"

“We’re done, Peter! Get your things!”

50 pts!

THE WINNER: Roger Sterling

Bonus – The Ultimate Don Draper Pitch. He’s El Douchebag, but a very talented El Douchebag:

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