Tuesday, March 27, 2012
Mad Men Recap S5:E1 & E2
I'm thinking there were far too many uncomfortable moments in the premiere. Roger, please don't drop ashes on your secret lovechild.
I seriously had that Not So Fresh Feeling more times than I could count. So many scenes made me feel terribly anxious - and so, of course, I'm going to keep coming back for more.
Race Issues and The Civil Rights Movement are going to be front and center this season. I had a bad feeling during the opening protest and awful water dropping scene. I was sure someone was going to be killed when something heavy was about to be dropped - but thankfully that never came to pass. Those jerks never got their comeuppance - they should have been arrested, IMHO. The cruel "get a job" signs in Y&L's windows called to mind the current anti-Occupy rhetoric, no?
The Joan storyline was the one I had been dying to see. The opening shot: a baby's butt being smeared with diaper cream. Hello, Baby Kevin. Joan's mom is a real hater - their dynamic struck me as very true to life, even today. Neither woman appears to have made healthy marital choices, although Joan's mom bizarrely still thinks Dr. Greg is a good guy. When are they going to kill him off already? I was bothered by Joan's mom's insistence that "Megan Draper is manipulative." And her quoting of scripture to convince Joan to stay home. No bueno.
This ep was full of women hating on other women. Joan's Mom vs. Joan. Peggy vs. Megan. Peggy vs. Joan. Joan vs. Megan. Uncomfortable...
My award for most uncomfortable scene in the premiere was originally going to go to The newlywed Drapers for the sexy song and dance number en francais in front of everybody and their mom at Don's unwanted surprise un-birthday party. (BTW, I loved Roger and Jane in that scene. "Why can't you look like him?" Touche, Jane.) Then I swear I thought Megan was going to jump from her balcony after Don rejected her and compared her, unfavorably, to Betty who would never, ever plan a surprise party for Don, duh. But then we came to the surprise, lingerie-clad living room clean-up scene, and we had our winner. Clearly, they've played this game before. Ugh. I actually like Megan, and it would be cool with me if she dumps Don this season. I have this odd feeling he's going to get it on with Betty, that is, if he can manage to get her out of Chez Addams.
Lane also made me so uncomfortable in so many ways. Attempting phone sex with total stranger Dolores. (WTF?!) Looking like he was going to steal the lost wallet man's money, because we're also hearing from his wife he really needs the money. For some reason I thought he was going to be inappropriate with Joan when she came to visit the office, but thankfully, no. He likes her, he needs her skills, he can't possibly replace her. It was actually a sweet scene when all was said and done. But still.
The power struggles between Pete and Roger are a nice subplot. I'm fascinated by the lengths Roger will go to in an attempt to still seem relevant. Paying off Harry to get him to trade offices with Pete. Seriously? The Campbells are rocking the suburbs with Baby Tammy (I totally have that Debbie Reynolds song in my head now), and have moved into an eerily former Draper-esque abode. That kitchen gave me some major deja vu. Sounds like Trudy might have a touch of PPD, and probably Joan, too. A 3-week maternity leave? How barbaric. Many American mothers now get at least 6 weeks - yeah, we've come soooo far haven't we?
I started to tear up when all of the African-American job applicants showed up at the end of the ep. Sometimes the depictions of cold, hard racism are too hard to watch. And that fucking offensive statue and fake resume being delivered! Where is the dignity? And Lane's uncomfortable speech to the applicants? Holy jeezus that was hard. Gah, and when they do hire an African-American secretary I'm totally going to worry about Lane sexually harassing her.
And finally, Major Props to the divine Ms. Raina @La Lampshade, for identifying something that was horribly wrong with the set design. Discomfort abounds.
What say you, Mad Men watchers?