Tuesday, April 9

Mad Men, Awkward City-Style: Episode 1 and 2


Cheers, fuckers! Since the void Girls left, no matter how hard I try, has not been filled by a healthy dose of gluten-free chocolate snacks (shut up, they feel healthier), I'm going to be tackling the whole season of Mad Men from the point of view of someone who just wants to make out with Don Draper, go to town on his liquor stash, and corral all of his furniture into a storage unit to sell to yuppies 30 years in the future. (I mean, that office bar cart?! Dayum.)

Considering I'm 25 minutes late to everything in life, it's no surprise that this is going up 36 hours after the fact and written between a grab-and-go breakfast of Babybel cheese and roasted peanuts, with one hand applying eyeshadow while I plunk it out, so apologies for the timing, and next time, I'll attempt to be more prompt.

As my wiseness is more of the Tootsie Pop owl variety instead of the plot dissection type, I'll be keeping these run-downs short, sweet, and as sassy as the mouth on that Sally Draper. No thematic bullshit, no doorway commentary, no break-down of plots, tie-backs to moments from five seasons back, or "character explorations." Just a verbal vomit (heh heh) of randomized thoughts from each episode. Because, really, why would we want to tear this show apart for knowledge when we can just make fun of it?

We'll get into the nitty-gritty of it all soon, but first, this:

For anyone who sucked from the shoulda-known-better teet of Lost 'til its fucked-up final day, there's a certain gut instinct that hits around Season 4 when everyone's nose starts to bleed and the show's direction spins off to be that of a time-traveling sci-fi instead of a big-budget Survivor. It feels like dull hunger, or anxiety, but it's basically your body telling you, "Uh....I think we were wrong on this one, homie", and asking that you admit you spent too much time analyzing nothing, bow out gracefully, and spend those extra hours you're slated to waste in front of the TV in the park instead, or walking around, or doing other leisure activities they put on brochures for retirement living centers. That feeling came to me within the first 15 minutes of this episode, and never left throughout the duration of two hours of endless commercials trying to not-so-subliminally convince me to watch two midgits get married on Freakshow the show.

I've always said it shouldn't require a graduate degree in literature or a never-ending New York Magazine review to understand a television show, but Matthew Weiner's really stickin' it to us with this season. Dante's Inferno?!? We're a nation of people who watch plastic-injected wives of no one trot around and get into fights to distract themselves from not eating; we shouldn't have to work this hard to relax on a Sunday night.

And, along with that, at this time last year we were downloading Zou Bisou Bisou on iTunes, unable to get the image of a dumbfounded Harry Crane out of our heads. Now, we're...wait, what are we doing? I just had to read four interviews with Matthew Weiner to even begin to understand what the fuck went on in that haystack of confusion, and am still at a total loss.

But, alright, enough aimless complaining. A grab-bag of thoughts and queries, below.


Let's take a moment to think about this: How much liquor could it possibly take for Don to upchuck all over fancy white people carpeting? It's like 99 Bottles of Beer on the wall, only messier.

Does anyone miss Don and Betty? I think I liked her thin and bitchy better than chubby and self-important, though I'll take either over smirky and dark-haired. Also, seeing her abnormally pudgy self give in and pluck the peanut butter jar out of the fridge for a late-night snack hits too close to home for someone who is desperately trying to fit into a bikini and can't stop climbing onto the kitchen counter to grab Samoas off the top shelf.

This whole season is apparently going to touch on The Inferno, a book people actually had time to read before we sold our souls to the Google and found other ways to pass the time. As someone who never paid attention in intro-level collegiate courses except to rapidly try to prove philosophy professors wrong (since good God, pun intended, there's no one more infuriating than someone who dedicates their life to thinking), I don't know what any of this will mean. Base the show on Catcher In The Rye? I'll figure it out. Base it on Chelsea Handler's memoir, I'll take it down. But base it on an oldey-time literature gem that, homie, none of your audience has seen is making this show too fancy. Does anyone else feel like we're watching the dramatized version of how you feel when you walk into a rich, Harvard person's party you don't belong at? Just me? Excuse me, while I slink out and eat a Kind Bar for dinner on the way home instead.

According to the Chopin Institute’s web page, the composer “derived the entire nocturne from a single theme subjected to variations, altered through the continual surges and ebbs of ethereal ornaments and figurations. Only in the conclusion of the work does he introduce a variant: a sudden eruption of expression leading to a concise apotheosis – just as suddenly broken off and stilled.” Sorry, just wanted to remind you how miserable you'd be if you were reading an actual recap of this dastardly show. Moving on.

Straw Poll: Who's hotter, the Greenwich Village squatters, or those dudes walking around Williamsburg with pomade-shaped old-timey mustaches? I mean, a man that can cook has got to take the winning title, right?

Let's just recap Linda Cardellini's life, shall we? She's dated Jason Segal on-screen, ruined his life off-screen, let us enjoy all of it in Forgetting Sarah Marshall, broke up Cory & Topanga in Boy Meets World, did some stuff on ER and now ruined my favorite TV marriage. All it took for Olivia Wilde to be a household name is a kiss on The OC and a prince for a husband. So, I ask: how is this broad not also A-list famous yet?

Am I the only person who's neurotic about someone walking in on Don and Mrs. Rosen!? Megan's skills clearly aren't in the question-asking realm, but did she really assume Don took over an hour to go out and get cigarettes, only to come back empty handed?! See, this is why I can't get behind Mad Men. Jewish women? We don't work like that. If my boyfriend disappeared for an hour to get Haribo gummies at the corner deli and came back in tattered clothing and no snacks, he'd have a fuckin' sugar-deprived war-like situation on his hands. A Defcon 1, if you may. Nobody fucks around on my watch, but then again, if I had a Stretch Armstrong torso like Megan's, I probably wouldn't be too concerned by that possibility.

Oh, and also: life sucks and then you die.

Yo, Don: that lighter is bangin'. Do you have any idea how much that would go for at an antique store? Get over yourself already, and just enjoy the helpful, useful trinket. God, for someone who loves money so much, you really don't appreciate nice things.

//

This week's lesson in "Who The Fuck": This one's comin' to you as a trifold, because who in the fuck is Sandy? And that deli meat-sending guy who won't disappear? And who the fuck is this half-dead zombie doorman?! I know, it's all symbolic gobbledygook for Don's battle with life and death and identity and doorways and whatever, Matthew Weiner, but given the fact that I wasn't allowed to have my best friends over without my mother interrogating them and force-feeding them snacks, I find it hard to believe that this Sandy broad was just mega-chillin in The Haunted Mansion all day and night with no real rules. And I don't know, that go-getter might be gunning for some of their jobs, but he's pretty much Pete with a cuter face — and more bologna! — so I'm letting it slide.

Actual transcription of "On The Next Episode of AMC's Mad Men": "I didn't know you were capable of being that mad." "What can we do for you?" "Pete would do anything to make you happy." "Don't do that." "Yes sir." "That's how it works." "Well, he doesn't know that!" "I will...have to double check." "What are you talking about?"



1 comment:

Janine Fowler said...

OMG you are doing Mad Men recaps now?! You just made my fucking night.

I do not like Linda Cardellini in this even though I love her normally. (Um, Grandma's Boy, anyone?) And it makes me so mad that he would cheat on Megan. Betty was a bitchety bitch (but still deserved props for keeping her body up so long after having kids) but Megan is super supportive, ambitious, and takes care of Don when he's a hot mess. She doesn't deserve it!

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