Tuesday, 3 April 2012

Mad Men Episode Discussion 5x01 "A Little Kiss"

After a much-publicised 17 month wait (and an on-going one if you are a UK viewer without Sky and refuse the dubious practise of online streaming), it’s back. My fervent excitement led to me spend the last few weeks scouring the internet for every article and interview I could find (pretty easy work, we all know how press-friendly this show is) but did leave me feeling that the only thing the premiere could be was bitterly disappointing. Thankfully, this wasn’t the case.
Below I’ve written a brief review of all the things I loved about the episode.
I did shirk a little at the ending (my only mini-criticism of an otherwise near-perfect programme). I know that the civil rights movement will have to be included (and I personally can’t wait to see how MM covers it), but I found the final scene ever so slightly contrived. What did you think?


Comedy central

Yes, Roger’s one liners are the best but quite frankly the laugh-out-loud moment for me was this. I think this moment of slapstick is a direct result of the column inches that the ‘lawnmower moment’ has (rightly) amassed.


Question of the week – Lane: loveable or creepy?

A lot’s been made of Lane in the series opener. His impression of Megan (hilarious). His newfound bond with Joanie (potentially romantic? Some seem to think so). The fact that he’s back with his wife (a.k.a. Miss Honey, the best primary school teacher ever). His money troubles.

But what’s been attracting most attention is, of course, his quasi phone sex with Delores. I’m a Brit, so I feel like I have to defend Lane, but let’s be honest that was a leetle bit creepy.
That said, I for one am pleased that we are getting to know him a little better as to be honest, I had never really warmed to him before this episode.

Fashion Spot

With no Betty in this episode and Joan in her post-pregnancy wares, is season five Peggy’s chance to shine sartorially? OF COURSE it isn’t, even though the yellow sundress and haircut she was sporting is marginally better than the Neighbours schoolgirl outfit she lived in in earlier seasons. No, this is not Peggy’s time but we do have a new style crush in the form of Megan, who proved that in the months of 65-66 the main evolution was that of the hemline (oh and the civil rights movement and all of that). I liked her black and jewels ensemble

at Don’s party although my fashion heart still lies with Little Sally Draper (and I did enjoy Pete'n'Trudy's garish nightmare). Sadly we didn’t see much of Sally this week but by the looks of it she has spent the hiatus taking an accelerate course at the Peter Campbell and Betty Francis School of Bitchface. Good work, Sally, good work.



There is no other word to describe Megan’s performance. Well, there probably is but I think everybody’s just about covered it. Basically, if you are a normal human being you watched the whole thing hid behind the sofa with your fingers in your ears, shouting “LA LA LA, I CAN’T HEAR YOU!” and trying to repress the memory of your own drunken karaoke attempt (key word). If you are a Glee fan/man/have no sense of shame then you either joined in, sat up with your legs crossed or spent the last week humming Zou Bisou Bisou respectively. Either way, you should not be allowed to watch Mad Men in the future.


Crush of the Week
Harry Crane.

Yes, he’s a douchebag, a major fucking douchebag. But with my shallow hat on he’s clearly lost a few pounds (or more), put on some cool/trendy/wanker-ish (delete as appropriate) clothes and dare I say it, looking a bit… hot?! OK, he’s a douchebag but having Jon Hamm as Crush of the Week every bloody week makes a mockery of the “sexiest show” title.

On the subject of Harry Crane, I particularly liked his impression of Megan.

Not because it was funny (see Lane’s or Roger’s version if you’re looking for lols) but because I could imagine someone doing that today. We Mad Men viewers are so quick to pat ourselves on the back and congratulate ourselves on how far we’ve come ("racism? What’s that?!" "Sexism? You never see it these days!"). Maybe I’m surrounded by Neanderthal idiots but I think Harry’s impression was a reminder that in some ways, we haven’t really moved on at all.


Pete – In defence of Pete Campbell

I don’t want to talk too much about Pete Campbell because he is far and away my favourite character and I fear that once I start, I can’t stop, to paraphrase the Pringles jingle. What I will say is that as a Peter fan I cannot wait for the series ahead as the opener suggests some major tousles between the young upstart and Roger Sterling. Some have complained that Peggy handing over Joan’s baby to Pete was a bit ham-fisted (tempted to write Hamm-fisted) but it made me laugh, as did the fact that he had clearly immediately handed it over to one of the secretaries.

On a final Pete Campbell note, we have to talk about his hair.

In the spoiler-free world of Mad Men, it was so clear from the promo pics and videos that Pete going bald (which in the slow-moving world of Mad Men is as spoilerific as discovering that the Losties get off the island). Despite this, not a single interviewer asked Vincent Kartheiser about his hair; I suppose this is due to the potential when’s-the-baby-due-oh-sorry-you’re-just-fat faux pas.


Peggy – in short, I don’t like her bf, I do like her Joan-and-Peggy esque relationship with Megan.