Tuesday, April 15, 2014

I Still Love Mad Men: Review of the First Episode of the Final Season


Mad Men Final Season Premiere

I'm a blogger that loves Mad Men and It's the Final freakin Season so yeah I'm gonna blog about every episode because I cannot help it.

The first scene of the final season wasn't Jon Hamm's Don Draper, we don't see him until later into the episode instead the premiere episode begins with Freddy delivering a very eloquent pitch, to Pegs, in her office.  So Yay!  Yay for Freddy and yay for Peggy who is just as surprised as we are about the great idea he just presented to her, but more on that later.  

The episode wastes no time in showing us life at SC&P and things seems pretty much back to business as usual except that EVERYTHING has changed.  Pete Campbell is in L.A. since after last season's Camero crash in the middle of the GM showroom, thanks to Bob Benson taking advantage of the fact that Pete can't drive stick conversely, Bob Benson is in Detroit, can't wait to see more of his sliminess in the upcoming weeks.

And Don's replacement, Lou Avery, seems to be loved by everyone, but Peggy, who is trying to impress her new boss and use that relationship to help curb the loneliness in her personal life.  It seemed to me that after being rejected by Ted, a boss she admired, and having things with Don ended awkwardly/badly after she resigned and then was forced to work with him again after the two firms merged, and now Don being ousted, she's lost.  Toss in the fact that she's now the slum lord of the apartment building her recently ex-boyfriend made her buy and Peggy is having a rough go of it.  She's in a life that gives her all the things she thought she wanted but a woman wasn't supposed to provide for herself, rather a man was supposed to do it and now she's done that but is still longing for a man whether it's to share her bed, marry her, motivate her, inspire her, or just approve of her.  And we see that with the failed interactions with Lou.  I've got news for you Peggy Lou is no Don and he is no Ted, he's just your boss.    

Oh and Ted everyone keeps commenting on how he should be tanned and it sounds like he's hating California, perhaps he misses Peggy or maybe he just feels like a giant jerkface for cheating on his wife because that icy encounter in the break room between him and his former flame did not seem like a man in love.  It was thousands of miles away from their sickeningly sweet relationship from last season.  While Peggy is obviously a lover scorned Ted is just trying to make toast.   

Joanie, Joanie Joanie...crashing dinners is definitely your thing. We saw it last season and it made a comeback Sunday night, and once again attending a dinner that was suppose be cancelled worked in her favor because she went to Saturday school and totally schooled, Wayne Barnes (played by Cougar Town's Dan Byrd) about why Butler Footwear would be insane to try and do all their advertising in-house.  Thus saving a client and reminding herself as well as us viewers that she is much more than a pretty face.  Sidenote: How great was it when she's talking to the professor and he suggests a trade for the information he's providing her and she says, "This is a business school. Doesn't money work here?"  But all the professor wanted was information for his research study?  So happy that Joan is no longer willing to use her body to get ahead at work, and that finally a man wasn't interested in it.  

Onto Pete Campbell. L.A. has him looking tan and wearing a lot of plaid and it seems that he has a new girlfriend/realtor.  I have to say it was a great look on Pete and he and Don's lunch together was rather nice, never thought I'd see those two so civil and dare I say friendly?

Roger Sterling is engaging in orgy's and drugs and it looks like his daughter is about to enter a cult.  That's really all there is to say about that.  They had a weird lunch at the Plaza Hotel Restaurant that involved Bloody Mary's and Roger's daughter Margaret proclaiming that she "simply forgive[s] him."

Now to Don & Megan.  So Don heads to L.A. to see his wife and he looks so out of touch with L.A.  Megan picks him up in a sexy sports car and she looks so California with her mini dress and convertible and Don looks like he always has, the same grey suit with the same hat and he looks out of place, especially next to Megan in her tiny tiny dress and sleek shades.  But then the two kiss and we're reminded what a handsome couple they are; if only looks were enough to make a successful marriage.  As soon as Megan gets out a hello she's apologizing for the fact that they have to have dinner with her agent before they can go home and be alone.  Don says nothing and they go to dinner where Megan's horrendous agent tells her about a big audition she just got.  Don insists they celebrate and then back at Megan's gorgeous apartment, which is basically a one bedroom version of their New York penthouse, (Don always getting her whatever she wants) an actually sober Don tucks in a drunk Megan.   Quick facts: Don's lying to Megan about being employed as he keeps saying he has to get back to work.  And was his sobriety an act for Megan, so she assumes he's not drinking as much???  
Summary of the Drapers: Megan is the same as usual, unapologetic about her acting career and trying to 'play poor' so she fits in with her fellow acting friends.  She even throws a fit when Don brings home a new TV for her as though the sports car and apartment aren't going to give it away.

Finally, the best moment of the episode, remember I talked about Freddy's beautiful pitch that stated the premiere? Well it turns out it was Don, he's pitching ideas via Freddy while he's receiving his severance pay from SC&P. 

The episode ends with a drunk Don, freezing, alone on his balcony...jeeezzzz

So what does all this mean?  How will it unfold?  Tune into AMC Sunday nights to watch Mad Men's final episodes.


Some Thoughts:  
·        Can't wait to see Betty and Sally next week and OMG Neve Campbell is hot and I was kinda disappointed when Don dissed her after their cuddle session on the flight back to NY.
·        Also was I the only one laughing hysterically when eye-patch wearing Ken tried to throw Joan her earring?
·        How much did you love Peggy's exchange with Julio?
·        Stan:  "none of this seems related to coffee"

2 comments:

  1. I thoroughly enjoyed your character by character MM review! All the changes at SC&P were a bit unsettling for me. I could feel Peggy's struggle as she was looking for a foothold. She's not sure who to be now. There was the Peggy during the Draper era, the Peggy during the Pete era, slum lord Peggy, and then the Peggy during the brief, and predictable Ted era. Who is Peggy?? Did we ever know?
    Also, I was so sad to see how out of place Don was in California trying to be Don. He is never adaptable to his surroundings, his expectation is that the surroundings adapt to Don. WE all know this, but it was hard to witness, yet again.
    And yes, I laughed out loud when Ken tried to throw Joan her earring!

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  2. Sondra, I completely agree, who is Peggy? I think she's trying to figure that out, when she was with Abe, she was this liberal, progressive, leading the pack sort of woman and then that fiasco with Ted, it's like she's searching, and I hope we and she get that answer by the time the series is over :(
    And Don, my goodness, when he flirted with Pete's girlfriend it was like he was trying to be old Don, but it played out a bit disconcerting for me because we as the viewers know how off his game he really is.

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