Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Mad Men: Thoughts on "The Summer Man"

A few thoughts on "The Summer Man," the most recent episode of Mad Men:

* Betty's lopsided cake when Henry came in shirtless was the perfect symbol that something is off in their relationship. It reminded me of when films use Dutch Angle shots to emphasize something is wrong.

* I thought Harry's interior decorating was confirmation he's NOT gay. That whole clumsy storyline, which felt like something recycled from Three's Company, was to show us that Joey is kind of a dick who deserved what he got.

* I disagree with the prevailing take on Joan's reaction to Peggy. I think Joan was actually rather accurate in her appraisal of the situation. I think their encounter was one of those moments where Weiner tweaks viewers for their moral superiority.

Peggy said she was an anthropologist -- i.e., an outsider. And she made the mistake of intervening in a culture where she didn't fully understand the norms. I know I was rooting for her throughout the episode. Then Joan set her -- and me -- straight.

* Have they ever ended an episode before with a simple fade to black, i.e., no music? My friend MB remarked that it was generally a quiet episode. Aside from The Stones, I can't think of any other music.
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