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Mad Men I'm Too Sick To Write A Recap: My Old Kentucky Home

Mad-menI know, I'm failing you. Or rather, my body is, being that I have a fever and body aches and congestion, but more importantly that surreal out-of-body feeling that often accompanies fever-inducing pestilence. And this, as you may or may not know from experience but can I'm sure imagine, makes coherent writing a bit difficult. (You have no idea how many times I rewrote just those two sentences, and I'm still not entirely certain that they make any kind of sense.) (And honestly, at this point, I don't want to know, thanks.)

Who wants to come over and dab my forehead with a cool, wet wash cloth and fetch me delicious fruit juices? Anyone?

None of this has anything to do with Mad Men. YES I DO REALIZE THAT. JEEZ. But I do, in fact, have some thoughts about last night's show to share. Okay more like "thoughts" phrased in the form of a question -- but dammit, at least I'm trying!

First, about Jane, aka Mrs. Roger Sterling: What the hell was Roger thinking when he married that hot mess? Did he really think she was anything like a viable replacement for the delicious and delectable Joan? Because, wow, she's a piece of work to say the least. And not even in any sort of even vaguely interesting or appealing way. She's also haughty, condescending, and a Bad Drunk -- all deadly marks against a person in my book. Predictions on how all of that's going to end? Besides very, very badly, I mean?

Speaking of the incomparable Joan: on a scale of one to ten, how big of a douchebag is that doctor husband of hers, and how long do you suppose it'll be before that trainwreck-waiting-to-happen finally crashes and burns? Somewhat relatedly, doesn't knowing that Joan plays accordian make you love her even more now? She's dreeeeeamy.

Is "I'm Peggy Olson and I want to smoke some Marijuana" the best line uttered on the show, like, ever?

How many cats do you think Peggy's new secretary Olive has? I'm thinking something approaching TWENTY. Do you think her eagerness to put in overtime suggests some hidden domestic awfulness she's avoiding? Like an abusive, alcoholic husband at home, perhaps? Or maybe she's homeless and living in an abandoned mineshaft? OR, better yet, maybe her house has been overtaken by her hoard of pet cats a la Planet Of The Apes?

What do you reckon is worse: Seeing Roger Sterling sing in black face; watching Pete Campbell dance; or strange, creepy men hitting on a pregnant woman at a country club?

Did the whole storyline involving Sally stealing $5 from her grandfather make you as uncomfortable as it made me? I can't put my finger on it (and, obviously, I'm in no state to try to right now), but there's something unsettling and foreshadow-y about all that. I suspect that Grandpa is gearing up to do something seriously unpleasant. Or is that just the fever talking?

Thoughts on any of this, or other happenings in the episode that my fever-addled brain failed to bring up?

PS: Next week I may have something here more akin to a Mad Men post-show open thread, since traditional recaps seem FAIL for me this season. Besides, I'd rather hear what all y'all have to say about the show than yammer on about it myself, and in any case, why fight the failure? Make lemonade from the lemons! Or something.







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Comments

anna

I also got a major skeevy feeling with the Sally $5 plot thread.

I think Peggy wins this episode. I was absolutely certain that when she went for the blender, it was going to end up falling off that high shelf and knocking her on the head. So glad that did not happen.

rebecca

i totally thought the same thing about the sally-grandpa thing. everytime it was on, i was going, "don't touch her don't touch her don't touch her."
and although the crazy show-offy dance number with the obnoxious Campbells, i have to go with black-face roger as most disturbing thing of the episode.
how much am i LOVING peggy this season, though? seriously. "you both can go home. I am in a really good place right now."

lori

I was yelling at my TV re: the blackface singing.
New Mrs. Sterling needs some serious comeuppance.
Joan is my new favorite ever (my mom played accordian and sang).
Peggy is getting more and more awesome.
Now that you mention it I'm positive there is something Peggy's new secretary is hiding (the "You're scared!" line).
Sally and the $5 had me on edge the whole episode. I was waiting for grandpa to do something untoward or freak right out.
The closing shot had me all gooey and "awwww"...

I like your recaps but I'm all for an open thread too.

helenel

As a busty gal, I thought it odd that Joan, also a busty gal, played the accordian. I kept thinking she might get pinched. But, oh, the look she gave her husband!

They never showed their wedding, did they? Was it just an 'understood' thing in the plot? That it happened over the summer?

Sweetney

Peggy is kicking ass. LOVE HER. Love that she started off as what seemed like this demure, mousy character, and she's now this straight-shooting, daring, ballsy Alpha Female.

And yeeeah, I kept fearing Grandpa might start getting handsy, ick. They kind of set us up to suspect that though, what with him fondling his daughter in an earlier episode and all. BARF.

Sweetney

No, they never showed a wedding. Weird, huh?

And yeah, I fully noted that look. I loved finding out that she plays accordian, but the way Douchebag Doc kind of ushered her up in front of everyone to play like a performing monkey was pretty Evil Eye Glare-worthy.

Suzy Q

I thought the blackface singing was shocking but only because it was actually shown on TV in 2009 and got past the censors. That kind of stuff happened all the time in that era, but Hollywood is too afraid to show it anymore. I am not condoning blackface singing, but it IS a part of entertainment history, and I give credit to the writers and producers for bravery.

Joan has stolen my heart again by singing to me in French.

Peggy's got some balls now; it's good to see. She'll certainly need 'em.

I thought that whole Sally-Grandpa-money thing was time-consuming and weird.

Where is the story going this season? There doesn't seem to be a main thread yet.

helenel

Performing monkey. Exactly.

What was that song they were playing when we all first arrive at Roger's party? It was just a really inappropriate rendition of the song. Was it a RAGTIME version of "Swing Low, Sweet Chariot"?

It really set the tone.

cagey

Joan was married around Christmas 1962 (last season ended in October of 62). Last season, she mentioned her Christmas wedding quite often. We are now in May/June 63 and there was a vague reference to her wedding during a scene with Peggy in the season opener.

I find it compellingly sad how obvious it is now that Joan settled by marrying Mr. Doctor in the first place. And the loser does not even realize or appreciate what a social asset he scored. Furthermore, apparently he is not even that great of a doctor since he recently killed a patient during a surgery screw up. Awesome!

Peggy remains one of my favorite characters. Her dress-down of the secretary was sweet. Sigh.

Also, did anyone see how Pete kept his eye on his superiors during the entire sad, outdated dance number?? He was obviously trying to impress THEM and could have cared less about dancing with his wife. I was laughing so hard at the goof. Money a man does not make.

I also felt really sorry for Harry's wife - Betty and Trudy were dissing her during the entire party. I love how she flounced off in the end. God, have some pride finally.

Regarding Betty's father - it is simply impossible for me to get past the John McCain resemblance. Perhaps, that is why we all are so creeped out by Gene? I am not convinced they are going in a molestation direction with that one. They are definitely setting up Sally to be a sneak, which lends some justification to Betty's issues with her.

cagey

I believe the song at the beginning of Roger's party was "My Old Kentucky Home".

bd

Blackface? Shocking but very brave of writers and John Slattery. Wow.
Pete Campbell dance? I couldnt stop laughing. The little leg kicks were awesome.
Creepy guy hitting on prego Betty? Ew...but, she did have sex with that guy she picked up at the bar when she found out she was pregnant, why stop now? I just hate her as a mother.
Grandpa and Sally? Thank god no touching, but I think we did glimpse a little into how she was brought up.
And Joan and Peggy? Holy torpedo tits. LOVE THEM. GREAT writing about complex women in the 60s.

Gleemonex

I thought the dancin' Campbells were awesome! Loved how much fun they were both having, for once (and I do have my issues with the both of them, from time to time).

I'm Peggy Olson, and I want to smoke some marijuana.

inkypop

I also lurved the Dancing Campbells. I wanted so badly to be them in that moment. My husband and I dream of opportunities to show off like that. Does that make us bad people?

kdiddy

I finally got around to watching this episode last night. Peggy was absolutely amazing. I think that was the first time that that character made me laugh multiple times in one episode. I am definitely pro-Peggy-the-Pothead.

I was icked out by the Sally/Gene thing. Don't know what it was about it, but it was unsettling. However, it did make for a pretty good segue into some hints that racism exists even in Ossining, which I am really eager for the show to examine.

The whole derby party made me want to kill myself. If I was a 60's wife and that was one of the best parties I could look forward to all year, I would be horrendously depressed and probably defining the Mother's-Little-Helper stereotype.

Don. Motherfucking. Draper. He's always amazing, but he was particularly so in this episode. His quiet pouting about being at the party, his attempt to settle the missing $5 and his witty comeback to Gene's accusation that he thinks that money is the solution to all problems ("No, just this particular problem,"), him swinging over the bar and expertly making two delicious drinks, the way he shut Roger down ("Nobody thinks you're happy, they think you're foolish,") the mention that he's a great dancer, and the way he planted one on Betty as they were leaving. SWOON.




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