Tuesday, September 21, 2010

What I’m Watching: Mad Men

Mad Men: Season 4, Episode 9 “The Beautiful Girls” (A-)

“I’d have my secretary do it, but she’s dead” is one of the more memorable lines Don Draper has ever uttered. It’s also at the same time one of the most heartless and funny lines from him. The death of the unsinkable Miss Blakenship is a bizarre event akin to the razing of a poor British guy’s foot in last season’s “Guy Walks Into an Advertising Agency.” Her absence isn’t one that will be felt too much, despite the humor that actress Randee Heller provided, yet it serves as the anchor for this episode. Don can’t tell either his daughter or the clients, and the meeting he’s in is more important than figuring out how to quietly remove her body from the middle of the office. Cooper’s futile attempts to write a fitting obituary underlined just how little we knew about the peculiar, slow-moving, ineffective Miss Blankenship. The fear of mortality that it stirred in Roger also proved moving, and paved the way for a dinner date with Joan and subsequent stick-up to get the classic couple back together again, even if just for one time. Sally’s rebellious journey into the city was very interesting, and it’s particularly fascinating to see just how defiant she is to Don. Young actress Kiernan Shipka, who is only ten years old, really does a fantastic job of portraying Don’s daughter. Peggy’s newfound desire to stand up for justice in the work of the firm was very intriguing, especially when posited alongside the immature reactions of Ken and Stan and the sterner, business-oriented response from Don. I’m happy to see a character named Abe on a primetime television show; I just wish he wasn’t such a troublesome jerk. There’s always so much to talk about with every episode of this show – what piqued your interest?


Richter Scale said...

Let me just say this, John Slattery should really win an Emmy for this season of the show. He's impressing me so much more this season than he has before (and I've always found him delightful). First Roger reveals his grudge against the Japanese (which was beautifully handled) and then we see him trying to write his memoirs, and this episode with Joan he was just, wow!!! I'm thinking with most of his strongest competitors out of the race (with Lost ending and Breaking Bad taking the year off) he could win it this year (although it's way too early to know what the competition will be like from new shows).

Also, I'm beginning to notice that Don is afraid of Betty. He doesn't want to make her mad, and I'm not sure where that fear is coming from, but because of that fear he won't even consider letting Sally live with her. The more I see of Betty Draper, the more I want to chop her head off. Seriously, Joan Crawford is a better mother than Betty ever will be (well, maybe not better, but certainly not worst). I think Sally is going to do something really drastic ion the last four episodes to finally get Don's attention and get her out of Betty's house, or something that will go completely wrong and wind up hurting Sally, but she's definitely heading in that direction. Or maybe this show wants to avoid that and just keep Sally stuck with Betty and Henry. I don't know if I could take that. I worry about her.

Movies with Abe said...

I do agree that Slattery deserves recognition for this season, and you're right to point out that he may have a decent shot this year considering the lack of competition at this stage of the game.

I'm sure the last four episodes will be very intense and just as good as the rest of this season.

Thanks as always for your insightful comments.