'Mad Men' gets an 'A' for awkward
August 23rd, 2010
03:31 PM ET

'Mad Men' gets an 'A' for awkward

Editor’s Note:This post contains spoilers for the Sunday, August 22 episode of AMC’s “Mad Men."

Is it just me, or were there some capital “A” for "Awkward" moments on last night’s ”Mad Men”?

SCDP found itself vying for a lucrative Honda contract with competing firm Cutler Gleason Chaough. CGC poached the Clearasil and Jai Alai accounts from SCDP and agency partner Ted Chaough was a particular thorn in Don’s side, so it was important that our boys at SCDP won the account.

Roger, harboring lingering resentment toward the Japanese over WWII, weighed in with a couple of classic Rogerisms and objected to the account. The remaining partners decided to move forward without Roger’s involvement. To prepare for the arrival of the Japanese delegation, everyone was instructed to read the 1946 study on Japanese culture, “The Chrysanthemum and the Sword.”

Some took extra measures to ensure a warm welcome: Don took Bethany to Benihana and learned how to use chopsticks, and Pete went about purging the office of offensive floral arrangements.

The day came for the Honda representatives to visit and it started out very well. There were a couple of cute lost-in-translation moments between the SCDP folks and the Japanese translator, and a joke was made about Joan’s knockout figure. Then Roger showed up, a Pearl Harbor wisecrack was made and…yeah, it was generally awful. To say the scene was cringe-worthy is putting it mildly.

Roger vehemently objected to Honda’s stringent audition process for the account and, after a series of horribly offensive zingers, told the Japanese to go whistle up a rope. It was ugly. He later apologized, but the damage had been done.

The agency soldiered on despite the assumption that the account was all but lost. Don concocted an elaborate plot to trick CGC into thinking SCDP was going to shoot a Honda commercial to present to the Japanese. How charming was the montage of employees working together to execute the scheme? Peggy circling an empty set on the scooter was sheer perfection. Now I want a vintage motorbike. How’s that for advertising?

In the end, Don called Honda’s bluff. He returned the $3000 stipend SCDP had been given to put together a presentation, telling the delegation that their contest between firms did not honor their own rules. The Japanese were impressed by Don’s actions and later communicated to the firm that while they never had any intention of signing away the motorbike account, SCDP was the favorite to win the contract for a model in their automobile line.

Now, let’s all grab our blankies, go to our respective happy places and talk about Sally Draper for a minute. What else can you really say about last night other than, “poor Sally”? Ten-years-old and shuttled between an absent parent and a terrible one, Sally began acting out in earnest.

Left under the care of the Nurse Neighbor while Don went on a date, Sally took a pair of scissors to her hair. Don of course blamed the nurse for failing to keep an eye on her and seemed more concerned with the grief he would catch from Betty rather than why Sally behaved as she did.

Betty was infuriated with Don and slapped Sally upon seeing her butchered locks. Henry acted as the voice of reason and told Betty that grounding Sally would only make her act out further. Then at a sleepover later in the episode, Sally indulged in a little self-exploration and was caught by her friend’s mother. Oh, Sally, I’m mortified on your behalf!

Horrified, the girl’s mother brought Sally home in the middle of the night and told Betty what had transpired. Betty, the clear frontrunner for 1965’s Mother of the Year, shamed and threatened Sally and decided that she needed to see a therapist. Ugh. She really is just awful.

Upon meeting with the therapist, Betty was taken aback when it was suggested that she look into seeking help as well. (Ha! Chew on that, you wretched woman! )

Now, grab a tissue, because here’s where it gets heartbreaking. Go ahead, I’ll wait. Ready? Okay: Sally was taken to her first appointment with Dr. Edna not by Betty but by Carla. You know, because Betty was likely very busy thinking of additional ways to be horrible. As they sat in the doctor’s waiting room, Carla’s expression of heartbreak and disappointment on Sally’s behalf was likely shared by many of us watching at home. While Carla has been a better parent to the Draper children than Betty or Don could ever hope to be, there’s just something about having you mother there to hold your hand.

Here’s hoping for a more uplifting episode next week. What did you think of last night’s show?

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Filed under: Mad Men • television • TV recaps

soundoff (113 Responses)
  1. Translation Flunky

    this makes no sense at all. It might could save the world if I had language lessons, otherwise everything I rea seems like a provocative war movie , not a good thing at all.

    March 14, 2012 at 6:35 am | Report abuse |
  2. Proofreader

    I love the show, and all the attention to detail, but they got one thing wrong - a couple times they show men typing, I think in one episode they even had Don touch-typing on what seems to be his own typewriter. No way! Men didn't start learning to type until the computer era. I wasn't around in the 60's but even in the 70's you wouldn't see a man at a typewriter.

    September 9, 2010 at 11:28 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Jack (Nasty Boy) Clauss

    What Thinking Man would not fall for January Jones?

    I dated Bess Meyerson for awhile she was SuperDuper.

    September 6, 2010 at 11:23 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Arthur Big Big Belly Pellulo Sr.

    The Agency remind me of Olgive and Scharfmen.

    September 6, 2010 at 11:23 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Remembers

    Love the show. I was in my 20s during this era and I remember it so well, almost as if it were yesterday. It's great when people my age find tiny "mistakes". One guy wrote into the show to mention that he worked at the Time-Life Bldg in 1965 and that they have made the columns too close to the elevators. LOL. Last week Don left his Clio behind when he was partying afterwards. They later found it at the restaurant, John Bruno's Pen & Pencil which was a hugely polpuar steakhouse frequented by ad men of the era. They are always tossing in places from the period that don't exist any longer .It's so much fun for those of us who remember. In one episode Pete had just gotten his hair cut and another character mentioned it. Pete said he'd just come from a very famous barber shop on Lexington Avenue that no longer exists but was all the rage with upscale executives at the time.

    September 3, 2010 at 7:50 pm | Report abuse |
  6. BC

    Watch it happen. Sally was molested by Grandpa.

    September 1, 2010 at 5:14 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Ana Lucia

    When I first heard of Mad Men, I wasn't interested. But it was my fault. After renting the first 3 seasons from Netflix, and watching it back to back with my husband, I fell in love with the show, from fashion to the story line. Of oourse some cringing with all the drinking and cheating. But I like seeing how each character develops more and more over time. I was born in 1963, and remember even at age 5, the fashion, music, mannerism, and the b & w tv, man on the moon, and the war. I am a BIG fan of Mad Men and we are now caught up to season 4 – looking forward to Sunday evening tv now!

    August 29, 2010 at 3:54 am | Report abuse |

    You MUST watch Mad Men from the beginning to get all the "back stories" & "inside comments" by the characters. RENT/BUY DVD or download seasons from Apple iTunes Store.

    August 26, 2010 at 10:05 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Holly Golightly

    Some women were fulfilled to be housewives in the 60s, just as some women are fulfilled housewives today. BUT some were very surely just like Betty, unfulfilled and stuck without any other options. Read The Feminine Mystique! Matt Weiner even said on season 2's dvd commentary that the book was required reading for his castmembers.

    August 25, 2010 at 12:57 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Lady Mondegreen

    Sally will probably run away and eventually become an actress. We've seen her flair for histrionics, and she feels things intensely.
    Like The Sopranos, Mad Men has no heroes. Every character is flawed. I take it back about Sopranos, though...There was one character, the one-legged Svetlana, who was admirable. And the old Jewish psychiatrist Carmella saw once.
    And I suppose there are some good people in Mad Men. Certainly Carla is good hearted, and there may be others I'm overlooking. But Mad Men has attempted to make more than just the outward trappings realistic.

    August 24, 2010 at 8:17 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Cheetah Lady

    Trey, I haven't decided what to think of Henry, but something is up with him and his mother, I also don't think his mother cares for Betty..

    August 24, 2010 at 3:52 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Cheetah Lady

    I love Mad Man, the series takes us back to a "real" story-line or two...........

    August 24, 2010 at 3:43 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Holly Golightly

    I love all this excellent dialoging! (sp?) I am so excited to read posts from more fellow fans on here, finally! I freakin love this show! I agree with a lot of what was said above. Sally (Kieran) is a phenomonal actress and deserves an Emmy! This show is one of the best shows I've ever seen! As was mentioned earlier, you have to watch it from the beginning. I am so tired of Betty criticizing Don for his parenting. He is a much better parent than she is. Does anyone else think Bethany is a little young and vapid for him? I think they should bring back the teacher–with child! Roger was priceless on this episode as always. Pete is a punk as usual. I was impressed with Henry's parenting skills. And I hope Sally turns into a big time hippie! I hope the counselor helps her! Can't wait for next week!!!

    August 24, 2010 at 12:56 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Sheila

    Getting back to the first comment–I agree the show is pretty dark. I HAVE watched from the beginning and love the authenticity of the show and also the character development. But I am starting to feel like the characters need to be learning from their mistakes...the only time I've seen that recently is Don's hiring an old secretary after the seduction of his previous one led to her breaking down at work and quitting. And, while I'm venting, how about a positive portrayal of a homemaker-not all women at home in the 60's were self absorbed and discontent with their roles of wife and mother.

    August 24, 2010 at 12:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • TheAce

      Good point, Shiela. We have bought the idea that 60s home-making was Betty-style boring and empty of value. But women in those days mostly accepted the large responsibility of home-making, supplementing it with a very active social/support network. In the 60s, I would come home from school to find my mom entertaining ladies at Mah Jongg, or working on community projects. By the time I left home in 70, she was taking classes at the local college. Women adapted as their opportunities expanded. It seems to me that the portrayal of Betty is partly exceptional.

      August 24, 2010 at 4:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • mainep

      I don't think Don hired Mrs. Blankenship. I think she was assigned to him by Joan – she's the office manager and takes care of staffing. I think she did that to punish Don because after Allison's outburst last week, Joan clearly understood what had happened between Don and Allison..

      August 24, 2010 at 11:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ellen

      Don didn't hire his new secretary. She was hired for him by Joan.

      August 25, 2010 at 4:45 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Carla

    This is the era I grew up in and I love it! My Dad was in advertising then and the styles and people remind me of those times! Fond memories. I wish Don wasn't such a man ho but maybe he'll start to slow down and realize he's really missing more than what he's getting. Love the show ~ it's definately drama ~ and the best! Betty being shocked/embarrased by Sally is not surprising... my mother just ignored it!! That's the other side of the '60s if you ignore it – it will go away (or it doesn't exist)!

    August 24, 2010 at 11:58 am | Report abuse |
  16. madgirl

    Ok, so is anyone else intrigued by Henry? I was all ready to hate him, but he's turned out to be a small voice of reason in the Sally/Betty interaction- his suggestion to see a therapist seems like it might give Sally a reasonable adult to talk to.

    August 24, 2010 at 11:48 am | Report abuse |
  17. marym

    I love Mad Men. I was a creative director for 20 years in a big agency. It's like watching my life.

    August 24, 2010 at 11:01 am | Report abuse |
  18. Ell

    I lived it. I was there and this is how it was. I worked in a newspaper office in 1966 with drinking, smoking, the same stereotypes all around. I can skip everything else on TV. Sunday nights are special. Kudos on the casting award.

    August 24, 2010 at 10:40 am | Report abuse |
  19. wally

    Love Madmen, but I would not go too far in seeing the show as evidence of how much more enlightened we are now. Good satifirsts will have even more meat to skewer this "advanced" era.

    August 24, 2010 at 10:37 am | Report abuse |
  20. Aggie

    I don't own a TV so I watch all my 'tv' online. After learning about Mad Men I spent a couple months catching up on all the previous episodes (that's important, btw. there's an episode list at IMDB (google Mad Men IMDB episode list) which will help anyone coming in late). Now it's the only current show I watch regularly.
    I was only a few years younger than Sally in 1965. My mom slapped me many times – parents did that then. My parents divorced (in '67) and I went to a child psychologist because, well, parents did that back then. The 20-something's of the '60's didn't know how to talk about real things. Emotion and life were very repressed. Yes, it was starting to break out all over – civil rights, women's movement, etc. – but for the most part appearances were the most important thing.
    This episode was, I admit, not stellar – and yes, might be described as awkward, but I think that's what was intended. How could any director bring in child masturbation and not be expecting 'awkward'? The molestation-by-Gene storyline is interesting and wouldn't blow me away. That happened back then more often too (one of the aspects of that time I'm most glad to see gone).
    And btw has anyone noticed that even with all the smoking EVERYONE'S NOT DEAD!!?? Being facetious of course, but the fact that everyone from the 60's isn't dead of smoking-related illnesses coupled with what I read recently – an actual doctor saying that one exposure to second-hand smoke could result in heart disease (how could anyone even say that?) – proves that political correctness and the rabid anti-this or anti-that crackpots who've crawled out of the woodwork over the past 20 years aren't right about everything just because they seem so righteously enraged.

    August 24, 2010 at 10:32 am | Report abuse |
    • Angle

      Aggie said – "And btw has anyone noticed that even with all the smoking EVERYONE'S NOT DEAD!!?? Being facetious of course, but the fact that everyone from the 60's isn't dead of smoking-related illnesses coupled with what I read recently – an actual doctor saying that one exposure to second-hand smoke could result in heart disease (how could anyone even say that?) – proves that political correctness and the rabid anti-this or anti-that crackpots who've crawled out of the woodwork over the past 20 years aren't right about everything just because they seem so righteously enraged."

      Um, no, it doesn't. It doesn't prove a thing because it's a television show. It's pretend. It's not real. Having Don hack up a black loogie after he bangs Midge doesn't exactly fit in with the show's image.

      I don't disagree that in many cases political correctness has swung to the extreme, but not as far as smoking goes. 400,000 people die in the US every year due to smoking related illnesses, 1.2 million die annually in Europe. Smoking kills. Seeing pretty pretend people in a pretty pretend show do it without consequences doesn't change that.

      Having said that, I wouldn't take smoking out of the show. That's the way it was then.

      August 24, 2010 at 11:43 am | Report abuse |
  21. hippiechick

    This is by far my favorite TV show in a long time. I actually look forward to Sunday nights now! The writing is beyond excellent and the subtle acting is fantastic. Last week's episode showing Peggy finding out that Peter's going to be a dad (for the second time, mind you) was heartbreaking....the tension, the looks between them...I just wanted Pete to be a man and ask about his son...and Peggy to show some type of emotion toward her own thrown-away child. Every episode ends with a look, tension that leaves us hanging and wanting more, more, more!! Watch the end of "Babylon" from season 1 or 2, if you don't understand the premise of this show, when Roger and Joan are leaving a hotel room after a tryst and she has to act like she doesn't know him when she's waiting on the street for a cab.

    Anyone who doesn't "get" Mad Men needs to watch it from day one. You'll be as enamored with these characters (and missing ones like Sal) as the rest of us are.

    August 24, 2010 at 10:29 am | Report abuse |
  22. Pam

    I still don't think Joan's hairstyles and clothes are period for March of 1965 (at some point in the show they mentioned the month and year). I was hoping she would be the total 60s trendsetter this season, but the costume designer and hairdresser will not change her look (from circa 1960) for some reason.

    August 24, 2010 at 10:24 am | Report abuse |
    • artemis

      The clothing, cultural representations, decor and everything about this show are accurate, and perfect. Not EVERYONE dressed cutting edge, which was what the mod look was in 1965. It took a few years for it to become mainstream, just as fashion works today! And, in corporate America, the looks tend to be toned down, just like today....They take great pains to duplicate it in order to give as real an experience as possible. It is funny to read the posts from people too young to know better, who somehow don't believe those of us who lived through it.!

      August 24, 2010 at 11:31 am | Report abuse |
  23. charlie

    Madmen has to be one of the best written, best staged, and best researched shows on television! While I understand that a large portion of the viewing audience might find the program too 'academic', they fail to realize this is emblematic of the era it portrays. It goes beyond Beatles, Kennedy, and Martin Luther King, to show the lives of real people in a rapidly changing world, and not only that, but in a developing profession as well. It's also interesting to see the changes in the work space, and the changing roles of women in the office. As one poster stated earlier, just wait to see how clothes, styles, and the environment will change. Give this program a chance. It really is that good!

    August 24, 2010 at 9:58 am | Report abuse |
  24. Trey

    Is it just me or does anyone else find Henry kind of creepy. First he shoots game to a pregnant women then he acts all high and mighty regarding Don's behavior yet he still is living in Don's house years later. He just seems so slimy...

    August 24, 2010 at 9:24 am | Report abuse |
    • mainep

      Yes!! I thought it was just me. I was telling a co-worker and co-maddict that there's something creepy about Henry. I can't put my finger on it but there's something sleazy about him and eventually some bombshell will be dropped concerning Henry.

      August 24, 2010 at 11:09 pm | Report abuse |
  25. Trey

    Apparently Dave doesn't have hi def. As for the show the last two episodes have been the best. I want a secretary like Don's. She rocks.

    August 24, 2010 at 9:21 am | Report abuse |
  26. gr8fuldude

    I will keep watching as long as they don't let Betty White guest star.

    August 24, 2010 at 9:05 am | Report abuse |
  27. RM

    Terrible show, horrible writing. Nuff' said!

    August 24, 2010 at 9:02 am | Report abuse |
    • sweet dick willie

      Are you off your rocer biotch? This is with out a doubt the very best show on TV. Get a grip yo!

      September 2, 2010 at 8:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sweet Dick Willie

      Are you off your rocker biotch? This is with out a doubt the very best show on TV. Get a grip yo!

      September 2, 2010 at 8:02 pm | Report abuse |
  28. cathy

    Peggy riding around the sound stage on the cycle was fall down funny.....Joan with her boobs – great and Don's secretary....OMG....hope she's a keeper.

    August 24, 2010 at 8:19 am | Report abuse |
  29. cathy

    This is my favorite show. To the reviewer...ahhh grow up...that was life back in the 60's and no one sought to be politically correct. We've gone too far in the opposite direction IMO although I also cringed at some of "white hair's" remarks last night...I heard those types of remarks constantly from my father a WW II vet so they were true to form and isn't that what we like most about this show. Now as far as uncomfortable went...I thought Sally at the sleepover stint was very and I was hoping the actress didn't actually have to "do" more than she did. Mom should win horrible mother of the year award. Loved when Don was honest with girl in break room on how he felt about the kids....

    August 24, 2010 at 8:18 am | Report abuse |
  30. hannah1

    It was awesome! It's what keeps us watching! MAD MEN ROCKS!

    August 24, 2010 at 8:09 am | Report abuse |
  31. RUSH

    How could the show be awkward with Christina in it?

    August 24, 2010 at 8:05 am | Report abuse |
  32. stevie68a

    The period detail is one of the best things about the show. I look at some of the women's outfits and think "how can anyone wear that?". Don's furnished apartment is depressing realistic. When Joan ties a scarf to her pocketbook, she's serious
    about it. Get ready for radical style changes as the 60's progresses.

    August 24, 2010 at 7:42 am | Report abuse |
  33. Mark H.

    It was fabulous and I love the show since the very beginning. . I love the sets and clothing which is dead on. Can't wait for the 60's to hit their stride. This and The Office are the only series I watch except for some of the old ones.

    August 24, 2010 at 7:38 am | Report abuse |
  34. Mary W

    It took me all of 2 minutes to be absolutely hooked on this show. Love it! I worked in Chicago during the 60's and I swear I have met some of these characters. We've come a long way baby from the mindset and double standard of the 60's for sure. Favorite episode: The John Deere lawnmower in the office. Still laugh at that.

    August 24, 2010 at 7:24 am | Report abuse |
  35. Roger Sterling

    This isnt just a show. Its a marketing company and I will be damned if you people will sit here and criticize. Now, get out of my office.

    August 24, 2010 at 7:24 am | Report abuse |
  36. Bee

    An earlier post stated that between 1945-1965 were a dark time –the depression era was a dark time,no one had a job.In MadMen everyone is dressed well & have jobs etc. This show has a great cast,fantastic writing & spot on on it's depiction.Enjoy !

    August 24, 2010 at 6:43 am | Report abuse |
  37. Maarten

    Jennifer, you're not used to anything apparently. The more awkward the better – that's life after all. Why would you wanna watch all perfect little (stupid) things all the time? Mad Men's indeed a character-driven show (and one of the best shows at that!), nobody's perfect and the world's a zest pool. Apparently nothing's changed since the mid 1960s....
    Go Awkwardness!

    August 24, 2010 at 3:57 am | Report abuse |
  38. Natalie

    I love this show and it's probably one of the best scripted shows on TV right now. It's a fascinating character-driven show. Thank goodness great writing still exists!

    August 24, 2010 at 12:43 am | Report abuse |
    • Janine

      Natalie, I was a big fan of Thirtysomething because of its writing, acting, directing, etc., and the same with Northern Exposure and I put Mad Men right up there with those two!! Quality shows of this stature do not come around very often! Kudos to all of those involved in the show!! 🙂

      August 24, 2010 at 1:06 am | Report abuse |
  39. Janine

    I love Mad Men. The topic of Sally and how her mother overreacted was perfect for that time period. This is one of the best shows on television in a long time. The writers do the show such justice by remaining in the timeline during the 1960s and the "norms" of behavior, parenting, bigotry, etc. I know it sounds silly, but before they end their final season and decide to call it a day for Mad Men, I hope they feature clips of Frank Sinatra and the Rat Pack like they do so much of other nostalgia TV during the show. This show will be missed when it calls it a day and no more new seasons.

    August 24, 2010 at 12:40 am | Report abuse |
  40. Dave

    Get a life TV addicts.......

    August 23, 2010 at 11:40 pm | Report abuse |
  41. AnnR

    Mad Men is a brilliant show. I lived thru some of those times and they are spot on. People were so "private" then, no emails, no facebook, no nothing. Just a little square black and white TV. And private lives, bitter angry wives/mothers. Yes there was incest but it was not talked about. And Career dedicated men who would stop at nothing (well that sounds like today). The scripts, the clothes, the sets are spot on. So glad AMC picked up this show vs HBO so we can all see it. I foretell more Emmys very soon. The girl who plays Sally is quite talented but aren't they all?
    MM did just win an Emmy for casting.

    August 23, 2010 at 10:59 pm | Report abuse |
  42. Spencer

    Sorry, but the language in this review that refers to Sally's therapy stigmatizes it much the same way it was seen as stigmatizing in 1964. The mental health profession has come a long way over the past 50 years, helping many to lead more fulfilling lives. It's no wonder CNN, through its blogs, is more myopic than Mad Men in letting such views persist.

    August 23, 2010 at 10:47 pm | Report abuse |
  43. lauren

    I'm surprised they went there with Sally..the M word!...little misguided Brat...sad that neither parent realizes they are horrible...Betty is a piece of work...she needs more than therapy!...Sally has probably seen more than a 10 year old should know...especially back in the day...I love the way Mad Men plays it straight..note the reference to the civil rights movement, "what more do they want" – sounds familiar

    August 23, 2010 at 10:07 pm | Report abuse |
  44. leslee

    The way Sally was treated for touching herself is entirely accurate for that time. I can tell you from personal experience, parents just freaked out when they realized their little girls were discovering the area between their legs – and learning how good it could feel.

    August 23, 2010 at 9:41 pm | Report abuse |
  45. JL

    Mad Men is truly the best show on television. I love seeing how the values are shifting to the pre-hippie (Beatnik) era and the fact that Peggy is caught between the two generations. I also love looking at how far we've come in terms of taboos and stereotypes. Think about Betty's reaction to Sally's "playing with herself" and the fact that not too many years later a Surgeon General (although fired) was actually advocating masturbation as a healthy outlet. We've come a long way baby!

    August 23, 2010 at 9:19 pm | Report abuse |
  46. flaggashland

    I love love love this show. Anyone that doesn't "get it" needs to watch some insipid reality shows and leave us to the best thing on tv since the Soprano's. I missed seeing Peggy and her getting deeper into the 60's this episode, but realize it would take hours to have each character have their scenes on every episode.
    Little Sally has my sympathy as I had a wretched mother as she does. My saving grace was a dad who loved me. But man oh man can we see where Sally is headed?
    I await each week's hour with great anticipation!!

    August 23, 2010 at 9:16 pm | Report abuse |
  47. RJ

    Janice, a lot of the scenes were shot at night so and people didn't have as many lamps in their house as they do now. I know this since I grew up in the '60's and '70's. Things have become cynical in the show since they became that way after JFK's assassination. People were disillusioned and the social turmoil that had begun to surface just added to the anxiety. Throw in the escalation in Vietnam, the Cold War and other issues and you can see where things were headed. Mad Men is a wonderful show and they get the details right. Elizabeth, the producers concentrate on the details since a lot of the people watching Mad Men, like myself, were there and would notice things that were out of place. The clothes, decor, hairstyles, product labels and such are unique to the period. Anything else would ring false and would lower "Mad Men" to the level of just another soap opera. The characters are reacting just as people reacted to the situation back then.

    August 23, 2010 at 8:54 pm | Report abuse |
  48. jeteh

    I worked at one advertising agency during the late 80's that was still in a 60's time warp–right down to the macrame plant hangings. The old geezers that ran the place even tried in vain to orchestrate make-out Christmas parties every year–just like the old days. One memory of the dog-eat-dog nature of the biz still resonates. A fellow account executive heard that a rival ex-coworker from another agency was a candidate at our place for a VP position. He was so jealous and galled that this man could wind up as his boss that he called the candidate's supervisor and told him that the guy was interviewing at our place! Part of his plan worked. The candidate's current agency gave him a big raise to stay. But the candidate called our President and told him about the betrayal of confidentiality. Of course, my co-worker was told to clean out his desk immediately. I tell this story because I think it makes a great story line. Feel free to use it AMC!

    August 23, 2010 at 8:20 pm | Report abuse |
  49. WitchyWeen

    Excellent show and I also see the possible molestation with Betty and her dad. Also, maybe with Sally as well. I see Woodstock and LSD in Sally's future. I am not being sarcastic but it was just that era.

    August 23, 2010 at 8:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • Steve

      Yes I agree, I saw the doll of grampa and this is gonna be edgy if they are going there...
      This will shift the power over to Don and shame Betty.
      I need to go back and read the review again... how did the CNN reviewer miss this?

      August 24, 2010 at 1:05 am | Report abuse |
  50. Judi

    Utterly fascinating to watch!!! Get madder at Don and Betty every week. Yes, I agree with the concept they might be heading for the molestation story line between Betty and her father.

    August 23, 2010 at 8:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • Carolyn

      I agree, Judi! I have LOVED this show from the beginning. I am 67 and remember it all. Excellent writing and acting. I hope January Jones wins best actress in drama at Emmys this year.

      August 24, 2010 at 10:49 am | Report abuse |
  51. r

    My goodness but this show is first-rate, raw and spot on! One of the best shows on tv. May it live long and prosper.

    August 23, 2010 at 8:01 pm | Report abuse |
  52. Don

    Mad Men is a show about broken people. And that's what makes it so interesting.

    August 23, 2010 at 7:52 pm | Report abuse |
  53. jason

    What a spectacular episode. Betty is a timebomb – I can't wait to see what she does next. I was also glad to see more focus on the business in recent weeks. Pete and the business dealings with his father in law, then the whole firm with Honda. That was some of the best TV anywhere in several years.

    August 23, 2010 at 7:43 pm | Report abuse |
  54. TKD

    Just read about John Boehner and other politicos at a recent dinner, replete with half finished glasses of liquor and an ash-try full of cigarette butts. The comments was made that the scene could have come out of Madmen. Then someone makes the comment that Boehner et al are considered the conservative "grown ups" by his followers, implying that the non-smoking non-drinking "progressives" among us are children ( Iguess). When I watch Madmen it gives me a chill to think that still, today, the image of these "men in charge" is what we consider to be mature and responsible behavior. Sigh

    August 23, 2010 at 7:36 pm | Report abuse |
  55. stephstillill

    Last nights episode was such a breath of fresh air, compared to the first 4 episodes. Its what ,in my opinion we have all been waiting for, a little humor here and there, I mean so far Peggy has been able to "peek a boo" herself into some comic relief.
    Her riding that motorcycle in that cute little red dress was so refreshing. The suspense on when and how Sally was going to finally rebel, or act out due to the less than perfect parenting job that Don and Betty are doing, Was for me long a due.
    I'm beyond excited for the next episode, and glad to see that there are more people who also love this show. Those who think its too dark, or dont follow the story line, I suggest watch it from season 1 , and get ready to embark yourself for a journey of mad men.

    August 23, 2010 at 7:31 pm | Report abuse |
  56. Moma B

    Mad Men is the only thing worth watching on TV. The show totally reflects the 60's culture and mood. Can't you just see Sally planning on killing her mother?!

    August 23, 2010 at 7:26 pm | Report abuse |
  57. ArthVader

    This show is refreshing and insiteful. As an ad man myself, I can appreciate the nuances, the oppressive 'boys-only' mentality of the priveleged white guy favoritism as they pillage EVERYTHING; women, accounts, other agencies and each other. The show's historical influence both in advertising and american histories is spell-binding. I am glued to the set every Sunday night. As a man in his early forties, I can tell you I watch my fair share of True-Blood, Modern family and a host of reality TV and NOTHING on the air comes close to the majesty and brilliant story-telling of this show! To "Janice"; with all due respect, if you are looking for "uplifting' this may not be the show for you. I can't wait watch the epidsode again on my DVR.

    How delicious that Carla's face told the entire tale of Sally's visit to Dr. Edna? Is it Sunday agian yet?

    August 23, 2010 at 7:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • MissyPoo

      The best true ad man scene so far has to be when Don told Jantzen to get the hell out of his office. I'm in advertising too...and haven't we all dreamed of doing that to a horrible client? He was my hero after that.

      August 24, 2010 at 2:29 am | Report abuse |
    • loughreagal

      I hope you are in the art department and not copywriting. For an ad man, you are a terrible speller!

      August 24, 2010 at 3:59 am | Report abuse |
  58. Tiffany

    Am I the only one who thinks they're hinting that the grandfather molested Sally? Seems like they're heading that way.

    August 23, 2010 at 7:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • Cris

      I thought the same thing after watching last night's episode.

      August 23, 2010 at 7:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ellen

      Yeah, you could be right. That relationship was creepy – the way he made her read to him. And the stealing money thing. I couldn't figure out what was up with all that – why he was so creepy. Good call.

      August 23, 2010 at 7:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • Greg

      Definitely agree. And I don't think it's just Sally. I think he abused Betty too. Did you notice her response when asked by the therapist about her past and remember a few seasons back when her father, in his dimentia, grabbed Betty's breast. I think there are some skeletons for sure.

      August 23, 2010 at 8:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • bit

      Interesting. But if that's the case, then could Betty also have been a victim? Maybe that's why SHE's always acting out.

      August 23, 2010 at 8:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • BIT

      ...also, let me add that the actress that plays Sally (Kiernan Shipka) is quite impressive. The nuances she brings to the role are surprising given her age.

      August 23, 2010 at 8:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • Marco

      I was thinking the same thing ! But they never showed granpa 'touching' her, and she is not behaving that horribly, considering she likes her father and hates her mother (as Most daughters, HELLO!)

      August 23, 2010 at 10:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • MissyPoo

      Hmmm...I never thought of it until you mentioned it but something was awfully creepy about him. The way he treated Betty makes me think there was almost a sort of husband/daughter as wife thing going on.

      August 24, 2010 at 2:31 am | Report abuse |
    • Eddie's momma

      The question of abuse of Sally by Grampa Gene was brought up to Matt Weiner in an interview last season and he denied it outright. Can't put my finger on the link right now, sorry. While this scenario would go a long way toward explaining Betty's brittle nature, her inability to connect to her own mother, who sounds like a wingnut herself, the series creator says "No!"

      Sally's parents have divorced, she's witnessed who knows what kind of adult behavior by her parents off screen (we know what she's seen on), her grandfather has died with little to no attention being given to her by a mother who can't deal with her own emotions in a grown up way. A mother who thought nothing was wrong seeking advice from a ten year old Glenn after his mother specifically told her to stay away from her son.

      Sally made a connection with Glenn earlier this season. He broke in and trashed the house, leaving only Sally's bedroom untouched and leaving her a friendship bracelet/lanyard. The two have spoken on the phone. It would be speculation what those conversations have been about, but Glenn's responses about his mother and step father indicate a mature understanding that's he's willing to share with a little girl who needs someone to listen to her and give her guidance.

      August 24, 2010 at 7:26 am | Report abuse |
    • Jon

      I'm surprised so many people think that, and I'm glad Weiner came out and denied that to be the case. Sally and Gene's relationship was emotionally touching, not physically.

      August 24, 2010 at 7:58 am | Report abuse |

      Also, Betty is attracted to older men like her new husband..."father figure / husband/lover".

      When are we going to hear if the last baby is DON's or the one night stand in the bar guy that Betty slept with...?

      August 26, 2010 at 10:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • FWallace

      Now that you mention it. Sally did act strange after the Grandfather died. She was afraid of the baby because he was named after grandpa and slept in his room.

      September 2, 2010 at 4:42 pm | Report abuse |
  59. marta

    Is Betty really a bad mom or just a " mom of the 70's"?

    August 23, 2010 at 7:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • lafemmetopaz

      I think its both. Betty is disappointment in her life, herself and upset with Don so she's taking it out of Sally. I don't think its intial but unfortunate. Lots of mom's during this time were unfilled and took their own self disappointments out on their children and spouses.

      August 23, 2010 at 8:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • Fanfromthestart

      I was hoping Betty and new hubby would die in a plane crash on thier way to Vegas, but no, we're still being subjected to the terrible acting and awful character. I am intrigued by the speculation on molestation, however... maybe I should give her another chance.
      What I am not liking is the non-Mad Men crowd focusing on the smoking, drinking, womanizing, etc. The novelty of that aspect of the show died for me in the middle of season one, and it certaintly doesn't make the show. I also don't care for modern advertisers trying to make thier ads look more 60s to "catch" the Mad Men demographic; such a shameless pandering to what is, in thier minds, a novelty. BMW vintage ads are very nice, however... Can't wait for SCDP to get rid of Lucky Strike and bring back Romano.

      August 23, 2010 at 10:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • Cathy

      Just because the show shows a bad mom in the 70's doesn't mean moms were bad back then....get a grip.

      August 24, 2010 at 8:22 am | Report abuse |
  60. Rena

    I've been saying from the beginning of season one that Sally will either run away and join a commune or sleep her way through the faculty at a 7 sisters school - your pick.

    August 23, 2010 at 7:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • CSD

      ...or some serious drug abuse is in her not too distant future. Serioulsy, I worry about Sally at the end of every episode!!

      August 23, 2010 at 9:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • hawaiikaos

      Sally's going to completely rebel and go hippie (at best), but I worry more about the middle brother, who will probably end up drafted in Vietnam. Absolutely love the show btw. Very edgy, very thought provoking.

      August 24, 2010 at 5:48 am | Report abuse |
    • hippiechick

      It's March 1965 so Bobby's only 7 and couldn't possibly be drafted. Sally's 10 and will miss Woodstock and the entire hippie revolution of 1969-70. I think Betty's problem is possibly her dad holding her up on a pedestal and her mom resenting that. She had a horrible relationship with her mother. And now history is repeating itself in Sally idolizing Don and Betty hating every moment of it....and she's too vain to admit it.

      August 24, 2010 at 10:38 am | Report abuse |
    • mlm

      sally will be 15 during woodstock, she'll be there!! then join the Manson "family"

      August 26, 2010 at 1:52 pm | Report abuse |
  61. Debbie

    Mad Men is the best thing on t.v. in a loooonnnnnggggg time. I'm in my mid-fifties and seeing how they do the sets, clothes and their behavior so perfectly 1960's is amazing to me.
    i want Jon Hamm to win best actor emmy this year. He's the best.

    August 23, 2010 at 5:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • Chandra

      It is the drama, acting, and directing that appeal to me. Mad Men is the best show on tv. It can be dark, but the 60s were turbulent times. Although glamorized at times too, the show does a good job of portraying the views and stereotypes of the time as well.

      August 23, 2010 at 5:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • jmarm

      Please don't call Dancing W T S "Grandma T.V." I am in my 70's and watch Mad Men all the time. I'm surprised they haven't shown the ladies in hot pants yet and bee hive hair dos. The movie The Way We Were is one of my favorite movies as it shows Barbara Steisand speaking her mind which was hard to do in those days without getting into trouble with a man (Robert Redford)... or my ex!

      August 24, 2010 at 10:03 am | Report abuse |
  62. janice simmons

    Mad Men has gotten such positive ratings, I decided to watch it – twice. Each time I have not been moved by the
    characters even though Jon Hamm is very nice to look at. I find all the scenes too dark throughout the entire
    show. Why is there so little light in this show? I have not been able to watch a full episode. I guess I need to see
    more joy in the story. I don't find the show to be uplifting.

    August 23, 2010 at 5:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • ron

      janice...better stick with Dancing with the Stars and other types of "grandma TV"...

      August 23, 2010 at 6:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • Denizen Kate

      Janice, 1945 to 1965 were the dark ages in our society, so Mad Men does tend to be a little dark both figuratively and literally.

      August 23, 2010 at 7:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • stephstillill

      Oh Janice, I don't want to judge of what you do ream worthy of good television, so I won't assume that you only watch insignificant, dull, and the latest trend of reality TV. However I will suggest you watch MADMEN from the beginning. If you can appreciate the style, the effort to making even the smallest of details resemble to 60s era, than you will get hooked, oh and I don't have to mention the story line, and drama that is so lacking in television now a days' 27 years old, and love , love , love this show.

      August 23, 2010 at 7:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • Elizabeth

      I agree the cynicism is a bit overwhelming. Kennedy-administration America symbolized optimism and youth in America, the rise of a new generation. But what really grates on my nerves is the relentless pretentious and studied way the show flaunts itself with attention to historical and period details.The way that everything has been so artfully displayed and painstakingly assembled just comes off as trying too hard to be really authentic. OK, so everybody smoked and drank and the prejudices were much more blatant (although I don't think as one-sided as the show), but they didn’t make this thing about it, they didn’t concentrate on it or make it an eye-drawing act, they just did it.

      August 23, 2010 at 8:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • anonymous

      this show is a drag and reminds me of being at the dentist

      August 23, 2010 at 9:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • Justin

      You can't beat Janice up. If you have seen the show from day one, you would see how private life was and how people were more encouraged to keep up appearences rather than choose their own way. I think the show is the best thing that has hit television since Six Feet Under and the Sopranos! Janice, with all due respect, follow from show one, and I think you might find redemption in the "dark" story line. Enjoy!

      August 23, 2010 at 10:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bett

      Janice is allowed to have an opinion, isn't she? I like programs with an edge (Deadwood, The Shield) but couldn't get interested in Mad Men. I watched the first season, but it is too soap opera-ish for my taste. I guess that makes me old, stupid and brainless.

      Not everyone likes the same things...and it's perfectly okay to say so. It's pretty immature to bash someone for expressing their views. Oh, well, everyone's an expert on the internet!

      August 24, 2010 at 11:13 am | Report abuse |
    • Tracey

      Good heavens Janice, what a silly thing to say. That's like saying "I watched the last episode of LOST but it made no sense, therefore the show sucks" LOL START at number ONE and then comment!

      August 24, 2010 at 11:18 am | Report abuse |
    • NickyBntly

      This is the type of show that you have to watch with no commercial interruption, and to really get into the show
      you have to watch it from Season one to really appreciate each characters.
      I watched 1 thru 3 on Blu-ray and this is the first time I DVR the show. It's just so awkward when they
      cut the scene to commercial because each scene doesn't end with a cliff hanger like normal TV shows.
      But since I can't wait for a year to catch it on Blu-ray I'll just have to put up with that commercial stuff.

      August 24, 2010 at 12:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • Neil

      Madmen actually require or at least induces the viewer to think. The characters are more three dimensional than on any other show.

      I'm guessing, but I think there was an important clue on the last episode when they linked Sally's "behavioral" problems with the death of her grandfather. Betty is possibly/probably terrified of talking to the the therapist because of a terrible secret she dare not reveal, especially in 1965.. Stay tuned.

      September 4, 2010 at 2:50 am | Report abuse |
    • Poppy

      This is not the kind of show that you can just start watching. It requires a time investment. The beauty of the show is the steady, believable development of these rich characters. Sometimes I watch an episode twice just to pick up on the subtleties.

      September 12, 2010 at 5:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • Greg Nordman

      Hello Janice I dropped in like you,on a few episodes around the same time as your post and felt the same. Still I have always been drawn to the show because of it's success and because as a Boomer I am intrigued by the adult world that my parents lived. When I got Netflicks I began watching from the beginning and although I still am troubled by the darkness I am also more sympathetic to the difficulties that plague the changing lives of these unhappy people. I'm 12 episodes in and I can't stop watching

      January 9, 2012 at 7:25 pm | Report abuse |

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