It took half a season to pick up, but Mad Men is certainly on to something in these last few episodes. Sure, Sunday night was light on the actual advertising process, but all the HR/office dramatics more than made up for it (and touched on an altogether different side of agency life). Also, there was a voice over! A voice over is a sure-fire narrative technique! Or, wait, maybe a voice over is just a slapdash emergency, the equivalent of Vodka and Mountain Dew?
Whether you liked Don’s journaling or not, it made this episode the most self-contained of the season. It could have been a stand alone short film. You didn’t have to know much about Don’s back story to appreciate his life re-assessment. Dreary journal entries, swimming, all under the aegis of slightly less alcohol consumption! He was even — dare we say — classy on a date with Dr. Faye.
Elsewhere, Peggy seems to finally be getting some of the respect she deserves, breaking up the sexist boys club mentality in the creative department (although, as Joan nicely put it, at the risk of being viewed as a “humorless bitch”), reflecting the a’changin’ nature of the times. (Cultural relevance also comes by way of Joan and her — ultimately — ‘Nam bound husband.) Also, Betty, as always, is terrifying. But also humanized. But also terrifying.
On the ad front, about the most interesting thing was the brief teaser for AMC’s The Walking Dead (mostly due to the prospect of zombies). It’s getting pretty apparent that the bulk of these spots bear more than a passing resemblance to those in past weeks (a pattern even noticed by unassuming girlfriends, patiently sitting through each episode).
For Mountain Dew, could they not have developed a tie-in with the official Mad Men iPhone App, in which you can mix up your own cocktail? How about showing vintage MD commercials from the era, or the wild progression to where the brand is today?! This is what keeps us up at night.
All you ad folk: we want to hear what you thought of Joey’s rant to Peggy about being a “creative” and therefore untouchable.
Photo by Michael Yarish via AMC