Friday, September 28, 2007

A Weekend Gone Wilder

I don't know why AMC felt the need to have their summer series Mad Men run into the fall season, but it's killing me here. If you've read my posts prior, you know I usually like to delve deep into each episode, and this last one has a lot to talk about. But there's no time to do it, so you get the scattered/abridged version of my usual Mad Men musings.

Billy Wilder: Many have mentioned already today that this episode felt like an homage to that great writer/director. Mad Men owes a lot of it's look and subject matter from Wilder's The Apartment, so it's mention here felt both inevitable and appropriate. Joan's character (and Peggy's, for that matter,) are reminiscent of the Fran character played by Shirley MacLaine. Meanwhile, Roger's double entendres were especially sharp, ala Wilder:
I really need to get to the bottom of that.

Yes, I would like to get a look at those.

Boy are you two like bookends. So whaddya think Don? Should we caste them in bronze and mount them on the credenza?
This episode is sure to be John Slattery's entry when award season rolls round. His turn from playful (and misogynistic) all the way to tragic heart attack victim was great. It's possible that's the last we'll see of him on the show, though. The heart attack is one thing, but he's also just credited in the series as 'special guest star' (which could mean a lot of things). Related to Slattery's Roger, there was a couple of subtle things going on below the radar. First, is Don beating Roger to the punch. "It should never have been this close" in reference to the tightening of the race between Nixon and Kennedy. Then later with the line "the day you sign a client is the day you start losing 'em." It's like Don's already prepped for Roger's job, which may be open after Roger's coronary. The second item is the idea of 'translucence.' Roger says it about Mirabelle's skin, even going so far as defining the word for her ("that see-through"). Then Don, describing Roger's skin post-coronary, says to Betty "it was like paper." Finally, Don tells Rachel "I feel like you're looking right through me." This idea of transparency becomes more concrete to us as Don tells Rachel about his, up to now, mysterious upbringing. His character is starting to develop it's own translucence.

There was a lot of music I had a hard time picking out, some that I swear were in Wilder films, but the only one listed so far is "Volare" by the McGuire Sisters, a choice meant to emphasize the twin sisters flirtations that Roger and Don were enjoying and tolerating, respectively.

I'll just be lazy now and leave you with my other favorite lines:
This place reminds me of a czarist ministry. No matter the decision, you don't feel it's yours. (Mencken)

Being with a client is like being in a marriage. Sometimes you get into it for the wrong reasons and eventually they hit you on the head. (Roger)

Maybe you need me to lay on your couch to clear that up for you again. (Peggy to Pete)

Maybe it's this office, but you're selling too hard. (Don to Eleanor)

Don't waste your youth on age. (Bert to Joan)
Previously: They Shoot Pigeons Don't They? (Ep 109)

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

John Slattery is supposed to be back. They only credit him as a "Special Guest Star" to give him a special billing.