Monday, May 14, 2012

Mad Men "Dark Shadows": Just help yourself to some...

"I got a million of them" says Michael (Ben Feldman) to Don (Jon Hamm). 
What little we've seen of Betty Francis this season has, quite frankly, been just enough, thanks to Weiner's efficient use of the divisive character. Since the theme of this episode centers around jealousy and selfishness, it only makes sense, then, that she resides at "Dark Shadows"' chewy center.
"I don't care what's down below, Let it rain, let it snow, I'll be up on a rainbow, Sweeping the clouds away!"
- "(Up on the Top of a Rainbow) Sweeping the Clouds Away" - Maurice Chevalier [Google Play]
Maurice Chevalier's song about "helping yourself to some" happiness is a perfect fit to close out the episode, as Chevalier's protagonist admits to not caring about the blow-back on others that cloud chasing causes. That was often the case with Chevalier's own persona -- the character he portrayed on stage was always happy-go-lucky, but it belied a depressed and insecure man, getting metaphorically rained on underneath that 'cloudless' front.

Spotify Playlist: Mad Men - Season 5 (so far)

After seeing how great things appear to be between Don and Megan, Betty tries to stir up some dark clouds, selfishly using her daughter to drive the planted wedge in. But Megan, like the toxic smog that has enveloped the city, knows to keep the windows closed. "Don't give her the satisfaction of poisoning us from 50 miles away," she wisely advises Don. Loved that Sally came to a full realization of what Betty was doing and shut the door on her attempt at sabotage, delivering her lines about Anna Draper like the good student actress she is via Megan's tutelage.

WDCW Creative Director Matt McCain on The Pitch
There's jealousy abound, in the office, principally with the older set feeling outshined by the youth. In each case (Roger with Pete, Don with Michael) it leads to a selfish helping of oneself. "It's every man for himself," explains Roger to Peggy, who's displayed her own jealous streak on a few occasions so far this season (of Megan, of Michael, and -- albeit grudgingly -- of Don). Don abused his power as boss to push his own mediocre creative over Michael's, but he might just be right in assuming the client was going to like his better. If we've learned anything from AMC's The Pitch, where the client is concerned, the most creative execution isn't likely to win the day. (Pictured is WDCW's zombie-themed Subway execution, featuring former co-worker and friend Matt McCain as a breakfast zombie -- aka, zAMbie.)

Previously: "Lady Lazarus" (Episode 5.08)

1 comment:

Mari said...

Like many Mad Men eps. this one is good and deep. We liked the closing song so much we bought it.
Poor Betty. She is like so many divorced parents who will come after, who use the kids to do her dirty work.