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Spoiler Alert Thursday: You People

If you thought Thursday posts were narrow in scope before, they’re about to get even narrower — I don’t even watch House.

In this episode of Mad Men, both of S&C’s biggest clients — Hilton and Lucky Strike — get upset when it turns out the services provided by their ad agency don’t include fantasy personal relationships.  For Hilton, he’s disappointed to learn that Don isn’t his desired-for son who shares his dream to conquer the moon.  Don seems genuinely touched when Connie tells him he’s like a son, but then he quickly finds out (or maybe remembers?) how much it sucks to have a father who is abusive, demanding, irrational and possibly demented.

And then Lee Garner, Jr. goes nuts when Sal won’t have sex with him in the editing bay.  Honestly though, this plot twist didn’t make any sense to me.  Why couldn’t S&C just remove Sal from the Lucky Strike account?  Why did they have to fire him for real?  Also, Don’s assholery to Sal was a little over the top.  I get that he was freaked out because the demands of his job were, for the first time, spinning out of his control, but “you people”?  Really, is that something that Don would have said?  This — and a few of Betty’s lines this week (e.g., “Carla doesn’t work for you, she works for me”*) — seemed calculated to shock the viewer with the barbarity of the 60s.**

Also, I’m relieved that the Betty/Henry Francis affair looks like it won’t come to pass — Henry is such a dweeb.  The scene in Henry’s office was really nice though — Betty is initially mollified by Henry’s explanation that he didn’t come to her home because she, as a married woman, has to make the first move.  Then the realization dawns on her that this means she can’t play the role of the lovely desired object lying passive on her Victorian fainting couch, and she abruptly decides that this affair isn’t going to work out for her after all.  And then excuses herself by saying the affair is too “tawdry” for her tastes!  I kind of love Betty.

*Capgras Bobby, what a jerk!

**Or who knows, maybe I’m delusional.  Earlier this week, the clerk at my local Famima started up the whole song and dance of trying to guess my race.  I told him, warily but truthfully, and he concluded by throwing up his hands and saying, literally, and without irony, “Oh well, you all look the same to me.”  It was so implausible and hilarious that I couldn’t be offended — I burst out laughing.  But then later when I recounted this story to friends, no one was amused.  So it could be that I have a miscalibrated gauge somewhere.


October 15, 2009 - Posted by | Spoiler Alert Thursdays, television


  1. The Office’s wedding episode was absolute shit, possibly the worst hour the series has produced so far. I’ve only watched the show this season because my partner insists on it, and now I’m launching a campaign to get her to stop watching. I think if I can push our usual Office-viewing off for a week, such that we’re at least an episode behind, filling our viewing time with other, more enjoyable shows, it has a good chance of working.

    Comment by stras | October 15, 2009

  2. W00T jms blogging. I’m perpetually a week behind on my Mad Men but if I hack away at my pages today I’ll slip below the spoiler warning.

    Comment by K-sky | October 15, 2009

  3. Going at it on some guy’s desk is kind of tawdry.

    Comment by ben | October 15, 2009

  4. Somewhat more substantively, I wasn’t sure, actually, whether Don’s “you people” meant “you people [the buttphags]” as opposed to “you people [my incompetent inferiors]”—after all, he did just excoriate Peggy and the dynamic duo, and then there’s Harry.

    Also: no affair’s too tawdry for Don! Hot for teacher!

    (Definitely less substantively, it’s not Sterling and Cooper but just Sterling Cooper.)

    Comment by ben | October 15, 2009

  5. My call for the season finale is that they’ll put Don’s name on the building and it will feel like the ultimate defeat.

    Comment by Adam Kotsko | October 15, 2009

  6. “Cooper Draper” is an awful name.

    Comment by jms | October 15, 2009

  7. Going at it on some guy’s desk is kind of tawdry.

    Depends. Is it your desk? Have you carefully and conscientiously removed the various objects upon it beforehand, so as not to damage them?

    Comment by stras | October 15, 2009

  8. Cooter Burger, on the other hand, is an awesome name.

    Comment by K-sky | October 15, 2009

  9. Not as good as Mo’ Better Meatty Meat Burger.

    Comment by ben | October 15, 2009

  10. i have Mad men listed around 100th position on my dvd queue, three seasons i guess
    maybe should move it to the top to catch up with you people
    the last weekend i’ve been watching Dostoevsky’s Idiot, strange Nastasya Filipovna there, not the femme fatale, but a gypsy queen and then it would seem she should be a bit likable, but no, not a bit sympathetic
    didn’t like her nose maybe, too curved cz

    Comment by read | October 15, 2009

  11. Capgras Bobby! Ha!
    I liked that The Ramble was there being The Ramble.

    Comment by oudemia | October 15, 2009

  12. 9: On Pico, right? Have you been?

    Comment by K-sky | October 16, 2009

  13. That place is long gone.

    Comment by jms | October 16, 2009

  14. This week’s episode of “The Office” was easily the best of the season. Not because of the underlying plot–Andy and Dwight’s belief that a salesman was in the mob–but for the unrelated jokes: Meredith’s son doing an “upper decker,” Kevin using Jim’s office to fart in. Admittedly, we have an affection for shit, fart and dick jokes. Others may be more civilized than me. Other TV reports later.

    Comment by Craig | October 16, 2009

  15. Yeah, MBMMB was torn down years ago and is now a Walgreens. I miss that place even though I’m a pescetarian now.

    Comment by toops | October 16, 2009

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