Mad Men Takes a Second Look

Mad Men’s Season Seven, Episode Seven (“Waterloo”), the half-season finale, may look a bit like a rerun of Season Three’s “Shut the Door. Have a Seat” and Season Six’s “For Immediate Release”—both episodes in which a crisis precipitated a . . . . Continue Reading »

Mad Men Gone Schizoid

Season Seven, Episode Five (“The Runaways”): A very disjointed episode of Mad Men. Don Draper is marginal to most of its action; two watchable characters (Roger Sterling and Joan Harris) are absent from it entirely; and we endure two eruptions of gratuitous weirdness, one in the form of kinky sex, the other in the form of sexualized mutilation. Altogether, we find the story de-centered and distinctly schizoid. Continue Reading »

Megan Must Go

Season Seven, Episode Three: A very eventful episode of Mad Men. Two story arcs move us forward, though one (strangely compelling one) does not. Are Don and Megan Draper finally over? In the major arc before the first commercial break, Don speaks long-distance to Megan’s agent and learns that . . . . Continue Reading »

Mad Men Goes Meta

Readers of a certain age may remember a television commercial about a boy, a bottle of ketchup, and a hamburger: In alternating close-ups, viewers witnessed the condiment’s slow descent and the boy’s ever-heightening expectancy, all while Carly Simon’s “Anticipation” blared seductively in the background. The ketchup poured; the burger was put to the bite: “Worth the wait,” we were told. Continue Reading »

For Love or Money

Episode Two of this season’s Mad Men could have been titled “For Love or Money.” On Valentine’s Day 1969, some of the folks at Sterling, Cooper & Partners are clearly doing their jobs just for the money. Others are doing their jobs for love of the job, or for love of someone on the job. Continue Reading »

Mad Men Returns

The first half of Season Seven of AMC’s Mad Men (the back half will drop in 2015) opened Sunday night with a familiar character addressing the camera, thus: “Are you ready? Because I want you to pay attention. This is the beginning of something.” It is the beginning of the . . . . Continue Reading »