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Entries in mad men (45)


In Which I'm Peggy Olson And I Want To Smoke Some Marijuana

Mad Men: The Musical



Great episode. The viewers at home breathe a sigh of relief as Mad Men hits its stride in the third inning after two wobbly-kneed and tedious first attempts. All the gears are finally whirring. Everyone (Joan!) has shown up. Characters are mixed up and re-matched in new social settings. And so many GIF opportunities.


So Many GIF Opportunities:

Roger in blackface

Peggy getting high

Don Draper hopping over the bar

Sterling's wife v. Joan

Pete and Trudy's dance routine

Joan playing the accordion

Sally Draper stealing from grandpa

The Tigertones reunion


So many chances for things to go horribly wrong, and yet for the most part it went alright. Matthew Weiner clearly thrives on the narrative tension of awkward situations, and yet he does not go straight for the banana peel every time. Jane's alcohol induced collapsed was not followed up with one of Mad Men's trademarked "vomiting in public embarrassment" sequences.


Pete & Trudy's Charleston: America's Next Best White Dance Crew?

Are they setting the characters up to be happy just to twist the knife later? Joan's husband's lack of medical prowess being revealed with the suggestion that patients die on his table seems pretty ominous. As does the whole "Grandpa Gene" situation. Or is it possible that after two seasons of turgid misery the Mad Men ensemble's lives will finally achieve that "freeness" the sixties is so often associated with. Probably not.

the other contender: Monica and Ross's "Routine" from Friends

There were some overly long poetic monologues. That Sam Elliott type (Chelcie Ross) in the empty bar served no purpose other than to make me laugh with his rambling about "taking a johnboat down past the old mansion." Peggy's overly mothering secretary who won't go home was neither here nor there.


But the Breakfast Club bit with Peggy and the other creatives holed up smoking reefer at Sterling-Cooper on a Saturday was delightful. Christina Hendricks may not be a real redhead, but she really plays the accordion. How she fits it comfortably over her massive (real) breasts is a mystery for the ages.


"I'm so hiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii"

The cut from Peggy smoking the joint to the hallucinatory nightmare of Roger singing "My Old Kentucky Home" was one of many such touches that made this episode feel like the show is the Sopranos successor it ought to be. At its finest, Mad Men is a slow-paced and richly rewarding character drama (like The Wire). At its worst it's a campy soap (like True Blood).

I see you Patrick Bateman, hitting on my Peggy Olson, don't even think about it man!

Here's hoping the season continues in this fashion. I'll admit the first two episodes left me a little cold compared to this one, which I loved. Mad Men — like The Sopranos — theoretically follows one antihero while remaining an ensemble show at heart. Don Draper is cool, but he is just one of the eight million reasons we love this show.


In the end, it's really Pete Campbell's show. We're just watching it.


Molly Lambert is the managing editor of This Recording. She tumbls & twitters. You can find her review of last week's Mad Men here.

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"Soil, Soil (demo)" — Tegan & Sara (mp3)

"Burn Your Life Down (demo)" — Tegan & Sara (mp3)

"Call It Off (demo)" — Tegan & Sara (mp3)



In Which I Keep Going A Lot of Places And Ending Up Where I've Already Been

His Wife But Different Somehow


A man dreams of his own wife, but differently dressed. Her attire is unlikely, the expression on her face borderline alarming. She's making out with him in the hallway, smelling as she normally does, but with the a slightly stale taste. Her blue eye shadow suggests something is off. "It's my birthday," the man murmurs, to expedite the blowjob that will no doubt be forthcoming. Don Draper is back, baby, and so is Mad Men.

Setting back Draper's humanistic learning curve to zero was a sad move, although I guess they need to constantly reestablish that he's unfaithful for new viewers. He can't evolve, he's still stuck seeing the past flash before him as he curdles milk for his pregnant wife. If you really want to grow up, Don, try being a father for christ's sake. Instead all you do is joke about your daughter being a lesbian and give her your mistress' stewardess wings.

Everyone was so obsessed with themselves in the 60s, it's like the 90s but with better weed. "You squint too much. You need reading glasses," his wife tells him, standing in for all wives. Family hasn't been this dreadful since they came over for Easter. No wonder Don wants to get out of the house more often.

"Was I really in there?" Don's little girl Sally asks her parents, looking at her mother's pregnant tummy. Mad Men is a moving eulogy for existence, and last night's premiere, "Out of Town", sang it loud in all the ways the show's first two seasons did.

Weiner seems a little confused about the difference between what's actually good about his show and what the media thinks is good. His show has gotten attention despite not-so-great ratings because it's not just the usual pablum. But jumping into the darkest parts of Mad Men might turn off newbies, so last night was more about restating the new Sterling-Cooper status quo than rocking the boat.

While last night caught us up on all the news that's fit to print, major changes are afoot at Sterling-Cooper. By major, we don't mean the loud firing of a guy we've basically never seen on the show before. Things have to start getting a little more mixed-up than usual, and it would help if they involved some of the show's best characters.

On the surface, Peggy appears to have all her actual drama behind her. Let's hope it doesn't stay that way. What about giving her an actual romance to hang her hat on? I'm pretty sure Ken Cosgrove has a big dick, for example. But seriously, what about a torrid love affair between Peggy and a sexy client who really respected her for her work and ancient taste in fashion? If you cast Shia LaBoeuf in that role, you could probably boost the show's ratings by a whole point. Then he could dump her for a model in the ensuing ad campaign (Megan Fox or Odette Yustman, assuming they're not one person).

It's pretty sad that Sal's relationship with that super-cute bellboy has more depth to it than any Peggy's been allowed so far. In the wake of Sal finally finding himself with the mother of all hjs, we can only hope that the show doesn't become a prism through which bigots can view their own disturbing feelings about homosexuality. We already have True Blood for that.


One thing you can say about Don Draper is that he's no hypocrite. Hmm, no. Try again. One thing you can say about Don Draper is that he doesn't mind a little peeping. It doesn't seem all that likely that he'd be so knowing and kind about a bellhop handjob on a work trip, but I guess it takes a cheat to know a cheat, and Sal has dirt on him, too. Leave it to Don Draper to take subliminal advertising to a whole new level with his marvelous London Fog campaign.

Between Hung, True Blood, Entourage and Mad Men, each Sunday we're going to have to put the over/under on estimated hjs at four. And how much do you wanna bet that despite showing the vast corpus of heterosexual positions, that Sal never gets to really prove he's a top and no bottom?

At least Sal's criminally untapped potential as a character is getting tapped. Men from Toledo to Cincinnati fell in love with Roger Sterling's winsome, extremely placable younger fiancee, and I would have paid to see that divorce go to arbitration. There's got to be more there than the casual fop who wanders into Don's office waiting for Draper to bend over to pick up a pen.

The new British guy looks exactly like Pete Campbell, and since I love Pete Campbell, I guess this is a welcome development. British people don't understand raincoats, and their version of an electoral body looks like a debate team, but they really have a nose for capitalism. We can only hope that Don gets challenged by somebody soon - he's like the reigning champion of the big dick contest for the last 50 episodes. If I see one more person defer to his everloving wisdom, I'm going to scream like Pete.


As for the real Pete Campbell, he's made up with his wife, and the band is back together. His coming war with Kenneth Cosgrove has already approached his flirtation/impregnation with Peggy for lolness. Pete is the perfect character: not sympathetic enough to be the protagonist, just pitiful enough not to be the antagonist. He's like a really well dressed Archie Bunker.


I would watch a whole show entirely based around Pete and his secretary. They have such an incredible relationship, it's so giving and knowing. There's nothing like the love between a man and his secretary.

Hopefully the deterioration of any agency for Christina Hendricks' character will end the constant talk of how 'hot' she is, as if the charity of praising her beauty wasn't another condescending male objectification. She's now the weakest part of the show, or she has been since Matthew Weiner had her raped on the floor of someone's office last season. If she starts blowing that British guy in the office he was so presumptuous to occupy, I'm going to quietly cry for womynkind.

All that's gravy, though. What's important is that the men and women of the 1960s stay forever retarded in their own time, and we look back happily on it thinking about how much more cosmopolitan and understanding we are. The genius of Mad Men is that it makes you feel good about yourself, then bad about yourself, then good about yourself again.

Eleanor Morrow is the senior contributor to This Recording. She lives in Manhattan, and she tumbls here.

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"Sharp Knife" - Third Eye Blind (mp3)

"One in Ten" - Third Eye Blind (mp3)

"Bonfire" - Third Eye Blind (mp3)


In Which We're Just Mad Enough To Climb These Peaks

Previously On Mad Peaks


Don arrives with Pete and Roger in Twin Peaks for his business trip. Sterling-Cooper has a new account: The Double R Diner. While stopping in the diner, Don overhears Agent Dale Cooper praise the "damn fine coffee" and comes up with their slogan: The Double R: A Damn Fine Cup Of Coffee. Pete cries.

Meanwhile Betty reconnects with her old friend Norma Jennings. Norma however has no idea that Don is Betty's husband when she begins an affair with him. Don drives into a lake. Roger, realizing that the company is in trouble, calls upon Peggy to come over and help. Don disappears. Roger hires Agent Cooper to search for him. Audrey Horne takes quite a liking to Roger and seduces him after school. Pete cries.

Don is still missing. Agent Cooper has a dream that Don is in an office, talking backwards, while a midget does the twist in the corner. Joan Holloway saunters into the dream, which is odd considering that at this point Agent Cooper and Joan have not met. Joan whispers into Cooper's ear that Don likes bubble gum; Don's head then falls off and turns into a pile of erasers. Cooper wakes up, certain that he knows where Don is. Pete cries.

Leland sets up a fund-raising dance to find the killer of his dead daughter, as he can no longer afford to hire Agent Dale Cooper privately, as Roger has monopolized his time. Pete asks Peggy to the dance. She accepts, then refuses, then accepts, then gives a long speech about why she has to refuse. Pete cries. Then she accepts. While at the dance, Leland mistakes Peggy for his dead daughter and cries. Then Pete cries. Leland throws himself out of a window. Audrey and Roger get married. Cooper can't remember where he thought Don was. He asks the Log Lady for help. She tells him to ask Duck Phillips. Pete thinks about crying and instead returns a chip and dipper.

Duck, meanwhile, single-handedly brings down the entire office. Joan punches him in the face. Somewhere Pete is crying.

Back in Twin Peaks Agent Dale Cooper finds Don in a cabin. He is having sex with both Shelly Johnson and Donna Hayward. Agent Cooper is confused. Don tells him that he is not Don Draper, but someone named Bob. Agent Cooper is still confused. Leland appears out of nowhere and slaps Agent Cooper. A slap fight ensues. Don escapes. Cooper is rendered unconscious. Pete cries.

When Agent Cooper wakes up he is in New York. Roger tells him that he is going to the new Cooper in Sterling-Cooper, because he knows too much, and offers him six cherry pies. Cooper accepts. Audrey becomes Roger's new secretary. Don is still missing, but no one really cares anymore. Peggy takes Agent Cooper's old job in Twin Peaks, despite her lack of FBI training. She convinces the department that they are prejudiced against her because she is a woman. This somehow works. Cooper proposes to Betty; she accepts. Duck Philips, in a drunken rage, kicks Pete in the crotch. Pete cries.

The season ends with Colin Hanks playing guitar in a red room.

Almie Rose is the senior contributor to This Recording. She writes here.

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"Keep Slipping Away" — A Place to Bury Strangers (mp3)

"Ego Death" — A Place to Bury Strangers (mp3)

"Smile When You Smile" — A Place To Bury Strangers (mp3)


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