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Kylee Peña
Mad Men
on Jun 25, 2013 at 1:57:40 am

Season 6 of Mad Men just ended, and I'm thinking it was maybe the best season so far and wondering if any of you fine people watch.

It was structured more strangely than any other season, with sudden leaps into the past in the middle of a scene and major time skips. It covered 1968 and was littered in symbolism. I think the thing that made it the most interesting to me was the parallel between the darkness in NYC over that year to the fall of Don. And the crazy sound design, in case you forgot New York was falling to crap.

I really thought Don was going to leave New York. I'll be surprised if the show ends with him still there. A little, I guess. I can also see him going down with the ship. Like Pete's mom, inexplicably.

But I'll be really surprised because it seems that Peggy has entirely moved into the role of Don minus the idenity crisis, which is awesome. Her pantsuit was sweet. Let's see her start her own company in the 70s.

Bob Benson, how 'bout that sociopath? Love him.

Anyway, if anyone has watched through this season, I'd like to know what you made of it.

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Mike Cohen
Re: Mad Men
on Jun 25, 2013 at 1:45:14 pm

I do not recall us ever having a Mad Men thread on here. My favorite part of the show, especially in the past few seasons, is the production design. Having been born in the early 70's, I spent most of my childhood in homes and buildings from the 50's and 60's so the show is full of nostalgia for me.

Mad Men is the Don Draper story: A man who is not who he says he is, working in a world of deception, using his contrived past to influence his creative decisions, yet at the same time being influenced by his real past. Last night's Hershey's scene brought both sides into conflict.

I think that when the show does finally end, either Don will jump out the window and fulfill the destiny of the opening sequence animation, or just walk away from the business.

I am reading a book called "The Real Mad Men" which is a clever title for a book about the history of post-war advertising, the so-called creative revolution when advertising stopped being so literal. Oddly, this new book is pretty much the same as the one I read 20 years ago in an advertising course. History does not change much. As I read the book, I can identify the characters from Mad Men as being inspired by real people.

Yeah, some episodes go in weird directions. But if the show is Don's story, and if Don is intoxicated much of the time, and having flashbacks to his childhood, then we are simply along for the ride. It can be hard to keep track of the sub-characters but they are background to Don. If there is a 2nd protagonist it is Peggy, representing women leaving the home and joining the male-dominated workforce of the 60's.

Meanwhile, Roger, Burt, Pete, Ted and the art department are the Greek Chorus helping to move the story along - but their stories are sidebars.

Fun stuff.

Mike Cohen


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Kylee Peña
Re: Mad Men
on Jun 26, 2013 at 1:24:30 am

Sounds like an interesting book. I never took any advertising classes, so it'd be new to me.

The Hershey's scene felt like a pretty big deal. It's all been leading to death -- more specifically, Don's death, though the Internet has been ablaze with rumors about Megan when someone realized she's been styled an awful lot like Sharon Tate lately, even sharing an iconic t-shirt with her. But besides Pete's weirdo mom, the death WAS Don, and it happened during that meeting. Great place for it to happen. He's worked so much to hide his identity that he doesn't really have a true identity. The boy in the brothel is the one thing he's got, and to have a link between one of the girls and Hershey's? I like that so hard.

Peggy is definitely a second protagonist, and this was one of the most important images of the season I think. Maybe.



Anyway, this season rocked. Vietnam, riots, Chevy, Sunkist. Bob Benson's friendly and terrifying grin. You know what they say about Detroit. It's all fun and games until they shoot you in the face. And yep, Don's state of mind (being altered, a lot) made for some very interesting stuff this season. As long as he's on the wagon, I wonder if things will be more straightforward...if he even stays on the wagon. Don is not known for his permanent ability to change/

I don't know where they go in season 7, but I'm pretty sure I read Weiner said it would close out the 60s, which would make sense. I'm looking forward to the moon landing and even more 70s funkiness, like the crazy SC&P logo. I want that thing on a shirt.

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twitter: @kyl33t
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Scott Roberts
Re: Mad Men
on Jun 27, 2013 at 10:33:25 pm

[Mike Cohen] "I think that when the show does finally end, either Don will jump out the window and fulfill the destiny of the opening sequence animation"

I can't contribute too much to the conversation, because I watched Mad Men until halfway through the third season, then got a little fatigued and stopped. Probably got distracted by marathoning Breaking Bad to be honest. BUT, Mike's idea there sounds like an awesome ending..


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Scott Roberts
Re: Mad Men
on Jun 28, 2013 at 3:33:44 pm







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Kylee Peña
Re: Mad Men
on Jun 29, 2013 at 4:58:56 pm

How have I never seen that before? Amazing.

blog: kyleesportfolio.com/blog
twitter: @kyl33t
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Tom Sefton
Re: Mad Men
on Jul 3, 2013 at 12:29:29 pm

For the first few episodes of series 6, I was losing interest. It seemed like too much Don, too little business, too little characters, and too much of Don behaving like the douche you thought he wasn't.

The last episode was a masterpiece. The final scene between Don and his children was wonderful. My heart melted at seeing Don finally put his children first, his work and sex life last, and realise that he needed to embrace his past rather than run from it (I've looked at life from both sides now...). The comparison between Don's final scene with Sally, Bobby and Gene, and the final scene Pete shares with his wife and child was brilliant. Does Pete get what he really wants? Does Don really care if he never sets foot in that office again?

The rise of Peggy was brilliant - agreed on the symbolism of the final shot with her in Don's office. I liked how she wore trousers for the first time too. I can't help feeling that Don's chance at coming back to the business will hinge on her, not anybody else...

NOT GREAT BOB! = great line, but I'm still unsure what Bob Benson has left to do with the show?

I love the show for the stunning production design, the scripting and character development, the cultural references to a time when America was in a state of change and Christina Hendricks.


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Kylee Peña
Re: Mad Men
on Jul 3, 2013 at 5:14:32 pm

Did you notice that the scene with Pete and his kid was directly pulled from a scene with Don and Betty from an earlier episode? It's almost duplicated exactly, and interesting to consider what this means for Pete.

Bob Benson has seemed a little like a red herring, but I think that he's meant to draw parallels with Don. Bob and Don are both con artists who use their identities to get what they want from people. Bob seems to be going about it in a more foreboding way, but he also seems better at it. Bob is Don without the anxieties of being found out, maybe. Bob is also interesting because it shows us how untrusting we are of everyone and how little we know about Don. Like when the lady broke into Don's apartment and told Sally she was her grandma -- our first reaction is oh crap, WTF lady. But then, like Sally, we wonder if maybe she truly IS her grandma because we have no idea what kind of random stuff is in Don's past. Same with Bob -- is he the "real" Don, is he an NSA agent looking for Dick Whitman, is he somehow from Don's past and trying to gather information? Or is he just this guy who is mucking things up for other people in the background?

I think Matt Weiner actually did talk a little about Bob Benson in an interview, if you're so inclined to see what he has to say. But he often doesn't really have any closure for us. I think he loves screwing with us.

On that note, it worries me that Bob is friends with Joan. At first I got the warm and fuzzies from them, even when it was fairly clear they had a platonic relationship. But then stuff went down with Manolo. Joan is unbreakable, so can trusting someone who is manipulating her successfully damage her stake in the company? Hope not, because I lurve Joan.

blog: kyleesportfolio.com/blog
twitter: @kyl33t
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Tom Sefton
Re: Mad Men
on Jul 4, 2013 at 9:54:42 am

I hadn't noticed that about the scene with Don/Pete. Interesting.


Bob is a self aware Don. His relationship with Joan is a weird one - she is being manipulated, but I liked the ambiguous scene with Roger where he said he knew what was going on, and that he was watching him.


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