Mad Men - "Wee Small Hours" (Dahvi Waller and Matthew Weiner)
In a series full of great scenes, the scene when Don fires Sal is up there with Betty shooting pigeons and Peggy telling Pete that she had his baby. Don may be damaged and a wee bit stressed about living a whopping great big lie but he isn’t actually very nice (which damaged people can be). I understand why he fired Sal (sort of) but how he did it was cruel and appalling. “Don’t shake his hand!” I shouted several times at Sal. I am devastated for Sal but I think the scene in the phone box in the park with a leather boy in the background was a wee bit too much.
As was Pete’s coughing fit. However, most people would have left the room.
Harry is sweet but useless. I reckon Sal would been sacked anyway but by doing nothing, Harry ensured that was the case.
“Reject him!” I shouted at Suzanne. Not that I care about her at all. I can honestly say the only thing I can remember her saying in all her appearances is that she was going to talk about Martin Luther King to her pupils. She doesn’t engage me at all. Is it the actor? Poor characterisation? (And what is it with the jogging in the middle of the night and the staying up late drinking? She must get about two hours sleep.) All I care is that with her so close to home, Don is bound to get caught.
Don’s Midas touch as an ad man is deserting him. Awful people like Connie Hilton (nobody likes your hotels, well, okay, my mum wasn’t impressed anyway) and his lunatic demands aren’t helping Don (not much sleep going on in the Draper house) but I loved Don’s humiliation when Connie told him how disappointed he was in him.
I could not stand being in a job that demanded my attention outside normal hours, which, of course, explains why I have been in the same department for nearly 21 years.
I thought the writing for Betty during the fund raising scene was dreadful. I can see Betty being put out that Henry didn’t turn up but she would not have been so rude to the woman and certainly wouldn’t have stomped across the room like a twelve year old. No well bred person who cared as much for appearances would behave like that not even fan favourite (/sarcasm) Betty Draper.
I did like her coming to her senses in Henry’s office. I think the turn of the key in the lock was the trigger for her; the moment she realised that an affair may only be a fling for him (maybe not) but whatever she definitely wants more than that.
Betty was seen being nice to her children and to Carla. It really did happen folks; there is no need to be so blind about her character.
Mad Men is the best thing on TV. I look forward to it each week but each week I feel a little bit deflated; a little bit as if it isn’t quite as good as it could have been. For example, I do think we don’t know enough about the internal business of Betty, and this makes her seem, to many people, to be fickle and shallow. I’m not sure that she is but in the first season, I used to get irritated when people thought her childish because I never thought she was. However, in TV series time, it is three and a half years later and she now does behave childishly at times. She hasn’t changed enough and it is, dare I say, a little tedious.
As an aside last night, I said to Andy that Don was the Spike of Mad Men. By that I meant, I don’t, in my heart, give a toss about his past or about his interactions with anybody (notable exceptions are Betty and Peggy) but unlike Spike in Buffy, Don is the lead character. There was no way I could ever enjoy “The Jet Set” because it was all about him. And I desperately don’t care about his affairs, which is sort of a huge chunk of what Mad Men is about.