Even the briefest skim of my Mad Men coverage on this blog will reveal my undying love for all things Peggy Olson. You can imagine my delight at being able to sit with the actress who plays her and chat about The Heidi Chronicles, a thoughtful Broadway revival of a thought-provoking feminist play. Assuage your grief over the imminent end of Mad Men by checking out my Backstage cover story featuring Elisabeth Moss! She’s just the best.
First of all, let’s get best dressed out of the way:
My initial reaction: “What is that, seaweed?? WTF she looks like an alien!” Second reaction: “Ohmygosh it’s like. Seaweed. Like sexy glamorous seaweed. She’s a sexy glamorous bug-eyed alien.” By the end of the night: “Wait, everybody at this year’s Oscars is dressed so conservatively and here’s Emma Stone, national treasure, resident alien supermodel, dressed in a wildly unusual and eye-catching color. Not only does nobody else on this carpet stand out like she does, nobody in all of awards season dared to wear something as bizarre and striking as this! And look at that face!! She freaking KNOWS. All hail, bitches!!!”
Anyway. Patricia Arquette’s speech was great, and Meryl and JLo’s joint reaction was even better. I’m happy for Julianne, I don’t really have words for what happened with Menzel and Travolta, and seeing Julie Andrews did my heart good. The ceremony was full of some unexpectedly cathartic moments; in defiance of #OscarsSoWhite we were treated to a rousing performance of Selma‘s “Glory” followed by an unabashedly political speech from John Legend and Common. Here’s hoping the Academy can pull their head out of their asses a bit more and open their minds to films that aren’t only biopics centering on brilliant misunderstood white dudes.
But for me, I must admit, the most emotional part of the broadcast – tears spring to my eyes just thinking about it – came somewhere in the middle….
SPOILER ALERT: “You can’t tell people what they want. It has to be what you want.”
If you’re someone who has never seen an episode of Mad Men (ya poor soul) and wanted to watch just one to see what it’s all about, “The Strategy” might be it. In many ways it seemed to revisit well-trodden ground – Women struggling for respect in the workplace! The dissolution of the American family! – but the penultimate installment in this penultimate set of episodes offers some of the most wonderfully layered writing in the show’s history, as well as the slightest suggestion of evolution. That is, if the central question of Mad Men is “Can people change?”, it’s now maybe potentially conceivably sort of perchance kinda possible that the answer could be… yes.
Because although Peggy being coerced into not delivering her own Burger Chef pitch is another exhausting example of the glass ceiling, this time Don decidedly isn’t standing in her way. Continue reading
SPOILER ALERT: A teeny bit of blood goes a long way on Mad Men.
Everything you need to know about this episode of Mad Men can be summed up by the look on Don Draper’s face as his wife leans in to kiss another woman. Or maybe it’s the look on Jim Cutler’s face when Don marches into a meeting with Commander Cigarettes he wasn’t supposed to know about. Or poor Peggy, reacting with horror and revulsion to what is surely this show’s most disturbing twist. It’s the same face I wore for the majority of “The Runaways,” a face perhaps best described as:
SPOILER ALERT: It’s getting real on Mad Men. And like Don getting his shit together, recaps are better late than never.
“I wish it was yesterday.” Tell me about it, Bobby Draper. Welcome to the real world.
So much happened in the third episode of Mad Men’s final season, turns out I needed a whole week to process it. (For this week’s episode, click on!) Between the almost certain demise of Don’s marriage to his reentry into the agency – to say nothing of Betty drinking fresh milk from a pail! – this installment could have easily passed as a season finale knockout. With only four episodes to go in the (half-)season, it’s hard not to wonder if each will include quite as much defecation hitting the fan.
SPOILER ALERT: It’s Valentine’s Day on Mad Men.
“Just tell the truth,” Sally tells Don. And then, miraculously, he does.
A lot can happen in a day’s work, and a lot does in “A Day’s Work,” the second installment of the penultimate season of Mad Men. (I’m calling bullshit on AMC’s seven-episodes-this-year, seven-episodes-next-year crap. It’s seasons 7 and 8, smartass.) The show’s writing is in top form, and seems poised to show off each cast member’s unique talents. This week we were served high-stakes office politics, petty office politics, and a whole lot of kickass character development in one of Mad Men’s most fascinating and crucial relationships.