Monday, May 28, 2012

A Very Good Night

Last night, Sunday, May 27, 2012, was maybe the best night ever for high-end television drama of the one-hour kind.  Both Mad Men and Game of Thrones had epic game-changing episodes.  Both are about power, in different ways.  Tonight I'll talk about the former.

In the antepenultimate episode of the season, "The Other Woman," Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce is pitching Jaguar and all they need to seal the deal is for Joan to sleep with one of the three decision makers.  At the same time, Peggy, arguably the #2 character on the show, is feeling ready to leave.  It's a show about choices and prices paid for women to do men's bidding, as filtered through a Jaguar pitch tagline, "At last, something beautiful you can truly own."

So is Peggy owned by a new agency that picks her up for more than her asking price?  And is Joan owned or owner as she take a piece of SCDP for herself and her son?  And is there anything Christina Hendricks can't make us feel?

Then there's Don and his young bride, Megyn.  She wants to act, she's treated like chattel at the audition, and he's terrified that she's going to abandon him for her career.  Their fights are so much more awesome than Don and Betty's because they know each other's secrets, they're at way different points in their lives and they are both New York City sophisticates.  It feels like real adult fights - not TV adult fights.  A little S&Mish at times, which fits with the era.  Just as the Europeans were refinding the Marquis de Sade in literature and theatre.

If there's a project to this season it has to be revealed in the final two episodes.  This year's theme, according to creator Weiner, is "Every man for himself."  So will Don we left isolated - by Peggy, estranged from Joan by the knowledge of what she did and his adamant opposition to it, by Megyn getting the out-of-town rehearsals and previews gig?

We've had seasons with "the return of Don Draper" as the project.  Often with a diminishment of marital or family life.  Would that be a retread?  Or is there something deeper planned?

My pet theory: at the end of the season, Don quits.  Maybe goes West to design surfboards.  Maybe becomes the perfect mix on Don Draper and Dick Whitman.  Maybe quits being Don Draper.

More on Game of Thrones to come.  And if you think this season is big, the third book is oft considered the best.

Enjoy this time of plenty.  Over the next two weeks, it ends.

1 comment:

Erika said...

A great post, can't wait for your GOT commentary -- but it looks like I'll have to wait.
Nettertainment is clearly taking the hit for your busy life.
You're totally fucking it up, Netter! ;) xoe