Baseball Toaster Dodger Thoughts
Jon Weisman's outlet
for dealing psychologically
with the Los Angeles Dodgers
and baseball.
Frozen Toast
Google Search
Dodger Thoughts

02  01 

12  11  10  09  08  07 
06  05  04  03  02  01 

12  11  10  09  08  07 
06  05  04  03  02  01 

12  11  10  09  08  07 
06  05  04  03  02  01 

12  11  10  09  08  07 
06  05  04  03  02  01 

12  11  10  09  08  07 
06  05  04  03  02  01 

12  11  10  09  08  07 
06  05  04  03  02  01 

09  08  07 
About Jon
Thank You For Not ...

1) using profanity or any euphemisms for profanity
2) personally attacking other commenters
3) baiting other commenters
4) arguing for the sake of arguing
5) discussing politics
6) using hyperbole when something less will suffice
7) using sarcasm in a way that can be misinterpreted negatively
8) making the same point over and over again
9) typing "no-hitter" or "perfect game" to describe either in progress
10) being annoyed by the existence of this list
11) commenting under the obvious influence
12) claiming your opinion isn't allowed when it's just being disagreed with

Mad Men: 'Meditations in an Emergency'
2008-07-27 20:55
by Jon Weisman

Mad Men channels the simultaneous feelings of accomplishment and yearning, of satisfaction and dissatisfaction, that accompany my daily existence in a way that suggests that my psyche is writing it instead of Matthew Weiner - except that my psyche isn't quite so brilliant.

It's a world where a brand new, state-of-the art copy machine is a blessing and a curse. A world where the hottest talent in the office is tied up in more knots than a Boy Scout could ever learn. Don Draper follows his diagnosis of hypertension with a lunch of steak and eggs and a drink at a bar. It is a world of desires and contradictions that I could just drown myself in.

Some have already suggested that Mad Men's second-season premiere moves at a slow pace. They have not said this as a criticism, but as a compliment that the show is so rich that you enjoy the easy unfolding of events. They're wrong. Plot points are coming rapid-fire through the episode, but it's the authoritative storytelling that makes it go down like smooth gin (or scotch or whatever - I'm no drinker). Don's health, his dealings with Duck Phillips and the ad artists and writers, particularly Peggy, the latest with Betty (including a sudden onset of sexual dysfunction); Betty's newfound pursuit of show jumping, her encounter with her old roommate turned "party girl" and her ongoing give-and-take with trust and sexuality - look at that lingerie and the way she tests the mechanic; Pete and his angst at home and work; Peggy's rising assertiveness and mystery about her absent summer and loss of weight; Roger and Joan, going 'round and 'round and 'round amid the shadow of Joan's possible fiance; Sal being married, for crying out loud. There's the overriding theme of youth vs. aging and finding the perfect way to express need ... tonight's episode is jammed. It's action-packed - only the action isn't guns and crashes, it's character clashes. This is a Sunday drive up Highway 1 in the Central Coast, and whatever speed you're going, spectacular views awe you, own you. The scene between Betty and the mechanic is two wheels over the edge of a cliff.

The combination of the intricacy and intensity of plot and character and the ease with which the show drives your imagination and your musings about life is unmatched on television today. And the season is just getting started. "What did you bring me, Daddy?" This.

2008-07-27 21:00:22
1.   Jon Weisman
Non-Mad Men chat remains in the thread below.
2008-07-27 21:10:39
2.   bhsportsguy
Its just good that the Mad Men is on Sunday nights and it doesn't conflict with any games.
2008-07-27 21:12:12
3.   underdog
Are there spoilers in this post? I don't wanna read it just yet.
2008-07-27 21:13:52
4.   Jon Weisman
Yes, there are definitely spoilers.
2008-07-27 21:24:49
5.   kinbote
I'm four episodes into the first season [don't worry about spoilers; I won't be reading], and I have to admit that Mad Men is already one of my favorite shows ever. I am extremely picky about what I watch, and so far, Mad Men has nestled nicely behind The Sopranos and The Wire [I've only seen seasons 4 & 5] as a supreme achievement of televised entertainment.

Like those two shows, what makes it great is the breadth of characters: protagonist, foil, boss, wives, neighbors, clients--each of whom seems to be a fully realized individual despite his/her limited time on screen.

And, of course, the setting matters a little. Mad Men functions strangely [and perfectly] as a kind of time travel show. Almost 50 years ago, when my parents were teenagers, modern [intentionally left lower case] life was beginning.

You have good taste, Jon.

2008-07-27 21:34:41
6.   Tripon
Only crazy people watch Mad Men.
2008-07-27 21:45:13
7.   Jon Weisman
6 - Okay, I'll bite. What are you talking about?
2008-07-27 21:45:35
8.   Jon Weisman
Not that I'm not crazy, so maybe that's true. But who isn't crazy?
2008-07-27 23:19:32
9.   Brent is a Dodger Fan
Wow. That's quite a recap, Jon. I didn't think so much had gone on while watching it, largely because, as you state, the show is so rich with detail and subtlety, and it goes down very smoothly indeed.

The main thing I really didn't get was Betty's flirtation with the mechanic. My one thought was that her old roommate's party-girl career was rolling around in her head, along with the discussion (and comparison of) prostitution with her neighbor-friend, and that she decided to work-it so she could get out of that jam. Of course, I noted the detail of the mechanic's hand-prints on the hood, which Don will surely see. That said, it seemed bizarre to me.

2008-07-27 23:48:47
10.   Bob Timmermann
It was a tremendous episode and I didn't find it slow-moving at all.

The new Mrs. Mayor of San Francisco played Juanita, the party girl.

I liked Pete a lot more this year. And Don. But Paul Kinsey has to lose that beard.

2008-07-28 00:34:34
11.   underdog
I liked the beard, though he's starting to look like Orson Welles.

Great episode overall and I didn't find it slow at all, either. There were a couple of scenes that I thought seemed like they could have been lost without any great loss, but I thought it as sharp and intriguing as ever.

Pete's a great character though I have trouble with any scenes involving he and his wife; I think it's just that they're quite depressing together and it's hard to watch.

I'm still shocked by {warning Kinbote, Season 1 Spoiler ahead!}

Betty's pregnancy/birth revelation at the end of season 1. I mean it was obvious in hindsight that she was pregnant but I guess I was in denial about it as much as she was. And so did I miss something or -- what happened to the baby? Adoption?

Anyway, great to have the show back again.

2008-07-28 00:39:21
12.   Bob Timmermann
I would have to assume that Peggy gave up the baby for adoption. She didn't want to touch him last season. I can't imagine she's going to get all maternal now.
2008-07-28 01:01:21
13.   dzzrtRatt
My wife and I watched it. I was enthralled. She thought it was good but didn't like the writing. I loved the writing. These are characters who feel awkward and out of place maybe 90 percent of the time, and the halting dialogue captures that. Even the profession they're in: Who can tell what "sells?" They sure can't.

In our era, advertisers bury their clients in numbers, but they can't prove campaign X wouldn't have worked better than the campaign they chose. The one actual ad during the show featured the copywriter who came up with "BMW: The ultimate driving machine." I say it's a good slogan, but to what extent is it responsible for the success of BMW? You can't say.

The characters in the show realize they are faking it, even as they try their best to be the best they can be. So, they have to think about every word they say. Is this what I'm supposed to say here? Is this the right answer? They only know after the fact. It's a scary vision of corporate American life.

P.S. Was that Sal's wife? I thought it might be his mother.

2008-07-28 06:44:16
14.   Penarol1916
I found out yesterday that we lost AMC a couple of months ago when we changed our channel package, I think it was to the more kid focused one. I'm not sure if I'm going to go through the hassle of dealing with Dish Network or just live the season vicariously through you guys and TWOP and then just get the Season 2 DVD.
2008-07-29 05:46:04
15.   Yankee Fan In Boston
i think this show is phenomenal. my wife and i were both hooked last season and were counting down the days until it returned.

i enjoy that (in my take, anyway) each of the main characters has a duplicity in which they show a second side to people around them, selling themselves to the world ...if i can pull the advertising theme into this.

13 yes. i think that was sal's wife.

Comment status: comments have been closed. Baseball Toaster is now out of business.