Friday, May 24th 2013Tweet
I must think of a way into your heart.
There’s something both poetic and sad about Don searching the creative archives for the proper words necessary to present Sylvia with a plea for forgiveness and love. Don uses his words to sell oatmeal, soup and Chevys, but when Don creates the copy he’s thinking of his life; he’s selling his heart. When Don’s heart breaks he roots through what he’s successfully sold, reshapes it, and sells it again. He just needs to get a foot in the door. He just needs the person he’s pitching to sit quietly and please, just listen.
Don sells his heart plainly; it’s why he sells ads so beautifully. It was delightful to hear awkward little Dick Whitman respond to the prostitute’s flirtatious question: “Do you like this?” with a patented Don Draper compliment: “I do.” Quiet admiration paired with a simple affirmation.
When Don is ill, or very high, we watch him delve into the part of his psyche that he only visits on a surface level during moments of health and sobriety. Don has successfully turned his poor Midwestern childhood and service in the war into dinner table anecdotes, little bits of spice that he peppers into conversation when he’s feeling verbose. It’s only when Don’s defences are down that he allows himself to recall abuse, or the inception of his issues with women, wealth, and esteem.
What is Don looking for? Does he stand outside Sylvia’s door aching to be mothered; gathered to her breast, petted, fed and soothed? When he was deeply lonely and living inside a bottle and he hired a prostitute to slap him, was he aching to feel something, anything, or did he feel he deserved abuse? Does Don want punishment for his libido? Does Don’s libido exist because he was raised around libidinous men? Did Dick, existing in the subservient role, somehow learn to be a whore? Does Don sell himself? Does he use advertising as a conduit? Is the creative archive at SCDP just a series of declarations of love from Don to one woman or another, reshaped and slightly altered to sell products to strangers?
Sally said to Don, “I realized I don’t anything about you”. Nobody does. Don’s heart lives inside a cold storeroom lit by buzzing bulbs, trying desperately to remain lit.
Monday, May 20th 2013
mad men: because it’s my job…
Here’s a swell list of all my Mad Men words. I’ll write something about last night’s episode as some as my speed shot kicks in.
MAD MEN SEASON 6 REVIEWS
MAD MEN SEASON 5 REVIEWS
Mad Men 501-502: A Little Kiss
Mad Men 503: Tea Leaves
Mad Men 504: Mystery Date - 01
Mad Men 504: Mystery Date - 02
Mad Men 504: Mystery Date - 03
Mad Men 504: Mystery Date - 04
Mad Men 505: Signal 30 - 01
Mad Men 505: Signal 30 - 02
Mad Men 506: Far Away Places
Mad Men 510: Christmas Waltz - 01
Mad Men 510: Christmas Waltz - 02
Mad Men 510: Christmas Waltz - 03
Mad Men 512: Commissions and Fees - 01
Mad Men 512: Commissions and Fees - 02
Mad Men 513: The Phantom
Wednesday, May 15th 2013
Also, KISS HER!
Tuesday, May 14th 2013
“I think it’s so groovy now…”
I need you, and nothing else will do.
When chaos overwhelms a part of your life that you usually dominate, like Don does his workspace, a natural urge to control something, anything, takes over. When my life becomes chaotic, I crawl inside myself and make strange lists, like Ted admits with his Gilligan’s Island-margarine pairings. During the darkest times in my past, my house was impeccably clean because, while I couldn’t control what was happening to me, I could absolutely control the space around me.
Taking control over another person is tricky. It can be an exciting, freeing experience for both, or it can be a warning of potential abuse; control must be given as freely as it is taken, and trust must exist on both ends. For Don and Sylvia, their short game of dominance and control was exciting and cathartic, but ultimately, with too much time for Sylvia to consider the truth of their play, an ending.
What a gift though, to read another person well enough, like Don did Sylvia, to know that she needed, for a spell, to lose control; to not know what was going to happen next, but trust that she was going to enjoy it. Don, in turn, was able to know with complete certainty, that while his work was muddled and confused with new people and change and challenges, there was something beautiful waiting for him, something even more beautiful than Megan because Sylvia was waiting on Don’s order. She existed only for him.
We’ve seen Don’s dominance take over with nearly all his relationships. We’ve heard him tell more than one woman to stop talking. We’ve seen his need to control take an abusive turn with Betty, and a filthy worded role play scene with Megan. What we ultimately see with Don though, with the women he cares about – Betty; Megan; Sylvia – is a boyish need to keep things as they are, even if the woman is miserable. “Please,” Don begs Sylvia as she calmly explains to him that their relationship is damaged and doomed. Don doesn’t want to stop playing; he doesn’t want the beautiful, smart, lovely woman to leave him.
After shaming, ignoring, shoving and calling Betty a whore, when she finally tells him it’s over, he lowers his head in a darkened room and weeps. A strong shouldered man, broken because the beautiful woman he loved tells him he’s not good enough. When he and Megan fight at the HoJo after she turns down his delicious orange sherbet offer, he violently kicks in a door, chases her while she grips her hairbrush, like an angered father attempting to control his defiant daughter. When they fall together, and Megan holds an aching limb and cries, Don’s face looks terrified and exhausted. She stands, proud and frightened, and he crawls to her, clutches her, and suddenly, he’s the frightened child.
Every woman Don chooses ends up finding a voice that says, “I don’t need you”, and it terrifies him. For Don, there is nothing more frightening than being insignificant; unneeded; unwanted. He keeps a loose hold on one woman while wrapping himself around another, and when one fails, he grips the one that’s still there, hoping that she doesn’t go away, hoping that he can always return to her and find her, sweetly waiting for him. The foreshadowing image at the end of the episode, while Megan sits on the end of the bed and cries watching the footage of Bobby Kennedy’s assassination, and Don sits near her, facing away, looking shame faced and tired, is a glimpse of what it would look like if Don lost Megan too – just a sad lonely man, filled with remorse.
Monday, May 13th 2013
Wednesday, May 8th 2013
Monday, May 6th 2013Tweet
Pete’s physical comedy is the best!
Wednesday, May 1st 2013