May 152014

Tweet “The Runaways” is perhaps one of the more disjointed and weird episodes of Mad Men, but it still manages to move the characters along and capture some interesting and important moments at SC&P. The new IBM 360 computer continues to be a distracting and now maddening presence at the agency. Unusual alliances of twosomes and threesomes create new tensions and opportunities. Don continues to eat humble pie on his path to redemption, bolstered by the reappearance of his niece Stephanie, an invigorating threesome compliments of Meagan, [read more]

May 012014

Tweet From beginning to end “Field Trip” is filled with painfully awkward moments for just about everyone, including the viewer. Resentment, humiliation, and disappointment seep into everyone’s interactions. Perhaps a more appropriate title for this episode is “Guilt Trip.” Betty’s turns Bobby’s sharing of a sandwich with a needy classmate into a point of disappointment for both her and Bobby. Don’s mission of mercy to save Megan from herself in Hollywood only adds to Megan’s sense that the marriage is over. Don finally steps up to [read more]

Jun 132013

Tweet True to its title, “Favors” revolves around key characters requesting, providing, or receiving personal favors. The Vietnam War is the catalyst for the chain of “favors” between Don, Sylvia and their kids, Sally and Mitchell, at the epicenter. These expected and unexpected favors interconnect and triangulate agency business, personal relationships, and family ties.Sally is the victim of the collateral damage brought on by Don’s impulsive, self-destructive “comforting” of Sylvia. Sally’s already tenuous relationship with her father is severely strained, and she holds the key that can [read more]

Apr 122013

Tweet Article first published as The Doorway To High Times And Unhappiness on Blogcritics. Season five ended in the Spring of 1967 with the principals of Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce considering new office space and contemplating what promised to be a bright future. As Don said to the SCDP staff, “Prepare to take a great leap forward”. Sadly that leap forward would not include Lane Pryce but it is good to see that his name is still on the door. The title of my article covering the [read more]

May 102012

Tweet Article first published as Mad Men: Megan Leaves, Cool Whip Tops It Off on Blogcritics. This week on Mad Men, Megan discovers her talent and pursues her passion; Peggy stands up to Don (again); music plays its way into the creative department, and Cool Whip tops it all off….especially for me. In 1966 when I moved from Media to the Account Department at Benton & Bowles, my very first assignment was (you guessed it) Cool Whip. There is definitely Mad Men karma at work here. This episode took me on a wonderful [read more]

Apr 222012

Tweet Article first published as Mad Men: Babes,Business, and Brawls on Blogcritics. Things certainly took a turn to the worse at SCDP and office politics got very personal and a bit ugly. A dizzying amount of action is swirling around the agency, and virtually none of it is contributing to creating great advertising or moving the agency ahead. There are no new business wins to boost morale and revenue and SCDP seems to be stuck in neutral. When presented with the golden opportunity to land a prestigious [read more]

Apr 062012

Tweet Article first published as Mad Men: A Big Win and Cultural Enlightenment on Blogcritics Youth Culture Meets The Culture Of Mad Men This week’s Mad Men episode highlights the emergence of the ’60s youth culture and its infusion into the advertising business. It foretells the powerful and positive disruptive effect that the culture of youth will have on the advertising business. It really hit home with me. In 1966 I was 23, had celebrated my first year anniversary with Benton & Bowles and made the move from media [read more]

Mar 272012

Tweet Article first published as A Little Kiss. Lots Of Tension. on Blogcritics Mad Men Season 5. Welcome To 1966. When we last visited the offices of Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce it was 1965 and the agency had made its debut on Madison Avenue. Then, SCDP suffered the massive loss of it biggest account, Lucky Strike, placing the agency’s very existence in jeopardy. Now, it looks like SCDP is stabilized with a nice list of smaller accounts and few new business wins under its belt. Despite this [read more]

Oct 232010

Tweet Article first published as The Mad Men Ride Into Tomorrowland on Blogcritics. All in all, the season four Mad Men finale was pretty tame compared to the dramatic upheavals ushered in at the end of season three. Other than Don’s engagement to Megan there were not any big developments or new shake-ups that would dramatically alter the operations and fate of SCDP. Slowly but surely things were starting to look up again for the agency. The partners’ outrage at Don’s manifesto ad in the New York Times [read more]

Sep 232010

Tweet Rich Text Article first published as Mad Men: A Very Bad Week At The Office on Blogcritics. Death. Discrimination. Desire. Defiance. There might not have been a lot of advertising being created at Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce on this week’s episode but the SCDP staffers definitely had a lot of emotion and controversy to deal with. Death, a mugging, racial discrimination, sexual preferences, infidelity, a runaway kid, separation, a new affair and the rekindling of an old one all showed up at the agency. [read more]