Apr 182013

Tweet Article first published as Mad Men: Collaborators, Conspirators, and Consternation on Blogcritics. Even by Mad Men standards, “Collaborators” is a dark and depressing episode. In addition to the usual menu of infidelities, betrayals, and marriage implosions there is a miscarriage, wife battering and a sobering reminder of Joan’s prostituting herself for a partnership. The radio and TV background noise is equally as grim with coverage of the current political and social tensions and stories about the Pueblo incident in North Korea and the Viet Nam War’s Tet Offensive. All [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]

Apr 132012

Tweet Article first published as Mad Men: Bad Dreams, Tense Realities on Blogcritics. Mad Men took a darker, more manly turn in this week’s episode. Don’s fevered dream in which he fights off his philandering demons and commits murder, Pauline’s slapping Sally and slipping her some Secanol, Joan’s dumping her husband and reliving her rape at his hands, and the creative department’s delight in looking at Chicago mass murder scene photos certainly made for some disturbing drama. Compared to all of this, things seem relatively calm on the [read more]

Oct 142010

Tweet Article first published as Don Draper Roars Back on Blogcritics. Lead, Follow Or Get Out Of The Way. As this week’s episode picked up it looked like the initial shock of the Lucky Strike loss had sunk in at SCDP and everyone accepted the reality that changes were inevitable. The initial outrage over Roger’s irresponsible handling of the situation had subsided and Pete decided to stay put at the agency. Lane was back as a stabilizing and pragmatic force directing the actions necessary to streamline [read more]

Oct 092010

Tweet Article first published as Mad Men: The Good, The Bad And The Ugly. on Blogcritics. Roger Tanks. Don Sinks. Peggy Delivers. Pete ?? This week’s episode brought out the good the bad and the ugly at Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce. As far as Roger was concerned it was particularly ugly. This was a riveting episode that brought the uncertainties of the agency business, the fragility of client relationships and the vulnerability of people into dramatic focus. It was an especially emotional episode to watch. [read more]

Sep 292010

Tweet Article first published as Mad Men: Bad Things Happen In Threes on Blogcritics. Hello DOD. Bye Bye Lucky Strike. Bon Voyage Lane. Personal trauma and professional troubles intermingled in powerful ways on this week’s episode. Don’s lies about his past collided with current business realities that jeopardized significant new account revenue for SCDP. Sorely needed revenue at a time when the agency was about to absorb a major body blow with the loss of Lucky Strike. On top of that, three of the agency’s [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]

Sep 172010

Tweet Article first published as Mad Men Women Start To Roar on Blogcritics. Peggy Steps Up. Joan Speaks Up. Don Cleans Up. Much of the drama that took place at Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce in this week’s episode happened with Peggy and Joan. Mad Men turned the lens on the issues and challenges facing women in those heady days. High on the list of those issues were the kinds of sexual harassment that Joan experienced with the boys in the creative department, the “boys will be [read more]

Aug 262010

Tweet Article first published as Don Draper – Master Of Creative Deception on Blogcritics My accounts are bigger than yours. If you can’t outspend them, fool them. In the last episode, Pete Campbell’s maneuvers with his father-in-law turned a potentially devastating loss of Clearasil (due to a rather loosely defined conflict with Pond’s) into a full-blown big win for more of the company’s business. A $6 million dollar account that would strengthen Pete’s partnership role at Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce and also set him and [read more]

Aug 092010

Tweet 1965: A year of kinder, gentler Mad Men? Article first published as Mad Men 1964: A Magnificent Year on Blogcritics. SCDP celebrated its first Christmas with a mix of holiday cheer and consternation. A veteran creative returned with a new client attached, business was okay but not great, finances were tight, and the agency’s marquee talent, Don Draper, was struggling with self-doubt and drinking a bit too much, even for Don. Everyone was looking forward to the start of a new year, some big [read more]