I don’t know about you, but before last night I’d been kind of feeling like a plant that had gone too long without water and sunlight, and today I feel like a plant that has just been soaked in water and sunlight, and it feels pretty damn good.
Of course, the reason for my feeling revitalized has everything to do with the return of AMC’s Mad Men, that beautiful, shiny diamond of a television show that infatuates the entire internet arguably more than any other TV show. And because so many of us often want to talk about it, we plan on running discussion posts throughout the season on Monday afternoons after the show airs on Sunday night. Occasionally, we’ll have special guests come in to join us and answer some burning questions, as well as some non-burning ones.
We gave consideration to running open threads on Sunday nights like we did with Archer, but since Mad Men is such a layered show that often takes some time to process, we figured this way would be better.
With that said, here are a few notes I made during the show about characters, scenes, etc. that I found interesting for one reason or another.
- The very first thing I took note of in the show’s first few minutes were the radical changes in styles — clothes and furniture, etc. — from the show’s inception, which was set in 1960, to it’s present setting, which is Memorial Day weekend in 1966. The entire aesthetic of American life has changed drastically over the course of 5 years. The style has gone from traditional and conservative to mod, black and white to technicolor.
- The show opens smack dab in the midst of the civil rights movement and yes the water bombing of black people on Madison Avenue actually happened.
- Sally Draper is growing the f*ck up. Her voice change kind of freaked me out a bit when she first spoke.
- “Here’s fifty dollars. Why don’t you buy yourself a fancy hat or a mask or something.” — Roger Sterling to Mrs. Blankenship 2.0.
- Up until the surprise birthday party (more on that shortly), Don seems chill. He seems at peace with himself in a way that is only achieved by unburdening oneself of secrets, as Don did with Megan.
- “What is wrong with you people? You’re all so cynical! You don’t smile; you smirk!” — Megan. (Living in New York can do that to you.)
- Pete Campbell tripping on whatever it was he tripped on and busting his nose — captured magically in the GIF above — was one of the funniest things I’ve ever seen on the show. Good to see that Pete is still a whiny little bitch and that his glorious bitchfaces are still in full effect. Never change, Pete. Never change.
- I cannot wait to see if Don and Peggy can figure out a way to make beans sexy. How dare those a-holes turn down tickets to the bean ballet?!
- “I was a coxswain.” — Pete Campbell
- When Megan launched into her performance of “Zou Bisou Bisou” — in lieu of her comment to Peggy that people have sex after attending one of her parties — I was fully expecting her to try to give Don a blowjob in front of everyone there. The whole scene had a distinct “this could evolve into an orgy” feel to it (it is set in the 60s afterall). It also felt like an elaborate territory marking exercise.
- Via BWE, here’s the video for the original song…
- Has anyone seen a GIF of Harry enthusiastically applauding Megan’s performance while wearing a boa? I want that.
- The cold exchange between Roger and his wife was AMAZING: “Why don’t you sing like that?”…”Why don’t you look like him?”
- The seemingly never-ending promos for The Killing AMC ran during the commercial breaks only served to remind me how pissed I still am over how the show ended its first season. F*ck The Killing.
- SCDP is housed in the Time Life building, which I used to walk past each day for about four year. I don’t think I knew that.
- The post-surprise party portion of the episode proved that Don Draper can still be an asshole. That much is abundantly clear. So much for chill Don Draper.
- Another loving exchange between Roger and his what’s-her-name wife: “I’ve gotta go to Staten Island”…”What time is it?”…”Just shut up.”
- Lane Pryce is apparently a horny bastard this season. I can’t wait to see where the thing with this Delores broad goes.
- “Is it just me or is the lobby full of negros.” — Roger Sterling
- No Betty Draper at all in a two-hour episode? Matt Weiner must HATE January Jones.
- Finally, Mark Lisanti’s Mad Men Power Rankings are a must read for every fan of the show. Go enjoy them.
Okay, I’m done. Please add your own thoughts, GIFs, photoshops, etc. in the comments. Mad Men is back, you guys! All is right with the world.