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season 4 - episode 1: public relations


My show is back! Yay!

So much happened last season. Sal got fired. Betty left Don for another man. Joan married a creep and played the accordion. Oh, just watch this video.

Season 4
Episode 1: Public Relations
Don makes a mistake that jeopardizes the new agency.

Come join the discussion.

Comments

( 34 comments — Leave a comment )
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flippet
Jul. 26th, 2010 01:10 am (UTC)
Ooh! I guess I need to go visit iTunes! brb in a day or two. ;-)
gatsbyfan
Jul. 26th, 2010 01:13 am (UTC)
It looks like they are doing a discounted season pass, $19.99 or $29.99.
amycurl
Jul. 26th, 2010 03:06 am (UTC)
Was it just my tired state, or were whole chunks of the dialogue kinda hard to hear/decipher? And I'm a West Wing veteran...but there were still scenes (like the one of Don and Jane's friend in the back of the cab) where even upon multiple re-watchings, there were still lines that I didn't catch.

So, November 1964, yes?

I loved that Don finally realized that he just needed to re-make himself, just as he had so many times before. He's Don fuckin' Draper, and for most of the episode (and, I guess we're to assume for most of the missing time) he'd forgotten that he'd created Don Draper in the first place. It was great seeing him with the Times reporter.

But watching Don Draper be awkward with a woman? I found it so painfully uncomfortable, I watched some of that scene with my hands over my eyes. *totally honest* (Also accounts for the multiple re-watchings...)



Edited at 2010-07-26 03:06 am (UTC)
gatsbyfan
Jul. 26th, 2010 03:15 am (UTC)
were whole chunks of the dialogue kinda hard to hear/decipher?
Thank god. I thought it was just me. I had the volume up to 25. I normally have it anywhere from 10-15. I knew I would probably rewatch (especially after I was interrupted by the phone... rude) but I didn't feel like I was missing so much.

He's Don fuckin' Draper
Yes he is. I loved the interview at the end with the WSJ guy. It's like he's all in. And I LOVED it.

But watching Don Draper be awkward with a woman?
So painful.
tomfoolery815
Jul. 26th, 2010 07:09 am (UTC)
were whole chunks of the dialogue kinda hard to hear/decipher?
Thank god. I thought it was just me.

Me, too. The older Jantzen guy said something utterly indecipherable, and I watched the rest of the ep with the CC on.

He's Don fuckin' Draper
Yes he is. I loved the interview at the end with the WSJ guy. It's like he's all in. And I LOVED it.

That scene did crackle with electricity, didn't it?

With the Advertising Age guy,* Don was still operating from his No One Must Know My Secret place. But, having had it thrown in his face that publicity matters now -- first with the Ad Age article fallout, then with the ham fight publicity stunt salvaging the account -- and utterly exasperated that the Jantzen people can't see that the times, they are a-changin' ... well, he didn't say "Fuck it." But he didn't have to.

*Roger hits a home run in his first at-bat of the season: "They're so cheap, they can't even send us a whole reporter."

But watching Don Draper be awkward with a woman?
So painful.

Shocking, wasn't it? ;-) It's such a programmed response when Don's on the make: "Well, her clothes will be off soon."

It's interesting how being a divorcee is all Scarlet Letter in 1964. Even for Don Draper. Great moment after the supernumerary has left the cab; Don just sits there, bemused: "Did that just happen? To me?"

Good to have you back, Mad Men. More from me when it's light out. :)
amycurl
Jul. 26th, 2010 02:08 pm (UTC)
Don was still operating from his No One Must Know My Secret place.

I think that was a part of it, Tommy. I think with the other pieces of his facade crumbling...his marriage, his relationship with his children, operating without the support of a large firm behind him...he'd just forgotten what *else* makes Don Draper, Don Draper. That, despite these other pieces that he had built, at the core was an unique talent.

The turning point was definitely Janzen, and telling them to get the hell out of his office. That's the basis of Don Draper--not just the looks or the style or the confidence, but the sheer creative talent that was the basis for everything in the first place.

I think it was the "We're all here because of you" line that woke him up. Rather than seeing that as a burden, he grasped it for what it was--a recognition of his talent, of his importance, even without all the other pieces of the facade.
tomfoolery815
Jul. 26th, 2010 03:55 pm (UTC)
I think it was the "We're all here because of you" line that woke him up.
I think you're right, Amybabe. It's not that he wasn't listening to Roger, or Cooper. But Peggy gives him, in one sentence, a rough equivalent of Leo's "I serve at the pleasure of the president" speech. (Weiner's much more economical with words than Sorkin. ;-)

At Sterling Cooper, he could operate as a lone wolf at key moments without taking the whole agency down. It's different now, and Peggy reminds him that these people showed up to fight. (So to speak.) And this helps him realize what he needs to do, that SCDP needs him to advertise Don Draper.

Let Draper be Draper for the benefit of a Wall Street Journal reporter, and by extension the agency.
amycurl
Jul. 26th, 2010 08:15 pm (UTC)
Today's Fresh Air interview with Matt Weiner:
http://tinyurl.com/293y9qx
tomfoolery815
Jul. 29th, 2010 12:22 am (UTC)
keep calm

Edited at 2010-07-29 12:24 am (UTC)
marymary
Jul. 29th, 2010 12:30 am (UTC)
...he'd forgotten that he'd created Don Draper in the first place.

Well said, amy dear. It was really interesting. I think WE all watched that with such a different (higher-level) view than Don. We could see the connection between him, his created self, his profession and the interview situation. He made himself and he markets himself every day. But he's so Don Draper now that he forgot that he can use the creation that is Don Draper.

And what was most amazing to me is that he didn't see that he needed to do that. Don is usually the guy who's a little ahead of the curve in terms of marketing. In this case, it's his partners and Peggy, combined, who send the message: "Dude, you ARE the agency. Sell it."

sorry for the edit! I'm all thumbs lately.

Edited at 2010-07-29 12:31 am (UTC)
tomfoolery815
Jul. 29th, 2010 12:37 am (UTC)
There you are! I'm glad you made it. :-)
(no subject) - marymary - Jul. 29th, 2010 01:22 am (UTC) - Expand
tomfoolery815
Jul. 29th, 2010 12:36 am (UTC)
-- I loved the "John!"/"Marsha!" bit between Peggy and New Guy (played by Matt Long from Jack and Bobby). It's nice to see Peggy having some fun ... that doesn't involve a surprise pregnancy.

-- Good Lord, how is it possible that Betty's become an even worse mother? Sally's on her way to an eating disorder.

-- Loved that Harry came back from Cali with a sunburn. Loved even more that no one at SDCP mentioned it.

-- Joan has an office! Well-deserved.

-- What's with Pete being not petulant and reasonable? I'm not sure I'm ready for this. I also don't know what to make of this line, which seems to be at face value: "I can use my expense account if I say they’re whores."
marymary
Jul. 29th, 2010 12:38 am (UTC)
You know what's so interesting? I saw Don's date with whatshername a bit differently than you guys.

Don's (presumably) been sleeping with women routinely during his separation. What I saw is Don FINALLY getting what he wanted, which is possibly a woman worthy of his attention. His date is like Betty, only with a personality. :) She's elegant, she knows her own mind, she's a bit of a coquette, she's icy-cool beautiful (which is what he likes in wives).

And, at the end of the night, she made it clear she liked him but then turned him down. Which, IMO, was exactly perfect for him. He's so used to closing the deal. There was a little chagrin on his face as he left in the cab, but also a little smile. And he was definitely happy to hear from Roger that she likes him.

So I guess I didn't see discomfort, I saw Don not knowing exactly what to say and being sort of intrigued.
flippet
Jul. 30th, 2010 04:37 pm (UTC)
And, at the end of the night, she made it clear she liked him but then turned him down. Which, IMO, was exactly perfect for him. He's so used to closing the deal.

I kind of saw it that way too, mary. It's a middle ground that we haven't really seen with Don before - one that's opening with the times as well. A woman who says yes, openly - but also says 'you're going to have to jump through a couple of hoops first'. Don's 'types' have previously run to the woman who doesn't hesitate to say yes, or the woman who won't say yes until conditions are met, and maybe not even then.

I'm not sure exactly how into her he really is, but I think he found that experience unique, at the very least.
(no subject) - tomfoolery815 - Jul. 30th, 2010 04:59 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - flippet - Jul. 30th, 2010 05:07 pm (UTC) - Expand
tomfoolery815
Jul. 29th, 2010 12:42 am (UTC)
And what was most amazing to me is that he didn't see that he needed to do that. Don is usually the guy who's a little ahead of the curve in terms of marketing. In this case, it's his partners and Peggy, combined, who send the message: "Dude, you ARE the agency. Sell it."

Yeah, really, Mary. I'd have to speculate that the dissolution of his family played a role in him being so far off his game at work.

Goodman pointed this out: And one of my favorite subtle moments - how Jon Hamm perfectly nailed the look of somebody playing at cocky and assured, selling the confidence as it were.
flippet
Jul. 30th, 2010 04:47 pm (UTC)
I'd have to speculate that the dissolution of his family played a role in him being so far off his game at work.

I'd agree. He's punishing himself - willingly paying for his ex-wife and her new fella to live in his house while he rents an apartment, and then there's the new sexual adventures as well. (Yeah, a little slapping doesn't always equal self-loathing, but I think it's being hinted at here.)

When your world goes through a little upheaval, you often revert to things that are familiar. For Don - he was an abused child. What's familiar may not actually be a good thing, but because it's wired your brain, it still has a weird feeling of safety to it. So he's treating himself in a way that feels natural - a certain level of worthlessness.

I think over the course of the episode, it was Don's realization, with assists from his lawyer, Peggy, etc., that he does have value, and that it's his own, not tied to his failed marriage, not a 'failed' firm. The new firm has had one real success - and it was his, though he was playing that down.
(no subject) - tomfoolery815 - Jul. 30th, 2010 05:13 pm (UTC) - Expand
gatsbyfan
Jul. 29th, 2010 01:22 am (UTC)
-- I loved the "John!"/"Marsha!" bit between Peggy and New Guy
I was curious so I googled.

This is the entire exchange — done over and over to hilarious effect — from Freberg’s classic “John and Marsha,” a parody of soap opera dialogue that would be the first of many hit records he would release in the 1950s. After a few years, he started writing commercials. He won 21 Clio Awards in his brilliant career, and Advertising Age named him one of the century’s 100 most influential figures. He’s considered “the father of comic advertising.” Thanks, TV Barn
tomfoolery815
Jul. 29th, 2010 01:26 am (UTC)
I remembered it from cartoons. I never knew its origin. :-)
(no subject) - marymary - Jul. 29th, 2010 01:32 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - flippet - Jul. 30th, 2010 04:48 pm (UTC) - Expand
gatsbyfan
Jul. 29th, 2010 01:30 am (UTC)
His date is like Betty, only with a personality. :)
We were talking about this at work. We were torn between him being out of sorts and coming across a new version of Betty. The thing is, we don't think he is going to ultimately be happy with a new Betty.

-- What's with Pete being not petulant and reasonable? I'm not sure I'm ready for this. I also don't know what to make of this line, which seems to be at face value: "I can use my expense account if I say they’re whores."
As someone who has an expense account... I know there are things you can expense and things you can't. You disguise things.

Sales guys like Pete are courting powerful male clients that are used to being wined and dined. Getting a prostitute for a client was probably not a big deal. It would probably be classified as "guest entertainment" similar to tickets to a show.
tomfoolery815
Jul. 29th, 2010 01:42 am (UTC)
Getting a prostitute for a client was probably not a big deal. It would probably be classified as "guest entertainment"
Different times. ;-)
marymary
Jul. 29th, 2010 01:48 am (UTC)
The thing is, we don't think he is going to ultimately be happy with a new Betty.

Oh, I totally agree that another Betty is a bad idea! Though the new girl seems a lot fiestier and self-aware than Betty, so maybe she's different enough, idk.

I think Betty was sort of...iconic to Don. When Dick invented Don, he imagined himself with a Betty. Cool, gorgeous, elegant, proper, quiet. It sort of makes sense that she seems like a cardboard cutout Nordic sometimes. If the new girl has the visuals but is more open and more of a match for Don (as some of his mistresses have been), maybe it'll work!

In any case, I think he had fun. :D

OMG I CANNOT TYPE TO SAVE MY LIFE TODAY

Edited at 2010-07-29 01:51 am (UTC)
gatsbyfan
Jul. 29th, 2010 01:57 am (UTC)
It's going around. I've had the problem myself.
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