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Mad Men; Season 7
Topic Started: Jan 11 2014, 01:42 PM (4,670 Views)
tgir
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Dax, just a quick line to thank you for linking all of the Mad Men articles. I know I complain about everything but I really appreciate your efforts!
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tgir
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For my part, I've become very wary of big name writers and directors and producers getting too big with enormous budgets and egos to match (cough cough Peter Jackson and George Lucas ) and have the actual work collapse under the weight of all of that ego and certainty.

I appreciate that you post things to archive them--I do as well although it tends to be more personal stuff...
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tgir
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I watched most of the last half season finale and remembered how much I loved that episode. It did get me in the right mood/mind set to see last night's. I also realized how much I love Roger and how good it was to see him finally become something of a stand up guy: looking after his grandson, with his ex wife; figuring a way to keep Don (and jettison Cutler--he's gone, right?)

I loved Ken's revenge and sincerely hope that after he spends some time sticking it to Pete that he does what he should do and what his wife wants: goes off to write something and find some fulfillment.

I was so sad that Peggy couldn't find her passport. How great would that have been? And how great that Steve is telling everybody about going to Paris together in a few weeks. That has got to happen.

Re: waitress. I noticed the resemblance to Rachel and to a smaller extent, to Midge but she seemed too young to be either of them. I thought maybe she would turn out to be one of Don's relatives or the daughter of one of the whores in the house he grew up with.

How horrible that she figured the outrageous tip that Roger left for being such a rude jackass was a payment up front for sex. And that she thought she had to go through with it.

I wanted to punch those guys in the Topaz meeting. So bad. And wanted Joan to punch them.

Don does have a 'thing' about seeing interesting things when someone important to him dies.

I will miss this show when it ends.
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tgir
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I'll trade Pete for Betty any day of the week, and then some (sorry KMI).
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tgir
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Bilki, I also liked that Betty was going to pursue psychology. Good for her. Glad she and Don seem like friends.

I am not at all interested in Diana but got some satisfaction out of Megan's bad day.
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tgir
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I am a big Betty apologist as well, bilki. At least right up until she marries that turd Henry...

But I think it is a good sign that she's looking to something for herself and not just appearances. We all may hate how shallow and vain she's been but she always got smacked down pretty hard whenever she tried to do or be anything more. Although I might not feel that way except for two things: the incident when she shoots the birds and the scenes with Sally's therapist. I will also add that I really don't care much for Sally at all. Well, I don't care much for how any of the women on the show are treated/viewed. Don's secretary makes me want to scream. Most of the time, for most of the female characters, I just want to see what they are wearing and think: oh, yeah: I remember that. Some of what they resurrect is not good at all. And some times, it really just seems as though the female characters are given small bits to show that time has progressed which we know by their clothes and hair styles. And to show that the show knows the era because of the clothes and hairstyles... Sigh.
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tgir
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Krystal
Apr 20 2015, 12:37 AM
Well, I think the chauvinistic attitudes are more or less accurately portrayed. Roger and Don have been hopeless womanizers. Peggy is at least making progress and being taken seriously..
I think the chauvinistic attitudes are probably pretty accurate (with dramatic license). I don' think there's anything that forces the show to treat most female characters as window dressing in order to evoke an era/give the costume designers something fun and creative to do.

I grew up in that era, albeit in small town Indiana with grandparents on both sides plus my favorite aunt and uncle who farmed. And very much a Baptist leaning area. Catholics were liberals, relatively speaking. It was much more conservative than the people/era being portrayed on Mad Men. The women were much more than window dressing. Hell, June Cleaver was much more than window dressing and that show was actually BEFORE Mad Men. The women I grew up with were closer to Lucy and Ethel but June as well as Lucy and Ethel all had real minds of their own and were aware of their own power and position. They consciously ran families while flattering and taking care of their husbands and plotting their kids' futures and bitching about theirs.
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tgir
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Krystal
Apr 20 2015, 02:30 PM
TGIR, women in my community did all of those things as well, but I don't recall many working outside the home, and there were no professional women, pilots or anything then. There may have been some, somewhere, but our guidance councilor never told women they could do anything but be a teacher or a nurse, or if you were slim and didn't mind being weighed daily, a flight attendant.

There were not role models for women where I grew up, other than being mothers or those things. I know a number of women who did go back to school in their 30's, as they had children very young and by then the kids were in junior high or older. But mostly they still chose nursing or some other adjunct career, no medical school nor even CPA etc. That was my experience.
When/where I grew up, most mothers did not work outside of the home and very, very few fathers attended college. I'm pretty hard pressed to think of one who did, actually. It was small town/fresh off the farm and/or working in factory kind of place. My dad was the first male in his family to not go into farming, although that had been his plan to do at one point. This was when most farmers could feed their families and put in the next year's crops and that was about the end of things.

A few moms worked in clothing stores, supposedly for the discounts but really, where I grew up, everybody was pretty happy if they had made it to middle class. One friend's mom was finishing up her re-certification to be a school teacher (her dad was a colonel in the army and they moved back to Indiana as his last post before retirement at which point, he bought a farm....) but aside from the teachers I knew in school and the women I knew who worked as nurses, well, women worked at home. Maybe did Tupperware or Avon but most of the ladies didn't have extra for Avon and maybe not tupperware, so it wasn't a big supplement.

But I didn't know a single woman who was as brainless or with as little agency as all of the women on Mad Men (possible exceptions of Peggy and maybe Joan). All had opinions that went far beyond what to make for dinner or what to wear or what color to paint the living room. And most managed their families, homes and husbands.

My parents both grew up during the depression. Each had a parent who was chronically ill and who died when they were 10 years old (weird coincidence) leaving the other parent (my mother's mother, my father's father) to raise the family on her/his own. My grandmother had finished high school, I think. Not more than that. My grandfather had dropped out of school at 16 when his own father died, leaving my grandfather as the oldest child/ son who would continue the farm and provide for his own mother and siblings. My grandmother raised 4 kids after her husband died, from (as far as I can tell) a stroke but possibly because of injuries--PTSD, at the very least--from WWI.

For my parents, having the ability to provide for a young family on only one income was a major, major victory. They had had to raise themselves, for the most part. As we all entered school, my father was very keen on my mother going back to work. My mother was less keen: she remembered growing up with her mother always at work, and how vulnerable girls could be. She was also an extreme introvert. My father was completely insensitive to the difficulties that one might face having been out of work for some 15 years or more. My mother had quit work when my older sister was 2 because of child care difficulties, with my father's full blessing. I loved dad but he was an ass who didn't realize or refused to recognize how hard it is to go back to work after years as a home maker or that her earning power would be seriously compromised. The part I didn't know at the time (and ony ever heard my father's side of) is that they had agreed to split when my youngest sister was--you guessed it: 10. Mom had her stroke 2 months before my sister's 10th birthday.

I stayed home for years, a complete departure from my original plan. Frankly, I am counting the days until I can retire now. Or rather: quit work. I have a lot of things I want to do that have nothing to do with shopping or mani/pedis (I still have never had either) or whatever.
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tgir
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Sure there were role models for women. Just not the ones you--or I --wanted in easy and plentiful supply, anyway.
Edited by tgir, Apr 20 2015, 11:22 PM.
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tgir
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I see something positive in almost all of the characters. Not Pete. Not Harry or Cutler but most have some redeeming characteristics.

Don was milking Peggy's accomplishments/dreams in order to fuel/feed his writing assignment. She didn't know that. Maybe he was a jerk for doing it but honestly, he's at that very time of deep conflict about what he's doing. Failed marriages, kids he doesn't spend enough time with. No real friends except maybe Roger. He's coming to that middle stage of life when you question everything you've ever done, any accomplishment, hope, dream: all seem to have fallen short in either execution or result. He's meant well all along. Or at least, never meant harm and indeed, I think he hoped to be and to do good. Or at least good work. We may question his parenting (but not as much as Betty's although I would argue that Betty has been the better parent) but we don't doubt that he loves his daughter, and probably his sons and that he's been so much better a parent than he ever had growing up. So he never saw much past the surface of stuff, at least as a young man. But he's getting older now and he certainly is beginning to see deeper now, down to the flaws.

Peggy had no idea of any of that, of course. I like Peggy and find her one of the most likeable characters on the show but she's hardly perfect. She doesn't treat her secretary --or other underlings very well. Not intentionally badly but she's under a lot of pressure and has no one really to help her, ever. She's insecure and has reason to be worried about her roles and how she's seen. I get it. She just doesn't. Neither does Joan, who has always thought that a man was the ticket to security. BTW, I don't like her new fella much, either. But if he's good to Joan, then ok. I had hoped that Joan and Roger would end up together at the end (I am a romantic) and also (ducking now) that Don and Peggy would as well, both having grown up a lot.

I disliked Faye quite a bit.
Edited by tgir, Apr 20 2015, 11:22 PM.
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tgir
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GAWWK: I meant that I hoped that Don and BETTY would get back together. Don/Peggy would be very gross.

That scene with Peggy and Don really showed exactly what I meant about each of them. Don uses people without actually realizing he's using people and he was being fairly genuine in that exchange: he wanted to know Peggy's dreams because his have (mostly) run out. He respects/admires her as much as he feels that she's his protege.

Peggy came looking for praise and was too impatient/insecure to realize that was what Don was getting at. She's like the adolescent who is on the brink of adulthood and still needs the praise of the parent but resents when it isn't as centered on her as she wants but that the parent also wants/needs something from the exchange.
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tgir
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It does feel as though there is a rush to make sure to include or touch upon every character before the end.

I am not happy with where it looks like Joan and Roger are ending. I am glad that Peggy finally told someone her secret.
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tgir
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I only caught part of the episode last night--just the last 15 min. or so, and it's not showing up on demand yet. I really want to catch up.

I know about Betty and frankly, I am a bit furious. It is impossible for me to see this as anything other than a) misogyny on the part of Weiner and also a bit of too quick resolution, fueled by the misogyny. Like you, I have much more of a tender spot and much more sympathy for Betty. But this is stupid: we've never seen her cough! and she's got advanced lung cancer now? No. Sorry. I've watched people die from lung disease. Yeah, there's a lot of denial but there are always significant symptoms, and even in the early 70's in rural Indiana, there were treatment options.

I saw just enough of the show to see Don confess to dropping the lighter and being responsible for his CO's death, and to see him allow himself to be beat up for stealing money. But it was SOOOOO transparent, even to me just walking in, that the kid was who took the money and that Don would somehow rescue him. Again: seems rushed and like a cop out.

Pete: I think he's getting what he deserves: Kansas. There may be nothing wrong with Kansas but this is Mad Men which enjoys a narrow minded and parochial view of all that is not Manhattan or LA. Trudy deserves more and I hope she gets it.

Re: Betty's impending death. I am hoping against all hope that this means that Sally and the boys will go back to Don and that will be a kind of salvation for all of them. Henry is a horrid person.

Which reminds me: the whole lifestyle of Henry and Betty is simply wrong for rich people in NYC of that era. My husband grew up in the heavily subsidized upper East Side lifestyle of a very wealthy grandmother/step grandfather. That house looks like a mausoleum (and I live in a Victorian myself, so...) and there is no way Betty would have been hanging out all the time in the kitchen or that the house wouldn't have been much more updated than it was. My husband's grandmother/step grandfather lived in a lovely home in NYC that did not look like a mausoleum and they maintained staff. His grandmother would never have deigned to cook, and would never have served anything as low class as the stuff Betty routinely pawns off on her kids. Given that Betty grew up with some wealth, this shows Weiner's lack of actual knowledge or understanding of the characters he writes for.

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tgir
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Lung cancer does not go from NO symptoms or coughing to 9 months to live. Ovarian cancer? Sure. Sorry: I've lost family members to lung cancer and COPD.

Sure, Wiener loves Betty sooooo much he'll never let her beauty fade. Better to be dead than middle aged.
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tgir
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Saw the episode where Betty figures out she's pregnant. Pregnancies do not normally announce themselves by BLOOD. That's usually a sign YOU ARE NOT PREGNANT.

And this written by a woman who had 2 pregnancies with continued periods for the first couple of months.

Sorry all of you guys. I know this is TMI.
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tgir
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Happy for Joan, Peggy and Stan. A life in Kansas seems fitting for Pete. Am I to take it that Don was responsible for the Coke commercial? Which I really loved, btw, back in the day although as my husband pointed out tonight when we saw it: that commercial is actually kind of fucked up. But, no I didn't love the ending.

Also, what the hell happened to the Francis household? I mean, back when Betty was with Don out in the burbs, she had a maid for that tiny little ranch house. Now in that huge mausoleum..I mean, mansion, there's no maid, Betty's dying, Henry is out and Bobby is making them toast? And NOW Betty has a cough? Of course, everybody still smokes. Even terminally ill cancer patients. Thank God Bobby knew what was going on. The entire series, they've played him as though he was stupid, clueless and immaterial.

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tgir
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The last few episodes did seem like a hurried 'tie up all the loose ends; give everyone we can a happy ending.' That was disappointing. Quite a bit.

The part re: Don's story that I *did* like was how, at the end, when the last woman he tries to rescue leaves him, and he's taken back to the 'session' and the fairly ordinary guy confesses to feeling invisible to his family and breaks down and Don goes over and hugs him, also breaking down. The person he always wanted/needed to heal was himself. A bit facile, but...I get it.

I am so disappointed with the way Betty's sl ended although it is a bit on the nose that Henry wasn't actually seen and that Sally was trying to be mother and helpful rather than the snotty thing we've seen so much of. Of course, everyone still smokes....

Peggy/Stan: felt right that they ended up together but so sorry it was a rush at the end. Roger and the crazy French Canadian woman? No. Just: no. And I really like Julia Ormond. Did not like her character and I really hoped that Roger would have learned better at the end. I hope they don't actually marry. But glad he did right by his kid.
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tgir
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They're only up to the 70's.. I think I had ONE friend who smoked. Oh, another did, briefly, and NEVER in front of me. Or when we were living in the same city. My parents and inlaws smoked. People's parents smoked but among my age mates: people smoked weed, not tobacco. I didn't even do that because I hated my parents' smoking so much.
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http://www.salon.com/2015/05/18/joyce_carol_oates_tweets_epic_dissatisfaction_with_mad_men_finale/

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