Okay, it's official: I am going to stay up-to-date with this season of Mad Men.
I don't know if it's the colourful office or the colourful language, but I am so much more invested in the story than I was with the previous four seasons. Has it really taken me this long to appreciate the depth of vanity and vice in these characters? Let's look at a few key characters....
Betty! Omygoodness I wondered where she was last week but it seems that she was in her bed eating ice cream and bugles all day every day. In actuality January Jones was pregnant during filming, so it makes sense that they would make her character fat with a cancer scare. It bothers me a little that she called Don. If the relationship with your previous partner has ended, don't threaten your current one. She hasn't done anything to really redeem her own selfishness, and I doubt we will see her overcome her own insecurities anytime soon.
Okay, so, Pete. Pete Campbell is pushing hard for recognition and he's saying it to anyone who will listen (which he makes certain is the entire agency). If the size of his office is any indication, we know that Pete will bring down Roger soon, it really is only a matter of time now. Pete ridiculed him in front of the whole office as a sign of strong power. I miss it when Roger had the power to handle an insubordinate employee. Now I think his best option is laying low, or take a huge risk in actually going out and obtaining clients in a way that doesn't depend on knowing how they take their drinks. No more smokes and mirrors, now's the time for real skills.
Harry has been fun to see. This is the first time I see him and Don doing something together; attempt to sign The Rolling Stones to record a jingle for a commercial. Not sure why Don hates Harry so much (you can tell just the way he looks at him), but this was a nice change of atmosphere. Harry himself is also letting himself be more liberal with his opinions, of course that could just be the alcohol talking.
His memorable quote would have to be, "Eat first." (actually in searching for the direct quote I stumbled upon this article that does a whole lot better job recapping the episode than I could - I'll be sure to read it after writing up this little diddy). Eat first - a motto Betty Francis took to heart.
Now it's worth noting that with the hiring of an African-American secretary and a Jewish copywriter, it's optimistic to see SDCP pave the way for equality in the workplace.
Also what I really liked seeing here is the reality that many people face in the job market to this day: job protectionism. This is the fear in hiring someone who is too good for the job that is posted in fear that they will one day out perform you. In this case, Peggy was warned to not hire someone who is extremely talented that will overshadow her own performance in front of Don. The result is hiring someone less qualified producing lesser quality work; an employee who is doing the work for less of the worth.
The songs so far have been cleverly chosen. This episode ended with "I am Sixteen Going on Seventeen" I first heard on The Sound of Music.
Yes this season looks like it will be a far cry from Roger's perfectly timed, "When is everything going to get back to normal?"