Throughout the sixth season of Mad Men, our writers will be on a weekly rotation giving their thoughts on each episode. For recaps of previous episodes of Mad Men and other shows, please visit our Pop Culture page.
Promiscuity seems to be theme early on in Season 6. Both Don and Pete are quickly realizing the problems that can arise from being unfaithful.
Pete feels the need to screw around in the city even though it gives him no real pleasure. Conversely, it appears that Don loves the feeling he gets by sleeping with Sylvia Rosen, his neighbor whose husband conveniently is super-busy every single day.
This week’s episode stands out for the tour-de-force that was Trudy Campbell. She is a character that often is left to simmer on the back burners of the show and only appears to be the sort of symbolism that represents Pete’s “perfect” life. At the beginning of the episode she even denies any slight bit of flirtation with the neighbors because it would not be proper. It turns out she was wise to her husband’s ways the entire time. Read more…
Throughout the fifth season of Mad Men, our writers will dissect and discuss the happenings of each episode. These discussions will contain spoilers from the most recent episode. In other words, read at your own risk.
To view our previous discussions, visit our pop culture page.
George Morris: Hello, gang! I’ll take the reins and bat leadoff this week. That noise you hear is the air leaking out of the balloon that was Season 5. Yeah, I’ll admit I was a little disappointed that something even crazier than usual didn’t happen during the season finale.
The more I think about it, the more at peace I am with the ending. I enjoyed the way things went because it showed SCDP moving on without the ‘P’, how Pete Campbell still feels alone in the world and even updated us on an old friend.
Sure, the easy thing to talk about is Don because he’s the MAN and his toothache-inspired delusions were the underlying theme of the episode. However, I want to start with the return of Peggy Olson. Come on, you didn’t think she would be gone forever did you? She seemed oddly content in her new position of power and was rewarded for her new efforts with a deluxe trip to dog-humping Virginia. When she went to the same mind-clearing/focusing afternoon movie as Don, I smiled to myself (mostly so Vinny wouldn’t see it). It’s what I always wanted from Peggy. She had the freedom to call the shots and utilized a classic Draper move by getting away from it all for a little while. I think Peggy made the right choice, or at least it seems that she did. What was your take?
Vinny Ginardi: I had a similar reaction, George. As a finale, I was a bit disappointed with this episode. That’s not to say that this episode was bad or anything, just that it didn’t stick out with me the way that I had hoped that it might. I have felt throughout that this was Mad Men’s best season overall (which is really saying something) and was looking for some sort of iconic final chapter with this episode.
Still, there were some great segments to this episode. The image that sticks out most to me is Don walking away from Megan’s set. Obviously we got an extended glimpse at this for a reason. Don walks away from the bright, colorful set (having Megan whenever he needs) and into the darkness (his future where he will be on his own for much of the time). I feel like his conversation with Peggy helped him make the decision to get Megan that acting gig. Don mentioned how when you help someone succeed, they move on. Peggy responds, “Don’t you want them to?”. It’s here Don realizes that while maybe it’s not the decision that will benefit him the most, helping Megan pursue her acting career is what will make her the most happy.
MC: This is an episode I like more as the days go on. Throughout most of the episode I sort of had that same “this is just another great episode but nothing special” feeling mentioned above. Then that last few moments happened. Don walks away from Megan, his princess now dressed in a ridiculous commercial princess dress, and things get darker and darker until he’s at the bar. Then the beautiful woman approaches him and asks, “My friends was wondering, are you alone?” Don, ever cool, doesn’t acknowledge her right away. He leans over and lights his cigarette, puts the light away and turns his head to meet her eyes. Cut to black. Read more…
Time to fire up my best guesses at what will transpire over the next fortnight…
Most of what I needed to say has already been written in the seed report. The two top seeds I feel are in the most trouble are Mardy Fish and Sam Stosur.
The reason I picked Tsonga is because I truly feel he’s ready to take the next step. That might not necessarily mean he will win this tournament. It does mean that he can legitimately challenge to be in the top 4 by the end of the year. We all saw what he’s capable of when healthy for an entire season and he should be able to add a good amount of points at the Australian Open. Also, a Federer-Tsonga final would be pretty cool. They played 8 times last year and were already supposed to in the Doha semifinals last week before Federer withdrew. Read more…
Personally, I like this major because it’s the easiest to watch time-wise as an American. Action starts at 7 each night and there will be live streaming of 7 of the courts from Melbourne Park for at least the first week.
Originally, the plan was to do a bigger preview to go over the various storylines that you should look for going into the first big tournament of the new year. However, I realized quickly that a lot of those type of discussion topics are essentially just naming a player and saying things like “Can they win a major?” “Will they bounce back?” or “Will they repeat 2011?”
Instead, what follows are some topics and important things to think about during the next two weeks, followed by capsules about the 32 seeded players from both the men’s and women’s singles draws. It’s easier just to assess where each player is at this time rather than write a guestimated article about why Azarenka or Murray can finally break their duck.
As a rabid sports fan my entire life, I’ve seen so many events on television from all sorts of sporting venues. Of course, I’ve only actually been to a handful of professional games. Naturally, I thought it would be fun if I gave my top 10 list of places that I want to visit if I ever have the chance.
Here are some disclaimers before everybody goes wild at these selections…
-I’ve been to 3 places that I consider of high priority to any real sports fan. 2 still exist (Madison Square Garden and Saratoga Race Course) and one sadly does not (Yankee Stadium).
-Baseball gets star treatment here because the stadiums themselves just mean so much more to fans. They last longer, more games are played there every year and they all have different dimensions and nuances. I can think of other sports where there are differing dimensions from venue to venue. However, the two that pop to mind right away are golf and auto racing and I can’t stand either of those. Read more…
Day 1 of the bracket. If you missed the first post, check here. Enjoy.
#4 Jackie Robinson vs. #13 Roger Federer
GEORGE- As the resident tennis guru here at Waiver Wire I would be remiss if I did not school you about just how great Roger Federer is. He not only has the most Grand Slam titles in tennis history but he has had success at staggering rates. He had a run of 23 consecutive Grand Slam semifinals (next closest is 10). He won his 16 majors within a span of 27 played (Sampras got his 14 in 49).
Federer is very undervalued from an athletic standpoint because his sport is so low profile and he isn’t American. In fact, I think it’s telling that his main contemporary, Rafa Nadal, did not make our list of 64 sports people to vote on. Federer is beyond excellent and he made the rest of the sport look foolish between the years of 2004-2007 (315-24 record, 11 major championships won)
I’m basing my Federer-Robinson judgment on performance only. Yes, Robinson was a 6-time all-star and an MVP during his career. Of course his persona is remembered most for his actions to break the color barrier in baseball. I’m taking the stance that his legacy is better but his athletic performance was not. No way is an entire sports’ greatest player of all time losing in the first round.
The pick: Federer
Yes, there is still pro tennis in the fall. Granted, not every player takes this time of year seriously and most spend the post-US Open months complaining about how long and difficult the schedule is.
Don’t worry, here’s a recap for those of you who have missed it either because you forgot about it or couldn’t be bothered to wake up at strange hours to take in the action.
The WTA has already concluded its big 2 fall events in Tokyo and Beijing and out of it all came one woman who won both titles for the second straight year; this time it was Agnieszka Radwanska. For the Pole it was a monster two weeks to finish a giant 3 month stretch which saw her leap from way out of the mix into the top-10. The Beijing final yesterday against Andrea Petkovic was one of the best matches of the entire year across the sport. The first set took nearly an hour and a half and each player had far more winners than errors. Compared to what usually happens in the women’s game it was a refreshing sight. Read more…
This is the time of year where teams begin to truly understand their identity on the football field. They not only have to hear what everybody else thinks about them but they also have had the time to group together and realize what they think of themselves. This week, the only game on television in the Capital Region of New York at 1PM was the contest between the Buffalo Bills and the Cincinnati Bengals.
First of all let’s get this out of the way: bad job out of Southern Ohio/Northern Kentucky for not selling out this game. I understand that the Bengals are not a great franchise, but the plethora of empty seats inside Paul Brown Stadium was disgusting and leads me to conclude that the Bengals have a weak fan base. Sure the team was only 1-2 entering the game but that’s a little early in the season for the fans to not show up.
The early part of the game was not great by either team and there was only a field goal apiece to show for it. Bryan Scott thought he had a gift of a touchdown on an Andy Dalton fumble. The tuck rule showed up unannounced once again on that one and negated it. Read more…
So while all of my colleagues were freaking out about the Rays and the Red Sox I watched a different ballgame last night. Yes, there was another historical collapse in the MLB this year: that of the Atlanta Braves.
If you had spoken with me three weeks ago the only question I would have had about the Braves’ future in 2011 was whether they would open up the playoffs in Milwaukee or Phoenix. Today, the players have all the time in the world to do whatever they please on the heels of a 4-3 loss in 13 innings at home to Philadelphia.
Full disclosure: I don’t claim any team to be my undying number one in baseball. Gun to my head, I choose Atlanta. The late 90’s saw me fancy the San Diego Padres. However, around 2001 I began to really dig watching Braves games when they were always on TBS. I loved listening to Skip Caray and Don Sutton bore me through games. It was such a nerdy experience that I would keep score almost every night on printouts. Those were either the dark days or a sign. Anyway, I loved those Braves teams because of their pitching and poise. Exactly the opposite happened to them over the last month.
The team was weighed down by many concerns: was Chipper Jones going to be healthy, could Brian McCann recover from an oblique injury, who does the starting pitching, and what in the world happened to Craig Kimbrel?