Mad Men

Episode Report Card
Jacob Clifton: A | 1 USERS: B-
Laika Was An Astronaut

He tries to...Roger, come on...he tries to sweet-talk her about how it's just Hollywood blowing things out of proportion: "That ridiculous Psycho!" He says these days the cinema folks just aren't happy unless everything's that extreme. Joan points out that, sexist-wise and grossness-wise, The Apartment is less sci-fi and more vérité, from where she's standing. He doesn't get it, and then builds an extra floor over his not-getting-it so that he can not get it on a whole new level, comparing Joan's take on the very topical and creepy movie to this time his wife dreamt that he ran over their dog with the car. He laughs because it's so crazy, because she was mad at him all day, and they don't even have a dog. Joan bounces with a quickness, because don't talk to me about your wife, don't talk to me about your fucking imaginary dog, and don't piss on my leg and tell me it's raining. And knowing Roger, that's literal.

The boys go all out in their presentation to Daddy Menken, on and on about the atrium and newer, wider aisles, and the restaurant -- an "elegant tearoom" with "champagne linens," and if you need me to tell you which of the crew jumped in with those oh-so-butch terms, you're not really paying attention -- and it's not so much that Mr. Menken isn't impressed, but he's confused a bit. Specifically, why the hell should he give up 30% of his retail space on the ground floor so he can somehow go into the restaurant business. Pete explains that it's an immersive indulgent experience, both shopping and lunch, and "that's what ladies like." You know what ladies like, Pete? Never mind, too easy. These Skittles are delicious! Mr. Menken notes that this is in the promotional materials, in a font a thousand times bigger than the part where it says they'll have to close down the store for three months. Don explains that this will build "enormous anticipation," like a movie premiere: "The New Menken's." They'll have a line around the block. "Even if you have to pay people" to stand in it, Mr. Menken notes good-naturedly. I adore Mr. Menken because we both believe very strongly in his daughter Rachel, and because we both respect the hell out of Donald Draper. It's entirely possible that the only person on this show that I don't love is Peggy, and I kind of love her. It's fun to watch TV you like.

You can tell by the fact that his daughter Rachel is all up in his business, Mr. Menken says, that he's not a man afraid of change. So even if this is the best idea ever -- and he's not really selling resistance to it, because he can see the value -- it still sticks in his craw that he'll have to lose anything in the deal. "Can't I keep what I have, and build on it?" Don takes the calculated risk of broaching the "unpleasant truth" that Mr. Menken has: nothing in particular. "Your customers can't be depended on. Their lives have changed. They're prosperous. Over the years, they've developed new tastes. Like your daughter: they're educated, sophisticated, they know what they deserve and they want to pay for it." Valid, but Mr. Menken still wonders why he'd want to own a store he wouldn't, himself, shop in. Don pushes the negs, all about how he's already done that once when he left the original second floor hosiery store on 7th Avenue (thanks to Rachel for that info), and that honestly, he's banking on being proud of himself and bragging to his grandchildren, but they're not going to care, because a billion years ago is a billion years ago either way.

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Mad Men




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