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Monday, October 5, 2009
Mad Men: Pete's Sweet and Betty is Dirty
Crazy episode last night. I love the way they're softening up Pete. First he's an integrationist, but only cause it makes money in the ad world, and that's the only thing that should matter. And Now, he feels bad about kissing his wife after raping the neighbors babysitter. Oh and he also feels bad that he's annoyed his neighbor by making his babysitter cry. The neighbor's a real peach too, his advise to Pete is to keep it out of the building.??? Hard to believe that this was once the way the world worked.
Then there was Betty, she seemed a little less than please with the Governors advisor kissing her, but she also seemed like she felt she owed it too him. I guess the lesson from these to plot lines is if you find yourself in the 60's don't let a man do you a favor. Because he will definitely expect some sex back in return, and apparently you come across.
The whole thing with Betty and Don in Rome was great. You got a real sense of who Betty was before she got married, and sidelined to the slow lane. I wanna see some flash backs of Betty in the old days. The whole scene with her fending off the lotharios and telling Don they called him ugly...Priceless.
Anyway that's my recap...Ohhh and Sally kissing that boy in the tub...
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I'm also obsessed with this show!! The writing is so subtle. Last night's episode had even more unspoken pretenses than usual, a theme that seems to underlie every aspect of the series but was really played out beautifully in this one.
I especially liked the scene between Pete and Joan. He knew she wasn't just "filling in" as the store manager, and she knew that the stained dress he brought in didn't really belong to his wife. She lied about her husband choosing another specialty because it was trendy, and also that she was "doing well," which she had to tell him twice and was the biggest lie of all. ... I could go on.
The best pretense in the show was the game between Betty and Don in the hotel bar in Rome. That was so perfect and believable -- like the flip side of the role playing that goes on between them at home, and this one so much steamier.
Only one thing really bugs me on the show overall: Why are the women so darned PASSIVE when men make passes at them, no matter how disgusting the man or the situation?!! Is that supposed to be about pretense, too, or are we meant to read it as their misguided desire for sexual freedom? Did Betty really let that guy kiss her to pay him back for his political help? Yuk! I'd prefer to think she liked him. She did keep looking at him for the longest time afterward. What was she thinking -- that he was an avenue of escape perhaps?
Betty's rare conversation with her daughter later played into this idea as well: "Girls don't kiss boys. You wait for them to kiss you." And then she has that remarkable, romantic little speech, talking to herself as much as to her child, about how the first kiss informs all the kisses from that man that come later. Was she talking about the stranger or Don or both? I guess it's all meant to make us squirm, and it sure does me! What do the rest of you think?
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