Today is the beginning of Mad Men week on Just Chick Flicks. Each day this week, I will recap two episodes from Season 5 of the one of my favorite TV shows, Mad Men.
This is your chance to refresh your memory on all of the happenings at Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce. If you are a fan of the show, you might agree with me that Season 5 was probably the best season ever. Especially the episode: The Suitcase.
So fix yourself a cocktail and relax while I recap episodes 1 and 2.
A Little Kiss
It’s 1966 and the world is changing. The civil rights movement comes to Mad Men. The season opens with a group of African-Americans protesting Y & R, a Madison Avenue ad agency for their unfair hiring practices. To shame their competition, Roger decides to place a newspaper ad stating that SCDP is an equal opportunity employer. Before you know it, the waiting room is filled with African-Americans applicants. And just as I predicted, Don Draper has a new secretary.
Peggy and the rest of the creative team are hard at work on the Heinz Beans campaign. The problem is, how can they make a bowl of beans exciting? Peggy’s ideas do not impress the clients and Don is not supportive. So it’s back to the drawing board.
Joan is still on maternity leave. Feeling overwhelmed by caring for a new baby and that her job might be in danger, Joan makes a surprise visit to the office. There are a few awkward moments with Roger and Joan, and with Pete and Peggy as she holds Baby Kevin.
Our man Don Draper is now married to his former secretary Megan, the sex kitten. Apparently Don has confided the whole Don Draper/Dick Whitman story and she is OK with it. That kind of honesty in a relationship is rare for Don. At last Dick and Don are one and he is finally happy. He finally has a woman who knows the real him and loves him for who he is.
Megan, like the good little wife she is, plans a surprise 40th birthday party for Don, even though he hates surprises and doesn’t want to celebrate his birthday. And WOW! What a party! The Drapers live a an ultra swanky New York apartment, like the one in the 1960’s TV series, Playboy After Dark. She invited everyone, except Duck and Betty. There is a cool jazz combo, even some of Megan’s beatnik friends are there. What a party! But the night is not over yet. Megan performs a provocative French song for Don and causes quite a sensation. Watch Jessica Pare’ sing Zou Bisou Bisou .
The happy couple has their first quarrel. Don wasn’t as happy as Megan thought he would be about the party. Also the party left their cool pad in a big mess. Lesson #1: Don’t have a party if you have white carpet. Unlike Betty, Megan knows how to handle Don. Starting with doing house cleaning in black lace underwear. She has Don totally whipped!
Jon Hamm directs this episode that shows the youth culture as it comes crashing in on the establishment. In life and in business this is a time when the world becomes increasingly concerned with what the younger generation wants.
Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce has moved into new offices on the Time-Life Building, in Rockefeller Center. They have all the trappings of a successful ad agency, but business is not great. With the loss of Lucky Strike, Lane Pryce is watching the pennies closely and the need for new business is urgent.
The competition between Pete and Roger is getting more intense. Pete is still a worm, but now he is a worm with a rapidly receding hairline. Pete brings back Mohawk Airlines, which would is coup for the struggling agency.
The new Mohawk account creates the need to hire another copywriter. Peggy, ambitious as ever, get permission from Don to hire a new copywriter. Enter the young and crazy, Michael Ginsberg (played by Ben Feldman) Do you remember in season 1 when they swore that a Jewish person would never work at there. Another sign that things are changing.
Heinz is never satisfied. They want something that will appeal to the youth. I don’t know…do teenagers like canned beans? The client’s idea is to get the Rolling Stones to do a jingle based on Time is on My Side…Heinz, Heinz, Heinz is on my side. Just another reason clients shouldn’t write their own copy. Maybe The Stones song they really need is Can’t Get No Satisfaction.
Poor Betty did not get her figure back after the birth of Baby Gene. She has moved into a dark and depressing Adam’s Family-like mansion with Henry Francis and the kids. [Don actually refers to them as Mortica and Lurch] And of course, Betty is not happy. She never is. So she eats…and eats… and EATS.
In fact she is fat! [No angry letters please, it’s part of the storyline] Ok…I will say she has a weight problem. Either way, it is strange to see the usually thin January Jones with a voluptuous body.
To make matters worse, when she goes to the doctor for diet pills, he finds a lump that might be cancer. She is completely shaken by the news and turns to Don for comfort. But as usual, even when she gets the news the tumor is benign, Betty is disappointed. Why? Because instead of being overweight because she has cancer, she is just fat. Maybe she shouldn’t eat a whole box of Bugles.