By: Farrah Vazquez, guest blogger extraordinaire
SPOILER ALERT: I’m about to ruin the Mad Men Season 6
Premiere for you if you haven’t watched it already.
Rachelle and I secretly love Mad Men, although we never talk about it and we watch every episode in secret - it’s true. Rachelle may or may not have dressed up as Joan Harris to church yesterday, though the act was not as bold as you may think since Rachelle is totally Joan’s twinsie anyway (which she is not likely to admit).
When Rachelle asked if I would be interested in contributing to her blog, I thought I would seize the opportunity and go public. WE LOVE MAD MEN. And it just so happens that the 2-hour Premiere of Season 6 aired last night. We were all about it. So, let’s talk about my favorite character.
Although I love several different characters, I aspire to be like Peggy Olson. The Pegster. Peggemz. She is immensely talented, smart, and ambitious and has always been slightly clunky as she navigates the ad world dominated by men (change “ad world” to “politics”, take away the Manhattan high-rise and move to South Central LA, double-down on clunkiness, and voilà! My life). However, she leverages her womanhood to do her job well because she can bring something to the table that men simply can’t offer. After Peggy left Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce, a client even complained that he thought he could count on SCDP to have a woman’s touch, and what he meant was “Peggy’s touch.”
But it’s not just women’s products she can knock out of the park, for example, in this episode she develops a brilliant idea for a headphones ad in the midst of a crisis – a product specifically targeting men per the client’s request. She’s brilliant.
Sigh. Peggy’s headed astray and I don’t know what to do about it. In this episode, we find her fully transitioned into her new post as Chief of Copy at one of SCDP’s rival firms, and this time around, she’s powerful and authoritative yet cruel and abrasive in dealing with her team and it’s kind of awful.
I blame Don Draper. Peggy outgrew SCDP and moved on. At the end of Season 5, Don warns her that that’s simply what happens when you help mentor and develop someone and I think she took this terrible advice too seriously (let’s be real - I’m doubtful Don offered Peggy anything more than her big break. Truthfully, he was kind of a crappy role model and I’m appalled that he’s trying to take any credit for her success). Peggy may have gotten a taste of what Don was talking about in dealing with Megan and Ginsberg at SCDP, thus the rule-with-an-iron-fist approach to leadership we see here. This dynamic hurts my heart a little bit. I know she’s better than this.
Otherwise, this episode had all the things. Vietnam and LBJ references (we get it - it’s 1967), Megan dances hula, Don spits up the most horrendous and morbid copy for Royal Hawaiian Hotel, fat Betty goes rogue, there’s this whole “Dante’s Inferno” motif that’s really just a perfect example of Matthew Weiner’s stellar writing, Roger Sterling is generally hilarious and inappropriate, and Don cheats on Megan. YOU HEARD ME.
Most importantly, Christina Hendricks appears in a short 15-second commercial for a product better left unmentioned on this forum. Evidently, she has been the spokesperson for said (or not said) brand for some time so the commercial wasn’t made specifically for the premiere. Still, it was my favorite part of the evening.
Screen shot lawlz. Youtube vid here.
Guest blogger, Farrah Vazquez, is a Mad Men aficionado who, despite [fleeting] aspirations, has never blogged a day in her life. With the exception of Mad Men, Farrah’s interests usually lie in outdated pop culture including, but not limited to, Seinfeld, the West Wing, and Kurt Cobain. After consulting numerous personality studies, she’s still unsure as to the causes of this strange phenomenon. She hopes to be invited back to Bowl Cuts and Chipped Teeth and has given much consideration to establishing her own blog one day.