Tag Archives: Nora Zehetner

A Lesson in Etiquette from the Cast of Mad Men and the Mister Men Series – A Recap of Mad Men’s “The Chrysanthemum and the Sword”

“A lesson in whhaaaat?  From the cast of whoooooo?  DON, this damn phone don’t work and neither do I!”

Whether we are still kids, or just kids at heart, there are times in all of our lives, when we could stand to be reminded of the importance of minding our proverbial “Ps and Qs.”  And in this most recent Mad Men episode, EVERYONE fell a bit short on the Etiquette Scale. 

Let’s revisit, shall we?

Lesson One:  When you have nothing nice to say, it’s best to say nothing at all . . .

In the opening moments of the episode, Don receives a phone call from the New York Times.  Apparently, one of Don’s competitors at another advertising company(Cutler, Gleason, and Chauough), has been talking smack about him. 

(Riiiiiight! Because THAT’S what top New York Times reporters cover on the front page of their paper, Word Wars between anonymous Ad men.) 

The reporter wonders whether Don has a response to his competitors’  snide remarks.  If Don was POLITE, he would simply say, “No Comment.”  However, because Don is . . .

 . . . he, instead replies, “Never heard of him.” 

Lesson 2 – Be flexible.  There is no shame in compromising to get the job done.

“Compromise is for pussies!”

Later, at a meeting of the SCDP partners, Pete mentions that he has scored a meeting with Honda, where SCDP will have the opportunity to pitch the well established Japanese corporation a campaign for their motorcycle account.

Rumor has it that Honda is dissatisfied with their current representation by Massive Ad Agency, Grey.  The “catch” is that each competing agency will get just $3,000 to create a mock pitch for Honda.  Most of the partners are THRILLED . . .

. . . but Roger is NOT!

A World War II vet, who lost a lot of friends to the Japanese war effort, Roger REFUSES to represent a Japanese company, no matter how lucrative such representation could potentially BE for SCDP.  This is because Roger is . . .

“Why don’t we just bring Doctor Lyle Evans in here?”  Roger quips.

“Huh?”

*         *         *           *

Please forgive me this slight departure from your regularly scheduled recap, while I wax poetic on Roger’s so-called “historical reference.”

Who the heck is Doctor Lyle Evans?  If you didn’t catch the reference, fear not, because the rest of the staff of SCDP didn’t either.  Seeing as I was still about two decades away from being born, back in 1965, I just shrugged the name off, assuming it referred to some villainous doc, who worked for the enemy back in World War II.  (I was never exactly what you would call a “History Buff,” anyway . . .

But, apparently, there was much more to it than that.  You see, the interesting thing about Dr. Lyle Evans, is that he DOES NOT EXIST! 

OK.  There’s probably SOMEONE out there named Dr. Lyle Evans, but he’s certainly not a historical figure.  Evidently, Matt Weiner dropped the name into the script to have a little fun with those crazy Mad Men fans who like to look up every single historical reference they hear on the show.  It WORKED!  Google and Twitter trends for the mysterious “Dr. Lyle Evans” went through the ROOF, Sunday night!

Tsk, tsk, Matt Weiner!

I hearby dub you . . .

We now return to our regularly scheduled recap . . .

*      *      *      *

Lesson 3 – Before making drastic changes to your appearance, always consult with your elders . . .

Felicity’s Keri Russell learned THIS lesson the hard way . . . So did Sally Draper.

OK.  I REALLY don’t like this Nurse Phoebe chick!  I didn’t like her when she was Reed on Grey’s Anatomy . . .

 . . . and I DON’T like her now!  Apparently, neither does Sally Draper.  Because when Nurse Phoebe was babysitting the little Drapers, over at Don’s house, while Don was out on a date, Sally did something to ensure that Phoebe would NEVER be invited back into Don’s apartment again!  She did THIS . . .

She then asked Phoebe whether she and Don were doing The Nasty together.   Well, if they WERE, they won’t be NOW! 

When Don got back from his Dull Ass Date with Boring Bethany at Benihana’s . . .

 . . . (where he learned that his advertising rivals from Cutler would be competing with SCDP for the Honda account), he fired Nurse Phoebe on the spot!

Lesson 4 – Use your words, not your fists, B*tch (especially on YOUR KIDS)!!!!

The SLAP heard round the world . . .

While Don blamed Nurse Phoebe for the whole “Sally Hair Fiasco,” Betty blamed EVERYBODY BUT HERSELF!  Poor, poor, Betty!  Apparently, the whole world is conspiring to make your life miserable.  Your daughter’s rebellious actions have nothing to do with her inner turmoil over her grandfather’s death or her parents’ divorce, they are all about YOU.  Everything is about YOU!  YOU, YOU, YOU!

“Me?  Ahhh, my favorite subject.”

Betty slaps Poor Troubled Sally so hard, it looks for a moment like her teeth might fall right out of her mouth!  And although Hen-pecked Henry and Disaffected Don look appalled by her behavior, both do astonishingly little to help the crying ten-year old, whose just been physically abused.  “Betty,” Henry whispers half-heartedly.

“Well, gosh, I’d love to help ya, Sally.  But I don’t wanna get beat up by a girl . . . AGAIN!”

Sally dashes to her room, and Don scampers out the door like a coward.  Then, Betty, clearly the wronged one, whines to Henry about how much she wants to MURDER Don!

WOAH!  Take it easy there . . .

Lesson 5 – Be respectful of that which makes others “different”

“I really don’t understand why people think I’m racist.  Can’t a guy wear a mud mask without ridicule?  I hear helps clean the pores!”

The time has come for the men of SCDP to hold their meeting with the good folks at Honda.  Preparations have been made.  “The Chrysanthemum and the Sword” has been not read.  White flowers (which signify death in Japanese culture) have been hidden.  Gifts have been purchased, including expensive bottles of booze.  Old Fogey Roger has been sent off on a loooonnng lunch, and told precisely nada about what is set to occur.

Things go pretty well . . . at first.  Pleasantries are exchanged and translated.  Joan’s assets are admired.  “How does she not fall over?”  One of the business men inquires “cutely” in Japanese.

“Actually, sir, I fall over all the time.  That’s why I always try to have Japanese business men in front of me, to break my fall.”

But then Roger comes, and screws everything up.

Pissed that he’s been lied to, and that his opinion has been blatantly ignored by his colleagues, an uncharacteristically belligerant Roger starts hurling insults at the Japanese businessmen, left and right.  “They won’t know it’s over until we drop a bomb on them . . . twice,” jokes Roger, insensitively.

“We don’t want your JAP CRAP!”  He says later. 

Now, Roger, there’s no need to be . . .

After the meeting ends abruptly, Roger whines some more about the Japanese and World War II.  Don berates Roger for acting unprofessionally, and killing the Honda account, all for something that happened twenty years prior.  Pete takes the lecture session one step further, accusing Roger of being . . .

 . . . and sabotaging Pete’s ability to gain accounts, so that Roger can maintain financial supremacy over the company.  Roger tries to deck Pete, but Don intervenes. 

 Sure, Don!  NOW YOU INTERVENE!  What about when the recipient of the fist was your own DAUGHTER?   You weren’t so tough then, were you?

Lesson 6 – Keep your hands to yourself, but not IN yourself . . . At least, not when others might see you do it.

For actress Kiernan Shipka’s sake, I’m hoping she’s too young an actress to think to ask what her “motivation” is for scenes like this one.  I’m also hoping that when she’s a teenager, Kiernan’s friends never dig out DVDs of this episode for blackmail purposes . . .

Speaking of Miss Sally Draper, she’s up late at a sleepover party, watching what looks to be the LEAST sexy television show on the planet . . .

I don’t know, Sally.  These guys just don’t do it for me . . .

 . . . when she starts digging for gold underneath her nightgown. 

She doesn’t find any.

(OK.  I’m no Betty prude.  I get that kids Sally’s age experiment with their bodies.  I also get that it’s normal and natural for them to do that . . . hopefully, IN PRIVATE.  But I REALLY didn’t need to watch this, and would have preferred the producers opted not to show it.  It made me feel uncomfortable, and dirty, in a way that soap can’t wash . . .)

Apparently, Sally’s friend’s mom felt the same way, when she walked in on Sally’s “Gold Rush.”    After having a little freak out, the lady immediately drove Sally home, interrupting Betty and Henry’s own sex session, to inform them that their kid was a sexual deviant.  As per usual, Mommy Dearest makes this all about herself.  After threatening to chop Sally’s fingers off . . .

How pleasant!

 . . . Betty moans to Henry in bed about how UNPOPULAR Sally’s actions are going to make Betty with the other mothers.

“Now I’ll NEVER be prom queen!”

Concerned that Sally’s willingness to play fast and loose with her flower, might ultimately result in her becoming . . .

. . . Betty reluctantly considers Henry’s idea that Sally start seeing a therapist. 

“My daughter MUST be certifiably insane!  Where on Earth would she learn to pleasure herself on the couch?  Who DOES that?”

Ultimately, Betty suggests the therapy idea to Don, and he eventually agrees to it. 

Then, of course, when the therapist calls Don to confirm Sally’s appointment, the Lovely Miss Blankenship greets him, in his small office, with the paper thin walls . . .

 . . .  screeching, “DON, YOUR DAUGHTER’S PSYCHIATRIST IS ON THE PHONE!”

Oh, Miss Blankenship . . . You are most certainly . . .

How Don hasn’t fired you yet, is BEYOND ME!

Lesson 7 – Honesty is always the best policy . . . unless you’re in advertising.

Just when it seems as though all hope is lost for SCDP to win over the Honda campaign . . .

Don reconsiders his newfound knowledge of Japanese business, and comes up with an idea to sabotage his competitors, while, at the same time, potentially saving the account.

Recognizing that neither SCDP nor its main competitor, Cutler, have the funds necessary to produce a full advertising campaign for Honda, Don decides to make Cutler THINK that SCDP is breaking Honda’s rules and paying for a television campaign out-of-pocket.  The underlying assumption is that, by doing this, SCDP will goad Cutler into breaking the rules, thereby, shooting themselves in the foot.  Not to mention, potentially bankrupting themselves.  A few “clandestine” meetings, a fake filming session, and some carefully placed words later, the trap is set. 

 On the morning of the presentations, Cutler, as expected, goes forward with presenting Honda the television campaign, in violation of the prescribed rules for the advertising competition.  When Don enters the office, he expresses feigned outrage at Honda for entertaining such a blatant rule violation, and returns the $3,000, refusing to make any sort of presentation at all.  Interestingly enough, the Honda CEO likes Don’s attitude, he, himself, being somewhat of a  . . .

And so, even though Honda ends up keeping their motorcycle account with Grey.  They ultimately decide to throw SCDP a bone, by allowing the agency to represent their “small” car business.

Well, played, Don!  You . . .

The episode concludes with, among other things, Don sharing some Sake with the joyless Marketing Research Lady . . .

During this meeting, he learns that she is NOT married, and is only pretending to be, because, OF COURSE, once men learn Marketing Research Lady is single, they DEFINITELY won’t be able to control themselves around her. . .

I think we all know where THIS is heading . . .

Here we GO AGAIN!

Also, Betty speaks briefly with Sally’s new therapist, Dr. Edna  . . .

.  . . who seems pretty cool . . .

 Betty even agrees to visit the therapist, herself, a few times, in accordance with Sally’s “treatment.”

At the very end of the episode, Sally, accompanied by the Most Fabulous Housekeeper / Caretaker who ever lived, Carla . . .

 . . . heads off to visit Dr. Edna for the first time.  We’re rooting for you, Sally!  Because the world REALLY doesn’t need ANOTHER Betty Draper . . .

Well, that’s all I’ve got for this episode, folks!  Special thanks go out to Roger Hargreaves, and the spectacular Little Miss and Mister Men series, for helping me to illustrate this recap.

See you next week!

[www.juliekushner.com]

Leave a comment

Filed under Mad Men

I Think I Am Going To Need Therapy After Watching This Episode . . . My RANT about the Grey’s Anatomy Season Finale “Sanctuary / Death and all of His Friends”

[WARNING:  This is going to be a kind of mean, and VERY angry, post about the Season Finale of Grey’s Anatomy.  So, if you LOVED this episode, then what I’m about to say is just going to make YOU very angry.  And YOU will be very tempted, to leave mean comments here — comments that will make ME very sad . . .

 . . . Plus, I’ll probaby delete them.  But, of course, we are BOTH entitled to our opinions.  So, if you were a big fan of the finale, you might want to stay away from this post, for both of our sakes.  But, before you go, let me just say that, for six seasons, I have truly LOVED Grey’s Anatomy, which is why this episode hurt my heart so very much.]

OK . . . here goes nothing . . .

You know how people always talk about BIG TWISTS and DEATHS during SEASON FINALES of popular programs that air during MAY SWEEPS?  Then, you probably also know that, whenever fans of a show engage in such discussions, there is always someone who jokes that, “Haha, I think X is going to come by and SHOOT THE ENTIRE CAST!” 

They aren’t really SERIOUS, when they say this, of course.  Because no show would ever SHOOT THE ENTIRE CAST, right?  That would just put the whole show in jeopardy, wouldn’t it?

Ummmm . . . yeah .  . . they basically did that on tonight’s two-hour long Grey’s Anatomy episode entitled “Sanctuary / Death and all his Friends”. . .    or, as I like to call it, “We’d really enjoy making our fans miserable for two hours, in order to gain ratings and publicity.”

She LOOKS so nice and SWEET.  I just don’t understand . . .

I don’t think I’ve ever been so TORTURED by a television show or movie in my entire life.  And I’m someone who ACTUALLY LIKES slasher films! 

I LOVE the Scream series . . . well, at least the first one . . . and parts of the third . . . and the beginning of the second.

 I’m really torn between being impressed by how truly shocking and upsetting this episode was . . .

 (The entire cast did an amazing job tonight, with some very difficult scenes.  There truly wasn’t a weak performance in the bunch.  This is one of the few NICE things I’m going to say here.  So enjoy it while it lasts.) 

 . . . and REALLY INFURIATED at the writers for seemingly DESPISING the show’s fans enough to put them through this!  (I think I’m going to go with INFURIATED, thank you very much!) 

That was me, after the episode ended.  A rabid racoon . . .

 Just to give you an idea of how plagued with terror and misery this episode truly was . . .

 (It had more blood, gore and torture in it than SAW, or Hostel.)

 . . . here’s just a brief list of some of the things that occured.  SPOILERS if you haven’t seen this, OBVIOUSLY!  (And if you care about your heart at all, maybe you shouldn’t watch it . . .)

Gary Clark  . . .

makes Freddy Krueger . . . .

 

look like Betty White . . .

(1) Dr. Reed got shot in the head and DIED!

(2) Dr. Percy got shot in the stomach (Or was it his back?  I couldn’t tell, because I was watching through my fingers, while shaking and crying hysterically).  Anyway, he bled disgustingly and painfully for two hours, until, ultimately, he suffered a seemingly never-ending, and agonizing death.   (Oh, and I think this was the MOST lines this guy has ever had on this show, since he started here, about a season ago . . . Figures, right?)

 During that time, he continually told Bailey . . .

 and Mandy Moore  . . .

(She was a guest star in this episode.  She did a great job.  This clearly isn’t her fault!)

 . . . to tell Reed he loved her, because he never got to tell her himself, before he died.  But .  . . um . . . Percy?  You’re going to see her WAY SOONER than Bailey and Mandy Moore.  Because, congratulations, she’s dead, just like you!

(3) Derek  . . .

was SHOT in the chest, right in the center of the hospital.  (You know, right near that HUGE OPEN WINDOW . . . where the SWAT TEAM, or the HELICOPTER, could have easily taken out the SHOOTER?)

 Then Cristina . . .

 .  . . and Dr. “Hotness” Avery . . .

(One of the few bright points of this episode was that he saved the day!  And he actually had a decent amount of lines, for a change.)

 . . . operated on him.  Then the CRAZY LUNATIC SHOOTER held a gun to everyone’s head and told them to stop operating.  So, they stopped, and the monitor flatlines, and Meredith . . .

(Why have I chosen to show her in a wedding dress, you ask?  You see, I’m trying in vain to cheer myself up after this insanely upsetting episode!)

 . . . who’s in the room at the time, cries hysterically and screams bloody murder.  Because, after all, it WOULD HAVE BEEN BLOODY MURDER!  But ultimately we find out, they were only fooling (haha – April Fools!  Seriously?  Was that really necessary?)  They finish the operation, and he survives.

(4) About 10 random people we don’t know get shot and die.  Some of them bleed disgustingly on camera.

(5) Meredith finds out she is pregnant at the beginning of the episode, and is (surprisingly, especially for her) really happy about it . . .

 But then she miscarries from stress, while operating on Owen. (We’ll get to him later).   Unfortunately, or fortunately, depending on how you look at it, she never gets to tell Derek about the pregnancy.

(6) Both  Alex . . .

(There I go, trying to cheer myself up, again . . .)

 and Owen (who was in the ARMY, and, you would think, would be a bit better at handling TRAUMA situations, like this one, but Noooooo . . .) . . .

 .  . . get shot, and bleed disgustingly, but don’t die.

(7) Bailey gets dragged out from underneath a bed and ALMOST gets shot, but doesn’t, because she tells the shooter she’s a nurse.  Don’t ask.  Speaking of Bailey, where the HECK was her boyfriend during this episode? 

Maybe he was hanging out with that useless swat team for two hours . . .

(Remove the “S” in their name and replace it with a “T,” because that’s about how effective they were at protecting our beloved characters)

( 8 ) Lexie . . .

 . . . almost gets shot, but the Keystone SWAT team get to the shooter first.  They only barely wound him, of course.  And he gets to walk around killing people for another hour, while the T SWAT Team scratches its ONE collective brain, and wonders where he went.  But, hey, he didn’t shoot Lexie!

(9) April . . .

 . . . almost gets shot, but she starts babbling about her personal life to the Killer.  So, he decides to let her go.  (I loved how this Killer got to be sensitive and emotional, when it was convenient for the plot, and cold-blooded, nuts, and Supernaturally EVIL, when it wasn’t.  When Derek told him, “You seem like a good man,” I would have actually laughed my ass off, if the whole thing wasn’t so incredibly disturbing and sad.)

(10) Christina almost gets shot like 5 times during the episode!

(11) Meredith ASKS to be shot, to save Derek, but the shooter leaves when he thinks Derek is dead.

(12)  Old Chief Webber . . .

 . . . who’s outside of the hospital when the episode begins, goes in and CONFRONTS the killer (Note: Those 20 or so idiot cops still haven’t found this guy, since the last time they barely wounded him.  Webber finds him IMMEDIATELY, no problem!)  Killer is GOING to shoot Chief, but only has one bullet left, and FINALLY shoots himself, which we all wish he did before this episode aired, to put us out of our misery.  Oh, but Chief DOESN’T fall off the wagon, even after Killer RANDOMLY offers him a flask. 

 Ummm, yay?

(13) Arizona and Callie get back together, and FINALLY agree to start a family. . .

 . . . because the writers had to add something good to the two hours, so that their entire fanbase didn’t slit their wrists.  (Not that the writers would care — since they seem to hate us ALL.  They just didn’t want to get sued . . .)

When the promos “spoiled” us fans, informing us, in no uncertain terms, that this episode would have a shooter, we all knew it was going to be that loony tunes, Gary Clark, who lost his wife a few episodes ago.  And we might have even understood him coming after Derek, under the circumstances.  It wouldn’t be JUSTIFIED, mind you.  But it would be MILDLY understandable.  

However, since when does killing 80 people (OK, it wasn’t 80, but it SURE felt like it was), constitute and “eye for an eye?” (Yes, Gary Clark actually used THAT biblical saying as an explanation for his MULTITUDE of murders.  If bibles could cry, they’d be bawling right now . . .)

We’ve seen this guy for two episodes prior to this.  And, given what we saw, his sudden psychopath tendencies, just didn’t make sense to me.  A completely random crazy person, would have been a more realistic option as shooter, in my opinion.  But seeing as this was a ploy for ratings . . . ANYTHING GOES!

Generally, I try to find “the positive” in episodes that I recap, even ones I don’t particularly care for.  But this was just too much!  If I didn’t care so much about these characters, having watched them grow and change over six seasons, I would stop watching this show, just because of this episode.  The writers were just plain cruel tonight.  And this was completely uncalled for, in my opinion.

Bash me, for saying this if you want, fellow Grey’s fans, but I’m pissed off . . . and, like I said, I might need therapy now.  So, thanks Shondra Rhimes!

But to end this post on a high note, here’s a cute picture of a kitten, to make us all feel better .  . .

See you next season?

3 Comments

Filed under Grey's Anatomy