Tag Archives: Pete and Peggy

My Love Letter to AMC’s Mad Men

To promote Season 4 of its critically acclaimed television series, Mad Men, AMC will be airing “marathons” featuring the five “best” (as determined by viewer votes) episodes of the show’s first three seasons.  The marathons are scheduled to air each Monday night (starting at 8 p.m.) until the season premiere (Sunday, July 25th at 10 p.m.). 

Tonight’s marathon installment featured five episodes from my favorite season of the show, namely, it’s first season.  Watching the marathon (and yes, I actually sat through all five hours) reminded me of how spectacular this program is, and how much I have missed having it in my life during its interminably long hiatus. 

The phrase “relationship television” refers to the phenomenon where a viewer will compulsively watch a particular television show each week, to the point of sometimes altering their personal and professional lives around the viewing of that show.  I am not ashamed to admit that I am in a “relationship” with Mad Men.  And you know what’s great about relationships?  The cheesy love letters that come with them, of course!

Dear Mad Men,

The first time I heard about you, I wasn’t sure we would get along.  You see, typically, I’m not a big fan of “period pieces.” 

And, although you are certainly more contemporary than other shows of that genre, you ARE technically a period piece, Honey.  Granted, you received rave reviews from highly intellectual critics and pundits, even before you arrived.  But that just made me think you were stuck up and elitist.

Plus, you were on a television channel that I had never watched before — one that I had heard catered almost exclusively to really, really old people.

But a friend of mine aggressively sang your praises.  She told me how hot, sexy, smart, and witty you were.  She had me at “hot and sexy” . . .

So, I watched the pilot episode.  And even before the first commercial break, I was hooked.  I mean, it was REALLY love at first sight.

Your pilot episode opened with this brilliant scene!   In it (just in case you don’t remember), the lead protagonist, Don Draper, is in a bar, struggling over an advertising campaign he must pitch to the makers of Lucky Strike cigarettes, the following morning.  You see, it had recently been revealed that smoking could cause lung cancer. 

Furthermore, federal legislation prevented advertisers from saying that cigarettes were “healthy.”  The meeting was just a few hours away, and Don still had nothing to present to his clients.  So, understandably, your protagonist was a tad stressed out.  So while Don is busy getting plastered at the bar, he is also hard at work, brainstorming ideas for his campaign (Talk about multi-tasking!).  To organize his ideas, Don uses the advanced technology available to him during the 1960’s.   No lame lined notepad is good enough for the likes of Don Draper! NO WAY!

Don has something a bit more “high-tech” in mind . . .

I mean, seriously, he wrote ALL OVER that napkin!  By the time he was finished, there was so much writing on that piece of cloth, you could barely tell what color it was! 

When the waiter approaches Don, the latter tries to wrangle him into a conversation about what type of cigarettes he smokes (Hint: NOT Lucky Strikes).  “I just love to smoke,” explains the waiter, matter-of-factly.  Don deems the statement important enough to jot down on the sacred napkin.  (Way to go, Waiter Dude!)

This conversation is interrupted by the manager of the restaurant, who immediately presumes that the waiter is bothering Don, simply because said waiter is black.  As a child of the late 20th century, I found the blatant racism to be pretty shocking and offensive.  But back then, it must have been fairly common place.  Then, as Don scans the bar, the entire room seems to explode in a giant puff of smoke! 

Because, of course, EVERYONE smoked in the early 1960’s!  The scene I just described was less than five minutes long.  Yet, despite its deceptive simplicity, it spoke volumes.

That’s one of the things I love most about you, Mad Men.  You never talk down to me, or feel the need to spell things out for me.  You don’t take my intelligence for granted.  This makes me feel smarter, when I watch you.  And, in case you haven’t noticed, I enjoy feeling smart. 

(It happens so rarely, after all.)

Aside from your witty writing and snappy dialogue, you know what else is so great about you?  Your cast of characters . . .

When writing a show that takes place in a corporate environment, it’s sometimes tempting to simply rehash the same stale corporate stereotypes we generally see on show’s of the “office” variety.  But you didn’t take the easy way out, Mad Men.  Each of YOUR characters are multi-faceted and complex, from the lead role down to mere walk-on parts, like, for example, that waiter in the aforementioned pilot episode. 

In fact, it wouldn’t be at all out of the ordinary for a character who initially seemed pigeon-holed in the uptight “goody two shoes” role to rock out at a party . . .

. . . or get high on some killer weed, while spending a late night at the office . . .

. . . or get knocked up by a coworker, and not tell him about the baby until a full season year has passed, since it was given up for adoption.

I also wouldn’t put it past you to have a heretofore pristine and well-coifed housewife come completely unglued . . .

 . . . or to have a beloved gay character nearly raped by a man, and then subsequently fired for REFUSING to submit to the rapist’s advances . . .

Oh, and the female characters on this show?  They totally kick ass!

Early 1960’s America wasn’t a kind place for working women.  In the workplace, they were often mistreated, and undervalued, if not openly sexually harassed.

They also lacked the same opportunities as men, and were expected to conform to the demeaningly narrow stereotypes of the era.

And yet, many of the female characters on this show, bucked societal trends, and found success in the “take-no-prisoners” world of corporate New York City.

Did I mention that the men on the show are hot?

And their sexual conquests are even hotter?

Seriously, what more could I ask for in a “Television Show Relationship?”

Well . . . maybe there is one more thing, I could ask for.  It’s a minor thing, really.  It’s just that . . .  DO YOU HAVE TO KEEP GOING AWAY FOR SO DAMN LONG?

I know they say that “absence makes the heart grow fonder,” but a YEAR???  Come on, Mad Men!  That type of “absence” just makes the heart depressed.

And yet, now, I hear you are returning to my home in just a few short weeks!

So, I hope you’ve been working out . . .

 . . . because I plan to have some SERIOUS makeup sex with you, upon your return!

See you on July 25th!  I love you!

XOXO,

KJewls

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Missing Your Favorite TV Shows This Summer? No Problem! Just Watch Other People Make Fun of Them on YouTube!

 

I’m not gonna lie!  It’s hard to be a TV Recapper during the summer months, because . . . well . . . there isn’t all that much to recap.  Now, if this had been, say five years ago, I would be forced to spend my non-recapping months doing things like: reading the classics, doing volunteer work, learning to play the cello, and becoming a productive member of society . . .

Fortunately, thanks to the advent of YouTube, I can simply continue to be the directionless miscreant I have always been (only tanner)!

 

Now, during the proper television viewing season, I generally enjoy watching and recapping shows like: Gossip Girl, the now-defunct Lost, Glee, The Vampire Diaries, and Mad Men.  (I also have kind of a thing for vampires, and will often make desperate attempts to throw “fangy” references into all my posts, even those that have absolutely nothing to do with “undead.”)

It was a love for the above-referenced shows (and vampires) that sent me to YouTube in search of videos I could watch that would dull the pain of summer hiatus.  Granted, the video clips I found weren’t quite as satisfying as seeing new episodes of my favorite television shows themselves.  But, hey, at least they made me giggle. 

So, without further adieu, I proudly present to you:  YouTube Videos That Make Fun of Television Shows I Like To Watch!

1) Glee

Have you ever watched Glee, and thought to yourself, “Wow that Rachel chick sure is a nutjob!  I’d hide my pet bunny, if she was ever in my house!”

If so, this film is for YOU!

2) Mad Men

Speaking of sick and twisted, remember that scene from Season 3 of Mad Men, where that annoying British guy randomly got his foot run over by a lawnmower right in the middle of the office?  Ever wonder what that scene would sound like when replayed to the tune of Imogen Heap’s Hide and Seek, a.k.a. That Song TheyAlways Play on Teen Dramas Whenever Something Dramatic Happens?  Wonder no more . . .

3) The Vampire Diaries

Somewhere, in an alternate universe, Stefan and Damon Salvatore are NOT vampire brothers fighting for the love of the same girl.  Rather, they are ambiguously gay roommates, with an annoying habit of breaking into song at inopportune moments . . . (Thanks to Amy over at ImaginaryMen for sharing this FABULOUS video with me!)

[Click the internal link to watch.  You’ll like it, I promise!]

4) Buffy the Vampire Slayer / The Twilight Series

 

Perhaps in that SAME alternate universe, where Stefan and Damon are living “homosexually ever after,” Edward Cullen is NOT the “cute and sparkly” vampire who won Bella Swan’s heart.  Rather, he is a creepy stalker vampire with a dangerous hard-on for a certain slayer we all know and love . . .

5) Gossip Girl / Supernatural

If you are anything like me, you were beyond depressed during the Gossip Girl Season 3 finale, when Chuck Bass threw away his chance at happiness with Blair Waldorf, for a paltry tumble in the hay with that skanky hobag, Jenny Humphrey.  Of course, we ALL want those two crazy kids, C&B, to reconcile pronto.  However, if Blair absolutely MUST get involved with a rebound guy, at least let him be someone manly, someone who is not afraid to battle a few demons (both internal and external) to protect the heart of his lady love . . . someone like Supernatural‘s Dean Winchester.

6) Lost

And, finally, this one goes out to all of you folks that were really mad that the flash-sideways world on Lost ended up being nothing more than purgatory (even though the writers promised it wouldn’t be).  It’s for you folks who would have preferred a more “scientific”explanation for all that on and off island “time shifting” the castaways suffered through for six seasons.  This is also for the select few of you who shelled out the big bucks for those ridiculously over-priced Lost Happy Meal toys.  Apparently, someone out there put them to better use, than YOU did . . .

Well, that’s all, folks . . . at least until the next time I inevitably run out of things to recap . . .

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Filed under Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Glee, Gossip Girl, Lost, Mad Men, The Vampire Diaries, Twilight

So, Who’s on YOUR Celebrity Freebie List?

Last night, on HBO’s new critically acclaimed series, Treme . . .

 . . . two characters, currently in a romantic relationship with one another, were discussing the concept of “Monogamy with Exceptions.”

NO!  Not YOUR type of “exceptions!”  Nice try, Tiger!

The “exceptions” to which this couple was referring were “celebrity exceptions.”  Namely, the couple agreed that each of them could choose three famous individuals that, if given the opportunity, they could proposition for sex, without being considered to have “cheated” by the other person.  Their discussion was highly intriguing (for me, anyway).  And, while watching it, I couldn’t help but be reminded of ANOTHER show, where a television couple entered into a similar sort of “agreement.”

(Click the internal link to view this fun clip from the Friends episode entitled “The One with Frank Jr.”)

So, obviously, this got me thinking about which five celebrities I would include on my “Freebie list.” (I decided on FIVE celebrities, like in the Friends version, as opposed to THREE, like in the Treme version, because . . . well . . . because I’m greedy, that’s why!)  Now, fortunately (or unfortunately, depending on whether you are a glass half-full or half-empty type person), I am currently single.  Thus, the creation of such a list for me is really a moot point.  After all, without a boyfriend to prevent me from doing so, I can sleep with ANY CELEBRITY I WANT!

Assuming they’d be willing to sleep with me . . .

Darn  . . . I forgot about that part . . .

However, I recognize that there may come a time, in the future, when I do have a significant other.  And said significant other may not, in fact, be willing to permit me to sleep with “any celebrity I want.” (MEANIE!)  Therefore, I realize that it might be wise for me to have my “freebie list” pre-prepared, and ready to be “whipped out,” at a moment’s notice.  And, I have to say, when it came down to creating my list, I had a lot more in common with Ross from Friends, than the characters from Treme.

Yeah, YOU!  Don’t look so excited . . .

Specifically, I had A LOT of trouble narrowing down my list to ONLY FIVE celebrities.  If you’ve visited this blog before, you know that (1) it is FILLED with pictures of shirtless celebrities; and, (2) I want to SLEEP WITH ALL OF THEM!

I decided I needed to have some guiding principle by which to narrow down my choices.  So, I excluded from my list any celebrity that was married, engaged, or in a serious long-standing relationship.  My rationale for doing this should be fairly obvious.  Basically, if I’m going to be limited to only FIVE “Get Out of Adultery Free” Cards, I’d really like to make them count.  And “making them count” requires that there be at least a small chance (no matter how infintesimal) that, were I actually to proposition my celebrities of choice, they would ACTUALLY SAY YES! 

 Granted, in this day in age, “marriage” and “monogamy,” in celebrity world, are not necessarily synonyous with one another.

 

And yet, those two terms are still synonyous in MY WORLD, even in the hypothetical context of this “list.”  Therefore, the following celebrities, each of whom would have LIKELY made this list, were excluded, do to their respective current relationship statuses:

Joshua Jackson

(Currently in a long-standing relationship with Diane Kruger)

John Krasinski

(Currently engaged to Emily Blunt)

Thanks to Best Week Ever for the above pic.  I am neither clever enough, nor sufficiently adept at Photoshop, to come up with something like this .  . .

Josh Holloway

(Currently married to Yessica Kumala)

And Matt Damon

(Currently married to Luciana Bozan Borroso)

I am happy to report that I have sufficiently narrowed down my choices, using the above-referenced principle.  Below are (in no particular order), the five male celebrities that comprise my Freebie List:

1) George Clooney

As far as I am concerned, any female who doesn’t put Clooney on their Freebie List is missing out on an EXCELLENT opportunity.  After all, I’m pretty sure this guy isn’t settling down any time soon.  (Would YOU?  If you were HIM?) Seriously, he is gorgeous, cut, majorly sexy, smart, and funny.  Plus, Mr. Clooney has been known to have a thing for younger ladies of the non-celebrity persuasion, JUST LIKE ME!  (OK . . . perhaps, a little bit hotter than me . . . but still . . .). 

2) Ian Somerhalder

Why Ian, you ask?  Just watch ONE episode of The Vampire Diaries, and you will know why this guy HAS to be on my list!  Better yet, check this out!

3) Ryan Kwanten

Why Ryan?  Did you LOOK at the above-picture?  If that hasn’t sold you, this fan-made video should do the trick (assuming you are a heterosexual female . . . and you have a pulse).

4) Bryan Greenberg

I don’t know what it is about this guy, but I REALLY LIKE HIM.  There’s just something very relatable about him.  Maybe it’s his self-depracating charm, or the fact that he can SING, as well as act.  Or, perhaps, it’s the fact that, even though he is “all famous and stuff” now, he’s still not above posting quirky, refreshingly awkward, videos of himself on YouTube.

(I seriously want to reach through the screen and pinch those cheeks!)

5) Vincent Kartheiser

You’re all going to think I am REALLY bizarre for this.  But I have a thing for Pete Campbell on Mad Men!   A BIG ONE!  Yes, I know!  He’s smarmy, and self-centered, weasely, and a wee-bit square.  But . . . he’s just so . . . PETE!  I don’t know.  Maybe I just have a weakness for the bad boys.  But Pete showed some real vulnerability in Season 3 of Mad Men!  Plus, he has a real soft spot for Peggy.  Check out this video if you don’t believe me . . .

So . . . there you have it:  My Freebie List.  Who’s on YOURS?

 

 

 

 

 

 

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