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Davis ThinkingDavis Thinking } analysis and interpretation

Attention Deficit Theatre: “Mad Men,” Season One, Episode Six

J. Kristin Ament
Monday, August 27, 2007

 

The Unbound Edition players, joined by this week's special guest stars, now present "Babylon," also known as "The Episode That Went on for Eternity."

 

(curtain up)

 

Scene: Morning in the Drapers’ kitchen

 

Don: Alrighty then. Got the toast and the reconstituted OJ. This is one fancy breakfast I’m putting on a tray for Betty. Oooh, can’t forget the newspaper, not that she can read. But she can look at the pictures. Here I go up the stairs!

Kid’s wheely toy: Watch out for me!

Don’s ass: Thanks for falling on me, dude. Ouch.

(Don flashes back to his yoot)

Dick: I’m all sprawled out on the floor.

Uncle Mack: Dick Whitman, watch where you’re going. You’re gonna break your neck. Are you gonna cry or get up? Lookee you and your little Pinocchio pants.

Dick: I’m getting up, Uncle Mack. What is that you’re wearing? Lederhosen? NICE.

Uncle Mack: There’s someone here who wants to meet you.

Dick: Is if the person who gave me this Moe haircut? Because I’d like to have some words with him.

Dick’s mom: You have a new brother.

Dick: He ain’t my brother.

Dick’s mom: Of course he is. You have the same father. I named him Adam.

Dick: Great. I can’t wait for him to grow up and stalk me.

(Don returns to present time)

Sally: Daddy! (Everyone runs downstairs to the flailing Don)

Don: Happy Mother’s Day.

 

Scene: That night in Don’s bedroom. Don is reading “The Best of Everything.”

 

Don: Woo-hoo! The book is so much dirtier than the movie.

Betty: Joan Crawford’s eyebrows scared the crap out of me.

Don: We manly men dig eyebrows. And Joan Crawford. Salvatore couldn’t stop talking about her, which isn’t at all a big neon sign with an arrow pointing at him and flashing “I’m gay!”

Betty: She’s old and creepy. My mother was hot when she died.

Don: Get over it. Pygmies drink the powdered corpses of their loved ones. God, that’s a sexy thought. Let’s do it.

Betty: I’m nattering about Michelangelo and cave dwellers and anthropology.

Don: Oh, you’re so cute when you try to act smart. What grade did you get in basic reproduction?

Betty: I got an A.

Don: I flunked.

Betty: That’s because you got caught cheating.

Don: That wasn’t the first time.

Betty: What?

Don: I said I love margaritas with lime.

Betty: Oh, cool. Turn out the light. I want you so much. It’s all I think about. Every day. I want you so badly.

Don: You have me. You do. Well, until I cheat on you tomorrow.

Betty: What?

Don: Um, I just said that Pete wears some nice socks on his feet that I’d like to borrow.

Betty: OK. Can we do it now?

Don: You betcha.

 

Scene: The next day at Sterling Cooper. Don enters a client meeting.

 

Roger: Don, you remember Nick Rodis from Olympic Cruises?

Don: Hidey.

Roger. And this is Urine Ben Shulhai from the Israel Ministry of Tourism.

Urine: It’s Yurem.

Roger: And this is Lily Meyer.

Don: Hidey.

Nick: If Beirut is the Paris of the Middle East, we’d like Haifa to be the Rome.

Lily: We’re talking to another agency down the street, but they’re kitschy. We like you because you’re traditional.

Don: We’re not traditional.

Yurem: She means glamorous.

Roger: Gotcha, Urine.

Yurem: It’s Yurem.

Lily: America has a love affair with Israel. Here, read this “Exodus” book, soon to be a major motion picture starring Paul Newman.

Don: I’m so totally Jewish.

Roger: I just got a hankering for some salad dressing. OK, we’ll get some ideas together. Nice seeing you...Nick, Lily, Urine.

Yurem: It’s still Yurem.

 

Scene: Outside Roger’s office. His wife and daughter are there.

 

Roger: What up? Do we have a lunch date? God, I hope not, since I have some other plans that you totally don’t know about.

Roger’s wife: I’m taking Margaret to get her hair cut.

Roger: Oh, I like your ponytail, Squirt. It makes you look young.

Margaret: I like your hair, Daddy. It makes you look old.

Roger: Bitch.

 

Scene: Later that afternoon in what appears to be a bedroom

 

Roger: Margaret’s haircut is the least of her problems. She’s dated two boys. One of them joined the service and the other committed suicide. She’s a slacker. I don’t know what we did wrong. Check me out on this bed, pantsless and wearing sexy sock garters to boot. It totally sounds like I’m talking to my wife, doesn’t it?

Joan: Surprise! It’s me in here, getting dressed! Zip me up.

Roger: Stay here.

Joan: I have to get back to work.

Roger: Do you like the pearl necklace I gave you?

Butt-Head: Huh huh. He said “pearl necklace.” Huh huh.

Beavis: Heh heh heh heh.

Roger: This has been the best year of my life. Can I buy you a prison without doors or windows and lock you up there for a week with me?

Joan: Wow. That sure sounds tempting. But I have a life. A roommate. Parties to get drunk at. And lots of men to sleep with.

Roger: It’ll be fun to live by yourself and limit your romantic options while I stay with my wife and kid. Maybe you can get a bird to keep you company.

Joan: Right.

 

Scene: The next day at Sterling Cooper. Ken and SO not gay Savatore are in Fred Rumsen’s office.

 

Fred: So we have this Belle Jolie lipstick client. I have no clue what to do.

Salvatore: Lord knows I don’t wear lipstick after hours, nosirree. Jeepers, I’m out of creative ideas, too.

Kenny: Did you know that lipstick was invented to simulate the flush of a woman’s face when a man treated her right?

Salvatore: Golly, that makes a lot of sense. Because, ooh boy, I have treated many women right. MANY, I tell you.

Fred: I’m stumped by this research. Do either you speak moron?

Salvatore: Not unless the entire “South Pacific” soundtrack is in moron. I know that by heart. For no reason, mind you.

Fred: Let’s throw it to the chickens.

 

Scene: Later in a meeting room at Sterling Cooper. Joan has gathered a bunch of secretaries, while the men watch from behind the glass.

 

Ken: Woo-hoo! One-way glass beats the hell out of x-ray vision.

Joan: Belle Jolie wants us to tell them what we think of their new line of lipstick. It’s called “brainstorming.”

Secretary: Holy God! Not brainstorming! Brainstorming killed James Dean! SAVE US!

Joan: Um, no, that was a car accident.

Secretary: Sweet Jesus! Brainstorming started World War I. EVERYBODY, DUCK!

Joan: Um, no, that was the assassination of Archduke Ferdinand.

Secretary: The horror! The horror! Brainstorming killed everyone in the ancient Roman town of Pompeii. EVERYONE, RUN FOR YOUR LIVES!

Joan: Um, no, that was a volcano.

Secretary: But “brainstorming” sounds intimidating. Is it like a test?

Joan: Shut your piehole and slather this lipstick on.

 

(The women all choose a lipstick and try it out.)

 

Paul: Anyone mind if I take off my pants? Harassment is fun!

Pete: At what point do we start running electricity through the chairs?

Joan: I’m going to bend over now and show my massive trunk junk to the guys behind the mirror. There. You like that, boys?

Ken: I want to stand and salute that.

Roger: Damn, I need to lock her up.

 

Scene: The tea room at the Pierre. Don has invited Rachel to lunch.

 

Rachel: I’m all stiff and pissy.

Don: How have you been?

Rachel: Tired.

Don: It doesn’t show. You look beautiful.

Rachel: I hate you. What do you want?

Don: Israeli tourism is a new client. I don’t have a handle on it. Since I’m not hiding a Jewish past or anything.

Rachel: And I’m the only Jew you know in New York City?

Don: You’re my favorite. Can we sleep together yet?

Rachel: No. I hate you. But I’ll help out by telling you not to tick off the Israelis. We thrive at doing business with people who hate us.

Don: Oh, come on. Can we just tell the audience I’m Jewish now?

Matt Weiner, “Mad Men” writer/director: What? No. That’s going to be a big reveal in another episode.

Butt-Head: Huh huh. She said “Weiner.” Huh Huh.

Beavis: Heh heh heh.

Don: Seriously, Matt. Like, two weeks ago, after the episode where everyone realized what a tool Pete was, AMC has those “behind the scenes” things, and I came out and said that Don’s hiding a poor, orphaned, Jewish past. JEWISH. I said it then.

Matt: I’m sure no one at home was paying attention. Just keep your trap shut, and when we do the big “Surprise! I’m Jewish” scene in a few episodes, the audience will be floored. Swear.

Don: Sigh. OK.

 

Scene: That afternoon after the brainstorm

 

Fred: We need to count the shades everyone tried. Hey, Mousy. Can you bring me the trash cans with all of the tissues everyone blotted their lips on?

Peggy: Sure. Here’s your basket of kisses.

Fred: Hey, that’s cute. Who told you that?

Peggy: No one.

Fred: Come on. Really? You had a thought in your head?

Peggy: Yeah, I guess so.

Fred: You sat there like a loser during the whole brainstorm. Why?

Peggy: Someone else took the lipstick I wanted. I don’t want to be one of 100 colors in a box.

 

Scene: That afternoon. Rachel calls her sister.

 

Phone: Ring ring.

Barbara: What? I’m busy pretending to be an involved mother.

Rachel: I think I might have met someone. He has issues.

Barbara: Would Daddy hate him?

Rachel: Probably. He’s not Jewish, but he has hair and is sort of funny.

Barbara: So he’s not Jewish?

Rachel: He’s so totally not Jewish. I tell you, I’d be totally shocked if he turned out to be Jewish. Shocked, I tell you.

Barbara: Well, let’s hope that never comes up in a future episode.

 

Scene: That afternoon at Sterling Cooper

 

Joan: Well, aren’t you all fancy pants with your big “basket of kisses” language?

Peggy: Huh?

Joan: Now Mr. Rumsen wants you to write copy for Belle Jolie.

Peggy: Sweet! Do I get a raise?

Joan: Good one. No, you’ll get absolutely nothing, but you’ll work all night long. Welcome to copywriting.

 

Scene: That evening at Midge’s apartment

 

Don: Hi. I’m here to sleep with you now. Here against the wall ok?

Midge: You betcha.

Door: Knock knock.

Roy: Hi. Oh. I see you’re already half naked with someone else. Let’s go listen to beatniks down at the Gaslight.

Don: I’ll stay here.

Midge: I’ll wear a skirt and nothing else.

Don: I’ll race you there.

 

Scene: That night in a hotel room

 

Joan: Hidey. I’m here for hot adulterous love.

Bird: Peep.

Joan: You didn’t.

Roger: Yep, I got you a bird. I hate the thought of having to share you. So remove every man from your life but me and hang out with this bird while I keep my wife, mmmkay? Now come here, you.

Bird: Woo-hoo! Peep show! Peep peep.

 

Scene: That night at the Gaslight

 

Roy: I’m cool.

Don: No, I’m cool.

Midge: Do you want to head for the urinals and duke it out?

Yurem: For the last time, it’s Yurem! I loathe you people.

(curtain down)

 

Just when I've been getting into the show, an episode like this comes alone and bores me to death. Really, is this "Don's Jewish" revelation supposed to come as a surprise when it happens? Also, I'd like to think that an ad agency in Manhattan in 1960 would have just a tad more energy around it. Do these people work at all, or just sit around and smoke and drink? Nice work if you can get it. However, I did like the fact that Joan wears the pants in her relationship with Roger. And it will be interesting to see Peggy move from the secretarial pool to the copywriting side. Maybe she can get a better hairdo. And Roger really did call Yurem "Urine." I watched it several times.

 

What did you think? Was it really great and I just missed it?

 

Check out the preview for the next episode, "Red in the Face," here . I guess Roger will buying a bird for someone new very soon.

 

 

 

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