Sterling on Sterling

Dear R,

I don’t know if you watch Mad Men? I assume so bc you watch Breaking Bad, so I know you have cable ANYWAY. I was very into it and have become less so. Again, the arc of the season is always more compelling than any individual episode (the end of the first episode ever is BRILLIANT though, and I normally hate first episodes, even Deadwood’s).

Current problems:

(1)I have no idea of January Jones is a good actress or if they just lucked out by hiring a chilly, ignorant model to play a chilly, ignorant model, but anyone who says anything bad about her as Betty has crumbled their crackers. Less Betty = less good in show. Pete, another awesome character awesomely played was prominent in last episode, and Betty featured in the preview for next week, so I remain hopeful.

(2)Impending sense of doom: where is it? The last seasons played the revelation of the coming crises off the revelation of Don’s identity. The identity mystery seems less relevant now (though less terrible flashbacks, which is good.  Also I want to see if Cooper still exploits his knowledge, and how he even has it), and instead of actually knocking him off kilter, it turns out Don’s perfectly adapted to the new world and exceptional in all things – it’s like Harry Potter and it is cheesing me off.

(3)Badly characterized characters are bad. I never liked Peggy because she seemed more of a Symbol of Ladies than a human, but it was even worse when minor characters showed up and just did straight exposition. (Suzanne, ew. See also: Sally though NOT THE ACTRESSES’ fault.) If they’re going to handle the politics of the mid 60s by having random college girls surface and be like, oh don’t know if I’m going to that sit-in or not, then they should just not handle them.

Things that give me hope for the show despite:

(1)Don kind of bombing with ladies. A counter to the Harry Potter proposition and a harbinger of a greater loss of control?

(2)Vietnam. Show is best at moments of worldhistorical crisis. Could issues with Don’s service in Korea resurface? Please please please let Don have a Korean baby.

(3)Peggy getting better – the show now seems to recognize the fact that she’s pretty neurotic and creepy and mean, and is running with that. Antiheros=more betterer.

(4)Ken v. Pete, round 34?

(5)First episode set up a chance for Don to reinvent himself AGAIN – is this going to happen? SCDP needs to be in more financial trouble. And more Lee from Lucky Strike – what a delicious creep.

(6)ROGER’S BOOK.

ok that’s what’s doing around here.

-Violet

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