Monday, August 24, 2009

Mad Men, Season 3 Opener

The season opener was fairly quiet. We begin with Don's squalid birth, the scenes of his beginnings a phantasm around the present. But everything else is really business as usual, bland domestic life, office intrigue, sex wherever people can find it, London Fog the latest ad campaign. Still, I liked it. It seemed more like the first season, the dialog sharper, the melodrama of Don's past life less syrupy. I felt that in the second season, it wasn't just Don who was lost but the entire season. Here, in the season opener, all the old deftness comes back:

Don catches a glimpse of Salvatore's homosexuality through a hotel window. Salvatore is mortified and scared. On the long plane ride home, he waits in agony for Don to say something. Maybe not to him, but surely, to everyone else. Don understands. Especially about secret lives. He wants to reassure Salvatore, not as a friend, but as a fellow conspirator. So he gives Salvatore a warning in the guise of an ad campaign. London Fog. A man on a train, a girl dressed only in a short trench, the slogan "Limit your exposure." "Tell me honestly what you think," Don says, but of course, honesty is the last thing he wants from anyone. And certainly not a confession.

It's interesting that because of his secrets, Don is the most compassionate person on the show, guiding lost souls who lack his strength, like Peggy before she became Super Bitch, and now Salvatore. Will Salvatore fall in love with Don? Peggy didn't, but let's face it, she's more man than Salvatore.

Friday, August 14, 2009

The Evil of Banality

This commercial for Baskin-Robbins is so evil. Within seconds, the song bores into your brain and takes complete control. You don't have a chance, your brain frantically dancing to the demonic chant "ice cream and cake, ice cream and cake...". Evil. And brilliant.