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Mad Men: "At the Codfish Ball" OAD 4/29/12 **SPOILERS**

Discussion in 'TV Show Talk' started by phrelin, Apr 30, 2012.

  1. phrelin

    phrelin Hall Of Fame DBSTalk Club

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    Northern...
    [​IMG]

    One couldn't help but smile as the camera presented us with this unhappy, disturbed family group. But let's not get ahead of ourselves here.

    Early in the episode we have Sally on the phone to Glen. He asks Sally if she has "The Spoonful" album yet. Sally says, "It's on the radio all the time." "Summer in the City" in August of 1966 is at the top of charts.

    At the end of the episode, Glen asks Sally how the city is, and she responds: "dirty."

    Hot town, summer in the city
    Back of my neck getting burnt and gritty
    Been down, isn't it a pity
    Doesn't seem to be a shadow in the city

    All around, people looking half dead
    Walking on the sidewalk, hotter than a match head​

    [YOUTUBE]NbQK-w2ARsw[/YOUTUBE]​

    There will be more to come, but I had to note these things just to get the conversation started. Sorry I couldn't get more done, but sometimes I have a life beyond this Forum. ;)
     
  2. phrelin

    phrelin Hall Of Fame DBSTalk Club

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    Northern...
    This episode is difficult to summarize.

    From a theme standpoint, we have the women (including Sally) making positive strides towards advancement, which in retrospect turn out to be disappointing. And we have Don and his father-in-law discovering that success is an ephemeral illusion.

    And from a theme standpoint we see generational breachs, particularly for the Peggy, Megan, and Sally.

    Then there's the title. At first I assumed the point was this shot, offering that sometimes for Sally disappointment comes from all directions:

    [​IMG]

    But things are never that simple in "Mad Men", in this case because the episode title is a song title from a 1935 Shirley Temple movie:

    Come along and follow me
    To the bottom of the sea
    We'll join in the Jamboree
    At the Codfish Ball

    Lobsters dancing in a row
    Shuffle off to Buffalo
    Jelly fish sway to and fro
    At the Codfish Ball

    Finnan haddie leads the eel
    Through an Irish reel
    The catfish is a dancing man
    But he can't can-can like the sardine can

    Tunas trucking left and right
    Minnows mooching, what a night
    There won't be a hook in site
    At the Codfish Ball​

    [YOUTUBE]Zpqt3zgdYUw[/YOUTUBE]​

    In this second post, I'm going to focus offerings by the writers through Roger, the forlorn, lamentable character that often provides comic relief and is the only character who seems to consider Don "a friend."

    Roger has Don thinking they can get new clients at the American Cancer Society thing where Don's getting an award. So they both are doing their dances like the catfish and the sardine. Only Don discovers it was not only fruitless, but that the award itself is likely to be a symbol of being frozen out of the competition for the big advertisers.

    It appeared that Roger befriended impressionable Sally and then unintentionally traumatized her by doing what Roger does best, stepping out of the room for a momentary tryst, this time with Megan's mom Marie Calvet, played by Julia Ormond.

    But, as usual, there is more going on here. Megan pointed out to Don that dear old Mom competes with her resulting in this exchange:
    But the we know Marie would not become involved with her daughter's husband. Enter stage left the hapless Roger, the perfect surrogate for Don.

    Poor Sally. Her parents are rather neurotic. She's got two new step-grandma's that are quite a bit further out there in terms impact on Sally. And her best friend seems to be Glen. She did handle the fallen (tripped) grandma emergency pretty well.
     
  3. May 1, 2012 #3 of 11
    spartanstew

    spartanstew Dry as a bone

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    With the notable exception that she blamed it on one of her brothers toys, instead of the phone cord she had draped across the floor.
     
  4. May 2, 2012 #4 of 11
    Maruuk

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    So Rog is getting back with his ex?

    What's Glen in, a high school-level boarding school? How does his single mom afford that?

    Peggy's mom is a such a predictable and boring character, why put us through all that?

    I wish they had more on suddenly "free" Joan, she just went through a major life change and...zippo besides the line about "his army contract means more than his marriage cert".

    What exactly have they been trying to imply about Greg, that he's gay? All that endless turning his back on Joan must mean something!

    I thought Peggy played the disappointment-into-pride transition beautifully. In two short scenes she transitioned emotionally from the 1950's into the late 60's. I love how Joan and her bonded over it.

    What exactly is Don's conflict right now? It's more like a series of minor annoyances, no real dramatic issues. And he's the prime driver. Weiner has to put him back in the driver's seat. The show is looking too much like "30 Something" or "Ozzie and Harriet". Minus the BJ of course.
     
  5. May 3, 2012 #5 of 11
    yosoyellobo

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    Did anybody notice when Megan I believe said "It is what it is". As that is something that I only remember hearing the last few years does anybody remember if that would have been said back in the sixties?
     
  6. May 3, 2012 #6 of 11
    phrelin

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    William Safire, irritated by the use of the phrase in 2006, wrote in the NY Times:
    But, it certainly wasn't used as frequently as now.
     
  7. May 3, 2012 #7 of 11
    Laxguy

    Laxguy Honi Soit Qui Mal Y Pense.

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    Winters,...
    Originally Posted by phrelin

    That was, however, one part of her handling it well!

    I imagine her on-the-spot lying about it will come up in a later ep.
     
  8. May 4, 2012 #8 of 11
    Maruuk

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    Katherine McPhee, hm, the one who just scored 10 mil on "Smash"?
     
  9. May 4, 2012 #9 of 11
    Laxguy

    Laxguy Honi Soit Qui Mal Y Pense.

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    Winters,...
    OMG, just now played the great link to the Lovin' Spoonful's hit- what, played on Ed Sullivan- if it was obvious, I was too absorbed by John Sebastien's 'do'. And the rest of the band. Now it looks so ancient as to be Edwardian, the style some of them were consciously copying.
    And I always thought, till now, that it was "hotter than a match, yeah!" :sure:

    Not sure how Ms McPhee fits in here?
     
  10. mreposter

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    This show is getting weird(er). All the characters seem to be either spiraling out of control or completely miserable. But then again, it is the 1960s...
     
  11. phrelin

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    Northern...
    That's pretty much how I remember 1966 - life out or control and miserable.:eek2:
     

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