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Mad Men: "A Little Kiss" OAD 3/25/2012 ***spoilers***

3277 Views 8 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  Laxguy
Zoo Be Zoo Be Zoo.

The "Mad Men" Season 5 two hour opener begins not at Sterling Cooper but outside of Young and Rubicam's office building with mostly black protesters demanding equal-opportunity employment. Some morons at Y&R drop water bags on the protesters. We shift to the lobby where the receptionist tells the protesters it is an executive office, only to have the morons appear through a door.

In an interview the show's creater Matthew Weiner explains:
That event with the guys dropping the bags full of water out on the protesters really happened. It's in the newspaper; the dialogue was taken from The New York Times, and to me it was just a great symbol of how race affects these people. It's being brought into their world and it's still a joke to them.
And the show ends in a scene where the Sterling Cooper lobby is full of black job applicants, also because of a joke.

But the episode is stolen by Don's new wife Megan (Jessica Paré) doing a sexy little song and dance at the surprise 40th birthday party she (age 25) threw for Don.

The song title "Zoo Be Zoo Be Zoo" is a play on the French words "Zou bisou bisou" which in coloquial English means "A Little Kiss" as sort of a kidding demand. For those of you who are too young, it was a song done by Sophia Loren in the 1960 movie The Millionairess and it sounded like this:

We're in 1966 - haven't advanced much in time. Just enough time for Don and Megan to get married and we hear Don say "I don't care about work." Is this a new Don? Peggy sure thinks so after he doesn't back her on the Heinz proposal.

And we also hear Megan say "Nobody loves Dick Whitman." So he's told her.

Don gets testy about the party and in the course of working through their spat, he explains that all the Sterling Cooper people at the party had their problems well before Megan came to Sterling Cooper

We've also had enough time for Joan to have her baby. Apparently Joan is a bit of a chip off the old block as we learn in a series of exchanges between her and her mother who has come to help.

We also know that things are improving at Sterling Cooper as Pete Campbell demands a bigger office and Roger Sterling "buys" it for him in order not to lose his. But things haven't improved financially that much, as we learn from Lane discussing the status with Joan and then doling out money to his wife.

Well it's back. It was two hours and at times felt like it. There was much to glean from this episode.
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Harry's new glasses look very much like the glasses my father had in 1966 (as seen in his high school yearbook photo -- he graduated in '67).
For the avid fan, Lionsgate, the studio that produces "Mad Men," is releasing Ms. Paré's cover of "Zou Bisou Bisou" as a single, to be sold at iTunes. The song will also be sold on Amazon.com and in retail stores.

And it can be ordered as a limited-edition vinyl release at AMC's merchandise Web site where it shown along with the Mad Men Barbi Dolls.:eek2:

I've mentioned before my wife gets angry because of the show. In an article in the New York Times Watching 'Mad Men' With My Mother we're told:
"Mad Men" made my mother remember life in her 20s - too clearly. When the show focused on Don Draper's wife, Betty, a repressed housewife in suburbia, my mom visibly cringed. "During Betty's scenes," she told me, "I feel this pain, right in my gut." She took a breath and explained that she loved her life and her marriage now, but when she watched Betty say she just wants to serve Don, it took her back to when she and my father were just married. "That's the way I thought. I lived to serve. I wanted to make him happy."

It was odd to hear my mom compare her relationship to the Drapers'. My parents split the household duties, held jobs in teaching and systems administration and pursued their interests in meditation and aikido. What I was coming to understand, though, was that my mother did not come into the world fully formed in 1981, when I was born, that there was a complicated and somehow painful life that predated me.
trainman said:
Harry's new glasses look very much like the glasses my father had in 1966 (as seen in his high school yearbook photo -- he graduated in '67).
I have a picture of myself around that time wearing glasses like those. Not sure they flattered me much....
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"Nick" said:
Phrelin, your prescience is impressive. :lol:
"veschler" said:
Can't wait to watch his season!
Yeah, yeah. It's what I get for writing later at night. Like now when I'm on my iPad.

Maybe a moderator will fix the title? Please.
Phrelin, excellent review. To add a little bit...

This week's episode was about that one moment in life upon which you look back and say, "that was when everything changed." In many cases that moment is a huge, world-changing event, like the death of a leader. But just as often, it's something that seems tiny at the time but has repercussions as time goes on.

The time you were cruel to someone who didn't deserve it, like a small child.
The time you realized that the glamorous part of your life was behind you.
The time you finally stood up for yourself at work.
The time you said something stupid and someone found out.
The time you first saw someone you should resist, and didn't.
The time you first asserted yourself as a parent.
The time you broke down at work and trusted someone.

Each member of the SCDP family has a moment like this, and for the most part they go unnoticed. Slowly, though, the eyes of the camera narrow until they focus with unblinking precision on Jessica Paré's oh so public, yet oh so private seduction dance, "Zou Bisou Bisou" It was impossible for anyone to look away, yet if a slight glance in the other direction were possible, you might see party guests wincing at being present for something so private, while excitedly taking it all in.

This is the moment when marriage changes for Don Draper. He's out of control, uncomfortable, and he becomes the old man Megan later accuses him of being. He sits, plastic smile on his face, choosing to rely on old habits instead of embracing the situation.

This is the moment when marriage changes for Megan Calvert Draper. 18 months ago she was a colt, barely able to navigate life. Now she is an irresistable force of nature. She demands attention and she gets it. This party is as much about her showing off as it is about Don's birthday.

And yet all she asked for was a little kiss.

I was disappointed that the time jump wasn't longer, but seeing the fresh fashions of '66 made the disappointment a bit more tolerable. Don's apartment is fantastic; I'd decorate that way myself today. There's still a chance that the show will move briskly forward as the season progresses.

Can't wait for Sunday.
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You've eloquently described the soul of this episode, Stuart.
Great insights, Phrelin and Stuart.

I'll just add that I was fixated when, as Joan introduced her child, Peggy did not want to hold him. Then, as she runs into Megan, with baby, her "church steps" remark makes Peggy extremely uncomfortable and melancholic. Finally, the glances between Peggy and Pete, with the baby in between them.

What could have been.
Indeed, great commentary. The most shocking thing was that office windows actually opened in the skyscrapers of 1960....!:eek2:

I am watching it again, as I was too distracted on Sunday night. (Too good a picture!) :sure: Since the time didn't jump very far forward, Don's children are temporarily older than they should be! The daughter is going to be devastatingly beautiful when she becomes a young woman. Good actress, too, as she clearly but subtlely glances in to her Dad's bedroom to check out the new wife lying naked in bed. The commuter train is far too steady. OK, so that's the first five minutes.....:confused:
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