Monday, July 26, 2010

Mad Men Season 4 Premiere: Be Careful What You Wish For

Want to go rogue and start your own ad agency? Well you just might get it.

Welcome to Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce, a "scrappy upstart" of an ad agency, that Creative Director Don Draper has just put on the map with a very clever Glo-Coat TV spot.

Now Don Draper is the headline name of the company, even though we all know that's not his name. But as Don plays "modest" to an Advertising Age reporter, he comes across as aloof. In one of Roger Sterling's signature one-liners, he spells it out to Don, "You turned all the sizzle from Glo-Coat into a wet fart."

So the one-story agency isn't growing as fast as the partners would like, no matter how many chairs Don kicks around in the non-conference room.

Want to save the Sugarberry Ham account, with a bold plan to stage two women fighting over a ham Thanksgiving week? And make an end run around Don? Be careful what you wish for, Peggy and Pete.

When the play fight turns real and assault charges are filed, the bail and hush money escalates. And Peggy gets a tongue-lashing to boot.

And there's the suddenly sympathetic figure, Henry Francis (thanks to a very well-placed scene with his mother).

Want a beautiful trophy bride? Be careful what you wish for. You just might get Betty Draper.

As much as I love the ad agency, this is the storyline that resounds. Henry's mother calls Betty a "silly woman," and he's seeing it himself. A spoiled child, who went straight from Daddy to Don to Henry, Betty still lives in Don's house and does nothing but badger her own children.

And for those of you who think Sally Draper is an annoying, ill-tempered child - you obviously don't own the feisty Daddy's Girl home version.

The whole episode comes full-circle, when Don's smart, somewhat risque presentation to a potential ladies swimwear client strikes out. He realizes that being modest is ignorant and tells the Wall Street Journal the more confident and appealing Don Draper story.

Maybe next Thanksgiving, Don won't have to hire a prostitute to smack him around (not pictured).

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