Wednesday, October 06, 2010

MadMen- Surgeon General's report on smoking in 1964=bombshell

I've been wondering about whether the loss of Lucky Strike in fact means the end of SCDP, and decided to look up when the Surgeon General started warning about smoking.

A document from the National Institutes of Health says:

"[Surgeon General Luther T.] Terry issued the commission's report on January 11, 1964, choosing a Saturday to minimize the effect on the stock market and to maximize coverage in the Sunday papers. As Terry remembered the event, two decades later, the report "hit the country like a bombshell. It was front page news and a lead story on every radio and television station in the United States and many abroad."

Could this be just the news SCDP needs to bounce back (or at least to level the playing field with competitors)?

Admittedly, none of this is the true focus of last Sunday's episode, "Chinese Wall." I'm just looking ahead. Because if I have to linger on "Chinese Wall," then I'll get increasingly uncomfy.  I was cringing throughout this episode.

- The obvious one: Megan hitting on Don. Don going along with it. Secretary and boss, potential mentee and mentor. Shudder factor=6/10.

- Stan hitting on Peggy. Locking the door really creeped me out. Shudder factor=8/10.

- Jane lounging in her yellow silk robe, snuggling up to Roger soon after we see Roger with Joan, and Joan in her plain cotton nightdress (but looking more beautiful than ever). Shudder factor=4/10.

- Faye snuggling up to Don in the same way. What is she giving up? What is she getting? Shudder factor=4/10.

- Peggy's lipstick on the teeth. I kept wanting to rub it off for her.  But it also reminded me of her heady "here's your basket of kisses" days, when she first began to emerge as a creative talent for the agency. Shudder factor=5/10.

- Sniffing out work leads at a funeral. Shudder factor=7/10.

- Trudy having to be alone during labor and delivery, like almost everyone else back then. Everyone should have the support they want and need at that time! But everyone else kept making the decision to keep her and Pete apart, even when they wanted to see each other. Shudder factor=6/10.

- Cooper's beard. Shudder factor=7/10.

There were many more-- everything from the way the camera retreats from Don, giving the impression of falling, to the discomfort of seeing Don compromised yet again in yet another way, to the title of the episode itself.  It will be interesting to see how the next two episodes develop the conflicts and set us up for Season 3.

* You can find a nice recap on each week's episode at the Huffington Post here.