Mad Men is FINALLY back and it's back with a vengeance. You know how a lot is riding on season premiere's? Well Matthew Weiner and co have nothing to fear because they BROUGHT it with this one. I don't know how we lasted without Mad Men, but I'm glad it's back now. You know who else is glad? Don Draper's women. Oh yes, our smoking hot (m)ad man is back and he's different but the same. I love it.
Mad Men 04x01: Public Relations
Where to begin with the freaking awesome season premiere of Mad men? I guess we start with the Don himself. Do we love Don v4.0 or what? Though we still get the faux-modest Don (as he tries to avoid questions from the Ad-Age interviewer with just one-leg, cause he was brought up in the Mid-West and it's not polite to talk about himself), and we still get the insightful ad-man (especially when he's trying to open Jansen's closed prude minds to advertising without being crass), we at least get something new from this reincarnation of Don.
First off, there's trouble at home. He's still paying for so much with Betty and the kids (and the house). I'm sure Don is trustworthy with child support, but he doesn't have to keep paying for the house either, especially when Henry Francis is living there too. And where does Don live? In an unkempt apartment that looks kind of sad. I'm glad he's got a new!Carla for his city abode but it's not the same.
Second, Don's dating and mating. Both of which are not exclusive to each other. So he's dating the blonde (whom Roger so generously recommended because Jane has made Don her personal cause) and mating with the redhead (who knows what he wants; complete with kinky slapping: HARDER! HARDER!). So let's go to the blonde first. She's a tad young? Y/Y? It totally made me laugh when she refused to let him up. I can imagine Don thinking, dammit! I wine and dine her for NOTHING. I feel this is going to last quite some time though. She kind of looks like Betty for me. An uglier version though.
Then there's the fuck buddy. WHO SLAPS DON AROUND. I really think Don wouldn't do this with Betty. I bet they made sweet love though Don has the tendency to get rough, nothing past a few spanks, but I DOUBT he'd ask Betty to hit him. Why do I feel like he's trying to atone for his sins somehow? Like if fuckbuddy hits him, he's probably imagining Betty hitting him for all the hurt he's caused. But that's just me. All I can really think of is DON WANTS TO GET SLAPPED IN BED.
Third, we see Don bending and snapping. In front of a client! Gasp! It's of course compounded by the fact that Roger and Bert and everyone else is on his case regarding the sucky interview with Ad Age. Bert Cooper drove it home best ("Turning creative success into business is your work and you failed"). WHAT?! Don Failed/! But Don doesn't fail. EVER. And now he has. Sorry Jansen people, you happened to be the first clients he faced after the realization sets in.
Whore: Stop telling me what to do. I know what you want Don: [after being slapped] Harder
Finally, we see Don playing the game. You know how Don wasn't really into the name and fame bit? Well it looks like Don's going to start playing with the big boys now starting with this self-confident (bordering on conceited) article with the Wall Street Journal. I love the swagger he shows while talking to this guy. What a difference from the start of the episode.
They set up SO MUCH for Don story-wise this season and I'm just really excited to see how it all comes to play in our 13-episode stretch.
Mrs. Betty Francis Can't Tame Them Little Drapers
Of course, if there are changes with Don, there are too with Betty Draper Francis. It's weird seeing her with this new do she's got, but I guess it's to signal her new life. She's still bad at handling the kids, but that's nothing new. I'm kinda impressed with the Draper kids. Look at Sally choking up her food but apologizing to Mrs. Francis Sr before being dragged away from the table. And Bobby Draper trying to save face by announcing his love for sweet potatoes. Tag team! I feel bad how they're caught in the middle though. With Sally wanting to call her dad in the middle of the night, to Bobby getting impressed with his father being able to sew on buttons, you know they miss their dad. I know they weren't particularly close with Don being gone all the time, but he was always some sort of mythical creature with them. This hero-worship where dad could do no wrong. And now they only get to see him sometimes and I feel for them.
Especially since Betty seems to be using them as pawns in her revenge against the Don. I get that she's hurting and deserves all the happiness now, but wow, don't use the kiddies. And it has to be mentioned that I'm not totally against Henry Francis. He seems to be a pretty decent guy, save for the fact that he totally stole Betty (it's not like she didn't want to get away from her lying, cheating husband). He does stand up for her to his mom (who's a mega bitch); seems to be satisfying the missus (HELLO CAR!SEX); and he was siding with Don (rationality) over the new-house issue. So he could be a good thing -- except for the mother in law business. It's just funny to remind Betty now that Don was an orphan. At least there were no in-laws then.
Henry: I can't. I'm really full right now
Roger Makes The Bromance Live On
From one bad-ass to another. Though we don't get a serious look at Roger Sterling this episode, I love all of his appearances. Jon Hamm said any scene with John Slattery is fun to do and you can see it on screen. From the moment he steps in (commenting on the wooden legged reporter: "Wooden leg. They're so cheap, they can't even afford a whole reporter!") to pimping Don to Jane's friends ("See her this weekend, if you hit off, perhaps by turkey day, you can stuff her") to putting Don in his place after the Ad-Age article bombs. I love the bromance they had in the past seasons and I'm excited to see where it goes this season.
Don: Why'd you have so many copies? Roger: I bought one to read. I was going to buy one to frame in reception, and then I read it. I just wanted to get them all before someone else read it
Pete & Peggy Try (and Fail) To Make Things Work
I love Pete and Trudie, I do. But when Pete and Peggy come on screen together, it just works. So I'll settle for colleagues now because they're damn awesome together -- and apart, they're pretty fun as always. I appreciate this Pete v4.0, not so douche-y, and yet getting a tad better at what he does. I like that EVERYONE is answering back to Don now. After the Jansen-courting interview, I liked how he was simultaneously sucking up to Don (by putting Y&R down: "because you don't work there") while also sort of showing Don what the real deal is.
Meanwhile, I'm so happy that Peggy is moving on up. And also answering back to Don, but more on that later. I love her new assistant, Joey (who was Jack or Bobby from that show!) just because he's cute. And though the situation with her non-fiance isn't clear, it's just fun to see Joey and Peggy be all cute together. Go Peggy. You deserve to be surrounded by cute boys. I love how she's also not too afraid of Don anymore (complete with a cigarette in her mouth asking for bail over the phone). She stays respectful when he's mad (Do you want people to think we're idiots, Peggy?!) but isn't letting him walk all over her anymore. Go Peggy. Stand up for yourself ("you know osmething we are all here because of you. all we wanna do is please you")
But really, together, these two are just EPIC... fail. Though their little stunt didn't quite work out how they wanted it to, at least they got some sort of positive result. If only the feuding actresses didn't file charges, it would have gone off without a hitch. but alas, things aren't that lucky. Still, good first try for a team up. I see more in their future.
Pete: I can use my expense account and say they were whores
All In All, Welcome Back Mad Men
So I'm easy to please and I was totally impressed by the new SCDP offices. I know it's not as big as their old digs but I love it, complete with their logo on the wall. Anything that gives Joanie an office is A+ in my book. And yeah, they have no conference table, but it'll come in time. Still, I feel bad for them in a way. They really are the scrappy upstart. Not only has SCDP lost Jansen, they've lost Jai Alai too! I feel bad for sunburned!Harry ("I really wish we had a second floor so I could jump off it"). We'll see how things pan out for the rest of SDCP but I'm hella excited to see this season and what it could bring.
Mad!Don is Mad. You're a failure!
Pretty Little Liars 01x08: Please, Do Talk About Me When I'm Gone
Aria's obviously still devastated over her parents separation and it's taking a toll on her. Through her flashback, Alison tels her to just go for it with cute boy, Noel. And I have to say, guy does look pretty good. Not as pretty as Wren/Ezra, but manly pretty and that's good enough. It's too bad Aria's too depressed over her parents/Ezra's absence because I would jump on this guy.
Meanwhile, Emily and Maya get more cozy as Emily takes Maya out on a non-date (dinner and a movie PLUS some making out). I have to give it to ABC family for being the station to show some girl on girl action. Props to you guys. And is it just me or is Emily's dad's coming home AND her non-answer to Maya on whether she's meeting the parents or not indicative of the life span of this relationship. As cute as they are, I feel like Emily isn't ready to tell her parents or come out, considering she has an appearance to keep up.
Despite the fact that Hanna's mom is having money troubles and the police!Josh (from Popular) is hounding her not to tell Alison's brother anything, life is still pretty good for Ms. Hanna. She seems to be working things out with Sean (enough to see a concert with him, or something like that) and she's got Lucas on the side as well. Now this Lucas kid is really growing on me, complete with his geeky helping-you-out-with-selling-your-stuff-online bit. I hope this kid stands a chance with Hanna because right now, Lucas >>> Sean.
I feel bad for Spencer in a sense that she's got the most boring storylines. So we get a break from pool boy Alex and instead get some weird vibes from Alison's older brother Jason (?). Guy looks like a creepy banker and I don't trust him one bit. It's good of Spencer to man up and talk to Jenna but it's not like we know what anyone else knows. Because as it is, Alison's been telling her brother a different story.
I wonder why she blamed Spencer (other than the fact that Spencer was the only one who stood up to her) and who is this guy who showed up at the memorial? Ian right? and I vaguely heard them refer to him as Melissa's Ian?! Was this an ex of nanny!Carrie? Also, who predicted Jenna wouldn't bad mouth Alison. Of course, she may be sort of evil, according to the girls, but Jenna looks redeemable and I feel like they will.
Also, I heard this nonsense from petitecherie that we won't be getting any Pretty Little Liars til 2011?! So after 10 episodes, we'll have to wait a long time just like Glee?! Oh dear. Say it ain't so.