August 16, 2010

Mad Women: Your Problem Is Not My Problem

Filed under: Gender,Mad Women,Media,Recaps — Tags: — Rachel @ 9:33 pm

Not many thoughts on Joan from last night’s episode.  That being said, I couldn’t help but wonder if Joan’s hire for Don’s replacement secretary was a passive aggressive move on her part considering what happened to Allison.

Again no thoughts on Betty – she wasn’t in this episode at all, but it looks like she might be the focus of next week’s episode from the previews.

Allison, Dr. Faye Miller, Trudy, Joyce, and Don’s New Secretary
Allison, as I predicted, turned in her resignation, albeit in a very loud way.  Once again I think Don thought he was being kind, but came off as an asshole in telling her to write her own recommendation letter.  I think it further confirmed for her that their night together didn’t mean anything to him – she was just another girl, and didn’t care deeply about her, the way she wanted him to.  It was interesting how she assumed though that he slept with all his secretaries, when in fact, she’s the first we’ve seen him do that with.

Faye’s interaction with the girls in the secretary pool during the focus group was amazing.  I liked that they showed all the little things she does to seem like “one of the them” so they’ll open up to her – the nametag, eating first, etc.  Don’s suggestion that the women seemed to only care about it marriage because it’s what they’ve been told by advertisers was fascinating.  He addressed the idea that social attitudes and values are dictated by what men like him come up with to sell products, in a very direct way.  I’m curious though why everyone is so anti-marriage in terms of using it to sell cold cream.  I was surprised by Don’s reaction when Faye told him, based on the focus group, to use marriage to advertise.  I wonder if part of his rejected Faye’s opinion is in backing up Peggy’s, or if it’s a progressive side of him that is showing up in his business?

I found it bizarre that Trudy was scared and upset when Pete came home after she found out that her father told him about the pregnancy.  As we’ve seen over the past few seasons, she supports him in his work 110% and this episode was no different as she offered to break the Clearasil news to her father, to save him the awkwardness of doing so.

Just want to add that Don’s new secretary is hilarious.  I hope they keep her on his desk for at least a couple of weeks.

Leave your thoughts on Joyce, Dr. Faye Miller’s focus group, and anything else in the comments.


  1. Great post! I love your emphasis on the ladies of Mad Men – that’s the part of the show that’s always interested me the most.

    As far as Don and Peggy’s hesitation at using marriage to sell cold cream, I think Don’s statement sums it up, “This isn’t the 1920s” (or something like that). Sterling Cooper Draper Price prides itself on its cutting edge “Creative,” while using marriage to scare girls into buying cosmetics is decidedly old fashioned (besides being effed up by modern standards).

    I’m a little disappointed that Peggy is getting so fixated on marriage. It seems like such a conventional desire for such a daring, exceptional lady!

    Comment by Melanie — August 17, 2010 @ 12:55 pm

  2. @Melanie, I understand your disappointment with Peggy’s fairly recent fixation on marriage but I think it adds complexity to her character. She shunned the conventional “feminine” pursuits to focus on her career and I think that decision is posing the reality of limitation imposed on women, especially at that time. On one hand Peggy is becoming more and more daring, breaking out of her square mold yet she longs for marriage. It’s not surprising given the socialization of the time (or even know). I think many women, even feminists, battle with the desire for independence and a successful career and how a relationship can or should fit into the equation. It’ll make for more great material.

    @Rachel- I agree with you re: Don’s statement about the power of advertising. I thought that was a great bit wherein he blatantly describes the power of advertising to construct normative values.

    Comment by Melanie — August 17, 2010 @ 3:44 pm

  3. PS: Yeah, the peeking over the wall was hysterical- Melanie2

    Comment by Melanie — August 17, 2010 @ 3:47 pm

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URL

Leave a comment