Watching the two hour premiere of Mad Men on Sunday was an experience since the show continually explores humorous, dramatic, and poignant themes in nearly every episode. This episode entitled, The Doorway, was no exception as I found myself laughing out loud one minute then pondering the meaning of death the next. That being said, here are my top 5 moments of the Mad Men premiere.
1. Don throwing up at Roger’s mother’s funeral – I think we all saw it coming as Don had this sort of sickening look on his face and then blargh. I was cracking up though, who gets wasted before a funeral then pukes on the floor? There is not much else to say other than it was hilarious.
2. Betty talking to Henry about raping Sandy – this is a best moment only because it was the worst moment and sticks out in my memory. If you haven’t seen the episode, Sandy is Sally’s friend who is a 15 year old violinist. She plays for the family and Betty notices Henry’s awe of her talent. As pillow talk, she suggests his awe was attraction and he should go rape Sandy while she takes Sally out for a walk. Obviously she was not serious, but who says that kind of stuff? It was horrifying.
3. Roger freaking out at Mimzy’s funeral – the funeral scene in this episode was full of gems. My second favorite to Don puking is Roger having a hissy fit during his aunt’s eulogy. He notices his ex-wife arrives with her new husband and he pitches a fit about it then yells, “This is my funeral!” He demands everyone get out then runs upstairs and slams the door to a bedroom like a little boy. Roger always cracks me up and this episode had all sorts of silly Roger moments but this was the best one.
4. Peggy’s boss, Ted, flirting with her – when Peggy is confronted with a potentially problematic conflict between her recently released Koss ad with Vietnam War stories she has to work over time to fix the angle of the advertisement. She finally comes up with a way to make what material they already have on hand work for the company and the message. Ted quickly approves of her work then softly compliments her poise during a crisis. Stan Rizzo hears all this on speakerphone and teases Peggy about the boss liking her. I think this is foreshadowing for the rest of the season, or so I hope. Get it, girl.
5. Don’s existential crisis – when Don is not busy drinking, schtupping, or puking his mind is drifting into deep philosophical thought about life and inevitably an ad he is working on. This episode’s theme involved death and identity starting with his experience in Hawaii meeting a fellow veteran (PFC Dinkins) about to get married, he serves as the best man regardless of the fact that he knows nothing about these two people. Then we are introduced to a new character, his friend and neighbor, Dr. Rosen (a cardiologist) who saves their doorman’s life after he collapses. Don later is photographed for firm publicity and he realizes he has the PFC Dinkins’ lighter by mistake – the photographer then aptly asks him to “be himself.” Don uses these experiences to create an ad for the Royal Hawaiian Hotel that involves a man being able to arrive in Hawaii shed his “skin” and become someone else entirely then disappear into paradise. Of course, the client thinks it implies death and morbidity. Don disagrees but the client is always right. I could digress even further if I were to bring up the promotional art used for this season showing two different Don’s – one holding hands with his wife, one walking off by himself. Who is Don Draper? The eternal Mad Men question.
Be sure to watch next Sunday on AMC as I’m sure there will be more hysterical moments along with harsh realities of life as an ad man on Madison Ave.