Mar 032008

“I like redheads. Their mouths are like a drop of strawberry jam in a glass of milk.”

Forgive me, MM writers. I love you all.

But this episode, about which I have so much more to say, seems to have a big fat continuity issue.

Thursday #1
It is the end of the workday. Roger speaks to his wife about the weekend plans. He is then told by Bertram Cooper that the Nixon boys are coming in at the end of the week. Joan has a bag packed and is taking a train with her roommate Carol for a weekend away. No mention that she is taking a Friday off, but okay so far.

How do I know it’s Thursday? Don says to Peggy, trying to make sure she’s not working too late, “Just because tomorrow’s Friday, doesn’t mean I expect to be pulling your head off the keys in the morning”. (God, that line is a mouthful!)

That night, it’s drinks for Don and Roger, and then the disastrous dinner at the Drapers’.

Thursday #2
The next morning, Roger offers Don a bottle and an apology. At lunch Pete exchanges a chip-and-dip for a 22-caliber rifle.

At 4:30 there is a meeting to prep for the Nixon meeting.

That night Don comes home in time for dinner; this time it’s enough roast beef to feed the whole office.

That same night, Trudy removes Pete’s recently restored testicles.

The next morning, Don approaches Hollis for a favor. During the day, Pete spins his tale of hunting to Peggy, Betty slaps Helen, Francine pays a visit.

And of course, the lunch, the stairs, and the punchline.

And there they were; the Nixon people. End of the week, as scheduled.

I decided that it’s two Thursdays and a Friday, because there was nothing that felt ‘Friday’ about the middle day. Don went home on time. Although maybe the roast beef means Friday. So maybe it’s two Fridays.

Oysters, martinis and cheesecake is definitely a Friday lunch.

Either way, major fuck-up. What, they didn’t think they’d have detail-obsessed fans?


  26 Responses to “Ok, it's the WRITERS who should be Red in the Face”

  1. There is no joy like the joy of being the first to spot a serious gaffe.

  2. 'twas a joyful noise I made.

  3. I'll hestitantly admit Red In The Face is one of my least fave eppys. Betty's pitiful slap of Helen, Don paying off Hollis the elevator man, and Roger's vomiting were the only things I found somewhat redeeming.

  4. RitF is my least favorite episode, specifically because of Roger's vomit-on-cue. That's something you see on TV, not something that really happens.

    I'd be interested in hearing what your objections are.

  5. I never catch things like that!

  6. That's 'cause you never write episode guides. They're killer.

  7. LOL. My favorite MM gaffe is the Draper's front door, which occassionally goes from being white with two window panels to a solid wood red door. An exterior shot shows the red door, then there'll be a few interior shots of Betty in front of the open door. In one shot the door will be red, and in another it's white. It doesn't happen often, but I noticed it in this episode (RItF). I think it happened in Marriage of Figaro, as well.

  8. According to IMDb, Bobby Draper changed actors some time during the season. I didn't notice….

    Another thing….Midge's apartment in the pilot eppy was neat but still artsy, with a clean hallway. Then in later shows, her apartment appeared slovenly.

  9. Speaking of Midge … maybe I missed an explanantion somewhere, but what's with her and the wigs?

  10. PS – hope to see Ms. DeWitt again sometime soon … she's a tamale.

  11. I've noticed that about Midge's apartment hallway seeming like different ones before…it's very confusing.

  12. I simply think that more women wore wigs as accessories back then. It was a quick way to change your look.

  13. This I want to check with my mom on. (I don't check with her that often, because she was a Brooklyn Jew, and this show is a bit foreign to her, culturally. Interesting, right?)

    But she should remember the wig history.

    I also think that it represents her free spirit, particularly her sexual freedom. I got the impression that there was a wig specifically worn as part of a fantasy. And she is always wearing black bras, which I suspect (again, have not verified) were quite risqué.

    Plus she hangs with theater people. Possible access to wigs, and certainly to risqué.

  14. Kay, I didn't know that about Bobby. A solid representation of how these kids, especially Bobby, barely exist. Bobby is not exactly Chris Partridge.

    As for her apartment, that really wouldn't be a mistake. The mismatched front door from ex to interior, yeah, that's something they should handle. But set dressing is different than set design. A messier apartment is always deliberate. (Ex-boyfriend dresses sets.) Whatever the writers/directors were trying to communicate is up to us to figure out. It could simply be a matter of, You know? Midge. She'd be messier. Add more crap.

  15. Roberta, Mom had a wig. If you remember that costume you wore with the head, that was Mom's wig head. I think because hair was so teased and sprayed in those days, a wig wouldn't stand out so much.

    And black bras have totally been around; Janet Leigh wore one in Psycho. But they certainly did (and hey, still do) represent a sexier image than ordinary white or beige bras.

    I've noticed the messier apartment hall too. Kay, you're talking about the exterior hallway, right? Not the interior? Because I did notice it seemed like sometimes it was nice and sometimes it was run down.

  16. I know mom had at least one wig. But what I don't know is, what was happening in 1960. Hello, wasn't born yet, and you barely were.

    As for black bras… again, I know they existed. And okay, good call on Psycho, but Janet Leigh was also being painted as a slut. I'm just saying… I think for the most part it was the big pointy white bra, and maybe you owned one black bra. Midge dresses for sex. is all. I'm saying.

  17. Deborah, yeah, the exterior hallway was the one looking raggedy and run down….

  18. Yeah, Kay, that feels to me like an "upon further reflection that hallway looks a little too neat". Or perhaps under a different director it was caught.

    I remember watching Angel on DVD and someone, Joss Whedon or perhaps Tim Minear, on the commentary for the early episodes (probably the first; Are You Now or Have You Ever Been), that were filmed on the Hyperbion set. It was supposed to be a very abandoned hotel, but in retrospect, they admitted to having done a rather shoddy job of dressing it messy enough. None of this is a science, and it's always interesting to hear that kind of inside 'out-loud' thinking about what went into decisions vs. what really weren't decisions so much as miscalculations.

    What I did for summer vacation: 2008

    Watch hours and hours of director's commentary for Mad Men, I hope!

  19. Roberta I was not born in 1960. I want to be very clear about that. Not. Born.

  20. My mom and granny both had a wig (or at least a hairpiece) or two in the 60s. Not sure how it was everywhere, but I know that they both went to the beauty shop once a week to "get their hair done." I think they wore wigs to kind of give those 'do-s a boost to make it til beauty shop day. I can't imagine this being the case for Midge – I do think it's more of an intriguing, sexy thing for her – but I do remember this being the case for most women.

    I have also been begging my mom to watch Mad Men. She was a secretary during this time period…a working mom, even. I think she'd love the show.

  21. And holy crap did I not mean for that to sound like I believed, or was perpetuating a rumor, that you were born in 1960. I am not very good with words.

  22. I was born in 1969. I remember that wigs and false eyelashes were much more common accessories when I was a kid than they are now. Mostly, though, what women wore were "falls", not full-on wigs.

    "And she is always wearing black bras, which I suspect (again, have not verified) were quite risqué."

    The one time that Midge's black bra seemed wrong to me was in the pilot when she was wearing a WHITE SHIRT with a black bra underneath. That seemed off bc the only time the bra doesn't show under a white shirt is if the bra is flesh-colored. A black bra shows right through (although in the pilot, for some reason, it didn't) –which would've been quite scandalous for 1960, even in the Village. Hell, I remember watching a French movie in high school French class and the entire class being scandalized that one of the actresses was clearly wearing a black bra under a white shirt. This was 1986 and back then that was extremely tacky.

  23. Oh, I forgot to add that I totally believe that Midge would own several full-on wigs. It was just the black bra that rang false that one time, bc no matter how sexy Midge might be, she was no strumpet.

    As to the messiness of her apartment, maybe it's another clue that she was so caught up with other things in her life too clean her place.

  24. The other thing about the black bra (and I apologize if I seem obsessive about this), is that it was part of Madonna's signature look and, yeah, they were pretty risque back in the mid-80s, especially the fact that she wore them so that they showed through the shirt. By the time I was in high school, 1983-87, they were still part of a very particular look and not necessarily accepted as mainstream. And I went to a public high school in Long Island that was well-known for being a druggie school.

    Man, I'm feeling old.

  25. In response to the post about the Draper’s front door…"which occassionally goes from being white with two window panels to a solid wood red door. An exterior shot shows the red door, then there’ll be a few interior shots of Betty in front of the open door. In one shot the door will be red, and in another it’s white. "

    I have noticed that also, but I think it is due to their house layout. They have a completely closed foyer (with coat hooks, etc) with two doors. The actual exterior front door is red, and the interior front door is white. I guess that makes sense in colder climates so you can close out the cold, before opening up the warm house?

  26. I was just going through some of these for the first time, and noticed the Psycho comments. If I remember correctly (and this was a good three years ago since I watched Psycho in class) Leigh has on white undergarments in the beginning in the hotel. She only has black undergarments after she steals the money. But the comment is right, is was another way to tell you how bad she was, but not just for being a floozy!

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.