When we first saw the Francis Mansion in A Little Kiss, all I could think was “Oh. My. God.”
I wanted to modify The Addams Family Theme Song , trading Francis for Addams. No surprise when Don referred to its inhabitants as Morticia and Lurch. But I sense that this great mausoleum is not nearly as fun as the Addams residence. It’s huge and claustrophobic at the same time, all heavy woods, narrow windows, and dark passages. And as cleverly mentioned by some Basketcases, a creepy portrait of Betty’s mother watches over her, ala Rebecca. It’s more Thornfield than South Fork. You can see that Betty did not export the modern living room suite from Ossining, but the fainting couch must be somewhere here. The Francis’ have traded 20th mid-century modern for 19th century Victorian. No wonder Sally hates it. Yet this gothic mansion may have been less a choice by Betty and Henry’s than one of a historic committee. Maybe Betty went along because it’s literally a castle for a princess. But castles have dungeon cells; Betty’s parlor may have Bugles and Andy Griffith, but it’s still a cell. It makes me long for the ol’ Draper Place in Ossining with its cozy kitchen, big living room and pink powder room! It may not have been the happiest residence in town, but it was a hell of a lot more homey and accessible.
Betty — Okay. Betty’s fat. I agree with almost everything everyone has said about Betty’s weight gain and JJ’s pregnancy. The only thing I want to clarify is that JJ was not pregnant when she filmed this, her first episode of the season. It was a month or so after she had little X. See article here
Sally — This poor child. Now we’ve seen more of her hellish life with The Francis Family, with a domineering, frightening step-grandmother who’s in denial of her own abuse and who casually passed a partial sleeping pill to Sally. All I can say is Sally–Run. Now. Get out the house of Dark Shadows and run to Don and Megan and never come back. You’ve escaped before, you can do it again.
Peggy — Peggy! You’ve come a long way, baby! I am so proud of the way she got Roger to compensate her for his shortcomings. He’s not aware that she’s learned his manipulations, and business-wise, she’s owning it. I have no doubt that she’ll continue to rise, perhaps take over Roger’s place if he eventually dies from a third heart attack. Yet despite her business success, fashion-wise, she’s reverted back to peter pan collars on plain button-down shirts, plaid skirts and sensible shoes. Add a skinny ribbon bow at her neck and she’ll be ready for 8th grade at St. Olaf’s! C’mon Pegs, it’s one thing to dress like a man, it’s another to deny your maturity! Bring back the color and the sleek! I have no doubt that Peggy will love pantsuits, but that won’t be until at least 1970! As of episode 4, she was starting to get some color back, so there’s hope that she’ll catch her own version of the 60s Mod bug.
Michael Ginsberg The new kid a SCDP. We’ve just met him, but he’s going to make a big impression. I mentioned in a comment recently that to me, his voice and inflections remind me a lot of Jimmy Barrett. Deb reminded me that this a common, Jewish Brooklyn-ese accent, and I agree, but now that I’ve seen how his mind works (with the Cinderella scenario and his disgust at the gawking over the nurse murders,) I am beginning to see that he’s not just a comic. He’s going to bring more grit into the shiny SCDP offices, and definitely a taste of reality. Some are hinting that he and Peggy have an affair. Maybe, but I hope not, I like Abe too much!
Dawn Can’t wait to see more of her and what she’ll make of unavoidable awkward situations. With her hoop earrings and receptions skills, she is the Lt. Uhura of SCDP. (Star Trek will premiere on September 8, 1966) When we met her last week, I hoped she’d make many true friendships at SCDP, and work her way up, like Peggy. But now we know that she’s quite happy to be where she is, and handled Peggy’s awkwardness about the purse very calmly. I liked it when Peggy told her that “I started out as a secretary!” and even though Dawn wasn’t interested in moving up, it was good to see Peggy open up to someone new. I still hope they will become friends, maybe even roommates.
Joan What a good mommy, but she knows what she needs. Rock On Joan! I was hating her mother at first, but now that Joan has kicked Greg out, I think these two will bond closer since they’ve now both seen that they are better off without the men who neglected (and in Joanie’s case) abused them. And this leaves an opening for a friendship with Lane. I truly don’t think Roger and Joan will get back together, and Joan has known this since she decided to keep little Kevin.
Greg So Long, Farewell, Auf Wiedersen,Good Riddance! Dr. McRapist has left the building. Now there were a LOT of creepy, scary elements in Mystery Date, but did any of you notice that when Greg was in uniform he bore a startling resemblance to Marlon Brando’s character in Reflections of a Golden Eye? Check out this side by side. Now Brando’s character in Reflections… was a troubled, closeted Army officer who neglected his beautiful wife (Elizabeth Taylor) and lusted after a young soldier. Some here have mentioned that Greg might be gay because of his commitment to the Army. I don’t think he is, I just think he loved himself more than he ever loved or acknowleged Joanie. She deserves MUCH better.
Harry— Oh Harry. You have evolved from a clueless, sort of sweet doofus in a baby bonnet to a full-blown clueless douche bag doofus! He’s mishandled so many opportunities in the past couple years I’m amazed he’s still employed. But the worst part is he’s gone totally Hollywood, or at least what he thinks Hollywood is, and his ego’s as big as Priscilla Presley’s bouffant. Wife Jennifer is of little consequence to him and he’s always on the prowl for swinging chicks. I was so glad when he embarrassed himself in front of Megan, I’m glad he lost his office, they should ship him off to LA permanently. Indeed, Harry’s getting so bad that Stan is starting to look good to me! I suspect Harry will take his foolishness one step too far this season.
I totally love Megan. She’s smart, if not completely proficient as a copywriter yet. Gorgeous, elegant, playful, loving to Don’s kids, and mostly, she loves Don for himself, regardless of his past identity. Generational Friction? Understandable. But Don is totally in love with her, and happy to the point of not finding work as terribly important as he used to. What? Don happy? Is it too good to be true? Well, being Mad Men and considering Dons baggage, I can’t help but feel an ominous cloud over Megan. I’m now worried for Megan because of the horrific dream Don had of murdering his ex-lover. If Megan knew Don was capable of such thoughts in his subconscious, woud she fear for her life? I hope I’m wrong, but I think that for the sake of MM, that Don can’t be personally happy and professionally successful. When I see Don with Megan, I want them to run off with the kids to a tropical island and spend the rest of their lives in paradise, away from the hell of advertising. (they can afford it) I just want them to stay happy with each other, but we wouldn’t have a show if this were the case. But if anything happens, we’ll always have Zu Bisou Bisou! (And that dress!)
I’d love to hear your thoughts!