Open Thread: Time Zones

 Posted by on April 13, 2014 at 8:00 pm  Mad Men, Season 7
Apr 132014

We’re baaaaaack!

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  220 Responses to “Open Thread: Time Zones”


  2. Hi Karl!

  3. Looking forward to it!

  4. T-90 minutes.

  5. Does anyone have a guess as to how much the counter-culture will impinge on the final season? So far it’s been just glimpsed tangentially, which may be true to most peoples experiences in the sixties.

    • I would guess that continues to be the case, although I would think – based on last season – we are likely to see people on the West Coast more, which could be more counter-cultural. Bringing Robert Towne onboard as a writer would also point in this direction.

    • At that time, I’d say well into 1971 or even 1972, millions of Murkins had no real connection to “the counterculture,” even as aspects of it wormed into mainstream culture. That story about The Doors’ 1967 “Light My Fire” being used for a car commercial is one example. On rock AM powerhouse radio, rock lived side-by-side with pop like Herb Alpert or The Fifth Dimension. On MOR/AC stations, rock was largely absent, in preference to Steve & Eydie, Sinatra, or later on, stuff like Roger Williams, and if “pop” appeared, it was stuff like The Lettermen and The Carpenters, not Beatles.

      Entire towns never knew a draft dodger. Entire regions never saw protests or riots. It was Nixon who really drew the “two Americas” back together, united in their distaste for Watergate. But that was a few years later.

      • Matt sorta alluded to this in the last answer here.

      • What?????????

        • I think Matt has always subscribed to the notion that while the show starts in 1960s, the Sixties didn’t start until later. Likewise, the 70s don’t really start in 1970. Hence his reference to Sinatra scoring a Top 40 hit in 1970.

          • I’m betting that the last song of the finale will be My Way by Sinatra. Any takers?

          • That thing about rock being absent from radio and the counter culture not having touched mainstream society is ridiculous.

            • I lived through it, and most of Murka was *not* New York or Los Angeles. Most of the top AM stations in the major markets back then were adult-oriented, not rock’n’roll… AM hitradio wasn’t hardcore rock, it was crap like The Osmonds and a lot of one-hit wonders. If you wanted to hear CSNY, Airplane, Yes, Traffic, you went low on the FM dial and hoped you found a college station or one of the early FM rock stations.

              And yeah, well into the 1970s, long hair and antiwar protests were pretty uncommon in large parts of the country.

      • Based on one of the promo photos, showing the gang in what looked like the bar of a 747, I believe this season is set in 1970 . That plane was I put into commercial use in mid 1970. Unles, they are pitching or handling the launch of said airplane, in which case it could be 1969.

  6. The Mad Men Facebook page just freaked me out saying it begins now. I know that Karl’s is the true countdown though. Phew…

  7. Well, here we are again… we need to stop meeting like this.


  9. BTW, the site tells me hackers have been trying to attack the dashboard, so I am locked out as an admin for now.

    I was trying to log in to ascertain when Deborah’s full review was set to run. My guess is 11 p.m. ET.

    • We’ve been having problems with WordPress locking the dashboard. But yes, the review will be up at 11:01 Eastern.

  10. I’d have preferred a two-hour season premiere. Hm.

    • At least we get an extra hour at the end…

    • Not I !

      The first two part season opener involved something about wife NO. 3, a promotion from secretary to creative “genius”, and an embarrassing birthday gift in French. It was a confirmation to me that the nightmare that had begun in Season 4, Episode 13 was real and was not going away anytime soon.

      I hope the return to one part season openers is a good omen.

  11. I am SO ready!

  12. Aieeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee! Hi Everybodeeeeeeeeeeeeeee! Very curious as to what’s in store tonight.

  13. T-30 minutes.

  14. Great to be back! Everybody ready?

  15. I’m ready!!!

  16. T-15 minutes

    • l used to work Sunday nights!!! So tonight is extra sweet!! “had to read the open threads the next day”


  18. Prediction: A major character will either die or be written permanently out of the series in tonight’s ep.
    I’m getting a spooky vibe.
    Robert Towne is on board now. He doesn’t do happy. Utter bleakness is his speed.

  19. OK. Logged in now.

    Deborah’s review is set to run at 11:01 p.m. ET.

  20. And Here. We. Go…Again!

  21. Take us in Karl!

  22. Here we go…

  23. On Twitter, I thought I saw a promo shot of Don getting off a Lockheed TriStar, which didn’t fly commercially till sometime in 1972.

  24. Freddie!

  25. Yay!

  26. Freddy!

    Are you ready? Yes!

  27. Hello…Daddy!

  28. Hey, an orgy bomb hit Roger’s hotel suite!

  29. Is that eye gone? How long has it been?

  30. Spencer Davis Group!

  31. That many hats in 1968?

  32. It’s all downhill from here, Don.

  33. Bracken’s World! I used to watch that.

  34. Shades of Sharon Tate again.

  35. Who has “Megan chokes to death on her own vomit” in the office pool?

  36. Joey Bishop! Can his sidekick Regis Philbin be far behind?

  37. So far, I’m targeting late 1968.

  38. Our hero seems none the worse for wear…and Megan… the dress!

  39. Is she reading it for the articles — not that there’s anything wrong with that?

  40. Pete Campbell goes L.A.

  41. I was unsure how Pete could look more out of place. He’s eschewed the three-piece suits for “here I am from New York!”

  42. Betty look a like.

  43. Joanie and the Professor.

  44. That’s an awesome joke, as Joan would be the only one at SC&P who would understand the difference btwn commissions and fees…because Lane was the only one who understood it when it came into vogue.

  45. If Joan has been there 16 years, then she started in 1953.

    • Years ago, didn’t they find her driver’s license at Sterling Cooper and remarked on her birth date, like maybe 1932?

      • I thought it was 1930. I thought the whole jist of pinning it up on the bulletin board because Joan was 30?

        If she was there in 1953, she would have been 23.

        • I’m too lazy to look her up on Wikipedia.

          • Turtle –

            I just meant that I recalled the whole point of it being that Paul — with whom Joan had a relationship — was being a jerk.

            Not that it was unusual behavior for him …. and we see someone who doesn’t even KNOW her being a jerk to her without knowing her.

            (I can’t remember WHY Paul wanted to humiliate her, he just did.)

            You are right – the actual year doesn’t really matter.

        • It was February 21, 1931.

  46. My double entendre meter just exploded!

  47. How much do we love Joan ? She should be teaching in an MBA program, the practical application part of the program.

    • Put her in that business class sitting next to Rodney Dangerfield in Back to School.

      After class he says (to Joan) “Hey Baby, lets go make a million dollars!”

  48. Most passive-aggressive spirituality evah.

  49. Is she in some sort of cult? I’m not familiar with the time period. Enlighten.

  50. So the big question is why isn’t he telling his wife he lost his job? He wanted to be in Cali originally and if he tells her, he could be in Cali full-time with her looking for a job.

    • ……because those two can’t spend two hours together without an argument?

    • Which brings up the question, what is he doing? How is he spending his time?

      • It appears that Don is spending his time being Don Draper. It’s more than a full-time job. And he’s already hitting his stride with Airplane Lady.

  51. I’d love to know what Roger’s daughter is into. Not apropos of that, casual sexist put-downs seems to be a theme — the corporate creep in the restaurant and then the business professor.

    • That was so common at that time, it wasn’t even really noted. It was a fact of life, a constant in the equation of life. Only a few of us, the smart mouth going to be single forever girls ( and yes, we were all “girls” back then) said anything.

  52. Airplane Lady looks familiar… anybody know who she is? And did they really hand out cocktails before takeoff? I couldn’t afford to fly until the early 1980s.

    • Neve Campbell. Formerly of Party of Five.

    • Yes, there was a time in history when airline travel was nice, fun, even a little glamorous. People dressed up when they flew somewhere, you were treated like special guests. You checked your luggage at the check in counter, got your boarding pass and went to the gate, and it wasn’t even crowded!

  53. Is that Neve Camobell on the plane?

  54. Don thinking: “She’s purdy!”

  55. …..smooth Don

  56. so anyone read the scroll on the TV? I’ve been thinking for awhile that this entire DD life is Dick Whitman’s fantasy…. if I’m right (kind of hope I’m not), then the scroll would be some interesting foreshadowing…. maybe it’s an egg put there by the producers?

  57. Is that Neve Campbell?

  58. Don starring in “The Merry Widow.”

  59. So…we’re all thinking that’s Neve Campbell, then.

  60. I will say, even on trains back in the 1970s, waking up with a strange lady sleeping on my shoulder was not unknown and certain not unwelcome.

  61. I love that Joan just gave that dude her version of “you haven’t thought this through.”

  62. Joan is a Dreadnought

  63. Has Don finally broken the pattern? Or do we expect to see Neve Campbell again?

  64. Let me guess…the Accutron idea is Don Draper by way of Freddie Rumsen…

  65. Could someone explain why women used to take off an earing before answering a phone?

    • They were mostly clip-ons back then, and really hurt when the phone smashed them against your ear.

    • Because they dig in while you are on the phone. It presses against the head and hurts.

      • Also, the earring smashing against the phone could be heard, at least by you, interfering with listening to the conversation. It was automatic, for any gal who wore them — Joan was off her game, in not keeping it in her hand, due to the stress.

    • Because a clip on earring is painful as hell with a phone held up to it.

  66. Who is that playing the Butler Shoe guy? He looks familiar, but I can’t place him.

  67. Does the Butler Shoe twerp realize Joan is a partner?

    Or do we get to see his face when he comes in with Mr. Butler?

    Or will he stay as ignorant as he is now?

    • I SO hope we get to see his face!

    • I think Joan is keeping the partner card down – for now. Confidence would demand that you play that card rarely if at all. Tough spot, Joan is not a silver-haired devil – like Sterling or Cutler (thank goodness).

  68. A couple of Dicks: Whitman watching Nixon.

  69. Freddie is Don’s sponsor. And beard.

  70. Well, we now know what Don has been up to. And we learn something about Freddie. If Peggy finds out, she will lose her mind.

  71. Is peggy in the same place she lived in with her old boyfriend?

    • Apparently.

      • If Peggy had any sense, she would move someplace better. We know she can afford it. If she was supersmart, she would hold onto the building, and be an absentee landlord, or hire a building manager. In a few decades, that building could fund her retirement.

      • I remember thinking that she was in a new place by the end of season 6. I guess not. Why would she stay there alone? She never felt safe.

        • May not be easy to sell quickly in 1/69 (just 2 months after the end of S6). May represent people still carrying baggage. May have spent the set money on Megan’s apartment.

          • She doesn’t have to sell it. She could rent it, couldn’t she?

            • Yeah, but then she’d likely have to rent elsewhere. And she’d still probably have to check up on it regularly as landlord.

  72. The non-peppy version of You Keep Me Hanging On

    • The dreadful version actually. Vanilla Fudge was a rather dire act. Right up there with Manfred Mann as a band that fed off other groups’ popular hits and somehow rang their own cash register with them.

  73. Vanilla Fudge.

  74. He played a character in Cougar Town.

  75. Inside MM video on AMC site isn’t up until 11:30 ET ……grrrrrrrrrr

  76. Any thoughts on why this episode was titled “Time Zone”?

    • The most obvious reference is btwn Don & Megan, but more like represents the general distance btwn everyone, as Deborah suggests in her review…which just went live.

      • Slight correction: The episode was called “Time Zones.” And I’m guessing it was for the simpler reason of the action’s taking place roughly equally between LA and NYC.

    • People living in different time zones, in different states of mind. The clash of the remnants of late ’50s early ’60s vs. the advent of the ’70s. Roger’s daughter’s ’50s look but her ’70s psychobabble.

    • Also, I think it refers to how much time is passing. Freddie warned Don that he is still waiting around even though its been months.

  77. What a great episode! How did super WASPY Pete discover Bagels? Did Ginzo start bringing them into the office, and Pete developed a taste for them?

    Did Ken just unoffically make Joan part of accounts?

    It’s so sad to Peggy unhappy at work. She needs to start her own agency. I’m not sure who would go with her to handle accounts, but I’m sure she could find someone.

    • Pete is the consummate NYCer. We already knew he was a fan of a Jewish bakery — the name escapes me , but it’s mentioned in “Signal 30.”

    • I think Joan is taking initiative and showing her ambition. Deb mentioned in a different post how season 6 showed her being ambitious when in season 2 she was not. She is thinking big for her herself

    • Didn’t Lenny Bruce do a whole routine about what’s Jewish and what’s not?? I believe he said that if you were from NYC you were Jewish (even if your religion wasn’t) and if you ate mayo you were a WASP (even if you were Jewish).

  78. Last season was disappointing. The premiere tonight was tedious. Glad it was just an hour.

    • Tedius, but it set some great stuff. Joan might move into accounts in some capacity. Peggy, Don, and Freddie might start thier own agency. Sooner or later Peggy is going to figure out that Fred is a front for Don. She knows Don’s work, and she knows Fred’s work.

      • The next week preview looked as if another new agency might be in the future.

        • I was thinking that, but I couldn’t remember if the previews were fair game for the blog, so I figured better safe than sorry. For awhile, I’ve figured Peggy’s end game was either creative director, or head of an ad agency.

      • Retro Girl —

        Wasn’t she already somewhat surprised by the quality of Freddy’s pitch? I didn’t catch the exact language but Freddy called her on the way she expressed herself.

        [Note: I thought the pitch was very Draper-like in its opening].

        • That’s why I think it’s only a matter of time before she figures it out. It would be great to have something that calls back to when he visited her in the hospital. I would love to see Peggy in a position of power, visting Don at what is one of the lowest moments for him.

        • l don’t know? …..l thought Freddys speech was more “Rod Serling” like!!

        • I liked that she picked up on the fact that something was up but couldn’t quite put her finger on it. I also liked that she immediately tweaked it – showing the chemistry she had with Don.

    • Last season seemed notably better than S5, but yes, tonight’s episode was a bit tedious. The Megan character has never quite worked except in neutering Don for a season or two. I sense he is at a similar place he was in S4 when he was swimming and keeping a diary. But at this point the show seems in Peggy’s and Joan’s hands. Could be interesting. But this split final season nonsense is for the birds.

      • I’m still livid about the split season. AMC is really trying my patience. They know they can get away with it, but part of me just wants to stop watching, or hope the finale is spoiled months in advance, out of spite.

        • Had the same two thoughts myself. Spiteful, yes, but they’re deserving of the ire.

        • I’m not bothered by the split season as much as I am at the decision to include no episode commentary tracks on the S-6 DVD or BluRay sets. And, the “extras” were shoddy and scant.

          I’ve followed the pre-S-7 interviews and articles, but as far as I’ve been able to determine, neither Matt nor anyone associated with the show or Lionsgate or AMC, has addressed this.

          Also, the listing on Amazon of the S-6 product description gave no clue at all of this omission. There have been quite a few negative customer comments about it, post-purchase, but there was no advance warning.

        • I find that a full season of Mad Men tends to go so psychologically deep that I’m tired by its end. (This was true even after Season 1.) I’m hoping this short “half season” will leave me in better shape.

          AMC had great success with the split final season of Breaking Bad, and that show’s creative team clearly saw the change as the opportunity it was. I think everyone involved in making a show as high-quality as Mad Men will appreciate the break, and I expect that we’ll see the results onscreen next year.

          If the show loses viewers because of the short season, I think it’s those viewers’ loss. I for one don’t want to miss what’s ahead.

          I’ll be here to the end. :)

          • What is funny is that I’m still a fan of the show, though my ardor has cooled quite a lot.

            The first four seasons were rock solid. I found S-5 to be almost as good, but it showed some signs of squishiness. For me, S-6 went completely off the rails, though I get the intent of that likely being a reflection of the year 1968, which was an incredibly off the rails years in real life. All along, I’ve purchased each season’s DVD set and I was really looking forward to the S-6 set, hoping that the excellent commentary tracks would increase my understanding of what Matt & Company were up to. I can’t adequately express how completely dissed I felt, at the lack of those tracks! Then, no explanation at all (at least that I’ve been able to find in the press) as to why there were none.

            I’ll continue to watch as S-7a and S-7b unfold. I’ll probably still purchase the DVDs, but I can’t honestly say anymore, that Mad Men is the best drama on TV that isn’t named Breaking Bad – and vice versa. That sentiment used to be true in my estimation, but after S-6, then the commentary track debacle, I’ve changed my mind about that.

            Perhaps the show will redeem itself somehow, as S-7 plays out. I sincerely hope so, but my confidence has been shaken, so I won’t bet on it!

  79. Did anyone else catch Megan’s manager/agent telling her that there would not be enough time to “fix her teeth” before the callback? Is this a nod to all the posts about her teeth or a reference to her comment to Don about her teeth? Cute

    • It’s the latter. On S4 and S5 commentaries, Matt Weiner has remarked that he likes the reality of commenting on the physical characteristics of his cast — Don & Betty’s beauty, Peggy’s ears, Megan’s teeth, etc.

      • And Megan cringed when he said it.

        • Her “friend”in Season 4 who is an actress told her she would need to get her teeth fixed and she complained to Don about it. Her teeth has been an issue with her before

  80. Don and Peggy are both wearing hats, and are both in bad places, in terms of work and life.

  81. So we taped it and are watching it now…
    I knew, knew KNEW that was Canter’s Deli from the first shot! In fact, Margaret turned to me and said “Wasn’t that the booth we sat in the last time we were there?”
    Lord I miss their sandwiches (and they make a mean kishka!)–there’s no decent deli up here in in Sonoma Cty.

  82. So Peggy pushes Don’s cut line for. Acutron via Freddy. This gearing up to another fission: Don changes wives, Peggy dumps the dump, Joan gets her oats, and Freddy makes a comeback. At the end, a new agency, with Don, Peggy, Joan and Freddy.

  83. One more big sign of progress, that’s probably invisible to us: Miss Olson, ever progressive, in hiring a second Negro secretary — one with an Afro, which was very radical in 1969. Heck, women still get criticized for non-treated AA hair in the workplace, let alone a big, beautiful natural.

    The first woman through the door can be a token; the second, a movement.

    As ever, Go, Pegs….

    • Didn’t Peggy have a black secretary when she was at Chaough? Wonder if it was the same woman.

    • Of course she was concerned that a black secratary might loot her purse when she left the room…

  84. Yes, cgeye, and I think her name is “Shirley”??

    I actually turned the TV off mid-show. Losing the faith.

  85. I don’t understand how people can invest so much time in a series as dense as Mad Men, and then in the last season decide to give up. Don’t you want to see how it turns out for these people we’ve gotten to know so well over the past 6 seasons?

    Anyway, I love how Matt Weiner has cast so many former child/young adult stars as mistresses or wives on this show. Alexis Bledel (Rory Gilmore from Gilmore Girls), Linda Cardellini (Lindsay Weir from Freaks & Geeks), and now Neve Campbell (Julia Salinger from Party of 5). Even Ken’s wife Cynthia is played by a former teen star (Larisa Oleynik from The Secret Life of Alex Mack). I know that’s a function of the women’s ages but it’s jarring to me nonetheless!

    Anyway, I enjoyed the episode and I think it sets things up nicely for the final 13 episodes.

  86. Looks like I’m not alone in my dissatisfaction with the show. The S-7a premiere had the lowest ratings since 2008.

    With a split season – 7 episodes now and the final 7 episodes in early 2015 – is it possible that if the ratings stay low for the rest of S-7a, that AMC can opt to not air S-7b next year, due to a diminished number of viewers?

    The final 7 episodes will be “in the can” long before Spring 2015, so all of S-7 could eventually be seen, on a “straight to home video” basis, for diehard fans. I don’t recall this ever happening before with a series – especially one that started with such critical acclaim.

    • While I really liked last season, when I viewed it all again I found that it didn’t seem to wear so well -perhaps a similar carryover caused the 2.3-million number for last night.

      And if those who stayed away want to be happy about all their faves, then last night’s gloom will not make for better ratings. Still, this is much better than “pleasing” everybody. If Mad Men had done that, many of us would be watching something else.

      Ep 413 had 2.4-million, with a 2.9 premiere and 2.3-million S4 average. We got to wait 18 months after that for Episode 501:

      Season 401, 413, and S4 average: 2.9, 2.4, 2.3-million

      Season 501/2, 513, and S5 average: 3.5, 2.7, 2.7-million

      Season 601/2, 613, and S6 average: 3.4, 2.7, 2.5-million

      If last nights 2.3-million is composed of hard core fans a 2.0-million average is not unlikely – which still makes it commercially viable.

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