Tuesday, May 28, 2013

The show


  • Yesterday I caught some reruns of the season so far and picked up a couple of plot points I missed the first time. Must have dozed off then. Don’s creepy domination game with Sylvia backfired, but the point remains she did play along for a long time. I don’t think he messed it up deliberately; passive-aggressive isn’t how he rolls (even when his game is off, like last episode when he was on drugs), and his reaction was real. She came to her senses and dumped him. Sayonara to a sexy girl. I agree with others his ‘please’ was perfect acting. And I learned why Joan was sick (of course nothing life-threatening; they wouldn’t write that bombshell off!).
  • Don and Betty: didn’t see that coming! Hey, it’s a soap. Very sexy. An ex-model like her character, January’s arguably more beautiful than Grace Kelly.
  • Arlene the swinger again. Another attractive woman. Didn’t see that curveball either but it fits her. Reminds me of girls’ hip-to-be-bi kick now. Women are naturally more fluid that way than men; sometimes they fall in love with their best friends. In the messed-up modern culture, where Christian charity to the oppressed has turned into a big endorsement of homosexuality, girls are encouraged to do that and exaggerate it so they say they’re bi. (‘Hot damn; I’m gay. I get power and get to play a victim.’) I understand the reality is by the time they’re fully grown, in their 30s, most such are married and raising kids. What you do is your business, but as a gay pundit once wrote, you can spare yourselves and us the big coming-out speech. Anecdote: at an Ivy League college, a married grad student who really was bi didn’t talk about it because so many girls were claiming to be. By the way I have zero prurient interest in lesbianism.
  • Good riddance, Abe. We’re being prepped for Peggy and Ted to get together. ’68’s been kind to her; she’s prettier.
  • Most of what I wear is simply old (at work, up to 80%) or lookalikes but one’s because of the Don: my Helbros watch has a black leather band. While you’re there, enjoy Flickr’s redesign; they’re giving you a lot more free space too.
  • Of course I’m sad to see the show leave the golden era (it tapered off after ’65) but it’s interesting to see it segue into what I remember. I’m Kevin Harris’ age; the first car I remember was a ’67 Galaxie wagon.
  • What’s your opinion on that Bob Benson guy? Good question! At first you weren’t supposed to like him; his ambition was too obvious and he’s kind of a geek. Not a smooth operator like the anti-hero main characters. He’s a wannabe. When I think about it, in the show’s world, many of us would be like him, socially out of our depth. I like him. What’s wrong with ambition? He's puppy-dog sincere in his friendliness and it’s obviously self-serving at the same time. What you see is what you get, unlike the smart double-dealers at the firm. And ... he’s managing to date Joan? Guess he’s no geek after all.

    Or if they’re not dating, he’s a beta orbiter, friendly with an obvious ulterior motive just like at work, one that’s perfectly normal and not in itself wrong. (Beta orbiting in the friend zone doesn’t work for that objective, by the way.) But Joan has never treated men like that; golden-era people didn’t have weird, unnatural platonic relationships like that. Sure, there were opposite-sex friendships like Don and Peggy but they don’t pseudo-date. Don and Anna, the real Don’s widow, were another exception, understandable, that could have really happened.

    The Bob-Joan connection could be a fake-out for the audience; maybe Bob’s gay and she’ll be nice and protect him, as a real friend. (You’d think a dweeb like him’d be tongue-tied around her. Not a bad-looking guy. But usually a little awkward.) But the show already did gay with Sal (I know someone Pete’s age, now in his 70s, who like Sal is Italian-speaking second-generation American); it’s not that common in real life.

    Update: About Bob Benson...apparently earlier in the show, he said that his father had died. Now in this episode, he said that this nurse he recommended to Pete had "nursed his father back to health." Busted. So what’s with him?

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