TV Corner

Let’s Talk About… Mad Men Season Two

Hello, and welcome to TV Tuesday- today I’m going to be talking about the second season of the hit AMC drama Mad Men!


 

Left to right: Elizabeth Moss as Peggy Olsen, Vincent Kartheiser as Pete Campbell, Arron Staton as Ken Cosgrove, Bryan Batt as Salvatore Romano, John Slattery as Roger Sterling, Jon Hamm as Don Draper, Michael Gladis as Paul Kingsey, Rich Sommer as Harry Crane, and Christina Hendricks as Joan Holloway

 

So I’m now starting to understand why people thought this show was boring and gave up on it. Season two starts off in 1962- a year and a half into the future, and we, as the viewer don’t get any of our questions answered from the finale of last season. Quite a bit happened and now it’s just the future. It’s a whole new plot and it’s kinda lacking from the first season.
There is a plane crash and that’s the main story for the first couple episodes because it not only affects characters, it affects the whole company of Sterling Cooper.
First- Pete Campbell’s father was on the plane and he died. I’m not going to lie, I thought he was lying- he didn’t seem serious enough, and it came off as if it was a big joke. I never take his character seriously, so for something serious to happen to him, throws the viewer through a bit of a loop.
Sterling Cooper has a small plane company as one of their clients, but they now want American Airlines because all their press is bad (due to the crash) and they want to grab them while they’re down so they can build them back up again. Be the heroes to this huge plane company. Now that they want the airline they must drop the small one. That’s where they make the mistake- they drop the smaller company before gaining the big one and they don’t secure it.
 
Now shifting gears, we get nothing but little snippets of what happened to Peggy. Each episode gives us a clue that puts the pieces together. Because for all we know nothing ever happened and she’s living the way she was before. We learn that her sister and mother took her baby. And then in the fifth episode we get flashbacks of Peggy in the hospital, where she is in complete denial of what happened. I like that they showed scenes where Pete and his wife Trudy are trying for a baby so hard, in between finding out what has happened to Peggy- it was just so ironic.
In the fifth episode Peggy helps Don out by paying his bail, and it makes no sense why he would call her- until one of those flashbacks explains. He went to visit her in the hospital- so he knows, but at the same time he doesn’t know. He knows that she was in the hospital, but not for what for because we see him asking, and she can’t seem to tell him.
This leads me to Don. Don Draper hasn’t changed since we last saw him. At the end of last season when he came home to an empty house, that looked like he was willing to change to be with his family more- and well, that just tanks. He just finds himself a new girl to sleep with. I can’t stand Bobbie, she’s so arrogant and just keeps using Don for her personal gain- and to help Jimmy Barrett, her client, and husband, who is the face of Utz Potato Chips, a Sterling Cooper client. You can tell Don struggles a bit with Bobbie but I’m the end always caves in.
Betty, his wife thinks that he’s being faithful to her, but then it all comes out at a party- Jimmy tells Betty to look at Bobby and Don, which makes it so clear to Betty. She is definitely branching out this season, and has more of a story arc. She rides horses that’s her big thing- and she’s struggling at home raising the two kids, all while dealing with Don. Then there’s her riding buddy that Betty talks to a lot now.
But speaking of the children, Bobby and Sally have more of a role- especially Sally, she’s becoming an inquisitive one. I believe this is setting up for what she will become in later seasons.
 
Let’s talk about Joan for a second now- she’s engaged this season- and well she isn’t as happy as she thought she would be. It almost looks as though she can’t stand her fiancé. She gets to do a little more at work, reading the scripts for the tv group- only once she starts to enjoy it- it’s taken away from her- oh poor Joan.
Then there is Roger Sterling- what a guy. He has taken a turn for the worst this season. Sure he’s back- but he’s terrible! He’s pretty boring for most of the season- it isn’t until the ninth episode when Mona, his wife barges into Don’s office mad at Don for telling Roger to run off and be in love- turns out Roger was with his secretary, Jane this whole time and he planned to leave his wife for her! What!?! Who saw that one coming? That totally left me speechless! What a tool. I never liked his new secretary and you can tell Don didn’t- he hasn’t liked anyone since Peggy.
And this is a great segway into Peggy’s new role- she is officially a copywriter and no longer a junior copywriter. It’s thanks to Pete- who did it the wrong way, but you can tell she’s very happy about it even though the way it was done she hated. The guy she’s replacing, Pete had not fired, but put on leave, all for peeing his pants- I felt bad for the guy. Even though the guy was a weird one.
 And where would a show be if it didn’t have new characters. Duck Philips, has been signed on as a new partner to Sterling Cooper. He’s a bit of an asshat- he thinks everything has to be done his way or not at all. I’m happy that they don’t always agree with what he says.
But by the end of the season when Sterling Cooper agrees to a merger with a British company Putnam, Powell & Lowe, this shakes things up. This makes Duck become the president of Sterling Cooper- this upsets Don very much. But Don has been missing for three weeks so his credibility is a little shaky.
Speaking of Don, because he is fighting with Betty because she found out- he decides he is going to go to California with Pete for the airlines deal. Only Don leaves Pete right before the meeting- just driving off with a young girl, he stays with her and her family for a while before he goes to visit Mrs. Draper- the real one, Anna.
We get flashbacks of the two meeting and when the truth comes out that Dick isn’t the real Don Draper. They become friends and so he goes to to talk to her. This I found interesting. They have the most bizarre relationship.
Then back at home, Betty actually does cheat on Don, and she also finds out she’s pregnant- but we know it’s don’s child. Or is it… You never know with these tv shows! In the season finale she actually tells Don- I didn’t think she would.
Salvatore has as more of a plot this season, he’s the major artist for Sterling and Cooper- and we get to see him outside of the office. We see him at home and out to dinner. Does anyone else get the vibe that he’s gay? He’s out to dinner with another man and the man puts his hand over his and he gets super offended- but he invites Ken over for dinner- and all he does is hang on to his every word. Then it becomes known that one of the guys they work with straight out says I’m a homosexual, that freaks Salvatore the fuck out! He may not be but I’ve got that vibefrom his character. I kinda think it would be an interesting way the show could go if he actually is. But then his poor wife.
Also as the season winds to a close, Peggy tells Pete about the baby- so know we know that he never actually knew, and he’s in shock obviously. Peggy feels better knowing the truth is out- but Pete is left in shambles. As just before the truth spilled out, Pete confessed his love for Peggy. Oh those two!
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