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The Doorway was on and I had forgotten how almost immediately we get a shot of Megan's glistening torso. Not even her face, just her body and her voice. It felt like MW saying, "I know you've had a long wait, so I'm going to give you a treat." Just me?

However, I loved how her soap story had her playing a maid, and Don was watching a scene where the married guy is trying to seduce the maid character and she's saying, "But she's always been nice to me!" about his wife. It mirrored his story with Sylvia. Where were they having their trysts? The maid's room. Then he goes and picks a fight with Megan and basically calls her a prostitute because she kisses guys in character.

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I enjoyed  the whole story with Pete, Pete's mother and Bob Benson again.  I loved it when Duck called Pete to tell him everything in Bob's resume was a lie, but what seemed to be the very worst thing of all? Like me, Bob Benson is from West Virginia! Gasp!

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"And before that, he sang backup...for Aretha Franklin!" (rips wig off Bob Benson to reveal an Afro).

 

(Anyone remember Police Squad?)

Edited by Simon Boccanegra
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Rachel's passing led me to think about other Mad Men characters who've died.

 

Is there any kind of list of the characters on Mad Men who've died (not necessarily on camera, but characters with speaking parts)?

 

I came-up with

 

Ida Blankenship
Andrew Campbell
Dorothy Campbell
Bert Cooper
Anna Draper
Don Draper
Gene Hofstadt
Mack Johnson ("Uncle Mack")

Rachel Menken
Lane Pryce
Nellie Sterling
Abigail Whitman
Adam Whitman
Archibald Whitman
Dick Whitman's biological mother

 

But I imagine I've overlooked some.

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There's also Joyce, Betty's former neighbor who had cancer. We never heard explicitly about her death, but in "Tea Leaves" she sounded as though she didn't have too much time left. Sandy, the violinist/runaway in Season 6, made reference to her mother's death. I wonder if she was supposed to be Joyce's daughter.

 

Betty's mother Ruth Hofstadt, though deceased when the series began, appeared in Betty's dreams in "The Fog."

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From the Severance thread:

 

But, all that stuff about Megan living in a house in the hills there etc and was it foreshadowing the Manson killings, would never have occurred to me if it hadn't been pointed out here. I wonder if MW was explicitly meaning to make people think of that, or if it was just a coincidence.

 

 

I honestly think that was just a coincidence.  I'm not positive if this is how it started, but I think some people wildly misinterpreted a point that Tom & Lorenzo made on one of their Mad Style posts (noting Megan's red star t-shirt was one that Sharon Tate once wore, and noting it was like a visual call-back to Abe getting stabbed by Peggy earlier in the episode and that perhaps it was foreshadowing the possible end to Don & Megan's relationship -- but some people took it to mean foreshadowing a violent death like Sharon Tate's or even that she was somehow Sharon Tate herself).  Anyway, after all that blew up, anytime the show had any slight hint of a hippie, lots of people insisted in could only mean Manson, despite the fact that hippies abounded in the late sixties and only a teeny-tiny fraction of them had any remote connection to Manson.

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Nah, Weiner was definitely dropping HUGE hints about Manson, about Woodstock, and about the Stonewall Riots.  They may still play out, or some of them, or be mentioned at least.  I'd hope so, or he was just being an asshole, or changed things up because so many anticipated the stories and he wanted to surprise people.  He had Stephanie and Megan in place for Manson.  He had Margaret practically living at Woodstock, and many characters who might have gone, including Sally and acid loving Roger.  Ditto with the whole gay rights/Stonewall thing, Salvador, Bob, and other peripheral gay characters.  This show spans the decade but leaves those out?  Not really buying that.

 

Meanwhile, I'll always love this show for certain scenes.  Going back a ways for these two, but the first reasons I completely fell in love with Mad Men?

 

The scene when Sally comes in wearing the plastic bag, and her mother, smoking and having a cocktail, is only concerned that her dry cleaning might be on the floor.  SO real, so funny, so period, possibly one of my favorite moments ever on any show.

 

The scene after the impromptu picnic in the new Caddy.  Don throws a can as far as he can, and Betty shakes the garbage out of the tablecloth into the winds, and they drive away.  Again, such a real moment of that time, and such a jolt for our current time.

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It just seems like people are determined to believe the worst about Suzanne, but not about Bobbi, or Joan, or Peggy, who gave a guy a handjob in a movie theatre, who slept with Pete when Pete was about to get married, who gave up her baby for adoption without telling the father.

I liked Suzanne from the very first. I saw someone who had a natural, un-polished look (soft enough to make Don pet grass)and who worked in a "caring," profession rather than one of the flashy, but more materialistic careers we were seeing in Manhattan. She lived in the suburbs in a low rent apartment, taught children and didn't look like the cover of Vogue. I identified. That's probably why I was so disappointed when she quickly gave in to Don's trite pursuit.

We expect Bobbie to have affairs, she's married to a sleazy guy and works in the notoriously "fast," world of night-club entertainment. Joan was presented as a rich man's mistress from the first episode. Peggy has been drawn as a sexually impulsive, single-girl-in-the-city type from the first. I wanted Suzanne to have better morals than they did, and while she may not have made any vows to Betty, most moral people respect the institution of marriage enough to hesitate before endangering a union with children. It may not be "adultery," in the strictest definition of the word, but it doesn't mean she isn't expected to honor the part of the ceremony that says, "whosoever God has joined together, let no man put asunder." I disagree with the idea that only the married person bears any blame in these situations. I was disappointed in Rachel for the same reasons.

Even Don let me down, because, womanizing adulterer or not, I thought he had a few rules of decency for himself and one was that he would have confined himself to women outside of Betty's small suburban world. He broke the unwritten rule that got Pete divorced.

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I liked Suzanne from the very first. I saw someone who had a natural, un-polished look (soft enough to make Don pet grass)and who worked in a "caring," profession rather than one of the flashy, but more materialistic careers we were seeing in Manhattan. She lived in the suburbs in a low rent apartment, taught children and didn't look like the cover of Vogue. I identified. That's probably why I was so disappointed when she quickly gave in to Don's trite pursuit.

We expect Bobbie to have affairs, she's married to a sleazy guy and works in the notoriously "fast," world of night-club entertainment. Joan was presented as a rich man's mistress from the first episode. Peggy has been drawn as a sexually impulsive, single-girl-in-the-city type from the first. I wanted Suzanne to have better morals than they did, and while she may not have made any vows to Betty, most moral people respect the institution of marriage enough to hesitate before endangering a union with children. It may not be "adultery," in the strictest definition of the word, but it doesn't mean she isn't expected to honor the part of the ceremony that says, "whosoever God has joined together, let no man put asunder." I disagree with the idea that only the married person bears any blame in these situations. I was disappointed in Rachel for the same reasons.

 

I agree with your argument - although I rather disliked Suzanne from the outset because I found her disingenuous. 

 

I recall Midge asking Don not to talk about Betty, because it made her feel cruel.  Suzanne had no problems in pursuing an affair with Don despite having met his pregnant wife and taught his daughter. 

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I agree with your argument - although I rather disliked Suzanne from the outset because I found her disingenuous. 

 

I recall Midge asking Don not to talk about Betty, because it made her feel cruel.  Suzanne had no problems in pursuing an affair with Don despite having met his pregnant wife and taught his daughter. 

 

Ah yes, Suzanne as rabid pursuer.  People remember that story differently than I do.  As I recall, Suzanne didn't give in "quickly" to Don, nor did she have "no problems in pursuing an affair."  Yes, she made a drunken phone call to him. But it was ultimately Don who came to her at her apartment. I always Suzanne as someone who felt conflicted about her attraction to Don, and was not the rabid bunny-boiler who was so desperately pursuing Don.

 

And it is funny to me that she is excoriated for not having better morals, given the fact that pretty much everyone on the show - even St. Rachel of Menken or St. Joan of Holloway - have questionable morals.  That's why I don't understand the vitriol that was directed towards Suzanne. Practically every single character on the show has either cheated on a spouse or been a party to cheating on someone else's spouse. Even characters we like. And yet, somehow, Suzanne is the one that people really react to. 

 

As I said, I still think it has something to do with the idea that she's a teacher. I don't know, maybe because my parents were teachers, but I never expected a character who is a teacher to not make mistakes or to be morally superior.  Teachers - like everyone else - can be good or bad and while, in real life, I want them to have good judgment, I don't have expectations that a teacher who has a fall from grace is somehow worse than anyone else who does.

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Sorry - I was using the word more for its definition for 'engaged in' as opposed to 'aggressively sought'.

 

I think that teachers are, of course, human - and prone to the same mistakes as anyone else.  I have taught, though, and as Sally's teacher, her role was 'in loco parentis'.  She betrayed that without a blink of an eye.

 

As I said, it's her disingenuousness that irritated me most.  If I had to rank Don's mistresses, she's probably equal tops with Sylvia, whose hypocrisy made me twitch.  Although Diana might overtake them both at the rate she's going :)

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I agree with your argument - although I rather disliked Suzanne from the outset because I found her disingenuous. 

 

Extremely. Suzanne bashed Don for being like all the other fathers who hit on her (though many viewers and reviewers found it questionable that he actually was, in that instance). This would generally indicate a person who doesn't like being hit on by the parents of her students, or someone who finds it inappropriate for fathers to approach her in the context of pursuing a romantic relationship with her. Yet subsequent events showed that she was perfectly wiling to have an affair with one of these fathers, so...what was she complaining about before? Unless an affair was just peachy with her once Sally had a different teacher, or Don was supposed to be more direct in his pursuit. But none of that squares with someone who openly expressed irritation about dads from school coming on to her.

 

Suzanne was the one who put herself out there as being so concerned about Sally's well being and clearly thought that Don and Betty had made a big mistake by not taking her to Grandpa Gene's funeral. I guess Suzanne figured that Don had had affairs before and Sally would never find out, so what was the harm? No, teachers aren't saints, but this was a time when teachers could be fired with no recourse for much, much less than having an affair with a (recent) former student's father. It was a poor decision on her part and some viewers really don't feel sorry for her that it turned out badly.

 

Of course, people can be harder on characters they dislike, than characters they like, for the same behavior. This goes for the men, too. Viewers have judged Don differently than Pete, and Pete differently than Harry, and Sal differently than any of those other guys, when they cheated on their wives. Don putting his hand up Bobbie Barrett's dress gets brought up as one of MM's sex assaults that's swept under the rug because people like the character (unlike with Dr. Greg), but the earlier instance in the same episode, of Bobbie repeatedly disregarding Don as he told her "no" is often ignored, seeming to fall under some sort of "But he's a guy, so..." umbrella where it isn't so bad or doesn't really count.

 

So, Suzanne is apparently the most hated of all of Don's mistresses (though I'm not sure how you would go about empirically assessing such a thing). Well, one of them was going to be. I don't see a ton of sexist language behind it (like with Joan in S7A when she was harsh to Don). Some viewers just found Suzanne tedious and annoying and weren't too upset to see the back of her. Is the underlying allegation that MM viewers aren't so "vicious" about minor male characters and it's only the women who are so heatedly bashed? Most of the minor male characters who've passed through the show have had a place at the agency, at least, so that gave them more of a purpose and tie to the rest of the action, than being some mistress to showcase whichever facet of Don's character/personality that Weiner wanted to highlight that season. There's Glen Bishop, too: through the years, viewers have had no problem describing him as creepy, pointless, and wishing he would just go away.

Edited by Dejana
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I think the reason why some viewers "hate" so many of Don's mistresses is that they take up so much screentime.  When a cast is this strong -- and it's a big cast, and they could frankly just go from strength to strength if they featured, say, the top-billed 7 characters exclusively -- the long and many scenes with Don's flings just feels interminable.  I would have felt the same about Peggy's sister and mother if we had seen them as much as we have seen Don's side pieces.  We were not subjected to any category of "lesser" character -- Pete's family members, Joan's mother (though her former roommate was GREAT), even Glen, whom many people didn't like -- nearly as much as we were subjected to Don's women.  If I ever rewatch, I'm definitely going to fast forward through all those women's scenes, at least post-Bobbie Barrett (I thought Midge, Rachel, and Bobbie were at least more interesting as characters in their own right, and would have been even more interesting if they had not been Don's mistresses).  

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A quick note on Sally and Suzanne: I think that what many viewers found so terrible about the Don/Suzanne affair was the thought of what would happen if Sally found out about them.  Sally adored her lovely, kind teacher Suzanne -- what if she, say, stumbled across Don and Suzanne kissing or something?  It would have devastated her.  So I think (yet another) reason that people despised that affair and that mistress was that it seemed to pose a serious threat to one of the favorite and most vulnerable characters, Sally.

 

AND I think that seed of fear, planted in the viewers' minds, paid off in spades when Sally discovered Don with Sylvia.  Everything we (the viewers) had feared might come to pass with Suzanne came to pass with Sylvia.  Everything Sally said to Don afterwards -- (paraphrasing) Don't you think about how awful it will be for me, to have to go into that building, and maybe see that woman, and have to smile when I'm standing next to her in the elevator???!! -- is very close to what I think Sally would have thought if she'd found about Don banging her teacher.  I was grateful that Sally was older, old enough to articulate her horror to her father at his carelessness, at his disregard for what his daughter might have to go through because of his cheating, and old enough to perhaps understand or come to terms with it fairly rapidly.  Anyway, my take is that the affair with Sylvia delivered on some of the dark promises held out by the Suzanne affair.

 

I also think Suzanne in many ways previewed Megan: sunny, breezy, great with kids, beautiful in a very warm and charming way (not like Betty's elegant coolness).  So Suzanne had her utility to the show in the long term, she set up some story beats that paid off years later. 

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When the camera focused in on Don's hand reaching down to touch the grass as he watched Suzanne, it was a glaringly obvious signal of his immediate sensual attraction. Females who look like Suzanne have been continually approached by males since they were, what, eight?, and they bloody well know the signs. The idea that there was any ambiguity about Don's intentions toward her is perhaps the most bizarre suggestion I've ever heard made about this show. Suzanne became an embarrasment to the professional reviewers who did not have the intellectual integrity to finally admit they had completely misread her, and to those who didn't wish to be reminded that the Drapers were lousy, emotionally-absent parents and that Don was as shitty a brother as he had been everything else but a storyteller.

Suzanne was despised for reasons analogous to antibodies attacking a foreign biological invader. She wasn't just new or different, as many other accepted/tolerated characters were, she was a complete outsider to the cultural and political ethos of everyone else. The worst that can be said in comparison about Jugulared Joan or Pious Peggy is that the former whored herself out to get a partnership or that the latter slept with Pete (never mind her taste in men) on the eve of his wedding? Please. They had tried their maternal darndest to convince people to self-ingest cancer. These Mad. Ave. men and women are the Sopranos gone legit, but far richer and more powerful, and in addition to making much more erudite and charming dinner companions than the uncouth boys from Joisy, they are also exceptionally adept at cleaning up any blood-red wine they might spill on their carpets.

Weiner could have had Bert Cooper be a devotee of any political philosophy (or none in particular), but he chose Ayn Rand, and for a reason. If someone had accused Bert of being an amoral, rapacious capitalist whose goal was to take as much as he could for himself and give nothing away unless forced, he would have thanked them for recognizing his intelligence, realism, and value to society.

By the same token, Weiner could have given the firm, in general, and wayward author Ken, in particular, any big name client, but he chose Dow Chemical, also for a reason. In the late 1960s, Dow was generally thought of according to this:

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/amex/twodays/peopleevents/e_napalm.html

http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phan_Thi_Kim_Phuc#

Now, Dow had actually gotten out of the human-denuding napalm business by 1971 and was into the more gentle and benign Vietnamese-vegetation-denuding business with their colorfully mysterious Agent Orange. The PR advertising done on their behalf wasn't to get people to go to their local hardware store to buy either product, but to have the ultimate effect of getting Americans to accept what was being done in their name.

So fuck off, Suzanne, go find yourself another serial philanderer to lead astray, another wrecked marriage to home-wreck, another maypole to traipse barefoot in the park about, and stop showing up in the middle of your summer vacation to run a solar eclipse event for no extra pay - it sets a bad example for the children.

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By the same token, Weiner could have given the firm, in general, and wayward author Ken, in particular, any big name client, but he chose Dow Chemical, also for a reason. In the late 1960s, Dow was generally thought of according to this:

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/amex/twodays/peopleevents/e_napalm.html

http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phan_Thi_Kim_Phuc#

Now, Dow had actually gotten out of the human-denuding napalm business by 1971 and was into the more gentle and benign Vietnamese-vegetation-denuding business with their colorfully mysterious Agent Orange. The PR advertising done on their behalf wasn't to get people to go to their local hardware store to buy either product, but to have the ultimate effect of getting Americans to accept what was being done in their name.

This is exactly why I don't see Ken going to work for Dow as some type of 'victory' or awesome nose-thumbing gesture to Sterling Draper whatever it's called.

 

With regard to Suzanne - I have never thought about her much one way or another, but keeping in mind what Weiner has said that we are chiefly seeing these women through Don's eyes and as part of Don's story, I figure she is just another one of Don's fantasies. In her he sees an optimistic, nonjudgmental person who will accept him and somehow make everything OK, glossing over the messy realities of the fact that he's married and she's his daughter's teacher, not to mention the ultimate fact that he can't escape himself by running away with some idealized woman. It seems that maybe she has a complementary fantasy that she fix everything for him, and that maybe she can fix Sally, too.

 

It reminds me a bit of the situation with Megan, where what he wants to see in her at first dovetails perfectly with how she wants to be seen.

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When the camera focused in on Don's hand reaching down to touch the grass as he watched Suzanne, it was a glaringly obvious signal of his immediate sensual attraction. Females who look like Suzanne have been continually approached by males since they were, what, eight?, and they bloody well know the signs. The idea that there was any ambiguity about Don's intentions toward her is perhaps the most bizarre suggestion I've ever heard made about this show. Suzanne became an embarrasment to the professional reviewers who did not have the intellectual integrity to finally admit they had completely misread her, and to those who didn't wish to be reminded that the Drapers were lousy, emotionally-absent parents and that Don was as shitty a brother as he had been everything else but a storyteller.

 

I can only speak for myself, not the reviewers lacking intellectual integrity, but I did pick up the cues that Suzanne was Don's next mistress from the time he watched her dance around the maypole (and rolled my eyes at yet another Don affair in the works). Just like how I was pretty sure Henry would be Betty's next husband from the moment she met this new handsome-ish man in a white lace dress and upswept hair (very bridal imagery).

 

Suzanne and Henry, however, didn't know they were characters on a TV show destined to find love with these strangers who'd crossed their paths. Whether or not fans liked their behavior, or thought it made sense, didn't have to correlate with whether or not these viewers were intelligent enough to have picked up on the foreshadowing. I excuse Henry putting his hand on Betty's baby bump as Weiner giving them an intimate "moment" and foreshadowing their future connection, but I can't totally disagree that it was really unusual/inappropriate behavior for a 1963 "gentleman" with another man's wife. Suzanne calling out Don for hitting on her was the way Weiner chose to bring the idea of an affair out in the open, stepping it up from grass caressing and lingering camera shots (more things that TV characters themselves are not aware of). The execution, IMO, left a lot to be desired, even if the affair itself was something I'd expected since she was introduced.

 

But characters act in ways that fans find unrealistic or unlikely (and call it out as such) all the time, even if it is for the benefit of the story. It's hardly unique to Suzanne, nor are male characters immune to these criticisms. Cutler and Lou having a top-secret conversation in the computer room with transparent walls: if Lou had just gone to Cutler's office and shut the door behind him, then Ginsberg wouldn't have seen it and Weiner couldn't have evoked 2001 imagery. Pete saying derogatory things about Manolo being gay and gay men in general, yet Bob thinking it was the perfect moment to rub knees with him: sure, people fanwank it that Bob was genuine attracted to Pete, maybe thought he was a deeply closeted, self-loathing and just needed a nudge to let him know that he wasn't alone in the world and could find true love with him. But logically, I think Bob's instincts would have been better at that point in his life, that he wouldn't have dared risk such a thing.

Edited by Dejana
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My issue with that early Don/Suzanne exchange is it doesn't seem like it matters what Don's secret intent was. By the standards of conversation Don hadn't done or said anything overtly romantic. She asked him when he was coming back, he told her, and then she accused him of dropping it into the conversation just so she'd know when they could get together. I don't see how that's not ridiculous by the rules of Don's world. It doesn't matter if he's attracted to her--why wouldn't he be?

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From the Betty thread:

Everyone's got their opinions and there are a lot of differing ones when it comes to this show, as to which seasons are better, etc. I will say that I appreciate how the show uses the JFK assassination as a turning point in not just history/the country, but in the characters lives, both at home and at the office, to the point where it almost feels like we're watching a different show from S4 onward, and that's not a bad thing at all, in my opinion. I personally love the later seasons. But I was born in the 70s so I don't have any personal connection to the era.

Ita with this. It felt like a different era but that was OK because it was different in a good way. I loved the Betty years but I also loved the beginning of SCDP era. In fact, I'd say my absolute favorite section of the show was everything from The Benefactor, when we first meet the Barretts, to Tomorrowland.

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Simon Boccanegra, on 21 Apr 2015 - 12:54 PM, said:

Hmm. I just Google Imaged "Marten Weiner" and got a whole bunch of screen shots from all his seasons on the show. Nothing "then and now" side by side, but this should be an adequate refresher.

 

http://tinyurl.com/o9smfpj

 

Marten really grew up and slimmed down.  I can see now how Betty didn't recognize him.

 

So, assuming we've seen the last of Glen, any "all seasons" thoughts about his character and storylines?  I think the only season he did not appear in was S3.
 

 

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No, he makes an uncredited appearance in "The Fog," staring at pregnant Betty when the Drapers go to the school to meet with Suzanne. It's the kind of thing you only catch if you watch it in slow motion. You also have to freeze it at just the right spot. (Kidding. That would be funny, though. Or terrifying.)

 

Thoughts on Glen: I made the nepotism jokes, I made the creepiness jokes, and there were certainly many things in the series I enjoyed more, but I don't think he was ruinous or anything. His story was an interesting element in S1 and could have ended in S2's "The Inheritance." I felt that that episode gave us closure on him and on Helen, who long ago had seemed the important Bishop. Whatever went on between Darby Stanchfield and the Mad Men powers-that-be took something out of the Glen material for me, when Helen just became a background voice. I never particularly enjoyed his S4-S6 "spirit guide" phase for Sally, and his trashing the house in "Christmas Comes But Once A Year" was the nadir for me.

 

Maybe with a stronger actor, I'd have had more affection and concern for the character? Possibly. All of that said, since they did go there with bringing him back over and over, I was okay with the resolution of it and I'm glad he got other scenes with Betty that referenced how all it began a decade ago. I'm glad she didn't start screaming at him when she realized who he was and that he had continued to have contact with Sally. I thought it all worked out about as well as it could have. And I don't want him to die in Vietnam. 

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Whatever went on between Darby Stanchfield and the Mad Men powers-that-be took something out of the Glen material for me,

 

Has it been confirmed that Helen's role was scaled back because of some dissatisfaction with Darby? 

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All I've heard (fan reports quoting one of the show's creative team at a public appearance after S1) is that they found one of the actresses difficult to work with in the first season and dealt with it by cutting the character's story short. There was a specific episode number given, and it lined up with Darby Stanchfield/Helen, whose story did feel truncated. The only two actresses who were written out that season were her and Rosemarie DeWitt, and there was not as much of a sense with Midge that there was supposed to be more there. That relationship seemed to end right on schedule for Don to get serious about Rachel. But Helen's arrival in the neighborhood and relationship with Betty seemed such a big deal early on, and then after "Red In The Face," she was talked about and never seen. 

 

Anyone have more details?

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She was in a season 2 episode, "The Inheritance".  I think that was the last of her.

Yep. That was the episode where Betty found Glen hiding in the playhouse in the backyard, and Betty confided to Helen about her and Don's marital problems.

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That was a great scene. They went from wanting to claw each others eyes out to bonding in an instant.

 

I always thought Betty needed a more evolved friend like Helen to guide her through the sixties but that would have been a harder and messier story to write so perhaps it's just as well they didn't go there.

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"The Inheritance" had not slipped my mind (I mentioned it in the other post about the Bishops above), but with that one exception, she became a perennially off-screen "my mom." We'd hear a voice shouting Glen's name or hear Betty gossiping about Helen dating a big fat man (Glen's eventual stepfather?).

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All I've heard (fan reports quoting one of the show's creative team at a public appearance after S1) is that they found one of the actresses difficult to work with in the first season and dealt with it by cutting the character's story short. There was a specific episode number given, and it lined up with Darby Stanchfield/Helen, whose story did feel truncated. The only two actresses who were written out that season were her and Rosemarie DeWitt, and there was not as much of a sense with Midge that there was supposed to be more there. That relationship seemed to end right on schedule for Don to get serious about Rachel. But Helen's arrival in the neighborhood and relationship with Betty seemed such a big deal early on, and then after "Red In The Face," she was talked about and never seen. 

 

Anyone have more details?

 

I definitely recall a post to that effect over on the old TWOP boards. If I remember correctly, it was by a student in some university course, and through some association with one of the season 1 writers, that writer came in to speak to the class. She supposedly shared the story above, which I remember pretty much as you recount it. I do remember there being some ambiguity that meant the the written-out actress could have been either Darby Stanchfield or Rosemarie DeWitt, but I think the general consensus was that Stanchfield made more sense.

 

The writer also supposedly revealed that Matt Weiner had originally intended to kill off one of the male characters by the end of the first season but had decided to grant him a reprieve. Again, there was some debate as to whether that meant that Roger was going to die from one of his heart attacks or that the old "Harry jumps off the building" rumor was based in fact. I think Matt Weiner has confirmed relatively recently that he did originally intend to kill Roger off. (And that's what I always sort of suspected, as it would've entailed only minor changes to the arc of the season, which in its final form still has Don freaking out because Roger almost dies, and then running the search for his replacement.)

Edited by Dev F
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I remember hearing about something similar happening with the writers as well, I think sometime between S3 and 4. IIRC, it involved Weiner, Robin Veith and Kater Gordon that resulted in Kater being fired and Robin leaving the show because of it.

 

 

which in its final form still has Don freaking out because Roger almost dies,

 

I am actually very surprised that Roger has not had another heart attack since, especially considering his lifestyle.

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Simon Boccanegra, on 21 Apr 2015 - 12:54 PM, said:

 

Marten really grew up and slimmed down.  I can see now how Betty didn't recognize him.

 

So, assuming we've seen the last of Glen, any "all seasons" thoughts about his character and storylines?  I think the only season he did not appear in was S3.

 

 

I wanted something to happen between him and Betty.

 

I thought he was going to be Sally's first 'real' kiss. I also thought he was being set up to be her first.

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Roger being marked for death and then getting a reprieve also fits with Roger's fragile heart being such an ominous story thread early on, but one rarely mentioned in S2-S7. Occasionally he'll say something in a light and playful or manipulative way like "I have a heart condition, you know," but for the most part he seems an indestructible quip machine. He certainly hasn't been shown leading any healthier lifestyle. In fact, in the later seasons he's been more of a risk-taker than ever. When he told Dr. Feelgood in "The Crash" about his heart condition and the guy just said "Doesn't matter" and injected him anyway, it seemed meta. 

Edited by Simon Boccanegra
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The only two actresses who were written out that season were her and Rosemarie DeWitt, and there was not as much of a sense with Midge that there was supposed to be more there.

 

I think the only thing I'd note is that both actresses did later guest shots on the show, when Helen appeared again in Season 2, and Midge in Season 4.  You'd have to have some pretty strong negative feelings about an actress to purposefully cut their storyline short, because that would mean you'd have to rework other storylines to make up for what you've cut, which can be a time consuming effort.  I'd have trouble believing you'd then rehire the same actress for another guest spot.

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Wasn't Rosemarie DeWitt listed as a series regular and in the opening credits in S1? That might imply that her role was intended to be bigger than it ended up being.

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I just watched a Paleyfest MM panel from 2012.  It took place between S4 and S5, so there was a lot of discussion about the S4 developments.  MW was asked about Rosemary DeWitt's return in Blowing Smoke, and he was very complimentary about her as a person and actress.  Seems he went out of his way to bring closure to her character's story. 

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I think the only thing I'd note is that both actresses did later guest shots on the show, when Helen appeared again in Season 2, and Midge in Season 4.  You'd have to have some pretty strong negative feelings about an actress to purposefully cut their storyline short, because that would mean you'd have to rework other storylines to make up for what you've cut, which can be a time consuming effort.  I'd have trouble believing you'd then rehire the same actress for another guest spot.

 

Both also contributed to the DVD commentaries that I'd imagine were recorded after S1 had wrapped. However, neither of those things makes me think there was nothing to it. Weiner (et al.) might be okay with a character popping in for one brief appearance some time later, but not being part of the big plans, on the set on the regular. 

 

Anyway, both women clearly have done well and worked consistently since their Mad Men time ended. If there is something to this, I suspect it was Stanchfield rather than DeWitt, just on the basis of the timing.

Edited by Simon Boccanegra
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Both also contributed to the DVD commentaries that I'd imagine were recorded after S1 had wrapped. However, neither of those things makes me think there was nothing to it. Weiner (et al.) might be okay with a character popping in for one brief appearance some time later, but not being part of the big plans, on the set on the regular.

 

I can't say one way or the other.  It just seems like if you were so awful on set that they essentially got rid of you, they wouldn't invite you to return later. 

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The full series marathon on AMC starts soon! I'll probably watch parts of it, even though I did full rewatch recently. Might fuel some talk in this and/or other threads. :)

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Freud reference and the cigarette "death wish" in Smoke Gets in Your Eyes has some extra meaning now, not that they knew what was coming back in 01.01

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Freud reference and the cigarette "death wish" in Smoke Gets in Your Eyes has some extra meaning now, not that they knew what was coming back in 01.01

 

I wonder if MW had Betty's death planned from the start?

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I wonder if MW had Betty's death planned from the start?

I somewhat doubt it, but I am thinking about it every time she lights up now

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I wonder if MW had Betty's death planned from the start?

 

My guess would be definitely by the time that "Bye Bye Birdie" became a recurring theme in S3. The finale will be illuminating on this question, especially if the resolution for Don is one that only works as a story if Betty's already died. I wouldn't be surprised if Weiner had figured out the ending to MM before the show ever got picked up.

 

I'm watching the marathon and during "Marriage of Figaro", when Francine and Betty discuss Helen Bishop, it's mentioned that she has two kids, Glen and a two year old. Was the younger child ever mentioned again?

Edited by Dejana
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I'm watching the marathon and during "Marriage of Figaro", when Francine and Betty discuss Helen Bishop, it's mentioned that she has two kids, Glen and a two year old. Was the younger child ever mentioned again?

 

She's mentioned a few times in seasons 1 and 2. Her name is Charlotte.

 

I don't think she comes up again after that. When Glen returns to Ossining in season 4, he only says that he's moving back in with his mother and her new husband, so it's possible that Charlotte stayed with their father and his new wife.

Edited by Dev F

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She's mentioned a few times in seasons 1 and 2. Her name is Charlotte.

 

I don't think she comes up again after that. When Glen returns to Ossining in season 4, he only says that he's moving back in with his mother and her new husband, so it's possible that Charlotte stayed with their father and his new wife.

 

Yes, the name does seem vaguely familiar, now that you mention it. When Glen was leaving for the Army a few episodes ago, he didn't mention the sister at all. Sally ended up becoming sort of a sister figure to Glen, so it probably worked better for the story if the actual sister just disappeared to the Great Attic of Abandoned TV Siblings, hanging out with Chuck Cunningham and Judy Winslow.

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Sally ended up becoming sort of a sister figure to Glen, so it probably worked better for the story if the actual sister just disappeared to the Great Attic of Abandoned TV Siblings, hanging out with Chuck Cunningham and Judy Winslow.

 

My guess would be there was no real reason to discuss her, so she wasn't brought up. 

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Francine finds out her husband is having an affair, then waits outside in a car for hours so she can talk to Betty about it.  People do choose her to open up to.   She would have made a good psychologist.

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A bit off topic, but I'm noticing a lot of commercials during the marathon such as:

- anti-smoking

- vapor cigarettes

- lung cancer treatment/cancercenter.com

 

Making me sad for Betty all over again :(

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I am going to be chained to my house for the next three days watching all of this. So much I forgot about. Hobart being a part of season one, wooing Don by using Betty. Peggy not even knowing she's pregnant (or in huge denial). And that hobo guy with his chalk and sign/symbols showing young Dick what they mean. I'm waiting for today's Don to whip out a piece of chalk on Sunday.

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Enter my least favorite MM character, Lois, telephone operator/secretary. I don't mind someone being a bit stupid if they try hard, like Meredith, but Lois was dumb and lazy, not to mention dishonest and careless. I could not believe she was till there after the lawn mower incident. Cooper fired a secretary for chewing gum. People were fired over a few dollars missing, with no proof, but Lois stayed on.

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