Anna Camp


Early this season on AMC’s smash hit Mad Men, Peggy Olsen (Elisabeth Moss), who pulls no punches, told Don (above)  “we’re all here because of you.”  Peggy, eager to please her mentor, but also put off by his excessive drinking and snappy temper, was quite emphatic.  The new agency, SCDP, was populated by people for the most part hand picked by Don.  After Don gave a poorly received interview to a trade publication, the new venture, along with people’s confidence in the magical Don Draper was imperiled.  Don would right his gaffe by giving a lights out interview to the Wall Street Journal.  Later in the season, he’d win a prestigious award in his field–a monument to the new agency.  Don even began exercising restraint with the bottle.  It was a good sign for DD fans who saw his life careening out of control.  It took a drunken tussle with Duck Phillips of all people for him to recognize the need for a more sober Don.  How embarrassing it was when a much younger Don said “uncle” with Duck on top of him.  But Don had fought to protect Peggy’s honor, and their relationship, which fractured some time after Don had come to visit Peggy in the hospital after she gave birth to Campbell’s love child, mostly because Don had been extra hard on Peggy and because Peggy perceived that Don would always get the credit for her work, was back on track.  Unfortunately for Don it took a death to someone important to him–the real Ms. Draper–for Peggy to see Don in a different light.  The rift between creative’s 2 most creative, especially after Don had brought Peggy back to the agency from oblivion, and after Peggy had bailed Don out of a Long Island jail on a DUI rap, had us very disturbed.  We were happy to see things set right, and learning that Cooper (Robert Morse) had lost his testicles in the Great War and that Sterling (John Slattery) had been sexually ravaged by that cougar Ms. Blankenship was the cherry on top.

In many regards, it’s been a watershed year for Don.  Don started swimming, pardon the earlier pun, and we noticed that the dullness that had set in after his divorce was departing.  Perhaps it wasn’t quite the year we were expecting from him though.  I for one, assumed that Don, newly single and unleashed upon the city, would display that “legendary prowess” with the ladies, to steal a phrase from Nazi party, um, I mean Tea Party candidate Carl Paladino.  But Don has been leading a mostly quiet existence.  For Don.  He’s still in the same little apartment on Waverly which is well below his means.  He consented to a few dates with Bethany (Anna Camp) at the urging of Roger and Jane (Peyton List), had sex with his secretary Allison (Alexa Alemanni), which led to her throwing a paper weight at him and leaving in tears–a drunken tryst which gave Don more reason to cut back on the booze–and to scale back the office romances.  Slightly.  Don would still hook up with Dr. Miller (Cara Buono), banged a prostitute on the regular who he liked to beat him about the face during sex, quite the commentary on Don’s self esteem, but the dapper Draper seemed downright uncomfortable at the Kit Kat Club with Lane (Jared Harris), whose dalliance with a hooker on his impromptu New Year’s Eve with Don seemed to create a monster.

Don has also resolved some familial issues this season.  Despite Betty’s new husband Henry’s (Christopher Francis) obvious disdain for him, Don presented himself at his son Gene’s birthday party, intent on not becoming the forgotten man in Gene’s life.  Don’s new life may not be ideal, but he has progressed as a man, shown feelings, and learned from mistakes.  None of that helped him any when Lee Garner Jr. (Darren Pettie) gave Roger the jarring news that Lucky Strike, the account that “kept the lights on”, had moved on.  If that wasn’t bad enough, the aeronautics company that Campbell landed when Don left Pete stranded poolside in Hollywood to go off with a young hottie, was conducting background checks which left Don’s background exposed.  Don ordered Pete, who knows Don’s secret, to drop the account.  The firm went from profitable to the Titanic in one day, and Campbell, with a baby on the way, was furious at Don.  With nobody in the business willing to give SCDP the time of the day due to the prevailing notion in the industry that they’d be out of business in 6 months, Lane arranged for a credit extension to keep the firm afloat.  But the extension required an outlay of $100,000 from the senior partners and $50,000 each from Lane and Pete.  With the company just about flatlining, Don did something.  He wrote a letter to the New York Times criticizing the tobacco industry and the ad companies that stumped for it.  The letter was met with outrage by the partners, especially from Bert Cooper, who made a most valid point: by not signing all their names to it, the letter submarined and undermined the other partners.  Cooper was so incensed that he took his shoes and quit on the spot.  Only Peggy saw the letter for what it was: a publicity stunt meant to gain SCDP much needed attention. 

Where the episode left off on Sunday night, the letter had yet to produce tangible effects economically.  But anti-tobacco organizations are dialing them up, and as Ken Cosgrove (Aaron Staton) pointed out, those organizations have infuential members who sit on the boards of major companies.  Don is enthused that they will have an opportunity to work, and that their work will surely lead to more work.  With regard to Campbell, Don did the right thing by putting up Campbell’s $50,000–a source of strife between Campbell and pregnant wife Trudy (Alison Brie).

The fact remains going into Sunday’s finale that the firm is in dire need of new accounts.  Layoffs have begun, the industry buzz is that they are dead men walking, and they need more than a letter to The Times to turn the tide.  Don must make it rain.  After all, he is the brightest star in Mad Men’s midst, and what Peggy said about them all being there because of him can be applied to us, the audience, as well.  If Don didn’t feel that burden, he’d never have felt obligated to pay Pete’s share, or to assure Peggy her job.  Are we really going to have to sit through an anti-climactic finale in which the agency goes down in flames?

We think not.  Season 3’s ending was one of the great season finale’s we’ve ever seen, and one of the strongest Mad Men episodes ever.  Last year, Don, with his family life crumbling, rose above his personal circumstance, found a way to circumvent his contract, and formed the new agency in dramatic fashion.  We look for something similarly spectacular from Don this week, and we trust that ace show creator, writer, and executive producer Mathew Weiner will give to us.

We would speculate, gun to our head, that Chelcie Ross will reprise his role as Conrad Hilton–a man who “comes and goes” as he pleases, someone Don has a history with, and who has the clout and financial might to take the agency off life support.

As for last week, Weiner is to be credited for having his son reprise the role of Glen, and for having United States of Tara star Rosemarie Dewitt reprise the role of Don’s former lover Midge.

https://crackbillionair.wordpress.com/2010/06/14/breaking-bad-poor-finale-ends-excellent-season/

https://crackbillionair.wordpress.com/2010/08/02/mad-men-problems-for-don-loom-glen-returns/

https://crackbillionair.wordpress.com/2010/07/27/mad-men-don-and-betty-up-to-old-and-new-tricks/

https://crackbillionair.wordpress.com/2010/07/29/mad-men-jon-hamm-tells-parade-he-doesnt-want-wife-and-kids/

https://crackbillionair.wordpress.com/2010/03/17/sal-romano-we-hardly-knew-ye/

https://crackbillionair.wordpress.com/2010/07/21/january-jones-jennifer-aniston-love-triangle/

https://crackbillionair.wordpress.com/2010/06/13/january-jones-seeing-chef-bobby-flay/

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https://crackbillionair.wordpress.com/2010/03/22/tara-jackie-and-joannie-holloway/

https://crackbillionair.wordpress.com/2010/04/16/my-old-kentucky-home/

https://crackbillionair.wordpress.com/2010/06/03/battle-of-the-moolighting-mad-men-wives-alison-brie-versus-peyton-list-picture-show/

Crack (https://crackbillionair.wordpress.com, www.crackbillionair.com)

Jon Hamm and girlfriend Jennifer Westfeldt (above).

The man who stars as Don Draper on the iconic hit Mad Men, actor Jon Hamm, has told August’s Parade magazine that he has no intention of marrying or having kids, despite his long love affaair with actress girlfriend Jennifer Westfeldt.

“I don’t have the marriage chip,” Hamm told the Aug. 1 issue of Parade magazine, “and neither of us have the greatest examples of marriages in our families.”

The “Mad Men” star also doesn’t plan to become a father anytime soon.

“I like kids but I also like the option to close the door,” he said. “Becoming a parent is a whole other life, and it doesn’t stop.”

But don’t get too excited, ladies. Even though Hamm doesn’t plan to walk down the aisle or into the delivery room anytime soon, he said Westfeldt – who he’s been dating for 13 years – is a keeper.

“Jen is the love of my life, and we’ve already been together four times longer than my parents were married,” says the 39-year-old actor.

http://www.nydailynews.com/gossip/2010/07/29/2010-07-29_mad_men_star_jon_hamm_i_dont_have_the_marriage_chip.html

For more on Westfeldt, check out:

http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0922724/bio

Mad Men began season 4 Sunday on a high note, to it’s best ever ratings debut.

Last night’s season four premiere of Mad Men scored drew 2.9 million viewers, making it the most-watched season premiere of the Emmy-winning series. Its viewership was up 5 percent from the 2.76 million people who watched last season’s debut episode. Mad Men‘s first season averaged 925,000 viewers.

http://news-briefs.ew.com/2010/07/26/mad-men-premiere-ratings/

Read our take on the Mad Men premiere below:

https://crackbillionair.wordpress.com/2010/07/27/mad-men-don-and-betty-up-to-old-and-new-tricks/

–Crack (https://crackbillionair.wordpress.com)

 

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1615656/

In listening to Mad Men creator Matthew Weiner’s commentary about his hit show’s third season, during an AMC marathon last week, and in his remarks about season 4, I have to admit that the Mad Men genius and former Sopranos writer/producer was making me nervous.  He said that everything that happened in season 3 was for a reason, and necessary, but that is what will make for a totally different season 4.  For a fan who likes his Mad Men how it is, the sweat was forming on my brow.

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https://crackbillionair.wordpress.com/2010/06/14/breaking-bad-poor-finale-ends-excellent-season/

And then season 4, episode 1, entitled “Public Relations” began, and Don (Jon Hamm) hits a reporter doing a piece on him in an ad magazine with his trademark smug, lambasts Campbell (Vincent Kartheiser) for wasting his time with a cattle call when the hopes of the new agency rest on how he accounts for each hour, derrides Peggy (Elisabeth Moss) in his usual fashion, and then pours a scotch and dives on the couch in his new office for a nap all within the first 5 minutes, and I say, “Thank God it’s the same old Don” and “Matthew Weiner, you got me good!”

Vincent Kartheiser (L.), Jon Hamm, and John Slattery (R.), above.

https://crackbillionair.wordpress.com/2010/05/17/mad-men-jon-hamm-parties-in-nyc-with-other-stars-snl-wrap/

Next, Roger (John Slattery) imposes on Don’s nap to push a date on Don with one of Jane’s (Peyton List) friends, a twenty something year old we later find out is played by Anna Camp (Sarah Newlin, True Blood).  In fact, the Mad Men camp kept under tight wraps who the new castmates would be, and from what we could surmise, since Aaron Staton is still in the credits, the actor who plays Ken Cosgrove, we can assume that the struggling Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce may be soon hiring their old co-head of accounts to bolster their flagging revenue.

https://crackbillionair.wordpress.com/2010/06/03/battle-of-the-moolighting-mad-men-wives-alison-brie-versus-peyton-list-picture-show/

Then Don’s accountant comes in to meet with him, and the two drink scotch, while the money man urges Don to get Betty (January Jones) to adhere to the divorce agreement and vacate their old premises, which Don is paying the mortgage, taxes, and upkeep on, though he no longer lives there.  Don says he doesn’t want to bring it up and start World War III.  It isn’t until about the 20 minute mark when we see Betty for the first time this season, with her new family, that of her new husband, advisor to the governor, Henry Francis (Christopher Stanley), as they sit down to Thanksgiving dinner prepared by Francis’s over-bearing matriarch, who seems very wise later on in the episode when she turns her attention to criticizing Betty to her son.

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That Thanksgiving dinner takes an eventful turn when young Sally tells Mrs. Francis she doesn’t like her food and then spits out her cranberry sauce while coughing loudly, before Betty pulls her away from the table.  Later that night, it seemed like sexy time for Henry and Betty, until Sally (Kiernan Shipka) causes some ruckus in the hallway, and Betty gets up to find her fumbling with the phone, trying to call Don.  Like children bickering almost, Betty tells her young daughter that Daddy isn’t going to be pleased when he hears Betty’s version of the story.  Since old Henry can’t recover the steam when Betty returns, he tells her to send the baby out tomorrow when Don picks up the kids, and that they’ll go out to a romantic dinner alone, as we get the idea that Henry is losing patience with Betty and all the baby momma drama.

Don, who had rebuffed Roger’s and Jane’s invite to Turkey Day because he has plans, despite the fact that Jane’s and Don’s new friend will be there (Don pictured at the top on one of his firsr post divorce dates), it turns out had plans indeed–for a young prostitute who Don requests slaps him in the face repeatedly, asking for it “harder”, while she is on top of him and they are having sex.  A stunning new trick for Don, who seems to play a dull character in “Public Relations” personally, working from home in the evening by looking at print ads and television commericals.  Could it be that Don, always the power player, now likes the fantasy of ceding that control in the bedroom, or is he perhaps feeling guilty about his treatment of women, or both?

The next day Don picks up his children (above) and Betty and Henry get in the car to head out to their romantic dinner, when Henry jumps her and they have sex in the front seat of the car which is still parked in the garage.

When Don brings the kids back the next night at 9 PM, the appointed time, Betty and Henry aren’t there.  Sally uses her key to let them in and don puts the kids to bed and then waits for Betty, like a guest, in his own house.  Don’s blood is boiling, and when Betty returns, Don tells her she needs to be out of the house.  Henry chimes in that it’s just “a temporary situation” to which Don replies, “that’s what everyone thinks.”  When Don leaves, the level headed Henry tells Betty that Don is right, and that she needs to get of the house, and that Betty hasn’t even looked for a new place, to which betty bristles and pronounces she won’t sell the house on “his terms”, referring to Don.

When we next see Henry Francis doing chores for his hulking, bossy mother in her living room, we get the distinct impression that the governor’s right arm is a card carrying momma’s boy, and when we hear her insight, we can’t help but to agree with it–especially those fans of the show who have been for long arguing and debating Betty’s relative ice queen like mothering persona and her often cruel treatment of the kids.  Remember in season 1 when Betty tried to demand that Don strike Bobby and how Betty is always relatively cruel to Sally, who complains about her continually, and who found great solace in the attention that Betty’s father Gene (Ryan Cutrona) gave her before he passed.  Betty seems to only chide or ignore the girl, who clearly blames her mother for her parent’s divorce.  Remember that in season 3’s finale, “Shut the door, have a seat”, the kids drank chocolate milk with their housekeeper Carla (Deborah Lacey) on Christmas while Betty is on a plane to Reno, pursuing her divorce and new marriage.

Henry’s mom slams Betty by calling her a “child”, laments on behalf of Betty’s kids that Sally and Bobby (Jared Gilmore) are “terrified” of her, and punctuates her remarks by telling her son that she has raised a lot of children and knows what’s going on, and that his interest in Betty is obvious and he did not have to marry her to satisfy it.  Sounds like Henry has plenty of reasons, after just one episode, to consider the folly in marrying Betty, as we flash back a few seasons to a creepy psychiatrist questioning Betty and then secretly feeding the information back to Don.

Don, in the end, recognizing the the critical mistake he made in the show’s opening scene when he was too terse with an ad mag reporter doing a story on him, leans back and makes himself appear to be Superman as he immodestly reveals  the exciting 11th hour formation of the new agency to a reporter from the Wall street Journal, set up by Bert Cooper who pulled some of his old world money strings to get Don another interview with a much more widely circulated publication.

https://crackbillionair.wordpress.com/2010/04/16/my-old-kentucky-home/

As for Weiner’s assertion that everything is different this year, we can ride with the statement along certain lines.  Harry Crane (Rich Sommer), SCDP’s Head of Television, has a bigger role, reflecting the period’s newest and most effective medium for advertising, television.  Joannie Holoway (above with Jared Harris) has her own office, Bert Cooper (Robert Morse) seems invigorated by being back on the frontlines, so to speak, and Peggy seems like she may be the Head of Creative, as it certainly seems like she is the only person besides Don in Creative at the new agency.  But Mad Men, the best show on television, returned on the same high note with which it concluded season 3 in November, as it now sinks it’s teeth further into the historical plotlines of the 1960’s, while rememberring its bread and butter–the microscope on the disparate lives of its male and female leads, Don and Betty Draper.

https://crackbillionair.wordpress.com/2010/07/06/mad-men-christina-hendricks-this-months-cover-of-health-magazine/

https://crackbillionair.wordpress.com/2010/03/22/tara-jackie-and-joannie-holloway/

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Well done indeed.

–Crack (https://crackbillionair.wordpress.com)