Someone who doesn’t really get Mad Men, April 2013

Reading Dante's Inferno is symbolic of the internet not being invented yet

Reading Dante’s Inferno is symbolic of the internet not being invented yet

Dear Phil,

As always, I agree with you that Mad Men is the deepest show on television. How about that premiere? We have a lot to go over.

I don’t know if you noticed, but Megan’s bikini was purple, i.e. the Roman color representing royalty. This squares with my assertion that Megan is based on Cicero’s third mistress, Livinia. In fact, her entire soap opera career is really just commentary on the entirety of the late-period Roman Republic.

The entire exchange between Don and the soldier was scathing! That said, I’m not sure that a take-down of late 19th and early 20th century U.S. foreign policy with respect to the Philippines really has a place in the show, no matter how artfully done. The wedding, clearly meant to represent William McKinley’s views on American exceptionalism, seemed as out of place as Glenn Bishop’s turn as a stand-in for the early 16th century papacy in season three.

I’m not sure why you read Don’s infidelity with the doctor’s wife as so tragic. The earlier party scene, with its fondue and slide projector, read to me as foreshadowing. I think Don and Megan might be swingers by the end of the season. Actually, the slide projector was a nice call back to that scene in season 1 where Don pitches a slide projector. I can’t remember the name, but it seemed out of place to the point that I can’t remember anyone ever mentioning anything about it again.

Finally, yes, Peggy’s earphone pitch is a nice commentary on Reagan-era missile policy. But how are we supposed to believe she found an outtake reel of Stephen Furst’s character in Animal House’s Toga Party scene, which would not be released for another 10 years. And her conversation with the priest over the phone? What would Sartre say?

Please write back this time,


P.S. Whatever happened to that attractive blonde lady from the early seasons? Barbie? I don’t like her fat replacement.


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