Skip to main content

The Daily Beast: "Mad Men Season Five's 13 Most Memorable Moments"

Troubled Don! Ascendant Peggy! Poor Lane! Following the finale of a controversial season of Mad Men on Sunday night, I examine the 13 most memorable moments from its fifth season.

At The Daily Beast, you can read my latest feature, "Mad Men Season Five's 13 Most Memorable Moments," in which I explore and analyze 13 of the fifth season's most memorable moments, including two from the season finale ("The Phantom").

Mad Men’s fifth season, which came to a close on Sunday, began with the joy and optimism felt by newlyweds Don Draper (Jon Hamm) and Megan (Jessica Paré), only to slowly let in a narrative darkness that manifested itself in squandered dreams, hopeless enterprises, larceny, and even the death of a major character. Husbands and wives warred, ex-spouses sniped, children grew into adults, and partners fell out.

This all played out against a backdrop of monumental social and political change during which Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce hired its first African-American employee and gained its first female partner, though in both cases, there was an element of subterfuge rather than of progress. A joke ad stating that SCDP is an “equal opportunity employer” forced the partners to hire a black woman to be Don’s new secretary; Joan Harris (Christina Hendricks) was made a partner, but only because she sold her body to land them the lucrative Jaguar account. There is a sense that these “advancements” only perpetuate the norms rather than shatter them.

But regardless of the reasons behind these developments, each represents change in its own way, and that is one of the many themes playing underneath the fifth season, including the ending of the mentor/protégé dynamic between Don and Peggy Olson (Elisabeth Moss), who quit the firm to make her own way in the world. With an end date in mind for Mad Men (only two more seasons!), creator Matthew Weiner has shifted the drama into its final act before viewers’ eyes.

The 13 scenes below capture some of the most surprising, exciting, thrilling, or heartbreaking moments of the fifth season of Mad Men. WARNING: Proceed with caution if you are not completely up-to-date with Mad Men, as specific plots and narrative twists are discussed at length.

Continue reading at The Daily Beast...


Popular posts from this blog

What's Done is Done: The Eternal Struggle Between Good and Evil on the Season Finale of "Lost"

Every story begins with thread. It's up to the storyteller to determine just how much they need to parcel out, what pattern they're making, and when to cut it short and tie it off. With last night's penultimate season finale of Lost ("The Incident, Parts One and Two"), written by Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse, we began to see the pattern that Lindelof and Cuse have been designing towards the last five seasons of this serpentine series. And it was only fitting that the two-hour finale, which pushes us on the road to the final season of Lost , should begin with thread, a loom, and a tapestry. Would Jack follow through on his plan to detonate the island and therefore reset their lives aboard Oceanic Flight 815 ? Why did Locke want to kill Jacob? What caused The Incident? What was in the box and just what lies in the shadow of the statue? We got the answers to these in a two-hour season finale that didn't quite pack the same emotional wallop of previous seas

Katie Lee Packs Her Knives: Breaking News from Bravo's "Top Chef"

The android has left the building. Or the test kitchen, anyway. Top Chef 's robotic host Katie Lee Joel, the veritable "Uptown Girl" herself (pictured at left), will NOT be sticking around for a second course of Bravo's hit culinary competition. According to a well-placed insider, Joel will "not be returning" to the show. No reason for her departure was cited. Unfortunately, the perfect replacement for Joel, Top Chef judge and professional chef Tom Colicchio, will not be taking over as the reality series' host (damn!). Instead, the show's producers are currently scouring to find a replacement for Joel. Top Chef 's second season was announced by Bravo last month, but no return date has been set for the series' ten-episode sophomore season. Stay tuned as this story develops. UPDATE (6/27): Bravo has now confirmed the above story .

Me Want Food: Jenna Gets Famously Fat on "30 Rock"

I don't know about you, but I've already ordered my "Me Want Food" t-shirt from the NBC store. Last night's episode of 30 Rock ("Jack Gets in the Game") was, in my opinion, one of the strongest of the series and has officially pushed the zany comedy into the realm of Arrested Development : deftly plotted and intricately layered, with so many jokes piled atop of jokes that it requires several viewings in order to catch them all. While at its heart, 30 Rock is a workplace comedy, it's left that narrow pigeonhole behind to become a witty example of how intelligent and taut humor can work (and flourish) on television... and exist in harmony with hilarious throwaways like the Thriller -inspired Werewolf Bar Mitzvah music video that would have done the AD crew proud. I want Will Arnett to appear on this series whenever possible. His gay exec Devin is hilarious, manipulative, and has an inexplicable weakness for Kenneth the Page, but he claims to have