Mad Men Mondays Double Feature: "The Forecast" And "Time & Life"

Apr 27, 2015

It's time for another installment of "Mad Men Mondays," a series of observations, reviews, and reflections on AMC's Mad Men series published by folks from the Hartman Center

The series' final season is going by fast and this week we are diving into not one... but two episodes to continue opening up the archives of advertising from Duke University's Rubenstein Library.

Last week's episode, "The Forecast," is reviewed by Amy McDonald:

Last night’s episode saw Don Draper struggling to see the future for both the ad agency and himself. The show opens with his realtor nagging him to get out of bed and replace the stained carpeting so she can sell his apartment.

Joan travels to the Los Angeles office to hire new staff with Lou Avery. She meets a retired gentleman named Richard who wanders into the office. They quickly hit it off and romance blooms. Shortly after she returns home he calls from New York and they go out again. Despite being very attracted to Joan, Richard later says he is disappointed to find out she has a young son, as he is more interested in a life of leisure and adventure. She leaves angrily.

An advertisement for "Sanka" from Mad Men Mondays
Credit Duke University's Hartman Center

Peggy, Ed and Mathis struggle to come up with creative work for Tinkerbell Cookies. Mathis bickers with Ed during the client pitch and ends up swearing in front of the clients. Later he tries a Don Draper line to rectify the situation and save face, which falls flat and gets him fired.

Sally is busy getting ready for a 12 state teen summer bus trip. Glen Bishop stops by to tell her that he is enlisting in the army, which upsets Sally. Later Sally tries to make amends, but can’t reach Glen by phone. Betty is surprised to see Glen after so long and they reconnect after Sally leaves for her trip when he tells her that he enlisted because he flunked out of college. She attempts to reassure him and he tries to kiss her. She thwarts his advance, but clearly shows some care and affection for him.

Peggy insists that Don conduct her performance review and he takes the opportunity to ask her about her plans for the future. She says she wants to be the first woman creative director at the agency and to “create something of lasting value.”

Richard comes to the agency with flowers to apologize for his behavior and says he wants to be a part of Joan’s life. She accepts his apology.

Don takes Sally and a few of her friends out for Chinese food before their bus trip leaves. One of her friends is flirtatious with Don, which irritates Sally. At the bus station Sally tells him that her goal in life is to get away from him and Betty and be a different person.

The episode ends with Don walking into his empty apartment to find that his realtor is in the middle of completing a contract on his apartment with a young couple. She ushers him out the door and says to him that now they just need to find him a place. He goes out to the hall and seems somewhat overwhelmed at what the future might bring.

Last night’s show featured references to grapefruit, Sanka, travelers checks and carpeting, among other things. Enjoy our selection of highlighted ads that reflect the brands and themes that Mad Men characters interacted with last night

 

An advertisement for carpeting from Mad Men Mondays
Credit Duke University's Hartman Center

An advertisement for grapefruit from Mad Men Mondays
Credit Duke University's Hartman Center

Here is a look at this week's episode, "Time & Life," reviewed by Kate Collins: 

The characters at SC&P faced their worst fear last night as McCann Erickson planned to absorb and dissolve the agency. With 30 days to vacate their offices and 30 days for Don to find a new place to live, it truly is setting up to be the end of an era.

The episode opens on dinner as Ken enjoys toying with Pete and criticizing the work done by SC&P.

Roger receives a letter canceling the lease on the SC&P offices. After yelling at some of the secretaries, he calls McCann and discovers that it was not a mistake.  McCann is planning to absorb the agency and move everyone into their own building. Roger, Don, Pete, Ted and Joan discuss the news with dread.

Stan and Peggy observe and audition children for a client.  Stan comments that Peggy hates kids after she struggles working with them. Pete pulls her aside and tells her the bad news about the agency.

An advertisement for toilet cleaner from Mad Men Mondays
Credit Duke University's Hartman Center

Lou calls Don and gleefully tells him that he is quitting and moving to Tokyo to work with Tatsunoko Productions on developing his comic into a cartoon.

The partners meet and come up with a strategy to move the agency to California where they could work on the clients that are a conflict for McCann. They rush off to see if they can get those clients to stick with them at “Sterling Cooper West.” Roger and Pete meet with Ken to get Don to stay with them but he refuses and leaves.

Peggy meets with a headhunter who tells her that her best bet is to stay and work at McCann.

Pete and Trudy meet with the headmaster at Greenwich Country Day school, which rejected Tammy’s application. Pete says that it a family tradition for a Campbell to be at that school. The headmaster bears a grudge dating back to 1692 when his ancestors and Pete’s began a historic clan feud.  He insults Trudi and Pete punches him before leaving. Later Trudi bemoans the fact that it is hard being a divorced woman because men try to take advantage of her.

Stan and Peggy have to babysit a girl who was left by her mother who had to pick up her son. The girl manages to staple her finger causing an argument between Peggy and the mother who returns. Later Peggy reveals to Stan that she gave a child up for adoption and says it is not fair that women have to make hard choices when men don’t.

The SC&P partners make their pitch to keep their conflicting clients and move to California, but Jim Hobart explains that they all will have great jobs at McCann working on top tier clients like Buick and Coca Cola. Only Ted seems happy to hear that he will get what he always wanted, to work on a pharmaceutical account. They all leave and commiserate over beer. The next day the partners announce the big news to the office and try to make it sound positive, but the staff quickly start talking over them and walk away.

Last night’s show featured references to toys, Dow, Buick, and first aid, among other things.  Enjoy our selection of highlighted ads that reflect the brands and themes that Mad Men characters interacted with last night.

 

An ad for a first aid kit from Mad Men Mondays
Credit Duke University's Hartman Center

A gallery of the center's "Mad Men Mondays" advertisements can also be found on Flickr