'Mad Men': One-Liners, Sex Talk, and Nude Photography

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The fourth season of Mad Men premiered last month, revealing the aftermath of the creation of Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce and the dissolution of the Draper marriage.


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Richard Drew (TV producer and creator of the blog Remote Patrolled): After last week's somewhat depressing episode (Anna's terminal cancer, Don and Lane's sleazy night out) this week's Mad Men was a surprisingly light show with tossed off one-liners, rampant misunderstandings, and visual comedy. Tellingly, it was directed by Roger Sterling himself, John Slattery, probably the most comical character in the cast. Sterling's touch was everywhere...

We had Peggy, bonding with her bohemian friend Joyce, who sneeringly asked if her boyfriend "owned her vagina." "No, but he rents it," came the whip-sharp reply! Is this the same Peggy who just three seasons ago dressed like a prude and shied away from sex talk?

Meanwhile Don's one-night stand with his secretary Allison finally imploded, ending with the lovesick worker destroying her boss's wall display. The scene played comical, especially when Peggy's head appeared above Don's divider to survey the damage. Later in the episode came the punchline: Don's new assistant, a senile old lady brought in to keep his libido in check.

Then there was Pete, who discovered he was to be a father, but even this revelation arose from a comic misunderstanding. It was good to see Pete stand up to his overbearing father-in-law, and also the return of Ken, Pete's nemesis who also had his wires crossed due to Harry's gossiping.

Doubtless next week the doom, gloom, and excessive drinking of Mad Men will be back but last night was definitely a welcome ray of light in a somewhat sad season to date...

Catie Cambria (fashion publicist at Donna Karan New York): I am much more interested in Peggy's brush with the mid-60s, and her small breakaway from the roles she feels like she is assigned to—career woman and the young girl who wants to get married. Released from the dowdy blouses and pencil skirts she has been confined to this season, Peggy dons a form-fitting striped turtleneck and heads to a party downtown for a photographer who does (gasp) nudes. She seems like such a square compared to these new bohemian friends, but it's quite an improvement from the stiff, joyless existence she has been living lately. She looks liberated, even sexy, as she escapes from the cops with Joyce.

Peggy is also finally freed from Pete in this episode. Pete learns that he will be a father (this time, by his wife), and we see him gradually shifting from a young upstart to one of the major players at SDCP. The kinship between them seems to have reached its final breaking point—when Peggy goes to out to greet her new friends, she sees Pete and the rest of SDCP hierarchy through the glass. Pete meets her gaze, and then they both go on to their respective lunches.

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