I had trouble coming up with a theme for this particular Mad Men Monday. Sure, there was a bar or two filled with alcohol and Roger had Smirnoff on his. (Did you catch the Smirnoff ad?) I even debated on offering up a recipe for eggnog, but I can’t really get into the holiday spirit just yet.
Really, what I saw going on in this episode was a series of overindulgences. Keeping in mind that I’m all for indulging yourself, but between the smoking and the drinking … wow. This episode took a couple of vices to a new level.
Peggy herself summed up this episode when she was brainstorming copy for Pond’s, “Indulge yourself.”
Overindulging was everywhere. Even in the meeting with the good marketing doctor and the staff, Harry rather overindulged in the cookies. The counterbalance to the episode was the return of Freddy who is a bit of a caricature of himself, with all his comments to Peggy and the way he blatantly took over her desk. But he’s not drinking and is obviously very involved in AA.
Which brings us to Roger, doesn’t it? Roger took the Pond’s client out to lunch and apparently got the client hammered (as well as himself), not realizing the client was a recovering alcoholic. It makes you wonder about our cast a bit. Roger was hammered at lunch, and followed it up with drinking some Maalox. Hammered again at the holiday party and picked himself up the next morning with some hair-of-the-dog. Yep, the morning after the party, Roger was walking around with vodka on the rocks. Now, I suppose that could have been water, but what do you think? I like Peggy’s comment after Roger’s lunch: “Can you believe that’s his job?”
Then there is Don, who had to be helped into his apartment two nights in a row by two different lovely ladies. (I bet Phoebe plays a bigger role in his future, don’t you think?) But he was bordering on a bit pathetic in this episode.
Perhaps because of a YouTube video I came across this week (embedded below), I was also hyper-aware of the overindulging in cigarettes in this episode. Of course, Lucky Strike is 69% of their business (including Pond’s), but Lee showed up to the party drunk and proceeded to encourage the overindulgence, delivering everyone a giant box of Lucky Strikes for Christmas. The office party was literally a haze of cigarette smoke. And I have to worry that Don is eventually going to pass out cold with a cigarette in his hand and burn down the entire apartment complex.
In this episode the entire office overindulged, which is fine. Christmas parties tend to bring that out in people. We all know I’m fine with overindulging a bit, and at least no one was driving in this episode. But wow … I really have to worry about some of the characters – Don, in particular, is obviously drinking himself into oblivion to forget. Roger is more subtle, sometimes, but still quite the drunk.
One final thought. Sally was a lot less creepy this episode, and a lot cuter. But goodness, Glenn the Uber-Creepy kid down the street is back and he’s taken his own brand of creepy to a whole new level. I get that they’re bonding over the divorce and things. I know it’s hard for them. But still … Glenn is going to undoubtedly end up in prison before he’s 18. *shudder*
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