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Monday Morning Mad Men Man Madness!

Why, hello! And welcome to New Tiger Beatdown! The post titles, as you can see, are stellar. But: Mad Men began its third season last night. It began its third season, specifically, with a trip into the wacky carnival ride that is Don Draper’s subconscious, in that he was all squinting pensively and flashing back to The Painful Events That Have Defined Him as if he were somehow under the impression that he was starring in Lost.

As with Lost, his flashbacks were really boring and contained basically no new information! (Did you know that Don’s real name is “Dick Whitman?” And that his mom was a sex worker, and died? And that his dad was a jerk? What’s that you say? You totally did know all these things, and have since Season One? Well, here are all these flashbacks about it, anyway!) Here is the information they did contain: Dick was named after his dad’s dick (an object toward which his mother felt no little antipathy), because now apparently Mad Men has entered the REALLY SUPER LITERAL portions of its gender analysis and Don is named, basically, “Penis,” because calling him Mister P.A. Triarchy would just be too subtle.

So, yeah, Don was really the least appealing part of a fairly unappealing episode last night (also: he looked kind of bloated and drunk all the way through, which I am hoping was intentional and not evidence that Jon Hamm has already lost the flower of his youth). The episode did, thankfully, offer up a few not-Don moments: Cooper has tentacle porn, Betty was casually homophobic, Pete did a little dance, and Sal (FINALLY) made out with a dude. Also, we got to see Roger’s “sad meeting” face, which I, for one, appreciated.

At any rate, all of Don’s pensive flashbacks have caused ME to flash back to a different and better time. A time approximately twenty-four hours before the premiere, when I thought the episode would be awesome. A time when I wrote a piece on it for Comment is Free! Read it, won’t you? Share with me these precious memories.

15 Comments

  1. I having nothing to say, I am just testing to see if at last I can comment at your site.

    Monday, August 17, 2009 at 10:29 am | Permalink
  2. Caitiecat wrote:

    Yay, Tiger Beatdown is home! :)

    Monday, August 17, 2009 at 10:45 am | Permalink
  3. yosafbridge wrote:

    Welcome to your new home. I still think you are rad and your P.A. Triarchy joke made my gentleman associate spew milk out his nose. Good job!

    Monday, August 17, 2009 at 12:57 pm | Permalink
  4. youllnevergetrich wrote:

    Continue to love your work. Also loving the minimal aesthetic of this site! Don’t change it. It’s lush.

    Monday, August 17, 2009 at 1:02 pm | Permalink
  5. snobographer wrote:

    I missed it last night, but I don’t mind the spoilers.
    I was getting kind of tired of Don’s *other life* last season. Not sure how I felt about that *other Mrs. Draper* thing. I do like how his dual life (as with Peggy’s) captures that aspect of 1950s pop psychology where you simply pretend all unpleasantries and complications don’t exist and they’re supposed to magically disappear. But I think we’ve made that point sufficiently, there are other characters with backstories that can make the same point, and I don’t think repeating the fact that Don’s mom was a prostitute and his dad was abusive is really serving the story anymore. But maybe I’ll think differently when I watch it.

    Monday, August 17, 2009 at 1:19 pm | Permalink
  6. smadin wrote:

    Hooray, new Tiger Beatdown! I agree with youllnevergetrich that this is a good look.

    Monday, August 17, 2009 at 1:22 pm | Permalink
  7. Ashley wrote:

    I’m keeping the faith and reminding myself that the last two Mad Men seasons didn’t really start picking up until roughly Episode 3 or so.

    I did, however, see alot more in that revelation about Dick/Don’s name than just a hit-them-with-a-sledgehammer reminder that Don is supposed to represent maleness for us. Dick was named not only after the male member but for the very act of emasculation, which seemed to me to be a pretty deft and funny way of telling us that Dick/Don represents both maleness and emasculation, both presence and absence, the fact that the moment you think you have it all (an identity? a life? a sense of self? the knowledge that you are powerful?), you realize how much you don’t. He has all the power associated with male privilege and yet he’s trapped, literally amputated from himself, and we’re reminded this as we see him choosing monogamy in the cheesiest way possible. He’s doing what a man is supposed to do according to “traditional values”, playing the patriarch, taking care of the woman who is bearing yet another of his offspring, and yet he’s still not enough of a man.

    It did remind me of the Season Two opener when Don can’t get his rock’s off on Valentine’s Day with Betty and ultimately has to go to Bobbie to get that little problem taken care of. This time, even his attempt to fuck a stranger gets interrupted, so how is Don going to try to get his manhood back this season? Where will he chase the carrot this time?

    Monday, August 17, 2009 at 1:23 pm | Permalink
  8. vertigo29 wrote:

    Just sending good vibes to your new place — love it! Can’t wait for more Tiger Beatdown. :)

    Monday, August 17, 2009 at 1:28 pm | Permalink
  9. yinyang wrote:

    Chiming in to say I, too, love the minimalism of the site! And now, off to update my blogroll!

    Monday, August 17, 2009 at 1:32 pm | Permalink
  10. meloukhia wrote:

    Oh my lordy! I love the new look! It’s so clean and refreshing, it’s like drinking a glass of cool water on a hot day. This is a look which says “this is a place where seriously LADYBUSINESS occurs, and don’t you forget it, whippersnapper!”

    Monday, August 17, 2009 at 1:43 pm | Permalink
  11. Congrats on getting away from blogspot.com. Please change your font though! Making it bigger would help. I can read serif fonts at that scale, but I’d rather not.

    Arial/Verdana fan

    Monday, August 17, 2009 at 2:02 pm | Permalink
  12. Spatula wrote:

    Congratulations on getting the new site up and running! It looks fantastic – wonderful, elegant and simple!

    …I’ll go read the actual post now. :-)

    Monday, August 17, 2009 at 3:07 pm | Permalink
  13. meloukhia wrote:

    Do we need to have a serif vs. sans smackdown in the comments? Because I will BRING IT, Legible Susan! Unless Sady tells me to take it outside.

    Monday, August 17, 2009 at 5:56 pm | Permalink
  14. Adrianna wrote:

    I loved that article of yours.

    Sometimes you are snarky, sometimes insightful, funny and sometimes all three in heaps, but you are always awesome. I enjoy your perspective and the way you articulate it.

    Monday, August 17, 2009 at 9:43 pm | Permalink
  15. I mostly agree with your Mad Men analysis, but feel like you were a little harsh. Mad Men (like True Blood, and other shows of the same ilk) often have lousy season openers and take a few episodes to get going. I think they did a reasonable job, especially considering the revelation fest that the last 10 minutes of the season 2 finale were.

    Tuesday, August 18, 2009 at 2:57 pm | Permalink