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Mad Men Review: I Find Your Product Boring

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Many of the main players went to "Far Away Places" in an interestingly structured episode of Mad Men this week. Some left on an physical trip, others took a journey thanks to some killer drugs, and one... well for one, the place she went wasn't so much far as her act there was the furthest from what I ever expected out of her.

I'm still trying to wrap my brain around what happened here. Has Mad Men ever played with structure like this before? With three stories occurring simultaneously, but showing each one separately, this was quite the intriguing strategy. Why do you think Matthew Weiner and company decided this was necessarily the best way to plot this episode?

Peggy Worries About a Pitch

For one reason or another, it had me even more involved than normal, and "Far Away Places" left me thoroughly entertained. The one story of the three that had me a bit annoyed, however, was Don and Megan's, and it wasn't only because the video effects in the car were so bad. 

They were pretty awful, and the fake Howard Johnson's wasn't much better, but it was the constant bickering between the newlyweds that lost me early on. Whether it was over work, sherbet or the fact that Don thinks he is Megan's master, I became a bit uninterested until he just left her on the side of the road like a piece of dirt.

I liked that Megan was seriously challenging him, but Don's inability to deal with the fight was what finally caught me by surprise. I kept wondering at what point he was going to turn his car around, and if it would be too late. Sure enough it was, and the story became less interesting again. Watching Don run around town looking for Megan was all well and good, but it wasn't all that special.

What WAS special was what happened when Don returned home and found that Megan made her way back to the apartment. The former chasing after the latter, looking like he was going to tackle her, was e"special"ly awkward. I didn't know whether to feel afraid for Megan, or feel embarrassed for Don. The only thing that should have been a bigger shot to Don's ego was when Old Man Cooper called him out for being on "love leave."

Near the end of the hour, Roger Sterling announced that it will be a beautiful day, and his newfound happiness is only one of the reasons that the events he and Jane went through were some of the best of the season. Yes, I'm glad that the two finally told each other that their marriage wasn't working out, and that they decided to get a divorce, but the route they took to get there had me reeling before the conclusion ever occurred.

Between the gin bottle playing music, Roger's one puff for an entire cigarette, seeing Cooper on the money and laying on the floor with his hair up in a pink towel, I'm not sure which Roger Sterling does LSD moment was my favorite of the hour.

Unlike when Don simply hallucinated that he murdered his former lover, the major event between Roger and Jane did actually happen here. I was ready to be angry at the writers for teasing us with a Roger/Jane divorce when at first Mrs. Sterling said that the conversation never happened.

Do you know what we SHOULD be wishing never happened? Well, I could have done without Peggy going for that special treat in the middle of the movie theatre. That's not a mental image I will be able to get out of my head quite so easily.

Can we blame her for going a bit off the deep end after that blow up, though? After getting turned down yet again by Heinz, Peggy took to Raymond like she was George Costanza giving it to T-Bone. I mean, that is not something you can easily get away with, as was noted by Stan calling it suicidal.

Following her frustration release of smoking and sexing, Peggy came upon an interesting development. Michael, who began by stating that he was actually from Mars, eventually revealed that he was born in a concentration camp. I'm sure this will have a huge impact in future episodes.

Overall, "Far Away Places" was an interesting change of pace for Mad Men. I enjoyed the structural differences, and most of the content that came with them, but what did you all think of this week's episode? Was it one of the better efforts of the season? And which was your favorite Roger Sterling LSDism?

Review

Editor Rating: 4.0 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.0 / 5.0 (104 Votes)

Dan Forcella is a TV Fanatic Staff Writer. Follow him on Twitter.

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On topmost of all your survival gear including tent, such as the G. And, thanks to Nathan Weinberg's Inside Microsoft blog, and whether advanced technical maneuvers are required to keep pests out of. camping gear

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The finale episode was sooo boring. Don gets his tooth ripped out and he's visited by a ghost with hardly any relevance- amaazzzinggg! Huh? It was like they had to do something with the edited scenes on the cutting room floor- or else. If this was a cliffhanger, someone over did it on the Xanax.

Cha11

I had DVR'd the episode and watched it last night. The thing that jumped out at me the most about Megan and Don is that he seems to not be able to turn off thinking of her as his secretary or employee when they leave the office. Hence the continued issuance of orders to her. I half expected him to tell her to take a letter at the Howard Jonnson's dinner table. I LOVED it when she called him a pig. I just watched Oprah's interview with Gloria Steinheim, who reminded us that up until the very early 1970s - 1971 I think - husbands could demand their wives paychecks if they worked. So I think that not only does Don have his usual thang going on with yet another woman (remember Faye told him he only like the beginnings of relationships - and she was right), he also doesn't respect her because of her working and her previous role as his secretary, and yet feels not good enough for her at the same time (she's waaay classier than he is). Roger's singing booze made me literally laugh out loud. Heck - my trip wasn't that good :-) way back then.

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For me, it was badly written; characters were out of character, Don especially. Story lines poorly drawn. Dialogue poorly written. All in all, it made me think one of the producer's college kids wanted a shot at writing a Mad Men episode and they gave it to him. And he gave us a piece of predictable, amateurish crap. A few more episodes as bad as "Far Away Places" and I'm afraid the Mad Men series will be a distant television memory.

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"Jump the shark" has come to mind with parts of the last two episodes. I'm finding this season boring and predictable, especially the Don/Megan story line. Something is missing when compared to previous seasons.

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oops! the brackets got parsed. The phrase is "there's ...." with a plural object definately was not used in the sixties. People still said, "there are reasons", not, "there's reasons". Even broadcasters have given into this particular singular verb/ plural object mismatch in the last 2-3 years.h

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Most interesting watching Pete evolve into a little monster with the slightest bit of experience. Current phrases like "random", "it's not about ...", and the plastic "have a nice day" had not come in to currency yet. Nor had the grammatical construction "there's " which only emerged sometime after 1985 and has now become almost standard in speaking, but not yet in writing.

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The structure of the episode was not the problem, the LSD trip just went flying right over my head. I presume most viewers have never actually taken LSD, so it may have been nice to fantasize and all, but I just felt like the events that took place were such a stretch and I didn't enjoy it all that much. Roger's goofy acts were pretty cool though. Domestic violence on TV isn't funny nor is it something that should be glorified. Yes, it was 1966, but how much longer until Don backhands is bride and beats her? Peggy, Peggy, Peggy. Hand jobs are so 8th grade. You should have put your semi pretty face downstairs for full effect. Not a very good episode at all, but I am willing to give them a pass since the series is so incredible.

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I enjoyed the structure of the episode, it really allowed you to focus on one character. Peggy: While Peggy's actions were gross I think they showed her difficulty in dealing with pressure. Now that Don's on "love leave" she's the leader of the creative department. I liked how she challenged Heinz. This episode she demonstrated a lot of Don in her. Drinking, smoking, promiscuity. She finally has what she's always wanted - equality - and by that I mean people don't sugarcoat things with her and treat her differently because of her sex. Roger: The LSD scene was easily my favorite portion of the episode. It was hilarious and revealing. For the first time Roger showed a sensitive side. Best LSDism was Cooper's face on the money. As for Joan and Roger getting back together: It ain't gonna happen. Joan is probably the only character who knows Roger, and while I think she has strong feelings for him she knows he's not dependable. Not a good characteristic for a partner when raising a newborn. Don: Well, Don just keeps doing Don thangs. I think this episode is a good sign for fans. By switching up the format it shows that Weiner and crew are willing to takes risks.

Danforcella

Great comments by all! Thanks for the good call on Roger's drink being vodka.

Mad Men Season 5 Episode 6 Quotes

Peggy: Are there others like you?
Michael: I don't know. I haven't been able to find any.

Michael: He's not my real father. People don't understand.
Peggy: Are you adopted?
Michael: Actually I'm from Mars.

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