Tag Archives: Joan Holloway

Mad Men Finale

SONIA BRAND-FISHER: The impeccably shot, brilliantly acted, beautifully written Season Five finale of “Mad Men” gave me a sense of extreme melancholy, not only because there will now be a period of mourning and nail-biting until the penultimate season debuts… but this episode felt…well… kind of anti-climactic. The previous two episodes have exploded “Mad Men” fans from Tumblr to Twitter into a frenzy of emotions, commentary, and speculation. This episode did not give me this visceral jolt (no pun intended) of exclamation about the characters, their circumstances, and their trials. It was lovely to look at, interesting to behold, but after a season that has been a gold mine of luminous material and story lines, this finale seemed more like a filler episode than something to whet our appetite. Continue reading

Posted in Arts & Culture | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 18 Comments

Mad Men: The Other Woman

SONIA BRAND-FISHER: When my mother read Gwenyth Swain’s “The Road to Seneca Falls” (a children’s chapter book about the women’s suffrage movement) to me as a little girl, the book began with with a detailed account of the unjust, yet normalized opinions of women and their roles in society. A visceral reaction came from my 7-year-old self in response to the tame description of the marginalization of women. I began to scream and cry, my mind whirled, and my mother put the book on the shelf never to be touched again. A similar reaction came over me when watching this episode of “Mad Men.” Though there was no temper tantrum, and I sat through the entire episode, by the end I was shaking. The structure, the men, the women, the pimps, the whores, the actors, the agencies, and The Other Woman all make up the best hour of television that I have ever seen. Continue reading

Posted in Arts & Culture | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 86 Comments

Mad Men: Christmas Waltz

SONIA BRAND-FISHER: Like every waltz, like every Joan and Don flirtation, like every brilliant episode of “Mad Men,” everything must eventually come to an end. This is an episode that I wanted to keep going and going until the tension from an anxious, embezzling Lane Pryce, a pissed off Megan, a visually jolting Hare Krishna Paul Kinsey, and a magical date with Joan and Don wrapped itself together and consumed me whole. This episode, “Christmas Waltz,” played with ideas of absurdity and comfort while testing the limits of every character at its forefront.

HOWARD MEGDAL: For all of Roger Sterling’s fantastic lines this season- and there have been what, 900 of them?-nothing will resonate with me this season quite as much as Joan’s perfectly executed “Surprise! There’s an airplane here to see you!” thrown at the receptionist who, let’s face it, was eventually getting something thrown at her by someone. Continue reading

Posted in Arts & Culture | Tagged , , , , , | 42 Comments

Mad Men: Mystery Date

SONIA BRAND-FISHER: An episode filled with uncharacteristic terror, suspense, and agitation, the episode titled “Mystery Date” of “Mad Men”‘s Season 5 left me, quite literally, breathless. With Hitchcockian camera pans and dialogue to make the blood curdle, I am wondering if this was Matthew Weiner’s attempt at exposing the precise horror of the characters, their lives, and the times all playing off the disjointed tones of the first two weeks. Hallucinations of sex and murder, a grandma with a kitchen knife, a killer on the loose, and that ominous accordion over Joan’s shoulder in the Italian restaurant were all physically and psychologically violent attacks on the characters of “Mad Men.” What made this all even more terrifying was the fact that all of these characters we know so well, their insecurities and their deepest fears. When we see them manifest on screen, all at once, to everyone, in the span of 60 minutes… one can’t help but feel the shock.

HOWARD MEGDAL: Oh, like you, Sonia, the highlight had to be seeing Joan give Greg his dishonorable discharge. This was unlike any Mad Men episode before it, and yet not a departure from either the characters or something that took the show to a place it could have difficulty navigating. Continue reading

Posted in Arts & Culture | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 12 Comments