Communicator (communicator) wrote,
Communicator
communicator

Mad Men Blogging: Souvenir

This week's Mad Men episode was the incredibly stylish (even for Mad Men) Souvenir, which used the imagery of many sophisticated films of the late fifties and early sixties, pointing up the disjunct between a beautiful and enviable exterior, and disappointing reality. Instead of a wealth of character-plots there were really only two: Don and Betty travel to Rome for a long weekend, finding themselves in a temporarily romantic Audrey Hepburn movie like Roman Holiday; Pete Campbell thinks he's in a grown-up film like The Seven Year Itch and of course completely mucks it up and makes an ass of himself, or possibly a pig. On the plus side - kalypso_v did you notice he got his top off?

All in all, glossy, brittle, tragic and worryingly enviable.

In We Can Remember It For You Wholesale (filmed as Total Recall, after a fashion) Philip K Dick implies that the only trace which a good experience leaves in the mind is the souvenir of a happy memory, which you might as well just purchase. This also is what the characters here seem to believe, and that paradoxically is what makes them unhappy. Is that the point of life - just to accumulate souvenirs of experience, to get you through the rest of the days? But I would say that experience, even frustrating experience, helps you build the mental house that you live in, and your relationships. You don't just have a memento or a sexy memory of a kiss, you have a permanent gain or loss.

Lucy Mangan in the Guardian says: "A mere fortnight after something last happened in Mad Men .... something else has happened! ... I predict at least One More Thing Happening, perhaps as early as a month from now." Do I detect the gossamer hand of sarcasm? This is the best show on telly you dolt.
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