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Mad Men Music Monday: “Is That All There Is?”

6 Apr

Mad Men returns for its final episodes and the end credit music is asking the big question “Is That All There Is?” Peggy Lee’s half spoken track is also heard at the start of the episode in a scene which plays with the setting; is this a flashback to Don’s fur coat selling days? Is he in full seduction mode? Is he dreaming? The answer is none of the above; it is all an illusion and instead Cindy is in casting session with a couch full of dudes (some with new facial hair, oh hi Ted) all eager to take part in this decision.

“Let’s break out the booze and have a ball”

Mad Men 7.08 Sad DonThat’s what we should be doing with these last few episodes and everyone on screen is striving to make sense of what they have or what they want to have. Advertising is about wish fulfillment and these characters embody this idea albeit in a wonky fashion; Ken gets fired and instead of seeing it as a sign to write that novel he maybe dreamed of doing he instead takes another advertising position as big fuck you to the company that has shown him no loyalty. Joan is more than financially secure, but the original source of those funds can’t be forgotten when skeezy dudes don’t take her seriously and Peggy backs up this notion that it’s down to her appearance. So she goes shopping and pretends that she never worked at Bonwit Teller. And yes people will still go shopping even when department stores are being blown up with Joan proving Don right.

Peggy allows herself to dream a little suggesting an impulsive trip to Paris trip with Brian Krakow (!), but then she can’t find her passport and the hangover the next day leads to sourness towards what she deems is a ridiculous notion. But I can’t forget her post smooch smile as it was a joy to see. Groovy looking Stan is quick to point out this is what fun looks like and yet all Peggy can feel is the hangover shame.

Mad Men 7.08 PeggyDon seems to have it all, except for any real personal connections returning to an empty apartment and ringing his messaging service (oh hey a real life answer machine). And while he can still pull his old Don Draper moves there’s something so sad and hollow about it. From women in their underwear almost mirroring Megan cleaning long ago or a back alley hook-up which only takes place thanks to Roger’s $100 tip. Don repeatedly comes back to the diner trying to place the waitress and yes Elizabeth Reaser has more than a passing resemblance to Rosemarie DeWitt; so much so that at one point even I was questioning whether or not it was Midge. Seeing exes all over the place infiltrates Don’s dream world as he sees Rachel Katz (née Menken) modeling the fur as if she is in casting.

What this dream does is prompting a desire to reconnect, which doesn’t quite pay off as Rachel died the previous week and Don’s trip to her apartment doesn’t necessarily provide him with the closure he maybe desires. There was something about Rachel and in a way she was one of the ones that got away even if Don was the one who couldn’t commit. Instant seething at his name from Rachel’s sister Barbara with passive aggressive questions about his family (fair) while pointing out that Rachel had everything (I don’t know how true this is, but also totally understandable why she tells Don this). Barbara wants to know what Don is looking for by coming here and it isn’t surprising Don wants to know what happened to this woman he once loved. ‘The life not lived’ to echo Ken’s sentiment.

Is Don going to find out there is something more or that all there is?

Oh and one quick costuming bonus starting with how much do I want Peggy’s dress that looks like a pre-DVF wrap dress pattern dream?

Mad Men 7.08 Peggy and Joan dressIf you answered with anything less than a “crazy amount” then sadly you do not get today’s prize (today’s prize is a plate full of hot cross buns, may or may not be imaginary).

And Joan’s rage filled retail therapy includes a dress that looks a whole lot like Peggy’s hanging in the background, but there is no way Joan would ever contemplate mirroring Peggy’s style. Not in season 1 when she gave her the tour of Sterling Cooper and not now after that elevator argument that broke my heart. These two women are never going to be the BFFs I so crave them to be.

Mad Men 7.08 Joan shoppingI’m going to leave you with this and pretend they are going off on lunch time missions in a secret spy caper.

[Source]

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4 Responses to “Mad Men Music Monday: “Is That All There Is?””

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Why the ‘Felicity’ Date Rape Storyline Was Important and Still Is | TV Ate My Wardrobe - April 7, 2015

    […] Teen TV often deals with some pretty heavy subjects relating to sex and one area where Julie Hammerle and I have praised Felicity in our conversations both here and over at This Was TV is how it explores matters of sexual health. One such storyline which was handled with sensitivity was when Julie was date raped by Zach in season 1 and the reason I felt it was necessary to bring this up is due to this interview from Cosmopolitan with Devon Gummersall. Gummersall also played Brian Krakow on My So-Called Life and like many other fans of this show I went to Twitter with all caps blaring when he appeared as Peggy’s date on Mad Men. […]

  2. Behind the Insta-Scenes: Photos from the Set | TV Ate My Wardrobe - April 8, 2015

    […] Men returned this week and one of its stars joined Instagram; so far Elisabeth Moss is killing it with the set photos, […]

  3. Mad Men Music Monday: Space Oddity | TV Ate My Wardrobe - May 4, 2015

    […] terrific outing. We’ve seen how seriously Joan and Peggy were taken in one of their meetings a few weeks ago and Joan’s desire to burn the place to the ground comes back in full force after she […]

  4. Behind the Insta-Scenes: Photos from the Set | TV Ate My Wardrobe - May 20, 2015

    […] up of Peggy’s plaid and polka dots. This was a repeat season 7 outfit; Peggy wore it when Joan gave the best answer to a lunch question and alone in the office when she spilled coffee all over the […]

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