Sunday, October 17, 2010

Mad Men - Season 4 Yearbook

Best Roger One-Liner
Roger to the Japanese: I'm sorry. I didn't know this meeting was happening. But then again I know how some people love surprises.

Roger's behavior with the businessmen from Honda was appalling but that doesn't make him any less clever.

Funniest Sequence -

The extended farce that occurs behind the clients as the SCDP crew try to discreetly deal with the expired Mrs. Blankenship and Don tries to focus.

Best Zinger -
Henry: Don, it's temporary.
Don: Believe me Henry, everybody thinks this is temporary.

You can't expect to take Don's wife and live in his home without his getting some shots in.

Sexiest Joan Moment -

The conga line, easily. Still doesn't hold a candle to the accordion scene from last season though.

Most Missed - Kinsey

Everybody is still lamenting the loss of Sal, but this season's parade of sexist pigs, sad sacks, and hacks at SCDP left me pining for the return of Kinsey. Nobody was a prick with half as much panache as Sterling Cooper's resident ascot-wearing, pipe-smoking, overly competitive, frustrated playwright.

Best Prop - Roger's giant op-art painting stole many a shot and threatened to suck Freddy Rumson into the modern world.

Most Improved Character - Sally Draper. She's gone from the drink-mixing prop of Season 1 to one of the most complex characters on Mad Men, and Kiernan Shipka has stepped up her performance to equal it.

Best New Character - In a season all about change there was no shortage of new faces, from Hellcat Ida Blankenship to Peggy's boyfriend Mark: expert on the ways of Swedish love. But my favorite was Teddy Chaugh - Salieri to Don's Mozart. He also does a passable Robert Kennedy.

Best One Episode Character
- Mrs. Francis. She seems really mean and unfair until you realize she's 100% right about everything.

MVP - Jared Harris as Lane Pryce. He improves any scene he's in. His character is a great level-headed presence in the office and was at turns both hilarious (Lane vs. The Comedian) and touching (Lane vs. His Father).

Best Shot - Bronze

Best Shot - Silver 

Best Shot - (Sterling's) Gold 

Most Heartbreaking -

"How old is your daughter?" It takes time for the weight of this line to sink in. I root for Joan more than any character yet she always finds herself in such awful circumstance.

Most Heartbreaking (Runner-Up)Sally's sad little wave upon seeing her father. Divorce has taught her to keep her expectations in check.

Most Cringe-Inducing Scene 
Lee Garner Jr. forcing Roger into the Santa suit. Was it worth it? 

Most Cringe-Inducing Scene (Runner-Up) 
Don's excruciating drunken train wreck pitch for Life Cereal.  The looks on Pete's and Peggy's faces are enough to make you turn away.

Don's Proudest Moment - Showing up to Baby Gene's birthday party despite all the reasons not to.

Don's Most Disappointing Moment - Telling Alison to write her own recommendation for him to sign. If I can't look to Don Draper for guidance on how to treat women then what is the world coming to?

Most Inexplicable Scene - "Did you get pears?" I've read a dozen different interpretations of why this scene is in the episode. 

Most Awesome Moment - BronzePeggy and Don discover Roger's book.

Most Awesome Moment - Silver: Godzilla

Most Awesome Moment - Gold: This one speaks for itself

"She makes me very happy." - First heard from Roger Sterling then Henry Francis now Don Draper. The call of the man who got married way, way too fast.

Best Foreshadowing: This shot which now seems a lot more important than it did at the time. Sally choosing for Don.

Best Episode: The Suitcase. Like the Ali-Liston fight, this wasn't even close. This all-nighter that puts Don and Peggy through the emotional wringer is one of the best hours of television ever produced.

Runner Up: Waldorf Stories - an episode that bounced from tense to raucous to dark to funny with some beautifully executed flashbacks along the way. 

So onward to Season 5. It can't get here soon enough, but first...Victory Lap!


  1. you know, i'm a big fan of your blog and have followed it since the first post,
    but i can safely say this is THE best thing you've far.
    love the three shots specially,
    and the gold would probably be my gold too.

  2. Thanks so much. I appreciate it. I originally told myself I was going to stick exclusively to movies, but then I thought, "screw it" It's my blog and Mad Men brought me more pleasure than any movie I've seen all year.

  3. You have such a great eye for the best shots. I don't even know if mine are half as good.

    And Sal is my most-missed.


    Yeah, I miss Kinsey, too. And Faye was probably my favorite new character.

  5. A+ post. Seriously. Amazing wrap-up of an amazing season of an amazing show.

  6. YAY. love this post. and Season 4 was pretty damn spectacular.

  7. A great post on a great show.

    I'd love to know what you made of the office lawnmower incident! I'm still trying to work that one out...