Saturday, October 18, 2008

TV Topic: Mad Men's Alternative Lifestyles

This episode explored the alternative lifestyles that erupted from the 50s and 60s. Don went out to California to avoid the pain of Betty's constant rejection. He lost himself in the world of a young girl who seemed nomadic, carefree, and very Euro hippie amongst her equally relaxed older friends. He was entranced by her beauty and forward advances. It wasn't until the end when he discovered that the man who practically pimped her out was her youth-starved dad and witnessed a man demand to see his ex-wife as he practically rescued his tired children from her grasp that he realized that that world was not only not for him, but simply a variation on the one he ran away from.

Meanwhile, the older (but not wiser) version of him, Roger, decided to propose to his young secretary, presenting another hot trend in those times of men remarrying younger and less socially accepted women as their own personal mid-life crisis signifiers.

And while infidelity, remarriage, and the rise of the hippie are all interesting factors to highlight from that era, the most explosive alternative lifestyle on display in this episode was that of the Italian they hired to get a younger demographic's perspective. It turns out Europeans don't make such a big deal about coming out of the closet. In fact, they probably would laugh at you if they realized that you were in a closet. They prefer window displays darling--loud and proud. His accent made it seem like he was telling them to shove it, but that didn't stop them from making ignorant remarks once he left (cowards!) that made me cringe. Unfortunately, this topic was brought up because he mentioned that he was going to take Peggy to a concert, which they thought was a date. Actually, she thought it was a date too. So, naturally, when he came over to pick her up, she tried to give him an out, and ended up asking why she always managed to pick the wrong guy (*cough* Pete *cough* Father Gill *cough*). Like the natural-born cliche that the televised homosexual has become, he immediately offered to give her a makeover--chopped off her hair and actually made Pete notice the next day. Now all we have to do Italiano is wrestle her to the ground and get her into Joan's wardrobe. Voila! Bellissima!

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