Lynn Lee, back again to discuss Mad Men at the Movies.
The title of this week’s episode was “New Business,” which may or may not be meant ironically. The episode felt contrived to strike certain thematic chords at the expense of developing the characters believably. Diana the waitress feels more like a construct than a person, designed to appeal to Don’s hang-ups (the lover to be saved, the mother who abandoned her child); even their awkward elevator encounter with Sylvia Rosen just reminded me of how bored I was with that affair. Megan does a 180 from the regretful wife bidding Don a tearful goodbye to the bitter ex-wife who accuses him of stealing her youth. And her bickering French Canadian family shows up for no discernible purpose other than to bring back Julia Ormond and leave Don with a literally empty home.
That said, it’s Megan who brings Mad Men as close to the movies as it can get in an episode without any specific movie mentions. Megan’s film career has stalled, to the point that she’s subsisting on handouts from Don while their lawyers fight about divorce terms. She’s apparently desperate enough to seek help from Harry Crane, of all people - Harry, the noob who's been lusting after her since her show-stopping performance of “Zou Bisou Bisou.”
After seeking permission (sort of) from Don, Harry meets Megan for lunch and loses no time buttering her up. He can’t believe she hasn’t gotten bigger parts! He compares her to movie stars, both foreign and domestic...