Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Mrs. Blankenship: Dawn of a New Era

Yesterday, Susan Orlean sent out the following two tweets:

"Please strike Mrs. Blankenship with a fatal illness and remove her from the cast of #madmen. She's awful."

"I understand why Don has an old hag as a sec'y & value of comic relief, but Blankenship is almost slapstick; wrong tone for the show."

Here is my response:

Hi Susan!

I hope all your livestock is well.

When Mrs. Blankenship first appeared, I felt like you do, that she was a weird and disconcerting and didn't fit at all. But then, as the episodes progressed, I changed my mind.

Yes, that character would have been completely wrong in the Mad Men we've come to know. But, Mad Men is changing as the years progress. To me, Mrs. Blankenship seems like she was dropped in from some late sixties comedy thing, like Laugh-In or Monty Python. She's one of the discordant things popping up in Don's life, and the show, like the Rolling Stones suddenly thrusting themselves into the soundtrack.

The shots are different in parts of the show now. That whole fake-out scooter bit seemed like it was out of a Richard Lester film, especially Peggy doing donuts in the empty, rented studio. And all the Don journal voice-over stuff looked like the Graduate mixed with Goddard.

The parts of the show that still look like the original seasons are the scenes with Betty and home life with Joan, both of whom are still stuck in the old culture, though Joan is having to confront the new culture at work.

So, that's my two cents.



PS - So, how's the book coming?