Thursday, January 29, 2015

Re-watching ‘Mad Men’: S2/Ep11, “The Jet Set”

Don and Pete travel to California for one of the stranger “Mad Men” installments, as Don abandons his colleague mid-trip to latch onto an odd group of wealthy nomads. Knowing what we do now about how prominently California will factor into the show in the future, it’s fascinating to see how foreign the land feels at this introduction (Mexican food! Oh my!). Meanwhile, wheels begin to turn back at Sterling Cooper as Duck works to sell the agency to an international firm. “The Jet Set” is memorable only for Don’s oddball group of new friends, but otherwise it’s a rather Point A to Point B affair.

Best Scene: Peggy takes her next big career step thanks to the recently outed Kurt Smith. The young European copywriter visits her apartment and, apparently incapable of telling a lie, bluntly tells Peggy her style needs an update. So he cuts off her ponytail and, voila, the next day we’re looking at a whole new Ms. Peggy Olson.

I’d also like to give a shout-out to the production and direction of this episode; the scenes in California (particularly our first sight of Don standing by the pool) and the musical theme that go with them make you feel like you truly have stepped into a different world.

Best Line: Harry’s philosophy on racial tensions in the South: “I don’t know why people keep stirring up trouble. It’s bad for business—just another reason not to watch TV.”

Grade: C+