Great Moments in Mad Men: Season 1
Season 6 of Mad Men is fast approaching and over the course of the season I’ll be documenting all the great moments in each episode. I’m sure they’ll be plenty to choose from.
Before that I’ve compiled a list from each season because let’s face it, there are some doozies. Take a peek and refresh your memory on what we’re in for come Sunday April 7th.
Disclaimer: If you haven’t caught up through season 5 I wouldn’t recommend reading the lists.
PETE MEETS PEGGY
The scene is really quite simple, Pete Campbell gets to meet Don’s new secretary Peggy for the first time. However, it’s really the first glimpse into the show we get that prepares the audience for what the show actually is. Within seconds Pete makes an off color remark about Jewish people, insists she show her legs and cinch her waist to look like a woman.
When Don advises he might want to lay off he insists he’s only “working his way up”… gross. So with a small scene it’s clear that Pete is a weasel, Peggy is clueless about how she should act and Don will stand by as a man degrades a woman. All things that are pretty common in Mad Men during the first season. This won’t be the first encounter where a man speaks about a woman in a way that makes all feminists blood boil.
DON HAS A CITY GIRLFRIEND
The very first episodes of Mad Men waste no time getting to the point and showing us exactly who these characters are. While Don may have a mysterious past we are incredibly aware of his present life. It’s shown all over episode 1 that he is married but he also naturally gives off that playboy vibe.
Not only does Don have a woman on the side but she is a vibrant youth, the kind that lives in studio apartments and wear flowly dresses. As a classic cheater Don even becomes bothered when he realizes she recently aquired a TV and it might have been a male that gave it to her. Hmm…well you’re cheating on your wife Don, I think you’ll live.
A RANDOM KID GETS SLAPPED
The real gem of this scene is that it’s a prime example of how things were completely different back in the day. Every parent has their own method of punishing their children but they usually stick to disciplining their own spawn.
One of the kids at Sally’s birthday party is running around and accidentally knocked over something on a table. A parent quickly corrects his behavior, smacks him across the face and advises him not to run in the house. That’d be totally cool if it was his kid…but it’s not. The boys father walks up completely calm asking the young lad if he “wants more,” naturally he says no. If a parent these days tried to teach some random kid a lesson I highly doubt it would end so swimmingly.
GLEN WALKS IN ON BETTY
From the very moment Glen appears on screen he creates an uneasy feeling. It’s sad to say that about a child but he really doesn’t help his situation by walking in on Betty peeing. It’s not so much that he walks in it’s the fact that he lingers…completely unfazed that a lady may not want peepers on her while releasing her bladder.
This is only the first of many incidents where he creeps out not only the characters but audience as well. Things only get worse as his relationship with Betty progresses. Yes that’s right, they have a relationship of sorts.
JOAN TELLS PEGGY TO USE HER NOODLE
What we have here is a prime example of Joan showing all of us that she is aware of the world she lives in. While Peggy is concerned about outing Mr. Draper and his city girlfriend Joan is calm and collected suggesting Peggy simply “use her noodle” and stop making things so complicated.
She lays out a simple plan and tells Peggy that in the end she can blame it on how stupid she was for forgetting to tell Don about a family portrait scheduled that day. That’s right, Joan knows with all the men surrounding them acting like a moron is a better way to get through life for them.
JOAN AND HER BUTT
The women of the office are asked to test all sorts of lipstick as the men watch from behind one-way glass. Joan runs with this as she is fully aware of the group of men in the next room. She takes the opportunity to lean over just enough to give them a show. It’s really something that must be seen to fully experience.
Ken Cosgrove saluting her ass has to be one of the greater moments. For as many times as Roger must have seen the derriere it seems by his reaction that it never gets dull. I can see why.
It’s no secret that the men of Mad Men love their drinks but oftentimes things get taken to the next level. After many rounds of oysters and martinis Roger and Don return to the office for a meeting. When I say “many rounds” I mean the kind where Roger requests he never sees the bottom of his glass.
When they return for work the elevator is down and they must do the unthinkable…take the stairs! With the excessive drinking, his older age and oyseters galore it’s no wonder when he reaches the top it all must be projected on the carpet. Vomiting scenes in movies and TV are often too unrealistic but I gotta say this one always gets me to squirm.
The saga that is Pete and Peggy is not an easy one to watch but here we have the early stages of it all. The two are at work early when their lust for one another takes over. They start going at it in an office on the couch without a care in the world. It’s not the hottest sex scene in the world as Pete questions her tight skirt and rips her shirt but it does the trick.
What makes the scene more memorable than all the other sexy time moments in Mad Men is that the janitor gets the view featured above through a frosted window. What a classic image on that I’m sure he won’t soon forget.
JOAN SUGGESTS PEGGY HAS TOO MUCH LUNCH
As season 1 progresses Peggy adds on a few extra pounds for a very specific reason not even she is aware of until it’s too late. As Peggy attempts to give back a dress Joan lent her she takes the opportunity to point out that Peggy might be falling prey to something all the new girls experience, getting fat.
Here is another case of Joan laying things down in such a blatant way it’s hard watch, yet irrisitable. Among other things in her speech she suggests there is no money virginity since they aren’t in China and Peggy is hiding an attractive young girl with too much lunch. Who says that?!?! Answer: Joan.
THE MAD MEN GET CREEPY
During a casting call for Cartwright double-sided aluminum some of the boys make their way over to schmooze with the twin sisters that have shown up. As each set sits so addoringly the men tower over them trying so desperately to get a piece of the action.
One suggests they might have something in common since he has an older brother while another compares their situation to two calves that were born attached together. They were seperated of course but always wanted to be together. If these aren’t the words to a woman’s heart then I don’t know what are. This situation would be different if all the men didn’t stare at them like meat and some weren’t married. Just saying.
BETTY GETS NAUGHTY
Thourghout the series Betty acts like a child in all different arenas of life. With the often stilted acting of January Jones she can come off as almost non-human but there are a few glittering moments that reveal she just may have a pulse.
After discovering a comfy little spot on the vibrating washer she begins to fantasize about sexy time with the man that came to her door the day before selling air conditioners. For as uptight as she is her fantasy gets pretty spicy. Come on ladies it’d be hard to resist given how dreamy he is, not to mention the perfect use of “Agua de Beber” by Astrud Gilberto.
SEXUAL HARASSMENT BECOMES PLAYFUL
With the big bosses gone the rest of the office throws and election party for Nixon vs. Kennedy. Getting loaded off of creme de menthe the group becomes rowdy to say the least. So much so that Ken Cosgrove randomly chases a secretary around the office as everybody else just watches and cheers.
Naturally he is on a mission to find out what color panties she is wearing and takes the opporunity to tackle her to the ground and take a peek for himself. Fun right?!?! Can you imagine this in a corporate environment these days? Shockingly the girl seems charmed and walks off arm in arm with Ken.
DON PRESENTS THE CAROUSEL
Mad Men is full of scenes where Don pitches to a client, but there are a few that stick out as better than the rest. This is an example from season 1 in the finale where Don completely kills it. Taking expereince from his own life and injecting family pictures he pitches to Kodak how to sell their projectors like hot cakes.
Even with all the things we know about Don we are still able to be won over by his presentation. Sure, let those pictures of family and marriage fly by because in that moment I think Don really wants to believe in them. That is until his city girlfriend gives him a ring.