Our Weekly Mad Men Column: Liz & LJ on "The Forecast"


LJ: Oh cool, a new character! Yup, I'm talking about this schmo: 

Wow! I just spent such a long time mulling over whether to refer to this grosso as an "ugmo" or a "schmo"; I really thought "ugmo" was going to take it, but then "schmo" crept in and triumphed in the end. Good for you, "schmo." You earned this.

Anyway, I hate this guy. I was being 1000% sarcastic when I said "Oh cool, a new character"- In case you missed last week's instalment of Our Weekly Mad Men Column, I came up with this thing where my Final Season of Mad Men Motto is "NO NEW CHARACTERS!" This week, I have slightly amended my motto to feature the all-caps and an exclamation point. It's a very passionate topic for me. 

What's this guy's name again? I'm about 80% sure it's "Richard," but I'm not even going to bother checking, because I don't want to dignify him by putting any effort into admitting he exists. I watched "The Forecast" for the second time while drinking a weird Chilean Riesling at 2 AM last night, and in the "Richard(?)" section of my notes, I wrote down: "Sexy yogurt commercial voice," and then there's an arrow pointing to the word "yogurt," and next to it I've written "Trying to make yogurt seem decadent." What I mean to say is: he sounds like the voiceover from a commercial for 30-calorie cartons of key lime pie or cherry aspartame cheesecake-flavored yogurt that the yogurt manufacturer is trying to brainwash women into believing will satisfy their craving for an actual good dessert. The other major thing his voice reminds me of is the cartoon lizard named "Rango." I have never seen the movie Rango, and understand that the real Rango was voiced by Johnny Depp; I'm merely suggesting that if they ever decide to make a straight-to-video Rango sequel, this actor would be a good choice for taking over as the voice actor. I should be his agent. 

I found it a little upsetting that Matthew Weiner thinks this is the kind of guy Joan should go for. A yogurt-voiced sixty-year-old with an ascot and a pale blue polyester jacket, a chunky bronze ring and an even chunkier I.D. bracelet. Barf. While I recognise that different people have different tastes in things and accept the fact that yeah, no kidding, Joan and I would definitely go after different sorts of men- I still think that just because you're the kind of person who wouldn't be revolted by a leathery-skinned real estate developer who says "free as a bird," it doesn't mean that you're dying to end up with him. 

That being said, Joan really killed it all episode. Clearly, the "I'm choosing my son over you" monologue was her shining star, but I also really loved "Must be real radicals to prefer low-income housing to a golf course," to which her ugmo boyfriend replied, "Who's side are you on?"- ew. Not yours. The one thing the ugmo boyfriend did that I liked was when Joan was on the phone with her aggressively-bespectacled babysitter (whose Buddy Holly glasses did not match her flowy hippie caftan and jeans), and he wandered over to the ice bucket and said "Ice! That's the sign of a good hotel" or whatever. I don't know, I thought that was kind of a cool point. 

Pegs spent a lot of this episode fuming. Just storming through the SC&P office, gritting her teeth and seething. I guess she never went to Paris with Stevie. Or maybe she did, and it was just that unexceptional. I liked this little outfit of hers. It reminded me of saltwater taffy. 
However, this week my Mad Men Outfit Of The Week (a new Mad Men sweepstakes I just invented) award goes to... Sally little's brown number! (first runner-up is Joan's sparkly blue thing. Dead last goes to a tie between every single the schmo wore)

I was pretty into Don this week. He was really Sterling Cooper-ing it up. You know? He is fully back into the having a job swing of things. He goes on his introspective little "The Forecast"-y adventure with himself, but for the most part, he's just a guy at work, doing the job an organisation is paying him to do. He faces a couple management challenges, deals with them generally effectively, looks out a window, uses a Dictaphone- classic "Don in the office" behavior.

I feel like he's secretly thrilled that his personal life's a failure, as it gives him an excuse to throw 100% of his energy back into his work. I love how, more than anything, Mad Men is a show about a bunch of people who use work to distract themselves from how profoundly they hate their lives. 

Ted Chaough took ten million years to awkwardly rip off a chunk of donut using only one hand and it made me want to sing him the "Even when I'm with my boo, boy you know I'm crazy about you" part from "Dilemma" by Nelly & Kelly Rowland. And of course by "with my boo" I mean "lying in bed with my boyfriend watching this week's episode of Mad Men on my MacBook Air." 

This episode made me nostalgic for when Glen used to be a fat little baby who looked like Matthew Friedberger. At this point, everybody in the world knows that Glen is played by Matthew Weiner's son, Marten Weiner, but what we don't talk about enough is how weird it is that Matthew Weiner chose to spell his son Martin's name as Marten, like a pine marten. Is it a pine marten reference? Also, Marten Weiner is sometimes credited as Marten Holden Weiner- of course Matthew Weiner is the kind of guy who would name one of his kids after Holden Caulfield. Sometimes, when people I went to high school appear on Facebook cuddling their new babies named Holden, I want to high-five and low-five JD Salinger so hard for being a recluse all his life. You should see the kind of basics who are naming their kids Holden these days! 

Betty Draper is Mad Man of the Week this week. Everything she said and did was really chill and classy and sensible. My favourite part of the entire episode was when Sally freaked out about Glen going to Vietnam and then Betty smoothed the whole thing out by coolly telling him, "Don't let this mar your afternoon." I loved "Don't let this mar your afternoon" so much! It was such a mature thing to say. I feel like, if I were Glen or Glen's girlfriend, it would have really helped me move on with my day. I would have had a grand old time at Playland after all.

I love how sweetly happy Betty looks every time she tells someone she's going back to school, I love her for being affiliated with January Jones' incredibly-loveable Instagram account, and I love her for resisting the urge to make out with Glen, which would have been the worst choice in the world. She is a fully-grown Betty. She is in full bloom.  

LIZ: Joanie is so excited about her French toast! At first when she ordered the skim milk, grapefruit, and pot of coffee I was all, "REALLY????" But then she just went for it - she's in California, with her beautiful nightgown and frilly sleep mask, and that pretty pink get-up. But yeah, I agree with everything LJ said about Sad-Yogurt Voice. He dresses like Mr. Furley. Except Mr. Furley is somehow way more chill, what with his not yelling at women about their life choices in hotel rooms and all. 

Is that a beer? Is Don just walking around the office, drinking a beer? That's a cool move. Also: Roger's boots! I don't care about the Gettysburg Address or the Bahamas, although I suppose I'm vaguely curious as to the frothy tropical cocktails Roger's going to drink there.

As soon as the doorbell rang at the Francis house I said to myself, "THAT BETTER NOT BE WHO I THINK IT IS." But of course it was Glen Bishop. I mean who else could it ever possibly be, really. And in the end it was 78% worth Glen Bishop showing up, for that moment when he's in the kitchen with Betty and tells her, "Everything was peaches and cream." It's very original to use the expression "peaches and cream" and somehow make it all foreboding.

Sally's room is adorable, but does she really have no posters on the wall? Isn't she, like, 16? Or 17? Maybe Betty doesn't let her hang posters; maybe that's why her room's so cleanly decorated. But I'm dying to know what Sally's into these days, music-wise. One of my favorite albums that came out in 1970 is Fun House by the Stooges and while I realize it's way too soon for Sally to get into all that, hopefully at some point she'll have a cool little Iggy phase. When The Idiot comes out she'll be in her mid-20s, and I think the Bowie-ness of that record will suit her quite nicely. She'll look so great, boredly smoking while "Sister Midnight" plays at some crazy party in Alphabet City.

All I have to say about this moment is (1) Sally looks so tough, throwing shade, and (2) I think Don and Sally are going to be okay. Even if he's oozy and embarrassing, he keeps it pretty real with her, and that counts a lot.

I agree that Ted Chaough is so beautiful with his donut. He looks so calm and totally okay with his life. I don't relate to getting all moony-eyed as I gaze off into the distance, dreaming about landing a pharmaceutical company, but I do appreciate his cool pointing. My friend Paul was recently teasing me about how apparently I often point as a means of accentuating something I've just said, and my hope is that my pointing is very Ted Chaough-esque in its chill intensity.

And I'm posting the vending machine shot again, because of course I am. On Twitter LJ's buddy Matt asked the very important question "what did Don Draper buy from the vending machine?", and I've been thinking about that a lot. My guess is Don went with the Baby Ruth, because Baby Ruth seems...I don't know, manly? Because of baseball? Although Clark Bars and 100 Grands are both pretty classic and no-bullshit, just like our old pal Don. And no way he went for the Butterfinger or Jujy Fruits; those both get stuck in your teeth, and Don Draper ain't got time for that. Mike and Ikes are useless and I refuse to dignify their existence, and "Snik Snaks" are way too cutesy, and I really hope that Don didn't get himself a Hershey's bar and then go hide in his office and brood about prostitutes. I feel like he's beyond that now. He's getting his act together, in his own elegantly sloppy, Don Draper-y way.

So either the Baby Ruth, the Clark Bar, the 100 Grand, or the M&Ms - if only so he can do that dumb thing of shaking the M&Ms out into his palm and then tossing each one into his mouth with lots of showboaty flair, and somehow make it all look hot.

Another confusing moment about this scene: what was that look that Don gave Peggy and Pete as they each huffed off in opposite directions? Was it something like, "Huh - did those two...secretly conceive a child at some point?" Or maybe it was, "God, I'm really gonna miss these guys when Mad Men's over in four weeks and none of us works here anymore." But most likely it was to keep with the whole "Forecast" theme of Don Draper being left standing alone in hallways or bus stations while everyone else moves on with his/her life. Whatever, I don't feel bad for him. This probably has lots to do with my being a pathological optimist, but I'm generally of the opinion that Don Draper's going to work everything out and be fine forever. Like he said: he's got imagination.


  1. Uh, guys...is this becoming just a Mad Men blog?

  2. I'm not even finished reading this post, but i just googled Milk and Honey Route. Seems it alludes to homelessness and railroad lines in certain parts of the USA. I think somewhere it mentioned Mormon country.

    1. i commented on the wrong post? woops!

    2. i commented on the wrong post? woops!

  3. I'm not even finished reading this post, but i just googled Milk and Honey Route. Seems it alludes to homelessness and railroad lines in certain parts of the USA. I think somewhere it mentioned Mormon country.

  4. I find it so sad that Kurt died so young. But he's still a legend. Thanks for sharing this with us. Great post !