Mad Men: "Just Don't Get Pregnant."

Illustration for article titled Mad Men: "Just Don't Get Pregnant."

Why? Because then you'll have to watch guys in blackface, be touched by random strangers, and, apparently, sing, dance and play the accordion in public!

If I were in English class and had to ID themes from this week's episode of Mad Men, it'd be "performance." Man, did a lot happen: while Roger and his youthful consort entertain the higher-ups at a retro-imperfect Derby Day party, "creative" brings us - and Peggy - into the new 60s as they spend the weekend brainstorming a rum campaign. Meanwhile, Joan hosts a dinner party for her husband's bosses and, back at the ranch, Sally Draper has a literal generational show-down with her grandfather. Savvy?

Where were we? Oh, yeah: "Performance in Season 3, Episode 3": In fact, this paper writes itself because they kind of beat us over the head with it. First we have lying, masks and shenanigans: Paul's working-class origins are revealed, Sally lies about her misdemeanors, and there's the usual subterfuge with Don and Betty and ye olde suburban air heavy with secrets. And, ta-da: the literal performing! Paul and his Princeton-'55 pusher-man singing a stoned Tiger-Tones a cappella rendition of a gay 90s song; the Campbells showing they make a good public team with a bravura Charleston; Sally doing dramatic readings for gramps; and Joan literally breaking out her accordion and making like a French chanteuse for her husband's boss. Oh, and did we mention Roger Sterling's blackface Stephen Foster number?


As if that were not enough! There were major Women's Issues in 3/3. Generational conflict - and misplaced optimism? -rears its head.

("What? She's not on ecstasy!" said my boyfriend. But it's still Important!)

And speaking of conflict, someone hasn't heard of Choosing her Choices!

But all seriousness aside, here's a moment of Dashing.

Is it followed by some tiresome Folksy Reminiscing by a stock Folksy Guy named "Connie?" Yes. But as the ladies of the show could tell us - you can't have everything. Cue "all the world's a stage" insert - the teacher will like it!

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Can we talk about Harry and Jennifer Crane for a sec.

So, I've ALWAYS loved Harry (minus the whole cheating on his wife thing) he reminds me of my guy. His whole awkwardness at the party and Jennifer's prodding him to be more social... what did you guys think of that? I was a little torn.

On one hand, Jennifer is clearly more at ease with schmoozing and doing the things you kinda HAVE to do in that circle. HOWEVER, I also got the distinct impression that she was pushing Harry to be someone he is not. When she gets all huffy when Pete and Trudy take the dance floor, it's like "You married a Harry, not a Pete, what do you expect?"