(of Mars.)

I didn’t see John Carter, the long burning adaption of the Edgar Rice Burroughs’ books, on its opening weekend.

But neither did you. And neither did a large chunk of the rest of North America.

I saw it today though, two weeks (perhaps?) or so into its run.

I’m going to wax ineloquently about its pros and cons, if you will, and I’ll do it as briefly as I can. I can already suspect that very little of what I’m going to say will be about the film itself.

PRO: The film is good. It is strong, and solid, and good. It is enjoyable, especially on a rainy Saturday afternoon, in the movie theater.

CON: It’s long. Not super long, no, but they could’ve cut about twenty minutes or so down and it would’ve felt like a sharper bullet fired at the audience (in the hopes of making a trilogy-sized wound?).

A somewhat similarly related CON: Another light breeze through the script could’ve helped. Michael Chabon does a decent job, definitely, but they should’ve brought in a seasoned script doctor (like Joss Whedon from the late 90s) and let them punch up the dialogue a little more, toss in a few more one liners.

Neither a PRO, nor a CON: It’s just funny to see McNulty in this movie. Does he only play incredibly sleazy bad dudes in his film work? I would’ve killed for a “What the fuck did I do?”

Also, neither a PRO, nor a CON: Ciarán Hinds and James Purefoy, reunited. Interesting. I wanted to scream, “CAESAR, LOOK OUT!” Purefoy’s only in the movie for about five and a half minutes, but he’s the only character really having a lot of fun, it seemed like. Which is weird because, at the same time, given the kind of characters that Purefoy usually plays, or doesn’t, I felt like he was ready and willing to take over Dominic West’s role in a heartbeat should he have felt ill or something.

Also, Polly Walker’s in the mix too. What a weird Rome reunion.

Related, but neither a PRO or a CON: You really could’ve unleashed this story as an HBO show, especially in light of success with properties like A Song Of Ice And Fire on HBO and Spartacus on Starz. Everything seen here in this movie would’ve made for a very strong first season.

PRO (obviously): Andrew Stanton. The guy’s good.

I remember going into the theater to see the last Mission: Impossible film, humorously subtitled Ghost Protocol, with no real expectations at all, mostly because the trailers and advertising were so sub par. Obviously I liked The Incredibles and Brad Bird’s talent there was undeniable, but there was no real clear indication in the advertising for Ghost Protocol as to what that would look like in Bird’s live action debut.

Long story short, Ghost Protocol was good. A real solid, fun popcorn flick. Definitely worth watching. I walked out of that thinking that, rather than jerking us or themselves around, Tom Cruise and J. J. Abrams and their associates might as well just lock Brad Bird down for another Mission: Impossible film. Will they? Who knows. Probably not. He’ll probably return as a “producer,” but they should.

PRO (continued): A little of that though, that ambivalence, is why I just wasn’t jazzed to see John Carter. I read more good reviews than negative ones, but nothing in that trailer was making my cock stand up, you know what I mean? I mean, I’ll probably go and see The Hunger Games, and I’ll most likely hate it and curse Gary Ross’ name in the dark, but I’ll see it out of obligation. The flat out suck is more than apparent already in The Hunger Games‘ trailers. I’m going to go out on a limb and say right now that Gary Ross will probably have spent more time obsessing over weird costume designs and facial hair and shit than developing strong stories, interesting action sequences, or interesting characterizations.

The difference between that instance and the one I’m somewhat talking about here in this post is simple: Gary Ross is a fucking hack and Andrew Stanton is the real deal.

Spoiler for all The CONS listed in this post: The marketing and advertising for this movie is fucking terrible and all the blame for the film’s poor Box Office performance should reside squarely on their shoulders.

PRO: There’s about ten minutes of this film set in the Old West, and every bit of it was more exciting than the entirety of Cowboys And Aliens. I’m very glad that Jon Favreau got shown the door from this production.

PRO: You get the sense that Stanton gets film, gets how it should flow and feel, especially the big popcorn munching blockbuster, in a way that can only be viewed in another modern filmmaker in the likes of someone like the aforementioned J. J. Abrams. Their style is original, using the tools of today, but it also feels like a respectful homage to a 70s style as well, something from George Lucas or Spielberg. I don’t say that in a bad way though. They’re not like the average Tarantino beast, inserting 13% original creativity into a mutant wearing a t-shirt that says “BIG SLOPPY HOMAGE” on it. But I feel like Super 8 was just Abrams addressing the fact that he knew what he was doing, where his style was born. I feel like John Carter is doing that too, but in a much more quiet voice.

Thesis Statement of the PROs: About half way through the viewing of this movie I started to wonder if this film was the closet that I would get to watching the original Star Wars film as a kid.

Perhaps it was thinking that that completely kicked me into a higher gear of of enjoying this film. I mean, I have nitpicks, yeah.

Tons of them, in fact: Starting with cutting this film down a little bit, not in the editing room, but at the drawing board stage, just tightening some things up, some of the chases and what have you, and punching up some of the dialogue. Some diversification of the character designs, especially the warring civilizations, and primarily the “red people,” the humanoids from the warring city-states. There should’ve been a mindset in place for the fact that this movie should be for KIDS, and also adults who accompany them. And more of a mindset than just slapping the tiny little Disney logo on top of the posters.

I mean… Right?

PRO: Taylor Kitsch doesn’t seem like a very interesting entity to be pushing upon filmgoers, but I guess I like him better than Sam Worthington. That said, Kitsch (Sorry, that’s a terrible last name for an actor) does a fine job in this film, but the rest of its cast is fascinatingly seasoned:

Lynne Collins as Dejah Thoris, as well as Samantha Morton, Willem Dafoe, Thomas Haden Church, Mark Strong, David Schwimmer, and Art Malik are in there with the aforementioned Hinds, Purefoy, Polly Walker, and Dominic West. And with a cameo by Jon Favreau. And thankfully no cameos whatsoever by Harry Knowles (taking the cheapest of shots here: we would’ve needed something a little bigger than IMAX for that).

Taking a smart note from the original Star Wars there is that you have a unique mixture of British pedigree there, all chewing on that Martian scenery.

CON: The shortened title. I get Stanton’s reasoning, that this film is about John Carter becoming of Mars. Yeah, yeah, yeah. Blah, blah blah. But still. I don’t know how many Tarzan and/or John Carter and/or lovers of old pulpy sci fi were out there, horny with desire at the thought of this finally coming to the big screen, but still. The OF MARS at the end of the title would’ve really clued you into something going on there. Something different. Simply titling the film John Carter tells me one thing about this movie: I don’t know what this is. Is it a film about a high school basketball coach who applies tough love to his students? Is it about a guy who starts his own company and starts a relationship with a receptionist and also has cancer? Is this a lawyer and/or a doctor flick?

CON, continuing: Leaving the “Of Mars” at the end of the title should’ve lit a fire under the advertising people’s asses too. And perhaps the production design as well. No one on this production should’ve been afraid to go weird here. Obviously they weren’t too precious about the original source material (who is these days?)(other than the people adapting Game Of Thrones), which is fine, because there was nothing too precious in Burroughs’ source material, but there should’ve been some steps outside of the box.

Interlude to this CON: An example of them not being terribly, painfully faithful to the source material: the (would be titular) princess of Mars, Dejah Thoris.

from here.

I like Lynn Collins, and I’m glad with how they reinvented her character for this story. The original idea of Dejah Thoris in the books seems like a castoff wet dream from Robert E. Howard’s Conan tales, and can rightfully belong in the wet dream and basement apartments of fan boys. This is the real world. “Tits” and “Ridiculous nudity” are not character qualities.

The princess of Mars, by Bruce Timm, from here.

Sorry, CON, continued: There should’ve been more steps outside the box in every aspect of this film’s production, really.

There’s no denying that filmmaking has gotten so much lazier since the late 90s, but that goes hand in hand with how much lazier advertising these films has gotten since then. And yet, the advertising budgets for studios is getting bigger and bigger, going through the roof, even when they’re seemingly returning less and less profits. The budget for John Carter is supposedly $250 million dollars, which really means that it’s total budget with the marketing is, what, a minimum of $350 million? Ugh. I’m sure they’ll make that back, but not quickly enough.

But I guess you could say that the film was doomed by the time its first teaser was released.

CON, still continuing, becoming more and more of a bitch session about modern movie marketing and more of a circle jerk over the original Star Wars: The beauty of the original Star Wars as that, to then modern cinema-going audience, it was new. Sure, all that Joseph Campbell shit was old, but they didn’t know that, not consciously. All the fat little nerds weren’t sitting in movie theater lines in 1977 waxing poetic over the hero’s journey. No, they wanted to see a good story and some cool shit, and the film fucking delivered. George Lucas took stuff from primal storytelling archetypes and he took a little from classic pulpy sci fi and he managed to remix it into a very new style.

I’m guess I’m telling you that John Carter has a little of that (but not enough). I guess I’m telling you that we desperately need more of that. We need that potential and we need marketing that delivers the suggestion of a little of that to audiences.

PRO: Again, the movie just solid, and fun. Not perfect. Not a home run, but better than a lot of the shit that you could end up seeing in theaters these days. I’m going on and on about the sins of films these days and how they’re slaves to the advertising departments, but the thing I really want you to take from this is that John Carter is a pretty good movie, even if the trailer would’ve lead you to that assumption, or to any kind of assumption of what kind of movie it is.

One last CON: The ending. It ends somewhat ambiguously, but in a happy way. It wraps this story up in a way that works, even if it means that there will never be a sequel, which could very well be the case. I was somewhat reminded of the adaptation of The Golden Compass from a few years ago, which was not great. I’m a huge lover of Phillip Pullman’s His Dark Materials trilogy, of which The Golden Compass was the first entry, and I was ready to forgive a lot of the sins of that film adaptation, of which there were so fucking many, but the one I could never forgive was that they cut off the last thirty pages’ worth of the story’s ending, which they had filmed, with the intention of moving it to the beginning of the proposed sequel, which never happened.

Similar to what they did with the ending of The Two Towers, and how they moved its ending to the start of The Return Of The King.

And they did that because I guess they were afraid to end the film on a slightly downer of a cliffhanger. The fools. They needed that cliffhanger so badly. And The Golden Compass was edited like they weren’t expecting to be filming the follow up any time ever, so why not go for broke?

I’m not saying that John Carter needed to do that. They could’ve though. Rather than tying up the one last lingering plot point, such as they did, they could’ve thrown a mystery into your face. That’s another lesson Star Wars that a lot of the so called modern myth makers seem to not see: If you want to have a nice, large tapestry, it better have a lot of complex threads in it, any one of which could produce an interesting story. You walked out of A New Hope not quite sure of what was going on with that Darth Vader dude, or Luke’s dad, but you knew there would be an interesting story there if someone ever brought the story back to the movie theater near you…

Tuesday, without a cluesday.

Well, first, there’s this:

from here and here.

Wow. That’s just a terrible picture. But it’s an instant classic example of FAIL, right? I’ve really grown tired of FAIL and the people who say FAIL ad nauseam, but this time, it’s justified. FAIL. An equal amount of fail to me, actually, is this picture:

ScarJo and Sandra Bullock sharing a calculated kiss at an MTV something or other? Fuck, could there be anything more boring?

Of course, it’s hard to get too excited about an awards show that’s seemingly calculated and concocted just to test the waters for a spin off movie starring a character that was a silly throwaway cameo in a previous comedy film and was assayed by an actor who had had some problems in recent years. Well, I guess the experiment worked.

I miss the classic train wreck celebs. Otherwise known as the genuine people tossed into the world of the glitz and glamor and stumbling magnificently in front of all of us. Too often celebs are no different from whatever brand of jeans or laundry detergent you’re buying. They’re just another product. Their lives are delicately planned and coordinated PR campaigns, as thoroughly put together as your average storyline in professional wrestling. And who’s the more remembered wrestlers usually?

The villains.

Who gives a shit about the heroes?

I’m tired and it’s hot and it’s 2010 and right now, I just don’t give a shit about all the goodness and sunshine in the world. Maybe I will later when it cools down and the stars come out and I’ve had a cocktail or three or four, but right now all I want to see are the naughty bits.

Or the crazy fun bits, I don’t know, maybe.

Or maybe I’m only happy when it rains?

I don’t want to see the super heroes today. I want to see the super villains, the ones who crawl their way out of their comic book storylines and snort a few lines between the panels of art and story.

from here.

The Sandra Bullock/Jesse James story… I have nothing to add to this. America’s Sweetheart and the motorcycle guy with tattoos and he cheats on her with a girl with neck tattoo and Nazi-esque leanings. It’s fascinating on the surface and the more you dig, it’s sad. And weird. Like a perfect soap opera storyline that’s mutated and crawled it’s way into real life.

And granted, these are people’s names being dragged through the mud and vilified and hearts are being broken and it’s making somebody somewhere money. A lot of money.

Actually, it’s probably making everyone in this situation a lot of money, in different ways. And it’s just one of billions of celebrity headlines that I feel like I’m bombarded with on a weekly basis and it only leaves me hollow. And more and more, I feel like it’s just people playing a role, filling a requirement that’s out there.

In an easy “no duh” statement, are celebrities are doing the work of our pornographers, but we look down on one (aspect of ourselves) and seem to praise and adore another.

This has nothing to do with anything, I just thought it was funny.

I’m not really going to dissect it because I really have nothing to add to it. Complaints, maybe, but it feels pointless to complain about it, like maybe I should be saving my breath for something else, something important. Between Sandy and Jesse and Heidi and Spencer and Tom and Katie (and Suri/L. Ron, Jr.) all the other potential Bennifers and Brangelinas out there, the last one that really made feel anything (and it was laughter) was some headline about how the thing that attracted Brad to Angelina and broke up his marriage to Jennifer was that she (Angelina) gave really great rimjobs and apparently that’s what Brad is into it. I mean, that’s so surreal and absurd and I absolutely hope it’s true because, as ridiculous as it could potentially be, it at least feels human to me. And I miss that, and I really wish that I could turn on the TV and see a bunch of humans doing something…

I mean, look at this: The Queen of England knighting Patrick Stewart. That’s just great. And yet, I look at it and all I see is an old robot being plugged and marching out of her crate to do some ceremonial animatronics on the king of Shakespearean Sci Fi.

The other night I was talking to Maria and I threatened to do a blog post of nothing but pictures of celebrities drunk because I was feeling low and that would give me a temporary laugh.

And Maria, the classic enabler that she wonderfully is, merely said, “DO IT!”

Some day I’m worried that I might. Out of desperation, fatigue, or boredom, I don’t know. Reiterating from yesterday’s post

…but either way: Internet, give me something new. Please, I beg you. Show me something with flash or sparkle, something that’ll make me laugh or widen my eyes, and I’ll potentially follow you anywhere.

This calls for a montage, #23: “Get out of there!”

Every once in a while you find yourself someplace you shouldn’t be in, or perhaps you’ve just worn out your welcome. This happens in movies a lot, obviously. And this is a montage of one of those quintessential movie moments: When someone has to warn you to “Get out of there!”

“I’m Peggy Olson and I want to smoke some marijuana.”

Modernist poetry, Roger in blackface, Dramatic near-tension, creativity under the influence, the line of dialogue echoed across the entire internet, whimsical and not so whimsical nostalgia for a time and place that may have never existed, Public humiliation set to music, The Decline And Fall Of The Roman Empire, and young Sally Draper and Grandpa Hofstadt in The Case Of The Missing Five Dollars! All in the newest episode of Mad Men, episode 3 of season 3, “My Old Kentucky Home.” August?

August Bravo: So far, this probably my favorite episode this season. Hands down. So many strong themes and strong scenes to it.

Marco Sparks: Oh yes. I thought this season hit the ground running nicely with the first episode, but last night it’s like the show really took a nice deep breath in it’s own skin.

August: The first scene always sets such a huge tone for the rest of the episode. In last night’s case, it was the casting call with Peggy and the boys of Sterling Cooper. Ah, Peggy. Always trying to assert her dominance. More and more throughout the show she’s trying to show the guys that she can do the job she was promoted to. Now, while I’m sure everyone thinks she can, she has to prove it, and not just to herself.

Marco: Peggy Olson was on fire last night. She was blazing. She was all lit up!

August: One of my favorite things about this episode was the introduction to marijuana through someone who isn’t Don. And I’m not surprised it’s Kinsey, but it was funny nonetheless that Smitty  says, “I’m sure you know someone, right?” Ahh, yes. Kinsey knows everyone!

Marco: Yes, and no. I feel like Kinsey would have to know a guy because he’s all talk. Like his drug dealer/college chum revealed: His version of Kinsey is all a facade, a new form of Gatsby. Kinsey with his faux British accent and his fucking mohair sweater. Mohair!

August: Mohair!

Paul Kinsey, ad man. At your service, sir or madam.

Marco: Also, that drug dealer. Ha ha! My God, I want a spin off about literate 1960s drug dealers. Like a 1963 Pineapple Express. Let’s sing and smoke some dope, everybody!

August: I loved how Kinsey got so mad at him when he insulted his singing.

Marco: Kinsey and his fucking singing. Talk about a naive melody (see below). I think everyone knows a Kinsey. He’s the guy that, when you see him, you want to either A) punch him in the gut, or B) fuck his girlfriend.

August: I love how the drug dealer just stuck around. He’s got no other clients. He’s got nowhere else to be.

Marco: For serious. And how often do you deliver grass – grass! – to a Madison Avenue ad agency on a Saturday in1963? Maybe if he stuck around long enough, he could’ve got an internship?

August: That guy was very 60s Pineapple Express.

Marco: I think you’ll love that that guy playing the drug dealer with his psuedo-Tom Cruise/Christian Bale looks is actually Miles Fisher. The one who…

…did the Talking Heads/American Psycho mash up video. If you didn’t know of it before, Augustus, I have a feeling you’re about to crap your pants.

August: Maybe. Also not surprising was Peggy’s willingness to try the pot. She’s just as open-minded as Kinsey or Don, but she just had a reputation to uphold.

Marco: Yeah, she’s a “lady,” and it’s not “proper,” as was reinforced by her square old secretary.

August: While instances of marijuana weren’t previously brought up, I’m sure she would have said no before.

Marco: I imagine she took a moment to contemplate the situation and meditate over her WHAT WOULD DON DRAPER DO? shrine that she keeps i her office.

August: And why didn’t she say no this time? Not peer pressure… Because it was Saturday! Kidding. I’m sure it was probably more to do with that uptight secretary of hers muttering that she knew what those boys were up to in there.

Marco: You think the secretary was a stand in for her mom? This was her “Fuck you, mom!” moment?

You think I don’t know what you’ve been doing in there?

August: Maybe, plus Peggy wants to belong and always feels that she needs to belong at work, like belong to the boy’s club, to belong there during all their reindeer games, you know?

Marco: Believe me, I know.

August: Peggy needs to feel that she’s apart of something, so in this case… she just threw herself into it! And you know her, eager minded as she is, she’s always working. Even when she’s high!

Marco: With the dictaphone! Like a little Hunter S. Thompson.

August: Such a great idea t put something like this in this episode, especially when it seems pointless.

Marco: Which, of course, it was. But was meaningful to the people back then. This is the 60s. The era of trying new things and mind expansion.

August: Yes. I’m slowly liking Peggy more and more. I’m sure having a woman direct this particular episode has nothing to do with it.

Marco: I don’t even pay attention to who directs the episodes anymore. All of their directors are sharp and this show just seems so technically well produced, well rehearsed, etc.

August: Okay, so now to my favorite plot line of this episode: Poor little Sally Draper. Can we really call her poor anymore? Maybe now, but for a few hours there she was rich. Rich, I tell you!

Marco: A lot of people seemed to hate that storyline but it felt just as right and seemed, to me, to belong as much as Peggy and the boys smoking dope.

August: love to watch these kids grow up. It’s fantastic.

Marco: Yeah, really. And I despise children, and I’m not going to bullshit about that, but the little girl playing Sally is just precious and adorable.

August: I love how first you don’t really see the kids very much. Then, they’re slowly starting to break things that aren’t theirs. And then, BAM, stealing from their grandfathers. I would have loved it even more i she tried to frame the housekeeper for stealing it, but I guess the writers didn’t want to go in that direction. Great line with the grandfather calling her “Viola.”

Marco: Because he’s pretty much got Alzheimer’s and things she is Viola, his old housekeeper. Or, classically, assumes that she’d know Viola. I really dread a lot of the racist moments on the show, even though they’re so true to the time period. Poor Carla. And, ugh, Roger.

August: So why did Sally steal the money? I mean, after all, she just ends up throwing it on the ground and asking her grandfather if the money she “found” was the missing five dollars in question. Did she want the love and affection of her grandfather? Was she just bored? Or is Sally growing up to be something worse? I’d like to say the last one, but lie I said, she did just give it back. I can see Sally doing something worse this season. I can’t wait to see her reaction to the baby being born.

Marco: Oh, that’ll be fun, for sure. But I think that in this particular case, The Case Of The Missing Five Dollars, it’s just a youthful indiscretion. But, yeah, Sally can also now potentially add kleptomania to her other funtributes like awesome bartending skills and alcoholism. I think what were seeing is that these kids aren’t really being “raised” by their parents, just interacting with them. And, hormones or not, shit, Betty seems to get colder and colder by the minute to her children (Carla’s a better mom to them at this point). So, in these interactions, the kids are just going to pick up nothing but bad habits and not really understand why. Bobby Draper: future serial rapist. Put money on that. Either him or that fucking Glen kid.

But I think that Sally stole the money for a thrill, realized that unlike everything else, Grandpa wasn’t going to forget or confuse himself out of wanting the money back, and she knew she had to get that situation over with as quickly as possible. And she got lucky. I’m ready for Grandpa to go to Heaven. Once you start echoing the paperboy from Better Off Dead, it’s time to go.

August: The scene where the money is stolen sparks one of the best lines in the episode, and the season so far. Don offers the the grandfather five dollars after his appears to be missing and…

Gene: “You people, always thinking money solves problems.”

Don: “Nope, just this particular problem.”

What a great line.

Marco: Maybe not within his actual family unit, but with external forces within his actual house, Don Draper will remain The Man and has no qualms about showing it. Especially if it’s annoying. Besides, Don probably has a few bucks left after having to restock all of their booze last week.

August: Finally, the party scene. You could feel the tension the whole episode with Sterling’s blushing new bride, Jane. Especially when she talks to Joan earlier on.

Marco: Considering the shit Joan had to put up with in her storyline last night, I really wish she had punched Jane in her bony… everything.

August: The party just made Jane look even crazier. I didn’t get the whole dancing thing with Pete and his wife, Trudy. Was that the charleston? Wht was the significance of them parading on the dance floor, basically shooing everyone else off of it? Cute as it was, were they trying to prove something? Who knows.

Marco: Oh, they definitely were. That bit says so, so much. Especially about Pete and Trudy, whom I think, despite their differences, makes a wonderful Lady MacBeth to his manchildness. It’s about wowing his bosses, the previous generation, with a dance from their generation. Something you know he hated learning from the previous generation, but now needs to get what he wants from said generation. And it’s about sticking it to his coworkers, especially as he tries to win over all of the Accounts department from Ken Cosgrove.

Also, again: Fuck Harry Crane. I hate that guy. Sure, I’d punch Kinsey in the stomach for being a loud mouth asshole, but then I’d let him pick up the check for a round while taking in some beatnik poetry readings in the village. But Crane? I’d hit that guy with a boat.

August: Back to Roger’s wife, Jane. Basically she’s a kid and she doesn’t know her limits, booze-wise. Sound like someone we personally know?

Marco: Surely not someone who writes here at Counterforce…

August: No, of course not.

Marco: Inside jokery! But can I just throw this out there… Jane = the evil, out of her depth Peggy?

August: Ah, Jane, drinking too much and blabbing to Betty about the secret split between her and Don. What does this do? Does this provoke a huge catfight? I wish… But, no, Betty just feels it necessary to storm off all dramatic like, and have Don come in and take control.

Marco: To be fair, Betty does have the virus of human life stuck inside her. That’d make me moody about certain issues too.

August: But the handling Don does, so precise in a way. Being Jane’s boss again, telling her to just sit down, and making her even more awkwardly placed at the party. Then Roger comes back and asks what’s going on and Don belittles the young bride, and her husband even more, by saying she’s had too much to drink. And he has that same look on his face that he’s had all season when having to deal with Roger.

Marco: That look like he either has to take a shit or he’d rather be taking a shit.

August: Yeah. That look that says: You made a dumb decision leaving your wife and marrying this young whore.

Marco: Ouch.

August: But I could be wrong. Roger picks up on Don’s look, and his whole attitude. I wish I could remember exactly what Roger said to it all. Maybe you could fill in the blank fr me there, Marco? Something about being happy an inviting your own guests? I forgetz.

Marco: Something to the effect of them being there at the super rich country club on Long Island and Roger reiterating for Don’s benefit that it was me who invited you here, buddy boy. It reminded me of Mr. Big reminding The R about who’s dumping whom in the desert to die after a swift beatdown.

August: Hey, “nobody has to know!”

Marco: Other than Peggy, my favorite scene has to be Don having a drink with Conrad Hilton. You just have to love Don’s climb over bar because he doesn’t have time to walk around. Fantastic! Definitey in my top five Don Draper moments ever.

I want to talk about the Joan stuff, but I don’t. Poor Joan. Goddamn, her rapist doctor husband infuriates me. In so many ways Joan is the more successful good housewife type than Betty, though she has to put up with a shittier husband than Betty does. And all that Emily Post bullshit? Oh man. I hope she leaves him this year. And let’s face it, at some point her and Don are going to have to hook up, at least once, and when they do, televisions everywhere are going to melt from the nuclear sexiness. And then we’ll all melt. And then the TVs will melt. And then the Soviets will bomb us out of existence.

August: Maybe.

Marco: Also, prediction: By the end of the 60s on this show, at least a few seasons from now, you just know that Don and Peggy are going to drop acid together. Maybe when they go to Haight Ashbury and pitch their services to the Grateful Dead? Something like that.

Also, I love Peggy’s assertion of success in the face of probably being incredibly hungry (and not at all paranoid), but it did sound a tad naive. Wonderfully naive, even for a moment who has so much potential success hanging on her shoulders. But I hope that was the last of and not the start of a Peggy Olson recreational drug storyline. Hum another naive melody, please.

August: Once again, the previews for next time got me pretty pissed off, but what can you do?

Marco: You’ll just have to tune in next time.

The other Gods, the outer Hell, and Cthulhu Cthursday.

In case of confusion:

from here.