Full Disclosure: I still have, to this day, 40+ VHS tapes of The Simpsons episodes that I taped off the TV (that’s right, I’m bad) as a young lad. I have all the DVDs up until season 11 where the horrible packaging made it impossible to remove the discs. Most embarrassingly, I have an entire folder full of sheets (almost 100 in total) which perfectly document which episodes are on which tapes (and a brief description), whether or not the episode exists in its entirety or was only half taped, and a grade out of 10 for each. So this list is in honour of that boy who had (and clearly still has) way too much time on his hands.
Picture courtesy of the fantastic Tumblr Mad Men Screenshots with Things Drawn On Them
My feelings on Mad Men’s season six finale ‘In Care Of’ very neatly summarise my impression of season 6 as a whole. There are moments of brilliance, and the show still manages to be effectively unpredictable, but as a whole there feels as though too much is happening; it all feels a little messy and the episode ends up feeling less significant than the sum of its parts. However the final scene of the season goes a long way to taking a highly turbulent season that takes place at a confused and violent time period of the 60s and effectively centring all that craziness around Don.
*SPOILERS* (All my reviews have spoilers but these are more potent)
I feel like I enjoyed this episode a lot less than most of Mad Men fandom. Some people have compared it (with knowing exaggeration) to the Games of Thrones’s Red Wedding in terms of the shocks it delivers, but for the most part the episode didn’t really hit me on an emotional level. The episode felt disjointed and lacked the seamless integration of plot lines that memorable Mad Men episodes share. The episode had no streamline momentum; each storyline peaked at different points, some ended there, some puttered on and in the meantime Peggy has a dead rat in her apartment.
I was a little late to this episode, due to an avalanche of uni assessments that I left as late as possible to start tackling. A few day after it aired (in the US), I saw on my Facebook newsfeed (not naming anyone……SUE!) ‘Ugh.. Don and Betty. Yuck. And why!?’. My first thought was, ‘cool, someone who watches Mad Men’. My second thought was ‘Wait…..What????!!!!!’. So my whole viewing experience came down to waiting for that moment. It was to the show’s credit that it didn’t really feel like a big deal, or even a major faux pas for Don, who I think we all gave up on seasons ago, in the fidelity department. And for whatever their relationship lacked, Don and Betty always valued their sex life.