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Monday, June 24, 2013

The Groove Tube #75: Mad About the Men (especially Bob Benson)

Welcome to the last Groove Tube of the 2012-13 television season (new weekly recaps will return in the fall). This week I'm featuring the final four episodes of Mad Men's sixth season.

TV Series of the Week: Mad Men
"A Tale of Two Cities" (Episode 75/June 2, 2013)
"Favors" (Episode 76/June 9, 2013)
"The Quality of Mercy" (Episode 77/June 16, 2013)
"In Care Of" (Episode 78/June 23, 2013)

Most Fascinating Character: Bob Benson, of course, who is gorgeous, gay (or just willing to do anything to get ahead - or get in Pete Campbell's pants) and fluent in Spanish. He has created a new identity for himself (much like Don Draper), and his romantic feelings for Pete only make him more interesting.

Best Return: Danny Siegel (played by Game Change writer Danny Strong), who used to work for Sterling Cooper back in Season 4 and has now found success working in Hollywood.

Most Awkward Conversation: Peggy's conversation with Pete Campbell's mother who - thinking she was Pete's wife Trudy - mentioned the child that she and her son had together.

Best Eyepatch: Ken Cosgrove's after he was accidentally shot while on a hunting trip with clients.

Best Friendship: Sally and Glen Bishop

Most Unexpected Death: Pete's mother fell off a cruise ship.

Saddest Affair: Poor Peggy - Ted was going to leave his wife for her, but then he changed his mind and decided to move to California with his family to start over.

Grooviest Movie: Rosemary's Baby, which Don and Megan as well as Ted and Peggy went to see at the same time.

Grooviest Music Honorable Mention: "Piece of My Heart", the 1968 hit by Big Brother and the Holding Company (with lead singer Janis Joplin), played during the closing credits of "A Tale of Two Cities".

Grooviest Music Runner-Up: Jeannie C. Riley's 1968 hit, "Harper Valley PTA", played during the Hollywood Hills party.

Grooviest Music: Judy Collins' "Both Sides, Now" played during the closing credits of "In Care Of" (I assume to reflect Don finally showing his children both sides of himself).

Best Scene Honorable Mention: Sally was shocked to discover her father making love to Sylvia.

Best Scene Runner-Up: The final scene of the season with Don taking his children to see the brothel he grew up in (at least now I understand why the annoying flashbacks this season were important to include).

Best Scene: Bob Benson playing kneesies with Pete Campbell was probably my favorite scene of the season - it made me laugh out loud.

Best Line: "You're a monster" - Peggy to Don

Grade for "A Tale of Two Cities": A
Grade for "Favors": A
Grade for "The Quality of Mercy": B+
Grade for "In Care Of": B

Overall Season Grade: A- (although this wasn't my favorite season, Mad Men still remains one of the best television series ever. And its ensemble cast continue to amaze me with their brilliant performances. I can't wait for 2014 - and 1969 on the show - in order to see how creator Matthew Weiner ends his marvelous story)

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