Monday, April 2, 2012
Mad Men 5x2: We Need To Talk About Betts
Mad Men pulled a switcheroo and got me to care again about Betty. BETTY. I've always found her fascinating, and often pitiable, but in recent seasons she's become downright villainous toward Sally, which is obvs not okay. I also found her storyline with Henry Francis to be less than compelling during seasons three and four, but now I feel bad for both of them. Henry swears he doesn't even notice Betty's weight gain.
First, we wonder if she's a suburban cliche; then we fear she has cancer; and then we realize, no, she's a suburban cliche. And in that last scene, scored to Sound of Music's "I am 16, going on 17," we watch Betty devour not one but two hot fudge sundaes -- the second being a discard of her daughter's, whom Betty accused a while back of being "pudgy" herself. Eek.
This "Betty almost dies; no wait, she's just eating too much" subplot earns the ep 3 razor blades all by itself. Add to it Pete's public, office-wide dis of Roger, and my "Dawning" realization that I don't even feel bad for Roger -- who not only mocks the new black secretary behind her back but exhibits not a single iota of sympathy toward Don regarding Betty's possible demise -- and you've got 3.5 out of 5, baby.