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VIDEO - The Top Five Mad Men Moments

Video
by Deborah Lipp
March 22, 2012 8:05 AM
3 Comments
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Part of the Mad Men Moments Video Essay Series

Click here to watch this video on your mobile device.

The Mad Men Moments video essay series is co-produced by Deborah Lipp, co-owner with Roberta Lipp of the popular Mad Men website Basket of Kisses. The site features a robust community of Mad Men fans, so we thought to poll them on their expert opinion on what the best moments of the series have been after four seasons.  Here are the results, with the selected scenes featured in the video above. Below are brief accounts of each scene written by several members of the Basket of Kisses community.
 

5. Peggy and Joan, (4.13: Tomorrowland)
This scene, full of small pleasures, takes off when Joan becomes Peggy's safe place on a bad day. “Whatever could be on your mind,” she purrs. - Anne B

4. Don and Peggy hold hands (4.07: The Suitcase)
If actions speak louder than words...if three years of previous build-up lead to one glorious culmination...that is the pinnacle of this episode's (and for that matter, this season's) denouement: never was a simple gesture so fraught with dimensionality of meaning as when Dick Whitman places his hand on top of Peggy Olson's. - Peg4Prez

3. "Open the drawer" (3.11: The Gypsy and the Hobo)
The Don/Betty game changer. Just when you think Don's about to run away with Suzanne, the woman of his dreams, Betty makes it crystal clear that he'll never outrun his past. It's shocking -- in a good way -- to see Don suddenly so helpless and small. - Andee Joyce, aka Meowser

2. "I Wanted Other Things" (2.13: Meditations in an Emergency) 
The writers’ words often carry several shades of meaning on Mad Men, and this is one instance. "Well, one day you're there, and then all of a sudden, there's less of you, and you wonder where that part went, if it's living somewhere outside of you, and you keep thinking maybe you'll get it back, and then you realize it's just gone." At first, we wonder if Peggy is talking about the baby, coming as it does on the heels of her confession. Then we understand she’s referring to her own feelings for Pete—she “wanted something different”. And then, a deeper echo of truth—there is a cost to moving forward, and it’s not just giving up a piece of the past. The weight of her words is crushing, almost cruelly made lighter by the tenderness of her touch across Pete’s shoulder as she leaves. - Mitch Virchick

1. Carousel (1.13: The Wheel)
Everybody loves this scene. Don’s pitch leaves the men from Kodak speechless. The scene serves the show, tapping into the right plot points, but what really makes it work isn’t on the screen. It’s our own set of life-shots, inserted into the projector’s circular slide tray, in our mind’s-eye. Brilliant! - SmilerG

Deborah Lipp is the co-owner of Basket of Kisses (hyperlink), whose motto is "smart discussion about smart television." She is the author of six books, including "The Ultimate James Bond Fan Book."

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3 Comments

  • Brandon | March 23, 2012 5:05 PMReply

    Great moments, all of them worthy of the top 5. However, another one comes to mind, which I think could have easily been included. It's when Bert forces Don to sign his contract. "Would you say I know something about you?" Bert asks. He adds: "Who's really signing it anyway." Clever writing, powerful scene.

  • Anon | March 23, 2012 10:41 AMReply

    I had heard great things about this series and was planning to rent it to catch up for next season. But, if these are the top 5 moments, I am not going to waste my time. If those are the best, the series must be awful.

  • TJ | March 23, 2012 8:44 AMReply

    Admission: The Peggy - Pete conversation at the end of Season 2 never worked for me. The episode was still great--mostly for Don reasons. People complained that the Don - Megan thing came out of nowhere, but for me there was enough groundwork laid for that that I believe Don would do that. They never got there for me with Pete in Season 2.

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