what i watched last week
praise the lord

world's best mom

I'm working my way through Season One of Mad Men, partly because Season Two begins this Sunday, partly because I got it on Blu-ray (it looks gorgeous, but if actors were worried about hi-def, this is really going to get the anxiety meter going). I just watched perhaps my favorite scene of the entire season, which I wrote about when it first aired. After it was over, I replayed that scene with the commentary on, and realized that my own take (that Betty Draper, depressed housewife, was letting her guard down and showing us what was really going on in her mind) wasn't the only possible one. Betty was also exercising her Mother Lioness power, which makes a lot of sense ... for all of my identification with her socially-induced depression, she is indeed a frightfully pro-active protector of kids in the scene in question. (I suppose another funny thing is that my original post was vague in case readers hadn't seen the episode yet, but now it's a year later, and I'm still being vague, in case anyone who is watching the DVDs or the AMC marathons to get caught up for the first time is reading.)

Here's my favorite picture from the episode. At the time, this episode is what convinced me that January Jones was doing a fine job ... watching the season again, it's clear from the start that she is excellent. But I think she needs that second viewing ... she's so good at portraying a certain kind of passiveness that you don't give her much credit until you get a chance to see that she's not as passive as she seems, which carries over into a second viewing:

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