Category Archives: 60’s Hair is All the Rage

‘Gilligan’s Island’ Professor Russell Johnson Dies At 89

Alan Hale Jr., Russell Johnson and Bob Denver in ‘Gilligan’s Island’ (1966)
Alan Hale Jr., Russell Johnson and Bob Denver in ‘Gilligan’s Island’ (1966)

Photo: AccessHollywood.com

Well, gee.  This is sad. Russell Johnson, who played The Professor in the TV series Gilligan’s Island has passed away at the age of 89. He was a resident of Bainbridge Island, Washington, and died in his sleep today of natural causes.

via:  AccessHollywood.com

His character, high school science teacher Roy Hinkley, built generators and other gadgets out of scraps of junk found on the island. Johnson later joked that the one thing The Professor never figured out how to do was to fix the leaky boat so the group could get back to civilization.

Ahhhh, the innocent days of TV when a high school teacher didn’t resort to cooking meth when tragedy arose.

RIP, Mr. Johnson.

Mad Men Recap, ‘Favors’

 

Though some may disagree, I think this was one of the better episodes of the season. Not because of a shocking moment, but because we found out what we’ve only suspected about some of the characters. While Don continued to make sure Sally would be in therapy until she was 40, Pete reluctantly became the parent in an increasingly strained relationship with is mother.

Peggy: Peggy is much better without Abe, we can all agree on that, but her screaming and running out of her apartment at the site of a rat reminded me of why I like having a guy around to kill bugs and stuff. It was nice to see that even after she awkwardly saw him having sex at the office, that her and Stan at least still speak. She calls him in the middle of the night when she notices a trail of blood under her bed from a rat trap. He tells her he’s not her boyfriend and it’ll be dead in the morning anyways. Well, I guess Stan is still a bit bitter.

After a meeting with Ocean Spray, she, Pete and Ted have a celebratory dinner where they all get a wasted. The dramamine didn’t help either. Ted casually flirts with her, but then reminds himself to call his wife. Pete notices that Peggy doesn’t want him mentioning Nan, and that he knows that look. Peggy and Pete’s affair was so long ago and it’s a little weird how they kind of forgot about it, until that moment at the table. Wasn’t it last week that I suggested these two should become closer? I don’t want them to hook up or anything, but they’re the only two that really seem to get each other.

Just before he gets back to the table, Pete tells her that Ted is in love with her, which is evident when Ted returns and feels left out. Whatever feelings Peggy has for Ted, and vice versa, they know they can’t act on them, but is it that bad to have a little crush on someone? In the world of ‘Mad Men,’ it probably is.

Ted: Bless his ginger heart, Ted is still trying to figure out his place at SC&P, which according to his wife Nan is pretty much the same place he was at with CGC. She wants him to want to be at home, instead of flying around with Peggy and getting into pissing contests at work with Don. Work just seems more exciting, even though their sons are cute.

When Don takes over the meeting with Chevy to talk about the war, he accuses him of trying to poison the company’s relationship with the auto giant. He does offer to help Don out though, because he does want to be BFFs with Don. As for his “love” for Peggy, he might not revisit that realizing that being at home isn’t so bad.

Pete: His mother’s “caretaker” Manolo seems to be working out, especially for Dot. She stops by SC&P one day with him and mistakes Peggy for Trudy. She confides in her that basically Manolo has been giving her the business. At dinner she tells Pete who is rightfully disgusted, but hey his mom deserves some pleasure. When Manolo drops Dot off at Pete’s apartment, he tries to tell he that she should only use him as a nurse, and not a boy toy. Dot in turn tells him that he’s a terrible son, and maybe she doesn’t really need him afterall.

The next day he complains to Bob, who suggested Manolo work for Dot, that he may be having sex with his mother. Bob tells him that Manolo is gay but it shouldn’t matter because Dot loves that he pays attention to her. Then Bob touches Pete’s knee with his, and I don’t know if Pete got the message or not. but of all the guys in the office to go for Bob, Pete? Him?! Pete then says he’ll give Manolo a month’s pay, but he’s still “disgusting.” Oh jeez.

Sally: Well Sally has certainly grown into the most obnoxious teenager, but I still feel sorry for her. A boring step-dad, a loathsome mother and a dick for a dad, how can you not? Betty refused to let her go on a Model UN field trip because her and friend would be the only two girls on the trip. I get Betty not wanting a fast tail daughter, but the trip might have kept her out of trouble.

She arrives at Don’s apartment building with her friend Julie where they meet Mitchell Rosen, Arnold and Sylvia’s son. The girls are instantly smitten with him, giggling into the early morning over his butt and red shirt. Julie takes the list of things they liked about Mitchell, signed Sally’s name to it and slid it under the Rosen’s door, because she’s that friend.

Scared that he or his parents might find it, she gets the doorman to give her his ring of keys so that she can sneak up to the Rosen’s to find the list. She does find it, and unfortunately a lot more. She catches Don having sex with Sylvia and runs out of the building. Later when she’s locked in her room, he tells her that he was just “comforting” her because of what was going on with Mitchell. Good Lord, she’s not 5 anymore Don.

Don: Though he initially told Megan that Mitchell wanting to dodge the draft wasn’t their problem, he makes it theirs, well his, when he goes to have a drink with Arnie. He tells him that something is wrong with Sylvia, it might have something to do with the possibility of her son being sent off to a violent war, just saying. At work he asks Pete if he knows someone in the military that can handle a deferment. Pete suggest talking with General Motors at their next meeting, but Don’s war talk doesn’t go over so well when he brings up Mitchell. In exchange for going easy on him, Ted tells Don that he’ll talk with the a brigadier in the National Guard that taught him how to fly, as long as Mitchell writes a letter and cuts his hippie hair.

When Don phones Sylvia to tell her the news, she tells him that she ended their fling because she became frustrated with his games, but that he was always good to her. After they’re caught having sex by Sally, Don retreats to a bar then finally goes home to face his daughter and wife. Mitchell and Arnie stop by to thank Don for what Ted did, and then Megan kisses him and says that he’s the “sweetest man.” Disgusted, Sally locks herself in her room, where she should stay because it can’t get any better from here.

When Mitchell and Sally met in the lobby I’m sure the same thought crossed all of our minds, Sally is about to have a sexual encounter with this boy. That didn’t happen, and with what Sally has been exposed to, I don’t think she’ll be the promiscuous teen Betty already thinks she is just because she likes short skirts.

Bob Benson continues to baffle me, as does his his continued involvement with Pete, but I guess their little knee love taps were supposed to mean something. Still though, Pete?!!

Mad Men Season Premiere Recap, ‘The Doorway’

Photos: AMC

Mad Men’ made it’s boozy return on Sunday night and while I wasn’t as excited for it’s premiere as I have been with previous seasons, I was still a bit anxious to see what Don and Co. would offer up for the start of the sixth season. It was more of the same, too much drinking, too much lying, a new Bobby (I think), some sad revelations and heavy handed themes.

I thought two hours would be a bit much, but it was worth it to see Pete’s sideburns and everyone smoking weed. EVERYONE! If you were a bit confused about what year the first hour happened in, apparently it’s December of 1967. As you know the show likes to jump through time like Sam Beckett on Quantum Leap, but didn’t some of the cast look very 70s in their, as Christina Hendricks called it, “Scooby Doo outfits?” You can’t tell me Roger wasn’t channeling Ted Baxter in the suit we see him in at SCDP’s little photoshoot, even though ‘The Mary Tyler Moore Show’ was still two years away from being on television. Ok, I’m referencing too many other shows, let’s talk about this one!

 

Don: It was almost 10 minutes into the first hour before we heard Don say anything. He’s in Hawaii with Megan, a business trip that he’s treating as such. They smoke a little grass, have lots of sex and attend a luau with some representatives of The Royal Hawaiian Hotel. Down at the bar he meets an obnoxiously drunk PFC named Dinkins who asks him to give his bride away at his beach wedding, because that’s what drunk guys do.

When the couple arrive home they are greeted by their doorman Jonesy who was the man suffering from a heart attack at the beginning of the episode. While taking his portrait at the office, he realizes that he is using Dinkins’ lighter and throws it away in the trash. At Roger’s mother’s funeral, Don gets sick and is escorted out by Pete and Ken who take him home where he asks Jonesy about what he saw when he almost died. The theme of death was strong in this episode. At work the next day he asks Dawn to try to send the lighter that keeps popping up back to Dinkins.

In a pitch meeting with Sheraton, their ad, which they think will remind people too much of the suicide scene from the movie ‘A Star Is Born’ doesn’t go over so well. Don tries to sell the hell out of it though, maybe he’s lost his touch. At their New Year’s Eve party, Don goes over slides from their Hawaii vacation, almost evoking his famous Polaroid pitch.

 

When Dr. Rosen, who saved Jonesy’s life, is called out for an emergency and Don takes the opportunity to have sex with his wife while he’s out and Megan is upstairs sleeping. Sigh, so this was no surprises but how long has this affair been going on? Don is getting pretty sloppy too. A woman that lives in your building? I’m sure that’ll end well.

Megan: The third Mrs. Draper has had a steady acting job on a soap opera called ‘To Have and To Hold.’ She is recognized while in Hawaii as her character Connie and asked to sign an autograph. She seemed a bit embarrassed, but I think she secretly loved it. Still the dotting wife, Megan is somehow oblivious to her husband’s cheating. Perhaps it’s because of the demands of her role on the show, which is apparently trying to turn her character into a villain. I do hope we get to see some of Megan’s acting, and less of her always having to play nurse to Don.

 

Betty: Well Betty is still struggling with her weight, and has picked up the sickest sense of humor. On her way back home from ‘The Nutcracker,’ she’s pulled over for speeding, but is charged with “reckless driving.” Her mother-in-law, Pauline tries to get her out of the ticket by mentioning that she’s Henry Francis’ wife, but the cop ignores this fact. At home Bobby 6.0 asks Sandy, a friend of Sally who by the way is even more of a brat this season than before, to play the violin for the family. Sally is something of a prodigy, but unfortunately isn’t good enough to get into Julliard. Betty learns this when they have a conversation late at night where Sandy also tells her that she dreams of basically being a bum and living in The Village in New York. A couple of days later, Sally casually mentions that Sandy left early for school. Knowing that to be a lie, Betty heads to Manhattan to search for the girl, finding a decrepit building where some squatters tell her that Sandy pawned it to get a train ticket to California. We, and Betty, don’t know if that was true or not, but she felt  and urge to help this girl, even staying all night to cook goulash for these kids to get more information. Even if she was being terribly naive, it was nice to see Betty stand up for herself, and I was glad nothing happened to her while she was there. Betty also turned herself into a Veronica by dying her hair black. This actually suits her a lot, and made January Jones look less well, January Jones-ish. I still feel weird about Betty joking with Henry about raping Sandy though, because WHAT THE F***?!!

 

 

Roger: Mr. Sterling has been on a seemingly never ending downward spiral but has taken the opportunity to seek out some professional help. Of course he doesn’t take therapy all that seriously, but at least he knows he needs it. His secretary Caroline tells him his mother has passed and he takes the news surprisingly well, raising a toast in her honor. He invites his family, which includes both ex-wives Jane and Mona, and his SCDP partners and employees. Things go smoothly until Don throws up while one of his mother’s friends is speaking and he argues with Mona about bringing her current husband. He yells out “THIS IS MY FUNERAL!” and I’m still not sure how he meant that. On top of all of that, his daughter Margaret hits him up for money so her husband can start a refrigerated truck business or something.

At work, Roger receives more bad news, a man named Giorgio who shined his shoes has also passed away. Roger was the only one at SCDP that called his family, so they left Giorgio’s shoeshine kit with him. Roger was totally emotionless over his mother’s death, but broke down thinking about Giorgio. Looks like more couch time for Sterling.

Peggy: Peggy is still with Abe, who looks like he could be the fifth Beatle during their Sgt. Pepper‘s period. She gets a call in the middle of the night from Bert Peterson, one of her co-workers from CGC, who is worried about how their add for Koss headphones will go over after a comedian jokes about ears being severed during the Vietnam war on ‘The Tonight Show.’  Their ad features Marc Antony wearing a pair of headphones with the tagline “Lend Me Your Ears.” It’s kind of clever, but Peggy Olson has done better. Though she doesn’t think it’ll be an issue, she rushes to come up with some better to show the Koss reps. Her boss Ted Chaough can’t be reached, and the creatives haven’t come up with anything good. She channels Don to get her creative juices flowing, writing a letter to a person to tell them how great the product their working on is.

I love how supportive Abe is with Peggy, helping her try to come up with a better campaign and in the end he does help her out a lot. I also love that she still keeps in touch with Stan. While on the phone with him, he overhears Ted tell her that her new campaign is even better than the last one. Peggy might be on the up and up, but she still hasn’t grasped what being a boss is all about. Maybe she’s too much like Don, shutting down ideas and not telling people when they can leave, but at least she has taken on some of his better traits as well.

 

We didn’t get much from some of the other characters but we know that Joan is still hot and efficient, Harry is still a creep, Stan is even more of a mess physically, and Dawn is still adorable, but lacking in character development. Pete is even more impertinent with Don and Roger, but he kisses butt when he feels the need. Last season Ginsberg was the new kid, now it’s the almost too cheerful Bob Benson who works in the Accounts department with Ken. He seems to be going for some Brown-noser of the Year award, chatting up Don in the elevator and sending a deli tray from his catering company to Roger’s mother’s funeral. Ken calls him out on it, and he’s right, it was tacky as hell, but something else is up with this guy. No one can be that happy working at SCDP.

My hope for the season is that it isn’t too much of a chore to get through and that certain characters get better, or more, story-lines. That might be too much to ask, but it doesn’t hurt to make the request.