‘Mad Men’ Inside Baseball

BN-CQ609_mad_D_20140504191601Lawyer, Supreme Court advocate, and Mad Men aficianado Walter Dellinger decodes some hidden meaning in Sunday night’s episode. Not being a sports fan, I didn’t catch it.

It involves a critical moment in sports history in New York in 1969. Only fairly dedicated baseball fans, or those familiar with the history of New York, would ever make the connection. it’s unimportant to the story, except as a background detail. But it’s the kind of clue that’s meant to reward an observant viewer, like Walter Dellinger, who sees a link between the New York Mets and Don Draper‘s future.

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Season 7, Episode 4, ‘The Monolith’

For WSJ’s SpeakeasyWalter Dellinger writes:

“..the metaphor for his (coming) revival is not the new computer, but the 1969 New York Mets.  At his lowest point, Don finds a discarded Mets banner under his file cabinet.  He drops in the waste basket.  But the next time we see Don, he has retrieved the classic orange banner and hung it on the wall.

When he awakes from a drunken stupor, he sees it from upside down and stares at it.  And he calls Freddy to take the day off (from doing no work, anyway) to see a Mets game.

And so all you Don Draper fans who don’t follow baseball need to know that there is indeed hope for Don this season, at least if this deliberate invocation of the Mets has any meaning (and what on this show doesn’t?).  The New York Mets were relatively new to baseball and in their eighth season in 1969.  They had never had a winning season, and were at that point a metaphor for futility.  But in that year they became the “Miracle Mets” winning 100 games and upsetting the great Baltimore Orioles team to win the World Series…”

TV Recap – Speakeasy – WSJ

If Dellinger is right, and Don Draper’s fortunes are finally about to turn, it couldn’t come a moment too soon. After a nearly unbearable string of misfortunes, a downward spiral lasting throughout season 6, unwinding into season 7, Don self-destructive personality has worn out its welcome, for his partners and coworkers, but also for the viewers. I wonder how many of Mad Men’s original fans are still along for the ride. Read the rest of this entry »