Sunday, April 19, 2015

Mad Men Cocktail Hour - The Brandy Alexander

Good Evening Lovelies!

This past week has absolutely FLOWN by - I cannot believe we've already found ourselves back at Sunday.  Without realizing it at the time, I chose a cocktail for last week's episode that will work well in the spirit of keeping this post short and sweet and posted with more than 5 minutes to spare before tonight's episode!  And without further ado, last week's featured cocktail was the Brandy Alexander.  The first time I'd ever heard of the Brandy Alexander was when my fabulous friend Stephanie had the girls over for an afternoon of arts and crafts and cocktails last fall.  While this is more of a fall-inspired libation since it incorporates a sprinkling of nutmeg, when I ran across it listed on the Mad Men Cocktail Guide, I knew I had to revisit it.  And after not really being a fan of the Martini from the week before, I thought a sure thing was the way to go - and a good excuse to use the fireplace.  Not that I needed the warmth (I was simultaneously running the A/C), but it set a festive mood!

Yes, this is more of a desert drink - creamy and slightly sweet, but the Brandy ensures that it does pack a nice punch!  But where did this cocktail come from exactly?  Well, from what I can gather - your guess is as good as any.  Is your name Alexander?  Perhaps YOU invented it!  Alright - that might be a stretch, but with conflicting reports of it even being an offshoot of the original Alexander which was made with Gin, and everyone from Rector's in New York claiming they invented it for a white-themed party for Pheobe Snow (CLEVER!), a fictional character from an ad campaign for the railroads, to Princess Mary's wedding to Viscount Lascelles in London in 1922 claiming that it was created for the occasion, to opera critic Alexander Dragon and even Russian Tzar Alexander II claiming that this cocktail was named for them, no one really knows where it came from.  But most will agree that it is delicious!

So, that may have been a tad more lengthy than I'd originally planned, but now it's time to get down to the nitty-gritty of the enraging episode that was last week's Mad Men episode...  I want to focus mainly on Don and the interesting and incredibly complex relationship with Diana, the waitress that he met at the diner the week prior.  There is something so poignant and sad about the connection that they share.  This is a side of Don that we haven't seen in some time.  He is vulnerable with her and while he's going through a major shift at the moment, he's completely open - something that seems to surprise even him!  He seeks her out as if he sees something profound in himself when he's with her.

photo credit
It seems to me that Don feels a sense of purpose with Diana.  He's been the broken one for so long that the idea of being someone else's savior appeals to him on a subconscious level.  Diana isn't young or stylish or exciting, but she draws Don in like no one we've seen do in a really long time.  While she reminded Don of Rachel on a physical level when he first saw her, the more we see of her, the more he's opening himself up to her like he did with Rachel.  When Diana tells Don about the death of her child, he comforts if he's trying to provide the support to her that he regrets not giving to Rachel.  That may seem like a bit of a stretch, but who would have thought that Don would be interacting with someone like Diana in the way that he is so quickly?  We've seen Don with many women - each one of them provided him with something specific that he'd been looking for, but he seems to be doing most of the giving this time around.  These two have established a level of intimacy so quickly which makes me wonder what other dark secrets are still lying below Diana's surface.  To what end will she feel like she needs to punish herself?  Will she be Don's ultimate downfall?  With only a few episodes left, it's not altogether outside the realm of possibilities...

photo credit

PS - I'm pretty sure my mother still has the exact towel above!

Moving on...Megan.  Ugh, fucking Megan!  I thought we were finally rid of her.  I've made no secret about how much I hate her, but now I'm realizing that it's not just her.  Her ENTIRE family is terrible.  No one cares about anyone but themselves while claiming that they are selfless and simply care TOO much for others.  And I call bullshit!  After Megan's tearful statement that Don doesn't owe her anything, she starts the episode by calling Don to tell him that she's already run out of money and that he needs to send her more.  She then comes back to New York (her mother and sister also come in from Montreal to 'help') to finalize her divorce and collect her things.  Don just wants the whole ordeal to be over and agrees that he will not be at home when she comes with the movers.  Megan has a business lunch (with sleazy Harry) and leaves her mother to deal with the furniture.  While she specified what was taking, her mother had other ideas.  Marie has vilified Don from the beginning and while it might seem that she's just looking out for Megan, she's really just out for blood and tells the movers to take EVERYTHING, telling Megan "I took what you deserved"!  Marie runs out of money for the movers (are we sensing a pattern with the Calvet women?) and calls Roger, demanding that he come over with the rest.  When Megan comes home to an empty apartment and sees the two of them getting dressed after having slept together, she does nothing to try to rectify her mother cleaning out the apartment.  In my opinion, her failure to act after the fact is just as bad as having committed the act herself.

photo credit
Later Megan meets Don to finalize the divorce and acts more like a child than we've seen in a while.  "I wasn't going to say a word.  I wasn't going to give you the satisfaction of knowing that you ruined my life...Why am I being punished for being young?  I gave up everything for you, because I believed you and you're nothing but a liar. An aging, sloppy, selfish, liar."  Seriously?  This is a spoiled brat, a girl who just happened to be attractive - very attractive - and because of that many things have come very easy for her.  Could Peggy pull off behaviour like this?  No, because, while an attractive girl, she doesn't look like a model or a movie star.  But Megan's attributes have led her to believe that she can pull this shit - that somehow it's perfectly acceptable.

photo credit
To prove my point, Don tells her, "You're right. I want you to have the life you deserve."  And writes her a check for one million dollars.  ONE MILLION DOLLARS!  Adjusting for inflation, that would be almost $6.3 million today.  Interesting that this 'strong, independent' woman who hasn't worked in a VERY long time and gets money sent to her from her husband can be so self righteous and tell Don "I don't want anything of yours." when he offers her a cigarette, but then puts the million dollar check in her pocket and high-tails it out of there!  She's got some really strong convictions.

Something that has bothered me all week, something I need some help with is...exactly what was it that Megan 'gave up' to be with Don?  She was a secretary who wanted to be an actress.  His bank account and generosity made that possible.  Something she tackily brought that up earlier when she told Don, "Oh were a millionaire when I met you."  We've never seen her take anyone into account but herself the entire time she's been on the show, so for Don to tell Roger that she isn't anything like Jane (the young secretary that Roger married and later divorced), well, that's blatantly untrue.  She may not be quite as bad as Jane, but they are both cut from the same cloth.

Perhaps that's why Don is reacting so intensely to Diana.  Because she is so different from Megan (and Betty).  This is finally an adult woman who is getting by on her own.  While she's not as glamorous, that's probably one of Diana's most attractive qualities.  I'm not implying that Don is a saint, but ultimately there is a limit to what someone deserves simply for being married for a handful of years.  I could go on about this, but look at the time - End Rant!

So excited and a little nervous for tonight's episode!

No comments:

Post a Comment