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Tuesday, 24 August 2010

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Professor Coldheart

Can't wait for the rest of the review and will have more to say then. For now, let me say this about that:

I don't want to focus too much on the subject of a ten-year-old's fantasies, but note that Sally doesn't go for an obvious Don Draper lookalike (which would have been a bit much for me). Instead, she falls for David McCallum - who (if that is The Man From U.N.C.L.E.) is playing a Russian spy who actually works for the good guys! BWAH? An interesting contrast to Roger's ranting about the Japanese elsewhere in the episode. Sally falls in love with the (supposed) enemy; Roger cannot forgive.

Also: this episode featured a lot more TV watching than any I can recall recently. Don's kids watching the news; the babysitter watching cartoons; Sally watching The Man from U.N.C.L.E.. Add to that the dramatic crux of the episode - two TV commercials, one a ruse, one a reality - and you have an entire episode hinging on new media.

Dave

I think the impersonal is intentional because it forces Betty's reaction. If Betty was close friends with the mother that caught Sally and interacted with her frequently there would have needed to be a deeper conversation about the incident. Instead, Betty knows the mother doesn't approve and for the sake of appearing to be a proper person has to scold Sally and apologize without explanation.

This scene reminded me of another scene fairly early on in the series where an air conditioner salesman comes to the house and Betty ends up pulling a Sally with the washing machine while thinking about the salesman. If I'm remembering the scene correctly, Betty appears distrustful of the salesman. At first I thought it was because he was a strange man alone with her in the house. But when we are shown that she is fantasizing about him, I think her reaction to him in the house was more of shame at the idea that as a married woman she is finding another man attractive.

I think that scene informs us as to Betty's need to scold Sally in the scene you discuss. Betty knows the mother is a prude because Betty herself fought those feelings of prudishness in the face of her desires.

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