Thursday, August 16, 2012

A Scene That Best Describes a TV Show


It's probably only because I am rewatching MAD MEN that this thought came to me. I was watching a mid-season episode from Year 2. Don has purchased a baby blue Coup de Ville and takes the family out for a picnic. The car door is open and music blares from the running car. When they are finished with their picnic, he tosses a beer can into the woods and all of the paper products are left to blow in the wind. At the same time, Don is very careful about treatment of his new car, inspecting hands, forbidding silly putty.

To me this scene perfectly captures the careless people the series depicts. Oh, I remember days when the absence of public trashcans meant you could toss paper and trash. But this group of people are careless with their lives. There priorities are skewed. They are arrogant, foolish, supercilious, insecure and perfectly human.

Can you think of a scene that captures the essence of a TV show you like(d)?

14 comments:

Margot Kinberg said...

Patti - Interesting question! The other night I was watching an episode of M*A*S*H* called Movie Tonight in which the characters are all gathered together for a movie night. When the movie breaks, they come up with their own entertainment. At the very end, a group of wounded come in and you can see the characters' dedication as they jump up and get to work.

pattinase (abbott) said...

A perfect example of M*A*S*H, Margot.

F.T. Bradley said...

Cool question; you'll have me looking at TV shows in a different light now :-)

We've just finished watching JUSTIFIED season 2, and there's a scene where Raylan and Wynona ride the elevator together. He just helped her cover up a theft of money, and you can tell he's bothered by this dodgy side of her, and how he had to comprise his morals to help her. Wynona has this tiny smile--like she feels she owns Raylan now.

It really sums up how the show is all about the gray areas: how everyone is a little bit criminal, and how criminals are always justified, at least in their own eyes.

pattinase (abbott) said...

I love that scene. Winona was absent too much in Season 3.

George said...

The scene in MAJOR CRIMES when Fritz shows up at Raydor's office with a bag and together they scoop out a couple pounds of candy from Brenda's old desk drawer. Fritz says, "I don't know why she wants this." Raydor just rolls her eyes.

pattinase (abbott) said...

I think they wisely stop emphasizing that aspect of Brenda over the years. Along with her penchant for pink, flowery clothes. Nice to see writers gain confidence that she didn't need to be so eccentric. A woman in her position would not be, I think.
But as a final reminder of her, it worked wonderfully.

George said...

The writers also worked in Brenda's passion for Moon Pies, Patti. Brenda's eating a Moon Pie when the elevator door closes on her final shot in THE CLOSER. And Raydor slips a Moon Pie out of Brenda's candy drawer to take home to Rusty.

pattinase (abbott) said...

I have never had a moon pie but it must be great.

Anonymous said...

I liked that scene too, George. But I agree with Patti that the whole candy thing got old after a while and I'm glad they dropped it.

Jeff M.

George said...

By the way, Patti, did Phil buy a Powerball ticket? The single winner is from Michigan. If you win, you can easily buy that complete set of HOMICIDE!

Charles Gramlich said...

I remember that episode, the first and only one I've seen of Mad Men. I figured it was very accurate to the times but was so put off by how it characterized them that I really just never went back to the show. Haven't watched an episode since. I'm sure the show is fine, but there is so much to watch and so little time that I've never given it another try.

Todd Mason said...

Patti--you've never had a marshmallow-filling chocolate-covered largish sandwich cookie? Moon Pie is just one name for them...

You know, that MAD MEN scene was a crystallizing moment for me as well, what made think that if there was a foolish or heedless thing associated with the era in the popular imagination, the MAD MEN writers were going to have someone on the series demonstrate it. Rather too overdetermined.

pattinase (abbott) said...

I think Charles and I are at opposite ends of the spectrum. I like things hyper-realistic and he likes them magical and ethereal. But we both like a good story.
I live over-determined, Todd, so it's works for me.

Erik Donald France said...

Patti, that nails it. Perfect.

Catching the latest of Breaking bad and Weeds -- seeing similar type microcosms. As with MM, careless and crazy people in tight imagery, combined with other people trapped or trampled by the aforementioned.