Tuesday, September 16, 2008


From Alan Sepinwall:

"Make Room for Daddy" was the sitcom that Bobby and Sally were watching when Jimmy's Utz ad came on the screen at the exact wrong moment for Betty. The sitcom was better (or at least longer) known as "The Danny Thomas Show," but "Make Room for Daddy" was its original title, and the one used when NBC was airing reruns from earlier seasons (which this almost certainly was, based on the age of Danny's son Rusty) in daily syndication from 1960-65.

Once again, 'Mad Men' presented a Zonk that probably can't be splained away. Betty Draper was watching an episode of 'Make Room For Daddy' and we got to see it too - a scene between Danny Williams and his son Rusty (who was our January inductee into the TV Crossover Hall of Fame, by the way). Unlike the scenes we saw earlier this season from an episode of 'The Defenders' in which we knew it was 'The Defenders', which episode was being shown, and who was in it, no one onscreen mentioned that this was 'Make Room For Daddy', nor that the characters were Danny and Rusty Williams, nor that they were played by Danny Thomas and Rusty Haber. So it could be argued that they were indeed Thomas and Haber, but that they were playing characters from some other TV show... one which could only be found in the Twi- er, in Toobworld.

The 'Mad Men' episode also had mention of 'As The World Turns', so that would need a splainin as well since the soap operas we watch have characters who exist in the same universe as the characters from 'Mad Men'.

I enjoy watching 'Mad Men', even if I do find myself checking the info readout to see how much longer the episode is going to run. I'm mostly in it because of the time period, of which I only have the vague memories of a child from that era and more focused on my own small-city home-life. (I was seven in 1962.)

Because very little about the world in which the show takes place is fictionalized - save for Jimmy Barrett and his TV show "Grin and Barrett" - there's not much chance to find very much in the series which I can then link to other programs. So as it continues to showclips from actual TV shows (which may only increase as Harry Crane's TV department taps further into the future of advertising), I'm wondering if it's even worth it to find ways to dismiss the discrepancies and contradictions caused by those clips. It might be better to just chuck the whole thing into some other TV dimension and be done with it.

As far as Toobworld analysis goes, that is. Like I said, I still enjoy watching it even if it does become a chore because I detest Don Draper so much. [Which can be taken as a testament to the writing and the acting skills of Jon Hamm.] But the dislike of the major character - that's always a detriment in my TV viewing pleasures.

Toby O'B

(Alan Sepinwall writes the blog "What's Alan Watching?" You'll find the link to the left.)

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