21 September 2008

Mad about Mad Men

Photo: TV Guide.

The above still is from the Lutèce* scene, where comedian Jimmy Barrett apologizes to Mrs. Schilling for making fat jokes at her, after which he turns and bites down on his fist when she says, "I know that’s what you do, I guess I just don’t have the stomach for it." Great scene.

But what's with the table lamps? The table lamps bothered me ten years ago in restaurant scenes on Felicity, and they bother me now, in restaurant scenes on Mad Men. I'd like to think the show is too good for crap props.

With Felicity, the dumb table lamps appeared in the nice-restaurant-scenes (Mr. and Mrs. Porter are in town, Noel takes Felicity on a real date, etc.). I have not gone as far as counting the restaurants/bars on Mad Men in which there are lamps perched awkwardly, stupidly on the tables. But there are several, and it makes me wonder if the restaurant table lamp is a status symbol of which I'm unaware? My memories from New York restaurants do not include table lamps whatsoever. And thus, I have always found the nice-restaurant-scene-little-table-lamps really annoying, in the same way that I find phone numbers that start with 555 annoying.

I think Requiem for a Dream is the only movie or TV show I have ever seen use a non-555 number—the number the guy at the end gives to Marion. Yeah, that guy.

Somebody please explain the lamps.

*"Though it has been more than a decade since Lutèce was in its glory days, the restaurant played a crucial role in the culinary development of the United States almost from the moment it opened its doors in 1961." Read more about Lutèce.

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