SPOILERS BELOW. If you do not watch Mad Men in a timely fashion, please scroll past this post with your eyes shut tight while humming the Satanic Seinfeld theme.
Fashion bloggers Tom and Lorenzo stand out in the crowded field of obsessive Mad Men recappers because of their superlatively great Mad Style posts. Every week they analyze what Janie Bryant's costuming says about the characters, scenes, and themes of the episode.
Earlier this month they predicted a pivotal plot point that came up last episode. They recognized mysterious Bob Benson as possibly being gay. Just weeks later, Bob makes a subtle but unmistakeable pass at Pete Campbell. And yet, wild theories about Bob still abound, and distrust is rampant. People are convinced that Bob is either a) faking, b) making a very counter intuitive power play, or c) THE DEVIL INCARNATE. Etc.
In response, Tom and Lorenzo took this week's Mad Style post to write an extensive study of Bob's character so far, and the results are wonderful. Their basic premise:
[Bob]'s an upper-middle class over-achiever from a family of them but he’s more than likely estranged from them because he’s gay, which partially explains why he doesn’t work for the family firm and also explains why he can be so flexible about whether his father is alive or not. Like a lot of gay men, he is fascinated by people who work in a creative field, even if he’s not creative himself. Like a lot of well-closeted gay men, he is a smooth liar from years of experience; very good at fooling the eye with distractions and cover stories.
T&L imagine Bob in the burgeoning, pre-Stonewall gay culture of New York City. Forget the lies, forget the shorts (as if you could), if they're right about Bob then they have his character nailed. Their fascinating portrait of gay life in the late 60's takes in the styles and literature of the time, including the great play "The Boys in the Band," running here in town through June 22nd. They also compare Bob to the long suffering Sal and examine Mad Men's depiction of what it meant to be gay in a time when homosexuals could be "jailed, institutionalized, subjected to electro-shock therapy and even chemically castrated."
Read it! It's great.