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Mad Men’s Betty Francis (January Jones). (Frank Ockenfels/AMC/Frank Ockenfels/AMC)
Mad Men’s Betty Francis (January Jones). (Frank Ockenfels/AMC/Frank Ockenfels/AMC)

Television

Mad Men: Would Betty rather be dead than fat? Add to ...

Yes, the Rolling Stones did record a cereal jingle in Britain in the mid-sixties. Although they were not credited during the ad, their sound provided the snap, crackle and pop for a Rice Krispies commercial.

How many other pointed historical references did you catch during last night’s episode of Mad Men? There were large social trends – Sterling Cooper has hired both a black and a Jew – and pop culture moments as Don and Harry try unsuccessfully to sign the Rolling Stones for a Heinz commercial. The Rolling Stones did indeed play two dates in the New York area in 1966 (just after they had stopped in Toronto and Montreal). A new copywriter pretends he is related to 1950s beat poet Allen Ginsberg, godfather of the hippie movement. Megan wants to join her friends on Fire Island, the beach with an emerging gay scene and, in the most sneaky aside of all, Henry Francis, the political aide who Betty married at the end of season three, is heard saying “Romney’s a clown.” That would be Mitt’s father, George, governor of Michigan at that time.

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Last night began to feel like we were playing a game of Trivial Pursuit but the big news had to be Betty’s suspicious weight gain, which turns into a thyroid cancer scare. January Jones was herself pregnant during the shooting of the fifth season but surely that incipient double chin was of the prosthetic variety to which Elisabeth Moss was treated when Peggy Olson got pregnant in season one. Series creator Matthew Weiner seemed to be busy building sympathy for Betty as a fortune teller informs her that she is her family’s rock and we see her surrounded by her children in the garden. Apparently it takes the specter of death to awaken this lady’s maternal instincts. But before we can get too cozy, Betty learns it’s benign and mainly seems upset that now she has no good reason to explain those extra pounds. Would Betty rather be dead than fat? Will Don enjoy his day on Fire Island? More next week.

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