‘Mad Men’ recap: Altacockers and the Upper West Side


No matter how you feel about the way “Mad Men” dealt with race in last night’s MLK assassination-focused episode, one thing is indisputable: It was a big night for the Jews on the show. All three of them.

Dr. Rosen, Don’s cuckolded neighbor, ended up in the heart of the action while at a conference in Washington DC. He remained mainly off-screen while Don watched news coverage of the chaos in the capital and worried, presumably, about Rosen’s wife.

Meanwhile, Peggy’s boyfriend Abe reminded us that there was a time when moving to the Upper West Side to have babies was regarded as countercultural.

The most front and center Jewish character, though, was Ginsberg. After way too long we finally see the copywriter out of the office. This time he comes home to his tenement-esque apartment (or maybe the bathtub-turned-kitchen counter indicated straight-up tenement?) to find not only his dad, but a nice Jewish girl his dad would like him to date. Immediately.

“We were set up by a couple of altacockers,” Ginsberg says over dinner, before blurting out that he’s a virgin (and that he’s embarrassed to have admitted this–and for having ordered soup).

It’s hard to tell if Ginsberg is more mortified by his TMI admission, or by his father telling him that having sex is the only way to cope with the national tragedy.

You’ve got to pair up like the animals boarding the ark, Ginsberg senior tells his son. Because who better to pour on the biblical wisdom than a guy with an over-the-top Yiddish accent?

A bit much, yes, but still satisfying. Looking forward to further Ginsberg family character development.

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