Sunday, May 19, 2013

A plea for David Lynch to direct an episode of MAD MEN

David Lynch's HOTEL ROOM (1993) - A miniseries from HBO's silver age about 90 years in the life of a single hotel room, room 603 at the Railroad Hotel. Lynch directed the first and third 30-minute  episodes. The first involves Harry Dean Stanton and a prostitute and Stanton's creepy friend Moe.

The second episode is written by Jay McInerny and takes place appropriately in 1992. It's not as good but features Mariska Hargitay in full shoulder-padded bombshell glory and Griffin Dunne being creepy. Lots of champagne and caviar. Great lines. "Make it a magnum!" "I as in 'egomaniac!'"

The third is a beautiful dramatic portrait featuring Crispin Glover and Alicia Witt holing up in the room during a blackout in the mid-30's. I forget after decades of his being a professional eccentric that Crispin Glover was a pretty good actor capable of a singular, fragile tenderness. It says something about Witt's acting ability, though, in that she is the one overdoing it.

I wasn't sure what to think of it until I watched Episode 7, Season 6 of MAD MEN, where mergers were forced and unions were tested and the keystone to this week's psychic avalanche rested involved an artificially and possibly cruelly extended stay in a hotel room not too dissimilar from the one in HOTEL ROOM.

It did make me think that I want David Lynch to direct an episode of MAD MEN. TV is in his heart, as well as the shoddy bubble of '60s normalcy that give MAD MEN is undercurrent tension.

David Lynch, RABBITS (2002)

Check out the stilted absurdity that is RABBITS, a nine-part sitcom of the damned Lynch produced in 2002. It is a mid-century purgatory as much as the offices and apartments in MAD MEN are. The music is an abstract swoon; the dialogs are a stream in humanity pinched into being individual old-time butcher hot dogs of ready-to-devour life.

The dialog in RABBITS reminds me of the non-sequitirs that are the "on the next episode of AMC's MAD MEN" vignettes.

Maybe just have David Lynch direct the "on the next episode" parts. But, just imagine what David Lynch could do with the hollow core of Roger Sterling, how fire could erupt from that ivory chimney.  Let him do a full Burt Peterson or Burt Cooper episode. Let David Lynch follow either Burt home and play with their clay. Have Pete Campbell have to go to Des Moines to court a large agribusiness account. Make Pete Campbell drive a tractor in his little banker suit.

I also thing Godard should do an episode about Megan going to visit her parents but that warrants its own plea. Also, I say this not because I think MAD MEN is lacking anything. It's just that I've been watching old David Lynch things on YouTube and MAD MEN episodes on some less-sanctioned tube and maybe the medium is mixing the message. I'm just saying. How uncomfortable could Lynch make one of Pete's failed amorous adventures become? That alone should be worth giving him a shot.

A scene from BLUE VELVET.

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