(How about that, Thai, I am inviting you to dinner...)
I have never watched Mad Men, and had never heard of it before. I am... back in the Stone Age as far as American TV is concerned, in fact, as far as MOST TV is concerned.
This scene is particularly interesting when juxtaposed with... scenes from Nodame Cantabile (see previous post).
It is a moving scene. Sentimental, to a certain point without being maudlin.
In my mind, this scene is as American as... apple pie.
It illustrates just what being American IS, what the national aura or myth or whatever of American is :
A nice, earnest,honorable, honest young man in love with his wife who wants to do good in the world. (Hint : ALL of those words are weighted and mean something in this little equation...)
Why take exception to that ? WHO could possibly take exception to that ???
The underpinnings : this nice, earnest, etc etc young man is in an advertising conference. He is talking about.... how to EXPLOIT human psychology in order to SELL a product. (Yeah, I know, we all have to put our food on the table somehow, right ?)
So... is there something wrong with USING what we know about human psychology to SELL something ?
A lot of that depends on what kind of value/interpretation you put on the act of selling something to someone, right ? And on... WHAT you're selling ? If you're selling SHIT, and you know you're selling shit, then... the act of selling becomes a way of...duping, tricking another human being into doing something that he would NOT do if he were properly informed. And, YOU are deprived of the life sustaining possibility of.. believing IN what you're DOING (i.e... SELLING) AND the commodity/object/service that you're selling.
Along the lines of what I said in the last comment, WE have added another manifold (ah hah, Thai, I think that I have FINALLY used your word correctly, you may applaud...) when we step back to see the dimension of human spychology to incorporate it into our TACTICS, strategies, whatever, to obtain what we want. And this is NOT innocent ; there is a price to be paid for this new manifold (cynicism, insincerity, suspicion, paranoia, lots of things come to mind).
Back to apple pie.
This young man is so... EARNEST. I identify. This scene is... like well, Hemingway when in one of his novels he has a male character say to a lover, following lovemaking :"did the earth move ?", or something along those lines.
You just want to punch this character and say : lighten up !!! The sky is NOT falling ; the sun (also rises) tomorrow morning !
Which is where Nodame Cantabile comes in. You would NOT see this kind of scene in Nodame, which is fraught with emotion, sentiment, whatever. The characters may take themselves seriously, but... the SHOW does not take ITSELF seriously.
We are a very very complexed nation, in my book.
God, I went through 20 years of psychoanalysis to attempt to escape from Apple Pie.
Sometimes I think that I will be eating it.. in my grave...