I’ve been thoroughly enjoying this season of Mad Men; although, I have to admit, there’s been a certain bizarre element of zaniness that has underscored most of the episodes (excluding the dreary “diary” installment). It’s a touch of a tonal shift, but one I think I like, and no one has typified the sudden injection of broad, screwball comedy more than Ida Blankenship, Don’s daffy old secretary who may or may not have been a slut in her youth (she reported got down with Roger Sterling in a previous decade).
Anyway, if you haven’t seen last night’s Mad Men, you should probably stop reading.
For the rest of you, further ruminations after the jump…
So the big news is that Ida Blankenship is dearly departed. The outspoken secretary that we all grew to love wound up in the big steno pool in the sky. As played by Randee Heller (a.k.a. Mrs. LaRusso from The Karate Kid — God I’m old), Blankenship became a beloved scene-stealer, and while I certainly did appreciate her comical expiration, I’d be lying if I said this was a grave injustice on show creator Matthew Weiner’s part. I mean, it’s like giving us a gift made of starlight and unicorns and then stomping on it a thousand times until it’s destroyed. Not cool. Not cool at all.
We didn’t have enough time with Ida, much as we didn’t have enough time with Rachel Menkin (although, at least Rachey Menks got a full season of appearances plus one brief cameo afterwards). Miss Blankenship, however, received only a handful of episodes. Less, really. And what’s worse is that when Mad Men gets all artsy and gives Don flashbacks or ghost visions, it’s possible that we might see someone like Rachel Menkin again. However, there’s no way that Miss Blankenship will be rearing her head again, unless it’s the episode where Don tries LSD for the first time.
And so I fear last night was truly the last of Miss Blankenship. It’s been a great run, Ida.
What are your thoughts on Miss Blankenship? Eulogies and obits welcome.