Miss Blankenship FTW

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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.

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12 thoughts on “Miss Blankenship FTW

  1. It was awesome. The John-Deere-Leg-Amputation moment of the season. And the “man” they get to help is PETE? My dad’s special-needs dog is more of a “man”. The looks on the faces on Don. Ken, & Faye during the moving of the body were great. But the best was the Hary Crane glimpse-of-the-episode…

    “My mother made that!!”

  2. did you notice during the emmys when mad men won an award one of the guys said something like how proud he’ll be when he gets menks back into an episode? or something like that, but it was DEF a shout out to menks.

  3. Emu.
    It starts with an L.
    Like hell it does.

    At first I had trouble accepting her. She was so broad in a show that basically wants us to see a subtle symbol in the way Don shuts his door or sighs or sits on the couch, but she grew on me so much that I couldn’t help but mourn last night.

  4. Methinks it was Bertram Cooper what had his way with dear Ida. Don and Pegs found this out whilst listening to the musings of one Roger Sterling for his memoir.

    • I thought the same thing and said so on another board, and was corrected with the startling information that she did both Cooper AND Sterling!

      She was the pre-Joan Joan.

  5. I enjoyed Ida, but her bits were wearing thin. She was a discordant note in the show. They needed her for levity when Don was at his darkest, but now that he’s turned the corner (call me, Don!) I think it was time for her to go.

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