“Mad Men” vs. Purim. Selection Sunday vs. the vernal equinox. March has been mad as ever this year and there’s no more time to dillydally. The Phinal Phour starts now.
SEMIFINAL No. 1 – “Mad Men” vs. Purim
How can you quantify one of these against the other? What possible similarities can we draw between a television show and a Jewish holiday? The two are seemingly incomparable — literally. But upon further investigation, and to my grand surprise, I found a few common factors.
Purim celebrates the story of how Mordecai and Co. defeated the evil Haman and staved off annihilation of the Jewish people. When the fifth season of “Mad Men” premieres, we’ll find out if Don Draper and Co. were able to overcome the loss of their biggest client, Lee Garner Jr. of Lucky Strike cigarettes, and if a strongly worded ad in The New York Times staved off annihilation of Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce.
It’s not exactly apples and oranges — or in this case, fedoras and three-cornered hats.
But here’s the kicker. Purim is something that comes and goes, year after year. “Mad Men” is a novelty. Matthew Weiner took his sweet-ass time mapping out the forthcoming season of “Mad Men,” and the undisclosed amount of time from one season’s end to the next season’s beginning only increases its value.
Go to www.secretsareback.com and tell me if that doesn’t get your juices flowing (mainly Tang, it was the ’60s, after all). Take a seat in your fainting chair, Purim aficionados. “Mad Men” moves on to the finals.
SEMIFINAL No. 2 – Selection Sunday vs. Vernal Equinox
As a young boy, the NCAA tournament came to represent the coming of spring for me. When the brackets came out, the jackets were hung up. The two have come to complement each other so perfectly, I’ve done myself a disservice by having to pick one over the other.
But I got into this game to make the tough decisions, and this is as tough as they come. Fortunately, I found a compromising wrinkle in one of these competitors that might be too hard to overcome.
Rewind to a week ago. Missouri loses. Duke bites the dust. When the mighty fell, was your bracket busted? More power to you if it wasn’t, but for most of us, the good vibes of Selection Sunday wear off with a few gut-wrenching upsets. Does spring ever wear out its welcome?
By the time June 21 rolls around, it’s hard to say we ever get frustrated by the year’s first full season. Sign off, Greg Gumble. Spring is here to play.
CHAMPIONSHIP – “Mad Men” vs. Vernal Equinox
Nobody’s about to tell me that the return of Christina Hendricks’ ample bosom to my television set is getting trumped by anything. Anything. But even if I played the part of Roger Sterling and got to fake knock up my Joanie, this would still be the end of the road for “Mad Men.”
Winter, although it didn’t really show up to the party this year, affects everyone who dwells in seasonal regions — read: our dear old Binghamton. And when spring pops up, everyone gets to reap the benefits. As much as I love my “Mad Men,” in the grand scheme of things, I am only one of few.
Spring is an omnipresent power that awakes millions upon millions from a dark, winter hibernation.
Now, if the cast of “Mad Men” played an actual basketball game against spring-like things — flowers, sunlight, etc. — “Mad Men” would run away with victory (I heard Elisabeth Moss has a lethal jump shot). But this isn’t March Madness. This is Madness in March.
Vernal equinox, enjoy your one shining moment. You are the month of March’s greatest achievement.