Out of My Mind

The Musings of a Woman Who Thinks Too Much

Nelle Engoron

Nelle Engoron
May 01
You can email me at "nengoron@gmaildotcom" & follow @NelleEngoron on Twitter. My archived radio shows on last season's Mad Men are available (for free!) at: www.blogtalkradio.com/madmentalk **My "Mad Men" commentary for Season 5 is on Salon rather than here -- go to http://www.salon.com/writer/ nelle_engoron/ to find all my Salon articles. **My book, "Mad Men Unmasked: Decoding Season 4," is available on Amazon in both e-book and print versions.** I'm a writer/editor/consultant who lives in the SF Bay Area. I write about all kinds of things, but am particularly intrigued by movies, relationships, gender issues, belief systems and "Mad Men." (Scroll down left sidebar for links to a selection of my blog posts.) I'm working on a novel and a memoir, neither of which is about Mad Men!

Nelle Engoron's Links

My radio show
My articles on other sites
Movies, movies, movies
Mad Men writing on OS
A sampling of other blog posts
My book

I wanted to post a short note to let folks know that I'm not planning on writing commentary about this year's Mad Men episodes, which begin airing tonight. I also won't be doing my call-in show, "Mad Men Talk," on Blog Talk Radio this year.

After writing about the show since… Read full post »



The Season 6 finale of Mad Men, “In Care Of,” tied up a number of plot threads more neatly than this show’s finales tend to: Peggy and Ted consummate their love onlyRead full post »



In its first season, Mad Men glamorized the life of its male characters, who personified early 1960s cool and who seemed to (using a phrase I still get quoted for) "get offRead full post »



This is the way a generation gap begins: not just with a bang, but also a whimper.

In Mad Men’s latest episode, “Favors,” an exchange of the sexual type of those leads to Don’s downfall as his daughter’s hero, the one who she thinks supportsRead full post »



Last night, Mad Men redressed what some of us have come to see as a growing flaw in the series: trying to depict late 1960s America entirely from the East Coast, when many of the most significant cultural and political changes were occurring in California. AfterRead full post »



So, is your relationship butter or margarine? What about your life?

According to Don Draper, one is fresh and the other is indestructible. Don, of course, knows all about being fresh, and he also used to seem indestructible. Like James Bond (to which I’ve often compared him),Read full post »




“We tell ourselves stories in order to live.”

So begins “The White Album,” Joan Didion’s famous essay conjuring the events and atmosphere of the late 1960s, which she spent living on both the west and east coasts. In L.A., she covers part of the M/Read full post »





Writing about the premiere episode of last season’s Mad Men, I covered the “reveal” of Don and Megan’s sexual relationship as follows:

The nature of their erotic relationship only becomes clear towards the end of the episode, however, andRead full post »




You want me to say what? 


If Mad Men didn’t jump the shark last night, it at least jumped the Chaough, which coincidentally turns out to be what Peggy longs to do.… Read full post »


don and bobby


Come Monday morning, it will all be a dream. ~ Sylvia

The fires of hell that Don’s descending into this season erupted into full flame in last night’s Mad Men episode, which bears the seemingly oxymoronic title, “The Flood.” Ostensibly a quote from GiRead full post »

 don and megan


“Which twin has the Toni?”

So asked a famous and long-running ad campaign for Toni home permanent kits, which promised women that a Toni perm was so good that it would fool people into thinking that you had naturally curly hair.

By the 1960s, this slogaRead full post »



Is there some damage that human beings just can’t recover from? 

Last night’s Mad Men episode, “The Collaborators,” answers that question in such a dark fashion that it leaves us little hope for the series’ main characters. As they continue t/Read full post »



Heaven’s a little morbid. ~ Don pitching to clients and sinking fast

Heaven is a place, the Talking Heads sang, where nothing ever happens. Hawaii, the closest thing we have to it on earth, is a place where everything happens, but you can’t put the experience into wo/Read full post »


I'm excited to announce that I'm starting my own live call-in radio program to discuss this season of the TV show "Mad Men," which I started writing about here back in 2008. 

My show will air

Read full post »
MARCH 14, 2013 2:21PM

Once a Catholic, Always a Catholic


I left the church once I became an adult. So why does it still matter to me?


 JP window

In Krakow, images of native son Pope John Paul II are everywhere. Here he looks down on passersby from a second story window. 


In recent years,Read full post »

MARCH 25, 2012 4:50PM

Mad Men fans: Join me over at Salon!

Thanks to all of you who have sent messages saying you hoped I would be writing commentary about Season 5 of "Mad Men," which premieres tonight. I'm happy to say that I will be, but over at "big" Salon. I actually have a pre-season article up on Salon right now, and my commentaries wil… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
JULY 14, 2011 8:59PM

The Unsolved Mysteries of Harry Potter





As the final film (Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2) unspools in Muggle theaters, there will be no real surprises for the fans, who know full well how the saga ends from having read the books (to pieces, in many cases). But even… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
MAY 31, 2011 11:01AM

A Man Needs a Maid: DSK, Arnold and the Invisible Women


I spent the summer I turned 21 working as a hotel maid, cleaning up other people’s messes. Having started my work life at age 14 in a frozen banana factory before progressing up the chain of summer jobs to bus girl, waitress and fast food shift supervisor, I was… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
JANUARY 14, 2011 11:51AM

My Hairstory: Why I’m Going Gray



The color nature gave me (at age 20, in the French Alps) 


How I look today, unplugged (early AM, no make up), 30+ years later 


In Nicole Holofcener’s recent film, Please Give, a middle-aged woman acidly characterizes her grandmother’s… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
NOVEMBER 19, 2010 12:37AM

The Real Magic of Harry Potter: Acting!




One of the great pleasures of the Harry Potter movies has been watching the extraordinarily deep bench of British acting talent fill literally mesmerizing roles. At this point, so many of the country’s best-known actors and actresses have appeared in both recurring and one… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
NOVEMBER 2, 2010 4:00PM


If you watched the World Series, you no doubt saw a commercial from Microsoft touting their soon-to-be-released Windows smart phone. In it, a slick flurry of scenes depict people so engrossed in their smart phones that they spill drinks, trip over or trip up other people, neglect their cl… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
OCTOBER 18, 2010 6:48AM

Tomorrowland: Mad Men Season 4 Finale (Commentary)

 don and megan


Will you at least put me out of my misery before you go? ~ Don to Faye


That’s two. ~ Topaz client


It’s good to be a gangsta, and it’s great to be Don Draper. Your company may be… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
OCTOBER 14, 2010 2:48AM

Escaping the Underworld: The Chilean Miners


 The Return of Persephone by Frederic Leighton

In Greek mythology, Demeter is the goddess of the harvest, who controls the seasons and the fertility of the plants. She has a daughter, Persephone (fathered by Zeus) who as a young woman is abducted by Hades, the god of the underworl… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
OCTOBER 11, 2010 7:35AM

Blowing Smoke: Mad Men Season 4, Episode 12 (Commentary)





Don: We can’t start over; we just started.

Peggy: You always say if you don’t like what they’re saying about you, change the conversation.

Don:  To what? What they’re saying about us is true.


Of course, truth is just a starting… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
OCTOBER 4, 2010 7:32AM

Chinese Wall: Mad Men, Season 4, Episode 11 (Commentary)




They’re about the meaningful life a woman leads when work is done. ~ Peggy


Ah, but a woman’s work is never done, as the old saying tells us. Sometimes just getting through her life is work. And sometimes work is… Read full post »