Sunday, 22 January 2012

Hero of the Week: Lane Pryce

So it begins; the first installment into the heroics from those who tickle my fancy. Welcome to Hero of the Week. I’m hoping it will be weekly, however it depends on how compelled I am to follow the process. Week one (contains spoilers):
Mad Men. You hear the title and instantly you think of Don Draper; or to be more precise, Dick Whitman. A sharp tongued chain smoker with an alcohol problem, not to mention a roving eye that more often than not results in fondling’s with the opposite sex.
Mad Men consists of many heroes and heroines. Moving away from Big Don and his simmering sociopathic tendencies, my hero is cut from a different cloth (despite being momentarily roped into Draper’s games).
Lane Pryce. Yes, the chap whose vocabulary consists of brilliance such as “tallyho” and “calm yourself”.
Yes, the highbrow, chin stroking Englishmen who is originally installed by Sterling Cooper’s British parent company to oversee finances and expenditure. A job he conducted to the highest ability, according to his contemporaries. The same contemporaries who plotted to sell the agency behind the backs of original outright owners, Roger Sterling and Bert Cooper, to mega agency McCann Erickson. Confused yet? It gets better.
Suddenly realising that he'd become expendable, Pryce spearheaded a breakaway group that formed a brand new agency. An agency consisting of heavyweights, Roger Sterling, Bert Cooper and Don Draper, just to name a few.
Not only did they form a new agency; they took a hefty book of clients that jeopardized their now former partners’ sale. Although that particular deal eventually went through, it was a less attractive proposal due to accounts pilfered by Lane Pryce and Co.

"I feel like I just went to my own funeral. I didn't like the eulogy," was probably the most telling quote from Pryce, unleashing this pearl in the midst of severing ties with his once British cohorts.
Perceived as the perpetual downtrodden yes man, Lane Pryce’s incredible business coo and timely growth of testicular fortitude turned over a new chapter for his trans-Atlantic cousins. Sterling and Cooper no longer sold their souls, merely re-inventing the wheel, albeit out of the depths of their own pockets, with some kickbacks from Pryce; now a partner thanks to Sterling and Cooper, who recognised the importance of Pryce's backhand tactics during the sale process.

Although at times a peripheral figure in the quartet, Pryce’s business acumen continues to keep the agency afloat from financial disaster. Just.