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'Mad Men': Nurse Phoebe's Disappearing Accent

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Last night’s episode of Mad Men connected the dots between the globalization of the automobile industry and the sexual awakening of preteen girls. It was awesome — check out Karen Valby’s full recap here. There was, however, one part of the episode that I couldn’t handle. We saw the reappearance of Phoebe, the comely nurse neighbor played by Nora Zehetner. Since Phoebe’s first appearance in the Christmas episode, Zehetner seems to have suddenly developed a bad case of “Y’allitis,” a rare disorder which causes terrible Southern accents to emerge from actors’ mouths. Y’allitis isn’t necessarily a bad thing — it’s been known to cause total zeitgeist domination — but I found Phoebe’s disappearing-reappearing accent beyond distracting.

PopWatchers, did any of you notice Phoebe’s shifting vocal patterns? It’s not the worst Southern accent ever — that honor still belongs to the cast of A Love Song for Bobby Long — but it’s jarring to see a stray wrong note on a show so committed to its attention to detail. Or maybe I’m missing some deeper symbolism here?

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