Amanda Gates

TV: Catching Up with Mad Men

WARNING: This post may contain spoilers, because, frankly, I’m like FIVE years behind the rest of the world here. If you're even more behind than me, don't read.

I finally finished Mad Men, or at least I’m all caught up. It took about three months of watching three episodes on some nights and catching one during naptime here and there. I have some feelings about the show, but the feelings I had at the beginning definitely weakened by the end.

The Sexism: This was the most jarring issue when I first started watching the show. I seriously almost turned it off for good. I could not believe the disgusting behavior of these men. When one guy, during a company party, chases a secretary around the office to then tackle her and see the color of her underwear? Are you kidding? Puke. But, I became desensitized or something because by the end of season 4, that stuff rarely bothered me anymore. But thinking that’s what women went through in the workplace back then? How frightening.

Pete Campbell: I hate that guy. That’s all.

Joan Harris: Love. Her clothes, her hair, her voice, her personality. Love.

Betty Draper: She’s a special kind of psycho, isn’t she? At first I felt bad for her, stuck in that house with those kids all day while her husband gallivants around. Of course she’s lonely! Of course she’s depressed! But, now, I just think she’s psycho. I see a Don/Betty reunion of some form in the future, too, with the way Season 4 ended.

The kids: Should we look more closely at kids who were born in the 50s and 60s to these parents? How are they even normal today? With the smoking and drinking during pregnancy. Being completely ignored most of the time. Being smacked. Left alone in the house sleeping while their parents go next door. Wow.

Colin Hanks: He played a very small role in only a few episodes, but I really enjoyed him as the priest. It’s amazing how similar he is to his dad. The head tilts and the mannerisms are uncanny.

Peggy Olson: I have mixed feelings about Peggy, too. I like her for the most part, but I think she feels entitled to more than she really is. And seriously, how can she work with and even look at Pete? She seems to have more emotion over some things (a campaign, her job) than she does about others (a baby, her relationships). I guess she fits in with “the boys” that way.

Don Draper: Now to the star of the show. I have complex feelings about Don, but then, he’s a complex fellow, with his split life. Don is not a good husband. I’m still trying to figure out why he’s so unfaithful. Is it because of his past life? Because, when he first met Betty, as we saw through flashbacks with Anna, he was a different man then. I don’t think that Don would’ve been unfaithful. However, he constantly lives a lie, so maybe continuing to lie goes with the territory?

Also, I think the flashback of how Roger and Don met explains a bit, too. It shows Don had some of his same willfulness that he does now, but it also makes me think that by spending time with Roger in his toxic environment, it made Don who he is today: a drunk, unfaithful, heartless (at times), self-involved, engaged to his secretary. They’re taking a similar path, just 20 years apart.

My friend asked me if I wondered how Don even got all those women. Because, really, what’s so freakin’ special about him? I never even gave that thought until she said something, but now I agree. He broods and barely speaks. He’s charming for all of two minutes and they fall into bed with him. Anyone he wants. And I can’t figure out why.

Jon Hamm: However, Don Draper is making think Jon Hamm is awesome. Being late to Mad Men, I was introduced to Hamm via 30 Rock and SNL and he was hilarious. So, I’m impressed he can play well two completely different roles. You see some of that in early Dick Whitman/Don Draper days – or any scene where he doesn’t slick back his hair.

I think the show is a touch slow in places, but I enjoy it and will continue to watch when the new season returns.


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