As a previously-avid Mad Man fan, I am upset with the way Matthew Weiner turned Donald Draper from a “Man of Mystery” into one of the many men I know who are controlled by a woman. In Draper’s case, he is controlled by a poorly-cast, badly-written, wife. More importantly, he’s lost his soul to the illusion of “love.” This is especially sad because Don’s second wife, Megan, doesn’t love him at all.
Megan expresses her lack of love for Don a number of times in this episode. “I like going to work with you,” she says after sex, “because you love work…and you love me.” He answers that he doesn’t care about work; he only cares about her.
Since when does Donald Draper not care about work? Work is the one thing which has fueled his spirit, has brought him to life.
Don Draper appears to be nothing but an object to Megan. “You’re forty,” she says, making it clear her surprise birthday party for Don is really about her, not him. But we already know that from the terrible dance routine she performs in front of all the people, other than her, who know Don hates parties. “You’re too old,” she says, parading around in her underwear. “You can’t have me.”
Poor Don. He’s completely smitten. And I’m starting to not care “why.” It’s all so out of character; I’m jolted by the terrible realization that this fantasy world of Man Men, which has filled my life, re-run after re-run, through all these years of insomnia, doesn’t interest me any longer. What am I going to do now? Write a blog? I’ll have to. Because it’s come to the point where I’m doing nothing but watching Jon Hamm suffer under the pressure of being forced to deliver bad lines.
As a woman, I was disgusted with almost every woman portrayed in this episode. Peggy and Draper’s daughter, Sally, are the exceptions. Otherwise, Joan, who I once admired, is nothing but a spoiled, insensitive woman, after all. She is cruel to her mother who came to help take care of her baby, who is not the son of Joan’s husband but of the now-bigoted moron of a man, Roger. Roger used to be the wisest man on the show. I loved his lines. He was brilliant. But in episode one of series five, Weiner has made it so that Roger’s forgotten he’s the father of Joan’s baby.
Getting back to the creepy women on Mad Men, Joan’s mother is jealous of Joan. Why? Joan, even though her husband is a surgeon in Vietnam, says nothing about his work, his state of mind, the dying and wounded he is treating, the war in Vietnam. She only cares about going back to work, supposedly symbolizing a liberated woman, maybe giving rise to the idea of the “me” generation.
The Civil Rights Movement is also embarrassingly depicted through bigoted idiots, represented as white ad men. I think if Mad Men’s creators want to show the ugliness of The White Man, throwing paper bag water bombs, or whatever you want to call them, on top of protestors, they at least shouldn’t put stupid words in the mouth of a black woman. No black woman is going to say, “And you call us savages.” Are you kidding me?
I couldn’t help thinking that Don couldn’t possibly afford that oversized penthouse on that salary of his, what with the divorce and the kids, the new Cadillac, and a second wife who’s into decorating.
Matthew Weiner’s failure to make mention that this was a time when politics and ad campaigns were interlinked, is inexcusable.
Peggy’s campaign with the dancing beans, as an example of advancing technology in advertising, made it clear how insignificant the work at Sterling Cooper has become.
I wrote that I “almost” didn’t care about Don Draper. The fact remains, I do care. I can’t help but hope that Matthew Weiner gets rid of Megan. Short of that, I hope Don Draper wakes up. It would be nice for Jon Hamm if he did. All I ask for now, other than that there be at least one character who cares about what’s going on in the world, is for Jon Hamm to be able to embody the Don Draper we have come to love-hate-love-hate-love. There’s very little out there in terms of good T.V. and I, for one, would like to keep watching.