Mad Men–Not Nice Men


I watch Mad Men.  I got sucked into it when a marathon coincided with a bout of insomnia–much as I did True Blood.  The more sleep deprived you are, the more meaningful January Jones and Anna Paquin’s scenes.  I like True Blood because it is so fantastically awful.  I like Mad Men because it takes place during the time that my parents would have been approaching early professional maturity, and I find that interesting.  Also, I like advertising.

Don Draper is not a nice person.  He’s a very good looking person.  He’s a very charismatic person.  He is not nice.  He is not honorable.  He is not the sort of man I’d want around my kids.  Honestly, I think he’d just as soon put his cigarette out on Bobby’s forehead as spend time with him. 

Last night’s episode cemented just exactly how not-nice Don is, and today’s commentary on every recap I’ve read goes to show just how far a man can get on looks and charisma.  Who cares if Don is the kind of man who would strand his wife at a Howard Johnson’s without so much as a room key (because she didn’t like the sherbet ice cream he insisted she eat, after she tried to order pie)?  Who cares if he is the kind of man who will throw his wife around a room (and this is the second time we’ve seen that happen with Megan, and we watched him shove, and sling Betty around more than once)? 

He is handsome, looks great in a suit, and is sorry after he’s tackled her and knocked her down, and looks even prettier when he’s a little sad.  So, since he’s sorry, obviously it was Megan’s fault for a) not wanting to eat the ice cream he forced on her, b) being pissed off that he stranded her at a HoJo in 1967, c) not having answered the home phone because she was riding a bus for 6 hours to get home, then trying to get from cab at Port Authority at 5 in the morning, and d) not feeling like talking to him when he did show up.  I had to quit reading the commentary.  It was just making me want to strangle strangers.

Hot button issues for me. 

Marriage, relationships, parenting…they are all about self-control, aren’t they?  No matter how angry or hurt you are, there are things you don’t do, things you shouldn’t say, things you keep to yourself.  Like your hands, first of all, Don Draper.

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