Archives For Mad Men

The season finale of Mad Men‘s long-awaited fifth season was a levelling off. It was a reflection on the events of the preceding 12 episodes, a mourning for for the events of the previous episode, and a look forward to a future of repeating cycles. The fascinating thing about the characters on Mad Men is not that they do crazy or unexpected things, but that no matter how hard they try they succumb to the malaise of the American Dream.

It’s instructive to look at Pete’s journey through the season. Here’s a man who should be more than comfortable with his position, both at Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce and at home. He should be happy and content and feel accomplished, particularly for his age. Except he’s none of those things. He looks upon his success with disdain for the emptiness of it all. A marriage he has no heart in and a job where nobody truly respects his talent. Of course, he doesn’t help himself by wallowing, and instead of working on bettering himself he merely digs himself further and further into scumbaggery. Click to read more.

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Spoilers! for Mad Men Season 5 up to Episode 11!

Mad Men’s central character, Don Draper, used to be the coolest guy in the room. That may still be the case for the most part, but Season 5 has painted Don in a new light: the out-of-touch, middle-aged businessman. The generational gap has been a major running theme this season, embodied most clearly in the age gap between Don and his new wife, Megan. But while this theme has been played in the forefront, in the background we’ve seen a more subtle change in Don which came to a head in last night’s episode, “The Other Woman”.

In the past, Don Draper has been defined by his relationships with women. Specifically, Don has been the great philanderer. His approach to the women in his life has been primarily one of domineering, almost always sexually. Don controls the women in his life, or at least, he used to. The first break in this trend was marrying Megan. Not only are they far apart in age, but Megan represents the opposite of his previous wife, Betty. Where Betty was quiet and obedient, Megan is loud and upfront. Both characters often act like petulant children, but Betty usually displays this trait by being cold selfish. Megan is more primal, prone to lashing out in fits of rage. Don could control Betty. He can’t control Megan, and he doesn’t totally seem to want to. Part of what seems to appeal to him about their marriage is Megan’s unpredictability. She adds spice and vigor to his otherwise dry life. It’s not just Megan, though. Click to read more.