Entertainment Weekly has
Countdown to Mad Men: What Don Draper could learn from history… and Hannah Montana. Here it goes:
The Catch-22 of Don’s plight is that he can’t really afford to do anything that would effectively deconstruct the “Don Draper” he has become; too many people count on him for their very survival. Still, it appears that Don’s disassembly is inevitable, whether he wants it or not, and the only choice he has in the matter is in managing the collapse — assuming he wants to manage the collapse at all. I often wonder if Don actually wants to self-destruct, and more, inflict some collateral damage upon his mad culture as he blows up. The season 3 promo pic of Don sitting in a flooded office, the water rising, sums him up for me. Don is drowning in his circumstances — and he’s letting it happen. And if it warps the trendy Swedish furniture and ruins Roger’s fancy art in the process, well, even better. (Seriously: Do you really think Don actually likes his job, his culture, his life?) If he ever did submit to psychological evaluation, I think both Dr. Greta and Dr. Miller would agree: “Don Draper” has a death wish.
I do hope Don can be saved. And in fact, my hope for Don would be that he recover and reconcile with his inner Dick Whitman, but without demolishing all of Don Draper. Because Don Draper has brought him some good things, including, I think, the epiphany of his true calling. The man’s an artist. He got a great eye, he’s got a wealth of story ideas, and he has an uncanny knack for knowing how to move an audience. Here’s hoping he can reconcile his warring identities, become a cohesive, well-realized, creative whole, and claim his true destiny: a Hollywood studio chief.
Here’s my take: Don/Dick would do well at any job. He’s self-motivated, he is very very good at his current job, he’s creative, understands what sells, and knows what works. All of these valuable skills are useful in any line of work.
As to the question, Seriously: Do you really think Don actually likes his job, his culture, his life? There are two answers to that question: In real life, Don would. He loves the work, the suits, the money, the women, the drinking, the smoking. He loves being Don. That’s exactly why he is Don instead of Dick (even when Don can be a dick at times).
However, since this is a soap opera, of course there has to be conflict, and barring a Jerseylicious-type antagonist, he can’t, or the writers wouldn’t be able to sustain our interest for two episodes, never mind four seasons and counting. Hence, we get the Ayn Rand question, “who is Don Draper?” in all its varieties – overdrinking included.
The other day I was at the hairdresser and surprise! Jon Hamm on the cover of W magazine. The article is, Jon Hamm and Rebecca Hall: Talk of The Town
Rebecca Hall and Jon Hamm, stars of the gritty new Ben Affleck–directed The Town, discuss the film—as well as love, money and one sensational sex tape. Several photos in the article were shot through gauze or vaseline or something, even when Jon Hamm looks best in sharp focus.
All Mad Men look good in white shirts:
Here’s the Wall Street Journal’s recap from last week’s episode, Mad Men,’ Season 4, Episode 2, ‘Christmas Comes But Once a Year’: TV Recap. New episode on tonight at 10PM Eastern.