Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Mad Men: Matt Weiner speaks

So it turns out one perservering reporter was able to get "Mad Men" creator Matthew Weiner on the phone yesterday. Weiner talked to Jace Lacob about the events of the season three finale, and while he (as you'd expect) gave few hints about season four, he was pretty definitive on one subject, which you can discuss in the comments.

104 comments:

Alan Sepinwall said...

Specifically, this quote: "It’s so unambiguous to me that this marriage is over, but the audience seems to cling to the idea that they should be together because we want to believe in those things."

dez said...

I'm glad they are over. I've never much liked Betty and think it will be more interesting anyway to see Don trying to relate to her and his kids as a divorced father. Don's finally not in total control of something in his life; his growth in that arena is something I'm highly anticipating.

LA said...

The phone call Don made to Betty from the hotel seemed to be a clear indicator that they were done. Like I commented in the post for the finale, I'm way more interested in the goings-on at the office than I am in Ossining, and I hope they can transition to Betty as a minor character without sacrificing Don's relationship with his kids.

Now that the season is over, do I have to lose my Mad Man avatar?

new identity said...

I was sort of in denial that it was over, they are quite dysfunctionally perfect for one another.

However when Don came home drunk and pushed her around and called her a whore well that seemed to be a pretty clear turning point.

dez said...

@LA, you can keep your MM avatar as long as you want (I've got mine on my FB page still) :-)

Andy said...

Wow. What an ending. Should we be expecting Don without a suit working the hip new agency? I hope it's not a swinging 60's motif that they're setting up.

Brandy said...

I've been sure they were over from at the very very very latest the phone call at the end.

she's been done before but not done. This time she's talking to lawyers and has something else all set up.

I assume they will see one another periodically again. They have the three kids and a similar set of social aquaintences. However, as a couple they are done.

Heck as a couple they were always just treading water waiting for the end.

The only time this season I thoguht it might not be the end was in Italy but when they came back and everything was the same I was sure they wouldn't last the season.

I'm not sure Henry will be healthier for Betty, I feel like she's making a very similar mistake to the one she made with Don. What does she know about him? And trusting him to take care of her rather than going after Don for a settlement.

But who knows. Weiner didn't say much about them but he seemed to think it was a positive step for Betty.

qrter said...

I'm also glad Don and Betty are over. Enough is enough. For Sally and Bobby's sake I just hope Don does get custody.

latenac said...

I'm glad they're over. I got the feeling from the episode that it was done as much as any divorce where children are involved can be. Although I feel sorry for Betty b/c although Don has been horrible when he told her the truth about him she could have turned into an advantage for herself to free herself coupled with Don leaving Sterling Cooper it could have been a true growth experience for her. Instead she's just run to the first guy who looks good on paper. No growth at all. Not that I blame her for no longer loving Don.

Anonymous said...

I am disappointed that Weiner made so much of this season revolve around Betty Draper now that we see who she really is. Yes, Don lied to her about his past, but a better person than Betty would have had tried to have some understanding of, and maybe even some sympathy for, why he did what he did. I am kind of appalled at the thought that she would reject Don because his mother was a prostitute. What about her children? They have Don's less than blue blood, too. Why did the series have to waste so much time on such a silly and superficial character. I seem to be the only one, but I really kind of hated the finale. There is hope for the future, but feeling good about it means ignoring the wreckage of the past. Maybe the characters can do that, but I as a viewer cannot.

Hyde said...

Weiner certainly seems to imply that there will still be a role for Betty on Mad Men despite the end of the marriage, which is the thing you were concerned about, Alan. Though I likewise am curious about how he will bring that about without changing the essential focus of the show.

Karen said...

I love that you felt you had to spell it out for us, Alan!

Well, I think it's good. Don and Betty weren't healthy for each other, on a number of levels. And whether the marriage is ending for the right reason or not--do they always?--it's good that it's over.

George said...

First of all I'd like to praise the talents of January Jones, she should have won an Emmy for her Season Two work, but Betty was exposed in Season Three. She was a sympathetic character in the first two seasons, but embodied that entitled spoiled brat the past year.

I would of liked them to make more of an effort in the Whitman marriage, but now they are apart I think it would be unrealistic for two personalities such as Don and Betty to get back together, but I'm sure Henry will turn out to be just as inept a husband as Don.

Her pursuit of the perfect life will continue to be her downfall and prevent her from working out the inevitable kinks that will arise. I'm sure Mr. Francis is hoping to pamper her like crazy, that will work for Betty for a while, but when that's gone her life will be just as empty.

Sally and Bobby are truly screwed now that Don is not going to fight her for custody. I suppose that's what Mad Men hopes to accomplish however, Weiner wants to show how a generation ended up as it did, and that would be seriously undermined by a Don/Betty reunion, again Sally and Bobby=screwed.

Can't wait until Season 4, what's it like 9 months away. SCD&P for life.

Anonymous said...

I hope that Betty becomes a very minor character. I find her extremely boring and a one-dimensional character who exhibits no significant change in her personality. On the other hand JJ is a very hot commidity right now and is even hosting SNL this week. It will be very interesting to see how Betty will be handled in Season 4. My guess is that there will be a lot of her, and her relationship with Mr. Francis will also end in ruins.

Does this mean that Don will be hooking up with Teacher again?

cadfile said...

I'm glad the marriage is in fact over and I'm happy that they blew up the office.

What I do hope is they at least try to bring back Sal and maybe Ken and his haircut. Other than that it is all good.

dc said...

One thing about the interview that I thought was interesting was Weiner's comment that, with respect to whether we've seen the last of Ken "Haircut" Cosgrove, Sal, et al., he "didn't know" whether they'd be back.

What are the logistics of this outside of the show's storylines? Is there a point at which Weiner and the producers have to commit Brian Batt to a contract for a certain number of appearances on next year's season? Weiner decides how he wants Sal or Ken to fit into the storyline, and then a certain agreement is reached with the actors? I may be naive about all this, but I'm not really sure how it works.

In any case, one has to presume that if we see "Brian Batt" in the credits for the coming season, that must mean a certain commitment of "x" number of episodes for season 4 of Mad Men. Am I right?

Hatfield said...

My guess is that those actors, if they continue on the show, may end up on the "Guest Starring" list, much like Mark Moses, Jared Harris, Alison Brie and Kiernan Shipka. Though obviously if any of them stay they'll be in the main list. I hope they're back in some way, especially Sal; what Weiner did to him seemed unnecessarily cruel, and I'd like it if he turned his life around.

Oh, and LA, much like dez I still have mine up on Facebook, and until they come up with a Sons of Anarchy or Community one I'm sticking with it.

Yet another anonymous said...

Alan, thanks for that link.

Well, I guess the end of the marriage is pretty definitive - but somehow I don't think that they are done. I can just imagine a hook-up at some point in their lives.

I wouldn't mind seeing Don get custody of the older two kids, but given the times, that won't happen.

This really was a remarkable season - absolutely brilliant. I still haven't erased it from the DVR, which is very unusual for me.

Stephen said...

I am surprised to see so much antipathy toward Betty, particularly the charge that she hasn't grown enough. I think the two scenes in the last two episodes where she talks to lawyers and is told she's entitled to nothing illustrate that the game is rigged against her growing. One of the interesting themes Mad Men has explored repeatedly is the notion of people being trapped by the identity society imposes on them; Betty yet again turning to a powerful man is an example of her doing what she has been programmed to do.

Anonymous said...

I think there's plenty of room for Betty to remain in the story next season, even with the marriage being completely over. There are bound to be money issues ahead as Don throws everything into the new business, and who knows how much Henry Francis is worth or makes. Behavior problems with the kids are a near certainty. I think we could even expect some SCDP involvement in Rockefeller's attempt to win the GOP presidential nomination witth the Henry Francis/Sterling connection. Or maybe they try to get Goldwater business and that causes trouble? Either way I bet the election will be an issue, keeping both Henry and Betty in the picture.

dez said...

Oh, and LA, much like dez I still have mine up on Facebook, and until they come up with a Sons of Anarchy or Community one I'm sticking with it.

What I find funniest about all the MM avatars I've seen, including among my friends, is that they're all holding an alcoholic drink vs. any of the other accessories available.

As for Betty not being more understanding of Don's secret: Why should she be? This man has lied to her for their entire time together; he's treated her quite badly at times; she's not a liberated woman; hell, she's not even much of a thinker/questioner. The choices she's making are the only choices she feels are available to her. Like I said, I don't care much for the character, but I'm not about to hold Don up as some wounded woobie in order to put Betty down. She has enough flaws of her own for that :-)

Imamarilyn said...

Thanks, Alan, for posting this interview. Betty is my favorite character, so I really liked so much Betty this season. George, absolutely January Jones should get an Emmy. Mr. Weiner said she was impulsive and we saw that with Captain Awesome and now with Henry Francis. Since she said Don will always be the children's father, Betty and Don will always have a connection. So I am hoping I will get to see more Betty in future seasons.

Lisa said...

I liked Andy's comment about Don taking part in the swinging 60s, but it got me thinking about what real might shape SCDP going forward? I checked Ad Age's "Advertising Century" timeline, and 1963 was the launch of the "Pepsi Generation" campaign (strange, I didn't think it was that early), and perhaps someone mentioned this, but the Surgeon General put the hammer down on cigarettes in 1964. So much for Lucky, and that's where slimy Pete will become even more important to the business. I also hope we'll see some attention given to black advertising and of course, the British invasion.

Anonymous said...

Weiner's comments make me more confident of what's in store for Season 4, that there's going to be some genuine follow-through, where the old rules need not apply. I'm actually glad that it's not a given that Paul, Ken, and Sal will return. I am also happy that he mentioned Hildy.

Count me as one who think that Henry Francis and the divorce makes Betty a more important element moving forward.

Stav said...

Thank you Dez;
It's sad to see so much support of Don here and elsewhere.

Don is a bad person.

He treated his wife horribly. She may not be a prize herself (except in the looks and outward grace departments), but he is a cad.

I see things that sympathize with Don (or Tony back in the day) and I wonder how heartless does a character have to be for a viewer to realize that the character, however central and charismatic he is, is a very bad person. As for the idea that I see in the media that Don is "cool", no it's the opposite of that. Don is weak, cowardly and visionless. That's what makes him such agreat character.

Brit and Heath said...

I don't know how to feel about Don and Betty being over. Part of me just thinks it right for them to be together but another part of me can't stand Betty Draper. I've been over her since season 1. Not that Don is a big prize or anything but they are horrible for each other.

christy said...

Hildy! My favorite Very Minor Character. I'm sorry I forgot about you, Hildy.

Scazza said...

Can someone answer something that I've been struggling with? How period is this divorce? This looks more like 1980 to me than 1963. I thought divorce was uncommon, deplorable (especially to someone like conservative Betty); that most everyone found a way to deal with the ugliness and kept their heads down in their marriages for at least a couple more decades. I could maybe believe this in 1968, but I've had a hard time with the period-ness of the Betty liberation, domination plotline all season. Help?

Matt said...

While I'm 100%-pro Betty and Don's divorce, I feel like I can never take a showrunner at their word when it comes to talking about the long game, because they're either obfuscate their plans upcoming or they flat out lie.

After "Out of Town," Weiner told Alan that he "may or may not" cover Kennedy, and it turns out not only to be something he covered, but the pivot point of the season, the series up to this point, the desire to start a new agency, the Draper's marriage, Don's relationship with Roger, Pete and Peggy, etc.

I'm sure if I read some post-"Whitecaps" interview I could find David Chase saying that it's unambiguous to him that Tony and Carmella's marriage is over. But as we all know...

Elena said...

I'm in the camp that finds Betty an almost completely unsympathetic character (although well portrayed), so I wouldn't mind if JJ was onscreen a lot less. I agree w one poster who said we probably will see lots of Betty next year, if only because JJ has become a hot comodity.
I'm disappointed that Weiner said Betty in the end rejected Don because of his past. I was hoping it was more about the cheating and general build-up of hurt and lack of communication. But I guess that means Don was right to keep it from Betty all these years, he would have lost his family sooner, or not had it at all.
But for Don, its a fresh start. When your worst fears are realized, and you wake up the next morning, heart still beating sun shining, then you feel a great release, like it didn't kill me, so life has potential after all.

Matt said...

I will also say this response from Weiner made me laugh:

"I am going to say something that I don’t always say: I don’t know."

In interview after interview he claims he didn't/doesn't know how such-and-such thing will develop/unravel/etc.

Tom said...

For those who think Don may get custody of the kids, just try and imagine Don Draper standing before a family court judge, trying to explain Dick Whitman and the contents of his desk drawer...

I sure hope that Ken comes back. I can see him roping Sal back into the fold now that American Tobacco has jumped ship with Roger. And as for Paul, he and Duck are just made for each other.

Whiskey said...

thanks for sharing that link, and for posting that great picture of Hamm with it (rowr!!!).

I had no doubt that the Draper marriage was over, it seemed unambiguous to me too. I expect Betty to follow in the steps of Happy Rockefeller and possibly even, as another poster suggested on the ep thread comments, marrying up and divorcing a few times as a NY socialite. I wouldn't mind losing the Ossining angle, tho we already know that Mr. Francis doesn't really like living in the city so it's not likely to happen immediately... and even though losing Ossining means losing Francine.

I was heartened by what Weiner said about Joan and Roger. I don't need them to get back together romantically but I do enjoy them when they're bantering and obviously enjoying one another professionally or somewhat socially. Jane will of course probably add some tension and drama to that dynamic as well, given her history with Joan. I think it's kinda funny that people often confuse their names when they're writing about one of them, and I wonder if Weiner intended that...

*sigh* I can't wait for the next season... and I look forward to your review of The Prisoner, Alan!

jasctt said...

Just too bad the first 12 episodes weren't of the same quality as the 13th. I oubt that I wll ever watch those first 12 again.

JasonR said...

Matt Weiner and January Jones have created a great character. I really don't like Betty Draper, but I understand her in the context that she was created - all of her actions make sense to me. And for me, that is something rare. Characters that are created to be hated is a TV trope that I can't stand. So many of them have a personality that has no basis in reality, or other characters react to them in a completely irrational fashion.

I will not miss Betty if she has a diminished role next year, her story feels like it has reached a good end point (especially since she is going to end up in the same position again with Henry).

jersey said...

What was most interesting to me was Matt's assertion that "When Henry Francis (Christopher Stanley) came on to her… a switch went off in her head of what was missing in her life, which was a true, romantic attachment." does anyone think that Betty has found that with Henry?

JanieJones said...

Alan,
Thank you for posting the link to the interview.
When I look back on S3, I did see much of Betty's imprint. Some (myself included) complained that the business/office side was not as predominately shown as prior seasons.
Has Betty really staked out to change? I am not a Betty basher (I've spoken at length with some folks several times this season of JJ's wonderful performances) but turning to a man who does not know her and she him? Recipe for a disaster. I do think Betty will be featured in S4 perhaps not as predominately as S3. Although it would be quite ironic (as suggested in some of the season finale comments) if Betty becomes bored with Henry and/or she and Don have an encounter. You always want what you can't have to a certain degree. Don likes crossing the line.
Frankly, I wish Don would get custody of the children and Carla would raise them so they would have a sense of being and individuality. Both of the Draper's do not know how to raise children.
I would not mind seeing a Don Draper not encumbered by romance but of the issues that come with starting a new business.
I am looking forward to SCD&P and how their business is moving and changing with the times. There are so many possibilities that are in the future.
I also hope that Sal comes back.
I know it's not right to wish your life away but I will miss the show until it commences once again in August '10.

Maura said...

For a long time, I believed that Don and Betty still loved each other, underneath that mess of a marriage. And I was hoping they would be able to work it out (as MW said, we want to believe in those things). Now that it's over, I want it to stay over. I think they eventually always bring out the worst in each other. They've tortured each other long enough. This marriage needs to stay dead.

Stav said... It's sad to see so much support of Don here and elsewhere.

Don is a bad person.

He treated his wife horribly. She may not be a prize herself (except in the looks and outward grace departments), but he is a cad.

I see things that sympathize with Don (or Tony back in the day) and I wonder how heartless does a character have to be for a viewer to realize that the character, however central and charismatic he is, is a very bad person. As for the idea that I see in the media that Don is "cool", no it's the opposite of that. Don is weak, cowardly and visionless. That's what makes him such agreat character.


Well, yeah, Don's done some terrible things. But look at the rest of the characters. Roger's a schmuck who doesn't care about anyone, Betty is emotionally closed-off and a horrible mother, Pete's a spoiled frat boy who forced himself on a powerless girl, Joan is a prideful woman with a cruel streak, a woman who thought nothing of breaking a vase over her husband's head. She married her rapist because she wanted a good catch who could provide for her, so she convinced herself she loved him.

Most of these characters also have a good side. They're complicated characters who have had moments of empathy and kindness, and moments when they've sunk to the lowest of the low. But having a good side doesn't even matter to me. Betty is one of my favorite characters, and she hasn't done anything good in a while.

That's just how I approach these people. There is a point where a character can go so far over the line that don't deserve any sympathy. But my #1 television character is Al Swearengen, so for me, it's a pretty large step.

AdamW said...

Interesting interview, and I believe Weiner when he says he doesn't know some basic facts about Season 4; the MM operation is complex and has many moving parts, including the casting and the previously mentiond changes in the writers' room.

But can we please, fertheluvofghod, declare a moratorium on the phrase "hit the reset button" in connection with television plotting? I propose "shake the Etch-A-Sketch" and plan to take credit when it also starts to be overused...

Anonymous said...

Not that I'm expecting it given the writing lately, but I hope January Jones on SNL goes well.

Anonymous said...

Maybe Don will get married again. Then he can cheat on his new wife with Betty.

Scazza said...

Maybe Don will get married again. Then he can cheat on his new wife with Betty.

"Scenes from a Marriage" anyone?? Awesome.

Anonymous said...

Still hoping Betty Draper eventually becomes Betty Friedan. That would be fun. Wonder if Don took the big box o'cash when he repaired to the Roosevelt?

Whiskey said...

@Dez: my MM avatar has me holding the coffee mug ;-)

@Stav: we all have good and bad traits, and the anti-hero is supposed to be complicated and hard to pin down. I find Don to be a pretty archetypal antihero as I find myself loving and despising him, often from scene to scene within the same episode (that's some great writing right there!). I've enjoyed the fact that this season we've gotten to see more of Roger's "good" side as well. None of our Mad Men or Women are without flaws, that's the point. I think it'd be bad for ratings if the main character of the show was so clearly vile and deplorable that most viewers could only relate to the supporting characters. (but take that for what it's worth since I could never watch Dexter, and the few eps I watched of The Sopranos gave me nightmares)

@Scazza: divorce wasn't really the norm but it wasn't nonexistent either, obviously. My great-grandparents divorced in the late-30s, not only because of his affairs but mostly because his lack of business sense had depleted his inheritance and halved hers. When he died penniless a decade later, my great-grandmother sewed some mourning clothes for his widow/3rd wife. My dad was divorced from his first wife in the early 60s (she was treated very poorly in her social circle post-divorce, much like Helen Bishop on the show), and then from my mother in 1977. By the time of my parents' divorce, it didn't seem to me to be that uncommon at all and I remember thinking it was a good thing because my parents were obviously unhappy together. In our social circle there were more people who had divorced at least once than people who'd never divorced. For my husband, who grew up in a pretty conservative and Catholic suburb outside DC, divorce was something he didn't know even existed until he was in his late teens! It's funny to remember now that when The Brady Bunch was created, the network didn't want the parents to be divorced from others even though the show was conceived because the creator read an article about a high percentage of children in the US growing up in "blended" families. And Mary Tyler Moore has remarked often that producers on her show took great pains to ensure that no one thought she'd divorced the beloved Dick VanDyke/Rob Petrie before moving to Minneapolis, LOL.

Can we just keep discussing Mad Men every week during the hiatus???

@Jersey: I think it was last week that I said that Betty's almost as much a Hobo as Don is. Weiner described her as impulsive in this interview. I've said already that my mother was the 70's iteration of Betty, so following that thought, I'd say that she will be happy with Henry Francis as long as the adulation pours in and "real life" is kept at bay. She'll bore of him at some point, because it's impossible for most mortals to sustain that constant level of adulation, and she'll move on to the next man who promises to admire and adore her and take care of her every need... her children will be window dressing and Sally will rebel. Bobby's barely been fleshed out as a character, so it'll be interesting to see next season if he's given any personality traits that might predict his future.

Anonymous said...

I loved the final episode for season three, one of my favorites of the whole series. Now that the deck has been shuffled and we seem to have a new "core" group, it will be interesting to see if any of the other characters left behind will re-emerge next season or not. I think we all hate to lose a character we've gotten to know (Sal for example), but in a way I hope they don't bring back too many others. Part of what makes this show great as compared to most TV is it's unpredictability. For example, to bring back January Jones because she is a "hot commodity" and fits some sort of marketing formula would be a disappointment for me. Plus, you can only have so many characters on a show, and clearing out a few leaves room for new ones (i.e. Lane) to be developed further. To me, Ken was one of the least developed characters, and I wonder if that was intentional - that the writers new he would be leaving at some point. We never got to see multiple sides of Ken the way we did with Pete. The one character I'd like to see again is Sal - such a great part and Brian Batt gave some of the best performances on the show during the few times he was given the spotlight.

angryrunner said...

Let's return to the season 1 finale for a second. After watching this episode on Sunday, all I could think about was this:

"Nostalgia - it's delicate, but potent. Teddy told me that in Greek, "nostalgia" literally means "the pain from an old wound." It's a twinge in your heart far more powerful than memory alone. This device isn't a spaceship, it's a time machine. It goes backwards, and forwards... it takes us to a place where we ache to go again. It's not called the wheel, it's called the carousel. It let's us travel the way a child travels - around and around, and back home again, to a place where we know are loved. "

The thing that struck me about Sunday was the way Don looked at his kids throughout the episode (particularly when he gets into bed with Sally after thinking about watching his own father die in front of him), and the look on his face when he got off the phone with Betty in the hotel. I could only picture him coming home to an empty house at the end of the first season. He wasn't returning to a place where he was loved then, and this was a long long time coming. He loves painting the image of love (like he told Rachel in the very first episode), but he's never been very successful at living it.

Pretty unambiguous to me too.

Jersey said...

@Whiskey
You are totally right regarding how Betty must define love and it is exhausting for the other party. I have never warmed to the character so I times I feel that I am too harsh in my perception but you confirmed how much of a child she really is

M.Chavez said...

I know this is a sappy thought, but I kinda/sorta wish that at the end of this series, whenever that may be, that we get a glimpse of these characters as old folks in the here and now. (much like the end of 6 Feet Under but doesn't have to be at the moment of their demise) What kind of character would Betty, Don/Dick, Peggy, Sal, etc. be in the '90s or '00s? More intriguing is what about Sally and Bobby? At the end of every episode I play a little thought experiment and I can see Betty being an old grouchy lady and then some other episodes I picture her breaking free and becoming a feminist of sorts - finally bonding w/ Sally in a very positive/healing way. I feel that if Matt entertained such a goal he'd be completely true to their individuality and give us some refreshing or shocking insights. Anyway, I just wonder if I'm alone w/ this weird desire.

Calogero Orr said...

I would like to see Sal back as much as everyone else (and it seems like it really is everyone), but I think we're all just assuming that his rejoining the ranks is as easy as offering him a job. If, since we last saw him, Sal is relatively the same person he was, bringing him back would most likely require open apologies and those around him accepting him on his terms. I'm sure that would create quite an opportunity for drama and would be great to watch. But I feel like the glimpse of Sal we saw at the end of "Wee Small Hours", seemingly on the verge of falling into a new and unseemly society, is where Sal might exist right now. He may be far removed from the life he was living. His attitude and place the last time we saw him makes me think Sal may be in a very dark place the next time we see him. Again, that would be great for storytelling. It just seems as though everyone thinks Sal coming back to the show is as simple as him rejoining the ranks with his former colleagues. (Not to mention the logistics of his relationship with Lucky Strike)

LA said...

Matt - I definitely agree with you. I don't for a second believe that Matt Weiner doesn't know the fates of some of the characters mentioned. In fact, I think he has the major plot points for the entire series already carefully mapped out.

dez and Hatfield - Thanks, avatar stays!

Scazza - My dad and one of his brothers, both born in the 1920s to a conservative Catholic family, were divorced in the 1950s. It was uncommon, but it definitely happened.

dez said...

Bobby's barely been fleshed out as a character, so it'll be interesting to see next season if he's given any personality traits that might predict his future.


Going in a "Wire" direction, Sally = the new Ms. Farrell and Bobby = the new Ms. Farrell's ne'er-do-well brother.

Imamarilyn said...

Whiskey and Jersey, I agree about Betty. I think in addition to being adored, Betty must have someone to take care of her. Not so much so she can live in style or have money, but she likes to be taken care of, period. The expression on her face in the attorney's office when Henry said he would take care of her and the children was very telling. When her father (in her dream) said she was a housecat that was a really good description of her.

Karen said...

Teddy told me that in Greek, "nostalgia" literally means "the pain from an old wound."

Not literally, no. "Nost-" is from the Greek "nostos," or "return home" and "algia" is "pain." Nothing about wounds.

Anonymous said...

Why did Conrad Hilton have to ditch Sterling Cooper when they were acquired by McCann (via McCann's acquisition of PPL)? Did he not like McCann? I don't follow the logic of dumping Draper because of the acquisition. Could someone enlighten me on what I missed/am forgetting?

Anonymous said...

I don't know if Betty's second marriage will work out. I wouldn't bet on it but her decisions are very consistent with her character and I think this was the best option she saw ahead of her. In some ways Henry Francis is not the worse she could do - I think there's no way he will ever betray her trust as badly as Don did.

Through today's lens, where it's common to have sex and live with someone prior to marriage, it's easy to forget how unthinkable these behaviors once were. I think lots of people then (and now) marry people they didn't know so well. This may not be smart or well-reasoned, but how many relationships are really based purely in logic?

I think the criticism of Betty has been a bit harsh. I don't like her much, but she's a well drawn character and provides an important window into the options available to women of her race, class and education at the time.

I have a colleague at work who watches the show and was Sally's age when her parents divorced about the same time (early 1964) and she told me her parents went to Reno to get divorced. She (and her younger brother!) stayed with extended family for 6 weeks. Her mother also had another marriage lined up before the divorce and the second marriage lasted a decade. The parallels are really uncanny, but lends some credence to the reality of this scenario.

Elena said...

Hilton went to SC to diversify his advertising agencies. He wanted not to "have his eggs all in one basket". He already has some of his holding being managed by McCann, so as SC was soon to be absorbed, he was notifying Don that he was pulling the account.

Devin said...

It's fun to think of Ken running the rump Sterling Cooper, but there's nothing there. The top management defected and brought most of the billings with them (Lucky Strike was the whale that could turn SC's lights off). Whether McCann or PPL are left holding the bag, Sterling Cooper isn't going to continue in any recognizable form. It's feasible we may see a few members of the old gang, but would require some real shoe-horning.

You have to be almost sadistic to want Don and Betty to get involved again. That marriage was toxic.

Anonymous said...

I accept that the marriage is over, but I suspect Don and Betty may have sexual encounters. It was made very clear in the Rome episode and in discussion in a previous season that Betty really enjoyed sex with Don. And we know for sure from Bobbi Barrett that Don is well known as a great lover. So Betty is used to the best. I doubt Henry Francis will measure up. She may very well miss Don in that one way.

Isn't it fairly common for divorcing couples to fall into the sack together sometimes?

Magenta said...

Thank you for posting the link to the interview, Alan.

"It’s so unambiguous to me that this marriage is over, but the audience seems to cling to the idea that they should be together because we want to believe in those things."

No, I am not clinging to the idea that Don and Betty should be together because I “want to believe in those things” (and what are those “things” exactly? That marriage and parenthood are commitments to be taken seriously?) Leaving aside his implicit contempt for the audience, Weiner’s statement is very small-minded. Basically, Weiner and his writers have created two supremely selfish parents. And I agree with Scazza who said that the way divorce is being portrayed is in a very 1980s mindset, definitely not the last resort it was considered in the early 1960s. It’s not a question of whether it occurred or not. Of course it occurred. It’s the attitude that’s anachronistic.

George is correct: Sally and Bobby are screwed. But it seems they were screwed from the moment they were born, because their father won’t remain faithful to his family and their mother is an emotional child. Betty is no liberated woman; she wants to be taken care of just as much as she always did. The idea that Henry Francis is Prince Charming riding into her life is nonsense. There is no basis for his desire to take care of her and her children. His behavior doesn’t make sense, unless he’s a very skilled manipulator or just as much of a child as Betty is.

Anonymous at 11:31 a.m. said “a better person than Betty would have had tried to have some understanding of, and maybe even some sympathy for, why Don did what he did.” Someone else asked “why should she?” Because she has three children with him and they need a stable home life, and when you get married and have kids, it’s not all about you any more – that’s why. It’s arguable whether he’s a better parent than she, since he doesn’t care enough about them to be a faithful husband. But he at least pays attention to them.

I didn’t hate the finale, but I hate that Betty dumped the father of her children for someone she doesn’t even know, and abandoned them to run off with him to Reno to break up the family (and yes, she did break up the family). That is abhorrent.

PanAm53 said...

Magenta said: No, I am not clinging to the idea that Don and Betty should be together because I “want to believe in those things” (and what are those “things” exactly? That marriage and parenthood are commitments to be taken seriously?) Leaving aside his implicit contempt for the audience, Weiner’s statement is very small-minded. Basically, Weiner and his writers have created two supremely selfish parents. And I agree with Scazza who said that the way divorce is being portrayed is in a very 1980s mindset, definitely not the last resort it was considered in the early 1960s. It’s not a question of whether it occurred or not. Of course it occurred. It’s the attitude that’s anachronistic.

Well said, Magenta! I am 100% in agreement with you.



Maura said: Joan is a prideful woman with a cruel streak, a woman who thought nothing of breaking a vase over her husband's head. She married her rapist because she wanted a good catch who could provide for her, so she convinced herself she loved him.

I totally agree! I'm glad to see that I'm not the only poster who has not joined the Joan Fan Club.

Anonymous said...

McCann bought PPL not SC--SC is a relatively small part of PPL--SC is not that important to McCann--if it were there would have been retention bonuses etc awarded to the key personnel to get them to stay on.

I t will be very interesting to see how much time has passed in episode 1 of s4 .

Lisa said...

I think Betty's tragedy is that she will become another trophy wife for a guy who's pretty much a complete mystery like Don. Consider Betty's loneliness and anger if Henry decides to run for office himself. And as everyone's been saying, the Betty and Don's kids are screwed.

Magenta said...

Thanks, PanAm!

Veracity said...

It's interesting that people have a lot more sympathy for Sad Betty (season 1) than Angry Betty (Season 2) and even more so, Self-interested Betty in season 3.

It seems we can accept womens' sadness, but can't accept women being angry or acting in self-interest. It's the old double standard double bind.

Don has acted out of self-interest from day one and - importantly - continues to do so. His recently developed devoted father act in the last few episodes has come entirely from self interest. But the minute Betty acts without regard to Don's interest or the narrowly defined 'good wife and mother' box, she is roundly condemned.

Ease off on Betty.

Alan Sepinwall said...

One again, folks, let me remind you: Talk about the show, not each other. If people's opinions don't overlap with your own, that is not a license to start psycho-analyzing the other commenters to explain why you're right and they're wrong.

Are we clear?

Julia said...

Consider Betty's loneliness and anger if Henry decides to run for office himself.

Saw my favorite new show last night "The Good Wife".

If Henry runs for office, Betty might end up being the first good girl political wife standing next to her scumbag husband while he apologizes to the his constituency.

She actually looks like that NY Governor's wife standing by her "American gay" husband - same blond hair and blank, frowning look on her face. Talk about a secret other life.

hmmmmm

Jerry said...

I find all of the "ohh, I don't like Betty, I'm glad she's gone" comments here to be amusing and disappointing compared to the usual level of insight. Isn't the whole thing more interesting from the perspective that it's very rare for a show to divorce two of its lead characters and then just jettison one of them off the show (since there is at least the potential for that to happen)? It's a very unusual creative move and I applaud Matt Weiner for being brave enough to try it. However, I don't get all the comments from people glad Betty might be off the show because the CHARACTER is spoiled, shallow, mean, cold, etc. All self-centered, immature, deceptive characters need to leave Mad Men, or just Betty? If so, it's going to be a small cast...

Anonymous said...

Betty has seemed to me to be a cardboard cutout of a real woman. She's beautiful but bitter, cold, and distant (who would leave kids with the housekeeper for six weeks after announcing a divorce??). Through all three seasons, with the exception of the Italian getaway, Don has never viewed her as an equal or partner, and she hasn't acted that way.

Contrast that with how supportive Trudy was in Pete's opportunity with the new agency. Don just doesn't have that from Betty.

Alan Sepinwall said...

Okay, that's enough.

I'm sorry that not everyone shares the same viewpoint about Betty Draper, but I don't care anymore.

The next comment that features a complaint or a snarky reference to the people who don't agree with you will be deleted, and the next comment after that one will lead to me shutting down the discussion altogether.

Talk about the show, not each other.

You're all grown-ups. This shouldn't be as hard as you're making it.

Elena said...

Interesting thought, that Betty's new Beau may decide he wants to run for office. Would think marrying a divorcee might hamstring his chances. If so, we could see tensions arise not because he doesn't adore her, or she him, but because of society's judgements limiting his options. Just a thought.

Lee said...

I think Don and Betty's divorce can be looked at a different way.

Betty is more old-fashioned -- wanting to be taken care of, wanting to be idolized by her husband, her views on the riots in '63, her conservative views of her father's remarriage....

Don this season has become more forward looking (though not nearly as much as Pete) -- he recognizes Pete was right about aerospace, the black market, he breaks away from the older, stodgier S&C to create his new firm, his relationship with Suzanne (not the cheating, but his openness to her progressive views).

The divorce isn't just a divorce of their marriage. It mirrors the break that is happenning in the 1960's. Betty follows the old path and Don is following the new path.

Matt said...

That's an awesome point, Lee. It's funny that Don, who couldn't understand why Kennedy didn't wear a hat, could possibly be at the front lines in this new wave of advertising.

CarolMR said...

In his own way, I think Don is just as old-fashioned as Betty. He didn't like JFK because he, JFK, got everything handed to him. His "you people" remark to Sal. There's something very buttoned-up about his character. I just don't see Don enjoying the new freedom of the 60s as much as the other men on the show.

schoolbooksue said...

I always find it interesting to read where other posters think that Betty is going to become some kind of liberated woman. I think nothing could be further from her mind. I think she wants the '50's ideals that she was raised to believe were hers. She wants to be the "house cat" that her father said she was, although I didn't think she liked it when he said it. She wanted to be Mrs. Don Draper with all of the bells and whistles that came with it; the handsome, adoring, successful husband, the perfect family, the beautiful house. I think she might even have been willing to forgive or at least accept his infidelity to a degree because that was a part of the package at the time. Don Draper was the JFK of his world. She was willing to be his Jackie. John Kennedy died and so did Don Draper- for her. Her dream died with him. What she got was Dick Whitman. Ugly, angry, cheating, lying Dick Whitman. Henry Francis offers her the chance to get her dream back. He will allow her to be the cosseted princess that she believes is her destiny. I would love to see how his adult family reacts and having her play a part in his political future would be an ideal way of showing this. The ad business is ugly, but politics?

Although I do not want them to get together, the logical person for Don is Peggy. She has her own skeletons and I believe they could be open with each other in a way that neither could be with anyone else. The have the potential for honest equality and a relationship that would have been just beginning be possible as women entered the business world. They could form a powerful partnership in and out of the office. It could be very freeing for both of them and very confusing for Betty who would see Peggy as less desirable because of her looks and education. Think of the affect on Sally as she comes into young womanhood with a very traditional mother contrasted with the unconventional influence Peggy could bring. Hmmmm...

Anonymous said...

" Her dream died with him. What she got was Dick Whitman. Ugly, angry, cheating, lying Dick Whitman. "
I think this is exactly what show is trying to convey, but I don't buy it. Don Draper was lying and cheating and sometimes angry, too. Betty already knew a fair amount about Don's past--that he lived on a farm, that he was poor, that his father was abusive, that he was estranged from his family. Dick or Don, what difference does it make? What she didn't know was how he became Don Draper and the circumstances of his birth. That was no doubt a shock, but I think it would have been more realistic for her to forgive Don for not telling her this. After all, Betty is obsessed with appearances and to outside observers, she still appeared to be living her dream. The only thing, in my view, that justified her decision to leave Don (ie, to break up their family) was his infidelity. But many a 60s woman(and even some modern day women) decide to tolerate a certain amount of infidelity as long as it is discreet. If Weiner was determined to have Betty and Don divorce, I wish it had been because Betty learned of his affair with the schoolteacher, a reckless and highly indiscreet thing for him to do and something she would not be able to forgive.

CarolMR said...

schoolbooksue described Don as the "handsome, adoring, successful" husband that Betty needs. But was he adoring? There were very few times when it looked like he adored Betty.

Maura said...

Anonymous @ 6:23 PM, November 11, 2009 said...

" Her dream died with him. What she got was Dick Whitman. Ugly, angry, cheating, lying Dick Whitman. "
I think this is exactly what show is trying to convey, but I don't buy it. Don Draper was lying and cheating and sometimes angry, too. Betty already knew a fair amount about Don's past--that he lived on a farm, that he was poor, that his father was abusive, that he was estranged from his family. Dick or Don, what difference does it make? What she didn't know was how he became Don Draper and the circumstances of his birth. That was no doubt a shock, but I think it would have been more realistic for her to forgive Don for not telling her this. After all, Betty is obsessed with appearances and to outside observers, she still appeared to be living her dream. The only thing, in my view, that justified her decision to leave Don (ie, to break up their family) was his infidelity. But many a 60s woman(and even some modern day women) decide to tolerate a certain amount of infidelity as long as it is discreet. If Weiner was determined to have Betty and Don divorce, I wish it had been because Betty learned of his affair with the schoolteacher, a reckless and highly indiscreet thing for him to do and something she would not be able to forgive.


I assumed that when she told Don she didn't love him anymore, it was because she was unable to forgive Don for lying (literally and by omission), and that made as much sense to me as not forgiving him for his affairs, by which I mean "lots of sense". And, like you, I wish that's what it had been. However, I think making Don's true background the thing she couldn't forgive (and, interestingly enough, the one thing he had no control over) was exactly the point. To normal people, it would be a massive shock but probably not unforgivable. MW was trying to drive home the point that Betty is elitist and shallow.

As much as I can be crushed by a television show, that crushed me. I've always been such a Betty fan, no matter how awful she is. But of all the crappy things she's done, dumping Don because he's the son of a whore* is the one thing I can't sympathize with or forgive her for.

*I don't think she gives a damn about Don stealing someone's identity and being a deserter. I think it's all about his "people", as her father would say.

Izzie_Nutz said...

I don't care that much about what the characters do or don't do, or even which ones survive or not. I watch this show because i want to see a realistic depiction of life and business in the 60's. I'm not sure how realistic this quick divorce really is, but if it allows the characters to explore some other interesting aspect of 60's life, i'm all for it.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Alan Sepinwall said...

Hi. Remember what I said about deleting any future comments that were full of complaints about other commenters, rather than about the show itself?

I meant it.

Behave. People disagreeing with you is not a calamity. It is not a personal attack on you. It is a discussion of a TV show.

CarolMR said...

Alison Brie (Trudy) was on Fox News' "Red Eye" last night. The host, Greg Gutfeld, seemed to be a fan of "Mad Men"; at least he knew a lot about the past season and its characters. He asked Alison why Betty would leave Don Draper for Henry Francis and Alison said something like, We women want something besides good looks in a man. He also asked her about the Charleston that she and Pete did and she said she and Vincent K. had to take six weeks of dance lessons, twice a week. Lance Reddick, of "The Wire" and "Fringe" was also a guest. "Red Eye" usually has interesting guests; not the big stars, but sometimes the more interesting ones.

Anonymous said...

Matthew is currently in New Zealand. I had the privilege of stalking him to the toilets at a conference and talking about season 3 on the way out :)

He didn't really say much about season 3 as it's only just started here. He talked about how Don having no contract at the end of season 2 was a reflection of what was happening with him at AMC. 2 Weeks before the final he still had no contract. Apparently they played hard ball and even threatened using another writer.

Really interesting guy who has a great all round knowledge about TV. Right to the apples 'being too perfect for the shot, apples weren't like that back in the day.'

Also I doubt Mad men will reach the 70's, he suggested the 60's had to much depth to make it that far.

Matthew L said...

When you said Matthew Weiner was on holiday, I didn't realise he was on holiday here in New Zealand. He's giving an interview on Radio New Zealand tomorrow morning, probably a fairly susbstantial interview of half-an-hour or more. You'll be able to hear the interview after it airs at http://www.radionz.co.nz/national/programmes/saturday

Anonymous said...

It is ironic that the real Mrs. Don Draper was able to forgive Don, but Betty wasn't. I remain disappointed with the way the Draper marriage ended and wonder if the writers won't live to regret the apparently finality with which they killed it off. There was incredible chemistry between Don and Betty, even when things were going badly between them. I'm really not interested in seeing Don dating. And I definitely don't want to see Henry again. He and Betty are truly an odd couple. If anyone doesn't believe it, try to imagine Henry with Betty in her Roman outfit.

Anonymous said...

I hope Kim Hill asks better questions then she did at the conference. "Do you think Don is stupid?" was a cracker. Weiners response was crackup.

Matthew L said...

I hope Kim Hill asks better questions then she did at the conference. "Do you think Don is stupid?" was a cracker. Weiners response was crackup.

Oh, dear, she didn't did she? What was his response?

אורי said...

First I'd like to say I really enjoy your blog, and the extensive analysis in particular. (Looking forward to the last The Wire rewatching seasons! :P)

Second, just a couple of small things... I guess you could call them complaints, but that doesn't matter: The call was a disappointingly short read and did not have a lot of content. Seconds, you should have (and should, now) make it clearer that there are spoilers in it. (Specifically, one, you know the one I'm talking about.)

Anyway, good day!

mmjoan said...

Weiner specifically says that he wanted the Draper marriage to end not because Betty found out who Don was but because she doesn't love him. He also says Betty is going after the romantic attachment she was missing from Don. Whether or not she'll find it in Henry, we will see.

He wrote Betty as a woman who sees love as being worshipped and adored, and Don did not love her that way. Henry said he would do whatever it took to make her happy well before she found out about Dick Whitman. Henry's words seduced her back then. Her decision to leave Don is not simply the result of learning his mother was a prostitute.

If Betty does marry Henry between now and S4, I hope they make each other happy. And I hope Don doesn't get married again period. Some people aren't meant to be married, and I think he is one of them. I see nothing wrong with him being a perpetual bachelor and ladies' man.

Anonymous said...

Betty didn't decide she didn't love Don until she found out who he really was. Weiner made it clear in his interview that she couldn't accept this. She is either a very shallow character or a very unrealistic one. In either case, she is not someone I want to spend my time watching on the show. and that goes double--triple, actually--for Henry.

Anonymous said...

Day Late iTunes Girl:

I both love and hate that Weiner says "I'm not big on giving the audience what they want.."

I want Sal back,I want Betty to be around,etc.

But only because Bryan Batt and January Jones are amazing actors.

But Weiner is right,people don't always stick around in our lives. If their stories lines are used up it would be foolish to force it.

..and at least we aren't losing Joan Holloway Harris or Harry Crane!

PanAm53 said...

It has taken me three seasons to fully realize that what takes place during the 60s on "Mad Men" has very little to do with plot development. Rather, "Mad Men" is about the changes that occurred during the 60s, and how those changes affected Don Draper and the people in his world. Anyone, myself most definitely included, who predicted major dramatic plot developments involving the characters in the 60s was on the wrong track.

The Season 3 finale was so strong mainly because now, with the changes that have occurred, it is possible to begin Season 4 at any time in the future. This would be the perfect time to jump ahead to 1967 or 1968. We really have no need to see how SCDP gets to where they will be in the late 1960s, or how Betty and Henry's relationship progressed.

The plot is essentially found in the back story of Dick Whitman, how he became Don Draper, and how his actions affect everyone in his world. There is still much more to be revealed about Don's past life as Dick.

I am surprised that no one (to my knowledge) has ever mentioned the contradictory timeline involving Adam. The photo showing Adam with Dick in 1944 cannot be the same Adam who was eight years old during the time of the Korean war. The questions to be answered in future seasons are "Who is Adam?" and "What terrible occurrence prompted Dick to run away and become someone else?" What occurs in any future relationship between Betty and Henry is irrelevant. And yes, Don and Betty are over.

Anonymous said...

We can pinpoint when the Draper marriage ended: when Betty told Don that he was inferior to her, and he in turn called her a whore. Her expression of superiority mirroed the contempt that Abigal and Archie Whitman felt torwards young Dick. The self loathing that resulted from this parental rejection has been driving Dick/Don ever since. There is no way he can live under the same roof with a wife that regards him in the same way.

Contrary to Betty's statement that she no longer loves Don, her expression of emotion during her last conversation with him demonstrated that she has considerable feelings for him. When Don told her that he would essentially let her go, she realized that the marriage was actually over. Even though the words had been said, it still came as a shock to her.

Many have wondered how and why Betty married Don while knowing so little about his background. Now we are asking the same questions about Betty and Henry. Another blogger on another site calculated that they have spent 13 min together on screen. They have exchanged letters and were likely were in contact between episodes, but the fact remains that these 2 are ready to get married without really knowing anything about each other. Why ? The clues we have about Don's courtship of Betty is that they met while she was modeling a fur coat for Don's employer (Teddy the Greek ?). Don later gave her the coat and essentially swept her off of her feet. She responded to a grand gesture. Henry in turn has offered to marry her, making their relationship respectable rather than tawdry. A marriage proposal is a surprising and grand way of expressing one's feelings. What are Henry's motives ? As viewers we know very little about him other than he is from a Blue Collar background (accent, annecdote about moving furniture) and has a reputation as a lady's man (implied comment from elder Junior League member during the meeting in Betty's living room). What does he want or expect from Betty ?

I think Betty will continue to be a character on MM for 2 reasons. She is the mother of the Draper children, and Don does care about them, thus they will have to interact if only to facilitate his spending time with his children. The other reason is Henry Francis. We know that Rockefeller runs in the '64 Presidential Election and that Rockefeller, Francis and Roger Sterling (and probably Bert Cooper) are connected to each other. Lets see... a compaign that will spend some money to get their message out and an ad firm just getting off of the ground... Easy conclusion is that SCD&P do some work for the compaign putting idea man Don in direct contact with compaign manager Henry. What are the odds that Betty tells Henry about Don's secrets? What are the odds that an experienced political operative like Henry doesn't try to use that information to his advantage ? Plot developments between Betty, Don and Henry will be a significant part of S-4.

MW has said on several occasions that he writes backward, meaning that he knows the ending then creates the sequence of events that leads to his chosen conclusion. He has also stated that ep 1 of S2 contained many clues as to the trajectory of the S2 story arc. Since ep1 of S3 is available online, it may be worth the effort to revisit it to look for clues as to the arc of S3. For example the opening shot of Don's feet can be viewed as Don standing on his own two feet- which is where the end of the season found him- striking out on his own and standing on his own two feet.

It will be along 9 odd months.

Tim HW said...

Thanks Alan for another great season full of discussion and insight!

I can't help, like the rest, try to speculate what the big changes mean for the lesser, side characters. One of my favorite parts of the last episode was seeing Kinsey look into Peggy's office and yell "damn it!" I thought what a perfect last scene from a character whom I wouldn't mind if I ever saw again. When I realized, during the last episode, what the big caper was, I was hoping so badly that they didn't ask Harry to come. Unfortunately he had put himself into a position where they needed him, but I find Harry completely annoying. I honestly wouldn't mind not seeing Kinsey, Sal, or Ken in MM ever again. Not that I don't appreciate their stories, but I think that it would just open up time for new characters and more depth with the ones we really care about. I loved season 3, but really wished that Peggy's story wasn't ignored as much.

Althought, I have been thinking about one possible scenario that would keep these side character in the picture: What if the PPL-SC sale was cancelled because of the SCDP coup? What if PPL couldn't sell SC, so there only options are to shut it down or to use as their American division, as envisioned at season two's end. Then maybe we could see Ken, Kinsey and everyone else under the direction of the peg-legged brittish account man, Guy Mckendrick.

I, again like everyone else, will/would miss Sal but I hate it when shows can't let dead characters be dead (see Heroes*) I just can't see a plausable way to bring him back into the fold that isn't too much of a cosmic reset button thing.

*god, what an awful show, I can't believe I made it all the way through season two before swearing it off.

Anyways, I can't wait for next season.

Maura said...

PanAm said: I am surprised that no one (to my knowledge) has ever mentioned the contradictory timeline involving Adam. The photo showing Adam with Dick in 1944 cannot be the same Adam who was eight years old during the time of the Korean war. The questions to be answered in future seasons are "Who is Adam?" and "What terrible occurrence prompted Dick to run away and become someone else?"

I think the terrible occurrence is the whole of Dick's childhood. The son of a whore and a miserable SOB, the stepson of a religious zealot (who, interestingly enough, "took up" with Uncle Mac. Don never said they were married), Dick was psychologically (and maybe physically) abused, dirt poor, and had no way to get out other than to grab an opportunity when it presented itself. He was desperate not to go back to his family.

RE: Adam's timeline. It's totally off, and I don't think MW ever gave an explanation for it. I've chosen to believe it was written in The Gilmore Girls space/time continuum, in which there can be two Saturdays in a week, Friday and Monday are consecutive days, people can be in two places at once, and it stays light out until 9PM in the middle of a New England winter if it fits the plot. Anything else gives me a headache. :)

Anonymous said...

Interesting speculation, Anonymous at 4:27. I wonder how much of an opportunity Rockefeller's candidacy would give the new SCDP firm. Rockefeller ran in the primaries. I'm not sure how many resources were devoted to the primaries in 1964. Wasn't that still the era of candidates being nominated in smoke-filled rooms at the convention? In the general election that year, advertising played a big role, with the "daisy" ad that scared people into thinking that Goldwater would lead the country into nuclear war. Anyway, I kind of hope that Henry doesn't have a big role. He is my least favorite character, after Suzanne.

PanAm53 said...

Maura said: RE: Adam's timeline. It's totally off, and I don't think MW ever gave an explanation for it.

I simply cannot believe that a show with such great writing and meticulous attention to detail could make such a blatant error. Also, it seems to me that a very deliberate point was made by having Adam state that he was only eight years old when he spotted Don/Dick on the train in 1950. Then there is the photo of Dick and Adam that we have been shown numerous times. On each occasion, the photo has been turned over to show the inscription "Dick and Adam 1944." Adam certainly did not look like he was two years old in that photo. He looked like he was eight years old in 1944.

Likewise, Dick did not look like he was twelve in the 1944 photo. It would make more sense for him to have been 18 in 1944 and 24 in 1950. That would make him 37 in 1963, which is what he told Suzanne his age was. The real Don Draper would have been 46, so he was not using the age of his alias. Assuming that Dick went to Korea at the age of 24, there is a six year gap in his life that we know nothing about. Therein lies the mystery!

PanAm53 said...

I really do not foresee "Mad Men" giving any time to the 1964 Presidential campaign. We have to to move further ahead than that. I wouldn't expect every little detail to be filled in. After all, we probably only have two more seasons to get us through the 60s, as well as to uncover the mystery of the six years in Dick's life prior to his military service in Korea. Remember that S1 ended with the birth of Peggy's baby, and S2 began 15 months later.

PanAm53 said...

I do not believe that Dick's family was all that poor. In "The Hobo Code" they looked like they were doing OK, especially for depression times. Abigail set out a nice meal for the family and the hobo, and even was going to give the hobo a quarter for work not yet completed.

PanAm53 said...

Depending upon which timeline you are going by, Dick was either 18 or 24 when he enlisted in the military. I personally believe that he was 24. However, even if he was 18, he did not have to return home post Korea. Dick was escaping something much worse. His panic whenever he was confronted with his past, and his reaction to Adam's turning up far exceeded just a fear of the identity switch being known. And of course, Don does have a way with words. "There was a mix up." That doesn't sound so bad.

PanAm53 said...

One more observation: Don keeps the photo of "Dick and Adam 1944" but burns the 1950 photo of Adam with Dick in uniform.

Anonymous said...

Favorite moments from the finale:

Sally telling Don: You say things and you don't mean them and you can't just do that," showing more insight into Don than Betty has ever had.

Roger asking Peggy to get him coffee and Peggy responding No without even looking up.

Anonymous said...

While I dislike Betty for being a spoiled child who hates her children, I can't really criticize her for having another relationship lined up before she leaves Don. Many of us don't have the courage to leave without feeling secure that we won't be alone, and all the more so for a woman with 3 kids in the early 60s. Further, she has waited to leave the marriage before sleeping with Henry. However, I do think she's simply falling into another fantasy of a handsome, adoring protector, and the fantasy will end badly. Don will always survive--he's learned to do so out of necessity and desperation. Not so for Betty, who has no resources beyond her beauty. I see possible alcoholism/pill addiction in Betty's future.

Magenta said...

Anonymous at 8:36: Absolutely; Betty seems like a textbook case of an alcoholic mom. She's ripe for it: unhappy, plenty of disposable income, and not much to do (other than be a full-time mom, which she seems to detest).

Anonymous said...

Plus she's already acquired the habit of drinking alone.