Thursday, April 16, 2015

The Mad Men Mistresses

"Why are they introducing a new character? Why is Don's new mistress worse looking than random retail workers? Wrap it up Mad Men, wrap it all up!"

That may or may not have been said in the middle of the second episode in the second half of Mad Men's final season. Mad Men peaked a few years ago, but it is still a fun ride. Joking on the plain appearance of Don's latest sexual play, my wife and I debated the women they have had walk through Don's life. This might be a theme throughout the last few episodes as they showed Don obsessed with the memory of Rachel Katz (season 1 + 2) and then bump into Sylvia Rosen (season 6). Combined with Mad Men's Creator, Matthew Weiner, fueling his creation with resentment from a youth that does not match reality and some small picture, we can evaluate his trysts. Each season, Don ran through a lot of skirts but would normally have one BIG mistress (the Sopranos series formula). Let's have some fun with a walk through side pieces.

I'm an artist, look at how I tied my shirt!
Midge Daniels - Beatnik artist who eventually turns to heroin. She is Don's mistress but more fun than anything since she is in love with someone else. This was when Mad Men was brand new so they could not pull in hotter actresses or bigger names. Midge is cute and fun, so it makes her a good mistress, but no one is leaving their wife for her.

We own retail in NYC
Rachel Menken Katz - Client that Don has deeper affair with in season 1. At a critical moment, Don asks her to run away with him. I'm sure handsome wealthy Don was going to be deeply obsessed with Rachel. His delusions with regards to Rachel run so deep he thinks she would leave her comfortable, rich life in NYC for and with him, because Rachel sets Don's mind and soul wild with desire and passion. Sorry, need to stop laughing at Matthew Weiner's writing. Rachel was first in a series of Jewish women that attractive goys fall for, none worse than Jane Siegel played by the amazingly beautiful shiksa Peyton List, that Roger leaves his wife for early in the series. No projection there Mr. Weiner. She cleans up well but resembles the mom from Malcolm in the Middle when not glammed up.
She aged well
Bobbie Barrett - Season two brought the hard charging redhead that is a wife of a comedian that does advertisements played by that ugly dude with gigantic eyebrows from Mulholland Drive and LOST. This is the "fingerbang"gal. The actress was that cute redhead that was on The Commish about 25 years ago. No threat to leave Betty, and this feels like one of those flings to make the ladies at home think men find ball busting, middle aged women sexy.

Naked pictures of her leaked in one of the celeb hacks

Suzanne Farrell - This was the cute dish who was a teacher that Don messed with for a summer. Pretty girl with a slim bod that was a bit crazy. She had a legit crazy brother and then had stalkerish tendencies with Don. She is the mistress Don was going to take away for the weekend, but when he ran back home quickly in his car, Betty confronted him about "the box". She stayed hiding in his car until she slunk out late in the night and walked home. No threat he'd leave Betty, and seriously, how much fun would it be for a crazy ex-mistress to come back and kill Don at the end? I vote for this one. This is probably Don's first mistress a majority of men would sleep with.

Beauty and brains
Dr. Faye Miller - "Oy, let's make a supah smaht Ayn Rand type who can be an all around catch, go get 'em buziness gurl but it doesn't work. She's gotta be a supah Noo Yawkah, but let's make her blonde. Oy vey, I uhh can't make this one Jewish too, so let's still have mob connections. Oy, but an Italian Ayn Rand type doesn't work, so let's give her the last name Miller. Gold team!" Faye is a good working girl who is smart but Don passes her up. technically, she is just a girlfriend since Don was divorced. I do think Faye was originally going to be Jewish due to the psych work, the libertarian stuff and she says the phrase "go shit in the ocean", which is a Yiddish curse. Why the fuck would Dr. Miller use a Yiddish curse? She is a hodge podge of NY big city working woman. She was important for the "season of vaginas" where Mad Men explored the oppression of white collar women in NYC in the '60s. Definitely a hot little dish played by Cara Buono.

Yes please
Megan - Hot thing that Don does marry, so technically in the girlfriend season but wifed up. Pretty good package all around. I saw this one coming a mile away because of her number of lines early in the season despite being a bit character. I always liked how the generational gap, and Don's gap from the changing times, was played with through his disconnect at times with Boomer Megan.

Betty Draper - Yes, remember he cheats on Megan with Betty. Hilarious inversion of things. While watching fat Betty waddle around for a season was fun, having harpie Betty be back to thin puts the Mad Men world in order. They write Betty so terrible that despite Don's bad behavior you still dislike Betty more.

Season 6: Don could not stay legit

Sylvia Rosen - Would Don stay faithful was the question many wondered going into season 6? No. Above is the stunning Italian they set Don up with as the mistress downstairs in season 6. We got to see her dressed classy, dressed in home fear, dressed in her lingerie, and rocking the mid-20th century classy MILF fashions. Funny fact, they cast 37 year old Linda Cardellini to play some middle aged MILF with a son in college. You might recognize her from Freaks and Geeks or Velma in the Scooby Doo movie. She was a nice foil to Boomer Megan who could not relate to Don as well nor really understand his problems (if even aware of them), unlike fellow Silent generation Sylvia. This is something most Mad Men reviewers missed, and instead the stupid SWPLs focused on Don banging a woman who looked like Betty Rubble. Huffpo and Grantland both mentioned this. I guess reviewers missed that this is fiction, and that also in the real world plenty of men cheat on their wives with women who look far different from them (see Tiger Woods).

I'm down
The other burning question going into season 6 would be if stories would wrap up. Not really. Weiner pushed more of that black secretary, introduce the new conflicted gay guy (I liked the old one better), and meander. Similar stuff in season 7. Very early in the show, Weiner mentioned the show would track the '60s and Don's downfall. He also said how things would shift to California as California was seen as new and where the action was compared to crumbling New York. We definitely have seen the '60s pass, but where is Don's downfall? Where is the shift to California? Don always manages to land on his feet and usually saving the company and richer on his part. I actually thought a fitting end would be a drunken Don lounging on California beaches, writing nonsensical fiction that never sells as Megan developed her career in Hollywood which was more a favor to Don by connections in television. The shift to California kind of materialized temporarily. Seeing shows like Mad Men and LOST end after taking a terrible turn or two should make us all appreciate the wonderful ending and storytelling of another AMC show, Breaking Bad.


Anonymous said...

I stopped watching TV long time ago because I discovered that jews like Weiner are the writers.

Portlander said...

Woo-hoo. Cheesecake, and it's only Thursday. :)

WowJustWow said...

You had me until you called Breaking Bad's MacGuyver ending wonderful. Wrapping up too neatly is as great a storytelling sin as wandering around aimlessly.

Suburban_elk said...

Men have different taste in women, and i do not rank Don's paramours the same.

Why the fuck would Dr. Miller use a Yiddish curse? She is a hodge podge of NY big city working woman.

But Italians and jews in Big City have mucho cross culturalization. The Sopranos worked on that theme, a conversation between goofy Father Intintola and Carmella about the neighborhood he grew up in and all his yiddish. He was such schnorrer. As for "shitting in the ocean" what is that about? sounds jewish, i would guess the appeal is the inevitable saline solution.

Also the neighborhood girl what's-her-name with the epileptic brother whose problems were primarily medical, she is fairly plain, but because of that is good in that role. Part of Don's masculine greatness is that he wants those imperfect women. For obvious reasons that is a huge turn-on for real world girls in the audience who do not get enough.

Bobbie Barret, in my estimation of the women pictured, has the best looks: the rare classical quality that refines with age. The Megans and Bettys are hot but more common.

The larger issue of the jewish fantasy aspect to Don's meanderings; in my opinion that part of the storyline - which is really the main storyline - comes across as believable, as opposed to not. All the all, the show is believable, and it is a fantasy and it is written by a Weiner, and it was "their century".

The Women We Love (and their archetypically paradigmatic expressions!), as presented therein. The contrast is between Nordic January Jones and the Beautiful Jewesess from the store. Betty Draper is written as a narcissist and a mean one at that, and so Don could not find himself with her. Is that pattern part of a believable story: a good strong man not being able to mesh with the American beauty because she is too self-absorbed and so he seeks warmer shores; or is that just jewish criticism?

The theme of American men and women not getting along is such the theme. It was observed by the best observers in centuries past such as Jung. The Return of Kings (of all sites) had a good article on it.

peterike said...

Elk, yeah I agree the Jewish parts are believable. It's also New York, so Jewish women are everywhere, particularly aggressive business women. Which is why Faye Miller was totally meant to be Jewish: Miller is a super common Jewish name, and she's in a super Jewish dominated profession.

Going just by looks I'd probably rank them:

Midge Daniels
Sylvia Rosen
Suzanne Farrell
Dr. Faye Miller (Doctor!)
Rachel Katz
Bobbie Barrett

Personality included? Sheesh, so many of them are a mess. Realistically, probably Faye M and Sylvia R would make the best girlfriends. Megan doesn't same like a bad girl either, Don is just wrong for her.

So any bets on if Don ever plugs that dopey blonde secretary who keeps throwing herself at him this season? They seem to be paying her a strange amount of attention for it to go nowhere.

my wife and I debated the women they have had walk through Don's life.

One of the best things about "Mad Men" is that you can watch it with your wife/girlfriend and then talk about it. Since I don't have cable I buy the episodes on Amazon, and that way I can (and do) constantly stop them mid-stream to talk about what just happened. Yeah, you probably don't want to watch television with me.

Son of Brock Landers said...

I listed the mistresses in chronological order. Tops would be megan and sylvia, then faye qnd bobbie, then midge and rachel. Megan is an absolute beauty

Taco said...

Don is gonna be DB Cooper in the end, right?

dsgntd_plyr said...

Based on the conversation* Pete and Ken had after Ken was fired I'm theorizing that "Mad Men," ends with a reveal that it was based on a memoir about NYC mid century ad agencies written by Ken.

*The conversation included Pete saying something about how so many of their co-workers are characters you'd find in fiction. I don't remember the exact line...Now that I think about it, Pete "writing," "Mad Men," would also make sense.

I don't understand the waitress story-line.

dsgntd_plyr said...

one more thing. The best show currently on TV is "The Americans." This season has been amazing.

Son of Brock Landers said...

Dsgntd, that is a great theory. I like it. It makes sense which means it wont be the case. After burning thru pen names for scifi, Ken writes an amazing book with his real name and its about real life.

PA said...

Breaking Bad was supposed to end after the third or so season, but then the series got extended under the profit motive.

The latter seasons were fantastic from the standpoint of Water White's and Jesse Pinkman's character studies. The plotlines themselves, though, just got retarded. Like, Skyler talking a stoner through pretending to be a county inspector that got a carwash owner to sell his business.

The ending, insofar as suspension of disbelief, sucked ass. An M-60 in the trunk wasting everyone at the press of the keychain? Yeah, sure.

However, going back to character study, the scene in the NH bar where Walt was about to turn himself in but then he saw his Jewish ex-partner talk shit on Charlie Rose, prompting him (Walt) to not hang it up quite yet, was genius.

peterike said...

Megan is an absolute beauty.

Ehhhh, she's got that weird mouth thing going on. She can be very beautiful in one shot and then horsey in another. Amazing body though, either way.

Son of Brock Landers said...

Megan has big teeth up front. They wrote that in as a joke in the TomorrowlNd episode.

Anonymous said...

The typical viewer doesn't understand the JQ and thus can't understand Mad Men. Thats why the satisfaction achieved from watching, say, Breaking Bad, is always just out of reach of the Mad Men viewer.

The viewer wants MM to be about cool ad agencies guys, winners. But it is actually about a jewish writer making WASPs look degenerate, greedy, dysfunctional, immoral and shallow. It is WASP zenith filtered through the eyes of jewish revisionism and resentment.

A lot of effort is expended trying to analyze the Don Draper character, but its not worth it at all. He is not a rational actor, he is a jewish distortion. He has no deeper values, he is just degeneracy and failed relationships all the way down because he is a successful WASP and so the jewish writer wants to write him as a failure.

However Mad Men ends, Don will not be redeemed. Neither will Sterling. Remember who has the pen. You'll see.