Tag Archives: Mad Men

Ridiculous Ways Viewers Think Mad Men Will End

Don Draper holding a fedora in one hand and a briefcase in the other, standing on steps at the side of a TWA plane.Mad Men has been a strange, amusing series, replete with historic moments like JFK’s assassination and the moon landing, full of smoking and daytime drinking, and loads of human foibles, chief among them our ability to compartmentalize (and I’m not just talking about Dick Whitman). Beyond the character arcs and season-long plot points are some meta-analyses of the show that have kept me watching, fascinated. I’ve posted before about how I see Dick/Don as a kind of trans narrative but there are other interesting interpretations of the show, like the limited ranges of success, nay, life, for women in the characters of Betty, Joan, and Peggy (and how they differ from what we know will be the options for Sally), the clash of generations over cultural meaning and production (“What is the Carousel?”), and ultimately, where is meaning itself? That’s the question Dick/Don has been asking at least since he accidentally blew up his commanding officer in Korea, and perhaps since his youth at the brothel after his mother died. While Dick/Don in last night’s penultimate episode seemed to be finally coming to terms with an answer for himself, we the audience are in full-plummet mode as the series finale looms. Read More…

Lowered Expectations — Media, Money, & Mad Men

It’s not that I’m in a bad mood on this rainy Tuesday, it’s that I don’t have any energy left for annoyances. Yesterday started off with someone relaying a situation to me: what if a woman was being pestered to get an HIV test because a previous boyfriend of her hers was HIV-positive (or so they presume). What if the boyfriend refused to get one for himself and refused to use a condom? Could I test her and call him to say she was negative? Also, can people get AIDS from toilet seats?

There are so many things wrong with that hypothetical that I scarcely know where to begin. But maybe this is a good Square One:

screen still from Mad Men: The Crash

What about this syringe looks like a good idea?

If you’re concerned your sexual partner has HIV or AIDS, don’t have sex with them without a condom. I don’t know, seems like decent practice to me. Also, if your fiancee insists you have an HIV test, tells people on social media he thinks you have AIDS, refuses to get a test himself, and IS SUCH A DUMB ASS HE SCREWS YOU USING NO PROTECTION, do not, under any circumstances, marry him.

I open up my work email inbox, and lo and behold, there are two messages asking for me to donate money to a person who is crowdsourcing some thing or other. My work email. And I have no fewer than four personal email accounts. Read More…

Mad Men’s Trans Narrative


I recently finished watching the fourth season of Mad Men, and am glad to call myself All Caught Up with the rest of the AMC-watching world, which in the grand scheme of things, is not that large. I’ll add here that I’m not nearly as happy to hear that Jon Hamm refuses to wear underwear unless he’s wearing skivvies in a scene. He may be handsome, but all I can think of is the unlucky dry cleaner on the set. Regarding his character, Don Draper, audiences have known since early in the first season that his identity is a stolen one, and the narrative around this subplot only gets more complicated from there. There are spoilers from here on out, so please consider this my warning. Read More…

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