Notice that Julio asks for a Popsicle. I can't stop seeing connections in this show it's making me paranoid.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 11:58 PM on May 25, 2014
Peggy and Joan, the two main female characters in AMC’s Mad Men, have used different strategies to advance in the male-dominated world of 1960s advertising. You don’t need to have followed the arc of the show—whose final half-season starts April 5—to guess what those strategies are.
Mad Men still has a half-season to go, but Don Draper’s obituary has already been written. We don’t know exactly how it will end for Don, but the critical consensus is that his fate is sealed: for the past seven years, we’ve watched him follow the same downward trajectory his silhouetted likeness traces in the opening credits, so that all that’s left is for him to land. In a piece lamenting the “death of adulthood in American culture,” A. O. Scott says that Mad Men is one of several recent pop cultural narratives — among them The Sopranos and Breaking Bad — that chart the “final, exhausted collapse” of white men and their regimes, but I’m not convinced. Don has a way of bouncing back. Where one episode opens with him on an examination table, lying to his doctor about how much he drinks and smokes as if his bloodshot eyes and smoker’s cough didn’t give him away (even bets on cirrhosis and emphysema), another finds him swimming laps, cutting down on his drinking, and keeping a journal in an effort to “gain a modicum of control.” Over the course of the past six and a half seasons, Don has been on the brink of personal and professional destruction too many times to count, and yet when we last saw him at the conclusion of “Waterloo,” the final episode of the last half-season, which aired last May, he was fresh-faced and back on top. The truth is that Mad Men has something far more unsettling (and historically accurate) to tell us about the way that white male power works to protect its own interests, precisely by staging and restaging its own death.
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