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roomtone
Jul 1, 2021

The rising star of GBS!


I've got a lot of stuff to say about Megan, but obviously since she's only a major character from the end of S4 onwards it'd just be a wall of spoilered stuff so I'll wait. She's not the main reason S5 is my favourite one, I think it's just a lot of really high quality episodes, but her stories definitely contribute to that.

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Shageletic
Jul 25, 2007






The Klowner posted:

didn't mean to imply they liked each other if that's what it sounded like. more like "mutual appreciation of the other's strengths as professionals"

Yeah, I'm up the end of the 12th ep of this season, and that's exactly whats happening there.

In any other show, and what doomed the other Mad Men ripoffs that bloomed right around this era of TV, Don would be the romantic artistic hero, and Pete would be the gimlet eyed corporate monster.

But here, Don's romanticism is tinged with narcissim and pain avoidance, and Pete's inability to connect to anything without a profit motive is kind of shown as a kind of purity. That's very cool.

Also love that Mad Men is like one of 3 shows that actually shows a capable psychiatrist. I dunno whats going on with Hollywood, but that's a rare thing to see on TV oe the movies.

The Klowner
Apr 20, 2019

by Jeffrey of YOSPOS


Shageletic posted:

Also love that Mad Men is like one of 3 shows that actually shows a capable psychiatrist. I dunno whats going on with Hollywood, but that's a rare thing to see on TV oe the movies.

I imagine most writers don't have a lot of experience talking to psychiatrists.

Xealot
Nov 25, 2002

Showdown in the Galaxy Era.



I am married to a psychologist, and this is a constant commentary on all media we watch. Dr. Edna, she confirms, is quite good. The psychiatrist from the first season sucked in terms of being helpful, but was also fairly accurate of what Freudian psychoanalytic therapy looked like at that time.

Most media, unsurprisingly, is terrible at depicting psychology accurately. The biggest issue is writers who totally misunderstand what different kinds of therapists do (e.g. people today seldom go to a psychiatrist for normal talk therapy), and writers who totally misunderstand what ethical guidelines therapists are bound to (most TV therapists do blatantly unethical things that would constantly jeopardize their licenses.)

Boxman
Sep 27, 2004

Big fan of :frog:




Xealot posted:

The biggest issue is writers who totally misunderstand what different kinds of therapists do (e.g. people today seldom go to a psychiatrist for normal talk therapy), and writers who totally misunderstand what ethical guidelines therapists are bound to (most TV therapists do blatantly unethical things that would constantly jeopardize their licenses.)

In fairness, there's a good chance that the writers understand what they're doing is wrong, but narrative convenience simply overrides 99% of the time.

(I'm a lawyer - I think I've got your family beat when it comes to "questionable media depictions of the profession")

The Klowner
Apr 20, 2019

by Jeffrey of YOSPOS


Boxman posted:

(I'm a lawyer - I think I've got your family beat when it comes to "questionable media depictions of the profession")

I'll call, and raise you software engineer.

Gaius Marius
Oct 9, 2012



Boxman posted:

In fairness, there's a good chance that the writers understand what they're doing is wrong, but narrative convenience simply overrides 99% of the time.

(I'm a lawyer - I think I've got your family beat when it comes to "questionable media depictions of the profession")

Al Pacinos character in devil's advocate is a perfectly realistic depiction of a lawyer

ram dass in hell
Dec 29, 2019



The Klowner posted:

I'll call, and raise you software engineer.

Illegal string bet.

Lady Radia
Jul 13, 2021

Despite everything, it's still you.


Everyone will believe their personal profession is the one most maligned because it's the one they have the most specialized knowledge in :v:

ulvir
Jan 2, 2005



Boxman posted:

(I'm a lawyer - I think I've got your family beat when it comes to "questionable media depictions of the profession")

you’re telling me it’s not about who can shout objection the loudest in order to have the biggest temper tantrum?

Shageletic
Jul 25, 2007






Xealot posted:

I am married to a psychologist, and this is a constant commentary on all media we watch. Dr. Edna, she confirms, is quite good. The psychiatrist from the first season sucked in terms of being helpful, but was also fairly accurate of what Freudian psychoanalytic therapy looked like at that time.

Most media, unsurprisingly, is terrible at depicting psychology accurately. The biggest issue is writers who totally misunderstand what different kinds of therapists do (e.g. people today seldom go to a psychiatrist for normal talk therapy), and writers who totally misunderstand what ethical guidelines therapists are bound to (most TV therapists do blatantly unethical things that would constantly jeopardize their licenses.)

i'm not an expert, but most talk therapy stuff is handled by licensed clinical social workers right? And you go see a psychiatrist if you need medicaiton? Am i wrong?

Shageletic
Jul 25, 2007






Gaius Marius posted:

Al Pacinos character in devil's advocate is a perfectly realistic depiction of a lawyer

lol.

the most realistic depiction I've seen is The Practice (before the wheels fell off the in the latter seasons).

A Civil Action? Erin Brodoveich? I dunno.

e: let's make a communal list of most realistic depictions depending on profession

Doctor: Scrubs, early seasons of ER

Lawyer: A Civil Action, the Practice

Software person: lol, I dunno Mr. Robot

Xealot
Nov 25, 2002

Showdown in the Galaxy Era.



Shageletic posted:

i'm not an expert, but most talk therapy stuff is handled by licensed clinical social workers right? And you go see a psychiatrist if you need medicaiton? Am i wrong?

Psychiatrists are essentially medical doctors. Most people's interaction with them would be a referral from another therapist for medication management. Otherwise, they tend to deal with medical psychiatric problems, people who genuinely need medical intervention for some issue (e.g. schizophrenia or severe bipolar or something.) You *could* go to one for talk therapy, but it would be a bit like doing an annual physical with a neurologist instead of a GP.

A clinical social worker (LCSW) is one kind of therapist, but there are several kinds who'd all do talk therapy - like a marriage and family therapist (LMFT) or mental health counselor (LMHC), and what-not. They tend to have masters-level licenses and report to different licensing bodies. An actual psychologist is someone with a doctorate-level degree (a PhD or PsyD), and if they work with clients (vs. doing clinical research), they'd do talk therapy with a more rigorous and specific area of focus or methodology.

The other side of this are "life coaches" and roles like it, which are terms requiring no specific licensure and that have no ethical guidelines at all.


To connect this back to Mad Men, the psychiatrist Betty went to in S1 is interesting as a historical relic. A psychiatrist doing classic Freudian analysis, sitting behind the patient and silently taking notes and providing a diagnosis, was absolutely a real thing. But that model was quickly dying out by this time period. The style of Dr. Edna's talk therapy would've been very modern for the setting, but obviously looks more like what therapy is today. And incidentally is much more effective.

Jerusalem
May 20, 2004

Would you be my new best friends?



Season 4 Retrospective

I argued in my Season 3 retrospective that the season was all about the inevitability of change, whether in society, within Sterling Cooper, or the personal and professional lives of the show's individual characters. What then of Season 4, which followed on from this? I think that can be broken down into a pretty straightfoward (over)simplication: the change isn't coming fast enough.

In Season 3, many of the characters seemed loathe to accept or acknowledge change until it simply could not be ignored any more. Some of them chose to embrace change then, perhaps most notably Don Draper himself, as they realized it couldn't be stopped and they had a choice: get onboard or get run over. Some had no choice, carried along by the tides of change (Paul Kinsey, Sally and Bobby Draper, Sal Romano, Hollis etc); some probably thought they were pioneers surfing the wave (Roger Sterling, Duck Philips, Pete Campbell etc) not knowing they were simply repeating old habits; and others saw the wave bearing down on them and knew the only choice was to sink or swim (Don, Betty, Peggy, Joan etc).

So where does the start of Season 4 find them? For those that remain, mostly they're riding high on the wave, enjoying the thrills and excitement of how change has worked out for them. Don is like a pig in poo poo as he is extolled for his Glo-Coat ad campaign: the perfect marriage of film references, storytelling, creative freedom and commercial success he so desperately wanted from Sterling Cooper and is getting at SCDP. Peggy is firmly in place and happily accepted as the Senior Copywriter, finding an easy repartee with her juniors as well as a solid and mutually respectful working relationship with Pete who is reveling in being the company's highly-appreciated workhorse. Betty has everything she wanted: she has the kids AND the house AND a newer, better husband in Henry. Joan has her own office and a clearly senior role in the smaller, more intimate Agency. Lane Pryce has New York and freedom from the stifling, suffocating pressure of British Society and an unhappy marriage. Roger has... lots of money and only one client he needs to keep satisfied! Hell, even a couple of the left-behind Sterling Cooper secretaries have made it back to the new SCDP, including Allison who was left in tears at the end of Season 3 when she realized she'd been abandoned by Don.

But as Dr. Faye Miller would accuse Don Draper of at the end of the season, he only likes the beginning of things. Right from the start it is clear that the sudden change that was embraced at the end of season 3 didn't just establish a new status quo and that was that, everything's different now. Because things aren't compartmentalized like that, life and time and people don't work that way. Even in the first episode, it becomes clear that the highs so many of the surviving characters initially experienced are starting to come down, and that old problems, issues and insecurities didn't get left behind.

Don discovers he's still expected - no, REQUIRED - to do the bullshit PR and admin aspects of the job of a Senior Partner he rankled under during PPL's ownership of Sterling Cooper. Peggy still finds herself often considered an inferior by Don rather than a peer, chafing under what she feels is a high-handed and inconsiderate approach to managing her. Betty is more severe than ever with the children (mostly Sally) and Henry is starting to see the gloss come off this woman who fascinated him so much. Cooper is still trying to throw his weight around as the final say on matters, and not liking that his word isn't taken as gospel anymore. Joan's office is an afterthought, jammed in-between corridors and used as a thoroughfare with the barest lip-service given to apologies.



This strange, in-between period is made all the stronger by the year in which it is set. Early in the season the year ticks over from 1964 to 1965 (marked by an incredible sequence where Don and Lane go out and get drunk to try and avoid facing the truth about their miserable personal lives), marking the mid-point of a pivotal decade in US history. But it is very much a between time, literally halfway between the 1950s and the 1970s, much as this season marks a between point for the old Sterling Cooper and the new Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce.

The 1960s are remembered today as an era of radical change, of protests and an explosion of free speech and liberating thoughts. The Civil Rights movement, the rise of the hippies, student protests, women's rights, feminism, the "breakdown" of the "nuclear family", and challenges to accepted morality. The reality of course was far more mundane, and certainly not universal. All those things happened, but they didn't happen wholesale, and they didn't happen all at once, and they certainly didn't happen without a whole hell of a lot of push-back.

So it is for the characters of Mad Men in Season 4. Time and again we are shown them struggling with the frustration of not being able to move on into the brighter future that was offered at the end of Season 3, or sabotaging themselves when an opportunity for growth comes and they instead fall into old, bad habits. Some do better than others, some stumble and fall but pick themselves up again, and some curl into a ball and refuse to do anything at all.

Consider two very contrasting characters who have been inextricably bound up in each other's lives since the very first episode: Pete Campbell and Peggy Olson. They start the season working very well together as a cohesive unit, each showing an appreciation and respect for the other in their respective areas of expertise as they cook up a PR stunt to increase the sale of Sugarberry Hams. They have come a long way from their disastrous two-time hookup, Pete's horror at being "stuck" with her on Clearasil, his horror at learning that he got her pregnant and that she gave birth to a child whom he will never know etc.

But even now, after all this time, there remains the hangover from their brief affair... if you can even call it that: they had sex twice, never even went on a date or spent more than an hour together in non-work related activity, outside of maybe him spending the night at her place way back in the show's first episode.

The past hasn't quite released its grip on either, even as they go on about their separate lives - literally in one episode ending, as we see Peggy and her artist friends going out for lunch while Pete and his business colleagues stick around to talk contracts. Look at Peggy on her birthday, about to go out to dinner with a boyfriend she is considering potential marriage to, enjoying the admiration of the beautiful Megan when suddenly she is left feeling inadequate after a chance encounter with Trudy: the woman who has what she - for some reason I still can't quite fathom - wanted. Look at how she reacts when she learns Trudy is pregnant, taking even the one thing that Peggy had over her - having Pete's child - so she doesn't even have that. Pete too is clearly conscious at times of how these things might affect Peggy, mostly because of how they could affect him, concerned when he realizes Peggy and Trudy spent any amount of time alone together, worried how Peggy might take news of Trudy's pregnancy etc.

Peggy laments during the season that she is not fulfilled personally or professionally, a concern she had thought might finally be behind her at the end of Season 3. She seethes being treated like a junior copywriter by Freddy Rumsen, a man she otherwise deeply appreciates for giving her a first chance. She rankles at Don's seemingly ungrateful adoption of her ideas and taking credit she feels she deserves a share in. She uneasily plans to settle for a boyfriend she doesn't really love because she feels like ultimately marriage is still an accomplishment she MUST achieve or somehow be a failure. As she puts it when he dumps her for putting her work ahead of him (and, to be fair to her, because she doesn't "appreciate" his presumptuous gesture that was more about him than her), she has to start all over again.

Peggy Olson, for all that she seems to be a modern, proto-feminist woman forging a path in a male-dominated industry, is still caught up in the expectations and demands of society (and of course her family and her religion): sure she wants to be a successful Creative person in the Advertising industry, but she also feels like she has to get married and even presumably have children to have really "made it". Which makes the back half of the season so interesting, because in Abe she finds somebody who is very much bucking against society's norms, and for the first time Peggy seems to be in a relationship with somebody where both parties know exactly what they want.

Her bizarre affair with Duck was, as she puts it, a very strange time in her life. Pete was a disaster where each decided they wanted to be with the other only when the other didn't want that anymore. Mark was nice but also... well was he anything other than a nice boy who she felt she could settle for? With Abe though, it is a man her own age, a fellow Creative albeit one with a decidedly non-commercial bent, somebody who appreciates her body but more appreciates her mind. The feeling is mutual, he's tall and handsome but he's also intelligent, creative and earnest in a way that others - like Paul Kinsey - have only aped. With Pete there was (somehow) lust, with Duck there was need, with Mark there was safety. With Abe the lust and the satisfaction of needs are physical AND intellectual, and with that comes a different, better sense of safety knowing that the other person wants you just as much as you want them.

Abe is far from perfect, but then so is she, and the biggest change from the others is that when they argue/disagree, both use it as a learning example of how to adapt to the other in order to preserve their relationship. In other words, both learn to move on, not by ignoring or separating but by taking onboard the mistakes of the past and using them to build a hopefully stronger future. It is why Peggy is one of the few characters to end this season largely personally and professionally happy, even after the shock of the reveal of Don and Megan.

She has a man she is with because she wants to be, not because she feels she has to. She knows that the Agency, financially troubled as it might be, considers her a vital part of it. She knows that through her hard work she has brought in new business and helped the Agency to survive. She has crashed headfirst into the aggressively "enlightened" Stan Rizzo and stared him down and won in an unconventional contest of wills that would have been unthinkable for her only a couple of years earlier. She knows that even if she has to babysit Megan through becoming a Copywriter, it doesn't threaten her position. Hell, she and Joan even have a rare bonding moment over the (forever unchanging) stupidity of men.

Peggy starts the season happy, dips in the middle as the enormous gravity of the past threatens to prevent her growth, and then ends strong because she - perhaps by the hard-earned lessons of growing up a woman in 1950s America - more than most anybody else has figured out that change comes gradually and not always in a straight line.





That is a lesson that Pete does not quite seem to take, perhaps by the ingrained lessons of growing up a wealthy white male in 1950s New York High Society. As noted earlier, Pete, oddly progressive mostly because he puts financial success above even his own personal racial or gender stereotyping, starts the season on a high. He's the Agency workhorse, building a strong portfolio of clients to gradually offset the untenable large percentage that Lucky Strike makes up of SCDP's billings. He is a Partner, albeit a Junior one and not in the company name, which means HE is one of the Bosses. Once he craved being made Head of Accounts, but even that would have made him answerable to somebody. Now he gets to sit at the decision-maker's table, his counsel is sought, his approval is needed (or at least considered).

So it is perfectly "Pete" that in spite of all this he is still paranoid and believes on some level that everybody hates him, detests him, and wants to get rid of him as soon as possible. The return of Ken Cosgrove sends him into a panic, seeing a return to the old days of Sterling Cooper where he was forced into competition with his "friend" and lost. His presumption, based on his own self-loathing, is that they've gotten what they wanted from him and now it's time to cast him aside in favor of the handsome, more likeable Ken.

For Pete, it isn't so much about being dragged down as it is that at heart he is still the same person he always was. It doesn't HAVE to be this way, but Pete can't help it. When he was "only" an Account Executive his passive-aggressive sliminess was in some way contained, even if only from fear of being fired. As he has slowly gained prestige and power, the very things he wanted, his sense of inadequacy has not lessened, just been better hidden until it bursts out in times of stress.... or more troublingly when he thinks he holds the upper hand.

We saw a little of this when he tried to blackmail Don in Season 1, and it comes back in full force in Season 4. Look at how Pete treats his father-in-law, or how he treats Ken Cosgrove. Both have been nothing but friendly or accommodating towards him, Tom Vogel in particular has been happy to throw his financial support behind Pete. Ken is literally brought on because Lane understands that Pete will burn out if he keeps carrying so much of the workload, and this will give him - a fellow Partner, a colleague and a peer! - a break from the pressure and stress.

So how does Pete react? First with churlish resentment, and then with sneering disdain. The worst part is that he's open about it, he revels in it in fact. Pete takes great satisfaction from getting "revenge" on Tom and Ken by forcing them to capitulate to HIS will. Their support and aid over the years is something he has viewed with suspicion, convincing himself that it is given in order to hold him down, to make him subservient to them, somehow "proving" that he is inferior and incapable.

This is mostly in his head of course (there is some degree of Tom being a little overly paternalistic) because it is how HE thinks of himself. So he takes out that resentment on them when the positions are reversed, giving them a taste of their own medicine... or rather, what he thinks was their own medicine, assuming they were enjoying lording it up over him but now it is HIS turn and he can finally have a revenge that exists only in his own mind.

Pete's inferiority complex of course is coupled with a contradictory sense of superiority, the mixture of both and a lack of self-awareness causing him to look down on people he believes are somehow looking down on him (him! The center of the universe! The lovely center of the universe!). So when Roger loses Lucky Strike, when Don's stolen identity threatens to topple the Agency, when Don burns their bridges with the tobacco industry.... Pete is enraged, because they're ruining HIS Agency, undermining HIS hard work, threatening HIS future.

But he also feels woefully inadequate, because the solution to these problems is something he is not capable of. This isn't something he can workhorse his way out of, it requires simply money and that is something he doesn't have. This too demonstrates something that is unchanged from Season 1: despite coming from a prestigious family, Pete has never had access to a lot of money. It is deeply emasculating to him to realize he simply cannot afford one of the fundamental requirements of being a Partner, and thus proof that he doesn't belong just like he's always subconsciously suspected. More than that, his wife forbids him spending the money and throws her father's financial support in his face despite her frequent assurances that Tom giving them money was nothing to be ashamed of, "confirming" his own long-held paranoid suspicion.

So when Don Draper pays his share of the Partners' stake for him? Pete is relieved and grateful and, for the time being at least, takes it as a sign of solidarity and respect that divides himself and Don into the engines that power SCDP, against the outmoded (and sometimes lazy) attitudes of Roger and Cooper and the unsettlingly earnest alienness of Lane Pryce. But how long until that too changes? How long till Pete either remembers the 50k Don paid pales in comparison to the millions he cost the Agency? Or more likely, how long till he starts to resent Don for saving him, because he also resents his own failure to have the money that should come with his position and status?

Pete starts the season happy but quickly unravels as the new status quo does not match up to the dream he had. Despite his rising prominence in the advertising world (Ted Chaough's offer is partly about hurting Don, but also recognizing Pete's obvious talent) he still feels unloved, unappreciated, and success and even fatherhood hasn't filled the hole inside of him. Change comes gradually and not always in a straight line, but for Pete the fact that doing something doesn't bring him the immediate results he wants just reinforces old beliefs: that he doesn't belong, that he isn't liked, that nobody appreciates him or takes his hard work for granted, and that the only thing that will save him is a power he still isn't mature enough to handle... and at this point in his life, maybe that means he never will be?





That's a deep dive on two central characters, and much as I'd love to I'm not going to spend the days/weeks it would take to run through EVERY character on the show. Suffice to say that even minor characters get plenty of story, character beats, development etc across the course of a wonderful season. We get tantalizing glimpses of the interior lives of not just the likes of Lane Pryce but minor characters like Joey, Stan, Danny, Duck Phillips (oh God, Duck) and even several of the secretaries during a focus group. New characters like Dr. Faye Miller offer us the suggestion of compelling backstories: the daughter of a mob-adjacent store owner who managed by sheer strength of her intellect to rise to a position of academic and corporate success but clearly felt distressed by the sacrifices she made on the way (that same "you MUST be married and have kids" that Peggy is feeling).

The overall theme, that change isn't coming as fast as expected or that the new status quo seems the same as the old status quo, is present throughout the season and through so many characters. Cooper took back an ownership stake in his Agency but the return to his respected authority has not come with it and the Agency isn't succeeding at the rate he wanted.

Lane remains in New York when his family returns to London, embracing quickly the hedonistic lifestyle that Don Draper introduced him to. He thinks he can be fully clear at last of the stifling grip of his upbringing only for his abusive father to haul him back into an unhappy marriage and the abandonment of the new personal life he was enjoying. To make matters worse, the long fought battle to build the Agency into a position where Lucky Strike wasn't integral to their continued success gets completely upended at the worst possible time.

There's Harry, dragged along by necessity by the others into the new Agency and obviously trying to use it as a stepping stone into film and television that simply does not appear to be on the cards, seemingly leading to him having a wandering eye in spite of his deep regret of his only infidelity to date, with the lamentably now absent from the show Hildy.

There's Ken, who like Bobby Draper just seems to get along happily in life no matter what, but clearly longs for the Creative-lead Don Draper-driven environment he once enjoyed, only to discover old "friend" Pete has gotten worse about rank and to see his return to his old job suddenly put at deep risk.

There's Allison, rescued from the sunken ship of Sterling Cooper and put back in her position as Don Draper's secretary, then blessed with what she thinks is the development of a deeper personal relationship with her boss only to see it all turn to ash as he engages in the sadly all-too-familiar trope of a white collar worker thinking his secretary is just a convenient lay.



Looking a little deeper, what about Joan? Here she is, pulled out of a retirement she couldn't afford in the first place with the promise of being an integral part of something new and different. Here she finds herself heavily engaged in the financial side of running the business and, of course, excels at it, only to find that this and even her later promotion don't come with either prestige OR money.

She's mocked and her authority flouted by the likes of Joey and Stan, and though she gets in good shots of her own (her Vietnam dressing down is a thing to behold) it just adds to the pain of her personal anguish over her fairy-tale husband continuing to gently caress things up at every turn as her worst nightmare comes true and he goes straight from Basic Training to Vietnam.

Add on an unexpected pregnancy from a desperation one-night stand with Roger, the realization that she is still in exactly the same place as a 17-year-old girl despite her maturity, and this new status quo isn't offering much other than the old one was.

Even outside of Sterling Cooper, this theme continues. Betty divorced Don and married Henry, but despite clearly being the "winner" in the divorce, her frustration and concern are clear as life doesn't magically get better. She's still connected to Don and always will be thanks to the children, but more than that he seems to be a sore she just can't stop herself from picking at.

She becomes sterner and more aggressive with Sally in particular, upset perhaps that her eldest daughter doesn't support her or see how much better life is with Henry. She strains her relationship with Henry by falling into old habits of assumption and passive-aggressive behavior she had with Don... and let's be fair, Don played an equal or greater part in causing this behavior in the first place.

Her therapy sessions are good for her, but they're built on a lie, backdooring herself into therapy that she can convince herself isn't REALLY therapy by attending "discussion" sessions with Sally's child psychiatrist. As such, she doesn't get the full benefit of therapy, and as she can't understand why she isn't happy she looks for external factors to blame and take it out on. Carla: fired unceremoniously. Glen: demonized as a little creep trying to use Sally to get at her. Sally: a bratty daddy's-girl who needs to grow up and learn some maturity (no no no, no projection there at all!). Bobby.... well, let's just assume his hands are ALWAYS dirty, which to be fair is probably accurate.

She doesn't exist in a vacuum, and it affects those around her too. Henry is happy to be with her, clearly tries his best with the kids - particularly Bobby - even if he is obviously happier when it is just the two of them together. But it also burns him up to be living in another man's house, paying rent to him, feeling like somehow Don Draper is getting one over on him in spite of him being the guy who ended up with Don's wife, Don's kids, and even Don's house. The flaws are becoming more evident in Betty and he's finding it harder to forgive or gloss over them, either with his mother, important political operators he is trying to network with, or just himself.

Sally of course had change forced upon her and she hates it, but she is doing her best to learn coping strategies. She is just a girl though, even if she is growing up fast and even starting to awaken a rudimentary sense of sexuality. Sometimes she just can't deal with it, even with the aid of therapy, as evidenced by her running away to SCDP and believing she and Don would just live together happily forever or she could be the other kids' "mom" and run the house and make the meals (including pancakes with rum instead of syrup!) while Don worked: literally playing house with her own father. It's made clear by her explosion into a tantrum she should have outgrown by now when she realizes this won't work, and how easily Don buys back her love and affection when he gets her Beatles tickets (I mean, to be fair.... that's a pretty good get!).



All of these characters have one thing in common: the change they got wasn't the change they wanted. That's.... that's life. Things don't transition cleanly, the balance between old and new see-saws for awhile until the new finally takes hold, but each of them have to figure out whether they can wait, whether they speed things along, or whether they're going to make things worse by trying to force the issue (including Cooper's dramatic proclamation that he quits). Before I talk about that latter approach with, of course, Don Draper, let's talk about the exception that proves the rule: Roger Sterling.

Here is a character who resists change at every step of the way, trying with increasing panic to hold back time and somehow keep everything in the perfect little setup he contrived for himself in Season 3. Of all the SCDP Partners, he was the one who needed the most prodding to come onboard, and there was a sense that in spite of his clear distress at being beneath the notice of PPL he was more than willing to just give up on advertising forever and enjoy an early retirement of being ridiculously rich and banging his new young wife.

But when he did take the plunge, he did it in a way that he thought guaranteed his unassailable place at the forefront of the company regardless of whatever work he did. While Pete struggled mightily to make new business, Roger was happy to coast along on the overwhelming power that Lucky Strike brought him, as well as accept easily enough business that came to him unbidden like Freddy Rumsen bringing them Pond's Cold Cream. He tried to act the same as he did when Sterling Cooper was doing well as a mid-sized Agency surviving on Don's Creative reputation and decades of established clients.

Nowhere is it more obvious that Roger is essentially "done" as a proactive force than in the season-long storyline of him dictating his (awful!) memoirs. Other than that what does he do? He attends award ceremonies, goes out drinking with clients (or lamenting not being able to drink with Freddy and Pond's), and mostly seems happily bored. He falls back into these old habits easily, including deciding to pursue an extra-marital affair, the first we've seen him in since marrying Jane... and of course who does he go for? Joan Harris.

Because she was his mistress during his first marriage, now he wants her to be his mistress in a second marriage. He turned down the offer an affair with another old fling before, but he doesn't seem to remotely hesitate when he sees the chance to go for Joan. Even when he succeeds thanks to the adrenalin rush following a mugging, things won't go back the way they used to though, as she gets pregnant and he finds himself the world's oldest dumb teenager getting chewed out by his doctor for being an immature idiot.

What does it take to get Roger to accept change? When change is forced upon him. Change doesn't come gradually or all at once, but sometimes big moments hit hard. Leaving Sterling Cooper and starting SCDP was a big change, but it pales in comparison to the late season sudden development of Lucky Strike leaving SCDP. After 30 years, Lane's worst nightmare comes true and Roger finds himself in the shocking position of no longer having a trump card that lets him do what he wants. How does he react to this? By.... putting his fingers in his ears and trying to pretend it hasn't happened. He begs for 30 extra days to put their affairs in order, makes a half-assed effort to network with very old connections (so old some have died) and then largely just... sits and waits hoping the inevitable simply won't happen.

When the axe finally falls, even now he denies it, pretending to be as shocked as everybody else, putting on a theatrical act of screaming down the phone to a dead line at Lee Garner Jr, and makes up out of whole cloth taking a trip and getting the story in person. After that he has the temerity to play the victim, to blame Don and Pete and accuse them of only ever caring about the contract that HE brought them (that he inherited from his father, weird how so many people who inherit mistake this as a personal accomplishment). He tells only Joan, somehow assuming she would not only side with him but take pity on how rough it must have been for him.

Because Roger won't change, he refuses to, even in the face of the undeniable. In that sense, he stands as a direct contrast to the man this tremendous ensemble cast all still revolve around: Don Draper. Here is a man who longs for change as a way to deflect and avoid the personal problems that keep him from true happiness and stability, and who takes wildly unstable twists and turns to try and escape ever being caught in a position where he must confront them.



At the end of Season 3, Don's marriage was in tatters but he had a new drive and energy in his work life as he tried something new and found an unlikely assemblage of people to make this journey forward into a brave (and terrifying) new world with. At the start of Season 4, the ultimate realization of Don's Creative-driven policy seemed to have paid dividends, with his Glo-Coat advertisement shaking up the industry and making people take notice of new agency SCDP.

But even right from the start, it's clear things aren't good for Don. He's completely work driven, it occupies every moment of his life now as he almost seems to relish being able to come home late from the office and just continue working as soon as he gets home and through the weekend. The affairs he used to pursue with women who fascinated or challenged him are gone, perhaps part of what made them so irresistible was the thrill of cheating on his wife, now removed from the equation?

What does Don fill this void in his life with? Sex becomes a commodity, the man who seemed to be able to get any woman he wanted just pays a prostitute to fulfill his physical needs, as well as serve as a strange, sexually charged "punishment" for his crime of failing his marriage by having her strike him during sex itself. He also now doesn't limit his drinking at all, knocking them back all day at work and all night at home. He contains and controls himself during the day and becomes a mess at night, but he's not really fooling anybody. Joey is openly contemptuous of the man who every male employee at Sterling Cooper once envied (and most women wanted), and it isn't hard to see why.

There is clearly something missing for Don, and it isn't simply a lack of a social life. After all, he's at times capable of putting the old debonair mask on and impressing during dates with a variety of women who in one way or another echo or bring to mind aspects of Betty Francis. He charms clients and his Partners - outside of frustrations with his awful attempts to side-step or ignore Public Relations duties and requirements - all believe strongly in the value of his status as the figurehead of the Agency.

What is missing, I'd argue, is that he hasn't found the peace and fulfillment he assumed this new venture would give him. There are too many aspects of the old Sterling Cooper there, and the void continues to eat away at him no matter what he throws at it. Even the temporary high of winning a Clio doesn't satisfy him for long, in fact it sets him over the edge and into an incredible bender that sees him lose an entire day, accidentally plagiarize one of the worst pitches ever (that works because the clients are ALSO drunk as skunks!), somehow pickup and seduce a completely different woman to the one he was having sex with when his long-term memory decided it was going on strike, misplace his Clio, disappoint his children AND piss off his ex-wife... though the latter doesn't take much.

Don, as always, seeks solace in exterior ways rather than address the interior problems that have caused him to self-sabotage such long stretches of his otherwise hyper-successful life. Here though he finds unwelcome change, in California he discovers that Anna Draper is dying of terminal cancer (he finds this out after making a sloppy drunken pass at Anna's barely out of her teens niece!) and can't bear to stay any longer with her. He avoids seeing her, avoids calling when he knows she is probably on death's door, and of course finally makes that call too late and breaks down into a complete mess when he can't deny this horrible truth any longer.

That episode, The Suitcase, at roughly the halfway point of the season, is not only one of the finest episodes of the show ever made (so far) but also marks a potential turning point for Don. It is in that episode that he doesn't just break down personally but opens himself up enough - after initial hostility - to share a special evening with Peggy Olson that bonds them even closer than they already were.

After that we see a different kind of Don. He drinks less, he exercises more, he tries to express his thoughts into a journal at least even if he won't consider therapy (short of using Dr. Faye Miller as a sounding post at times) and he actually pursues the potential for a deeper relationship. He does this at the expense of Bethany Van Nuys, who thought she was doing a good job of drawing him in but was simply being strung along herself. That should have been a warning sign for viewers of what was in store for Faye too, but more on that in a little bit.

Because Don is trying, even if he is simply treating the symptoms rather than the disease. Which makes Hands and Knees another pivotal point as suddenly the improved Don Draper's attempt to build a future is put at horrifying risk from the past. Signing it without reading it like so many other pieces of paper, Don unknowingly puts in a bid for a Security Clearance with the Department of Defense that threatens to expose the hiding in plain sight evidence that he is not the original Donald Draper.

Here is another sudden and unexpected change he must deal with, and of course because Don has done nothing to prepare for this, because he - akin to Roger and Lucky Strike - tried to pretend that everything was fine and he could deny his way into life continuing as normal, he completely falls apart. The mask is off and the panicked, confused "imposter" is revealed. He is forced to remind Pete Campbell of his long forgotten knowledge of Don's identity, he has to face up to the danger he has put ex-wife Betty into, he has to acknowledge that there may be far sterner consequences for his fraud than simply losing his position in the advertising world.

So, exhausted by panic and the full weight of a long carried secret bearing down on him, he does what he should have done with Betty at the start of their relationship and tells Faye everything. And she listens, and she doesn't judge him, and she accepts him for who he is, and she tries to help him work his way through it all. Faye provides Don with the support and good advice he has needed and longed for but actively avoided, only for it all to prove moot when Pete agrees to kill their North American Aviation deal and thus save Don at the expense of a 4 million dollar account.

Still, this marks another opportunity for growth and change for Don. He is healthier, he is in more control, he has a loving partner who he doesn't have to hide the truth about himself from. When the Lucky Strike bombshell hits, she is there to support him, and even when he fucks that all up by trying to goad her into breaking her ethical boundaries she still ends up choosing to support him over herself, willing to sacrifice for the good of their continued relationship.

But this also marks the start of the backslide. Because Don continues to take the wrong message from his close shaves, his panicked moments when the chickens are coming home to roost are replaced by going back to the same bad habits when they somehow end up moving on past him. He escapes exposure to the Government. He gets to enjoy a guilt-free, no expectations one-night stand with Megan where any thoughts of Faye (or Allison, whose life he ruined after a similar experience) are shunted aside. The lesson Don seems to take is that he can continue as he always has, and that there isn't any situation where he can't rely on some grand gesture or brilliant pitch to save him.

So with Lucky Strike gone and the company in danger of going under, he takes one of those big swings, upset when the other Partners aren't wowed by him cutting off the Agency from ever working with ANY tobacco company again. He still assumes he can force the change he wants to come before it is ready, that THIS time it will finally fill the void, that just this one extra thing will finally bring him the happiness that none of his other successes seem to bring him.



Enter Megan. A constant presence throughout the season, slowly coming more and more to the foreground, going from background character to a few voiced lines to some integral scenes to nearly a whole episode devoted to her and Don. Don was on a decline in the front half of the season, started a slow recovery and then began backpedaling. The gratitude he felt for Faye has slowly started to be undermined by a low level resentment. Because Faye won't just let him be now that he's past the worst of the external signs of his problems, she actively pushes for him to work on them, to deal with them, to actually improve himself rather than put on the perfect face of the powerful and successful businessman.

What does Megan offer? Devotion, yes. Beauty, obviously. Adoration, for certain. But she also offers something uncomplicated, as well as the easy answer that Don clearly craves. Faye is not easy. Faye pushes him, Faye prods him, Faye tries to make him deal with things that he somehow thinks will cease to exist if they're not immediately apparent. Don still thinks that if he can just present the perfect image, people will not only continue to buy what he is pitching as himself, but that he will become that very thing.

So there is Megan. In some ways another Betty: beautiful, adoring, but also intelligent and motivated and understanding. It's just that her understanding is uninformed compared to Faye's. She's also maternal, kind, loving, generous, everything he feels the woman who raised him wasn't as well as not prone (that he knows of) to pouting, bad temper and complaints like he feels Betty was.

Essentially, Megan makes him feel good. She makes him feel good NOW. Faye made him feel good too, but that was then, and now she makes him feel good but also guilty, not least of which is due to her knowing things he would prefer to keep hidden. Faye would have been good for Don, Megan makes Don feel good. This is in no way a judgement on Megan, this is all about Don and his perception. In truth, both Faye and Megan are far more complex and contradictory, just like all people are. But they're also props in Don's attempt to construct a reality, to make the change he wants happen, and happen NOW.

His marriage proposal, shocking as it is, is just another example of Don trying to make things work, to deny reality and create a picture perfect image that, if he can maintain it long enough, will become truth. Faye accused him of only liking the beginning of things, and she's right. Change is coming, but it comes too slow and not complete enough for Don. So Don tries to change it like he would a copywriter's work, thinking he can excise this and replace that, pull out the elements he doesn't like and add ones he does with the end result of a brand new pitch. To what end? To achieve what has been apparent since the end of the very first episode: nobody really knows who Don Draper is, including Don himself. The image he creates is something he wants to sell, both to the outside world and hopefully eventually to himself: THIS is who Don Draper is. Inside and out.



This long, winding account of Season 4 barely touches the surface of a great many storylines, character beats and moments. There is so much, both pathos but also comedy (Duck trying to take a poo poo in "Don's" office for one!), and the change of Agency, office and such a large chunk of the cast was handled admirably well. Season 4 easily stands with the previous three seasons, proving that the show was strong enough to make such strong changes and still retain its quality.

But it is an uncertain future ahead in Season 5. Lucky Strike is gone, the Agency is clinging on and starting to show signs of life, but it isn't a guarantee that they can hold it together. Don is engaged now to a woman we barely know. Cooper is seemingly retired (I have no idea if he returns, I hope he does, and I'll find out as I watch!). Roger is surely in a far weaker position despite his Senior Partner status now that basically all he has to offer is a semi-informal Account Executive Relationship with Pond's Cold Cream.

Joan is pregnant with Roger's child and intends to keep the baby and raise it as her and Greg's own. Greg is in Vietnam and his return isn't guaranteed. Betty has moved to a new house but will that make her happier any more than creating a new Agency made Don happy? Will Pete's gratitude towards Don be replaced by resentment like Don's did for Faye? Will Peggy find love with Abe or find herself in her late 20s still single and unable to do away with that pressure from society to get married or somehow be considered a failure? Will she and Megan clash over their prominent positions as important women in Don's life? Will Ken's refusal to whore out his family connections cost him with SCDP's Partners?

It is the great benchmark of a show for so many of these questions to not have obvious answers, but to know that whatever those answers turn out to be, I'll probably be satisfied. Mad Men is an excellent show, roll on Season 5!

Season Four: Public Relations | Christmas Comes But Once a Year | The Good News | The Rejected | The Chrysanthemum and the Sword | Waldorf Stories | The Suitcase | The Summer Man | The Beautiful Girls | Hands and Knees | Chinese Wall | Blowing Smoke | Tomorrowland | Season 4 Retrospective

Jerusalem fucked around with this message at 05:53 on Sep 4, 2021

sebmojo
Oct 23, 2010


Legit Cyberpunk







wow, that was magisterial

season five is kind of berzerk, i don't think you'll be disappointed.

Paper Lion
Dec 13, 2009






were so dang close to the fireworks factory signal 30

Blood Nightmaster
Sep 6, 2011

“また遊んであげるわ!”


Paper Lion posted:

were so dang close to the fireworks factory signal 30

I couldn't remember the episode by name so I looked it up and immediately had to rewatch the fist fight scene. my god.

as far as incredible line reads go, "YOU WANT SOME MORE, MR. TOAD??" has gotta be right up there with "NOT GREAT, BOB!"

KellHound
Jul 23, 2007

I commend my soul to any god that can find it.

Blood Nightmaster posted:

I couldn't remember the episode by name so I looked it up and immediately had to rewatch the fist fight scene. my god.

as far as incredible line reads go, "YOU WANT SOME MORE, MR. TOAD??" has gotta be right up there with "NOT GREAT, BOB!"


While the fight is nice, Ken writing the man with the tiny orchestra while Pete pouts about a teen girl not fawning over him is a end that always sticks in my head. Ken is actually a good writer! I would 1000% read his books. Also, I bet Paul unknowingly reads all his books too

Shageletic
Jul 25, 2007






ElectronicOldMen posted:

I remember watching this episode along with the live viewing thread as it quickly imploded. Wonderful times.

I think what makes it work for me, alongside the purposeful abruptness of it all, is the fact that I for some reason expected Don to be better than this. Even though up until this point we have seen Don go through some terrible things and also do some terrible things for some reason up until this episode I never believed that Don would just marry his secretary. It just seemed too cliche and pathetic.

On rewatching the series I quickly realised that I had no reason to think Don wouldn't go for the easy way out. And Don has time and time again made impulsive and dramatic decisions. I guess it is fitting that I had been fooled by the image of Don I had in my head instead of looking at the reality of the character I had been shown.

Yup.

To bring it back to what pol were talking about during its airong, this was right about the time when The Sopranos was wrapping up. And since that show so authoritatively landed on the answer to, "could people change?", that was the running question ppl had aboit Mad Men.

And here at the end of the 4th season it seemed like they had given out the answer, and I for one was disappointed.

Shageletic
Jul 25, 2007






Polly Pickpocket posted:

Ken is a monumental arsehole initially, but he's also about the only person to support Peggy when she starts as a copywriter (the little "Good work, Peg" in I think series 1 is still cute). Then later he fucks with everyone by being able to take or leave his work, and it's great. He maybe grows the most emotionally out of anyone on the show.

Wasnt Ken a bitter eye patch wearing ppl yelling guy by the end?

Polly Pickpocket
May 14, 2012


Shageletic posted:

Wasnt Ken a bitter eye patch wearing ppl yelling guy by the end?

You're right! Weird that I'd forgotten about that; it seems like it would be really memorable, but it went right out of my head 🤷🏼‍♀️

The Klowner
Apr 20, 2019

by Jeffrey of YOSPOS


Paper Lion posted:

were so dang close to the fireworks factory signal 30

besides the fact that it's an incredible pete episode that jerusalem is sure to love, it's also the first time Don mentions his upbringing in the whorehouse after his father died, which itself is incredibly important to understanding, among other things, his choice in paramours. And then, if I'm not mistaken, we don't hear about it again until all the way in the middle of season 6 with "The Crash." so yeah it's a super important episode amongst a season's worth of fantastic television

e: speaking of "the crash," that's also the episode where stan comes on to peggy as a result of his grief over his cousin's death (who meet exactly once--in the very next episode, the first of season 5), and she tells him she knows from experience that "you can't bury your emotions with drugs or sex. you have to let yourself feel it." this goes a little way towards addressing something else that caught my eye in the s4 retrospective: jerusalem's statement in the s4 retrospective that peggy's affair with duck was "bizarre," as he put it. It's possible it was coping behavior for her trauma and imposed guilt over giving away the baby.

The Klowner fucked around with this message at 17:43 on Sep 4, 2021

KellHound
Jul 23, 2007

I commend my soul to any god that can find it.

Shageletic posted:

Wasnt Ken a bitter eye patch wearing ppl yelling guy by the end?

In his defense he was SHOT IN THE FACE and is on the edge of a nervous breakdown/burn out because the car guys take up so much of his time he can't do work life balance he does in these seasons.

I actually think his ending is a tragedy. He was ALMOST free. And then he caught Pete's pettiness and had to get revenge on Pete.

Yoshi Wins
Jul 14, 2013



The way Don first mentions the whorehouse is so casual that I didn't know if I believed it at first. I thought maybe he had a big complex about his mother having been a prostitute.

Paper Lion
Dec 13, 2009






KellHound posted:

While the fight is nice, Ken writing the man with the tiny orchestra while Pete pouts about a teen girl not fawning over him is a end that always sticks in my head. Ken is actually a good writer! I would 1000% read his books. Also, I bet Paul unknowingly reads all his books too

its not that shes not fawning over him, its that he has to sit there and watch her kissing this dudes neck to stop herself moaning during the film reel while he fingers her right there in the classroom. he's entirely emasculated and brought low. possibly the lowest pete ever truly feels in the show, honestly, and informs his buck wild swing into the behaviour that leads to his other problems, because hes trying to compensate for the events of this one episode.

also re: ken i dont think he ends up bitter in a general sense, he seems to have a sense of humour about the situation at the end. its just that his sense of humour is being able to laugh at how the tables have turned, and now he can make them do whatever he wants. its been a long time since ive seen it so feel free to correct me, but the vibe i always got was "you are basically still guaranteed my business, but im gonna gently caress with you if i feel like it" which is entirely within his right. trolling his former employer that ignored his concerns and had him maimed as a result isnt really bitter or malicious, its just turnabout being fair play.

KellHound
Jul 23, 2007

I commend my soul to any god that can find it.

Paper Lion posted:

its not that shes not fawning over him, its that he has to sit there and watch her kissing this dudes neck to stop herself moaning during the film reel while he fingers her right there in the classroom. he's entirely emasculated and brought low. possibly the lowest pete ever truly feels in the show, honestly, and informs his buck wild swing into the behaviour that leads to his other problems, because hes trying to compensate for the events of this one episode.

also re: ken i dont think he ends up bitter in a general sense, he seems to have a sense of humour about the situation at the end. its just that his sense of humour is being able to laugh at how the tables have turned, and now he can make them do whatever he wants. its been a long time since ive seen it so feel free to correct me, but the vibe i always got was "you are basically still guaranteed my business, but im gonna gently caress with you if i feel like it" which is entirely within his right. trolling his former employer that ignored his concerns and had him maimed as a result isnt really bitter or malicious, its just turnabout being fair play.

I remember them making out but not the fingering. But yeah, he was completely emasculated and also doesn't realize he's a creep for even trying with the teen girl. Also, is season 5 when they start shaving his hairline or did that start already in season 4? I remember it being subtle enough that I didn't realize it at first.

Also, I didn't say he was bitter, I said it was petty vengence. Right before it is clear that him and his wife have enough money that he can just write. And he decided to commit to a career track he doesn't care about for petty revenge rather than focusing on his writing full time and spending time with family. Sure, he could still turn things around but he has made himself unhappier for the sake of revenge on Pete.

Devorum
Jul 30, 2005


Yoshi Wins posted:

The way Don first mentions the whorehouse is so casual that I didn't know if I believed it at first. I thought maybe he had a big complex about his mother having been a prostitute.

If I've learned anything from my own experience, it's that it's easy to be casual about things you don't realize are traumatic until you see other people's reaction to it.

ulvir
Jan 2, 2005



KellHound posted:

Also, is season 5 when they start shaving his hairline or did that start already in season 4? I remember it being subtle enough that I didn't realize it at first.

they actually started that as early as season 2

GoutPatrol
Oct 17, 2009

Coal Jobs for the Coal God



ulvir posted:

they actually started that as early as season 2

I don't think it was that early. All the articles I can find talking about it first are from season 5 in 2012.

Yoshi Wins
Jul 14, 2013



Documentary evidence: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lnDoZLce66E

KellHound
Jul 23, 2007

I commend my soul to any god that can find it.


drat! Also I believe he was told to gain 50 lbs for the last season

GoutPatrol
Oct 17, 2009

Coal Jobs for the Coal God



:f5h: I'm dying to see how Jerusalem sees the S5 premiere. Maybe taking so long because he's doing 5x01 and 5x02 combined like the actual premiere?

Jerusalem
May 20, 2004

Would you be my new best friends?



I am doing them both at once, yes. It's a little delayed because of real life deadlines I have to meet unfortunately, I'm hoping to get it done in the next couple of days hopefully, sorry for the wait everybody!

The Klowner
Apr 20, 2019

by Jeffrey of YOSPOS


Take as much time as you need. Real life always comes first :love:

Gaius Marius
Oct 9, 2012



The fashion really starts getting good in Season 5 and 6, much better than the 50's ish affairs in the previous seasons

Yoshi Wins
Jul 14, 2013



Yeah, Megan in particular shows off some interesting looks as a fashionable (and rich) young woman of the mid-60s.

Xealot
Nov 25, 2002

Showdown in the Galaxy Era.



Gaius Marius posted:

The fashion really starts getting good in Season 5 and 6, much better than the 50's ish affairs in the previous seasons

Women’s, maybe. As the show veers towards the 70’s, the menswear starts to get rough. And their hair choices…the mustaches, sideburns….ugh. gently caress, man.

Megan always looks great, though.

Paper Lion
Dec 13, 2009






Yoshi Wins posted:

Yeah, Megan in particular shows off some interesting looks as a fashionable (and rich) young woman of the mid-60s.

oh god, i hope he doesnt get himself on board the stupid "megan wearing this shirt means she will die at the tate house manson family murders" poo poo like so many people did when it was airing weekly

Paper Tiger
Jun 17, 2007

torn apart by idle hands



Paper Lion posted:

oh god, i hope he doesnt get himself on board the stupid "megan wearing this shirt means she will die at the tate house manson family murders" poo poo like so many people did when it was airing weekly

One thing that really impressed me about Mad Men looking back on it is how few characters actually got killed off over the course of the show. A lot of prestige shows around that time like the Sopranos and the Wire, and especially the AMC ones like Breaking Bad and Walking Dead, had that hook of "who's going to die this week?" whereas by the end of Mad Men the only relatively major characters who have died are what, Anna Draper, Lane and Bert? And aside from that it's a handful of side characters like Betty's dad and Pete's parents. I mean, a lot of that comes down to the different setting and subject matter, but I think philosophically Mad Men was just more interested in how characters change and come out the other side versus how they meet their end.

EDIT: Paging Paper Bear to the thread, lol

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The Klowner
Apr 20, 2019

by Jeffrey of YOSPOS


my brain definitely compartmentalized both of you as the same poster lol. That's wild

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