Saturday, July 5, 2008

My new crush: Don Draper of AMC's Mad Men....

Holy Smokes! I have a new crush! Jon Hamm plays the incredibly elusive "Don Draper" in AMC's series (set for season 2, July 27th) MAD MEN. The show is a stylized series that takes a look at the "golden age" of Ad-men on Madison Avenue in NYC.

It follows the lives of Don Draper and his immediate stratosphere; the young executives vying for his creative director position, and the women that feed and whittle his ego on this journey. It is compelling, moving, well written and seductively intriguing. It unravels the facade of 1960's family model and delicately tip-toes the issues at hand for men (gay and straight), women and the slowly collapsing square pegs that held this country's prude and suffocating deceptions of "happiness".

Let me begin with the perfect creation of Matt Weiner, Don Draper: the slick and charming, smooth talking, slogan-filled lead creative director of Sterling Cooper. He is a fictional character of a dying breed of man. He has deep lost eyes that are driven by ego and the shocking reality that fantasy can create the perception of happiness and beauty….and so he does. Create it.

There is humility to him. The purple heart you saw in his office, allows you to forgive that he also keeps at least three starched white shirts in his desk drawer. His distant, but genuine concern for a deeper understanding of himself and women gives him a depth.

In the pilot episode he reprimands a "young gun" for berating a new secretary: "..and you will be in middle management, in the corner office with a little hair and women will go home with you because they pity you. That is because no one will like you." (PIZOWWWWWW!)I love this guy.

He gets work advice from his lover and muse and joked that they should marry. She replies: "You know I don't make plans". Only later in the show did I realize he was already married! To a stunning and struggling wife, played by January Jones.
Matt Weiner finds the grace in walking the wire with the misogyny and accepted behavior of all of the male characters. Even the women.

At one point, Joan(Christina Hendricks) says to Peggy
(Elisabeth Moss): "The good men that made this, made it easy enough for a woman to use." after uncovering a typewriter. Ouch. I flinched and air punched the sexism right there. When asked by Don: "What makes women happy?" his boss replies: "Who cares?" matter-of-factly. Double ouch. Divorce drives down property value, women hide emotions, and yet it feels entirely human, and unoffensive.

I know I have "issues". Save the pity or the psycho-analysis. Done it. Don't care...I always have one-foot in the clouds, I'm always attracted to a man that demands attention, carries his enormous power with quiet calm, and magnetically pulls you in with false vulnerability wrapped up in the dark and mysterious charm of word-magic and big hands. Yep...I truly would do just about anything Don Draper requested. Good thing he is fictitious....He finally answers his own question about what women want...and Dear God, for the love of Nixon, he is right.

At one point he says: "Fear stimulates my imagination." Like I said...Holy smokes. I want to put the FEAR in this man.....Now, where is my conical brassiere?

To take a look at some footage from Season one click HERE.

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