Politics, health care, science, education, and pretty much anything I find interesting
March 25, 2012
Mad Men comes back tonight!
Is it wrong for me to admit I have a crush on Don Draper?
Filed under Culture
About Steve GreeneProfessor of Political Science at NC State http://faculty.chass.ncsu.edu/shgreene
I’m just as excited as you, but Don Draper is a horrible person. I find myself simultaneously rooting for and hating him. I’m more of a fan of Pete. He’s really come into his own over the past two seasons. Stopped being a weasel and become more confident with his identity.
No, no, no. Pete is worse than Draper. Peggy, despite her flaws, is the only one worth rooting for.
I agree that Peggy is the only character worth rooting for, but how is Pete worse than Don? Don is a terrible human being. Pete at least sees where the country is going and isn’t afraid to embrace it (albeit from his rich white man perch). He also seems to genuinely care about his wife and was the person keeping SCDP afloat with Don going off the rails and Roger phoning it in.
The difficult (and rewarding) thing about the show is that Weiner keeps adding layers to the characters. The minute you’re beginning to have sympathy for Don, he does something horrible. And, yes, while I had a complete revulsion toward Pete, he’s shown some human qualities — and he gets dumped on. Not enough yet to make me trust at all that he wouldn’t wield his power just as selfishly as Don does if he had it.
Even Peggy and Betty, who were the most sympathetic characters, have had their mean-spirited moments.
I root for them all. And I don’t think Don is a horrible person. My favorite thing is dramatic entertainment be it novels or great TV is the moral ambiguity that comes with good people doing bad things and bad people doing good things and trying to figure out which is which, if that is even a meaningful question. As Itchy suggests, I think what makes Mad Men great is the many layers to all these characters.
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