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>>>>Peggy was unlikeable in her behavior with Shirley, absolutely, but I think 'if they really are going to destroy Peggy' is an overstatement. She's miserable.

So far she's a still a good person, but she's been miserable for a long while, and if anything she has been increasingly negative as she's move up in power. It's not just with Shirley. Everyone she comes in contact with acts like they're dealing with a prickly cactus, which is the whole point of the elevator scene and the exchange about Valentine's Day with Stan. It's understandable, but it's been her arc forever. This is not, imo, an episodic moment, but a continuation of all of last season. It's always been a balancing act with her as she tries to negotiate 'how to be a woman' within a man's business culture, but I would say she is no longer automatically a 'good' person. She's calculating, abrasive, self righteous; she's got tunnel vision, she's hard, she's sarcastic, bitchy, and just generally a pain-in-the-ass to work with and be around. When 'good Peggy' realizes she's done wrong, she feels shame, admits she's wrong, but in general I would say she's bitchy Peggy with moments of 'good Peggy' surfacing, rather than the other way around. It may be the show's theme to show that's what happens to women. It may be justified, and definitely understandable. It's just sad to me that it's the story that is being told, even if it is a 'true' reflection of the times.

And can arguably be said to describe the work and business climate even today.

>>>Don had a really hard upbringing, Pete did not. That allows (in my mind) for Don to be more screwed up.

True. Except, I would think Don would also have a stronger understanding of what's important, and not be sucked into so much of the negative behavior because he recognizes what's really of value. The whole plot with his 'breakdown of honesty' is creating a confusing thematic focus for me. Are they trying to suggest that honesty is a weakness? That Don's weakness is his lack of control (not know WHEN to be honest?) Something else? You can't fight city hall/human nature? I want to rewatch those scenes with Sally again.

One thing I've always disliked about MM is that it limits itself to an almost documentary style storytelling, with little analysis or point of view or attempt to judge or assess. No one shares meaningful or insightful discussion or support. People are adrift like islands, leading those lives of quiet desperation. The happiest people are seem to be the least self aware...

Their theme could be 'And that's the way it is.' Not, "It SHOULDN'T BE this way."

Granted Weiner and Hamm et all probably believe their anti-shallow viewpoint (for lack of a better term) is implicit in the work, but I would suggest in fact the show skates perilously close to glorifying the world they showcase, and many critics and viewers have said that. Hamm in fact mentioned in one of the interviews this season how flabbergasted he was to realize how many fans 'want to be like Don Draper.' The show does not present a really strong suggestion that this world is damaged, rotten to the core, hollow and shallow.

Edited by KMInfinity, Apr 22 2014, 04:28 PM.
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Mad Men · Primetime Shows