Watching AMC’s Mad Men is like reading War and Peace and Where’s Waldo simultaneously. It is hard to divide your attention between the two overwhelming parts. I sometimes find my eyes wandering throughout the set and then focusing on the costumes. I often realize I wasn’t paying attention to Don’s sales pitch or his ever increasingly creepy pick up lines.
My wandering mind often puts me in situations that present the question: if I were in this era, what would I do? Would I rather be a Peggy or a Joan? A Pete Campbell or a Ken Cosgrove? Below are some of the more difficult questions that the last season of Mad Men presents.
Would You Rather… Have Roger Sterling’s fabulous mustache, but become mute OR have Pete Campbell’s hairline, but have ten million dollars?
If you have watched Pete Campbell grace the scene of Mad Men, then you have uttered the phrase, “Ugh, Pete Campbell is the worst.” He really is. Would you, however, take on his receding hairline but be fiscally blessed or would you rather be America’s spirit animal but without the ability to deliver clever one-liners? It is a difficult choice. I’d take a second look at that hairline before you pick.
Would You Rather… Live your life with Bertram Cooper’s no shoe rule forever OR have everyone’s voice sound like Don’s secretary, Meredith?
We’ve all seen those runners who swear that it is more comfortable to run barefoot, are you willing to spend the rest of your life shoeless? The alternative is that for as long as you live, your life will be one continual Alvin and the Chipmunks album. While she wears a field of daises well, her voice is like nails on a chalkboard to Don. I suspect it would be a similar experience for us all.
Would You Rather… Be Betty Francis and always have to talk over a blender OR be Megan Draper, but all of your carpets are stained with wine?
Don Draper listens to most women like they are talking over a blender. He hears about every third word. The rest of the time, he’s thinking about how to take off their fur coat or if he has met them before. (That is, unless they are telling a sad, sad story. Then he’s all in!) Betty is used to not being listened to, that’s why she’s going to master in psychology. She’s such a good listener.
Poor Megan, she just can’t have nice things. She had the soap opera gig, but she quit it to go out west. She thought she was marrying a savvy millionaire, but it turns out she married a distant and somewhat-skeevy ad man. She thought she had modern white carpet, but then Don had to go and ruin that too.
Either choice you make, you are going to have some anger and resentment for Mr. Donald Draper.
All hypothetical situations aside, I look forward to the last four episodes of Mad Men. I don’t have many theories about how it will end, but this I can guarantee you: Sally Draper will roll in with some raging teen angst, Peggy will get what is due to her and Don’s demise will be as slow and stylish as the man falling in the opening credits.