What a treat, Russ, to find your posts this morning.
First things first. OMG, OMG, OMG, I totally didn’t make the MPDG connection on Mad Men, but you are so right! It seems pretty clear that this is not going to end well for Don. There have been so many signals about her reluctance to conform (running!?!) to the kind of tightly defined expectations of Don’s generation that I’m starting to fear that the show might be headed somewhere silly. Here’s hoping that Mad Men doesn’t go off the rails. I think you’re right (but maybe this is just my bias?) that Miss Farrell is acting a part just as much as Don or Joan or any of the other characters, and that she isn’t going to serve as the natural, uncorrupted, boomer-triumphalist fantasy girl. Or if she is, that won’t necessarily be a good thing. I guess I sort of agree with the idea that Mad Men is showing us why the 60’s had to happen, but not in the sense that they had to happen for moral reasons, as the dirty hippies would assert. (It’s sort of stunning, actually, that so many boomers are still stuck on the narrative that they were the Great Liberators who saved us from the Cheesy Fakery of the Eisenhower era.) Anyway, I think the show is more about examining how all those seeds of discontent were sown long before the boomers decided to save the world than it is about some kind of simplistic generational contrast, don’t you think?
As for Betty Draper… We discussed her character’s evolution a while back, and how the show has once again started to portray her in a sympathetic light. I think that they’ve done amazing things with her this season, especially given how cruel the writing in the first few episodes was to her character. She seemed so petulant and so self-absorbed, didn’t she? And then, suddenly, we see her in “Souvenir,” capable and clever and completely in her element, and we’re reminded of why she is so miserable. I’m really excited by the idea that she might wind up living a very different life in ten years.
But what is going to happen to my beloved Sal?