This Week in Mad Men – Janie Haddad Tompkins

IS DRAPER GETTING PREDICTABLE? Last week on our show, SteelWheel called that Don would be visiting Anna Draper, and how obvious was it to everyone that he’d try to hit on young Stephanie when he drove her home. Don, who once was such a cagey and unpredictable guy in the early seasons, has now grown all too familiar, and we can start to guess what his patterns of behavior will be. Is this evidence of Don just being really well-realized by Matt Weiner and Jon Hamm, so lifelike that we have now “gotten to know him” over 4 years? Or is the show just starting to run its course and get more predictable? HOLIDAYS Every episode of this season so far has centered around a holiday — Thanksgiving, Christmas, now New Years. In part, the holidays bring out the saddest and most poignant aspects of Don’s current predicament. It’s never sadder to have lost your family than at those times of year we’re expected to be with our families. But I’d also note how Don’s entire experience — and the reality of each episode — runs counter to the holiday that’s actually being celebrated: COUNTER-CULTURE For the first time, the counter-culture really invaded last night’s entire episode. (The trips to LA always remind us that there’s a lot more going on in the early ’60s in America than we’re seeing in button-down establishment Manhattan…) There were numerous little touchstones — Berkeley sit-in references, smoking “grass,” “House of the Rising Sun,” and the episode even opened with talk of
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